Mai Shiranui was initially portrayed as a tomboy, but over time, her appearance became more sexualized. However, she is now being compelled to wear a bandeau.LORIBEAR
Mai Shiranui is a prominent character in the SNK series. She has appeared in various games such as “Fatal Fury,” “The King of Fighters,” “Days of Memories,” “KOF: Maximum Impact,” and more. She has also been featured in numerous crossover fighting games and is a representative character for SNK. She has become more than just a game character; she is a cultural icon, a symbol, and a cherished memory for a generation of players. Some even consider her the most successful character ever designed by SNK, surpassing the popularity of other SNK heroines like Athena Asamiya and Nakoruru.
However, what many people don’t know is that Mai Shiranui’s original design was quite different from what we see today. During the initial planning phase led by Takashi Nishiyama, SNK focused on innovative fighting game concepts and never intended to rely on sexualized appeal. As a result, early games like “Fatal Fury” and “Art of Fighting” did not feature visually appealing female characters (even if there were female characters, they were more tomboyish like King).
Initially, another character was designed—a male ninja who practiced the “Shiranui-ryu Ninjutsu,” as shown in the provided image.
Yes, you read that right. This male ninja, who practiced the “Shiranui-ryu Ninjutsu,” was the original concept for Mai Shiranui. He had a cool appearance resembling Kakashi Hatake from “Naruto” or Hanzo Hattori from “World Heroes.” If this character had made it into the game, “Fatal Fury 2” might have received a different reception. Some players speculated that this character might have been the prototype for Yashiro Nanakase in “Art of Fighting 2.”
Although Yashiro Nanakase, a descendant of the “Moonlight Sword,” gained some popularity during the “Fatal Fury 2” era, he didn’t leave a significant impact on SNK’s history and could be considered replaceable.
After the exclusion of the male ninja character, another character design surfaced. It was a muscular female ninja wearing a high-cut outfit, with a resolute face and short hair, exuding a powerful aura.
This design reminded me of Maki Genryusai from “Street Fighter” and Angela Belti from “Gowcaizer,” both of whom were muscular women. It’s hard to say whether this design would have gained popularity back then, as players’ aesthetics were completely different from today.
This proposal passed the initial review, and the designers created several costumes. Among them, the silhouette of “Mai Shiranui” started to emerge. We could even see the shadows of “Bruce” from “Art of Fighting,” “Blaze” from “Burning Fight,” “Ivy” from “Soul Edge,” and “Jade” from “Mortal Kombat.”
At that time, “Street Fighter II” was already incredibly popular worldwide, and Chun-Li‘s popularity was soaring. Mai Shiranui’s design was somewhat influenced by Chun-Li, and her costume resembled a qipao with the “Shiranui-style Do-Fuku,” which was specifically designed for her, featuring fan-based attacks. Thus, the initial “official photoshoot” was born.
After coloring, she looked like this.
It’s worth noting that at this stage, Mai Shiranui’s proportions were closer to real-life, with slightly thicker legs. There wasn’t much aesthetic appeal, and her appearance differed significantly from the familiar “King of Fighters” image.
In “Fatal Fury 3” and “Real Bout Fatal Fury Special,” Mai Shiranui’s thighs were optimized, giving her a more slender and tall appearance, establishing the general image of Mai Shiranui for the future.
Over the years, Mai Shiranui’s design has remained largely unchanged, except for a unique short hair look in “KOF: Maximum Impact” and a different costume in a certain mobile game.
In the initial design phase, Mai Shiranui had an additional set of ninja attire called the “night infiltration outfit.” It was designed for gathering intelligence and carrying out assassinations during nighttime. However, due to changes in the storyline, this outfit was eventually scrapped. Although Mai Shiranui retained her ninja identity, she is not portrayed as someone who operates primarily at night. Therefore, the significance of the night infiltration outfit diminished.
It wasn’t until many years later, in “Days of Memories,” that the outfit made a reappearance, giving players a delightful feast for the eyes!
To increase Mai Shiranui’s popularity, “Neo Geo Freak” even reported that her body model was based on Noriko Hidaka’s breasts and Ai Iijima’s buttocks. However, this was purely to provide players with some imaginative space. Character design is not solely based on these references.
In my opinion, the author who best captures the essence of “Mai Shiranui” is Masato Kato, the creator of “The King of Fighters: Kyo.”
Under his pen, Mai Shiranui is not just a sexy ninja but a charismatic warrior.
The final appearance of Mai Shiranui in a certain mobile game might surprise you. When we first saw the image a few years ago, it wasn’t like this! Mai Shiranui’s journey outside of SNK has been tumultuous.
First, she was forced to wear safety shorts, and later, she was forced to wear a bandeau.
However,come to us.you do not need to worry,You can take off what little clothes she has,inserting her.