Zettai ryōiki (絶対領域, lit. "absolute territory") refers to the area of bare skin in the gap between the socks (or stockings) and a skirt (or shorts). It can also be used to describe the clothing combination. The term first became widespread in otaku slang as one of the attributes of moe characters in anime and manga, but it is now used by the general public in Japan.
Zettai ryōiki fans classify it by visible bare skin area, that depends on height of the socks and length of the skirt. Grade A has the highest overknee socks, and the shortest skirt (miniskirt or microskirt). Grade B has socks just over the knee, C just under the knee, D and E even shorter. According to zettai ryōiki aesthetics, the shorter the socks, the longer the skirt should be, but the skirt length should always remain above the knee. In grade A, the exposed skin area is minimized and highest up. Grade E has the most bare leg showing, but the upper edge of the exposed area is lowest.
Grade F would correspond to the shortest possible socks, but is not part of the usual zettai ryōiki scale.
Japanese school uniforms will typically have grade D stocking lengths, but the skirt can be longer (midi-skirt). Western school uniforms for boys with shorts may also technically correspond to the look, but the term zettai ryōiki is not usually applied to boys.
In spanking art
The clothing combination is very popular in Japan, and so it is also often found in Japanese and Western manga/anime inspired spanking art. In spanking drawings, manga and videos, the skirt, of course, will typically end up flipped up or taken off to expose the spankee's panty-clad or bare bottom. Occasionally a girl or young woman in zettai ryōiki look will also be the spanker.
Anime drawing of a character in a maid uniform, with zettai ryōiki grade A.
- Zettai Ryouiki on TV tropes
- Chart showing zettai ryōiki grades A to E
- Photo illustrating the zettai ryōiki area
- Zettai ryōiki on a doll
- Zettai ryōiki (photo)
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