The King of Fighters series’s Mai Shiranui is a cultural icon in gaming. She’s a sex symbol. Not only that, for over two decades, she’s served as a banner gal for SNK – she’s often the go-to character for any kind of collaboration that requires a female fighter from the fighting game maker.
But have you ever wondered what Mai would have looked like if, instead of being a well-endowed curvy kunoichi, she had instead been a male ninja? Would she be as celebrated a gaming icon as she is today?
One company has dared to think the unthinkable. CJ Internet Japan, who licensed and operates the Korean-developed MMORPG brawler Lost Saga in Japan, is introducing Mai Shiranui – in both male and female flavours – as a premium character that you can buy and use in the Japanese version of the game.
Here’s what they look like. For some reason I’m thinking that the male version won’t prove to be very popular (he looks pretty pansy, if you ask me):
This is not the first time a fighting game character has been licensed for use and introduced in Lost Saga. Previously such as BlazBlue’s Hazama, Samurai Shodown’s Haohmaru, and King of Fighters’ Iori Yagami, were added to the game.
All of those characters were also available in both male and female versions – and I think female counterparts turned out pretty well! See for yourself:
Haohmaru (Samurai Shodown)
Iori Yagami (The King of Fighters)