Follow TV Tropes


Sailor Fuku

Go To
Everyone looks good in a Sailor Fuku. Even mechas.note 

"Take it! I'm supposed to be the one who laughs last
Because of my sailor uniform, that's the conclusion
I'm in a bad mood, what to do?
Even though it's Monday! Summer clothes'll fix it — Cuuute!"
Lucky Star opening theme (okay, it sounds better in Japanese, but...)

Sailor Fuku (rendered in katakana as serafuku) refers to the characteristic "sailor suit" schoolgirl uniforms worn in Japan. Sailor fuku uniforms are actually based on late Victorian/early 20th-century "rational dress" girl's fashions (themselves based on European 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 uniforms like those of today's Western private schools. However, there are some American schools that use sailor fuku.

Sailor-suit uniforms may be a vehicle for Fanservice as well, as the uniform skirts are often depicted as being dangerously short. This alteration, while it may be off-putting to those who are not used to anime or manga-based media, is so common that it is rarely commented on or questioned, and it has become Truth in Television to some degree.note  Ironically, in the '70s and late '80s, the common image of a sukeban or female delinquent had an extremely long skirt, but this appears less frequently these days.

Uniforms may be altered in other ways to distinguish certain characters, especially ones considered particularly beautiful. The aforementioned Japanese delinquents also showcase a number of modifications, which was sometimes cited as a factor to shift away altogether from sailor-style uniforms among senior high school students.

This is more a Japanese cultural trope than an Anime Trope but is found prominently in anime, especially on Joshikousei; compare the Western trope Catholic School Girls Rule.

It may depend on the region, but in Real Life the sailor suit (and the traditional male counterpart, the gakuran — a black ensemble with a high collar, based on Prussian officer uniforms) has become largely the domain of middle/junior high schools, whereas high schools have shifted towards more fashionable or professional-looking styles of uniform, often with tailored blazers, vests, neckties, and plaid skirts. Elementary schools, if they have a uniform, tend towards collarless jackets and skirts with suspenders — and sometimes, students wear their gym uniforms during class and change into their formal uniforms when outside of the school or attending ceremonies.

See School Sport Uniform and School Swimsuit for other types of Japanese uniforms often used to a similar effect in media.

Compare School Uniforms are the New Black, since some examples here have the uniform as their standard outfit.

Example Subpages

Other Examples

    open/close all folders 
    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A Certain Magical Index: Touma's unnamed high school has the standard gakuran for boys and serafuku for girls. Mikoto's prestigious girls-only middle school uses blazers, but her friends Saten and Uiharu wear serafuku at their more mundane middle school.
  • Date A Live: Raizen High School uses blazers for both boys and girls, but Miku's girl-only academy uses serafuku, as does Kotori's middle school. Mana's middle school from 30 years ago, and Kurumi's girl-only high school from around that same period, both used serafuku as well.
  • Mairu Orihara from Durarara!! wears a standard black sailor fuku when in school. Even when that school uses blazer style uniforms.
  • In The Familiar of Zero Saito spots a military sailor uniform being sold and knows what to do. With some modifications to the top and adding a skirt, he produces a sailor fuku replica and sets about convincing Siesta to wear it to her bemusement. It ends up making the rounds at the school as different girls try it out.
  • The school uniforms that Saki and her friends of both genders wear in From the New World are definitely based on the fuku.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya revolves around a high-school club, and thus, sailor fuku appear in abundance. In the first novel, Kyon wonders if the principal has a fetish for this since male students at North High wear blazers and ties, but girls wear the more traditional sailor uniform.
  • Kamiyama High School in Hyouka also features white-navy blue sailor fuku with blue scarves as uniforms for girls. Gakuran is also used for boys. These uniforms are based on actual uniforms of Hida High School, the original which Kamiyama High taken from.
  • The sailor fuku worn in Maria Watches Over Us are more realistic than most examples in media, since they have very long skirts and are generally not meant to look very flattering; they also appear to be one-piece dresses, as opposed to the typical separate blouse and skirt. There's a notable scene early on in which Sachiko first meets Yumi while fixing the latter's neckerchief.
  • One of the reasons Kumiko Oumae from Sound! Euphonium chose her school was because it was one of the few high schools around that still used sailor fuku, reflecting the real-life trend of phasing out sailor fuku as high school uniforms as explained above.
  • Taishō Baseball Girls takes place in 1925. Quite a big deal is made about some of the female cast wearing the new, Western-style sailor fuku uniforms rather than the traditional kimono and hakama Japanese schoolgirls would typically wear to school before that point.

