Literally "a female high school student", but the term is invariably used to refer specifically to cute high school girls wearing Sailor Fuku, or sailor suit-styled uniforms. Note that the term may be used interchangeably with 'seifuku', which means any general "school uniform", but is often used to describe the sailor outfits in particular. Although seeraafuku are not as common now in Japan as they once were, the vast majority of anime girls still wear them.
Many Japanese men refer to them under the nickname "JK" or "JC". That Japanese has such a compact, productive phrase for this image implies that it's an important archetype in the Japanese psyche, and this is borne out by how often sailor-suited school girls still appear in both manga and anime.
See also School Swimsuit, for when the girls wear something that shows a little more skin.
This is mainly a Japanese cultural trope but is found prominently in anime. The Western equivalent is Catholic School Girls Rule. However, given that many Japanese high schools have abandoned the sailor uniform, which nowadays is a characteristic indicator of middle school girls, more professional-esque styles of uniform have become a popular replacement - popular not just among schools but also among viewers - so the two are beginning to merge. Joshikousei are very prominent in anime/manga, to the point where the far majority of female characters will be either be high school girls or at the very least be in the same age group (should high school not exist or should their occupation prevent them from going to school). In fact, one of the main reasons why most male protagonists are ordinary highschool students is so they can be surrounded by high school girls.
Anime & Manga
- Azumanga Daioh, though the girls here wear modest-length skirts and full-coverage tops.
- Bleach has Karin and Yuzu wear these after the Time Skip.
- Lisa Yadomaru wears one, but it's tight enough for her to Bare Your Midriff.
- Hidamari Sketch
- K-On! turns this trope Up To Eleven by setting the story at an all-girls high school.
- A Joshikousei series aptly named High School Girls (its Japanese name was literally Joshikousei).
- Each Tokyo Mew Mew girl attends a different school; Ichigo and Retasu both wear seifuku. In the largely discredited sequel, all five originals and the new character attend the same school, chosen for its "cute uniforms".
- Magic Knight Rayearth, like Sailor Moon, bases the girls' armour off of school uniforms.
- Lucky Star.
- For Amanchu, Kozue Amano designed some very pretty school uniforms, with hints to the outfits worn by the undines in her other main work, Aria. The frilly petticoats really set them apart, although they might be a bit warm in summer. And they may also not be the best fit for more chubby students.
- In Gakuen Hetalia, Axis Powers Hetalia's take on a High School AU, Seychelles and Hungary appear in Western-style uniforms. Belarus and Ukraine appear in concept art, and Taiwan appears in this in the concept art, compared to the more Western uniforms the other girls have been seen wearing. In the regular canon, Norway and Sealand also sport Danshigakusei uniforms.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena has the "ridiculously short skirt" version.
- Konoe Tsurugi and Yashima Sanae in Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite episode 8.
- In Fruits Basket, Shigure is so tickled about visiting Tohru's school because he knows how the girls will react to him, he sings a little Joshikousei song.
- A Channel
- Mato and Yomi's uniform in the Black★Rock Shooter OVA.
- The SSS uniform in Angel Beats!. Note that it is not the same as the one the NPC's wear.
- Highschool of the Dead. Granted, they do rip up and alter their uniform so they'll be more versatile, and later change out. And considering the zombie apocalypse is taking up their time, I doubt they'll be going to school anymore.
- In Soul Eater, the girls' Spartoi uniforms usually are in the sailor style.
- Kim and Jackie's original uniform also slightly resembles a seifuku, having the collar and tie.
- In Zombie Loan, this is somewhat averted. The uniform only has the collar. The rest doesn't really resemble seifuku.
- The girls' uniform at Butei high in Hidan no Aria.
- The girls of Hanasaku Iroha have to wear a blue-and-white seifuku to school.
- Ohana's school in Tokyo has a thicker navy-colored seifuku.
- The standard uniform in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. In the novels, Kyon says that his high school has sailor uniforms despite clashing with the male tie-and-blazer uniforms because the directors likes themn, and the other High School of the area has the opposite combination, blazers for girls and gakurans for the boys.
- Haruhi Fujioka's (from Ouran High School Host Club) old uniform from middle school was a dark-colored seifuku.
- THE iDOLM@STER - Several of the idols are High Schoolers, though their schools don't appear much.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- The protagonist of Wandering Son brought one when he was in sixth grade. Later on in the manga, several side-characters begin going to a high school that uses Sailor Fuku.
- Great Teacher Onizuka
- The high school uniforms in My-HiME just have the short skirt part; the middle school uniforms are the classic white-with-blue-trim seeraa style.
Live Action TV
- Kamen Rider Agito: Kazaya Mana is a less straight example, since she doesn't wear the sailor suit.
- Kamen Rider Double: Two of Shotaro's informants, Queen and Elizabeth are apparently schoolgirls. "Joshikousei" is Shotaro's nickname for Akiko, since she behaves more like a child than her actual age of 20.
- Kamen Rider OOO: Mezuru's guise is a school girl... for about one episode. Then she changes into another outfit. One wonders why...
- A rare American example: Claire, from Heroes, and her iconic cheerleader garb. The second season even gave her a revamped (but less frequently seen) blue outfit.
- Many Dating Sim games are set in high school or, more frequently now, colleges with uniforms.
- 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.
- In The King of Fighters 2003, Athena Asamiya, Hinako Shijō, and Malin form a team called "Joshikōsei Chiimu" (High School Girls Team).
- Ling Xiaoyu has a school uniform as an 'optional' costume in her appearances in Tekken. Often she's wearing it in her ending animations, too.
- Ar tonelico has the playable Reyvateils, Teen Misha and Aurica both have their own school uniforms outfits as the rewards for completing the diving quests.
- The main character of Persona 3 when playing as a female, as well as all female classmates, since they attend a modern Japanese high school. They even fight in them rather than street clothes, despite all battles taking place long after school hours.
- Love Plus, naturally, as with many a Dating Sim game and as a Spiritual Successor of the Tokimeki Memorial series.
- Speaking of Tokimeki Memorial 's Spiritual Successors, one of them, Mitsumete Knight, despite being in a medieval / fantasy setting instead of an High School one, has roughly 1/3 of its main girls cast (5 out of 16) composed of school girls, because in the country the mercenary main protagonist fights for, the military grounds he trains at are located next to the country's main Academy campus.
- Touhou Project's Sanae Kochiya is viewed as this in the fandom. Considering that she is from the outside world that went to the place known as Gensokyo since her dieties moved there.