Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters XIII (Black Version)

Mai Shiranui from King of Fighters XIII

When it comes to fighting game girls, Mai Shiranui is amongst the genre’s best-loved characters. And why not? Her history is impressive and her visual appeal is obvious. She’s a favorite of fighting game fans and cosplayers alike. And of course, she’s quite popular with figure makers as well, being that we have another figure of SNK’s bouncy ninja here for our consideration.

Mai Shiranui is one of the main characters of SNK’s Fatal Fury and King of Fighters series. She’s a ninja who commands fire and fights with Asian-style fans, which she secrets in a seemingly endless supply within her outfit. In a bit of a twist on the usual relationship dynamics, she is madly, deeply in love with fellow battler Andy Bogard; unfortunately, her vigorous advances usually go unreciprocated. Nevertheless, Mai never wavers in pursuing her dream of marrying the love of her life.

The King of Fighters is SNK’s flagship franchise and is, with Capcom’s Street Fighter series and Midway’s Mortal Kombat titles, among the classics of the 2D fighting game genre. Like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, The King of Fighters enjoyed a period of steady popularity before beginning a decline, resulting in SNK’s bankruptcy and reaching a nadir with the poorly-received KOF XII (which, incidentally, dropped Mai from the character roster). Interestingly, Capcom, Midway (reformed as NetherRealm Studios), and SNK all revamped their franchise fighting games at about the same time; however, while Street Fighter IV and the ninth Mortal Kombat were very successful, KOF XIII has gotten a little less love from gamers, despite receiving positive reviews. Arguably, BlazBlue has taken its place as the major competitor to Capcom’s dominance of 2D fighting games; time will tell if SNK can get back to where it once was.

Irrespective of KOF’s status, Mai Shiranui is certain to remain as popular as ever. Indeed, this figure isn’t even Alphamax’s first figure of her; they did a 1/5 scale figure of Mai a couple of years back, just before they switched over from making very expensive, large-sized polystone figures to more affordable, mass-market PVC figures. They also started a product line called Skytube, which this figure is technically a part of, but the back of the box still has Alphamax’s name on it. This particular figure has a lot of similarities to their older figure, not to mention Max Factory’s even older Mai Shiranui figure, but it’s smaller than both, being sculpted in 1/7 scale and standing about 25 centimeters tall at the top of Mai’s ponytail.

Mai is presented as an upbeat, friendly, and confident girl, and one supposes that she’d have to be quite confident to wear a costume like she does. Mai has never worn a lot of clothing, but her KOF XIII design leaves her more naked than ever. Her back is completely bare and the front of her dress basically comprises a pair of straps that drape over her breasts rather than supporting them. Her thong – one of her best-known features – still in place and is quite evident, though. Her pose emphasizes the exposure of her body, particularly her prodigious sideboob and impressive ass.

Given all the exposed skin on display, Mai’s body needs to be sculpted well and happily, she is sculpted exceedingly well. The curves of her body are very convincing and quite appealing. The size of her bust and buttocks gives her the look of an adult but her slender body build and relatively small upper torso make her look like a younger character at the same time.

Arguably her back could have had a little more definition, given the way she’s contorting her body. It seems like muscle definition isn’t one of those things that many people like – Street Fighter IV’s musclebound girls notwithstanding – so it’s understandable that they took a more understated approach here.

It’s very difficult to cast any asperions on Mai’s rear, though. Mai’s main claim to fame might be the pendulous bounciness of her breasts, but me, I’ve always been a bigger fan of her backside. I think it looks perfect; the sculpting is superb. Kneepit fans will also be happy that the backs of Mai’s knees are also nicely sculpted.

Alphamax made two version of this figure, one in her customary red and white outfit and one with a black and gold costume. This particular figure is obviously the latter; I figure that I already had a couple of Mais with her original outfit so I’d get this alternate coloring instead. I think it looks really nice; black and gold isn’t a color I associate with Mai (I tend to think of blue as being her 2P color, since I’m most familiar with her from her appearance in Capcom vs. SNK 2), but it fits her very well. The gold color has an attractive satin sheen that gives her a bit of distinction, which seems appropriate; despite her abbreviated attire, Mai really is an elegant Japanese girl.

Mai’s face was something I was much more equivocal about, to the point that I was thinking I wouldn’t get this figure. In KOF XIII, Mai got a slightly modified hairstyle, which causes her bangs to split apart while laying flat on her head, leaving her face shaped like a football. I’m not really a big fan of that; I think she looks better when her forehead doesn’t begin from such a sharp point, and I prefer the hair intake look (where her hair sprouts upwards before falling back down). That said, she’s still very pretty, and I like her face a lot, more than I thought I would. She has a wide-eyed, friendly look that complements her pose very well.

