When last we left Mamoru and Usagi, Mamoru was smiling and teasing Usagi for being on a date with Umino at the park. Smiling because he enjoys making her life miserable, of course, nothing about how Umino was pretty much the least threatening rival one could think up and Usagi had been speaking highly about a possible suitor of hers not too long before, throwing him off so much that he made her cry.
Nothing like that.
The next time we see Mamoru is in episode 17, wherein Usagi is trying to become a model and he completely smashes her dream at Crown, right in front of Motoki. Yeah, there she was, being comforted by Motoki, who told her that she shouldn’t give up on being a model, and there he is. Eavesdropping - but of course he eavesdrops on everyone, not just the cute blonde he’s
infatuated withhas no interest in.
He jumps in to say that Motoki is right (she shouldn’t give up on something without trying it first), but then goes on to say that Usagi would probably fail anyway, but participation was the important thing — of course, he was just totally knocking her around then, not trying to import an important life lesson or anything. He then goes on to say that men and women have the wrong idea - they think they’ve become beautiful just because they “pretty themselves up,” but a person’s beauty isn’t limited to looks alone. Again, this was meant purely to hurt Usagi, not to try to make her see exactly what she’s been doing in another light, trying to show her why changing her outward appearance in order to please others wasn’t the way to go.
Usagi demands to know what he means, and he tell her that the important thing is having a kind heart and “the guts to carry out what’s right.”
… then says that he doesn’t think Usagi has either. You know. ‘Cause he doesn’t like her, not to point out how some might see and react to her actions recently and point out why she might want to go back to how she was before. He goes on to say that he doesn’t feel that it’s right for the photographer to only want to photograph young girls (I mean, how stupid is he for thinking that? Full-grown photographers choosing only to photograph young girls in bathing suits is totally appropriate and not at all skeezy. Jeez, Mamoru, grow a brain) and Usagi gets mad and leaves.
As she’s leaving Motoki scolds Mamoru for talking to Usagi like that and Mamoru says that he knows, but tells him that they always end up fighting when they talk.
….So pretty much we learned from this episode that Mamoru thinks it’s really what’s on the inside that counts and he dislikes people who are shallow and only care about outward appearances. And he thinks that older guys only photographing younger girls doesn’t sit right with him. Psssh, I can see where people get the Mamoru-is-insensitive arguments from!
On to episode 18 for a brief glimmer of Mamoru and Rei’s ‘dating life’!
Rei takes him to a doll exhibit that she seems really excited about. He doesn’t find them interesting. They leave.
What a jerk! She was really excited about them and he stuck around, waiting it out politely until she asked him if he was having any fun, and then he had THE NERVE to tell her that he didn’t find it interesting?! PIGHEADED JERK!
I MEAN LOOK AT HOW MUCH HE ENJOYED TELLING HER THAT HE WASN’T INTERESTED. HE’S PRACTICALLY SKIPPING THROUGH FIELDS. Or, wait, look at that face… it’s as if he feels terrible but has the guts to stick up for himself and tell her that he’s not having any fun.
Things we’ve learned (again, laying off of the ReixMamoru ship and her not-quite-pure intentions for liking him): Mamoru will speak out when he’s disinterested in something and will leave.
Not that that has anything to do with any possible UsagixMamoru ship blaster arguments or anything…
… Episode 19 finds Mamoru back at Crown in a conversation with Motoki about the mysterious Tuxedo Kamen love letters that are going around, which he shrugs off as being some promotion.
Then Usagi enters and Motoki asks what’s wrong, Mamoru then teases her, saying that she’s upset because she didn’t receive a love letter from Tuxedo Mask. Does he hope the mysterious phantom thief is the guy she’s crushing on? No way. Certainly not. He wouldn’t possibly want her to crush on someone whom, in his opinion, she’d never have any chance of physically meeting, thus nothing by way of competition. AND BY COMPETITION I MEAN NOT COMPETITION CAUSE HE DOESN’T LIKE HER OR ANYTHING.
Anyway, so Usagi sighs again and says that she did get a letter — Mamoru and Motoki look a little aghast (why would receiving a letter from the amazing Tuxedo Kamen make her sad?) and then reveals that the problem was that a lot of other people got them, too, and she cries while Mamoru and Motoki fall over. … Of course, in exasperation, not relief or anything.
