Let’s talk a minute about how Mamoru shows no amount of fondness or care for Usagi before he regains his memories. She’s nothing to him, really, just some annoying girl he just keeps running into around Tokyo. He responds to her like he responds to everyone else! I mean, for example:
First meeting with Usagi:
She tosses a wadded up test that hits him on the head, he yells out that it hurt and makes up a nickname for her. She turns to apologize, but he instead looks at the paper and tells her to study harder. Offended, she snatches it away and walks off.
First meeting with Rei: (outside of Dreamland)
She dashes around a corner, trips, falls, and he steps on her head. She says she’s okay, he says that he’s “glad to hear it”, and keeps walking.
That’s weird; he struck up a conversation with Usagi for throwing a test paper at him (albeit a conversation with no small amount of taunting and riddled with antagonism, but he seemed to be enjoying himself so you’d think that was just his way of saying hello to new people who happen to do dumb/interesting things around him), so if it was his thing to taunt random strangers that interact with him, you’d think he’d have something to say to the girl that was so clumsy she fell on her face right in front of him… hmm… So then Rei runs up to him and he recognizes her as one of “dumpling head’s friends” —
For a guy who cares nothing for that “dumpling head” he sure can pick out her friends (whom he’d only met once quite some time ago at an amusement park), and when said friend has long black hair and is wearing a middle school uniform in the metropolis of Tokyo, that’s no small feat. …
BUT ANYWAY, his other encounters with Usagi must’ve been just as cold as stepping on Rei’s head and just walking off.
Like in episode 2, wherein she hit him with her shoe, and he says that she’d never get a boyfriend if she didn’t act more ladylike.
Um… but then he was giving her what he thought was helpful advice… maybe not that cold, really, despite deliberately cutting through social norms to tell a girl the truth. … and mentioning boyfriends the second time he’s ever met the girl…
And then in Episode 3, Usagi bumps into and apologizes to a telephone pole, thinking it was a person, and Mamoru just walked past and — wait, no, he called her out on it.
Well Maybe he’s just a jerk to everyone all the time and he was having an off day with Rei. Yeah, maybe he was just thinking about other things and forgot to stop to say “Hey! Walk much? hahahahahaa, but really, you should work on your balance… So your nose doesn’t get broken! :P”
But since we’re already out this far, how about episode 4?
He’s a super jerk there, he actually finds her specifically to tease her. About dumplings, pretty much to keep using that nickname he gave her and not-so-subtly inform her of the risks of eating too many sweets. … insinuating that he likes her the way she looks … and he finds her while wearing a dapper-as-hell tuxedo… but he’s still as super jerk for warning her.
!! And then, in episode 6, he has the gall to say that perfume doesn’t suit her! Ha! … wait, he might be using that as a knock against her immaturity… or he could be saying that she smells nice the way she is… WE’RE GOING TO ASSUME THE FORMER. ‘CAUSE HE DOESN’T LIKE HER TO STAY HEALTHY OR ANYTHING AND DOESN’T THINK SHE SMELLS NICE — OR ANYTHING!
WHO WOULD WANT TO BE HER BOYFRIEND ANYWAY?! H-HA! SHE’S JUST SO UNLADYLIKE!
And then in episode 7 he pops up out of nowhere at the Cinderella Caravan and she runs but he just follows her and mocks her for being there. With all those weird desperate people.
Not that he possibly noticed her crying and actually offered her a smile or anything. And then followed her because she seemed upset and teased her about joining to possibly make her feel better about not going. That’s just way out of character - teasing and taunting to subtly make her understand that she’s perfect just the way she is. Pssssh.
And then she sees him again in episode 8 when she’s hanging around outside the cram school and he asks if she’s actually planning on studying. HOW RUDE.
Taking an interest in her academic career! In Japan, where academics are not important anyway and she’s probably not made fun of everywhere she goes for it! RUDE, MAMORU. And he had the nerve to remember their very first meeting and the test score she received on her paper! Jeez, he cares nothing for this girl and her well-being.
And then we don’t see Mamoru for a while…
Until he shows up in episode 11 riding a kiddy ride.
