This I hope may be the start of something positive for women. I'm sick of the claims that Gaming is a culture of sexism, the boys club...ect. To me such assertions have little factual backing and well I just don't like people demeaning others. So without a massive kickstarter backing and nothing but free time assuming enough people like this. Tropes and Women a possible series about women in games. That's right women in games meaning that I hope to feature some actual women who work in the industry are involved with the gaming community and who just make things awesome. (and if I really get into this I may do a Tropes and Men)
So let's look at the character of Mai Shiranui something which isn't too easy given that fighting games are a series of stereotypes in the first place. I'm using things like tv tropes and wikipedia for this along with whatever else i can dig up.
So lets begin.
Some Facts and info about Mai Shiranui
1. She's essential to king of fighters. An Icon even
What do I mean by that. Well KOF 12 disappointed a lot of fans by not including her. While the KOF roster has changed over the Years Mai has always been a fan favorite of KOF fans including many women given the sheer amount of cos-play fan art ect... that exists of her.
2. Mai is capable as hell
Lets think about this along with having an amazing physique, she's a ninja. Meaning that she's been trained in some Shun zu Shit. Meaning that she's trained to be able to murder you in your sleep. Bet most of you didn't think about that. Consider the fallowing training regiment http://greeneyedstealth.webs.com/ninjatraining.htm then think about how many of you could do that day in and day out for years on end so you can kick ass in the KOF tournament.
3. Unrequited Love.
For those of you who don't know. Mai is in love with Andy in KOF. She loves him so much that she wants to be on his team and dreams of marrying him. And despite Andy's reluctance and never mind that there are several men on this planet who would consider themselves so lucky to have someone like Mai after them. She does her hardest to join his team because that's how much Mai wants to be with him. Its kind of romantic and like many people like to say. It's a better love story then Twilight.
4. No Gender discrimination in the family.
Mai was trained by her father and her grandfathers friend Jubei. Lets think about this they actually are perfectly ok with training a women to be a ninja due to her being in their family. Shinobi's were far more inclusive of women then the samurai were(at least as far as I understand it since female samurai types were classified as onna-bugeisha (女武芸者?) ) .
5.She can kick your ass with a fan.
How many people can you beat down with a fan, or summon fire as you spin around before unleashing a long torrent of attacks? Not many that I know of.
6.Yes she's sexy It would be nuts not to bring up the sexiness factor with Mai. Rather then deal with possible allegations due to being male i'll let Mai's own words tell you about that.
"With a body and strength like this, you thought you had a chance?" "Didn't someone once say, Power becomes the lady?" "Now do you understand? I've both beauty and ability!" "How'd you like a humble Japanese woman who fights? ...My strength adds to my beauty, you know!" and so on...
These are a few reasons that I feel Mai is a good character at least as far as fighters go. Lets face it the story-lines for fighting games are ridicules. So from what I gathered of KOF Mai like many fighting game characters, have a few character traits and are at most 2 dimensional. Mind you that's not just Mai, that's the entire KOF cast and whatever is going on in KOF.
My own personal experiences with her and I may as well say this now but in general I always picked the female character's in fighting games. They tended to be in the style that I liked to play. Often they were faster character then their male cast and I like to play fast characters so they were a natural fit. This was before puberty mind you so growing up I never really thought anything was wrong with the way she looked. Id also argue that if she wasn't a worthwhile character to women that no women would want to dress up as her. Which as we know lots of women do.
Covering the tropes of fighting games Mai is a big influence on things like breast physics and other fanservicy things. Since the topic of are these depictions sexist is bound to come up i'll say no. She's sexy that's for sure but it's not like she's any sort of negative female stereotype she's a romantic at heart who wants her dream guy. Outside of masturbatory fantasy’s she's not some sort of lude women. In fact from what characterization there is of her. She's very much into being a women and being feminine. Her major fantasy is considered kind of juvenile but a common one all the same.
Since Mai wants to be a wife that likely means that she has children in mind somewhere down the road. I have no doubt that she'd be a good mother at least from the depictions I've seen. She has several positive female traits.
Basic Traits Breakdown
Positive kind, loving, a romantic, has aspirations of being a good wife and parent. Is attractive. Physically fit and capable of taking care of herself. Is a FREAKING NINJA.
Negative Her outfit is considered to reveling to some. If her behavior towards Andy was look at in another light it may be considered stalkerish.
Well that's what I think of for the first one I kind of hoped it would be longer but given the nature of fighting games I don't have too much to go on other then win quotes and a few other pieces of media. I am in no way a expert on everything so if you see a character and feel that there's something important you'd like discussed please feel free to PM me. Constructive Criticism is welcome.