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2:15 – Huge Shock for Usagi! Mamoru Declares a Break Up

Alternative Title: Dick

First Aired: 3rd July 1993

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Mamoru repeatedly gets visions of the future city Crystal Tokyo, and this motivates him to break up with Usagi, leaving her a wrecked husk of a human being. Deciding that Mamoru might fall back in love with her if she were more attractive, Usagi goes to a cosmetics store, unaware that this is the site of a plan by the Black Moon to corrupt a “Crystal Point”, so that they can break the future city. Sailor Moon must fight bot her tears and the Black Moon’s evil ambitions…

This title alone tells you that some emotional shit is going down. Although the initial response is to bemoan the fact that the show couldn’t keep Usagi and Mamoru together for more than a single episode, this ends up being one hell of an emotionally powerful show.

Emotional conflict aside, the episode looks great, feels great, and is paced perfectly. The only real issue is how awful a human being Mamoru comes across (whatever his secret motivations) and how meekly Usagi takes his, well, emotional abuse. On the other hand, this is exactly how I would expect these characters to behave, so bravo.

On with the episode breakdown!

The episode starts with Usagi running through the streets one morning, when she bumps into Mamoru on his morning jog. So happy is she to see him (it’s still incredible heart warming and sweet to see her so in love) that she launches herself into his arms.

"Oh thank god, it's been 13 hours since my last hug and I'm jonesing for a fix"

“Oh thank god, it’s been 13 hours since my last hug and I’m jonesing for a fix”

I guess we are destined for each other“, he says. Tut tut, I say. How prophetic.

They begin to canoodle each other because, hey, teenagers, when an animated Luna interrupts them with an irate yell and a “What do you think you’re doing so early in the morning!?” – the best thing about this being that even Mamoru looks shocked and shifty.

He must reek of sweat from his jog, too

He must reek of sweat from his jog, too

This rude appearance by a cat makes Usagi remember why the hell she was out running so early in the first place – Chibi-Usa has left the house and has gone missing, which is especially concerning because a) she’s 6 and b) there are some evil people trying to murder her.

I suppose I’d also have to add c) because she might get abducted, as a depressing real-world problem.

We might be rolling our eyes at Chibi-Usa’s escape, putting herself in danger and all (and believe me, that will come), but for now her sad little form sitting on a lonely swing, set to a truly melancholic tune, is really rather sympathetic.

"I guess I have to wait until tomorrow to hit her"

“I guess I have to wait until tomorrow to hit her”

Hearing her call after her Papa and Mama quietly makes you remember that, for all her fire and deception, this is still a tiny little girl away from home.

Usagi and Mamoru try the sympathetic route themselves, but it’s Mamoru’s confident smile that seems to convince Chibi-Usa to go home with them.

"Quick, come home with us before a cop thinks we looks suspicious"

“Quick, come home with us before a cop thinks we looks suspicious”

She seems rather taken with Mamoru, which should be your second sign that things are a bit weird between these two. These first was when they totally made out, albeit accidentally.

This attitude doesn’t pass Usagi by.

I love that expression

I love that expression. It’s just so ever so slightly concerned

When Mamoru takes Chibi-Usa’s pudgy little hand, however, he gets another vision of a giant city encased in crystal, same as last episode. It remains all enigmatic. This is going to be a running theme in the series, Mamoru looking all stressed because of visions. That’s what you get for not taking your anti-psychotic meds, bro.

The walk home is comically uncomfortable. Mamoru is giving Chibi-Usa a piggyback ride, something Usagi is obviously rather jealous about (I should explain that she’s fucking nuts). Chibi-Usa knows how to push Usagi’s buttons and asserts that Mamoru is now her boyfriend, and I now realise that the writers are trying to mess with me, knowing how creepy this all is.

She resorted to arguing with a 6 year old as to whom is dating a 17 year old

She resorted to arguing with a 6 year old as to whom is dating a 17 year old

Eventually Usagi walks off in a childish jealous huff. It’s rather pathetic, and I love it. Usagi, you’re so goddamn weird.

Mamoru drops Chibi-Usa back with Usagi’s parents, which creates yet another awkward situation when Usagi’s dad asks why she’s hanging out with this creep who is several years older than his teenage daughter

"WE'RE NOT HAVING SEX I PROMISE"

“WE’RE NOT HAVING SEX I PROMISE, SIR”

After Usagi’s little brother Shingo expresses shock that Usagi could land such a handsome guy (I should point out that Shingo is a raging homosexual), Usagi’s dad loses his shit and Mamoru runs away rather than tackle this issue.