He turns, calls her his favorite nickname, and then our lovely Rei picks it up and runs with it. Usagi gets fed up and strikes back, asking why a guy like him was on the ride anyway, all by himself, and calls him a loser.
And Mamoru gets angry and tells her he has his reasons. Please, first off, what reasons could he have for riding a train in a mysteriously-new something-feels-off amusement park when he’s just humble Phantom Thief Tuxedo Mask? It’s not like he could also have bad vibes and similarly sees the train that goes all around the park as a good means of patrolling the area. … while having fun riding a train operated by a giant panda.
And ha! He had to have known that the girl behind Usagi was an antagonistic friend that would take his special nickname for her and run with it. Pah, that doesn’t matter to him at all.
And then to be called out for being a loser for riding a kiddy train by a teenage girl who is also riding the kiddy train , a girl he might think was cute, had a nice body shape, smelled nice without perfume, was perky, had bad grade that she may or may not be trying to improve, and was cute for apologizing to inanimate objects she runs into — that’s totally the opposite of embarrassing. Especially for someone who’s trying hard to be really cool* around said girl. And has no subconscious ideas of becoming her boyfriend, as had been mentioned on their second meeting. ‘Cause, I mean, he only likes ladylike girls. He never pays any attention to odago-brains.
And then there’s episode 13, where there’s a near-repeat of episode two, but without Usagi looking to read a fortune off of her shoe’s landing position. This time it’s just an accident, and yet it falls on his head again.
He asks if she’s aiming for him, she shoots back that he should be paying more attention to where he’s walking. He says, “You are so not cute” ((B-Baka! Since when does she shoot back at him? Not that he’s a little flustered now or anything)) “Can’t you talk more properly like a normal girl?”
And then she says that she can’t because someone told her that he likes her because she doesn’t act normal.
Someone told her that he likes her. Mamoru snaps that “Guys like that are losers!” Not that he feels threatened or anything. And she replies that they guy in question is a lot more charming than he is. And that just further soothes his ego. He doesn’t keep teasing her because he just found out that another guys likes her, said that he likes her for being quirky (n-not that he does or anything! How could he possibly like someone who is so unladylike?!) , and she just admitted that the other guys is a lot more charming than he is, completely finishing off the trio of “Oh shit!” someone might feel when finding that the person they like might like someone else; no, he just keeps teasing her because he’s a jerk and that’s his job.
To take out his confusion over the situation on her until she cries.
I mean look at the look on his face. He totally meant to make her cry. … For being unladylike and weird and attracting losers. … Not at all because he felt bad because his cool guy act was getting him nowhere and another guy who told her straight up that he liked how weird she was (and not through veiled insults - pedestrian, sheesh) made her so happy that she kicked her shoes off and gushed about how charming the guy was. He didn’t feel terrible and took it out on her because he wanted her to like him and didn’t know how else to deal with the feeling of mild rejection.
Ha! And then he makes up some lame excuse and runs off, leaving her crying in the streets! The heartless jerk! He totally knows how to apologize and how to comfort a girl when she’s crying hysterically in the streets - I mean, what else do orphanages teach you but people skills? Sheesh. Jerk.
AHA! AND NOW WE COME FULL CIRCLE! Episode 15, when he and Rei go on a date!
I mean, he starts off the episode poorly by jumping in front of a truck to save a cat’s life.
And then Usagi runs up screaming insinuations about him doing something terrible to her cat, and he counters by saying that she should’ve been a more responsible cat owner and kept a better eye on her - I mean, please, who is this guy? What a weak veil to hide behind. Watching out for your pets so they don’t get run over by trucks in the middle of a busy street. Jerk. Mean jerk.
And then Motoki comes out saying that they’re friends, and Mamo still looks at her with such a mean, mean expression. It’s just ‘cause he’s a bad person though, not that he was angry at her for almost letting her cat get run over and then yelling at him because he saved her. Or that she’s so surprised that he and Motoki are friends and that he’s a college student. It’s just ‘cause he’s a jerk.
And we’re not going to touch the fact that Rei only wants to date Mamoru after she hears he’s a college student that came from a wealthy family and so lives in an expansive high rise apartment. Nope. Not gonna touch that.
