- "I am the strongest woman in the world!"
- —Chun-Li (Street Fighter II)
Chun-Li (Chinese Traditional: 春麗; Chinese Simplified: 春丽; Japanese: チュンリー, Chun Rii) is a character in the Street Fighter series. She is the first female player character that appears in the series, and the first playable character to appear in a 1-on-1 fighting game. Introduced in Street Fighter II, Chun-Li was the only female character in the game, as well as one of the youngest fighters, and while not as physically powerful as the other characters, she is by far the quickest.
Her most famous attack is the Hyakuretsukyaku (Hundred Rending Leg, commonly known as the Lightning Kick), where she repeatedly kicks her opponent from a tilted standing position with incredible speed.
Chun-Li's name is Mandarin, (春, chun, "spring"; 丽, lì, "beautiful"), which means she is a single young girl filled with the beauty of spring.
Older official sources from the early 90's indicate Chung was Chun-Li's surname, although it is worth noting this could very well not be the case anymore. In the live-action Street Fighter movie, Chun-Li was given the surname Zang/Xiang, but Capcom has not officially recognized it.
Chun-Li's appearance has differed several times in the Street Fighter series, as well as in official art and cameos she has made in other works. She is known for her very muscular thighs.
Chun-Li wears a qipao, a Chinese dress imported over from Manchuria that became popular among girls during the early 20th century. Her outfit is modified to allow a far wider range of movement than a normal qipao. She also wears white combat boots and a blue leotard with dark brown sheer pantyhose and blue panties underneath with her qipao. Her qipao is blue with golden accents. She was originally supposed to wear a peach-colored qipao, as seen in her in-game profile and ending in the original Street Fighter II.
During the period covered in Street Fighter Alpha, she wore an embroidered vest, unitard and athletic shoes, as well as studded wristbands. It is unclear why she chose to stop using this outfit and switch to the qipao in subsequent Street Fighter games. With the switch to the qipao, she also swapped her wristbands for large spiked bracelets. In the Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation movie, her vest has changed to red instead of blue.
In Street Fighter IV, Chun-Li's alternate outfit consists of a black sleeveless evening gown with gold accents at the bottom. She wears a black and gold sash held by a red rope-like belt. The outfit is completed with red shoes, gold earrings and black and gold bracelets. The outfit resembles the clothes she wore in one of the episodes of the American cartoon series Street Fighter.
In various official art, she has also been shown in her police outfit, as well as (presumably) her favorite casual attire: a varsity-style jacket, T-shirt, jeans and white tennis shoes. It has been shown in some official art that when wearing her casual attire she also wears her Alpha wristbands.
Her hairstyle is called "ox horns", a typical style in which Chinese children dress their hair; depictions of girls in Chinese paintings frequently show girls in ox horns.
During the Alpha series, she chose to wear them unadorned, while in the remaining games, she uses silk brocades and ribbons to cover them, colored white to signify the mourning of her father. These silk brocades and ribbons that cover them are sometimes called bao.
In Street Fighter IV, when wearing her alternate costume, she wears her ox horns unadorned, just like in her Alpha appearance, only this time it's held by red ropes with golden balls at the tip.
Chun-Li's original personality was depicted as a cheerful young lady who worships Ryu as her hero or idol, much like Sakura. As her story underwent development, she became more resourceful and dedicated, with a strong sense of justice. She strongly believes in protecting the innocent, yet she has no qualms with fighting. She is a highly disciplined, seasoned, and courageous warrior. As a detective of Interpol, she takes her work very seriously, yet she also has an elegant, sweet, and feminine personality. When it comes to fighting, Chun-Li tends to get quite competitive with other fighters, but after her fights, she often becomes allies - and in some cases, friends.
Chun-Li is the original fast character in the Street Fighter series, utilizing multiple rapid attacks rather than the slow damaging strikes of larger characters like Zangief. Her agile and swift movements are a favorite amongst game-players. It is interesting to note that in the early days of arcade fighting games, many other female characters played in a similarly speedy style, following the example set by Chun-Li. In previous games (Street Fighter 2 mainly) she was basically a charge character along with Guile and E.Honda but her style was changed in later games to give her a more technical feel as well as her trademark "speed" granted to the player.
