September 3, 2001  -  The Chun Li Rant

I can't believe that after nearly 50 rants, I haven't done one about Chun Li!  Well, I am now, and there's a whole lot I wanna talk about, so let's get started...
I suppose if you've read my various comments about Chun Li around the site, you've noticed that sometimes I really rip Chun Li, and sometimes I really compliment her.  That pretty much sums up how I feel about her... I either love her, or I hate her.  And why's that you ask?  Well, there are 2 reasons.  First, when I first paid attention to Chun Li, it was because Cammy was in the game, and they were at the same time friends & rivals, so I learned to sometimes love, and sometimes hate Chun Li.  And nowadays, since Cammy & Chun Li really have nothing to do with one another, I love & hate her because she really is a great character, but she's gotten SO old and boring over the years.
That's my basic opinion in a nutshell.  Now, lemme get to some specific thoughts...
Who is Chun Li?
Without a doubt, my biggest problem with Chun Li is the fact that she's been in every single Capcom fighting game, and yet she's still the same character she was in SF2.  Sure she got a new outfit in SF Zero series, and an absolutely horrible 'update' in SF3, but she's still a character with almost no storyline to speak of.  You'd think that a girl with so many adventures would be really interesting... but she's not.  In fact, nobody's really sure what her storyline is because they've never really set one.   Is she a naive girl trying to avenge her father, or is she an experienced policewoman?
Besides having no real storyline, she doesn't have a personality either.  For instance, Delta Red Cammy loves cats, has a really bad temper, she's frustrated over her amnesia, she wants to do well for Colonel Wolfman, etc.  But what about Chun Li?  Besides the fact that she wants to bring down Shadowloo, there's harldy anything to her.
With a character as important as Chun Li, we should all know who and what she is!  And with almost every game, there should be something added to her.  Chun Li should be one of the greatest characters in gaming, she certainly has the potential, but instead, me and many others think she's become one of the worst game characters because we're so sick and tired of the same old thing getting hyped in every damn game.
Chun Li's look...
With the exception of the awkward and deformed Chun Li from SF3, she's one of the best and unique looking game characters... from her outfit down to her fighting style & moves.
Her SF Zero outfit was kinda lame, but it was nice to have a little change, and it's a cool back-up every once in a while.   But her original outfit, the one that we all know, is simply awesome!  The only complaint that I have is that in new game animations after SF2, they cool away the seam that ran down her stockings along the back of her legs... but I think I'm the only one who noticed and 'admired' that little detail.  ^_^
To be honest, Chun Li is almost wholly defined by her outfit.  The girl wearing the outfit doesn't have much of a history or personality.   Would anybody recognize Chun Li by her look or personality if she wore anything else?  Nope.  So I'm wondering... is Chun Li the girl's name, or the outfit's name?
SF3 Chun Li....
I can't remember meeting anybody that liked the 'new' Chun Li from SF3.  The awkward way she moves is the most annoying thing to me.  I can barely watch the way she flops around.  However, most people complain about goofy she looks with her HUGE legs, over-sized chest, and teeny tiny head. 
Another thing that started with SF3 Chun Li is that Capcom goes out of their way to... ummmm... lemme be blunt... show off Chun Li's crotch.  Have you seen the new character art for Capcom vs SNK 2 Chun Li?  If you have, then you know what I mean... and if you haven't, you'll see.  It's embarrassing!  Chun Li's no Cammy, but was plenty sexy as she was in SF2 and in SF Zero... I don't like the new slutty Chun Li at all!  It's a shame.
Cammy & Chun Li...
I think not having around Cammy around really hurt Chun Li.  Sure Capcom thought having Cammy around in SF2 was hurting Chun Li because fans liked Cammy better (I have inside info about that), but I think they worked well together nonetheless.  Cammy and Chun Li had a great rivalry in SF2!  It would have been cool to see those two take it into SF3 and beyond.  And besides the rivalry, fans liked the friendship between the two girls.  It was a really interesting relationship.  Even with all the other girls in SF, I think Cammy and Chun Li should have lead the way together.  As we've seen, Chun Li hasn't done much on her own.  But together, Chun Li and Cammy would both have been better.
What I'd do with Chun Li...
One thing I wouldn't do is hook her up with Ryu!  That was a lame rumor going around during SF2.  Ryu's so  self-absorbed and obsessed with training that he might as well be gay.  Besides, she's too good for him.  What I would do, is renew her rivalry/friendship with Cammy.  And of course I'd make a solid storyline and personality for her.  And I might even dare to change her traditional outfit just a little to keep it interesting.  Do that, and I guarantee that Chun Li would deserve to be in every game, and be one of gaming's elite game gals!
Over the years, I've talked to many fans on this subject, and most of time we've totally agreed.  Chun Li should be the great character that Capcom pretends she is, but they've gone about it totally wrong.  Instead, she's a character whose mismanagement leaves most of us totally disgusted and frustrated!  I'm behind Cammy 100%, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see Chun Li fulfill her potential.  Like I said before, together in SF2, Chun Li and Cammy were a great team, and each was better for it.   Maybe SF4 (if it ever becomes a reality) will see that come true.  I hope so.