Mai Shiranui / 不知火舞 / Real Bout Fatal Fury Special / リアルバウト餓狼伝説スペシャル

Mai Shiranui from Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (game)

Winning pose at JTAF 2005


Inspiration: Mai Mai Mai. I really, truly like Mai as a character. I feel like she is often cosplayed as an excuse to show skin, but I actually like her! She’s my 2nd best character in the KOF games, and I’m one of those nerds that even listened to the KOF radio dramas. Seriously. I was initially hooked when I saw her black & gold alternate in the games, though I’ve yet to cosplay that one… Hmm.

This particular Mai was one that I had my eye on for a while. I loved the big bow on the back! I also like how the color scheme is a bit more red, white, and black than just red and white. Real Bout Special is also probably my favorite of the Fatal Fury games, so it was nice to pay an homage to it. I was disappointed that they took this game’s costume and basically ripped the back off for KOF XIII. It makes me want to give the original design some love again, almost. Haha.

This was my sixth and latest Mai costume. It’s been a while, but I’m not done with her yet!

Costume Notes: I made this over 3 days before the con it debuted at as a last minute idea, to join up with friends planning Yuri and King. Women Fighters Team go go go! I am quite proud of how it came out especially because of this! It was made mostly with velcro and hot glue. I mean it! I don’t really do that with costumes anymore, but back in 2005 that was still how I rolled despite having some sewing knowledge. Hehe. Well, that and I made this in such a rush that I didn’t have time to use anyone’s sewing machine, as I didn’t own one at the time!

The bow has wire in it to keep it up, and the ball hanging off the tail is styrofoam. It was also the first time I took two ball halves rather than hollowing out a styrofoam ball like I used to do for Mai. The result is a much lighter tail! The outfit itself is made from casa crepe, a fabric that I was addicted to at the time. The obi, bow, and tail were made with poly/cotton blends.

This outfit is specifically based off the in-game sprite, which has an extra border of white on the front flap. It’s a weird detail, but the artwork for the game didn’t include it!


– Created December 2005

– Worn at Japantown Anime Faire 2005, Anime Los Angeles 2006, Anime Expo 2006, Ani-Magic 2006


Photo Credits: Eurobeat King, Evanae, Hofuzz, Iori E

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