Whether you call her Usagi or Serena and him Mamoru or Darien, the love between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask is one of anime's most celebrated romances. This is despite the fact that Tuxedo Mask sucks. Yes, Sailor Moon's dashing "hero" is in fact a terrible person, and here are 10 reasons why.
1) He dates girls who are way too young for him.
By which we mean he's a borderline statutory rapist. It's less creepy later on when Mamoru is 19 and Usagi is 16 — although that's still a bit uncomfortably close to age of being unable to consent — but at the start of the series, Mamoru is a 17-year-old college student (according to the manga) and Usagi is a 14-year-old middle school student. That's just wrong. And it definitely doesn't help that Usagi acts significantly young and immature for her age and Mamoru dresses like a 28-year-old investment banker.
Now, you might say, "Laaaaaaaaauren, Rooooooooooob, Usagi is Mamoru's one true reincarnated love. Surely we can bend silly age rules for that." Perhaps, but Usagi isn't the only young'un that Mamoru dates. He actually goes out with Rei for a while (although, granted, she pushed him into it at first), meaning underage girls are just his type. Look, you're in college, dude. Stop hanging around middle schools looking for your "reincarnated moon queen," okay?
2) He was actually a huge asshole to Sailor Moon for a long time.
You know, for all that Usagi is Mamoru's eternal true love, he was an enormous asshole to the young Sailor Scout. Before Mamoru regained his memories and realized that he was actually Tuxedo Mask, he and Usagi fought like cats and Queen Beryl's minion Shitennou. He's constantly knocking her down emotionally, telling her that she's not pretty and that she has no inner beauty, either. That's insanely harsh, and that's not to mention his nickname for her is "Bun Head" (that's "Meatball Head" to us English speakers) and makes fun of her lousy test scores.
Now sure, Usagi snipes at him a bit, too. But let's not forget that Mamoru is a 17 year-old college student picking on a 14-year-old girl. And even though he gets nicer as the series continues, especially after his memories return, he obviously felt totally fine insulting and belittling a teenage girl for no apparent reason other than to be cruel. What a dick.
3) He's lousy in a fight.
Tuxedo Mask exists for one reason: Help the Sailor Scouts. Sometimes that means rescuing them, sometimes it means giving them advice, sometimes it means fighting along side them. Mamoru is terrible at all three of these things, and spends most of his appearances get his ass kicked and even occasionally killed, forcing Sailor Moon and the other Scouts to save him instead. He's not helping them at all; his appearance usually just makes the Scouts' job harder.
Part of the problem is that Tuxedo Mask's fighting prowess boils down to two moves: throwing roses and carrying people to safety. Now we're not saying that rose-throwing isn't helpful; he does manage to damage the occasional energy-sucking device. But he has a tendency to swoop in, throw his rose, and then peace out. At some point, he does start using a cane (because everything has to be tuxedo-themed), but it's not super useful against, you know, actual weapons. Few supposed superheroes could benefit from a martial arts class or two as Tuxedo Mask — boxing, tae kwon do, fencing — hell, we'll take pillow fighting at this point. (This parody film perfectly points out Tuxedo Mask's utter uselessness.)
4) He's even terrible at providing moral support.
For example, the first time that Mamoru and Usagi meet as Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon, she is crying because she's having trouble defeating Morga. Tuxedo Mask tells her, "You must remember, crying isn't going to solve any of your problems. "First off, have you ever had someone tell you to stop crying? It just makes you cry more. And that's exactly what happens. Sailor Moon just cries harder. Great advice, asshole.
But here's the kicker — Sailor Moon discovers her crying is SUPERPOWERED. In fact, her crying helps her defeat Morga, because it basically turns into supersonic waves with help from her hair thingies, which knocks Morga out. So not only did Tuxedo Mask screw up on a basic emotional support level, he actually gave her the exact wrong advice. Crying literally solved Sailor Moon's problem. "Aha!" you say. "But what if that was Tuxedo Mask's plan all along?" Nope, it wasn't.
5) He dresses like the '90s threw up on him.
Look, we get it. The 1990s were not anyone's fashion peak. But wearing lavender pleated-front pants, apparently of your own free will? (We think Usagi is making the right face here.) The truly unfortunate thing is that this seems to be his favorite outfit. If you need further proof of his aggressively horrible sense of style, Buzzfeed made a list of Mamoru's crimes against fashion.
Plus, there was his Moonlight Knight getup, shown above. Is this racist? It seems like it's racist. Every time we look at it, we think of those "We're a culture, not a costume" ads. Even when he's suffering from a memory wipe, Mamoru manages to suck. The one pro? At least this incarnation of Mamoru has an actual sword.