In almost every game, Chun-Li's signature move is the Hyakuretsukyaku which was her ability to throw multiple kicks in one sitting. It is referred to as the Hyakuretsukyaku. Its easy accessibility (bluntly pressing a kick button rapidly) has become a staple in many games. Her Spinning Bird Kick acts like Ryu's and Ken's own Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. Chun-Li can also wall-jump, meaning that pressing in the opposite direction after touching the wall during a jump will allow her to bounce off of it. While jumping, she can perform a Stomp Kick on top of her opponent's heads. Beginning with Street Fighter Alpha, this move was replaced by the Sen'en Shuu, which was an overhead drop kick which knocked the opponent down. This, in itself, was replaced by the Hazan Shuu in Street Fighter III, which was a similar move where Chun-Li flipped in the air before attacking with her overhead kick. She also regained her Spinning Bird Kick in that game.
Her Kaku Kyaku Raku was basically a move where she flips in the air and drop kicks her opponents on the head, causing them to fall down. This was replaced in Street Fighter III with the "Tenshin Shuu Kyaku" which requires her to jump all the way behind the opponent to attack, but also lets her combo afterward. Her trademark projectile is called the Kikoken, and has alternately been a motion attack and a charge attack depending on the game. Her Tenshou Kyaku enabled her to jump in the air and perform 3-4 consecutive kicks that can damage air born opponents.
Other notable moves that have appeared include the Sou Hakkei, a powerful palm strike that Chun-Li can do in her X-ISM mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3; the Reishiki Kikou Ken, a toned-down version of the Kikou Shou as it appeared in the Alpha games that Chun-Li can do at any time in the Marvel vs. Capcom series; and the Tenshin Enbu in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, a command grab similar to Yun's Zenpou Tenshin that does no damage but leaves the opponent open to a combo.
Chun-Li's first Super Attack, the Senretsu Kyaku, was an extended Hyakuretsu Kyaku that moved Chun-Li forward and could go through fireballs. Her Kikou Shou, which she received in Street Fighter Alpha, was a stationary ball of energy that could hit attacks coming from above and in front. Her Hazan Tenshou Kyaku was a powered-up version of the Tenshou Kyaku. These moves received typical power increases in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Her appearance in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike saw her retain only one Super Art from before, the Kikosho, in a version that more resembled the Marvel version than the original Alpha version. Her two new Super Arts were the Houyoku Sen, a re-imagined Senretsukyaku that was made up of two flurries of rapid kicks followed by a final kick that sent the opponent upward; and the Tensei Ranka, an aerial flip-kick that ended with a final kick crashing straight downward.
In Street Fighter IV, Chun-Li gains a new Ultra Combo called Hosenka. It is very much like Houyoku Sen, except instead of kicking the opponent away after the Hyakuretsukyaku, she kicks the opponent upwards and does a powered-up Spinning Bird Kick, which causes a tornado and does significant damage. She then kicks the opponent up into the air with a lot of force, landing gracefully after the opponent falls back on to the floor.
In the latest version of Street Fighter IV (Super Street Fighter IV), one can select an Ultra Combo among Hosenka and Kikosho. The Kikosho animation is nearly identical to what is depicted in Street Fighter III: Third Strike.
Chun-Li was an Interpol investigator who had been searching for clues to the recent disappearance of her father. Getting into a friendly spar with an old teacher of hers and friend of her father, Gen, he gives her a lead into who may have killed her father—the mysterious crime syndicate Shadaloo. Finding its leader, M. Bison, she demands he tell her what happened to her father. To her surprise, Bison attacks and basically makes quick work of her, then flies away, laughing at her and telling her if she attacks him again he will kill her just like he did her father. With tears in her eyes (the last she swore to ever shed), Chun-Li swore vengeance.
