絶対領域[zettai ryouiki](*´д`*)ハアハア

September 10, 2007 at 10:29 am (otaku word)


 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?



  1. w said,

    This is probably something that sounds a bit creepy and strange, but even as a girl, one thing that always drew me to Japanese street fashion was *knee socks*. When I was a kid I loved wearing socks as high as possible and I was just obsessed about how high they went in Japan (I never got to wear stockings but I loved those too). Of course maybe I’m not a fan of it because of zettai-ryouiki (unless it’s subconscious… (゚д゚)) but I can definitely understand why people like it. There’s something alluring about that gap between a short skirt and long socks. Argh! Am I turning weird?!

  2. bangin said,

    Yes, I think knee socks are popular among not only those maids but girls those are pursuing pop-fashion. My elder sister also loves knee socks not knowing about 絶対領域. Currently, from Goth girls like Nana to pop-singers like Kumi Koda love it.

    For akibakeis, the narrow gap between a skirt and long socks is the sacred area where nobody can reach…what can I say?

    ARGH, please do not say hentai!

  3. k0 said,

    Okay, so the question is would it be breaking akibakei law if I ever get into the sacred 絶対領域 of a female?

  4. bangin said,

    Ha ha, no~that would be fine. I think 絶対領域 relates to チラリズム(chirarizumu), which makes turn them on when such a secret zone could be seen at a moment. So that’s why it is said that the space of 絶対領域 shouldn’t be so wide, but nor too narrow. Umm, it’s difficult.

  5. Neohybrid_kai said,

    Lol, I know this term already, I just don’t understand how they came up with the sacred area concept, but I guess its has something to do with the area coverage, which is smaller than the area of what a short skirt alone produce
    er, I’m start writing weird theories ^^;;

    Anyway, for me, short skirt is very nice to see, with or without a knee sock ^^
    btw, what is chirarizumu?

  6. Avplaya said,

    chotto matte, I don’t quite understand. Is it called 絶対領域 because it’s the ultimate genre or it’s the ultimate fetish? And why is it forbidden? There are plenty of fetish in Japan that’s 100x more “raw” than this. So there are people moe about high knee-sock right? Is that a bad thing? Would you hide the fact that you find オーバーニー moe to your fellow ota?

    As for the origin of the “over-knee sock”, it’s basically your French garter-belt stockings. You basically use a belt to hold up your high, over-the-knee stocking in the old days because it would FALL if you don’t. There are plenty of guys in the West with a fetish for garter-belts and the “sock” that came with it. This is actually a J-moe shared with much of the gaijin world!

    See here, bangin-dono.. do these count as “オーバーニー”?

    Hentai.. hahaha… well, this is CLOSE to a real sexual fetish now… and bangin-dono, you probably know, Japan leads the world in real hentai fetish categorizations. WWWWW… btw, are there doujins dedicated to this particular moe?

  7. bangin said,

    Neohybrid_kai: When something is seen at a moment, I mean, very short moment, we say チラリと見える(chirari to mieru). To catch a glimpse of sth could be the closet translation, I think. So this chirari and -ism combined (like Haruhi-ism). Some people are obssessed with this chirarism.

    Avplaya-san:Oh no, this is just what I said as a joke, Avplaya-san, so please don’t take those seriously. 🙂 It’s not a bad thing. Some otakus even say zettai ryouiki means a secret inner space of a short skirt. Especially when her underwear can’t be seen whereas she dances wearing a very short skirt (I think a good example is the younger Chisato Moritaka). DDDDDDDDon’t say hentai, please! ((((;゜д゜)))))アワワワワワ

    Garter-belt is used to hold socks, yes, I bet a lot of people fetishize it, too. I remember almost all the maids in He is my master are using garter-belts.

    Well…pretty hard to judge…I personally this is thigh high socks because it covers more than half of her thighs. Well, but it already covers her knees…so it also means over knee socks.

    I think some doujins are dedicating to it. Especially when they focus on maid things. 🙂

  8. Hinano said,

    I have overknee socks (my otaku bf loves them :P) but when I bought them it said “over the knee” rather than “thigh high”. It seems thigh high nowdays refers to sheer stockings for women instead.

  9. Avplaya said,

    bangin-dono, yes that’s what I thought zettai ryouiki meant…. like how during the Lucky Star OP the girls dance like mad but you can never see the Zettai Ryouiki? Like that… I don’t consider upper thigh to be in that category neh… I think it’s just otaku humor I’m not getting.^^;

    Hinano-sama, we won’t believe a word you say unless you post a photo of your alleged “knee-sock”. 🙂 Now I have to go wipe all this nose blood from my monitor…

  10. Neohybrid_kai said,

    bangin: ah, so that’s it. This reminds me to a belief in my local area that if you take a look at a glance accidentally, whatever it is, it won’t considered as a bad thing (or sin) but if you take a look intentionally for the second time then it is a sin.

    hinano: lol, ur bf is so lucky.

  11. bangin said,

    Hinano: Good for your boyfriend. Truly, here we don’t seem to say thigh high socks, but オーバーニー or ニーソ. Anyway, thigh high socks can be seen anywhere. It works not only as moe item but current fashion. 🙂

    Avplaya-san: I hope zettai ryouiki could be more generalized so that anyone can make out. (・∀・)

    Neohybrid_kai: Yes, and if we take a look on purpose, we would be like Tashiro Masashi! (Do you know about this man?)

  12. w said,


    As an anecdote, I remember how in my middle school (an all-girls one) some people requested whether we could wear long socks to school since it’s a school well known for being very particular about dressing rules… the principal brushed it off as silly: “You really want to wear that sort of thing?”

    Indeed, although it’s seen as cute and stuff by girls here (I think? Well, a lot of Chinese girls here love Japanese/Korean street wear because of TV dramas and/or anime) nobody really wears them out on the road because it’s just not widely worn. You’ll get stared at. Perhaps it’s partly because it’s so hot and humid here most of the time, it just gets uncomfortable… and it seems to be much more popular to wear super-low socks here instead.

  13. bangin said,

    In this summer here, although I heard more than 20(or more) people died of heat injury, a lot of young girls were wearing thigh high socks whereas most of them are wearing camisoles.

    I always encounter schoolgirls from my old school on the train every morning, but the dressing rules have not changed, so none of them wear thigh high socks, but normal high socks.

    If they started to wear thigh high socks, that would mean I could see zettai ryouiki every morning! (゜д゜)

  14. Neohybrid_kai said,

    bangin: lol, okay, I wiki-ed Tashiro Masashi and now I know about him ^ ^;
    btw a bit off topic but does in winter the uniform still have a miniskirt on it?

  15. bangin said,

    Yes, but in winter they wear a jersey under a miniskirt. That’s very weird to me! They even walk outside with that.

  16. 子犬 said,

    Can this word be used, if it boots or something else, and no socks? Like Lady Gaga in this video? (You can see best at 2:18.)

    I can not understand this Moe. Why is it better to cover more? I would rather see the legs.

  17. 子犬 said,

    Whoops. I meant after 2:18!

    • bangin said,

      Hypothetically, yes. But zettai ryouiki mostly requires over knee socks.

      To cover too much is not good.
      Those who love zettai ryouiki have a fetish about such a narrow space between over knee socks and a skirt. Can reach to? Can I see that? Such a dangerously sexiness is moe, I think.

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