6) He's basically an enormous liability to the entire Sailor Scout operation.
If Tuxedo Mask can't fight, and he's terrible at giving the Sailor Scouts advice, what can he do? Two things: Get kidnapped and/or brainwashed.
Okay, this is probably the point of the entire series, a reversal of the usual heroic roles, where Sailor Moon is the hero and Tuxedo Mask is the damsel in distress. But Tuxedo Mask doesn't just need the occasional save, he's in constant need of rescue. He's utterly irresistible to kidnappers, having been taken by enemies of Sailor Moon, by would-be lovers, by a childhood acquaintance, even by his own daughter. Even Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken put up a better fight, and she's not supposed to be a secret superhero.
When he's not getting snared in the goon-of-the-week's ropes, he's getting stabbed, killed, and/or turned into evil versions of himself and sent to try and destroy the Sailor Scouts. I mean, he's terrible at it, because Tuxedo Mask is terrible, but still, the Scouts would have been able to defeat their enemies so much easier if Mamoru hadn't been around to occupy their time and resources. And speaking of…
7) He's actually a more effective hero when he's evil.
Tuxedo Mask may do very little in a fight when he's Sailor Moon's ally, but after Queen Beryl brainwashes him in season one, he's suddenly one of Dark Kingdom's generals. He calls himself "Prince Endymion" and actually becomes rather fearsome in his way. Perversely, he's almost helpful to the Sailor Senshi, since he won't kill them due to his lingering feelings for Usagi. Plus, while he's now evil, he's not totally loyal to Beryl, and occasionally decides to foil her plans. To sum up: Evil Tuxedo Mask is a more suvccessful hero than regular Tuxedo Mask. It helps that when he's one of Queen Beryl's minions, people aren't trying to capture or kill him, which means the Sailor Scouts don't have to waste their time trying to protect him.
8) He sabotages his relationship with Usagi from the future just to be a jerk.
At one point in Sailor Moon R, Mamoru has a recurring dream where Usagi dies because of their relationship, and he resolves to break up with her. It's forced drama, but Mamoru frequently has prophetic dreams, so it's a little reasonable. Less reasonable is Mamoru's handling of the breakup, which he manages to make as awful as possible for all concerned. It would be too much for him to, you know, tell Usagi what's going on with this dream business. After all, she's a goddamn superhero with a team of superheroes at her back and a couple of genius cat aliens. They could probably figure something out. But no, he has to go with the classic "I'm going to protect you by saying I was never in love with you" gambit, basically so Usagi can feel as emotionally devastated as possible. It lasts 16 agonizing episodes.
And here's the most insane part: Mamoru sent the dreams to himself. Or rather, his future self, King Endymion, sent the dreams back in time to Mamoru, in order to test his love for Usagi. For no good goddamned reason other than the fact that even in the future, Tuxedo Mask is an enormous dickhole.
9) His super disturbing relationship with his daughter.
Sixty episodes into Sailor Moon R, there was a new addition to the cast — Chibiusa, a.k.a. Sailor Mini-Moon. She's Mamoru and Usagi's daughter from the future, ostensibly come back to seek the Sailor Scouts help for something. We say ostensibly because her real purpose seems to be having sex with her future father. You can see above their first meeting, when she cockblocks her own mom to steal a kiss for dear old dad.
Chibiusa has a crazy Electra complex, and she flirts shamelessly with the younger incarnation of her dad. Technically Mamoru doesn't know that Chibiusa is his daughter at first (although, at least in the anime, he seems suspicious when Chibiusa first appears and says that her hairstyle is modeled on her mother's), but Mamoru still doesn't put an immediate stop to this highly inappropriate behavior, which he should have done even if he thought it was a random five-year-old trying mack on him. In fact, in the manga, this happens:
NOPE NOPE NOPE. And this is to say nothing of the fact that Future Mamoru somehow knew his daughter was going to be screwed up in this manner, and either allowed it or facilitated it, as opposed to having a crack team of child psychologists waiting for her the minute she exited Usagi's birth canal. No wonder she turns into the evil Black Lady for a while (who, like everyone else, also kidnaps Tuxedo Mask. Sigh).
10) HE'S NOT EVEN WEARING A GODDAMNED TUXEDO.
Mamoru wears a white tie dinner suit, not a tuxedo. We guess "White Tie Mask" doesn't have the same ring to it, but COME ON. That's like if Captain America was Canadian or something. Either put on a damn tuxedo or choose a different superhero name, asshole.