This week’s installment is centered around my feelings for this character now versus when I was young. By watching Sailor Moon Crystal, I’ve had time to think about our caped hero, Tuxedo Mask. My friends and I had huge otaku crushes on him. He was so handsome and debonair. Our adolescent hearts yearned for a Tuxedo Mask of our own. Now, my feelings are almost completely different. I still love Sailor Moon but I don’t have a crush on Darien anymore. So, I will examine what makes or made — depending on your feelings — him crushworthy or cringeworthy.
Full Name: Chiba Mamoru
Occupation: Masked crusader, King of Neo-Tokyo
Who is He?
Chiba Mamoru, a.k.a. Tuxedo Mask, is a main character in Takeuchi Naoko’s manga/anime classic, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. He serves as a romantic interest for Usagi and friend to the Sailor Senshi. By night, he assists Sailor Moon by throwing roses at enemies. By day, he teases her as Chiba Mamoru. He helps Sailor Moon save the day many times. In the future, the two rule Neo-Tokyo together.
Why So Crushworthy?
I think that Mamoru started my thing for dark hair and blue eyes. He is very handsome for an anime character and very dashing in his tuxedo. I mean, before Usagi knew that Mamoru was Tuxedo Mask she thought he was a dream boat. I did too! He was always there to encourage Usagi to be strong and keep fighting. He gave off standoffish, cool guy vibes that young teenage girls could not resist. I wanted a boyfriend as cool and handsome as Mamoru. He used roses and top hats as weapons. Not just anyone could do that. Outside of his Tuxedo Mask persona, he was a good prince to the people of Earth before he got killed defending Princess Serenity in the past. In the future, it appears he is a great king and good father to Chibiusa. He stays devoted to Usagi. I mean, their love is legendary. He would, and has, laid down his life for her. He is real stand up guy. You can definitely see how my 13- to 14-year-old self would swoon.
Why So Cringeworthy?
Years later, my friends and I discussed it again. Mamoru was kind of a creeper and acted like a douchebag most of the time. Usagi was fourteen and he was a good three to five years older than her. Now, I witnessed high school students dating middle school students during my time in Japan, so Naoko wasn’t writing about anything culturally abnormal. And we know that Usagi and Mamoru had a fated romance. But kissing girls while they are sleeping and you are not in a relationship is a little creepy. Why not be brave and try it when she is awake? How did he know where she lived when he came and got her to save Makoto? It reminds me a little too much of Edward confessing to watching Bella sleep. Did he follow her home at some point? He does always turn up where she is. But this is all speculation. Onto some personality flaws. I get that couples tease each other but Mamoru never let up. He was a bit immature when you think about it. He was always teasing Usagi about being immature but the only way he communicated with her was through teasing. It reminded me of what school kids do when they have crushes on each other. He wasn’t a shining example of emotional development. He didn’t have the greatest attitude, that’s for sure.
In conclusion, it’s interesting how feelings can change for fictional characters as you get older. I don’t dislike Tuxedo Mask but I don’t think of him as Mr. Dreamy anymore.
Absolutely, the more you understand about people and the world has a big impact on how you consume entertainment. To be fair with Mamoru he didn’t criticise her or appear to save her every episode. His criticisms were legitimate things most of the time and Usagi’s reactions were of irritation not charmed. His behavior most importantly was believable for what we knew. And he’s much worse in the manga. Caressing her face and kissing her fully in control of his behavior, pulling Usagi out of her bedroom implying that he really has been stalking her, taking her unconcious at the time to his place for god knows how long obstensibly kidnapping her, kissing her again while on the verge of losing conscioussness. Personally I’d rather have a jerkass guy in my life than a creepy one. Mamoru’s only creepy moment in the anime to my recollection is when he kisses the druunk Usagi in the last few minutes of the episode when he’s involuntarily transformed into Tuxedo Mask that he initially doesn’t know he is.