Mai Shiranui in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would’ve raised the age rating

Masahiro Sakurai has revealed that the reason Mai from Fatal Fury and The King Of Fighters hasn’t joined Terry Bogard is that kids might see her panties.

Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct on new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character Terry Bogard was a beautiful thing, as director Masahiro Sakurai geeked out for almost 50 minutes about his love for SNK and series like Fatal Fury and The King Of Fighters.

Terry wasn’t the only SNK character to make it into the game though, with cameos for the likes of Ryo Sakazaki and Iori Yagami. But one popular character that was notable by her absence was Mai Shiranui.

Many fans suspected this would be the case even before the Direct, as Mai tends to be sexualised in a way that Nintendo characters never usually are. But the reason for leaving her out is not quite what you’d think.

If you watched the English language version of the Nintendo Direct then Sakurai made a joke about Smash Bros. only being for ‘good boys and girls’, but in the original Japanese he also references the Japanese age rating board CERO.

Including Mai would’ve meant changing the game’s current A for All Ages rating – the lowest possible – and Nintendo did not want that.

But according to a separate interview the problem wasn’t just Mai’s gravity-defying cleavage but the worry that players might be able to see her underwear during certain moves.

Apparently that’s an obsession of CERO and concerns over other characters such as Palutena and Wonderful 101’s Wonder Pink almost caused a delay in the game.

Of course, CERO has no jurisdiction outside of Japan but Nintendo always looks to its home market first when making decisions like this.

Interestingly, Smash Bros. also has the lowest age rating possible in the U.S. – an E for Everyone from the ESRB – but the game is a 12 in the UK, two notches above the lowest rating.

Violence and sexually suggestive content are always treated differently in different countries though and ultimately Mai’s absence is down to Japan’s puritanical approach to the latter.

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