All of Mai’s toes are sculpted, which is a very nice detail. I don’t know if many people would have noticed if they made it so that you couldn’t see her toes through her socks, but it’s still quite appreciated.

Mai’s only accessory is this folded-up fan, which slides right into her hand. As mentioned; previous games had her reaching into her dress to pull out a new one, but I’m not sure that her current oufit has enough room for her to do that.

Alphamax’s Mai Shiranui is an excellent rendition of video gaming’s most famous bouncy ninja. It’s a fairly large figure, and it shows all of Mai’s best qualities – her bold personality, her fighting prowess, and of course, her incomparable body. That sexy body is, of course, what she is best known for, and it’s not too surprising that many of Mai’s figures look sort of the same. However, of the three Mai figures I own, this one might be the best, at least in terms of sculpting quality. Certainly the 1/5 scale version has considerable charms, but this newer figure is sculpted so well that it’s difficult to consider it second to anything. At any rate, it is a very, very fine figure, a worthy homage to one of the sexiest ninjas around.

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38 Responses to Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters XIII (Black Version)

  1. Asa says:

    I don’t know the character since I haven’t played a fighting game since the 2D/16bit era, but she seems to be quite a nice figure, with plenty of butt and sideboob. Though the sideboob is unfortunately due to overly large breasts. Still, quite nice all the same.

    • Tier says:

      She is! I’m pretty impressed with this figure. It’s good to know that Alphamax can make a fine figure like this; it gives me more confidence when it comes to ordering stuff from them, since they haven’t been doing the PVC thing for very long.

      • Asa says:

        I have no Alphamax figures, looking. A couple Alpha x Omega, but I don’t think they’re related. This figure does seem to indicate Alphamax is capable of doing nice stuff though, so if I see a character I love from them, I won’t hesitate. If I even keep collecting. Being out of space has really put a damper on things.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, Alpha x Omega is a collaboration between Alter and Megahouse, I think. They do seem to be able to make really nice figures, though – and some not so nice. I guess that’s to be expected of a company that seems to be rapidly expanding their product range.

          Being out of space sure does suck; I’ve got a bunch of figures in the review queue here that I have no idea where I’m going to put once I take them out of the box, so I’ve been using this excuse to justify being lazy and playing video games instead.

          • Asa says:

            Yeah, I do the same. I have like ten nendos and three playsets I have yet to unbox. Which I don’t have any -real- excuse for since I can technically just squeeze nendos in anywhere, but I prefer to have dedicated space for them.

            I have two figures I’ve reboxed in a hope to sell, and may just rebox some others I want to sell, even if selling is stupidly difficult anyway. Nobody wants to pay shipping. Even when I am very open to negotiations on price and payment methods.

            So, I just ignore my boxed figures, and watch lots of anime, and play a couple games. Procrastination and neglect for the win.

          • Tier says:

            Indeed! Stressed-out and regretful is no way to go through life. I seldom look to anime – or pop culture in general – for philosophy, let alone a show like High School DxD, but in the second episode of the current series, a character says something like “Life’s problems have a way of resolving themselves” and I thought that was a fantastically succinct way to view things.

  2. Wolfheinrich says:

    Quite possibly one of the best looking Mai I have seen to-date. I first came contact with Mai in Fatal Fury 2 in the local arcade, I think I prefer Terry a bit more but Mai is definitely my choice if I had to pick a cute girl. This Mai looks amazing though, some of he previous figure I had of her hardly do her any justice but this seals the deal. Personally I prefer the red/white combo but this satin black with gold accent is quite interesting as well.

    • Tier says:

      I always pick Mai for my team when I play KOF but in Capcom vs. SNK 2, my favorite character to use is actually Iori. Not that I’m any good at CvS2 or any other fighting game, though. I prefer the Street Fighter style of gameplay but SNK has always had some awesome character designs. Even their male characters like Geese and Yamazaki have style.

  3. Halbred says:

    Mai Shiranui has been one of my Holy Grails since getting into this hobby years and years and years ago. But I never found one I liked, much less knew how to get ahold of. The older AlphaMax statues were so prohibitively expensive that I had to longingly ogle them from afar. Well, imagine my shock when this PVC version pops up one day for pre-order, and it’s the nicest Mai figure I’d ever seen. Mai was my second proxy pre-order: I ordered through AmiAmi and she arrived the same month as Asmodeus (that was a good month).

