Definitions

received marriage

Mai Shiranui

}} is a character from both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series of fighting games by SNK (now SNK Playmore). In her mind, Andy Bogard is her fiancé who studied Ninjutsu with her grandfather, Hanzo. The relationship between the two is often unclear and subliminal, usually on Andy's part, who at times seems to suppress his feelings for her in favor of treating her like a little sister. She typically wears exceptionally low-cut blouses, dresses, and clothing to maximize the exposure of her cleavage and most fight scenes involving Mai include several shots that focus especially on her breasts and buttocks.

Story

Fatal Fury

Mai Shiranui is the granddaughter of Hanzo Shiranui, master of Ninjitsu and Koppo-ken. Mai learned from her father the secrets of Ninjitsu, and became an expert in stealth and other sneaky tricks. Although her beauty has brought her many suitors, she rejects all who propose to her, considering them "weak." However, one day she became obsessed with a young boy by the name of Andy Bogard.

Andy had come from Southtown in the United States to train under the orders of Hanzo Shiranui in Kopo-ken. Mai then had to take alternate courses from her grandfather's friend, Jubei Yamada in Ninjitsu. However, far from hating him, Mai fell instantly in love with the American kid, since he was suitably strong and handsome. However, Andy paid little attention to Mai, too absorbed in his training. Mai, on the other hand, had even made plans as to when Andy would marry her.

After they grew up, Andy became a good-looking young man, and Mai a very attractive woman who received marriage proposals from dozens of men. However, Andy decided to travel back to the United States and reunite with his brother Terry Bogard to exact revenge on Geese Howard, the man who killed their father.

Mai was infuriated by this desertion, but had no choice but to stay and keep training. She knew that Andy would come back one day. Not much time later, Andy returned to Japan in order to continue his training. He found out that his fighting in Southtown had been for the wrong reasons; not for the real sense of fighting, but for personal vengeance. In addition, Andy left Southtown with unresolved emotional problems and a resolve to gain honor in fighting. Mai did not care for any of this, she just wanted Andy to be close to her again. So, when Wolfgang Krauser decided to go out in search of worthy fighters, she followed Andy to fight Krauser. After the journey, Mai felt even closer to Andy, and thought it was the time to wrap things up.

The King of Fighters

The new King of Fighters tournament was announced around this period. The fights would take place between teams of three persons each. Mai felt it was a sure bet to make a team with Andy, but he thought otherwise: he would team up with Terry and his friend, Joe Higashi. Mai was left out, but she promised Andy that she would be in the tournament as well. Once she found out that the Southtown bouncer King had received an invitation as well, and had no assembled team, Mai immediately proposed herself as a team member, along with her friend Yuri Sakazaki. King was not expecting this, but accepted them anyway. During the next two tournaments, the Gorgeous Team was seen as a beautiful, but deadly team.

However, by 1996, Yuri was obliged to take her father's place in the Kyokugenryu Team, and King and Mai were left without a third team member. When Mai seemed hopeless, a strange woman attacked her. Mai avoided the attack and prepared to fight. The woman praised Mai's skills and introduced herself as Kasumi Todoh, the new third member of the team. Once more, the Gorgeous Team was back in action; but by next year, King and Mai were in trouble again, as Kasumi was still looking for her father. They resigned themselves to losing the tournament that year. King had to take care of her brother, Jan, anyway. However, Chizuru Kagura intervened, and told Mai and King that she would gladly be the third team member, and that she would take care that Jan would go with them.

Mai used the two year recess to go back to Japan and perfect her Ninja skills, and to spend some more time with Andy. Mai insisted in that next time, she would team up with Andy, which he took more as a joke. However, a stroke of luck enabled Mai to finally accomplish her wish: an invitation for another King of Fighters tournament, with a new four team member rule. Mai lost no time in joining along with Andy. However, after the tournament, Terry disappeared under the ruins of Krizalid's base (the tournament's host). Mai's high spirits were dampened by the task of trying to reassure Andy that Terry was not in fact dead.

Even though it hurts to leave her beloved one once again, Mai has decided to abandon the Lonely Wolves team. After finding out that Terry was in fact alive, Mai and Yuri reunited after a long separation. They decide to team up once again, since they miss the fun times way back when the King of Fighters tournament was just beginning to grow. They also decided to accept Kasumi along as well, but this left one gap in their four person team. The final member appeared soon enough, during an audition in Japan, where they saw a peculiar little girl named Hinako Shijou. Mai was so impressed with her skills, that she was taken in as the fourth team member. Hinako Shijou also fought in the next tournament with Mai, but Yuri decided to return to the Kyokugenryu Team because of Robert Garcia being in distress, so Li Xiangfei would take Yuri's place.

