I don't see why anime cons should be any different from any other type of con - of course each masquerade director has their own opinion, but most masq directors at long-established scifi/fantasy cons have realized that the ICG model is the best place to start from when figuring out what rules to use at your convention. Anime masq directors should do the same. If they'd just get their heads out of the sand they'd realize there is already a good system that WORKS and all they have to do is implement it - they dont' need to invent things from the ground up.
I agree that performance and craftsmanship should be judged separately, although of course the quality and appearance of the costume (as it appears onstage) must be taken into consideration to some degree when judging performance. I think commissioned costumes have no place in a masquerade except in the "Out of Competition" category, which many people seem to be unaware of. It's for when you want to show something off but don't want to actually compete.
As a corollary on the 'ranking' system: I've heard of some masquerade organizers forcing experienced costumers to enter as Novices just because they hadn't won many awards, which IMHO is incredibly stupid, not to mention unfair to the other (truly novice) competitors. "Competing up" (competing at a higher level than you have achieved) harms no-one but possibly yourself (you may not win an award), but "competing down" creates unfair competition for the true newbies.
COSTUME-CON 32 - 2014
the den of sarcasm - my website
Magpie Creations - jewellery and wa-loli accessories
The International Costuming Convention is coming to Toronto Canada!
4 Days! 4 Masquerades! Dealers, Tours, Parties, Costuming Panels and Classes, Cosplay, Props, Doll Show & Competitions, Steampunk, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and so much more!