It’s pretty funny to see Mamoru fall into using “boku” to refer to himself, as opposed to the usual “ore” – he’s trying to appear much less manly in front of Usagi’s dad.

Usagi’s mum has the opposite reaction, whispering to Usagi that he’s pretty handsome (let’s not add another person who fancies Mamoru into this family shall we?) and to bring him home next time her father is out (oh dear too late).

This is rather sweet. I like her mum. Getting a "handsome boyfriend" is about all she could hope for her idiot daughter

This is rather sweet. I like her mum. Getting a “handsome boyfriend” is about all she could hope for her idiot daughter I  guess

Amongst all the crying and yelling (from Usagi’s dad), Chibi-Usa pipes up once again to ask for some breakfast, but the entire family seems to have forgotten her.

It’s another uncomfortable moment as the family stare at her unknowing, until Chibi-Usa turns her Luna-P ball into a Mesmerising umbrella.

Everyone gets hypnotised, even Usagi, until Luna munches her arm hard to stop her being Derren Browned like the rest of them.

Uh-oh she has the TASTE OF HUMAN FLESH

Uh-oh she has the TASTE OF HUMAN FLESH

I was sort of glad for Chibi-Usa, she looked like she was going to cry, until the newly-hypnotised family turns on Usagi for being a bitch once more. Poor girl.

Finally, Shingo points out that the Luna-P ball looks exactly like Luna, to which the cat looks rather insulted.

In the UFO, we get a rather excitable Berthier, the most revealed of the Phantom Sisters, being briefed on a mission by team leader Rubeus. If you think that makes him sound like a boring mid-management type, you’d be right, he is.

"Oh my god if I have to hear him give the midweek invoice figures one more time I'm quitting"

“Oh my god if I have to hear him give the midweek invoice figures one more time I’m quitting”

Apparently, finding the Ginzuishou and the Rabbit are not the only ways this group can destroy the Crystal Tokyo of the future (this is, in fact, the first time that they explicitly state they are from the future, so it should be a big wtf moment.) Their next plan is to destroy the present Tokyo to destroy the future.

So many questions about this… least of all because destroying the present will mean that Rubeus wouldn’t even be alive. This idiot just can’t think tat 4th-dimensionally.

Their plan of attack is to fill “Crystal Points” with dark energy – these will become defensive barriers in the future, so they’ll fall in the future. It’s actually a rather clever little plan, even if it makes little sense according to the rules of Back to the Future, which is what all time-travel should be judged by.

So, Berthier is off to corrupt a cosmetics store with “Dark Power”. Ingenious name, guys.

And suddenly we get an image of Princess Serenity apparently meeting some vague and distant doom! What could it mean?

It means that someone with poor taste chose the wallpaper colour

It means that someone with poor taste chose the wallpaper colour

Before we can even process this, we cut to Mamoru – apparently this has been another vision, and he’s deeply disturbed by it. I’d feel rather sorry for him, but he’s about to go NUCLEAR DOUCHE so he gets no sympathy.

"Oh I'm in such turmoil. Pity me."

“Oh I’m in such turmoil. Pity me.” – NOPE

Usagi, walking home, spots Mamoru again, and quickly hides a terrible test score so that he doesn’t know he’s dating a girl with lettuce for brains. Once again, she jumps onto him, but this time he doesn’t return the embrace.

Mamoru turns into an angry, cold bastard. It’s obvious to the viewer why he’s doing it, of course. He’s been having visions which has apparently made him break up with Usagi, but he does it by being a total dick.

"Sorry, I'm just too much of a shit bag for you, and it's your fault."

“Sorry, I’m just too much of a shit bag for you, and it’s your fault.”

Even worse is Usagi’s attempt to blame herself, to apologise for being too clingy. She doesn’t understand why, since this morning, he has fallen out of love with her. It resembles an emotionally abusive relationship, albeit in the matter of a few seconds. I’m not trying to denigrate the actual suffering of women in such relationships, merely trying to draw a small comparison.

As such, Mamoru is a dick. I don’t care how he intended to deal with his visions, just so long as he didn’t make Usagi blame herself. Alas, that was too much for him.

At the shrine, the girls are all as shocked as Usagi. They are… utterly unhelpful, actually. Minako’s advice is just fucking awful“He was probably in a bad mood, and that’s why he said those things!”

