How Smart Is Mamoru in the Anime and Manga?
One of the well-known – yet often forgotten – facts about Mamoru’s character is that he’s not only tall, mysterious, rich, and handsome, but he’s actually quite brilliant. In fact, if you were to judge by the levels of the schools he attends, he’s arguably on level with – or even above! – Ami. Of course we’ve already mentioned that Mamoru was changed from a high school student to a university student in the transition from manga to anime, but that actually has very little impact on the conclusions we can make, for reasons we’ll discuss below. So just how smart is Mamoru Chiba? Let’s find out!
First off, let’s start with manga Mamoru. Since he shows his school ID to Usagi when they share a bus on the way to Rei’s shrine,1 and Luna later stalks him with her impressive computer resources down at the Crown Arcade,2 we know for a fact that Mamoru is a second-year high school student at Moto-Azabu High School, a nearby all boy’s school. While Usagi may not be up on the latest trends in high-end schooling, fortunately Ami is and upon seeing Mamoru in his school uniform informs Usagi (and us, the readers) that:
Wow! He’s wearing the school uniform from that super escalator school, Moto-Azabu High School. They have a 90 point differential (偏差値; hensachi)! How elite!
But Usagi being friends with someone like that?? Just what kind of guy is he?
While a Japanese reader may throw down her pencil in disbelief at Mamoru’s brilliance upon reading this sentence, I’m afraid that to a western reader the meaning doesn’t really come across due to the ambiguity of the point differential (hensachi) system used for ranking schools in Japan. While that’s a bit beyond the scope of this blog, essentially it’s a score given to schools throughout Japan used for determining relative difficulty and rank, with the statistical baseline average being 50.3 A school with a rank of 40 is below average, and a score of 68 (the score for the school Rei’s TA Academy is based on) is actually pretty good. It goes without saying that 90 is therefore absolutely amazing. So amazing, in fact, that there are actually no schools in Tokyo with such a score and the highest for 2016 is 78.4
It’s not all completely made up, though. Mamoru’s school is based on a real-world high school (also well-known for its intelligent students), Azabu High School, which has a respectable point differential value of 75.5 That’s no small feat!
So now that we know that manga Mamoru is pretty intelligent, what about his anime counterpart? He’s no slouch, right? If you can believe it, anime Mamoru manages to actually top his manga self.
We know that in the anime Mamoru and Motoki Furuhata are classmates in university and that Motoki is a “first year humanities/social sciences major at the nearby K university.” This could cover any major from history to literature, philosophy to education, or even library sciences. Incidentally, he attends “KO University” in the manga,6 those these both refer to the same place. Both K and KO university are both in reference to Keio University (pronounced “Kay-Oh,” hence “KO”), an elite private university which has a campus for their humanities department in Mita, located in the same Minato ward where the story of Sailor Moon takes place.7 In the manga, while the rest of the Sailor Soldiers move onto high school, Mamoru goes on to “KO” university, finally matching his anime counterpart.
One thing that’s particularly interesting about this, and was probably overlooked by the animation staff and Ms. Takeuchi, is that Mamoru’s dream (as written in his bio) is that he someday wants to become a doctor. However, seeing as he’s already a university student – and studying humanities at that! – it actually isn’t possible for him to become a doctor as-is. Unlike universities in America, you cannot just change majors on a whim, but need to re-apply to the department you wish to enter, re-test, and are essentially treated like a new applicant. Though I suppose it technically is just his “dream,” it still seems strange!
So, interestingly enough, it seems that Mamoru is quite intelligent – and by extension, so is Motoki! None of this is terribly impressive, since Mamoru does have a well-read, cool, and intelligent air about him, but it still is a bit odd that the series never really spent much time actually showing him help out the girls with their trouble-solving or other issues, other than his “dive in, throw rose” routine. Hopefully that’s something the Crystal series will take a closer look at!
- See vol. 1, p. 96 of the original manga ↩
- See vol. 1, p. 120 of the original manga ↩
- See Shiritasu Private Junior High School Evaluation ↩
- See 2016 High School Point Differential Rankings ↩
- See High School Hensachi Navigator ↩
- See vol. 3, p. 71 of the original manga ↩
- See Keio University (Department of Humanities and Social Studies) ↩