|Mai Shiranui||Story||Move List||Gallery||Quotes||Trivia|
Mai Shiranui (
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.
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. Due to this pose's potency, however, Mai's eye-popping motions were stilled in the KOF '94 international home version.
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..." 
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- The name Mai means "dance" (舞).
- Mai's surname Shiranui means "phosphorescent light" (不知火).
- Phosphorescence is relating to a type of light that glows softly in the dark and that does not produce heat.
- 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 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. 199 votes from the male fans and 1,405 votes from the female fans. And in Neo Geo Freak's August 1998 issue, she was ranked as the 7th best character. 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.
- In Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mai 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 in January 1st, on New Year's Day. This is highlighted in her favorite foods and hobbies.
- One of Mai's most striking features, the swinging boobs, has been censored several times in other countries outside of Japan. In these situations, the swing remains only in its victory poses, for a brief period of time.
- In SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy, during the boss scene with Nakoruru, Mai breaks the fourth wall when she mentions the fact that both are the "SNK's most famous female fighting duo."
- Mai's profile page from the Fatal Fury 15th Anniversary website (Japanese) Cite error: Invalid
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- Official character profile from The King of Fighters 2001 website
- Official character profile from The King of Fighters 2003 website
- Mai's profile page from the Official website for Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
- Official character profile from KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A"
- - "The King of Fighters ’94 – Developer Interview" Archived from The original'
- Official character profile from KOF anniversary website.
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- KOF 10th anniversary website Shinkiro's interview.
- Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.
- Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Number of votes from both genders, from Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll.
- Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive Neo Geo Freak 10 best character set original image collection.
- Falcoon's page from SNK 40th anniversary website.