Last week, in Miami, Yoshinori Ono, the cheerful, jokey lead producer of the Street Fighter series had just shown off his team's new game, Street Fighter X Tekken. He and I were just about done talking about it.
I had time for one more question. I need only one more answered: "How thick are Chun-Li's legs allowed to be?"
Outside, there was this poster - the same one you can see above - of Street Fighter heroine Chun-Li. In that poster, Chun-Li's famous legs, always exposed, often used for rapidlu kicking of Ken, Ryu, M.Bison and the rest of the Street Fighter brawlers, looked... freakish.
I wondered if there was a style guide. I told Ono's translator that, sure, I'd be interested in a specific measurement. Whatever the Street Fighter braintrust uses as a rule for their most fetishised fighter's most fetishised body parts.
Ono had an answer for me:
"I get this question every time," he said, "Because, from regular Street Fighter to Street Fighter IV she looked thicker. She appears to be getting thicker from game to game.
"The simple answer to that is: I am looking for the perfect thigh to rest my head on. So whatever size would work as a nice pillow… "
I think that's as serious an answer as I'll get.
Chun-Li in Street Fighter II. (1991)
Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV (2008)
Chun-Li in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2008)
Chun-Li in Street Fighter X Tekken (2012)
Chun-Li in the poster outside of my interview room with Yoshinori Ono last week.