Chun-Li teamed up with a United States Air Force member, Charlie Nash, to try to track and take down Shadaloo. She then ran into someone she would not have expected at all. It was Charlie's good friend and fellow lieutenant, Guile. Telling Guile he should not get in over his head and to leave the two be, Chun-Li learns he has orders to bring Charlie back. Attempting to use force to stop him, Guile immediately appears and holds her in his arms telling her that she can't force Charlie to not make what is right and for good intentions; nonetheless, she insists that she and her partner be left alone, to which Guile replies that he will never abandon friends in need. Eventually, learning that Bison tricked the Air Force into canceling the planned bombing of the main Shadaloo base, she rushed over to the two soldiers to tell them they were tricked and would have to destroy the base on their own. Chun-Li with Charlie and Guile proceeded to the Shadaloo base located in Thailand to plant bombs around the base as Charlie and Guile headed inside to destroy the Psycho Drive, but Guile then came rushing out, grabbing Chun-Li and telling her Charlie had urged both of them to get away. Meanwhile Ryu was fighting with M. Bison. Along the way Chun-Li saw a young girl escaping with several others (who turned out to be Cammy) and she found Ryu and escaped with him. Later Guile told her that Charlie was inside of the Shadaloo base during the explosion marking his apparent death in the process. Despite being distraught over the initial lack of evidence to prove Shadaloo's crimes, Chun-Li managed to shut down the operations of the Shadaloo evil empire.
Chun-Li received an invitation to the second World Warrior tournament, and discovered that Bison had apparently survived the Thailand base's destruction. With this, she had the clear motive of destroying Shadaloo and avenging her father once again. The outcome of this tournament is not clear, although regardless of the outcome, Bison himself finally falls at the hands of Ryu's nemesis, Akuma.
After retiring, Chun-Li finds life less than what she had hoped for, still feeling uneasiness. Eventually, incidents involving disappearances and abductions reach her, which rouse her fighting spirit, convincing her to return to the fight. Soon, she is tracked down by Guile, who reveals to her evidence of Shadaloo's return. She tells Guile that she is not just fighting for her father but also for herself, and that she will continue to be a cop. Donning her outfit, she returns to Interpol and teams up with Guile and Cammy to take down S.I.N. and discover what really happened to M.Bison. After she recovers from being defeated by Juri Han, she enters the new international fighting tournament to take down S.I.N once and for all. On her way, she is approached by Abel, who is searching for any leads on the Shadaloo organization. During the tournament, she also pursues Gen, who is also participating, for more answers about her father's death; Gen refuses and she is unable to force him. Later she encounters Juri once more, who she tries to arrest and although she is able to defeat her she is unable to bring her into custody. Infiltrating the S.I.N. dam facility, she is trapped when Vega activates the base's self-destruct sequence. She is protected from the ensuing collapse by Gen, and is eventually rescued by Guile and Abel.Urien kidnapped a young girl for his scientific projects, and Chun-Li manages to catch up to him. Challenging him, she defeats Urien and reclaims the young girl. Since then, Chun-Li has continued to raise her adopted kids.
Other Video Games
She is a regularly-used cameo character in Capcom games. Over the years, Chun-Li has appeared in almost all of Capcom's fighting games. After the release of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, she became the only character besides Ryu, Ken and Akuma to appear in all three major Street Fighter incarnations (Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III). She also makes a cameo appearance in Mega Man 9 as a television news reporter during a prologue scene where Mega Man and Dr. Light are watching a breaking-news report.
Her latest cameo appearance is during the the ending of the DLC expansion Nirvana of Asura's Wrath, where she is seen apprehending a reincarnated Kalrow. Notably, this is also the first time she is seen in any semblance of police attire.
Chun-Li has appeared in all crossovers involving the series (i.e. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom). She is a playable character in the crossover game Namco x Capcom, eventually pairing up with Cammy. Chun-Li was also confirmed as a playable character for Street Fighter IV on December 7, 2007. Chun-Li appears in Marvel vs Capcom 3 and in Street Fighter x Tekken.