    She’s really gorgeous and I’m unfortunately running out of real estate, so she’s just standing on my entertainment center right now. She deserves better!

    • Tier says:

      I was pretty surprised to see this figure pop up for order too, relatively soon after their really expensive polystone figure. They really did a nice job with it, though, and it’s good to see the variation in Alphamax’s product line; they’ve got Mai, some porno figures, a lot of oversized Beach Queen figures … it’s good stuff. That reminds me that I have Asmodeus here; I ought to take her out of her box to see what she looks like.

  4. BostonBrandon says:

    Wow, what a beauty! I can remember drooling over her first promo shots but boy she really is such a pretty figure. Great job as always Tier, though I would have loved to see the earlier Alphamax Mai in frame with her as a bit of a comparison. I love both and own neither so it’s a bit terrifying to think that I may have to decide which one I’d rather have should I be lucky enough to find either on the secondary market.

    • Tier says:

      I would’ve liked to do that, but she’s way in the back of the shelf and it’s kind of a pain to rearrange everything to pull her out (not to mention she’s so large that it’s not easy to take pictures of her). Me, I’d say unless you really value the larger size, I’d go with this one; it’s still in stock at stores and it’s a helluva lot cheaper, and I think the sculpt is better. (It also doesn’t have the problem of her ribbon tail being cast as a separate piece; on the 1/5 scale statue, it keeps getting detached, which annoys me.)

      • BostonBrandon says:

        While I do love my 1/4 and 1/5 scale figures quality always commands my direction of purchase. In all honesty it was simply the but flossing that makes me want the earlier figure, while I feel that the newer Mai is most certainly the better of the two she’s missing that key piece.
        Butfloss Mai is good quality for her release date but like so many other amazing figures she can’t compete with the ever growing higher standard of this particular hobby.

  5. Clint says:

    She’s one of the best figures I’ve bought this year, I’m totally happy with her. I’ll probably buy the black one as well after looking at your review. Alpha Max are one of the best makers now, I think.

    • Tier says:

      They’re making some great stuff, no doubt. Also some not-so-great stuff, admittedly, but it is very heartening to see them come such a long way in a rather short period of time. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to show off at Wonder Festival.

  6. Wieselhead says:

    I only played StreetFighter II on SNES or emulator and Mortal Kombat on GameBoy.
    Why did I get no game with a bouncy Ninja Lady, was it parental control, or my bad sense in selecting games in general? So, I don’t know this Character, aside from figure reviews.

    Alphamax gets pretty good these days, it’s good to see that figure manufacturers next to Alter and Max Factory create nice figures with charm.

    The colorsheme of black and gold suits her and I like the frontal view quite a bit, aside from that she doesn’t have much of an outfit, especially on her back nothing is hidden, her butt is as good as nude, haha. The pose is a bit more complex than most of Alphamax swimsuit figures show and I think the sculptor did a very good job with it., the curves are quite a highlight, too.

    The face of her is beautiful, Im enchanted by her ladylike smile and the lively eyes, the more mature presentation, next to all the teenage characters on the figure market is nice. Of course that shouldn’t mean that Mai is an old hag :p Her expression seems to be something between seducing and challenging.

    The rather simplystic setup accentuates this figure very well, the shadows give her a quite sensual appearance. The pictures are really cool 4,5,12 and 25 are my favs.

    My favorite is probably Max Factories Mai, but this version here is also very good.

    • Tier says:

      I’m pretty impressed that Alphamax was able to pull off a pose like this; it seems pretty complex, but they did a nice job with the shoulders and armpits and such. It’s particularly nice that they were able to make a figure like this while offering it for a reasonable price.

      Mortal Kombat on the Gameboy must have been pretty difficult to play XD I remember that Street Fighter, MK1, and a lot of other games suffered from a lack of female characters. So do more recent games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, unfortunately. It kinda seems like 3D fighting games feature female battlers more prominently.

  7. Pinkcheeks says:

    Oh my Mai! I love her and Morrigan! I’ve played KOF and until she made it through Marvel vs Capcom 2 and she never really lost that charm! She’s a classic figure in video game babes.

    I love her face in this figure, compared to the first two, she looked so innocent. ^_^ But yeah, like you I couldn’t associate Mai with black and gold, compared to the usual red/white combo, however I like how the colors turned out. The gold sheen of her robes are standing out in contrast to the black drapery.