In The King of Fighters: KYO, an RPG game centered on Kyo Kusanagi and settled right in between KoF'96 and KoF'97, Mai isn't a playable character, but she and other fighters provide Kyo with info and help during his trials, specially when his girlfriend Yuki is kidnapped and taken abroads. Mai is also present in one of Kyo and Yuki's dates after the incident, when she treats them to a tea ceremony.

Fatal Fury: The New Battle

Mai makes her first anime appearance in the Masami Obari-directed Fatal Fury: The New Battle, where she attacks Andy and knocks him down for coming to Japan and not telling her. When a message comes along to Andy about Terry being defeated by Wolfgang Krauser and going underground, Mai takes the opportunity to give the distracted Andy another attack... only to end up getting swatted away into the water. Later, while taking a bath and nursing her injured pride, she laments that Andy didn't have to hit her that hard, but inwardly is giddy with admiration for Andy's strength. She follows Andy on his travels to find Krauser in Germany, where she is approached and later attacked by Laurence Blood. Though she is able to get a good hit in, she is easily subdued and taken hostage. Unfortunately for Blood, the sight of Mai bound drives Andy into a frenzy and he is easily beaten. Mai happily leaps into Andy's arms.

Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

In the feature-length Fatal Fury anime movie, Mai is present with Terry, Andy and Joe when the quest to find the Armor of Mars and stop the would-be conqueror Laocorn Gaudeamus is given to them by Sulia, Laocorn's sister. As usual, she tags along not so much to help save the world but more as an excuse to spend time with Andy. Despite the severity of the situation, she is able the time to have fun in a dance party held by Duck King, which is later crashed by Hauer, one of Laocorn's henchmen. Hauer lifts his mask to reveal his face to Mai, maybe to win her favor. The kunoichi considers Hauer handsome and very attractive but not at the same level of Andy. Afterwards, Mai is captured by Hauer, who tries to steal a kiss from her in front of Andy. Enraged, Andy attacks, only to be stopped dead in his tracks when Mai is put in the path of his blow. Using Mai as a shield, Hauer gives Andy a severe beating. Afterwards as they all regroup and recover, Mai bonds with Sulia, who has a crush on Terry. Both girls promise to work hard to win the hearts of their respective men. An attack by Hauer and Panni, another of Laocorn's servants, leads to a fierce battle. Mai defeats Panni using her super technique, and Andy, fresh from some training, easily eliminates Hauer. The two share an intimate moment afterwards. In the final battle with Laocorn, Mai helps Terry, Andy and Joe stop Laocorn and later an incarnation of the god Mars.

Appearance and costumes

Mai's basic look changes only slightly through most of the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters games. She has long brown hair (however, in some official arts she has red) with long bangs framing the sides of her face, tied up in a thick, long ponytail which flows behind her back.

Her costume is usually a sleeveless, skimpy red outfit or tunic. The costume is held at her waist by a decorative waistband, often with long, trailing decorative tails, leading down to a loin cloth with a thong underneath (or mini-shorts in the US version). Her footwear for Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special and The King of Fighters games is a pair of soft-soled ninja tabi. From Fatal Fury 3 onwards into the Real Bout Fatal Fury games, she wears instep guards that leave her heels and the front parts of her feet exposed. In Fatal Fury 3, she also wore a red vest, which was abandoned later on. She also wears heavier eyeshadow.

In the US versions of KOF 2002, Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special, Mai's famous breast bouncing animation is removed.

In KOF: Maximum Impact, her alternate costumes portray her with very short, boyish hair and ninja outfits that resemble that of Kasumi from the Dead or Alive games. In KOF: Maximum Impact 2, one of Mai's second outfit color schemes is exactly Andy's standard palette, even giving Mai blonde hair. Also, another of her outfits bears a resemblance to Lum Invader from Urusei Yatsura (long green hair, clothes sporting tiger prints, and her hairpin even makes it look like she had small horns). This costume is also considered to be a cosplay of Cham Cham from SNK's Samurai Showdown series.

Video game appearances

Mai was first introduced in Fatal Fury 2 and appeared in every Fatal Fury game afterwards. In addition, she has been a playable fighter in nearly every The King of Fighters game, the sole exception being the arcade version of The King of Fighters XI. She is also in every SNK vs. Capcom game as a rival to Street Fighter''s "Top Ten Babes in Games" feature and #5 in Game Informer's "Top Ten Hottest Girls of the 16-Bit era."

References

External links

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