Over the years I’ve seen a lot of people hate on Chibi Usa for a lot of reasons. Most of them come down to her acting like a brat, or for one iconic scene that appears in every version of Sailor Moon where she appears.
The Black Lady x Tuxedo Mask kiss is one of controversy because, if you somehow missed it, Chibi Usa is the future daughter of Tuxedo Mask.
If you’re confused, Chibi Usa (Sailor Chibi Moon) is the future daughter of Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask). When their time comes under attack and her family is in danger, Chibi Usa travels back in time with the unwilling help of Sailor Pluto to seek the help of a past Sailor Moon without the knowledge that Usagi is both Sailor Moon and her mother. Cue chaos and trouble when her enemies follow her back to when her mom was just 14/15 years old.
Black Lady comes into play when a character called the Wise Man convinces Chibi Usa that no one loves her and uses his power to corrupt her motivations and sense of self. He brainwashes her. She grows into an age comparable to, or between, Usagi and Mamoru, and develops a romantic love for Mamoru while also trying her best to make Usagi jealous. This is where people tend to freak out and grow concerned for Naoko Takeuchi’s morality and wonder what the heck TOEI and Kodansha were publishing in the ’90s (this was not the weirdest).
…but I think people misread the entire situation.
While Black Lady is absolutely in love with Tuxedo Mask and trying to destroy her parent’s relationship, she is not just a grown-up representation of their daughter and friend. Black Lady is a perversion of Chibi Usa and a puppet for Wise Man to obtain his goals. He works hard to break down her confidence to gain control of her and brainwashes her into becoming a tool.
Chibi Usa absolutely loves Mamoru, but she’s 5 years old. Children are constantly learning about love and discovering how love works. It is not uncommon for children to be attached to a certain parent (Oedipus complex), or even misunderstand how we use certain traditions. In real life it is common for children to misunderstand marriage and think that it is a blanket statement on love. That if you love someone you marry them. Whether they’re a friend, family member, or parent. It isn’t perverted or negative. It’s a misunderstanding. A learning curve. I think Chibi Usa sits somewhere between this stage of growth, and, well, just wanting to annoy Usagi for fun.
Chibi Usa often exhibits similar behaviour, though the franchise doesn’t toy with her being that naive about relationship structures. What they DO show, is an obvious relationship switch of Usagi to a sister figure. With the two now much closer in age, and their relation unknown at the beginning, it’s easy to see why they might develop such a relationship, especially given how Chibi Usa moves into Usagi’s home, using Luna P to brainwash the other members of the family into believing she is a visiting cousin. Usagi is often left to care for her in a sisterly fashion, bringing her to events, having her tag along with friends, etc. Chibi Usa very quickly refuses to see Usagi as a mother figure after the discovery, especially given both their childish natures, but often views Mamoru as mature, even though he is still high school to college-aged, depending on what dub or version you are looking at.
Mamoru is often a shoulder to cry on for Chibi Usa. She runs to his apartment to get away from Usagi and overall likes spending time with him. He provides her with a respect that Usagi certainly does not, and recognizes her need for an adult with the ability to provide guidance. Something her grandparents cannot do as they are unaware of her full situation, and Usagi is still too rather immature to provide.
But I think what people forget most about Chibi Usa is that she’s just a 5-year-old child. Even if you refer to versions where Chibi Usa is 5 for 900 years she is halted in further development. She is a child whose parents and friends are in danger, so she illegally travels alone through time in an attempt to get help from her hero and escape the enemy. She knows no one, especially who she can trust, and she has been followed back nearly 1000 years into the past. Attitude is very nearly her only defence, except for Luna P… who often seems full of more tricks than defence.
In short, Chibi Usa is a child who is taken advantage of in a world she doesn’t know. Her actual love for Usagi and Mamoru is twisted from something sisterly and playful and the respect of a parent, into her own sabotage. Her child-like love for her parent is perverted into something romantic for manipulative purposes, and her lack of respect for Usagi could bring about her own demise in the future. Instead of teasing over the ridiculous childish jealousy of Usagi, Black Lady uses her pain to hurt Usagi by kissing a brainwashed Mamoru in front of her. She uses it to fuel the feeling that Usagi has lost him. If Usagi and Mamoru never continue their relationship it destroys the future of Crystal Tokyo, as well as the existence of Chibi Usa in general.
To say that Chibi Usa as her pure self without brainwashing loves Mamoru romantically is missing a lot of conversation and plot line in Sailor Moon. It misses the power Wise Man obtains over her, and her true feelings when she finally breaks free. Overall, Chibi Usa is just a scared child who wants to go home.