    Live Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto: Tendou Juka, Tendou Souji's little sister, is a prime example.
  • Surprisingly, Star Trek: The Original Series. In the episode "Court Martial", a young girl is wearing a futuristic sailor fuku. Humorously enough, it looks like something Sailor Mercury would wear.
  • Oshin features Oshin's sons Yuu and Hitoshi, who go to school right before World War II and therefore wear gakuran as uniforms.
  • Million Yen Women: Midori, the youngest of the women, is still in high school and wears that style of uniform.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: In the subplot of Season 7's "Team Cherokee", a young girl whom Trent and Carlos rescued from a pedophile (then had to recover Trent's stolen car from an auto-theft ring in order to recover the evidence needed to convict him) was seen wearing one of these.

  • Chibi from The Birthday Massacre wears a sailor suit in the video for "Looking Glass".
  • sasakure.UK's Fukashigi Monoyukasy: The illustrations for "A Millennium and the Spiral, For Things that Fall" and "Ki Ki Kai Kai" depict Nagare as a young boy in a gakuran.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na gives sailor uniforms to about half the haremettes: Feena (as an exchange student), Natsuki, Mai, and Midori wear it when they attend Katherina Academy.
  • In Kisetsu o Dakishimete (the 2nd game of the Yarudora series), the school blazer Mayu wears when the player character first finds her is a plot point. At several moments of the storyline, they use it to try and find the school it's affiliated to, and consequently discover Mayu's identity. It doesn't work, nobody they ask has ever seen this blazer. When following the "Spirit of the Cherry Trees" storyline, it's implied the blazer is the one Mayu's sister Mami, who just came back from overseas, wore when she was accidented.
  • Athena Cykes has one as a DLC costume in Ace Attorney. Even all the female law students in 5-3, Including Juniper and Scuttlebutt, excluding Robin Newman, wear this.
  • Danganronpa has many girls wearing serafuku and some boys wearing gakuran, while others have blazer uniforms. They all differ quite a bit in design, since the kids originally attended different schools:
    • In the first one Sayaka Maizono and Sakura Ogami wear fukus with white blouses and short blue skirts, and Sayaka adds Zettai Ryouiki. Toko Fukawa wears one as well, with a much longer skirt than the other two. Among the boys, Kiyotaka Ishimaru wears a white gakuran and Mondo Oowada has a darker one modified to look like a delinquent one. The flashbacks to the time they all went to Hope's Peak Academy has them wearing the school's Western uniforms, though.
    • The sequel has Peko Pekoyama and Ibuki Mioda, with Peko's looking almost like Fukawa's but with a shorter skirt and tights and Ibuki's also adding Zettai Ryouiki. Among the boys, Hajime Hinata wears what looks like a summer version of a blazer uniform and Nekomaru Jidai wears a long gakuran jacket.
    • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls has Fukawa again, plus Naegi's younger sister Komaru. The former's uniform has seen better days, and she apparently wants to become a full member of the Future Foundation to get a change of clothing. The latter had a blazer uniform when she was briefly seen in the first game, but said she got her current uniform as a replacement when the one she had wore out. There's also the "Kill List" featuring the loved ones of the students in the first game: out of them, Leon's cousin Kanon is shown in serafuku.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Shuichi Saihara has a simple dark blue gakuran and both Kokichi Ouma and Korekiyo Shinguji have heavily modified ones. On the other hand Miu Iruma, Tenko Chabashira and Maki Harukawa wear just as heavily personalized serafuku while Kaede Akamatsu has a blazer uniform.
  • In True Love Junai Monogatari, the girls from the Player Character's highschool wear the traditional white and light blue serafuku.
  • The Hinamizawa school in Higurashi: When They Cry is a small rural schoolhouse with a single class of students from elementary though high school grades, so it has a very lax dress code and everyone wears different outfits as "uniforms". However, Rena wears a traditional sailor fuku (made of a white blouse with a blue collar, a long blue pleated skirt, and a yellow scarf) and Satoko uses a light blue-green dress with a white sailor collar/greenish scarf that's clearly inspired by fukus.
  • The girls' uniform in CLANNAD is a sailor fuku. The summer uniform has a ribbon for the sailor collar, but the winter uniform lacks it.
  • In the standard branch of the Tokimeki Memorial series (aka Tokimeki Memorial 1 to 4), only the first game has an actual sailor fuku as Kirameki High School's uniform, with the schools in the next two games using blazers. When Tokimeki Memorial 4, set in the same high school as the first game fifteen years later, was announced, some fans cried "They Changed It, Now It Sucks!" regarding the change of Kirameki High's iconic sailor fuku to a blazer-type uniform: the complaint fortunately died down quickly, thanks to Konami's clever move of making Kirameki High gradually change its uniform, so that the two senpai characters keep the sailor fuku as the last graduating class to wear it, while the main protagonist and the characters in the same year as him and below wear the new blazer uniforms.
  • Kindred Spirits on the Roof features two ghosts clad in sailor fuku uniforms- Sachi, who died 80 years ago, wears a black one while Megumi, who died 30 years ago, wears a white one- and presumably, they died wearing them, since Sachi died at school. In the present day, the school phased out the sailor fuku in favor of a vaguely blazer-style uniform with button-down shirts, plaid skirts and sweater vests.

