Chibi Usa Isn’t In Love With Her Father

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.

Identifying S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon Series Bootlegs

THIS GUIDE APPLIES TO ALL BOOTLEG S.H.FIGUARTS SAILOR MOON LINE FIGURES,
but specifically uses Sailor Moon as a baseline.

Price Tags & Listings

If an S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon figure is a bootleg chances are you’ll see her priced very low ($17.99 seems to be the magic price as of December 12, 2013). The seller may also state that the figure is the CHINESE VERSION instead of the Japanese version. “Chinese version” is a huge red flag, as there’s no such thing in this line. There are international releases, but those are signified with an alternate TOEI sticker, and no change to the box or figure. There is no specific Chinese release.

Be sure that if the seller uses official photos that they note whether the manufacturer is Bandai, or if they’ve left out that detail entirely

Box Identifiers

Boxes
Left: Official First Release; Right: Bootleg (Pic. Credit)

It’s harder to tell online because photo editing, and picture taking conditions can vary, but try to identify if the box colour differs from an official box. Note how in the photos above the bootleg has a red tone.

Physically the only box difference other than the colour is the international Sailor Moon logo that appears on the bootleg box, but not the official box pictured. THIS IS ACTUALLY OK! This logo DOES appear on some boxes, and appears to be something signifying international release vs Japanese release. They’re all manufactured by the same people, in the same place, and distributed from Japan, but the international release has it’s own release date outside of Japan.

On the window of the box for the First Edition release of Sailor Moon specifically should be a sticker that reads:

FIRST EDITION BONUS
2 Interchangeable Face Parts-
Winking and Crying
Expressions
Included

The second press of this figure DOES NOT have this sticker, or the bonus parts, but the bootleg of the first press figure neglects to recreate this sticker, and therefore it is missing. If you have no sticker in the window, but bonus parts your figure could be bootleg.

The bootleg is also missing the TOEI sticker outlined in red on the bottom portion of the box. This sticker is normally located in the same location pictured, or above the 20th Anniversary logo between Sailor Moons legs.

Parts

Bootleg joints on this figure are skin tone. They should be WHITE or the appropriate colour of that joint, but ALL of the bootlegs are skin tone.

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Check the paint colours in both her eyes and mouth on the faceplates. The official versions appear slightly darker, and it appears more obvious in the mouth. The official face plates also have thicker and darker tiaras. The bootlegs are faded looking, and the eyebrows are the wrong colour.

The Crescent Moon Wands seem to be the give away here though. One of the more impressive features of this official figure is how well the wands are moulded and painted. The bootlegs look horrible. Their sculpting and paint jobs are VERY messy.

Body Sculpt & Paint Job

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This image gives a clear look at not just the skin tone arm joints, but how poorly painted she is as well. Take note of her skirt, choker, and Odango covers. It also appears that her bangs try to make use of the transparent plastic, but it appears a little dirty. This COULD be caused by the black background though.

In most of the photographs found for this bootleg ((mfc link)) it appears that her joints are pulled out to make her appear longer. You can see her joints sticking out under her skirt and at her arms. Her head also appears pulled forward too far, or up too far.

Also note the seam lines along her body side, shoulder pads, and the prominent neck joint. These details are trimmed or avoided on an official piece.

Assembly

Though I have no pictures to offer one of the biggest complaints from people who have been stuck with a bootleg version of Sailor Moon is how easily she falls apart at the waist and arms. THIS SHOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE**. While some factory defects escape inspection your figure shouldn’t easily fall apart.

** This has since changed. A common problem with the S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon is that her torso detaches from her bust and needs to be popped back in.


If you have any questions, or tips for spotting a bootleg S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon figure please comment below!

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