I'm sorry if this seems rude to you, it in no means is meant to be. I just wanted to talk about another perspective considering the Usagi-Seiya-alone-in-room-thing, because I always interpreted her sweating and nervousness as general distress because a part of her brain always thinks of Mamo, and not bc of her being afraid of Seiya as a person and what he's gonna do, but more of how SHE will react, in the sense of "oh shit i actually am in a relationship". (1)
(2) I always had no doubt Seiya would back off if he was being told to, and actually think the creators didn’t put much thought in eg. such scenes (, which is a shitty thing) but counted on the numerous fangirls of Seiya (,which can be a shitty thing too). But back to my original point, I believe the “no respect”-thing is meant to be in a playful and kinda-Rei-like way and was just executed very very poorly. And I’m just sad Seiya comes off (understandably) as this huge douchebag to you.
I didn’t take this as rude at all, no worries.
I see three things in your messagse here that I want to talk about.
1. The scene as presented
2. Seiya’s intent
3. Seiya’s “playfulness”
Let’s start with #2 because it’s easy. I don’t believe that Seiya is intentionally being awful. I don’t think they get up in the morning and grab a white board and start plotting out how to be the most terrible, disrespectful, creepy person that day. But intent doesn’t matter. Seiya has been told, repeatedly, to stop doing certain things and they don’t listen. The second Usagi said “Stop doing that, I don’t like it” (which she has done repeatedly for multiple things), Seiya’s intent no longer matters. Now they KNOW how Usagi feels, and whether Seiya just wants to play or wants to hurt, the result is the same. It’s Seiya’s responsibility to be a decent person, not Usagi’s to keep saying “Well Seiya doesn’t MEAN it” when she gets upset.
As for Seiya’s “playfulness”, I completely agree that the creators mean for it to be a cute thing. More, I think it’s meant to be a calculated strike. I’ve talked about this quite a bit already, and would refer you first to this post contrasting Usagi and Rei versus Usagi and Seiya, and then this one where I go into what I think is happening here and why it’s failing. The short version is that I’m confident Seiya has been intentionally created with this streak of teasing antagonism precisely because Rei and Mamoru had it too. From the second linked post:
The whole thing is like a logical fallacy. Usagi’s strongest relationships have a history of antagonism, so antagonism must equal a strong relationship with Usagi.
It’s not bothering with the fact that these relationships took literally dozens of episodes to build and evolve, or that there were reasons and motivations and equal participation from all parties. It’s like the creators said “What do these relationships have in common? AH HA!” and are using that like a zone cheat to warp to the eighth stage, figuring that the audience will just fill in the gaps.
So we agree in its intent, and ialso agree in its poor execution.
But it seems like we’re going to mostly stop agreeing at this point. Let’s move to the biggie: The scene as presented.
While I agree that Mamoru is a factor in Usagi’s nervousness, I have to say that I think downplaying her distress otherwise is a drastic misread of what the scene is directly showing us.
From the first frame, Usagi isn’t comfortable. I’m not speaking hyperbolically, this is literally the first frame after the door closes:
Seiya has told Usagi that they’re taking her to a “secret” place, a place she’s clearly unfamiliar with. There, they lead her to a private and isolated room, so soundproofed that the noise of the club completely cuts off.
Everything’s changed here. Before, they were out in wide, very public spaces. Meeting in a park, going to the zoo and a funfair. Seiya’s shifted this now, put Usagi in a place she doesn’t know, and closed her off from everyone.
And she’s NERVOUS. Her entire body language radiates how nervous she is. She scuttles away from Seiya and thinks what a problem this is. She remembers Haruka’s warning about how once you’re caught by a wolf, it’s too late. Seiya approaches, effectively trapping Usagi against the wall. An alarm whistle sound effect is heard to emphasize the danger Usagi is feeling, and she’s so panicked she falls to her knees to try and get away from what she assumes will be Seiya’s embrace.
Now let’s stop right there for a second and say that for Seiya to not recognize ANY of this feeds back to their gross lack of consideration for Usagi in any way. Seiya has clearly communicated NOTHING about what to expect from any of this and isn’t remotely concerned with how Usagi is feeling. Whatever reason you want to ascribe to Usagi here, the fact remains that she is uncomfortable with all of this and everything about her is screaming that. Seiya does not give a shit. They should have apologized. They should have backed off and given Usagi space. They should have suggested they move back into the club so there’d be people around. They should have done any one of a number of things to make this experience as fun and enjoyable for Usagi as possible.
Seiya’s answer was to invade Usagi’s space more.
They get down on Usagi’s level, speak in a low and intimate voice with suggestive phrases (“It’s your first time, isn’t it?”), keep coming closer despite her freaking the fuck out. The camera gives us close-ups of Seiya’s parting lips as Usagi is internally screaming about Mamoru, and then the icing on this deeply unsettling cake
Seiya grabs her.
Then we cut to the dancing and ha ha ha isn’t it funny.
I feel that none of this is ambiguous. If you interpret “her sweating and nervousness as general distress because a part of her brain always thinks of Mamo, and not bc of her being afraid of Seiya as a person and what he’s gonna do, but more of how SHE will react”, then I can only say that we looked at all this in vastly different ways. This entire episode — hell, this entire ARC so far — Usagi has shown exactly zero interest in Seiya romantically. Quite the opposite, she’s made it abundantly clear that she’s NOT interested. She’s completely thrown by the idea that this is a date at all. (We can argue Usagi’s naivety in that but that’s a separate issue. Usagi is an unfortunate casualty in the creators insisting on how this storyline unfold.) Usagi has no reason to be worried about how SHE will react. She’s reacted in no way that would worry her up to this point and she’s given no indication whatsoever that this is going to change just because Seiya closed a door.
Without question, Seiya is presented as the danger. Their words, their actions, the way the scene is shot, the sound effects used. This scene is intentionally depicting Seiya as the wolf to Usagi’s trapped and terrified rabbit.
You say you had no doubt that Seiya would back off if told to, I say why should Seiya start now. Usagi HAS told Seiya to back off. She’s been saying it for months. She just said it in their last scene. SEIYA HAS NOT. If Seiya can’t be arsed to respect as simple a request as “don’t call me that”, why the hell should Usagi expect them to listen here, in this space where she feels completely trapped?
I realize that this scene was meant to be cute and fun, and that is entirely my problem with it. There’s nothing cute or fun about this. Usagi is AFRAID, and rightfully so. She’s been taken to a place she doesn’t know with a person she barely knows, cut off from everyone, isolated by someone who has already proven that her comfort and boundaries are not a concern, and whose every action here demonstrates a further lack of that concern. And then turns all of that into a punchline bundled in yet another example of how Usagi is being silly and overreacting to poor Seiya.
Because if there’s one thing we should laugh at, surely it’s situations like this.
It’s not that I’m not seeing another perspective with all this, it’s that I’m pissed off that I’m supposed to.