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Akebi’s Sailor Uniform

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform is a beautiful and heartwarming anime but not without its flaws. Minor spoilers below.

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform

The plot of Akebi’s Sailor Uniform is simple. A young girl named Akebi Komichi, year three in middle school (around maybe fourteen) has spent most of her life attending school in a class of one. She had no friends her own age. She is accepted at the prestigious Roubai academy, which is within walking (or running) distance of her house. Her greatest wish is to make “lots and lots and lots of friends”. And, throughout her time there, she does. In nearly episode, she befriends nearly everyone she meets.

One of the reasons she wants to attend Roubai is her desire to wear a sailor uniform, which they did when her mother attended. In a very touching scene, her mother makes her one. But upon attending, she finds that they don’t have sailor uniforms anymore. She then has to choose whether to follow her dream and stand out, or go with the flow.

Akebi is a cheerful, happy and energetic girl who loves sports and runs to and from class every day. One rarely sees a frown on her face. Everyone loves her, and everyone should love her.

Her first and best friend is Kizaki Erika, a blond-haired girl about her age, who makes a rather disgusting fanservice-ey first impression. However, Akebi laughs it off and they become fast and close friends. She meets other friends as well, and they spend lots of time together getting into mischief and adventures.

I Love This Anime

“Akebi’s Sailor Uniform” is not a perfect anime. It has some flaws, some of which are rather glaring at a cursory glance. But setting those aside for the moment, this anime is absolutely beautiful. It has amazing artwork and animation. Its world is so beautiful and bright that I just wanted to wrap myself in it and never leave. In this world, there are no enemies, no bullying, no unfriendliness or hatred. There is only a bunch of girls who come with their own flaws but don’t let those flaws define them.

For example, Shijo Riona is a girl who, er, developed a little earlier than most of her friends. She is taller, a little clumsy, and has a large chest. She feels self-conscious about this, and it’s worse because she was really good at tennis as a child and her growing body betrayed her. But they treat it with care and sensitivity. The friendship of Akebi and the other girls helps her to see that there’s nothing wrong with her.

The ending, as well, is beautiful, and while I’m not the biggest fan of dancing as an art form, it is a sweet and tender moment of friendship. Kazaki surprises her by supporting her in a very unexpected and tearjerking way.

… But it has Flaws

But, this anime has flaws. They’re flaws of which I have decidedly mixed feelings, but they’re flaws nonetheless.

One of the biggest flaws is its fanservice. This is more glaring because it’s just on the border of being fanservice vs. being beautiful. This makes it rather difficult to decide whether to give it a pass.

For example, Akebi’s Sailor Uniform has a tendency to focus on feet. Bare feet, feet with shoes, feet with socks, feet with holes in the socks, wiggling toes, not wiggling toes – no matter how you feel about what it’s trying to represent, it’s hard to deny the focus itself.

But the problem is this focus has two interpretations. The first way is, exactly how you might think. The author had a foot fetish and just wanted to focus on feet. Considering the fact that these are young girls, that gets really squicky really fast, and for people who actually have that fetish, it could get really uncomfortable fast. Or… not, and that might be worse.

The second way, though, is the way I tend to take it. The focus on the feet is kind of a nod to innocence. When you think of a child, one of the very first things you think about is running barefoot through the grass. No one (that I want anything to do with, anyway) ever thinks anything bad about that. It’s just a child being innocent. And Akebi is at that rather tender age where she’s not a child anymore, but not a woman either. There are these moments of childish innocence, and of female sensuality, and they’re all intermixed and tossed together. Just as is the case with most girls of around that age.

It’s an age where they haven’t fully lost their innocence, but also haven’t fully grown into the women they will become. The feet, in my view, represent the innocence, but with tinges of the fully grown women they aren’t yet.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I loved the anime too much to think otherwise.

It is also very possible the feet are a mirror into which you can see exactly what you want to see. As maybe I just did.

But the Other Fanservice

Some of the other fanservice, though, was a little harder to ignore, and a little harder to pass off as an allegory to innocence. It was very clear that the author was trying to hint at yuri relationships between some of the girls – Akebi and Kazaki, for example. This felt a little forced and out of place, particularly because that atmosphere seemed to permeate the atmosphere of the anime.

As well, some of the scenes seemed to transcend friendship, and it was really difficult to attribute this to an innocent anime representing the troubles and beauties of adolescence. It’s fine when it draws you further into the story, but this took me out of the story more than once, and it went too far at those moments.

This lent a little credence to the interpretation that the feet were just for fanservice, and this really hurt my enjoyment of this anime.


Akebi’s Sailor Uniform is a beautiful, well-written, and well-produced anime by Clover Works animation, and it lived up well to the standards they’ve set for themselves with previous works. It’s a beautiful love letter to friendship, to adolescence, to childhood, and to girls. On the other hand, it’s full of fanservice, both hidden and blatant, and this made it difficult to fully immerse in the otherwise beautiful, idyllic, and heartwarming story. It was significantly more difficult to watch on a second viewing, and I doubt I will watch it a third time.

Some animes you can watch over and over again and still see things in it you didn’t see before. Such as Sound! Euphonium. This one isn’t like that. I think watching it once is plenty.

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars. And it lost three stars only because of the fanservice. Had they toned it down, it’d have a full ten stars from me.

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