Waifu Wednesday: Mai Shiranui (The King of Fighters)

Waifu Wednesday

Today we’re talking about one of the most recognisable and famous ladies in all video games: Mai Shiranui. This is something of a special Waifu Wednesday, in that we’re also celebrating the release of the latest installment in The King of Fighters series of fighting games, as well as a lady who has managed to maintain her iconic appearance right from her first starring role all the way up to the modern day. 

We absolutely adore the fine ladies and gentlemen that come with anime, manga, and video games, and you can have a look at our ever-growing archive of husbando and waifu articles! 

Waifu Wednesday: Mai Shiranui (King of Fighters)

Who is Mai Shiranui?

Mai Shiranui is immediately recognisable thanks to her iconic appearance and lovable personality — and, even better, she’s really fun to play as in the various The King of Fighters games. 

It’s very easy to understand why so many people love Mai Shiranui when it comes to the initial appeal (I understand there are two main elements – Ed.), but believe it or not, there is some sense behind her rather scantily clad look, and that’s her background of being a kunoichi. Kunoichi were female ninjas, but their focus was on incorporating sex appeal and the art of seduction into their outfits to help them in catching their prey off-guard before striking. 

A quick history lesson on our lovely lady here. Mai was originally not intended to be included in Fatal Fury 2; instead, her spot was going to be taken by another male character. The developers changed their minds and decided to add an “idol-like” character to the cast and change the design of one of their new male ninja characters to that of a Japanese female assassin, otherwise known as a kunoichi — and so, after one of the greatest decisions ever made in the games industry happened, Mai Shiranui was born. 

Mai Shiranui

Why we love Mai Shiranui

I’ll get it out of the way straight away and say that, like with most people, Mai’s appeal to me was immediate thanks to her character design. My first encounter with the The King of Fighters series was back in July of 2010 with the release of King of Fighters XIII, one of the most stunning sprite art games I have ever seen, and my first contact with a character I would rapidly fall in love with. 

If you’ve read any of the other waifu pieces I have done here on Rice, you can probably pinpoint my exact type when it comes to women of the animated variety, and they rarely don’t emit some kind of mature MILF-energy. So it should come as no surprise that I love a character like Mai — she’s video game royalty in this regard. 

Outside of her appearance though, I love Mai’s personality and character traits in the game as well. Whether it be her unique stance that can distract even the most focused of men, her iconic “oh-ho-ho-ho” ojou-sama laugh, or her “Nippon Ichi” victory line, I never get sick of them.

And as rare as some of the character interactions may be outside of arcade mode, I love that Mai is very much a loyal girlfriend to Andy Bogard, and really just wants him to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger.

Mai Shiranui

Why you’ll love Mai Shiranui

I mean, there is no possible way that anyone could ever dislike Mai Shiranui, that’s simply unheard of. But, if you like your badass ninja girls that summon up fire powers, throw out ninja signs, and jump all over the screen then you’re even more likely to adore Mai. 

SNK knows just how popular Mai is, so they haven’t designed her to be some impossible to pick up and play type character in the game. Mai’s gameplay is fairly straightforward; however, there is a lot to dive into below the surface if you want to spend the time in the training room and really grind out everything with her. (Phrasing – Ed.) 

She’s a queen of video games and I’m ashamed of myself for not getting her on our list of waifus here on Rice sooner than I did. With the release of The King of Fighters XV, you can expect some more pieces looking at my dive into degeneracy in what is turning out to be a fantastic new game by SNK.

Seriously though, my team is so horny it’s unreal.

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Conor Evans
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