In Marvel Vs. Capcom, in Chun-Li's ending (for example, if teamed with Morrigan) she is transformed into Shadow Lady, a playable boss who was easily recognized as a sprite swap for Chun-Li. Beyond the basic appearance, Shadow Lady had many unique moves in addition to Chun-Li's, due to being a cyborg. This includes transforming her hands into a spinning drill, firing rockets and zapping enemies with electricity.
This is a non-canonical story where Chun-Li hears of an escaped zoo animal. She apprehends Felicia by mistake and despite Felicia's protests she is sent to the zoo. The next day she hears of an entertainer's (Felicia) mysterious disappearance.
In her ending, Chun-Li is shown to have arrested the Kingpin.
Live Action Movies
Chun-Li was featured in the live-action film Street Fighter (1994). Her character was portrayed by Chinese-American Ming-Na Wen (who would later voice Mulan in the Disney film). Rather than being an INTERPOL officer, however, she is depicted here as a news reporter working for GNT News, in pursuit to seek revenge on M. Bison for causing her father's death. Other than her change of occupation, her personality remains the same.
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
Chun-Li was featured as a main character of the Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. As an Interpol agent, she requests to work with Guile to investigate Bison's organization. Guile at first doesn't want to work with her, more eager to pursue Bison himself, but Chun-Li remains persistent and she teases him into openly attacking her to get the frustration out of his system and showcase her martial art abilities. She convinces Guile that it is more important to put personal feelings of revenge aside and instead be practical and focus on how to work together. The two remain essentially inseparable afterwards until Bison becomes aware of their activities.
Despite her importance to the games, Chun-Li does not meet either Ryu or Ken or participate in the final battle against Bison in this movie, as she is ambushed in her apartment by Vega, Shadaloo's top assassin. After an intense battle, she manages to defeat him, but her injuries overwhelm her and she slips into a coma. A distraught Guile promises her he will bring Bison down and pursues the investigation without her, successfully tracking down Ryu minutes before Bison arrives.
Following Bison's defeat at the hands of Ryu and Ken, Interpol tracks down Shadaloo and destroys its central headquarters. Chun-Li eventually awakens from her coma, and pulls a comical and cruel prank on Guile by making it appear she has died, before surprising him with a newspaper headline announcing the downfall of Bison's operations. The two celebrate with an embrace.
In the original version Chun-Li was given a shower scene before her fight with Vega, which has been censored to varying degrees in all American releases. The recent re-release of the film by Manga Entertainment now offers both the "uncut" UK and original JP versions of the film.
Street Fighter II V
In the 29-episode anime series, Chun-Li appears as the spirited tour guide to Ken and Ryu. Her character in this adaption is a far cry from the world's strongest woman since she is only 15 in this series, and is a Kung-Fu student under the guidance of her father, the highest-ranked police chief in Hong Kong. Chun-Li plays a sizable role in the finale when she is brainwashed by Bison's psycho power. She and Ken become something of an item during the Vega arc. She also challenges Bison to a fight and is defeated by him. Following this, she becomes one of Bison's brainwashed soldiers. It is not until after Bison is defeated by both Ryu and Ken that she regains conscious again and reunites with the two fighters.
Street Fighter (Animated Series)
In the American Street Fighter animated series, Chun-Li was a regular character and was voiced by Donna Yamamoto. Like in the games, she seeks to avenge her father's death, who was killed by Bison and like her movie counterpart, she also works as a news reporter instead of working at INTERPOL. She first appears in the first episode "The Adventure Begins" where she meets up with Guile, Ryu and Ken in Brazil to fight against M. Bison who was causing trouble with Lucinda and some other scientists who were trying to find a cure a disease that was plaguing the area. In "The Strongest Woman in the World" we learn that Chun-Li saw her father killed by Bison when he was the only person to stay and defend their village. Chun-Li is then put with the dilemma of either allowing Bison to escape or have a nuclear plant destroy many innocent people in her home country China and is forced to let him go so the innocent people can be protected. In "Getting to Guile" Chun-Li fought off El Fideo's best men in a street fight in order to obtain some information she needed but while waiting in her hotel room for the information she was called to save Guile from Bison's mind control.
