It is said that there’s an ultimate genre of 萌え(moe) among akibakeis. That is a forbidden space where akibakeis never get in…What’s that?
The clue is, yes, over knee socks. We are often seen maids wearing these, aren’t we? The bare thighs of her between the skirt and the socks…is what’s called, 絶対領域[zettai ryouiki]. 絶対[zettai] means absolute, and 領域[ryouiki] means territory. So literally, it means an absolute territory. Why absolute? There are some rumors but none of them is so admissable.
Having said that, most people seem to equate サイハイ(saihai,”thigh high socks”) with オーバーニーソックス(over knee socks) or ニーソックス(knee socks). Actually, both over knee socks and knee socks could show almost all her thighs though they can cover her knees. In order to make 絶対領域, almost the half (that depends) of her thighs should be covered by socks (look at above image). Unless she wears thigh high socks, it wouldn’t mean 絶対領域. In spite of the fact, most otaku people seem to prefer to say ニーソ(ni-so, abbreviation of knee socks) or オーバーニー(over knee, abbreviation of over knee socks) rather than saying サイハイ. The rumor has it that those two terms, ニーソ and オーバーニー got common ahead of サイハイ, so that’s why most otaku are not willing to correct it anymore although they know the truth…Come to think of it, some of the words I have introduced so far got common among anime fans with no proper definition…how come this happens in Japan? I am Japanese, but sometimes I wonder things like this would happen abroad.
Also, thigh high socks could be found in some fashion magazines or whatsover. But actually, they are sometimes introduced as knee socks or over knee socks…well, they might even say like ultra-over knee socks or something like that. Well, I had better not resist rule of thumb, so I should call it ニーソ or オーバーニー, shouldn’t I?