CULTURE

Ranking the Strongest Video Game Ninja Girls to Step On Me

Which kunoichi could step on you the hardest?

Bandai Namco

Female ninjas occupy a strange space in the realm of video games.

While their male ninja counterparts, like Strider Hiryu, dress like actual ninjas in full body garb that maybe, at most, reveals their beefy triceps, female ninjas dress in hyper-colorful, skin-bearing attire that seems to scream, "I'm here to step on you, you degenerate gamer." As if "degenerate" and "gamer" weren't interchangeable.

But which video game kunoichi has the best personality? LOL just joking; we're all gamers here! What I really want to know is which kunoichi could step on me the hardest? Let's descend into the gurgling swamp of degeneracy and find out once and for all.

10. Yuffie (Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII)

Yuffie Square Enix

Okay, so hear me out. In Final Fantasy VII, Yuffie is only 16, which means that her stepping on me might be kind of illegal, or at the very least, very creepy. But Dirge of Cerberus takes place two years later, meaning that Yuffie is 18, meaning that it's high time for her to get steppin'. Still, Yuffie is kind of immature, so it's hard to imagine her really putting her all into stomping her foot into my groin.

9. Ibuki (Street Fighter)

Ibuki Capcom

Ibuki may be a highly trained ninja, but her attitude certainly doesn't show it. She even goes so far as to complain that her ninja clothes are unappealing. That's probably why she chose to cut holes in the butt area, because I'm having a hard time imagining what practicality butt cheek flaps would have for assassination. While I'm sure Ibuki could step hard if push came to shove, she probably wouldn't be first choice for a good stomping.

8. Kasumi (Dead or Alive)

Kasumi Dead or Alive Koei Tecmo

Kasumi is, all things considered, a compassionate and empathetic ninja. This means that her ball-busting abilities might be less than extraordinary. On the other hand, the entire bottom portion of her outfit is completely open, which makes absolutely zero sense for a Ninja what with all the flapping parts, but I digress.

7. Mai Shiranui (The King of Fighters)

Mai Shiranui SNK

Mai Shiranui may be too sexy for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but she's exactly sexy enough to dig her toed ninja socks into my nuts. Mai probably wouldn't be particularly vicious, but she's basically just wearing a thong, and I'd certainly forgive the lack of brutality if she slapped me around a bit with her fan.

6. Kunimitsu (Tekken)

kunimitsu Namco

Kunimitsu is a kunoichi of few words, hiding her face behind a fox mask and her genitals behind not much else. This suggests that she's very clever, as her foes might be able to identify her if they saw her face, but definitely not if they just saw the whole rest of her body. The best thing about a clever ninja lady like Kunimitsu is that she'd be able to identify the exact right spots to step on in order to make me hurt the best.

5. Ayane (Dead or Alive)

Ayane Tecmo Koei

Unlike her compassionate Dead or Alive compatriot Kasumi, Ayane is cold, frightening, and analytical. And while her top isn't as low cut, her short skirt and thigh-high stockings suggest an affinity for fashion and possibly for crunching dudes' junk. Ayane's heeled boots also seem promising, and I'd like to think that her expert aim translates to a capacity for stomping a well-placed heel point in just the wrong spot.

4. Psylocke (Marvel vs. Capcom 2)

psylocke Marvel

Maybe this is cheating a little bit, because Psylocke is, first and foremost, a comic book character. But she appears in the Marvel vs. Capcom games, and she's a sexy, psychic, scantily clad ninja lady, so I'm deeming her fair game to dig her heel into my pathetic gamer scrote. Psylocke is a powerful enough woman to recognize that a unitard that cuts off right around her nether regions is far more practical for an assassin than literally anything else, and that's the exact kind of woman I want to crush me.

3. Ayame (Tenchu)

Ayame Tenchu FromSoftware

Ayame is an ice cold killer who perpetuates the butt cheek-cut ninja pants (is this seriously a trope?), but also sometimes a classy midriff shirt and short skirt combo. She also says cool lines like, "You've been a bad boy, it's payback time!" which makes her a perfect candidate to bruise me with her foot. When choosing a video game ninja girl to step on you, it's important to find one who might be willing to spit on you, too.