AND WE’VE HIT FULL CIRCLE HERE!
So Rei rushes up to him and offers to take him out to tea to apologize. He refuses. But then Rei gets desperate about it and he accepts. I mean, look at him though, he totally wanted to go:
So they go to a cafe and have a drink. Look, he’s totally into her. He even nonchalantly agrees when she offers to go somewhere nice!
And look at how much eye contact they’re making on the lake! ♥ … well, eye contact with the park, but anyway it’s still toootally romantic! And they’re talking about each other! … or to each other… about the park… BUT ANYWAY IT’S STILL TOTALLY ROMANTIC AND THEY’RE TOTALLY DATING NOW.
He knew it was a date and everything.
But wait! There’s more! Oooh lala, time for a heap load of evidence about how Mamoru is incredibly boring and bland and unheroic and totally not worth anything:
He gets an intense headache whenever he senses Sailor Moon has transformed. Completely useless!~
And, whilst in the midst of this terrible headache, he still manages to protect the innocent Rei from the attacking birds, and swims her to shore where he looks on to make sure that she’s safe before taking care of himself.
Selfish, totally uncool, and uncaring.
Then we get to after the fight, where he assures Rei that he’s just fine and then turns to Usagi and teases the life out of her for being on a date with Umino.
You know, not because he’s happy, assuming that this was the guy she was talking about last episode and now she seems completely unattracted to him which leaves him an opening as wide as the Marianas Trench, or anything.Or that he took one look at Umino and decided that he couldn’t possibly be a threat. Nothing like that. He’s just smiling and teasing because he likes to tease, not that he’s relieved.
But anyway, so looking back at their interactions between their first meeting and his first ‘date’ with Rei, it’s kinda super clear that Mamoru has no interest whatsoever in Usagi. Especially not
- Her grades - he doesn’t make a tease at her to study harder to make herself better or anything. Especially not by teasing her (in a bad way) about failing and then teasing her again (in a good way) about hanging out outside of a cram school. Nah, he totally doesn’t care.
- Her clumsy ways - I mean, hitting him on the head with a shoe was completely unladylike and it would never get her a boyfriend. Not that he was thinking about being her boyfriend or anything. And running into a street pole? Ha, he didn’t care so much that he didn’t even offer anything when walking past. No sort of teasing comment that possibly inferred that he thought it was cute.
- Her health - he said nothing about the health risks of eating too many sweets, it was all about her staying the same size. That’s all he cares about. … about a person whom he doesn’t care anything about. Not that he thinks she’s cute or anything. Baka.
- Her scent - he doesn’t subtly hint that she smells good without perfume, or anything.
- Her happiness - he doesn’t chase her down to figure out why she’s crying and tease her into getting aggravated at him and forget why she was upset in the first place. or anything.
- What she thinks of him - her calling him a ‘loser’ means nothing to him.
- Her opinion of other boys and her love life - he doesn’t feel so awkward and confused about her liking another guy who admitted to liking her back that he went too far and made her cry, or anything.
- Her responsibilities to living creatures - what does he care that her cat dies? I mean, it’s just a cat. He hates cats. And he wouldn’t care one bit about how sad she’d be if the cat she’s always hanging around with dies.
- Who she’s dating - he didn’t tease her out of relief about her being on a date in the park with a total nerd she seems to despise.
So, yeah, his encounters with Usagi in the first 15 episodes leaves me completely convinced that Mamoru Chiba cares nothing for Usagi Tsukino.
Especially before he finds out she’s Sailor Moon, the heroine he’s been rescuing, helping, and bonding with late at night while fighting monsters, a person that it’s obvious he really cares about.
And especially especially before he finds out that she’s the princess of his dreams and that he was in love with that princess in a former life.
Nope, cares nothing for his Odango-atama. Thanks, anon SeiyaxUsagi shipper, for making me go back and reaffirm what you’ve been screaming about.
But, I mean, if you’re not as convinced as I am, I could totally keep going with episodes 16 - 34, ending with when he actually finds out who she is and it’s nothing but destiny.