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Mai Shiranui (不知火しらぬい まい) is a character from both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series. Her official nickname is The Alluring Ninja Girl (魅惑みわく女忍者くノいち).[5][6]

Development

Fatal Fury 2: Concept art.

Mai was originally not planned to be included in Fatal Fury 2 at all, as her fighting style was created for a different male ninja. When developers shifted their focus to include an idol character in the series, they decided to scrap the Shiranui man for Mai. Her characteristic "bounce" was loosely modified from a kunoichi (female ninja) method of assassination: to be sensual to their unassuming prey before they strike. According to an issue of Neo Geo Freak, her breasts were modeled after Fumie Hosokawa and her bottom is modeled after the late Ai Iijima; both women were famous idols at the time.

Mai's concept art in KOF XIV, showing her personality: Happy, Angry, Serious. Illustrations by Ogura

During the development of The King of Fighters '94, Mai's designer wanted to add more animation to her neutral pose. When the designer came back with the "swaying bosom", the developers were awestruck.[7][8] Due to this pose's potency, however, Mai's eye-popping motions were stilled in the KOF '94 international home version.[9][8]

In an interview with one of the series designers, Shinkiro, he replies that Mai was the most difficult character to illustrate. He comments "I thought she was going to burst out of her costume..." [10]

Personality

Mai is a very cheerful and temperamental girl. She tends to also be somewhat of an airhead and admires any kind of beauty or attractiveness, which sometimes comes across as being vain. She also at times compares attractive boys who flirt with her or acknowledge her beauty to Andy, acknowledging their attractiveness but ending with a comment saying they're 'not as cute as Andy'.

Like many girls, she has dreams of getting married to her Prince Charming — she found her own Prince in Andy Bogard, and self-proclaimed herself his fiancé, which at times has creeped out Andy himself. Within the Fatal Fury series, he mostly tries to ignore her advances as he views her like a younger sister but has a hard time adequately returning platonic affections due to her persistence.

Another notable example of this within the King Of Fighters series, is her intro with Andy in KOF '97, proposing to Andy outright in a wedding dress, or scaring Andy with a mock child doll in KOF '99 and 2001. Despite this, Andy mutually acknowledges her love but prefers to keep quiet about it, mostly due to his own stoicism and focus on training.

Although her peppy fighting persona suggests otherwise, Mai is actually a traditional and ideal Japanese beauty. However, her pride as a Shiranui ninja and infatuation with Andy usually keeps her from fitting the mold 100% of the time.

Despite her complex relationship, Mai has shown her support for the women's team and their notorious reputation for years and enjoys working with her teammates. As for Andy's older brother Terry, Mai admires him, although she gets skeptical when she feels he's hiding something about Andy. Mai shows deference towards Joe but she feels his silly habits are a little annoying.

Powers

  • Pyrokinesis: Mai is able to create and control fire. However, she cannot control flames that she didn't create, and is not immune to other types of fire.
    • Create Fire: Mai can create fire.
    • Fire Attacks: Mai can infuse her attacks with fire. She can also completely cloak herself with her flames.
    • Fire Channel: Mai can channel fire through her clothes, weapon, and anything she touches.
    • Fire Burst: Mai can cause explosions and eruptions of fire.
  • Aerial Control: Mai has the ability to temporarily stay airborne and control her movements in the air. This allows her to float, glide, change directions in mid-air or gain temporary flight.
  • Hammer Space: Mai can hide/pull out infinite weapons and items from her clothing and cleavage, from seemingly nowhere. She keeps multiple fans (her weapon of choice) with her that can't be seen. She also sometimes carries clothes, giant fans, and usually an umbrella.
  • Bunshin: Mai can temporarily project shadow images of herself and her weapon.

Skills

  • Changing - With only one gesture, Mai can change clothes within a second.
  • Climbing - Due to her ninja training, Mai is an expert with climbing surfaces.
  • Stealth - Because of her ninja training, Mai is a master of stealth.
  • Clothing - With her revealing outfit, it's easy for her male opponents to get distracted, giving her the opportunity to defeat them. She can also create clothing, particularly traditional Japanese clothes.
  • Cooking - Mai can cook food for particular occasions.

Fighting Style

Mai uses the Shiranui-ryuu form of ninjutsu combined with her fire powers to fight.

Her style resembles normal ninjutsu with more graceful and majestic moves, somewhat in reference to traditional Japanese dance. She also uses paper fans as weapons, integrating them into her combat technique and using them to perform several combinations and moves. Her clothing — specifically, the tassel on her ninja garb — is also used to attack the opponent. She's also exceptional in hand-to-hand combat using different throws and techniques to gain the upper hand. Mai has shown great strength as well as being strong enough to lift and throw enemies much heavier than her, and using her strong elbow strike capable of breaking through her enemy's defenses and easily incapacitating them.