To be added
Street Fighter II manga
In a Street Fighter II manga published in the early 1990s (written by Masaomi Kanzaki), Chun-Li remains in her established role of an interpol agent investigating Bison, but she constantly references and reflects a desire to earn the critical praise of Ryu as a fighter, she is also portrayed as a more emotional person.
As the manga progresses, she eventually participates in a tournament arranged by Shadaloo, and outlasts many of the other warriors, eventually coming up against Vega, portrayed here as her father's killer. Chun-Li defeats Vega, but as in the SF II movie, she cannot continue, and she is pulled from the tournament. Her injuries prevent her from doing much when Ryu and Bison confront one another, except call off an air strike by Interpol as the two fight.
Chun-Li appears one final time in the closing pages of the final issue of the Manga in a panel illustration depicting her arrest of a drug peddler, she remains eager to prove herself to Ryu, and sends him a letter conveying that determination.
Much like the anime SF II movie, the story stands alone from the established canon. Chun-Li's hero worship of Ryu was likely later used for the character of Sakura in the Alpha games.
Street Fighter Alpha anime and manga
In the anime and manga based on Street Fighter Alpha, Chun-Li is again an agent of interpol as she is in almost all iterations save for the live action film. In the anime, she begins tracking down Ryu because of his battle with Sagat and Shadaloo's apparent interest in Ryu. Believing this information will in some way lead to further dismantling of Shadaloo, she seeks out Ryu and becomes involved in his struggle to defeat the temptation of the Satsui No Hado.
In the manga, she encounters Ryu, who has fallen from grace when he began to give in to the Satsui No Hado, and had hired himself out as a bodyguard to some drug smugglers. She winds up befriending Ryu and Birdie as well as Ken (which also happens in the anime), and Chun-Li, Ken, and Ryu begin trying to deal with the Satsui No Hado, though Chun-Li plays mostly a minor role in that regard. However, the three friends encounter members of Shadaloo, and Chun-Li, at the end of the first volume of the manga, rescues Cammy from being captured (or possibly killed, the manga doesn't say which, only that losers are 'stored' somewhere) after having her hand apparently crushed or at the least injured in some way by Sodom. Shadaloo in the manga is once again responsible for the death of her father, though the exact identity of the killer has yet to be revealed.
In the 1990s, Malibu Comics produced a short-lived series of Street Fighter comics, which featured Chun-Li as having known Ryu and Ken since at least their later teens, along with her having either a romantic involvement with or interest in Ryu. So far, it's the only comic or manga known to have shown Chun-Li with her hair down. The comic primarily focused not on Chun-Li or Ryu in particular, but rather on the reaction of several of the characters to the murder of Ken Masters. As this comic was never finished (it was canceled after only three issues), the storyline was never resolved, and no mention was made of Chun-Li's father or of her connections to Interpol. This series was apparently produced sometime before the release of Super Street Fighter II, as none of the characters introduced in that game appeared in it.
When Udon comics picked up the comic book license for the Street Fighter franchise for American distribution, Chun-Li again became a central character, involved in the hunt for Bison and Shadaloo. However, in the new comic, it is not Bison or Vega who is the killer of Chun-Li's father, but rather Cammy, prior to her being freed from Bison's control. Chun-Li battles Cammy when they meet face to face for the first time. Chun-Li winds up forgiving Cammy for her actions due to the fact that as she was a brainwashed servant of Bison's at that time, she wasn't really responsible for the murder of Chun-Li's father, Bison was. As a result, she has turned her sights onto Bison in the hopes of attaining her revenge. Chun-Li's mode of dress changes several times throughout the Udon comics, from outfits worn in Street Fighter Alpha, to her more traditional qipao from the Street Fighter II games. She has received an invitation from Shadaloo to enter a tournament being held by Bison. The comic appears to be mixing elements of the various games together.