  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace pictures herself and most other female characters wearing fuku in her school-related Dream Sequence. This is probably meant to imply that her impression of school up until that point came almost entirely from watching anime. Judging by the design, it's specifically Azumanga Daioh.
  • The heroine of MAQ #41 used to wear Japanese uniforms to school. Since she lives in the United States this was viewed as quite odd and helped make her a target for bullying.
  • The Wotch: The spell used to turn Professor Sorgaz into MingMei Wu was allegedly created by a "rabid anime fanboy" which is why she ended up Ka-fuku'd as well as "Ka-Girled." Since it also gave her a Chinese name he must have been ignorant as well as rabid. She ditches the fuku after Anne undoes the part of the spell that is messing with her head.
  • In the Homestuck Act 6 Intermission 3 Ministrife, among the many different costumes that can be seen, Damara is wearing a serafuku.
  • Chihiro (and the other girls in her school) in Toki No Tanaka wears a fuku.
  • Lampshaded in MegaTokyo, where Seraphim is bemused by Piro's serafuku fetish. Doubles as a Shout-Out since the one she wears to make her point is the girls' uniform from CLANNAD.

    Web Original 
  • Sailor Nothing, as well as Sailors Truth and Beauty, wear embellished versions of their school uniforms when they're in sailor form.
  • Vocaloid Rin Kagamine wears a sailor fuku top, though it's sleeveless. Her twin brother / mirror image Len wears a sleeved one.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Tennyo's school uniform is based on this design.
    • During the orientation for a group of new students arriving in the Winter term, Sgt. Wilson begins to explain that they would be expected to wear a school uniform most of the time... at which point Thorn uses ectoplasm to manifest himself a sailor fuku, complete with blonde pigtails and a Magical Girl wand.
      “You’d better be careful with the drag, kid,” Wilson warned. “You looked too good like that. It could get you in trouble.”
      “Oh, trouble? Perish forbid!” Thorn murmured.
  • The eLouai Candy Bar allows you to dress Virtual Paper Dolls in a number of sailor tops and skirts.
  • Dreamscape: Anjren's outfit resembles this.

    Western Animation 
  • Katana, the (at first) girl Outsider in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, wore a sailor suit in Season 1. However, in Season 2, she ditched it for the classic costume of her comic book counterpart.
  • In Clémentine, the protagonist Clementine Dumant's most iconic outfit is a short-skirted sailor suit. It's not as surprising as one might think, since such clothing was sometimes worn by young girls in the Western world during the interwar years.
  • Whenever Aja from Jem is shown as a child she wears a red sailor suit for some reason. It could be Toei Animation accidentally putting Japanese tropes into an American setting.
  • Lily wears one in Kappa Mikey, even though she actually is not a student.
  • Napoleon Dynamite: In the second episode, a scantron dating machine pairs Napoleon up with a Japanese foreign exchange student named Tokiko, who's sporting Sailor Fuku and every other Japanese schoolgirl-related trope you can imagine.
  • Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja: The Sorceress in her human disguise, Amanda Levay.
  • Totally Spies!: Madison, the President's daughter wears one.
  • Dot's Animesque design in the big anime fight scene in the Animaniacs (2020) episode "Bun Control" sports a pink sailor outfit, because it just wouldn't be an anime tribute without one.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Japanese School Uniform, Seifuku


Stupid Schoolgirls

The schoolgirls Rick rescues are so unsuspecting that they don't realize that their teacher is a ghost until it's pointed out to them, even though they were intently watching it dig into a corpse just moments before.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChildrenAreInnocent

Media sources: