SNK knows how to make beautiful females. And unlike some other game companies *cough* Team Ninja *cough* they don't necessarily flaunt it. In fact, at times they seem to try and hide the fact that they have been responsible for some of the sexiest moments in gaming.
The first of these moments was provided by Mai Shianui, who holds the Gaming Hall of Fame Record (that I just made up) for the first bouncy breasts in a video game. Chun Li might have been the first fighting female in the arcades that pimply adolescents had crushes on, but it was Mai that had them utterly transfixed.
Her design was both meta and brilliant. There is actually a logical reason as to why those breasts bounce with such fluid motion. Mai's design actually hails back to her ninja origins, where female ninjas, or Kunoichi, would use their sexuality to catch their targets off guard and then slay them. The same thing applies with Mai. While at the time she might have not been the best of the characters to choose from, your victory was almost guaranteed because your opponent would be so mesmerized by her chest, that you would win the match while he was distracted. It was a brilliant move in that the very nature of her character transcended the walls of the game world and affected your opponent in the real world.
For this Mai Shiranui deserves respect.
Bonne Jenet has less of an impressive back story, as she was really just included in Garou: Mark of the Wolves (the final installment of the Fatal Fury franchise) because Mai wasn't there and the game needed much more sexy. Essentially she is a Mai replacement.
So it seems pretty cut and dry huh? Mai Shiranui must be sexier because she wrote the book on sexiness in video games.
Well, not so much.
Bonne Jenet's fictional backstory is that she was a beautiful spoiled rich girl, who didn't want to be spoiled any more by her parents so she leaves, becomes a self made pirate and gains a crew of men who are at her beck and call. The King of Fighters tournament is her way to get to the Kingpin at the heart of the tournament and rob him blind. Her entire character is based around the fact that she knows she is sexy and she uses that sex to gain power and money.
In contrast, this is where Mai Shiranui's sexiness falls apart. Sure she looks great, and she is a nice girl, but in the 20 some odd games she has appeared in, she spends 90% of that time chasing after a guy who just barely shows her any affection. This is tragic. Andy Bogard is the only man in Mai's life and she makes a point of talking about him every chance she gets. When she gets defeated she screams, "AAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDYY!"
Let me put that in a real world scenario. Essentially, Mai is the equivalent of that beautiful girl you were friends with in high school who started every sentence with, "My boyfriend does this," and "My boyfriend says that." If you are a guy, you know this trait will likely make you watch all 24 episodes of Evangelion back-to-back until you are laying on the floor in the fetal position.... whoa flashback.....
Also, when Mai faces Andy in some of the King of Fighters games, she pulls out a baby to scare the poor guy into thinking he's a father. That is just cold blooded.
As for their playing styles, Bonne Jenet wins hands down. Over the years the SNK team has improved Mai's skill set where she is now actually a really capable and easy to play fighter, but she has had some dark times.
I still remember the first time I played Garou: Mark of the Wolves. There was a kid playing as Tizoc. Everyone that went up against the kid fell, and fell hard. He would line up his opponents and shut them down. He had a winning streak unlike any I have seen before. That was when I decided to try my hand.
I had never seen Garou and at the time had no idea it was a sequel to my beloved Fatal Fury. Also, since Terry had changed outfits, and the names were all in Japanese, I didn't know he was a selectable character. So I went with my default with any new fighting game: pick the hot girl.
My rational behind this is, if I'm going to get my ass kicked, I want to at least have something nice to look at on the screen if I'm paying money for it. However, that wasn't what happened. It was like a demon awoke inside me when I selected Bonne Jenet. A force unlike any other took control and with her by my side I demolished that kid in two rounds.
Sadly, I only lasted three more opponents before I got my own ass handed to me, but still it was a great feeling.
Maybe I'm bias towards Bonne Jenet just a smidgen.
So sorry Mai, I think you are cute and all, and I do like your character a lot but Bonne Jenet takes the cake as the sexiest SNK gal.
(Yes she is way sexier then Leona, who I named Sexy Game Gal a couple of days ago)