Mai Shiranui (不知火 舞, Shiranui Mai) is a character from both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series. Her official nickname is The Alluring Ninja Girl (魅惑 の 女忍者, Miwaku no Kunoichi). Mai was born on January 1st, New Year’s day.
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).
During nearly every King of Fighters tournament, Mai pesters Andy to enter and form a team with her. Upset at his refusals and choice to join a separate team, she forms an all-women team with the help of Yuri and King. In the following years, her teammates change, but she remains firm to enter the tournament to help encourage King and her fellow team members and to prove to Andy the error of his ways. In The King of Fighters 99, she is finally able to join the tournament in the same team as Andy. However, the following tournament was asked to step out to allow Blue Mary to investigate a case. Denied again, she is angered by the request and joins the Women’s team again and has remained a reoccurring member ever since. In the various team endings, she is often celebrating the team’s victory at King’s bar or fantasizing about Andy.
Mai did not participate in the KOF XI to search for Andy, who was busy at training his disciple, Hokutomaru. Later, Mai decides to enter the KOF XIII with her first KOF teammates, King and Yuri, as she felt that the KOF tournament isn’t complete without her. She isn’t upset at Andy while making her choice, content to enter a tournament with both her and him in it once more.
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 throw enemies heavier than her and using her strong elbow strike capable of breaking through her enemy’s defense’s incapacitating them.