Music

  • Enryuujin (Flame Dragon God) - Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special and The King of Fighters XIV (PS4 theme only)
  • Ne? (ね?/Isn't?) - The King of Fighters '94, The King of Fighters '98 and '98 Ultimate Match (when teamed with Yuri and King)
  • Ivonnu Rurouru E no gensou Yori Piano to Harp ni Yoru Fuyuu (Floating on a Harp and Piano Fantasy for Yvonne Lerolle) - Fatal Fury 3, Real Bout Fatal Fury
  • Tsuchi o Hau Bass (The Ground-Crawling Bass) - The King of Fighters '95
  • Get'n Up - The King of Fighters '96, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (When teamed with Kasumi and King)
  • Hikyou no sato (Village of Unexplored) - Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition
  • Mai Mai Kyuun - Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, SNK Gals' Fighters, The King of Fighters R-1, The King of Fighters R-2, SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (as EX Mai)
  • Fairy - The King of Fighters '98
  • 176th Street - The King of Fighters '99
  • Come up Smiling - The King of Fighters 2000
  • Terry 115 - The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood, The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood (shared with Terry and Andy Bogard)
  • The Queen of Fighters - The King of Fighters 2001
  • Diet - The King of Fighters 2002
  • I'm Hot for You - The King of Fighters 2003, The King of Fighters XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only, shared with King and Yuri Sakazaki)
  • Who is Queen? - The King of Fighters XIII
  • Splendid Soldier - The King of Fighters XIV
  • Like a Queen - The King of Fighters XV
  • Destiny - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  • The Fight for a Job and Family - Days of Memories (Koi wa Good Job!)
  • SHIRANUI - Days of Memories (Koi wa Good Job!)
  • Chasing You - Days of Memories (Kaze Maou Miyako de Tsukamaete!, Sekai de Ichiban Atsui Fuyu)
  • Mai Shiranui - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
  • Mai-hime - Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture
  • Mai Roulette - Garou Densetsu The Legend of Wild Wolf, Garou Densetsu Special
  • Mai-chan Roulette - The King of Fighters (Pachinko)
  • Sacred Flower - Dead or Alive 5 Last Round
  • Enryuujin ~SNK Heroines Edit~ (A.K.A Flame Dragon God ~SNK Heroines Edit~) - SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy

Image Songs

  • Mai Mai Kyuun - Real Bout Fatal Fury Special image song
  • Kachou Fuugetsu Otome Mai (花蝶 風月 乙女 舞) - 1994 Image song by Reiko Chiba
  • Non Stop! One Way Love - 1994 Image song
  • Dear Mai Boy - 1997 Image song
  • Heavy Baby's 1, 2, 3 - Neo Geo DJ Station shared image song
  • Dance de Peace! - Fatal Fury shared image song
  • Lucky Paradise - Shared image song with Andy in Garou Densetsu Special

