Anime and Manga, especially in the portrayal of Miko shrine maidens. The appeal of detached sleeves may be related to that of Zettai Ryouiki, only now it's the upper arm and shoulder that are bared (at least — pairings with strapless tops are not unknown). Compare Anti-Gravity Clothing and Opera Gloves.
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Anime & Manga
- Sanzo in Saiyuki
- Renamon in Digimon Tamers. In fact, that's the only item of clothing she wears.
- Ino, Sasuke, Zabuza, Killer Bee, etc. in Naruto.
- Hanyuu in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Rika as well, when wearing the miko outfit.
- Code Geass
- Kallen and Villetta.
- As well as C.C. and Cornelia in R2.
- Kaguya sports these too.
- Suzaku's piloting outfit in the final few episodes of R2 boasts skintight shoulders.
- Princess Tutu has detached, puffed sleeves as part of her Magical Girl outfit.
- The gloves that Chrono in Chrono Crusade almost always wears actually look closer to detached sleeves on the rare occasion we see them without being covered by his coat.
- Rider from Fate/stay night.
- Setsuna Subaru from Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars.
- Cure Berry in Fresh Pretty Cure!.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!
- Kyoto Arc Big Bad Chigusa Amagasaki and her Onmyou Mage outfit.
- For a short time, Negi is also sporting them.
- Subaru in .hack//SIGN.
- Sheena from Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
- Soul Eater
- Blair when she's in human form.
- Let's not forget Tsubaki either.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid
- Corona's Barrier Jacket.
- In Chapter 19.5, Shamal wears an outfit with detached sleeves.
- Micaiah's Barrier Jacket. This, among other features of her Barrier Jacket, makes her give off the appearance of a Miko.
- Dragon Ball
- Zarbon from Dragon Ball Z.
- Zangya as well, in Bojack Unbound.
- Irvine from Zoids combines this with Fashionable Asymmetry. One side has a detached sleeve, the other has a shoulder strap like overalls. plus pointless armbands.◊
- Ichika's Sun Djinn costume in Uta Kata combines this trope with Giant Poofy Sleeves.
- Cooro from +Anima has these.
- Amu Hinamori from Shugo Chara! has this when transformed in Amulet Spade and Amulet Diamond. Also Kairi Sanjou when transformed in Samurai Soul.
- Hime Chen Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri's Natsuki Sasahara when she becomes Kaguya Hime, complete with Zettai Ryouiki.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami, Sayaka, and Kyouko's Magical Girl outfits. Has a one-to-one match with Zettai Ryouiki, oddly.
- Rin from Infinite Stratos wears them.
- Tsume from Wolf's Rain does this with black leather.
- In Black Blood Brothers Cassandra Jill Warlock wears an outfit that appears to consist of a tight black bodysuit and black arm-warmers.
- Several of the Seven Ghosts in Claymore wear these. The dress that Clare wears while in disguise in Rabona also has them.
- General Cloud Nine from D.Gray-Man has a variation.
- In Saint Beast, Judas, Rey and Luca have sleeves/arm wraps that are separated from the rest of their uniforms.
- Pion of Humanity Has Declined has this, as part of her unusual character design.
- Orihime in Bleach. All thanks to her fight with Loly and Menoly while she's wearing the Arrancar dress.
- School Shock: Liu Li's first military uniform
- The main characters in Tokyo Mew Mew wears puffed, detached sleeves in their Mew forms.
- Levi in Fairy Tail has a dress with detached sleeves. Lucy starts to use a top with these after Tenrou Island arc.
- A common feature in Emma Frost's innumerable Stripperiffic outfits, but let's be honest: there isn't a single Stripperiffic trope that hasn't had Emma Frost's incomparably busty shadow cast over it.
- Ms. Marvel as well.
- X-23 frequently does this as well, with the look varying between this trope and Opera Gloves, Depending on the Artist. Also justified: Laura is a cutter, and she often uses the sleeves to hide the wounds.
- Karolina of Runaways did in the beginning, when her powers were revealed.
Films — Animation
- Wallace of Wallace & Gromit appears to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt under his vest, but a scene in The Wrong Trousers, in which he is dressed by a series of robotic gizmos, revealed that it's actually a pair of standalone sleeves. This was meant as a gag, but has been repeated in more recent films.
- Kida's dress at the end of Disney's Atlantis The Lost Empire. However, we never see the armband she wore as a princess under the upper portion of her left sleeve.
Films — Live-Action
- There was a really crazy example of this in The Fifth Element: Bruce Willis in a tank top and detached sleeves. They appear to be some kind of futuristic bandage.
- Balthazar sports a pair of detached sweater sleeves worn over a long-sleeved shirt in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- There seems to be quite a fashion for these in Old Republic of a Galaxy Far Far Away....
- Quorra in TRON: Legacy. In fact the only real flesh she shows (besides her face), despite being for some the obligatory fanservice girl.
- Rocket in Sucker Punch appears to have detached leather sleeves joined to the body of the outfit by thin straps. Goes with the Animesque feel of the movie.
- In School of Rock, a guitarist in Battle of the Bands takes this to the logical extreme by wearing sleeves and no shirt.
- In The Lord of the Rings, The sleeves of Aragorn's Bad Ass Longcoat are laced on and removable, and we see him both with and without the sleeves at various points in the movie. See the example for Medieval European garments under Real Life below.
- Faith, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wears these in her first appearance and a few times afterwards.
- Real occasionally wears some pretty tight ones on Real Chance of Love
- Degrassi features this twice during its tenth season. Fiona, rich enough to always be on the absolute cutting edge of fashion, has an outfit with the typical flowing sleeves hanging from her elbows on down. Wesley, a middle class nerdy boy, at one point in time sports double arm casts.
