Created By: LouieW on June 20, 2010

Sailor Fuku

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As per this topic in the Trope Repair Shop forum, Joshikousei is being split into two tropes. This is the one about the uniform. Keep in mind that this trope is specifically about the sailor fuku uniform, not school uniforms in general or school girl series. I only moved examples that specifically mentioned sailor fuku uniforms. Also, I would greatly appreciate help with this if anyone has suggestions, I do not have much experience with YKTTW.
Sailor Fuku refers to the characteristic "sailor suit" female uniforms worn in Japan. Sailor fuku uniforms are actually based on European-style naval uniforms, but the prevalence of sailor-suited school girls in anime, manga, and other forms of Japanese media show how iconic the sailor fuku is in Japan. This is true despite many Japanese schools having switched to more Western-patterned uniforms.

Sailor-suit uniforms may be a vehicle for Fanservice as well as uniform skirts are often depicted as being unrealistically short. So common is that alteration of uniform skirts that it is rarely commented on or questioned though it may be off-putting to those who are not used anime or manga based media. Uniforms may be altered in other ways to distinguish certain characters, especially ones considered particularly beautiful.

This is more a Japanese cultural trope than an Anime Trope but is found prominently in anime. See the Western trope of Catholic School Girls Rule. However, given that many Japanese schools have abandoned the sailor uniform, the Catholic-school uniform has become a popular replacement - popular not just among schools but also among viewers - so the two are beginning to merge.

See School Swimsuit for another type of Japanese uniform often used to a similar effect in media.


Anime & Manga
  • Toune in Melody of Oblivion, who goes around fighting Monsters wearing seifuku.
  • Kagome in InuYasha wears a school uniform while hunting monsters in the sengoku period, centuries before they were invented. She's originally from the present day though.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
  • Misaki of Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer wears her uniform to play Angelic Layer, as do a few other characters.
  • In .hack// tasogare no udewa densetsu, one of the fetished-up outfits that Shugo discovers in a treasure chest is a seifuku.
    • In the same series, the character designer for the .hack//Another Birth novels has mentioned considering giving Akira a seifuku in the real world, but decided against it as they were overused, and gave her a less common blazer uniform.
  • Corrector Yui
  • Ouran High School Host Club has Haruhi the local wholesome female crossdresser infiltrate an elementary school with 'Honey,'who is 'really 17 years old.' The male 'Honey' dresses in his old elementary school uniform while Haruhi puts on a middle schoolers 'seifuku.' The rest of the club admits that the two stick out anyway so the disguises are useless: they just wanted to see Haruhi in a schoolgirls uniform.
    • The Ouran Academy has a more elaborate set-up for female students, but that doesn't stop Renge from occasionally cosplaying her favourite Visual Novel's heroine in fuku. Also St. Lobelia has Joshikousei uniforms, which actually resemble long skirts.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
  • Kamichama Karin
  • Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star and HeartCatch Pretty Cure! both have their respective heroines wear sailor suit-esque school uniforms (although the ones in Heartcatch are dress uniforms, they're still sailor suit-esque nonetheless). Miki's school uniform in Fresh Pretty Cure! can also be considered an example.
  • Suzumiya Haruhi revolves around a high-school club, and thus, seifuku appear in abundance.
    • In Volume 1 of the novels, Kyon wonders if the principal has a fetish for this, since male students wear blazers and ties, but girls wear the more traditional sailor uniform.
  • Lucky Star's Anime Theme Song is titled "Motteke! Sailor Fuku". The CD has a B-side titled "Kaeshite! Knee Socks".
    • One of Hiyori's Image Songs is called "Default Joshikousei Nyan". ...Nyan?
    • The title of the OVA is "JK".
  • Sora wears one in Digimon Adventure 02, and Ruki does in Digimon Tamers, though she always changes out as soon as she gets home.
    • Miyako/Yolei gets one in the third movie - and hates it (dub Yolei wonders whether she can wear her cargo pants under the skirt.)
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!, though only to point out that the fact Sayo wears one is proof that she died a long time ago as the uniform has changed since.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha also based her battle uniform on a sailor fuku, although her young incarnation has a considerably longer skirt than normal.
  • Although Azumanga Daioh itself, with modest-length skirts and full-coverage tops, does not fit this trope, Kimura (who suggests sailor uniforms as a gym outfit) and his creepy fetish do.
  • Full Metal Panic!! Fumoffu has a delightful sequence where Kaname Chidori, normally dressed in the school's fairly unusual outfit, agrees to become "manager" for a rugby club: and so puts on a more traditional sailor fuku (and carries a kettle).
  • In one episode of Bottle Fairy, the fairies, while imagining going to school, are all in seifuku... except for Cloudcuckoolander Hororo, who dresses up in the equivalent iconic uniform for kindergarten and elementary school. The others get her straightened out by the time "class" starts, though.
  • The manga version of Read or Die included this when parodying (but using) fanservice moments, with Yomiko donning one of the much younger Nenene's fuku. It's even lampshaded.
    Yomiko: Even though I'm 25, it looks good, right?
  • A variant of the standard sailor uniform as a one-piece dress somehow winds up in the thrift store in Haibane Renmei, where Rakka buys it and wears it for the majority of the series.
  • Love Hina, the younger tenants are occasionally seen in them, and Kitsune and Naru are prominently seen in flashbacks...and, occasionally, not in flashbacks.
  • The seifuku's worn in Maria-sama Ga Miteru are an interesting variety, in that they have very long skirts and are generally not very flattering. In that, they may actually be more like the real thing.
    • Also notable in that they appear to be one-piece dresses, as opposed to the typical separate blouse and skirt.
  • Nobel Gundam from G Gundam is a Humongous Mecha dressed in a Sailor Fuku. As if that weren't nonsensical enough, it's from Sweden of all places. Presumably the scientists who designed it were a bunch of weeaboos (it does show its Scandinavian roots in another way, though...).
  • The sailor uniforms in Saki appear to have quite some variation in skirt lengths, ranging from way below the knees to ultra-short, permanently flashy miniskirts--the latter usually reserved for younger characters, sometimes combined with zettai ryouiki.
  • The all-girl high school attended by Akira in Aoi Hana, Fujigaya, has relatively realistically depicted seifukus, with skirts way below the knee.
  • Takane Katsu in Burst Angel wears this, wields a sword, and drives a motorcycle. And she's a police officer who snags Jo's arm with a thrown cuff on a chain. Strong candidate for Fetish Fuel Station Attendant?
  • While the tops of Hayate the Combat Butler's Hakuou Academy have resemblance to the style, the skirts are ankle length. Isumi still dislikes them for being 'breezy', though she wears kimonos.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite episode 8. When Konoe doesn't have any civilian clothes to wear, her assistant Yashima Sana dresses her in one of these and then puts on one herself. They look like a cross between a normal Japanese School Uniform and a Catholic school uniform.