We don’t really see Mamoru for a while; he shows up briefly in episode 22, but doesn’t interact with Usagi - he just shows us is weird Tuxedo Mask / Mysterious Princess “Find the Silver Crystal” dream. … of course, this is the episode wherein Tuxedo Mask kisses Usagi for the first time…. but it doesn’t really count because she’s all “disguised” so isn’t exactly recognizable. … and he doesn’t know he’s Tuxedo Mask… but whatever.
In episode 23, he’s hanging out at Crown again and Usagi appears, looks jealous about Motoki being with another girl at a machine, and Mamoru immediately comes up behind her and calls her his favorite nickname, which makes her furious (forgetting completely about the other girl. … Inconsequentially, of course. Wasn’t his intent at all). Mamoru calls Motoki over and Motoki invites Usagi out for tea. Mamoru decides to tag along because he has “nothing better to do.” … Of couuurse. Doesn’t have anything to do with having more time with Usagi while Motoki could serve as a buffer to keep her around if he says anything stupid to set her off.
Anyway, she asks for advise about what to do about her friend, who likes a guy that Usagi knows is bad. While Motoki advised she just wait it out, Mamoru said that she should confront her, “telling the truth can be a form of courage, too.” He says that telling the truth might make Naru angry, but it is something that Naru has to know. ((Again, that isn’t bolded to call shenanigans against that ‘King Endymion desperately wants a divorce in the 30th century so he sent dreams to Mamoru in R to make them break up before he gets stuck in a loveless marriage’ theory or anything. … or to point out why that little plot twist needed to happen to make a certain someone stick to his own advice… or anything.))
Usagi feels better about it and orders a boat load of food and they move on with their lives.
You know, except for Nephrite.
I’M TERRIBLE I KNOW BUT I COULDN’T HELP IT. IT WAS RIGHT THERE.
In episode 25 we have more of Mamoru’s recurring dream and at the end of the episode he finds out that he, Mamoru Chiba, actually is Tuxedo Kamen.
Freakin’ Sweet. Sometimes, vivid dreams do come true. Now he’s for serious about that dream of his.
In episode 27, Mamoru and Rei are on another “date” and he gets distracted, remembering some lost memories (woah, he’s Tuxedo Mask. Give him a minute, that’s a lot of rescuing he’s remembering) and re-psyching himself up about getting the seven rainbow crystals so he could get the Princess that Silver Crystal she needs. He comes to terms with the notion that he has no choice but to continue on as Tuxedo Kamen to help her. Rei’s like “What’s up?” and he’s all “NM.” They walk away. Man, best couple ever.
I’m breaking for now, because the next episode will probably be a doozy for their “Um, NO WAY I DON’T LIKE HER AND THIS DOESN’T GIVE ME WEIRD FEELINGS” relationship. But, just to summarize: Mamoru and Rei’s new relationship is rockin’ awesome and they have so many dates together where both feel complete and entirely happy and neither look like they’d want to be anywhere else, and Mamoru is completely avoiding Usagi by hanging out at her favorite place in Tokyo.
He definitely doesn’t like
- eavesdropping in on conversations Usagi is having with people. Especially not people she seems to have a crush on.
- encouraging her to try new things, even if just for the experience
- trying to make her see that beauty isn’t skin deep and it’s a person’s heart and guts that count, not their makeup and fashion sense
- pointing out pervy behavior
- standing up for himself to say when he isn’t happy or interested
- tagging along whenever Usagi goes anywhere under the guise of “having nothing better to do”
- encouraging her to be truthful, even if it hurts
But, you know, we still have a good 6 episodes before he finds out she’s the princess of his dreams and they only like each other because they’re destined to. … You know, those dreams he’s been having for a few episodes now? The one where he’s Tuxedo Mask and this misty chick’s asking him to find a crystal? … the one that just now became something other than a really weird happening because he just found out about his own secret nightlife as the very Phantom Thief of his dream?
Yeah, that. Shyeah, ‘cause in the dream he’s obviously in love with her and it’s not like the dream is specifically telling him to find something for her in exchange for the memories he lost between the ages of 0 to 6. Didn’t you see the totally in love look in his eyes? … No? Oh, hah, you must think it’s something like fear or confusion. Silly you, you’re forgiven. That’s absolute love right there.
Episodes 28 - 34 to come.