- Brittany from Glee invokes this look by wearing leg warmers on her arms after she foolishly wears a tank top in the middle of winter ("No one taught me how to read a calendar!").
- Crypton Future Media's "Character Vocal" Series Vocaloids, their derivatives and many UTAU have these. A few Vocaloid examples also exist from other companies, but it is illustrator Kei's Crypton design influence that led to detached sleeves being mislabeled a Vocaloid must-have.
- Worn by Brian Molko of Post-Punk Revival band Placebo in the official video of "Pure Morning."
- It's all the rage in Basketball these days to wear long arm bands. All the cool folks are wearing 'em: Kobe Bryant, Melo, Lebron James. See it here.◊
- Ameiko Kaijitsu is illustrated wearing these in the Jade Regent Pathfinder Adventure Path.
- Mimi wears detached sleeves in the "Out Tonight" number from RENT. Presumably, this is how she can be a stripper and still hide the fact that she has track marks on her arms.
- Star Fox: A rare male variant, Wolf O'Donnell has leather-like detached sleeves in his Super Smash Bros. Brawl appearance.
- Alicia in Bullet Witch.
- Touhou has Reimu Hakurei (pictured) and Sanae Kochiya. Momiji Inubashiri and Mononobe no Futo sometimes have them in fanart.
- Flonne in Disgaea, Rozalin in Disgaea 2, and Asuka (as well as all Ronin-type characters) in Disgaea 3.
- Final Fantasy
- Soul Calibur
- Ivy's P2 outfit has these in IV.
- World of Warcraft: various armors frequently have bare shoulders. You generally won't notice it without specifically looking.
- The professor and dancer classes in Ragnarok Online.
- Vyse in Skies of Arcadia. Fina and Moegi, as well.
- Kaguya Nanbu from Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier. Lamia Loveless also has this in her clothing.
- Guilty Gear
- Anji Mito wears a hakama and two detached sleeves, but no top at all.
- From the same series, Jam Kuradoberi.
- Noel Vermillion
- Also Litchi Faye Ling. Unlike Noel, sometimes she used those sleeves to attack.
- If you look really closely at her, you'll notice that Rachel also has these types of sleeves as well.
- Timer in pop'n music.
- Nikki from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis. It seems it's part of the standard female school uniform to use detached sleeves. It appears there are only a few girls that don't use them, like Jess.
- Princess Lian the Heavenly Lily from Jade Empire.
- Aero from Mega Man Legends 3
- Aqua in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.
- Shino and Atoli in Dot Hack GU
- Tales of the Abyss
- Anise has partially detached sleeves. They're connected to her shirt at the armpit, but the shoulders are open.
- Also Tear (completely detached in her case).
- Tales of Symphonia
- Sheena has detached sleeves, although she wears long black sleeves underneath them.
- Presea, Zelos and Seles Wilder have them, too.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, we have the protagonists Emil and Marta who also wear detached sleeves.
- Fire Emblem
- A distinctly weird example in that the sleeves aren't detached exactly at the shoulders: Nephenee in Path of Radiance
- Mia and Micaiah also have these in Radiant Dawn.
- Rhyth from Jet Set Radio Future has these. They're see-through too, oddly enough.
- Female Shepard's "colony" casual outfit in Mass Effect 2.
- Samurai Warriors: Seen in Okuni and a customized character.
- Compa and Noire have always had Detached Sleeves since the start of the Neptunia series. RED from the original game, Histoire, Uni (in regular and HDD form), HDD Rom and Ram, HDD Nepgear, Chika Hakozaki in Mk-2, and Vert in her regular form in Victory have this as well.
- Cecille's default outfit in Arc Rise Fantasia. Though she has other outfits she can wear her regular dress is the only one she wears in battle.
- Kagu has some in Ōkamiden. Well, after she accepts her Miko powers, at least.
- In Girlchan in Paradise!!, Kotomaru's shirt (or lack thereof) is just sleeves, and nothing else.
- Spongebob Squarepants's sleeves are part of his shirt when he takes them off, but when wearing it his sleeves and arms are drawn far higher than his entire shirt.
- Code Lyoko
- Aelita has puffy detached sleeves in her first Lyoko avatar.
- Yumi also wears this in the first episode for the school party, along with Zettai Ryouiki.
- Huntik: Secrets & Seekers: Sophie Casterwill rocks this look when she's in her standard outfit.
- Legion of Super Heroes: Triplicate Girl had these for a while in the second season.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: June the bounty hunter has these.
- Occasionally used in dance and ballet costumes for freer movement of the shoulders, while still being showy.
- The sleeves on women's kimono (and other traditional Japanese clothes) are unattached underneath. Men's sleeves are sewn shut. This is, naturally, the ultimate source of this trope's prevalence in Japanese works. Poorly done cosplay or Western imitations lack this feature fairly often.
- Gowns worn by medieval women were often designed with separate sleeves that would be laced to the gown. When you read about a lady giving her knight a sleeve as a token, she simply unlaced a sleeve to do so, instead of taking scissors to her dress. The practical reason for this was that if the sleeves got dirty, and they did, the whole dress wouldn't need to be washed.
- Garments for men did this as well. Another practical purpose for both was that it allowed one garment to be both a long-sleeved garment in cooler weather, and shorter-sleeved when it got hot. Also, similar to the kimono example above, sleeves often had open armpits for this purpose: In hotter weather, one put their arms through the holes in the armpits rather than through the sleeve.