Live-Action TV


Video Games
  • Many Dating Sim games are set in high school or, more frequently now, colleges with uniforms.
  • Sakura and Karin from the Street Fighter series both dress in seifuku.
    • It's so much a part of who Sakura is, that she wears it as her fight uniform in Street Fighter IV, despite Word of God stating that she's over 20 now.
    • One of Sakura's custom titles from Street Fighter IV is "High School Girl" in the English version and most likely Joshikōsei in the Japanese.
  • Hinata Wakaba from Rival Schools.
  • Athena Asamiya from Psycho Soldier. Her King Of Fighters incarnation was suppossed to fight in a seifuku but the creators thought that it would be "too risqué", and limited the outfit to her pre-fight animations. Years later, she actually fought in such outfit in SNK vs Capcom (Neo Geo Pocket version); and finally, in The King of Fighters XI, XII and the upcoming XIII she actually fights using a school uniform... as late as it may seem. In The King of Fighters 2003, her team is actually called "Joshikōsei Chiimu" (High School Girls Team).
  • Kasumi and Ayane from Dead or Alive have, in some games, alternate outfits that are school outfits, all for Fanservice purposes, of course, but also note that they're supposed to be that young.
  • Saki from the Oneechanbara series has a sailor suit as her default outfit.
Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • June 20, 2010
    Most of the school uniforms in Sailor Moon are this.
  • June 20, 2010
    Interesting question, do we count the uniforms of the Von Trapp family in The Sound Of Music? Of course their father was a naval officer...
  • June 20, 2010
    Right now, I am thinking of just the use Japanese sailor suits. I feel like if it the trope is expanded to something closer to any uniform like sailor fuku in any way that it will get to bloated and will cease being a trope. If you can think of a good way of incorporating it, I would be interested in listening to that though.