I cannot even begin to analyse that.

Makoto pretty much agrees, and doesn’t seem to really believe Usagi. Ami’s advice isn’t much better, suggesting that Mamoru is doing this for Usagi’s sake, so that she’ll have more time to study for exams, meaning that he’s a dick for her own good, which is messed up too.

"Maybe your boobs aren't big enough. You should get drastic plastic surgery!"

“Maybe your boobs aren’t big enough. You should get drastic plastic surgery! That always works!”

Rei also doesn’t believe Mamoru could be a dick, and tells Usagi to go talk to him.

I prefer not to think too much about this scene. It makes me worry about the psyche of Japanese women in the 90s. And even now, of course.

Meanwhile, Mamoru has Chibi-Usa over to help her with her homework. I would not invite a 6-year-old, whether I knew them or not, back to my bachelor pad, and I shall make no further aspersions on Mamoru’s questionable behaviour around children.

No comment

No comment

The door bell rings. It’s Usagi, of course. Her appearance seems to make Mamoru rather uneasy. We keep cutting to a wilting rose in this scene, because we need symbolism to tell us something bad is about to happen.

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The two remain in his shadowy hallway. I must say, I love this scene, for all it’s drama. It’s written perfectly, scored beautifully, is lit just right. Usagi tries to apologise, for not realising that he was in a bad mood. I’t s her fault, you see. She promises to study harder too, grasping at any straws, but Mamoru repeats that he doesn’t love her anymore.

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Usagi finally tells him that she can’t believe this – they were lovers in a distant past who died for each other. It’s a pretty good argument, really. Mamoru’s response, that he feels trapped and predestined to end up with Usagi, is pretty good too.

Man, this is just horrible, horrible stuff. I can’t believe this is in a kids show, even more so than the violence and sex we’ve seen before. To expect a kid to appreciate emotional torment like this is to treat them with the dignity that good storytelling deserves.

Mamoru finally stops when Usagi’s eyes fill with tears. She so often cries that you might think this has lost its impact, but such is the grief on her face that it tears the viewer’s heart in two.

Seriously heart-wrenching stuff, but it's not over. Considering all she went through last series, you'd think they'd let her be happy for a bit longer

Seriously heart-wrenching stuff, but it’s not over. Considering all she went through last series, you’d think they’d let her be happy for a bit longer

Before she runs out of his place and breaks down, Usagi notices that Chibi-Usa is at Mamoru’s place by her shoes. She suggests that maybe Mamoru likes Chibi-Usa better than her. Effectively, her parting shot at him is to suggest that he’s a paedophile.

"YOU FUCK KIDS bye"

Total burn.

Brilliant. Usagi, you’re too good for this guy. I don’t care how noble he thinks he is. His decision to put Usagi through this, not telling her of his true motivations or feelings, is condescending at best.

Usagi sadly walks home through washed out streets. It’s a sad little shuffle.

Finally she stops at a phone box. It’s a bit strange at first – who is she going to call? Also, remember phone boxes? Those used to be a thing kids. Instead, she finally breaks down, collapsing on the floor in tears, hugging herself, and says “Mama, I’m sorry… I can’t bring Mamo-chan home anymore.”

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This girl had to sit in a phone booth to cry.

We've all been here, right?

We’ve all been here, right?

It’s one of the most gut wrenching sights I’ve seen. Her grief is so palpable that it rises a lump in my throat just thinking about it. Such a beautiful shot too, the writers, the animators, everyone should be applauded for this.

Except for Mamoru, that guy can blow me.

One last shot, because it's so well drawn

One last shot, because it’s so well drawn

Just in case we forget that this is a kids’ action show, not a drama, we cut back to the cosmetics store, where Berthier orders an underling to fill the place with Dark Power (I feel like I have to write that in caps lock. DARK POWER!) with evil cosmetics.

Ok… that’s a little weird. No weirder than one of Jaedite’s plans I guess, but this is still a terrible plan.

"The more convoluted and irrational a plan is, the more Dark Power is created! Or something."

“The more convoluted and irrational a plan is, the more Dark Power is created! Or something. Whatever I’m going to go get drunk”

Still in a state, Usagi sees a flyer for this cosmetic shop – it offers to make anyone more beautiful. Such is Usagi’s self-esteem at this moment (THANKS MAMORU) that she decides to go there, as tear-stained and raw as she is.

