the proposal

At the beginning of the Stars arc of the anime, Mamoru leaves Japan to study abroad in America. Before he leaves, however, he offers Usagi a ring, a symbol that she will wait for him and will belong to him even during the time that they are apart. I have often heard fans belittle Mamoru's choice of words during this moment, the things he says, the things that he ought not to have said. And while I agree with these opinions on some level, I wish to instead discuss this scene in a matter that shows the depth and sincerity of Mamoru's actions and words during this touching and pivotal moment.

It is the little actions that occur within the scene, simple gestures made by Mamoru that I feel holds the breadth of affection towards Usagi. It starts when Usagi says that she will write him every day, and Mamoru responds with a troubled expression, admitting that his busy schedule may keep him from replying. People often remark that this was a rather callous statement for Mamoru to say, especially when he sees how upset Usagi is about him leaving. However, I do understand this statement. Mamoru will be going to a foreign country that has a near twenty-four hour different time schedule than Japan. He will be forced to interact in a foreign language, to study for his degree in medical school, an immensely difficult topic which is not in Japanese. It is understandable that during those first months, Mamoru may be far too overwhelmed to contact Usagi. The fact that Usagi's morning will be his evening only helps to complicate the situation.

Mamoru knows this. And is troubled by it.

The second action by him that I find to be endearing is when Mamoru hands Usagi the ring box. He does not say, This is for you, or Open it, or nothing at all; he says, Please, open it. It is this addition of the word Please, this small betrayal of vulnerability and gentleness in Mamoru's words that I find to be touching. Mamoru understands the levity of his leaving, understands and recognizes Usagi's own attempts to see him off with a brave smile. Mamoru sees these emotions and reciprocates as best he can, with a gentle tone and coaxing words.

When Usagi is too stunned by the gift, Mamoru sets down his briefcase and bends towards her, placing the ring on her finger. It is here that Mamoru finally tells Usagi the words that she has been longing to hear since the beginning of their relationship: Usako, aishiteru (I love you).

Although their kiss is indeed beautiful, it is how it ends that I focus on the most. Mamoru takes a still moment to watch Usagi with those kind passive eyes of his, the ones that convey more sincerity of emotions than any words could ever express. Mamoru pulls away from the kiss, but only far enough so that he can gaze down at Usagi for a few intimate seconds, before he tells her softly, that it is time.

Mamoru may have finally confessed his love to Usagi in a way that we had been waiting for throughout the five seasons of Sailor Moon, but to me, it is the actions of his words and gestures that convey the greatest depth of his affection.

-- Rebecca (vomitdirt) © 2012 rebecca.
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