    I wonder why her hair was chopped on this figure. XD

    • Tier says:

      She’s definitely one of my favorite female characters in all of video games. It’d be nice if she actually got together with Andy one of these days, though.

      Yeah, if this were the only Mai figure I owned, I’d definitely have gotten the red and white one; they’re really her colors (I remember when I saw her alternate outfit in the Maximum Impact games, I thought that was a different character because she looked so different).

      Haha, you know, I hadn’t even noticed that her ponytail was trimmed here, but yeah, she appears to have gotten a haircut. I think I like her better with the gigantic ponytail, so I guess that’s another aspect of her new hairstyle that I don’t care for.

  8. I dunno about KoFXIII being considered a lower tier fighting game. The fact that it made the EVO list 2 years running and had one of the best matches of the tournament in 2012 gives it a good argument to the contrary. The series is still pretty popular in certain countries like Korea and Mexico but its level of execution has gone way up and the games lack the polish of older games in terms of mechanics.

    As for Mai, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of this design. The figure itself does a decent job but the artwork for KoFXIII gave all the female character more rounded faces and odd(er) proportions. Athena and Kula also got hit hard by this “new look”
    Strange when you realise that the costume hasn’t changed one bit but the body has been filled out to make the clothing look more miniscule…

    • Tier says:

      Perhaps, though I’m not sure that you can draw any conclusions from its popularity at EVO; it’s probably the biggest fighting game tournament around but I don’t think it has much impact on the general climate of video games, even fighting games. Looking at the sales data, it looks like KOF XIII was massively outsold by Street Fighter IV (no surprise at all) and was also beaten by the likes of Persona 4 Arena. I have no idea if the data are accurate but for a major, nearly twenty-year old franchise, it seems to get very little publicity (which is probably largely SNK’s fault; Capcom keeps chucking out DLC [even on disc] and ASW keeps rehashing BlazBlue [still a little peeved that the newest iteration isn’t coming out on the 360, after I bought the previous three versions], but I don’t have any idea what SNK’s been up to the last couple of years).

      I didn’t buy KOF XIII pretty much because I do not like the new character sprites; I’m not sure if Falcoon or someone else did the art, but whoever did it, I don’t like it. I do like Mai’s new design aside from the hairstyle, though; I’m going to hope that KOF XIV goes back to the older style of art while retaining Mai’s newer costume.

      • PS3 MASTER RACE!!!

        Anyway, it kinda makes sense for ASW to focus on the PS3 and PS4 since the xbox brand is dead in Japan. They’re a very small company which focuses on the arcades first and home systems later so if they think they can better focus on a game by removing support from one of the platforms, then they will do it. They don’t really have a global mentality either.

        As for the general fighting game climate, the top 3 are basically SSFIV:AE, Tekken and then arguably Blazblue. Marvel might fit in there somewhere but it’s a divisive game. KoFXIII is a pretty old game now EVO 2012 gave it a shot in the arm but it doesn’t have the pull of a better known series to pull it through like P4A.
        Players swear by KoF but to outsiders, it might as well be invisible.

        And you can forget about KoF going back to the older art styles. They churned out an awful KoF just to get their new sprite system up (god, KoFXII was so bad…), I really can’t see them just throwing their hands up and reverting after all their effort. That is if KoF gets another title…

        • Tier says:

          True, though they did curiously put Guilty Gear 2 on the 360. I’m not sure why they did that, although to be frank, I would prefer that that game not exist at all. I’m quite hoping the upcoming Guilty Gear X retcons it out of history.

          Speaking of GGX, I think you’re right about there being no going back to the old KOF art style, but I could see them dumping sprites altogether and switching over to 3D models like SF4, MK9, and the new Guilty Gear. I have to imagine it’s a lot easier than drawing each frame by hand and it makes it a lot easier to sell DLC costumes, which seems to be a very popular thing to do. I’m not sure that I like the design style of the new Guilty Gear, though; something about the animation looked off in that short trailer they showed a little while back.

          I gotta admit that one of the things I miss the most about KOF were all the fine doujinshi it got. Mai Shiranui was (and still is) a fantastic subject for fan art and various fan-concocted scenarios.

