Today arrived with a long stream from Masahiro Sakurai of Super Smash Bros., where he spoke about today’s new addition to the game, Terry Bogarde of Fatal Fury. He went through his moves, his arenas, and his stage cameos featuring 18 other characters from Fatal Fury / King of Fighters or other SNK games.
But not on the list, not even in a cameo role, is perhaps SNK’s most iconic character, Mai Shiranui. That’s what Sakurai said about the decision not to show it.
“You may have noticed that a very important character from the Fatal Fury series was not included. Yes, Mai Shiranui. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is for good boys and girls of many different ages so we decided not to feature her, please forgive us.”
I mean, I was laughing. They stated that Mai is literally too sexy to appear in Smash Bros. because this game is played by children. I thought it was funny, and yet I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s likely to cause some kind of “censorship” reaction among a certain sect of fans, because that’s the way things are these days.
Mai is known for her kimono and fighting style that make her constantly lean toward the camera, and she’s been a cover for King of Fighters and SNK in General for years. Although in 2019 it might seem a little less… I really try not to say “PC” but it’s kind of true. The idea seems to be that May just couldn’t appear in Smash if it didn’t conflict with Nintendo’s family vision for the franchise, and if she was in a different, less revealing outfit, I guess it would have thrilled fans as well. So it just doesn’t exist at all.
I find it pretty funny that Bayonetta is not just a cameo, but a real fighter in Super Smash Bros., but Mai may not even appear as a guest spot. Of course, Bayonetta, despite being one of the most sexualized video game characters in history (though some argue she’s empowering rather than pandering), doesn’t appear in the game in a particularly revealing outfit and doesn’t lose her clothes.
All in all, it’s not that big of a deal, but I think there may have been a way to get Mai into the game, at least in the slot machine, without hurting the poor youths playing Smash Bros. I’ll be annoyed if anyone seriously measure the controversy arising from this, but I also wouldn’t be surprised. We’ll see.