Actors

Voice Actors

Live Action Actors

Appearances

Games

Mobile

Cameos

Anime

Gallery

Trivia

  • Due to Mai's vast popularity among fans around the world, she has been in most promotional art, game arts, themes, and merchandise out of any character, making her the female mascot and sex symbol of SNK. Mai was rated #4 in GameSpy.com's "Top Ten Babes in Games" feature[11] and #5 in Game Informer's "Top Ten Hottest Girls of the 16-Bit era." Along with the many figures and merchandise that have been made in her image, she has made an outside game appearance in the spin-off series Queen's Gate. Her great reputation has also influenced other female fighters in other fighting games, mainly Dead or Alive in which Mai herself makes two DLC appearances (in the fifth and sixth installments).
  • In the Neo Geo Freak's 1997 Volume 8 character poll, she was voted as the third favorite character with a total of 1,604 votes.[12] 199 votes from the male fans and 1,405 votes from the female fans.[13] And in Neo Geo Freak's August 1998 issue, she was ranked as the 7th best character.[14] In the character popularity poll on Neo Geo Freak's website, she was voted as the fifth favorite character with a total of 2,380 votes. On Falcoon's SNK 40th anniversary page he states that both Mai and Terry are his favorite SNK characters.[15]
  • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mai Shiranui does not appear among the important characters from the Fatal Fury universe. According to Masahiro Sakurai, the game's developer, this was due to CERO (the rating board in Japan) seeing her to be too suggestive for an A rating game. The English translation for this reasoning was stating that Mai "wasn't for good boys and girls".
  • Mai was born January 1st, on New Year's Day.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mai's profile page from the Fatal Fury 15th Anniversary website (Japanese) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Garou" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Official character profile from The King of Fighters 2001 website
  3. Official character profile from The King of Fighters 2003 website
  4. Mai's profile page from the Official website for Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
  5. Official character profile from KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A"
  6. http://game.snk-corp.co.jp/official/kof-xiii/arcade/character/index.html
  7. - "The King of Fighters ’94 – Developer Interview" Archived from The original'
  8. 8.0 8.1 Official character profile from KOF anniversary website.
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named KOF94
  10. KOF 10th anniversary website Shinkiro's interview.
  11. [1]
  12. Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.
  13. Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Number of votes from both genders, from Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll.
  14. Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive Neo Geo Freak 10 best character set original image collection.
  15. Falcoon's page from SNK 40th anniversary website.
Fatal Fury characters
Fatal Fury Terry BogardAndy BogardJoe HigashiRichard MeyerMichael MaxDuck KingTung Fu RueHwa JaiRaidenBilly KaneGeese Howard
Fatal Fury 2 Kim KaphwanMai ShiranuiCheng SinzanJubei YamadaBig BearAxel HawkLaurence BloodWolfgang Krauser
Fatal Fury Special Ryo Sakazaki
Fatal Fury 3 Blue MaryBob WilsonFranco BashHon-FuSokaku MochizukiRyuji YamazakiJin ChonreiJin Chonshu
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special Nightmare GeeseShadow AndyEX Blue MaryEX Billy KaneEX Tung Fu RueIori Yagami
Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special Dominated Mind White
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 AlfredLi XiangfeiRick Strowd
Fatal Fury: First Contact Lao
Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition Touji SakataTsugumi SendoMr. Karate II
Garou: Mark of the Wolves Rock HowardB. JenetKim Dong HwanKim Jae HoonHotaru FutabaGatoTizocMarco RodriguezHokutomaruKevin RianFreemanGrantKain R. Heinlein
The King of Fighters characters
KOF '94 Kyo KusanagiBenimaru NikaidoGoro DaimonTerry BogardAndy BogardJoe HigashiRyo SakazakiRobert GarciaTakuma SakazakiRalf JonesClark StillHeidernAthena AsamiyaSie KensouChin GentsaiKingMai ShiranuiYuri SakazakiKim KaphwanChang KoehanChoi BoungeHeavy-D!Lucky GlauberBrian BattlerRugal Bernstein
KOF '95 Iori YagamiBilly KaneEiji KisaragiSaisyu KusanagiOmega Rugal
KOF '96 Leona HeidernMatureViceKasumi TodohGeese HowardWolfgang KrauserMr. BigChizuru KaguraGoenitz
KOF '97 Shingo YabukiYashiro NanakaseShermieChrisBlue MaryRyuji YamazakiOrochi IoriOrochi LeonaOrochi YashiroOrochi ShermieOrochi ChrisOrochi
KOF '98UM Nightmare Geese
KOF '99 K'MaximaWhipBaoLi XiangfeiJhun HoonKyo-1Kyo-2Krizalid
KOF '99: Evolution VanessaSethSyo KirishimaAlfredFiolina GermiGai Tendo
KOF 2000 RamónLinHinako ShijouKula DiamondClone ZeroFoxyCandy DiamondAnother K'Another IoriAnother BenimaruAnother RobertCosplayer KyokoKang Bae DalSmart ChangCool ChoiKaoru WatabeBaitangDuck KingLilly KaneKim Jae HoonKim Dong HwanUnknownKing LionKim Sue-ilKaedeDuke EdwardsRockyAthenaNeo & GeoG-Mantle
KOF 2001 May Lee JinjuK9999AngelZeroRonGluganIgnizMistyNests
KOF 2002 Kusanagi
KOF 2002UM Nameless
KOF 2003 Ash CrimsonDuo LonShen WooTizocGatoMalinMaki KaguraAdelheid BernsteinMukai
KOF XI OswaldElisabeth BlanctorcheMomokoB. JenetShionMagakiSilberSho HayateJyazuHotaru FutabaTung Fu Rue
KOF XII Raiden
KOF XIII Hwa JaiSaikiEvil AshMr. Karate
KOF XIV Shun'eiMeitenkunGang-ilLuongXanaduSylvie Paula PaulaKukriMianNelsonZarinaBandeiras HattoriKing of DinosaursHeinNakoruruMamahahaMui MuiLove HeartAlice Garnet NakataAntonovVerseNajd
KOF XV Isla • Unnamed Female Character • Unnamed Boss
KOF EX: Neo Blood Moe Habana
KOF EX2: Howling Blood Reiji OogamiJun KagamiMiu KurosakiSinobu Amou
KOF: Maximum Impact Alba MeiraSoiree MeiraLien NevilleMignon BeartChae LimDukeRock Howard
KOF: Maximum Impact 2 Luise MeyrinkNagaseJivatmaNinon BeartHyenaHanzo HattoriKyo Kusanagi ClassicWild WolfMr. Karate IIArmor RalfRichard Meyer
KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation "A" Xiao LonMakoto Mizoguchi
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