The store attendant instantly suggests to Usagi that she needs a heap of chemicals for her face. It’s probably a joke that women use too many products, but honestly, this has become so much a reality that the satire would probably be lost today.

"And then you take a photo of just your face and plaster it over the internet so that everyone can see you're alive and you can justify your existence in this endless void even for one more day."

“And then you take a photo of just your face and plaster it over the internet so that everyone can see you’re alive and you can justify your existence in this endless void to yourself even if it’s just for one more day.”

All Usagi wants is to be loved by her Mamo-chan again, but hearing the chatty attendant makes her realise that changing her appearance wouldn’t make Mamoru love her again. The attendant makes a huge mistake by saying blithely that all men are the same, and this Mr Mamo-chan will of course fall in love with her again.

We've all been here right? Emotional, confused, yelling at store attendants for trying to sell us stuff we just asked for...? Right?

We’ve all been here right? Emotional, confused, yelling at store attendants for trying to sell us stuff we just asked for…? Right?

This sets Usagi off. She’s already fragile from all the crying, and despite Mamoru’s being a complete bastard to her, she shouts at the attendant, drawing the eyes of all the women in the store. My favourite bit is where she yells “ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING?”

OK this is pretty funny, despite Usagi’s pain.

The attendant doesn’t take this lying down. She gets all evil-looking and grabs Usagi by the arm, yelling incoherently, which makes all the other shoppers leave.

"HEY. BUY MY SHIT" - better stop giving the marketers at Coca-Cola any ideas

“HEY. BUY MY SHIT” – better stop giving the marketers at Coca-Cola any ideas

This is convenient, because this freaky pushy attendant is, in fact…

AHH. KILL IT. It looks like Lindsay Lohan

AHH. KILL IT. It looks like Lindsay Lohan

WOAH A  MONSTER. Well, actually they’re called “Droids”. I like that term.

The monster seems determined to PUT MAKE-UP ON YOUR FACE, which sounds ridiculously benign. I like this Droid so much, she’s a complete loon.

The make-up erupts from her mouth, leading to the obvious question, "huh?"

The make-up erupts from her mouth, leading to the obvious question, “huh?”

Luna appears at this moment, attacking the Droid, giving Usagi the chance to transform.

Their battle reminds me a lot of Episode 36 in the barber’s shop – the monster has a strong theme, and attacks with PUT ON HEAVY MAKE-UP DO IT attacks and giant Luna-squashing blushers.

That's not Artemis... What this poor cat goes through for Sailor Moon

That’s not Artemis… What this poor cat goes through for Sailor Moon

It’s all hugely entertaining, even if it is at odds with the rest of the episode.

Just as Sailor Moon is about to have a make-over (“You WILL put on make-up!“), who should arrive but Tuxedo Kamen.

PISS. OFF. TUXEDO. KAMEN.

PISS. OFF. TUXEDO. KAMEN.

Never has this guy been so unwelcome as right now. This guy can take a complete hike.

Tuxedo Kamen, knocks back some of the Droid’s own make-up, which, rather horribly, dissolves all her features. I guess this is the message of the writers? Don’t put on too much make-up or your face will melt and you’ll have to draw it back on?

This is like something out of a David Lynch movie.

This is like something out of a David Lynch movie.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this bit. It’s hilarious.

The poor Droid does a shitty job right before she’s vaporised .

Oh so that's how face transplants work

Oh so that’s how face transplants work

Tuxedo Kamen turns to leave as the sun sets rather coldly, but Sailor Moon forestalls him – he saved her after all, so he must still love her (which is completely true), but Tuxedo Mask denies it.

As one final up-yours, he answers Sailor Moon’s tearful question of why he doesn’t love her anymore with a “I don’t like weak girls”. Oh, so I guess marching into the North Pole while all your friends are dead and saving the world isn’t strong enough.

He's really more afraid that she's stronger than him

He’s really more afraid that she’s stronger than him. And she totally is. She wouldn’t have let some vague image of the future dictate her life

Poor Sailor Moon is left even more in doubt than before.

“I understand, Mamo-chan. I’ll become stronger and win your heart back.”

This is so messed up. It would have been better for him not to say anything at all. Now you’re convinced this girl that it’s her problem, that she needs to change, that she isn’t good enough.