          • Actually, KoF kinda did the switch already. Their current sprites are actually 3D models which have been redrawn to get its unique look. That’s also why KoFXII had such a ridiculously rare roster (no Mai!!), it took them too long to redo everything for each character. If you compare KoFXII to XIII, you’ll see a LOT of reused characters and animation. It’s also why, for the first time, Athena didn’t get a costume change for a new version. Dumping away all that work and money would be a ballsy move!
            We also need to see if ASW can keep their gameplay up with the new 3D models. Even Capcom couldn’t quite do it. SFIV does feel rather different from past games due to the change.

            But I wish there was more stuff for Mature, She was awesome, even if she was psychotic. At least she wasn’t as bad as Vice.

          • Tier says:

            It sounds like they did twice the work for half the result, then. I wonder what else they’ve been working on? They have a bunch of good franchises but the only thing I can remember is that they re-released Metal Slug on download services. I’m still kinda hoping they’ll do a new Last Blade game some day.

            KOF (and SNK) has always had some great character designs; I really wish that more of their characters would get figures, like Vanessa did. I like Iroha and Mai as much as anyone but it’d be nice for some of the less-known (or even some of the better-known, like Yuri) characters to get some love.

  9. loveanime says:

    I bought many figures because of your excellent reviews with outstanding photography. Although this time I had already made my purchase before your review, I still enjoyed your review very much. I wish the “gold” would have been a bit more like real gold color instead of bronze. Despite this, I still prefer the black and gold costume over the red and white. That being said, with a rear view like that I will take her in any color ;-)

    • Tier says:

      Thanks for dropping by! Yeah, a brighter gold might’ve been nice; it could offer a better contrast to the black. I’m glad that they offered it in black and gold instead of blue, though; this color scheme is a lot more eyecatching than a navy blue and white outfit would be, I think.

      • loveanime says:

        Indeed, been toying with the idea or redoing the gold but with so many other figures to touch up for real problems I’ll leave her as is right now and enjoy that rear view ;-) With too many figures arriving at the same time, I actually have not even opened the box!
        Fully agree on the navy blue and white outfit because it would have a similar issue as the red outfit, see below. Before the purchase I was very divided between the black/gold and red/white outfit and it was a bit of a gamble with no pictures other than the hard-to-gauge official pictures available. Then a while after my purchase I happened to see them side-by-side in a shop and I was very happy with my black/gold decision. While normally red is my favorite color, e.g. this underrated figure (http://myfigurecollection.net/item/4454) is one of Taki’s better figures and is great in red/wthite. When seeing Mai Shiranui in red/white and just having received this Kanu Juban figure I realized why I was less keen on the red/white for Mai: the white is too dominant for my taste and a navy/white may have the same problem. Moreover, the black/gold, despite not being the ideal gold color, gives her a more classy and high-end look.
        Another benefit of this figure over the cold-cast is that the front and the back of the panties are “connected”. With the cold-cast it is just a wedge that stops halfway the butt cleavage.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, that’s something I’ve never liked on such figures; it looks really weird when the thong just sorta vanishes somewhere under the figure’s crotch. (That reminds me that Dizzy has that problem by design.) It’s kinda understandable if the figure is castoff-able but it looks cheap when it’s not.

          The white part of the tail of her dress is indeed quite prominent in the red version. I think I’m okay with it but that’s mainly because Mai has been around for so long that I’m used to her design; without that long history, I think I’d prefer this black and gold color scheme over her original colors for a certainty.

  10. Tian says:

    A few weeks ago, I made some decisions to spend less money each month. One such decision was to not buy figures based solely on the quality of their tits and ass. Now you’ve already got me rethinking that policy. Hope you’re happy.

    • TomTheCat says:

      Glad to see you have your priorities in order ;-)

    • Tier says:

      What a peculiar policy; isn’t tits and ass the reason why most of us get into this hobby in the first place? And why does money exist if not to be spent? At any rate, I am glad to have been able to help you revisit your decision. I am always happy to help!

      • Tian says:

        Stop it! I need to save up for a lens…

        • Tier says:

          Pfffft; what you put in front of the camera is way more important than what you put on the camera. Everyone can and will appreciate Mai’s fine ass, but nobody will ever, ever know or care that you bought some fancy-pants lens for your camera. Unless they’re the obsessive-compulsive stalker type and have an EXIF-reading plugin installed in their browser. I, of course, know absolutely nothing about such things.

          • Tian says:

            Just wait until that Max Factory Dark Elf is released. I will post ALL OF THE ASS.

          • Tier says:

            I’m expecting you to get right up in there with that new lens. I dare you to write an article glorifying the female ass on Tomopop. I would love to see how that goes over in today’s zeitgeist.

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