Chiba Mamoru is one of the most aggravatingly human characters of Sailor Moon. While everyone has flaws, few of the characters make me go 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA' as much as he does, sometimes. This is because Mamoru has many of the 'classic' male flaws, like hiding his feelings and doing stupid things because he won't explain anything to his girlfriend (like the whole mess in the second half of Sailor Moon R). He can be rude, obnoxious, and stand-offish. He is often embarrased by his relationship with Usagi, and we rarely get to see him really openly admit anything about how he feels.
He's also gullible as all get out, and his sense of honor can be easily used against him. Zoicite fools him over and over, because like Usagi, he doesn't grasp the idea of other people being really bad very well.
And yet, I like him anyway, with all his flaws. So does Usagi, so I think I must be on to something. ^_-
The greatest endorsement that Mamoru could possibly have is that Usagi loves him. She's a good judge of people, and I trust her judgement in people. (Not in homework, though :)) Something Usagi and Mamoru both have in common is a certain innocence. For both of them, this is their first serious relationship, and they both screw up a lot. I can appreciate that. It's not easy to make someone the center of your life and it's a scary experience. Mamoru does get better at this, but unfortunately, once that happens, the anime's creators tended to shove him off to one side, culminating in the poor guy being dead for 95% of Sailor Stars. Sigh.
His innocence also shows up in his strong code of honor. Like Usagi, he expects other people to play by the rules and gets tricked easily when they do not. HE is the second oldest major character of the series (After Pluto), but he is aligned with the Inner Senshi, not with the Outers, because he fundamentally shares the attitudes of the Inner Senshi on life, love, and the limits of acceptable action. (Attitudes I admit to sharing :)). As Tuxedo Kamen, Mamoru functions as both protector and guide, helping Sailor Moon learn to help herself. From the beginning, he acts to make her stronger, some instinct guiding him to act only when he must, for she must learn to stand on her own when she can. In a mythic sense, he plays the role of the heroine's mentor in her journey. He also gets the COOL entrances. The 'Tuxedo Santa' routine from the S movie just about made me laugh til I was ready to die :)
One day, Mamoru will rule Crystal Tokyo with Usagi. He still has a lot of growing up to do, but I feel he has the potential to be a great king. He has courage, honor, and charisma. He just has to learn to fully open up to Usagi and to not let himself be so gullible as he gets sometimes :) Also, I think he looks better in black than lavender :)
My favorite Tuxedo Kamen moments include:
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