The first playable female fighter of any fighting game franchise to gain mainstream recognition, she made her first appearance in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in In the series, she is an expert martial artist and Interpol officer who restlessly seeks revenge for the death of her father at the hands of the evil M. Bison , leader of the Shadaloo crime syndicate.
The character primarily drew inspiration from a similar character in Tong Pooh, a female villain from Strider , an earlier Capcom game. Since her debut, Chun-Li has become a mainstay of the franchise and one of its most popular figures, appearing in nearly all subsequent installments of the series and several Capcom spinoff games, in addition to featuring prominently in Street Fighter -related media including two feature films, multiple anime and comic book productions, and other official series merchandise.
She has earned much positive fan and critical reception for factors such as her backstory, athleticism, and in-game playability, in addition to being considered a trailblazer for female characters in fighting titles and in general video gaming. Capcom designer Akira Nishitani said on recounting the creation of the character: "Previously there were no women in fighting games", although this wasn't strictly true as Onna Sanshirou - Typhoon Gal was released by Taito in and featured a player-controllable female character call Yuki in a albeit early fighting game.
In Chun-Li's case said Nishitani, I wanted a woman in the game. I determined what her fighting abilities would be. Then China just came up as a possible homeland. She had a backflip attack that was popular among testers but deemed too strong, and unfortunately had to be cut from the game after they run out of time.
Capcom artist and designer Akira "Akiman" Yasuda recalled they only had five weeks to make Chun-Li in the game and he was deeply worried about the quality of her design and how she would be received. Chun-Li "was wearing pants right up until the very end [of the development]. When we made the sprites I thought she didn't look right, so I had them changed to tights instead. That also helps explain how Chun-Li came to be. Having a female character in the game completely changes the game's dynamic, she brightens up the entire palette.
We needed a reason for her to fight, and so an evil empire [of M. Bison] came to mind. Ordinarily, you don't see women participating in global martial arts tournaments.
Just by adding her we were starting to push things to the 'fun' side. I didn't think about it at the time, but thinking about it now, from the moment we put Chun-Li into the game we were already pushing things towards the full-on entertainment side. Chun-Li was designed with an exceptionally strong physique because she was the sole woman among a roster of powerful male characters in Street Fighter II. To overcome this perceived imbalance, she was devised as a character who had mastered Chinese kenpo and really pushed her body to the limit so that she could compete with such a cast of large and imposing men.
But Nishitani didn't want to do that. We both had legitimate reasons, but then we came to an agreement to not make it shorter. Chun-Li is particularly well known for her very muscular legs, while depictions of the rest of her body are more variable. Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono commented on the issue. When we first put her in the game, her sprite was just an outline and her thighs weren't that big Regarding then-upcoming Street Fighter IV , Ono said the "character designer, [Daigo] Ikeno, is kind of into thick girls, so as an artist he feels that the most beautiful thighs he can give Chun-Li would be of the wide variety.
Chun-Li sprite's panty-flashing animation frames have been censored for the home console releases by Nintendo. Since her main designer, Akiman, was busy with other assignments she was redesigned by other members from the staff, taking the most time and effort out of all characters. In the Street Fighter Alpha games, where she was redesigned by Eri "Erichan" Nakamura,  Chun-Li wears a sleeveless tight outfit, her arms and upper body were visibly much stronger than those of any other female character in the franchise,  however many artists choose to depict her as petite and slim, in official and unofficial artworks alike, drawing only her legs strong due to her emphasis on kicking moves.
An early version of Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV was reworked following complaints from location tests that she was not " cute ". Capcom: Infinite would be also corrected based on a negative feedback from the fans. In the Street Fighter II sub-series and most of her later appearances, Chun-Li wears a usually blue qipao , an earlyth-century Chinese dress, with golden accents, puffy sleeves, and a white waistband. Her other ensemble includes a pair of white combat boots and brown tights.
She usually wears her hair in " ox horns ",  with silk brocades and ribbons in her hair. Another iconic part of her design are the large spiked bracelets she wears on her wrists. In the Street Fighter Alpha games set during the time period before Street Fighter II , Chun-Li wears a Chinese acrobatic outfit consisting of an embroidered vest, a unitard , and sneakers ; she is wearing her ox horns unadorned, but kept in place with yellow ribbons.
In Street Fighter IV , Chun-Li's alternate outfit consists of black tabard with gold accents at the bottom, while her ox horns are unadorned, just like in her Alpha appearance, only this time it is held by red ropes with golden balls at the tip.
This outfit is completed with red shoes, gold earrings and black and gold bracelets. Chun-Li's gameplay style changes notably from game to game, with for example Champion Edition restoring her flipping attacks that have been removed from the original version of Street Fighter II. Chun-Li started as a weak and fast close-range fighter compared to the bigger male characters from Street Fighter II with the best aerial ability in the game, but she steadily gained an array of different moves through the games,  such as a projectile attack or an anti-air defensive move, which steered her towards a more balanced type with an emphasis on poking and control of neutral game thanks to a rich set of non-special moves of relatively long range.
She has been noted to be one of the most powerful characters in the game, alongside Ken and Yun. CVG opined she was "the most-improved character in Alpha 2 , and possibly the 1 character in the whole game. She was considerably weakened in Street Fighter EX , but has remained one of the fastest characters.
Her appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series are reminiscent of her early gameplay, featuring her as one of the fastest characters in the games,  taking advantage of the faster gameplay of the games as well as game mechanics such as multiple jumps and air dashes; her X-Factor power-up in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features an increment in speed. Chun-Li's normal moves are balanced among punches and kicks, but most of her special moves are kicks. Chun-Li can also use the Kiko-Ken, a ranged energy projectile similar to Ryu's Hadouken , and a concentrated static energy burst known as the Kiko-Sho.
Chun-Li, canonically born in ,  is an expert martial arts practitioner. She started training in several styles of Chinese kempo " Chinese martial arts " at the age of five, especially tai chi chuan , which she would later complement with sanda combat wushu and fighting styles from all around the world, such as taekwondo , full contact karate , judo and capoeira. She especially cares for kids, showing repulse for the use of brainwashed young girls in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and the kidnap of a girl in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
In the latter game, she decides she will teach her fighting style and philosophy to children. Chun-Li was introduced in in the original version of Street Fighter II Street Fighter II: The World Warrior as the franchise's first playable female character, an undercover Interpol agent seeking to avenge the death of her father at the hands of M.
Bison and his criminal organization. Upon Bison's defeat, she fulfills her revenge and decides to return to her life as an ordinary girl; Super Street Fighter II allows players to choose this ending or another in which she remains a police officer. The Street Fighter Alpha prequel series built upon her backstory, while Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike shows her retired and teaching martial arts to young children, only to be forced to return to law enforcement after one of her students is abducted by Urien.
Chun-Li returns in Street Fighter IV , where her in-game narrative shows her at crossroads in her life, eventually returning to both street fighting and law enforcement. She returns in Street Fighter V ; in her prologue story, Chun-Li recalls how she learned of her father's death. In non-canonical spin-off series Street Fighter EX , Chun-Li is a police officer investigating Shadaloo in search of her missing father.
Besides the core Street Fighter series, Chun-Li has also made appearances in many other Capcom-produced fighting games, including all titles of the long-running series Marvel vs. Capcom ever since X-Men vs. Street Fighter , including Shadow Lady ,  a dark version of Chun-Li that underwent harsh experiments on Bison's orders and was transformed into a brainwashed cyborg  and Capcom vs. She was also planned to appear as a giant robot in Cyberbots.
Chun-Li was given a surname "Zang Chun-Li" and posed as a television reporter working in Shadaloo in her personal quest to track down and kill Bison, who had murdered her father during a peasant uprising. Her relationship with Guile is acrimonious from the start, as he bluntly rejects her interview request and chides Chun-Li for his own inability to trace a signal broadcast by Bison. Chun-Li allies herself with E. Honda and Balrog , who work as her news crew and whose reputations were ruined by Bison's mafia connections, and later forms an initially uneasy alliance with Ryu and Ken working with Guile in attempting to locate Bison's secret fortress.
After Guile's fake death during a staged prison break, Chun-Li uses a homing device to trace him to, and then infiltrate, the Allied Nations' headquarters, where she is shocked to discover that he is still alive. However, Guile does not want her vendetta against Bison interfering with his own.
He orders Cammy and T. Hawk to take Chun-Li into custody, but she manages to escape. With Balrog and Honda, all posing as traveling carnival performers, she works with Ken and Ryu on a failed assassination attempt against Bison and Sagat before they are all captured and taken to Bison's fortress. Chun-Li is held prisoner in Bison's private chambers in an approximation to her traditional game costume , and after she relays the story of her father's murder, Bison mocks her and her fighting skills in response, which provokes Chun-Li into attacking him, having planned all along for an opportunity to personally attack Bison.
She actually gains the upper hand before becoming distracted by her comrades coming to her rescue, allowing Bison to escape before subduing them with knock-out gas and taking them hostage. When Guile and the Allied Nations launch an invasion on Bison's fortress during the film's climax, she and the rest of Bison's hostages are freed, and after Bison's forces are defeated, Guile promises her an exclusive interview, but only, he adds in jest, if she shows up in her costume.
As the titular character in the film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li , she was played by Kristin Kreuk , her last name was changed to "Xiang" as well as being a pianist turned fighter. Her father was named Huang Xiang and was a businessman Bison abducts and forces to work for him.
While she was depicted as Chinese-American, her goal of avenging her father remained unchanged and she succeeds killing Bison with help from her mentor Gen and Charlie Nash. Chun-Li was played by a cross-dressing Jackie Chan in the live-action adaptation of City Hunter during the Street Fighter II spoof scene that positively surprised the original manga's author Tsukasa Hojo.
She is investigating M. Bison's Shadowlaw organization suspected of murdering several diplomats, and requests to work with Guile; he initially balks at this as he wants to pursue Bison himself, but later they become inseparable. In a famous instance of fan service , an explicit scene showed Chun-Li showering in her apartment as a Shadowlaw assassin, Vega , arrives to kill her.
The shower scene has been censored to varying degrees in versions of the English dub. She remains hospitalized for the rest of the movie, as a distraught Guile promises her that he will make Bison pay. After Bison is defeated by Ryu and Ken, Chun-Li pulls a prank on Guile by making it appear as if she has died while he was away.
The character reprises her film role as a reporter while she again seeks to avenge her father's death at the hands of Bison, which is shown in flashback in the second episode, "The Strongest Woman in the World".
Chun-Li is introduced as the year-old daughter of Inspector Do-Rai, a Hong Kong police chief who has schooled her in the martial arts. While attempting to bring down a drug smuggling operation in the country, she works with Interpol to investigate a mysterious organization known as Shadowlaw. Chun-Li serves as the tour guide for Ryu and Ken when they pay a visit to work on their training; Ken is smitten with her and later buys her lavish gifts, including an engagement ring.
Despite being underage, they enter a club in a dangerous part of town that hosts an underground fighting ring so Ryu and Ken can prove themselves as street fighters.
After Ryu soundly defeats several opponents, the trio are marked for death by the ringleader as a result, and while on the run they encounter and battle various street gangs before being rescued by Chun-Li's father. Traveling with Ryu and Ken to Spain, Chun-Li is stalked by an obsessive Vega, who presents her with a severed bull's ear, intercepts her outside her hotel, sneaks into her room to kiss her while sleeping, then invites her to a masquerade ball that is actually a setup to get Ken to fight him in a cage match.
The whole time, Chun-Li is under the influence of Vega's love potion, but it wears off when Vega is defeated. Bison then accosts Chun-Li and she realizes that he is the leader of Shadowlaw, who, unbeknownst to her, had also hired Cammy to garrote Chun-Li's father, an attack he barely survives.
Chun-Li plays her largest role in the five-part finale, when she and Ryu are kidnapped and brainwashed by Bison via cyberchip embedded in their foreheads, and like in the American film, she acquires her signature outfit while under Bison's captivity. The chip puts her into an overly aggressive state, which she displays by snapping an opponent's neck in combat, and she later manages to overpower Guile in battle before Ryu and Ken, during their victorious final fight against Bison, succeed in destroying the equipment triggering the chips in addition to reducing the Shadowlaw base to ruins , returning Chun-Li to normal.