2. Taki (Soulcalibur)

Taki Soulcalibur Bandai Namco

Taki is an absolute badass. She may not have an open clothes plan like many of the ladies on this list, but her ninja suit is tight enough that you can see all 18 of her abs. This leads me to believe that not only is she strong, but Taki gets off sexually to ninja-ing (why else would she have perpetually hard nips other than her game designer being a perverted 14-year-old?).

1. Kitana (Mortal Kombat)

Kitana Midway

The only thing sexier than a 10,000-year-old ninja princess who looks like a 20-year-old woman is a 10,000-year-old ninja princess who looks like a 20-year-old woman and is also willing to stab you in the balls and then cut your face open. Kitana is as brutal as her costume is sexualized, which is to say: overwhelmingly. Kitana wouldn't just stomp on me; she would absolutely obliterate me and then probably cut my head off with her fan. Which honestly, after writing this article, I'm pretty sure I'd welcome.

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Princess Nokia's "1992"

Raise your hand if you have a soft spot for the 90's too.

Destiny Frasqueri, who goes by Princess Nokia, is a proud feminist and supporter of queer and LGBTQ communities, a tomboy, and an Afro-Nuyorican who raps about anime, comic books, and hair. Princess Nokia's persona is a bit more complex than the average rapper and her personal story is a nostalgic celebration of the mundane. On her most autobiographical work yet, Princess Nokia allows a look into her youth and the diverse streets of New York.

Princess Nokia's music is a platform for her activism more than it is a platform to showcase her bars and ever-changing cadences, a space where she declares the women come up to the front of the stage at her performances similar to the feminist agenda of Bikini Kill. 1992 has a lot to do about growing up in one of the most diverse cities in the world as a woman and continually challenging the social boundaries placed on women's bodies and behavior. Themes of self-love and self-discovery are rife, but generous in their gesture to a larger message outside of Nokia's cheeky bravado. On 1992, women are strong in their convictions and fearless in their choices, exuding confidence in their complex and ever-evolving identities.1992 is an album about reclaiming and celebrating one's culture in the face of racial discrimination, but it's also an album exploring why nostalgia is such a nuanced part of life.

Princess Nokia's "Bruja" MVRough Trade Records

So, what's at stake in 1992? 90's memorabilia, hair, clothes, identity, cartoons, comic books, anime, food, culture — all the things that make up our childhoods, personal convictions and experiences. The personal is political on 1992, and Princess Nokia values her narrative as a message for all women to own and celebrate their flaws, differences, and individuality. Songs like "Tomboy," "Mine," and "Excellent" are bangers designed to repel the idea that all rap is self-serving, reveling in alternative culture not often advertised in Black communities. And if you think Princess Nokia spends her days worried about men and what they think about her, "Kitana" will make you think again.

Play them games like Atari, Mortal Kombat like Kitana

He be hoping that I call him, he just wanna call me mama

Call ya back mañana, I ain't with it with ya drama

You are not my problem, I ain't with it with ya drama

And there's enough nostalgia to go around on her debut, as Princess Nokia details the smalls things of her upbringing that had a big impact on the woman she is today. A crusader in women's activism and PoC supporter, Frasqueri makes it known she's not interested in being iconized or exploited, and that the simplest of us have a voice in our communities and beyond.

1992 is Frasqueri's story as a misfit and untidy girl, often skipping school to smoke weed and skate. The album plays like a soundtrack fit for the subway — and this isn't to say it's not polished, quite the opposite, showing a precise love and admiration for the ironic beauty of New York. On "Green Line" she raps about the nostalgia of being a loner and on "Brujas" she pays homage to brujería, a form of mysticism practiced in Taíno and Yoruban culture.

I'm that Black a-Rican bruja straight out from the Yoruba

And my people come from Africa diaspora, Cuba

And you mix that Arawak, that original people

I'm that Black Native American, I vanquish all evil

I'm that Black a-Rican bruja straight out from the Yoruba

And my ancestors Nigerian, my grandmas was brujas

And I come from an island and it's called Puerto Rico

And it's one of the smallest but it got the most people

Never in one sound or moment for too long, Princess Nokia is adaptable and persevering like an Afro-Nuyorican superhero.


Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.


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