With the recent debut of Chun-Li’s new Street Fighter 6 design, fans have found themselves divided in a hot debate over whether the iconic fighter’s updated look is good, bad, a case of censorship, or just plain sexy.
With the premiere of the game’s first major trailer during the Sony’s June 2nd State of Play presentation, fans got their first look at Street Fighter 6’s updated aesthetic (not to mention the entire roster, as purported leaks have since been indirectly confirmed as legitimate by Capcom).
In addition to newcomers Luke and Jamie, the two Americans who look to bring a new generation of young-blood to the franchise, mainstays Ryu and Chun-Li also made an appearance.
Taking place after Street Fighter III, the upcoming entry in the series finds Ryu having “overcome the Satsui no Hado,” and Chun-Li having become a kung-fu teacher and “a well-loved member of the local community.”
Clearly evoking classic ‘kung-fu master’ imagery, Chun-Li’s new design also sees her possessing the keen focus she typically has mid-battle in past games – a character trait that is only ever betrayed by the almost childish enthusiasm she displays in her victory animations.
She’s also arguably somewhat older-looking compared to previous entries, though this could admittedly be the result of her more pronounced jawline – a detail far more feminine in nature than those seen on her Mortal Kombat rivals – and almost powdered face.
Speaking to her new appearance via the series’ official Twitter, Game Director Takayuki Nakayama explained of her outfit, “Ever since Shadaloo’s fall, Chun-Li has gained a more philosophical perspective. She now wears a white-based outfit that inherits the traditions from the series, but is elegant and easy to move in. She lives life in a calm but radiant manner.”
Despite the objective graphical upgrade, some fans across the East and West feel that this latest iteration of the Interpol martial artist just doesn’t fit her character.
In an article titled “‘Street Fighter 6’ Pros and cons of Chun-Li’s face ‘Is it politically correct?’” – a reference to the numerous complaints leveled against what some saw felt was an intentionally less attractive and less youthful design for the video game icon – Japanese entertainment news outlet Esuteru gathered reactions from various Japanese players across Twitter.
“Huh? Why isn’t Chun-Li showing her legs?” asked @nosbtc (via DeepL). “And her face is so ‘politically correct’. Return her youth.”
“I hate the way Chun-Li’s face looks so typically Chinese,” lamented @Reia_FFXIV. “The real Han Chinese have soft and beautiful faces…This kind of Western image of Asian people is really s—-y.”
“Looking at Chun-Li’s face on STR6, I wonder what [a] “character designer” is,” pondered @daranekogames. “If you hide the title and name and show only the image and ask ‘What character do you think it is?’, How many people will answer ‘Chun-Li’?”
However, they did concede that “The design in battle still looks like Chun-Li, though, because of the large proportion of clothing and the lack of a fish-eye look.”
“Chun-Li’s face is a little… (´･ω･`)” noted @aramata_reki. “I know it’s mainly for overseas users, but I’d like to see it fixed for Japanese users as well, just a little bit more, before the release of the game.”
In the West, players were similarly divided.
Still spurned by such past Capcom censorship controversies as the company’s removal of R.Mika’s “butt slap” before her super move is executed in Street Fighter V, the leaked reveal of their “politically correct” business strategies, and in the case of Resident Evil 4 VR, their making “select changes to in-game dialogue and animations that we believe will update [the game] for a modern audience,” some players expressed concern that Chun-Li’s new design was borne solely out of a desire to appeal to critical gender theory obsessed critics.
“When i was correct in my assessment in Street Fighter 6 & Capcom’s move to censor it’s female characters, to become more politically correct, for the FGC” boasted @Black_D_Gamer1 alongside a .gif of Homer Simpson captioned, “Boy, everyone is stupid except me.”
“So StreetFighter6 is censored garbage with how they ‘redesigned’ chun li,” proposed @PhenomParagon “notice how the males stayed unchanged in the new ‘realistic’” graphical art style, but chun li got butchered , they even gave her the sonja blade dull b—h face, yeah, street fighter 6 is a hard pass.”
However, not all fans have been so critical, as equally as many found themselves instant fans of Chun-Li’s new look and particularly of her more defined character model.
“THEY GAVE CHUN-LI BUTT PHYSICS” @artdevil91 screamed with delight.
THEY GAVE CHUN-LI BUTT PHYSICS
— Art Devil NSFW (@artdevil91) June 3, 2022
Replying to the official Street Fighter 6 Twitter’s post about the character, @scarysith declared, “Best Chun-Li design yet. Easily.”
“My girl,” fawned @ItsDaniPlays. “One of the best designs of Chun-Li, ever. Really feels like Chun-Li shares a lot of personality and traits with Gen, now more than ever before. I really like the new take on making her a stance character. I also can’t wait to see her interaction/training with Li-Fen!”
“MY GIRL IS HERE AND SHE LOOKS GOOD AF THANK YOU AKIMAN,” @TheZapken gushed, referring to former Capcom artist and Chun-Li creator Akira Yasuda.
“Saw it live, she looks sick ahhh,” said Daijoubou GG eSports player DovahChief. “Exactly what I wanted.”
In one sure-fire sign that her new design has its fans, Chun-Li received a deluge of fan-art immediately after the trailer’s premiere, with artists such as @Norasuko_safe, @RattlePool, and @hershuar using their skills to pay tribute to her new style.
Further, the above tweet from IGN comparing Ryu and Chun-Li’s classic looks to their latest designs has been met with an ongoing torrent of replies and quote retweets expressing delight at the latter’s toned physique and a general approval of her overall look.
This popularity was also explicitly pointed out by Twitter user @smugasuka18, who in reply to @_Jibrill’s combative assertion, “Anyone that says Chun-Li looks ‘ugly’ now is just exposing their racism, because she finally looks Chinese”, noted, “I’ve seen nobody say Chun-Li is ugly in SF6.”
“Most of them are appreciating how thicc her thighs are,” they added. “But good on you exposing your own racism saying Chinese people all look the f–king same lol.”
What do you think of Chun-Li’s design in Street Fighter 6? Good or bad? Censored or lewd? Let us know on social media and in the comments below!