YOU STILL HAVE ME SAILOR MOON. Oh wait she's not real. That got away from me for a second there

YOU STILL HAVE ME SAILOR MOON. Oh wait she’s not real. That reality-checking thing got away from me for a second there

This is how eating disorders start.

Oh, I should point out that the real store assistants are tied up in the basement, but Sailor Moon gives zero fucks.

I love this episode. I have major problems with Mamoru – we’re supposed to like him, and understand his motivations, even if we don’t like his actions, but in the end he lacks even a basic defence.

I feel that the writers are often far more forgiving of the actions of men in this show than they are of women. It’s a cultural, and temporal thing, and the show is still brilliant in its promotion of feminism to little Japanese girls, but this means that when they miss the mark it’s a lot more obvious.

Shit like this happens every episode in Eastenders or, uh, I dunno, The Big Bang Theory? Is that still on TV?

"Oh shit I forgot to tape How I Met Your Mother. It's the episode where Barney crudely objectifies women and we're supposed to laugh"

“Oh shit I forgot to tape How I Met Your Mother. It’s the episode where Barney crudely objectifies women and we’re supposed to laugh”

Regardless, brilliant writing, brilliant character development for Usagi, brilliant art, brilliant music, brilliant action, brilliant comedy. I can’t fault this one.

 

Episode Score: 5/5

Monster Score: 5/5 (PUT ON HEAVY MAKE-UP. DO IT.)

Mamoru Douche-O-Meter: 110% (It broke the scale.)

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14 Comments »

  1. This is one I REALLY feel the need to comment on.

    Tuxedo Kamen = the most COLOSSAL bag of dicks in this episode. Good intentions notwithstanding, this really felt like a clumsy way to introduce tension and drama into their relationship. THERE IS A SPACE BETWEEN MARRIED AND BROKEN UP, WRITERS.

    That said, there is one — ONE! — point I agreed with him on. Predestined relationships have always struck me as a crock whenever they crop up.

    It’s particularly a major sticking point with me throughout Sailor Moon thus far, since we haven’t seen *why* Mamoru and Usagi are so ZOMG-madly-in-luuuuurve. What does he like about her? What does she like about him? They feel like they have nothing in common outside of the whole fighting-evil thing. Serenity and Endymion were worse, as most of that was done entirely in flashback with very little, if any, dialogue from either of them.

    So yes, I’m down with questioning the merits of the relationship…IF that was what Mamoru was trying to do. But he wasn’t. He was trying to drive Usagi away rather than actually talk over his concerns and problems, for no reason other than he had a bad dream and a voice in his head told him to.

    Given the timey-wimey shenanigans in the Black Moon story, I have my suspicions as to where those are coming from, but I’m not going to voice them till we get there. For right now (Rubeus has just died where I’m at in the series), it’s going to take some SERIOUS bowing-and-scraping from Mamoru to make me care about him again. Douchenozzle.

    • Yeah, I completely agree. The show tries to keep him honourable by showing how much pain he’s in, but since it’s his poor decision making that has led to Usagi’s emotional torture I really can’t empathise. I give Mamoru kind of a tough time, sometimes out of fun, sometimes out of genuine concern for his condescension.

      As for their relationship, I found it deeply interesting to see Mamoru use the “fated lovers” excuse. Obviously the writers felt the same, and decided to address it, albeit briefly.

      I actually like their relationship. Mamoru is evidently the patriarchal type, and yet he’s keenly aware that he can’t do anything without Sailor Moon. I did get a sense of growing emotional attachment in the first season, however. Their fighting belied a genuine attraction that peaked in episode 1:34. True they have nothing in common, but this is actually raised in the third and fourth season I believe.

      Besides, I think by the end of Sailor Moon R you’ll like them as a couple again.

      …even though Mamoru is a complete douchenozzle.

  2. Gosh, I love your reviews! They make me chuckle xD Like we don’t even agree on that many things (I adore Mamoru, I think he’s swell, and I enjoy the wide assortment of creepers on the show ’cause they are pretty, and I love everyone’s animation style apart from Masahiro Ando), but your love for the original anime clearly shines through ^_^ I have to say that after witnessing the world of meeh that is Crystal I’m starting to find Chibiusa’s… overt affection for her dad more and more fascinating (I just completed a full rewatch of the original anime, it’s all so wonderfully fresh in my memory, ahah!)

    • Most of my grumbling about Mamoru is tongue and cheek, I do like him… most of the time, anyway. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog! Let me know your thoughts on Chibi-Usa sometime…

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