As we prepare to go into full production of our Ryu X Chun-li graphic novel, we do feel a slight attack of conscience. Is it over copyright infringement? No. There are a heck of a lot of fan projects that have come before us.
Rather, it is whether were doing the right thing by Chun-li. Yeah, we know. She’s a fictional character. But for the fun that is the Ryu X Chun-li project, bare with us.
Is creating a story such as ours, which we all know is going to get a hell of a lot more notoriety than any fanfic (Sorry, Brian), really not good for Chun-li as a character?
Known as the First Lady of fighting games, Chun-Li made her debut in the genre defining Street Fighter II and has since been the biggest and most recognisable female character in fighting game history. Her career spans 20+ years (roughly 7 to 8 years in the actual timeline) and her motives have varied from game to game, mostly revolving around getting revenge on M-Bison for killing her father.
However, when Street Fghter III 3rd Strike, came out, there was a change. Several years had passed and Chun-Li, now a retired street fighter and INTERPOL agent, spent all of her time teaching orphan kids martial arts. When one of the kids is kidnapped by Urien, she enters the arena once more in order to save the girl from Urien’s grasp. Once Urien was defeated, Chun-Li is clearer than ever about her purpose in life; to teach, protect and care for young children.
This is perhaps what makes Chun-li most notable among those who wish her to stay single. Chun-li, a character once hell bent upon revenge, is now dedicated to being something of a mother to children in need. Chun-li has become a very noble character that reminds people motherhood expands beyond biological function. Chun Li is a nurturer in the sense of the mother-lion who protects all of the cubs, and that is a powerful statement.
Chun-li’s noble motivation of protecting and raising children is also what ultimately keeps Chun-li from being an example of the Smurfette Principle. That is, she is not defined simply by her relationships to the other male characters. Instead she is a self-made woman that all the other characters respect.
But for all this wonderful nobleness, Chun-li’s new life was also a bit of a shock to all of us who hoped Chun-li might hook up with one of our other favourite fighters. We are reminded of the conversation between Yang and Ken Masters in UDON’s Super Street Fighter New Generations Volume One.
Yang: [Chun-li] spends most of her time at an orphanage teaching the kids there martial arts. She’s practically a nun!
Ken: Really? Didn’t see that coming.
We’re right there with you, Ken. Right there with you.
But, shock to the system aside, maybe Chun-li is better off the way she is? On her own raising kids? Maybe we and all the other fan fiction writers out there should leave well enough alone, stop pairing her with other characters, and let her be the example of whatever forms of feminism and political correctness (There seem to be several these days) she has become? CAPCOM has made it pretty clear they’re cool with that. They wrote the ending after all.
But we cant. At our core, we want to see Chun-li, the Queen of Street Fighters in love. And, in our minds, no one is worthy of that love save the the King himself, Ryu. And, while we do get all tingly thinking about it (that’s another blog entry in itself), there is, believe it or not, a noble cause behind our desire to pair Chun-li and Ryu too.
Do we want to take on feminism? No. It’s the crappy results of the last decade of political correctness we’re out to challenge.
Consider: The fascination that romance holds for many girls is not a mere social construct; it derives from something deeper. Research on youth and gender issues has proven that despite all the indoctrination they’ve received to the contrary, most teenage girls in countries like the United States, Australia and New Zealand nevertheless believe that human nature is gendered to the core. They are hungry for stories that reflect that sensibility. Three decades of adults pretending that gender doesn’t matter haven’t created a generation of Chun-li-like women who don’t need men; they have instead created a horde of girls who adore the traditional male and female roles and relationships. Don’t believe us? How many women love the “Twilight” saga?
Likewise, political correctness hasn’t created a generation of boys who muse about their feelings while they work on their scrapbooks. Instead, a growing number of boys on this planet spend much of their free time absorbed in the masculine mayhem of video games such as Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and Street Fighter or surfing the Internet for pornography.
For more than three decades, political correctness has required that educators and parents pretend that gender doesn’t really matter. The results of that policy are upon us: a growing cohort of young men who spend many hours each week playing video games and looking at pornography online, while their sisters and friends dream of gentle werewolves who are content to cuddle with them and dazzling vampires who will protect them from danger.
Well, We’re gonna produce a story that puts Ryu and Chun-li together in a respectful equal relationship and start setting things right and hopefully take back something from this unnatural state of affairs political correctness has created.
But then again, we’re just making a fan comic book about two video game characters that aren’t even real. It’s more likely people will just want to read it for the tingles. As for our higher purpose, it’s more likely no one will even give it any thought. 😉
More next time.