In Popular Culture
Chun-Li is one of the earliest female video game protagonists to achieve widespread popularity. Prior to Street Fighter II being released in 1991, most female characters in games existed as objectives to be rescued or cast in the roles of other supporting characters, such as townspeople, girlfriends, the occasional opponent, or simply background decoration; as such, there were very few heroines in action-based video games. After the success of Street Fighter II and Chun-Li's popularity, female protagonists became increasingly common. Since then, in games with selectable characters, at least one of them will almost always be female; and a number of games released since then have placed a female character in the lead role.
Chun-Li has made cameos in various settings from the manga Faeries' Landing to a background scene in the U.S. cartoon Jackie Chan Adventures.
British indie rock band Arctic Monkeys has a song entitled "Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick", an instrumental track still unreleased as of now.
- See also: Chun-Li/Quotes
- Chun-Li is one of the six characters from Street Fighter IV (the others being Ryu, Guile, Cammy, C. Viper & Seth) to have second rivals. Her second rival is Juri.
- Chun-Li's Thousand Kicks were used in the fan-made series Dead Fantasy by Final Fantasy character Tifa.
- In American Dad!, Akiko appears dressed as Chun-Li for Halloween in the episode "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls".
- In the Sonic X episode, "The Adventures of Knuckles and Hawk", one of the chinese women with ox horns resembles Chun-Li.
- Chan Lee, a character from Bakugan Battle Brawlers, slightly resembles Chun-Li.
- In Final Fight 2, Chun-Li makes a cameo in on of the stages, eating noodles.
- In Street Fighter III, one of Chun Li's win quotes is "Hey leave me alone. I'm a fighter, not a news reporter". This may refer to Street Fighter: The Movie, where Chun-Li was portrayed as a news reporter.
- In the prologue of Mega Man 9 a news reporter on the TV resembles Chun-Li.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 http://www.capcom.co.jp/sf4/chunli.html
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL2CNxBTjrs
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZdr0XvGxPc
|Street Fighter II Characters|
|Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Dee Jay – Dhalsim – E. Honda – Fei Long – Guile – Ken – M. Bison – Ryu – Sagat – T. Hawk – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter: The Movie Characters|
|Akuma – Arkane – Balrog – Blade – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Dee Jay – E. Honda – F7 – Guile – Ken – Khyber – M. Bison – Ryu – Sagat - Sawada – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter Alpha Characters|
|Adon – Akuma – Balrog – Birdie – Blanka – Cammy – Charlie – Chun-Li – Cody – Dan – Dee Jay – Dhalsim – E. Honda – Eagle – Evil Ryu – Fei Long – Gen – Guile – Guy – Ingrid – Juli – Juni – Karin – Ken – M. Bison – Maki – R. Mika – Rolento – Rose – Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Shin Akuma – Sodom – T. Hawk – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter EX Characters|
|Ace - Akuma - Allen - Area - Blair - Blanka - Chun-Li - Cracker Jack - Cycloid Beta - Cycloid Gamma - Darun - Dhalsim - Doctrine Dark - Garuda - Guile - Hayate - Hokuto - Kairi - Ken - M. Bison - Nanase - Pullum - Ryu - Sagat - Sakura - Shadowgeist - Sharon - Skullomania - Vega - Vulcano Rosso - Zangief|
|Street Fighter III Characters|
|Akuma – Alex – Chun-Li – Dudley – Elena – Gill – Hugo – Ibuki – Ken – Makoto – Necro – Oro – Q – Remy – Ryu – Sean - Shin Akuma – Twelve – Urien – Yang – Yun|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Abel - Adon – Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Cody - Crimson Viper – Dan – Dee Jay - Dhalsim - Dudley – E. Honda – El Fuerte – Evil Ryu - Fei Long – Gen – Gouken – Guile – Guy - Hakan - Ibuki - Juri - Ken – M. Bison - Makoto – Oni - Rose – Rufus – Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Seth - Shin Akuma - T. Hawk - Vega – Yang - Yun - Zangief|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Abel – Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Cody – Dhalsim – Dudley – Elena – Guile – Guy – Hugo – Ibuki - Ken – M. Bison – Poison – Rufus – Rolento - Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Vega – Zangief|
|Tekken X Street Fighter Characters|
|Chun-Li – Evil Ryu – Ken – Ryu|