The Infamous Breakup
Yes, the infamous Sailormoon R breakup. One of the top reasons Mamoru-haters give as to hating Mamoru. I do agree that Mamoru handled this ordeal poorly, and if he were real, I may have punched him in his face. However, I strongly disagree with the notion that Mamoru didn't suffer as much as Usagi. I believe they both suffered equally, but as you know, Mamoru and Usagi express themselves much differently.
I figured I would go over what actually caused this mess to begin with - the recurring nightmare Mamoru has that tells him if he stays together with Usagi, a great misfortune will fall upon her. He refuses to believe it for a while, but when weird things start happening, he gets a little nervous. The nightmare starts out as a dream, actually. Usagi and Mamoru are happily walking down the aisle to be wed. Right after they kiss, Usagi is suddenly very far away from Mamoru and crumbling rocks are everywhere, obscuring her, who has at this point transformed into Princess Serenity.
Voice: Chiba Mamoru, you must not get close to Tsukino Usagi.
Mamoru: You again?! Who the hell are you?!
Voice: When the two of you are bound together, the world will crumble, and Tsukino Usagi, in other words, Princess Serenity, will be struck by misfortune.
Mamoru: Like hell I'll believe that! Making me have this dream over and over again! Are you trying to trick me?!
Voice: This is the truth from which you cannot escape.
Mamoru: It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie!
Episode 69 - Awaken, Sleeping Beauty! Mamoru's Distress
This is probably one of the most important episodes from the break-up era. It's also very angsty as far as Mamoru goes. The episode starts out with Usagi telling Chibiusa the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. We then cut to Mamoru's apartment, where he is having the aformentioned nightmare. He wakes up in a cold sweat, screaming, "It's a lie!"
"If I get close to Usako, she will be struck by misfortune?" he asks himself. "That's absurd!" He holds a picture of Usagi and himself in his hand and utters, "Usako..." Suddenly, the glass on the picture breaks, and Usagi in the picture falls forward, looking as though she is dead. Mamoru shakes in shock, "What?" He then recalls the voice from the nightmare. "So, do I have no choice but to stay away from Usako?"
Early the next morning, Mamoru stands on a bridge, staring into the water. In the ripples, Mamoru sees an image of Usagi smiling back at him. Mamoru says, "Why? Why will loving Usako bring her misfortune?" Just then, Usagi appears and tells Mamoru that to meet so early in the morning must be an act of God. Mamoru promptly attempts to change the subject and asks about Chibiusa. Usagi answers that she hasn't been able to get any new information from her. Without a word, Mamoru runs off and says, "Early morning jogging is good for your health." Usagi watches as he runs away. Mamoru thinks to himself, "Usako, I'm sorry..." In the next scene, Mamoru sits at the Crown Parlor, pondering to himself.
Motoki: Mamoru, what's up?
Mamoru: Oh, Motoki-kun.
Motoki: You look depressed these days. Are you worried about something?
Motoki: Don't lie to me. What's worrying you? We're best friends. Talk to me.
Mamoru: Thank you, Motoki. ...Hey Motoki, what do I need to do to get a girl to hate me?
Motoki: What? Why are you asking me that all of a sudden?
Mamoru: Just what kind of guy do girls hate?
That night, Sailormoon is overcome by one of the Black Moon's droids. It lulls her into an eternal nightmare; one that will eventually drain her energy and kill her. The other senshi make several attempts to get her to wake up, but she does not. Her body temperature drops rapidly. The senshi become extremely upset, unsure of what to do. Luna thinks of how upset Usagi was over Mamoru earlier, and suddenly runs off. She arrives in Mamoru's apartment through his window and wakes him up. Luna is very touching in her desperate pleas to Mamoru, and I really thought it was one of her best dramatic moments.
Mamoru: But, right now I'm... [Thinks of the broken picture]
Luna: You and Sailormoon have loved each other since the ancient world, haven't you?! [Weeps] Why are you suddenly so cold towards her?
Mamoru: [Clenches the sheets] Because....
Luna: Sailormoon is about to die!
Next we see Mamoru racing his motorcycle towards Sailormoon and the others. He thinks to himself, "Sailormoon - no, Usako - please stay alive until I get there!" He then transforms into Tuxedo Kamen and thinks, "Don't die, Usako!!" Meanwhile, the other senshi are desperately trying to get Sailormoon to wake up. Sailormars hears someone approaching and sees the glare of Mamoru's headlight. Tuxedo Kamen appears. He sees Sailorvenus holding a dying Sailormoon in her arms. He rushes over and grabs Sailormoon.
Sailormercury: The power of love has revived Sailormoon's energy!!
Sailormoon: Mamo-chan...you're so warm...
Tuxedo Kamen: Sailormoon...thank goodness!!
But, the battle isn't over yet. The droid is released from Sailormoon's body but is not yet destroyed. An angry Sailormoon pulls a Moon Princess Halation and destroys the droid. Tuxedo Kamen, seemingly forgetting about the nightmare for a moment, comes up to her. He tells her, "Sailormoon, your magnificent move was brilliant as ever." Sailormoon, with hope, replies "e;Tuxedo Kamen, you do care about me..." Tuxedo Kamen soothingly replies, "Sailormoon..." and suddenly the memory of the dying Usagi in the photograph returns, and he quickly changes his tone. "I do not love you." Sailormoon, confused and distraught, replies, "What? But, you saved me." Tuxedo Kamen coldly says, "That has nothing to do with this. The red string of fate that bound us together has been severed."
Following this entire ordeal, Mamoru goes off on his own to think, overlooking the water on a secluded bridge. In his hands he clenches his motorcycle helmet and thinks about what had just happened. "I'm sorry, Usako..." Mamoru's tears splatter onto the helmet. Guilt and hurt overcome him.
Proof that Mamoru Still Cares
Not only is Mamoru feeling extremely depressed and guilty, he's just not doing a very good job of staying away from Usagi anyway. Take for example Episode 66, "Usagi's Parental Love? A Curry Triangle Relationship". He is pretty much with her for the entire episode, even if it is for Chibiusa's curry-cooking party at her school. They make such a cute family though! Even when Mamoru is making an actual attempt to keep away from Usagi, fate continually brings them together anyway. Mamoru even comments to himself on one occasion, "It seems like we are just destined to meet, Usako."
Proof of Mamoru's Dedication:
- Mamoru still calls Usagi "Usako" (My Little Rabbit), his pet name for her (no pun intended)
- He is never doing anything except wandering around by himself and thinking about Usagi and how big of jerk he is. Motoki also notes a change in his behavior.
An Easy Solution
Why not just tell one of the other girls about the nightmare? Then they could explain it to Usagi. I guess there are three main reasons Mamoru doesn't do this - 2 character-wise and 1 storyboard-wise.
- Mamoru probably knows that Usagi would react the same way she did when she actually started to have the same nightmares too. Freak-out, break-down-his-door carelessness of what would happen to her. He would rather her be hurt emotionally for a while than be killed.
- Mamoru is a backwards sort of guy in the anime when it comes to the social world, if you hadn't noticed already. He may just not have figured out a different way to go about it because he has no social skills, perhaps due to the fact that he's an orphan and wasn't raised the same way Usagi and the others were.
- This storyline was added to the anime. "The Breakup" does not exist in the manga, although of course the Black Moon storyline does. It was added to lengthen the storyline and to add drama and angst to the story (it worked). If Mamoru used an easy solution, the angst would be erased and poof goes the tear-jerking, viewer-keeping stuff that Sailormoon is made of.