Hello everyone and welcome to another Otaku Mind. First off happy Memorial Day to everyone out there. Have a BBQ with your family and just have a good day. Since today is Memorial Day I’m going to take a look at one of the most memorable and often debated scenes from One Piece. The scene I’m going to be talking about today is Zoro’s speech about Usopp during the Water 7/Enis Lobby arc. For a lot of fans out there this scene showed why Zoro is the first mate of the crew but I’m surprise to hear there are people out there who don’t agree with Zoro’s speech about Usopp. Well let’s take a look at the scene and see what we come up with.
What led this scene
Now before I show the scene I’m going to give a quick overview into how we got to this scene. After finally coming across some treasure in Skypeia and making it back the blue ocean, the crew trades in that gold for 300 million berries and decide to use that money to repair the Going Merry. Since Water 7 is famous for its shipwrights and shipyards the crew asks them to repair their ship but after an inspection they find out that the Going Merry has fallen into disrepair. The keel (the ship’s backbone) is broken and is the one thing that can’t be repaired when broken. They’re told that the ship will fall apart before it reaches the next island and are told to buy a new ship or risk being stranded at sea. Luffy, not accepting this is forced to make a decision and begrudgingly decides to buy a new ship and abandon the Going Merry. Now this was a very hard choice for Luffy as we actually do hear and see the sadness in Luffy’s voice and face when he tells the crew this. He knows that the Going Merry is a valuable part of the crew and was the crew’s first ship. Luffy deep down blames himself for Merry’s current condition and is thinking to himself what he could have done to save Merry? Once Luffy tells his crew this everyone is okay with it except for Usopp who openly argues with Luffy in front of everyone. Usopp was despite being an immature at ship repairs was the one who always repaired Merry whenever it got damaged so he developed a strong bond with it (that and it was a gift from Kiya who Usopp might have a crush on). So when he hears this he sees this as Luffy abandoning a member of the crew which he can’t accept and the argument ends with Usopp leaving the crew but not before challenging Luffy for ownership of Merry. This leads to a pretty intense and sad fight between the two good friends (I had more feelings for this fight than I did for the first Naruto and Sasuke fight and that fight was a few chapters long. Luffy and Usopp’s fight was only one chapter long) with despite Usopp’s best efforts he loses to Luffy in the end but Luffy gives him the ship anyway and cries in secret at the burden he has to carry as a captain (scene here: https://youtu.be/XYX5G-Noew0, this is hands down one of the saddest moments in the series). After that we get the whole Enis Lobby arc where the crew has to rescue Robin and defeat CP9. Once that’s done Franky agrees to build them a new ship and Sanji overhears Usopp wanting to rejoin the crew leading to Zoro’s speech about Usopp.
Scene here: https://youtu.be/rCwYiUDIAok
After this scene Franky finishes up the ship and decides to join the crew on their voyage. As they leave they’re under attack by Garp, Luffy’s grandpa and vice admiral in the Marines and Usopp is at the coast trying to get their attention but they can’t hear him over the cannon fire. Usopp realizes his mistakes and apologizes for them.
Scene here: https://youtu.be/0E4HccHod50
And that’s how it ended. We saw Usopp leave the crew and rejoin the crew. Now let’s get into the discussion on this series of events.
Who’s side was I on
I was on Luffy’s side all the way. This was obviously a hard decision for Luffy to make and if there was another way I’m sure he would have done it. Usopp has known Luffy for a very longtime he should know that Luffy wouldn’t be doing the things he’s doing without a solid reason. Yes, Luffy is an idiot but when it comes to the crew he puts their safety and needs above everything. We’re talking about a man who declared war on the World Government which pretty much controls the world just to save one crew member and a man who climbed up a snowy mountain barehanded while carrying his two crewmates who were both sick on his back. That’s how far Luffy will go to save one of his nakamas. I was also on Zoro’s side when he gave his big speech about Usopp and respect. Again Luffy may be an idiot but at the same time he’s the captain. You don’t have to like him, agree with him, or share his dreams, but you will respect him and when you get down to it that’s what this is about. I have nothing against Usopp wanting to stick with Merry but it’s the way he did it that puts him in the wrong. Usopp disrespected Luffy in front of the entire crew and left over something he knew he couldn’t change and was the right decision. Think of it this way, if you had a problem with your boss over a decision you didn’t agree with would you argue with him in front of everyone? No, you’re going to speak to him in private about this decision because this is only between you and him and no one else. Zoro also brings up trust in his speech which once again I agree with. If Usopp got mad and left over something like this than who’s to say who won’t get mad and do the same again in the future? Only this time the situation could be a lot dire and more serious. “What we’re doing isn’t a childish pirate game”, he’s right, what they’re doing is a matter of life and death in a pursuit of their dreams and if I’m risking my life I want to make sure the guy I’m traveling with has my back just like I have his. Finally, Zoro threatening to leave is also valid. Many people thought he was going to leave because Usopp was coming back. No, he even says he has nothing against Usopp coming back and traveling with the crew but he wants Usopp to address the actions he made in the past before rejoining the crew and apologize for them. Again it all goes back to respect. If Luffy allowed Usopp to rejoin the crew and not own up to his mistakes than Luffy would have been a doormat and the level of respect everyone has for him would of gone down the drain and Zoro has no intention of working for a captain who doesn’t have the respect of his crew. Zoro will tolerate Luffy’s recklessness and idiocy but he will not tolerate working for someone who doesn’t have the respect of his crew and it’s understandable. An employee who doesn’t respect his boss isn’t going to make the workplace better he’s going to make it worse and a boss who doesn’t demand the respect of his employees and gets walked all over like a doormat isn’t fit to be a leader and shouldn’t be followed at all.
Was Luffy in character throughout this series of events
Yes. Luffy made the decision as captain to abandon Merry for a ship that they could continue their travels with. It was a tough choice but in my opinion Luffy made the right choice. Nothing in this world is gain without sacrificing something else. Luffy knows that in order for him to achieve his dream of becoming the King of Pirates he would have to sacrifice things along the way. Nothing goes perfect in a voyage.
Was Usopp in character throughout this series of events
I’m going to say yes and no. Yes, because it’s understandable why Usopp didn’t want to abandon Merry. He poured his soul and heart into keeping Merry floating and like I said before the ship was a gift from Kiya. The ship also could have been a symbol that reminded Usopp of his home and his pledge to become a brave warrior of the sea. So it’s possible that abandoning Merry to him also meant abandoning his dreams. No, he’s not in character because of the way he snapped on Luffy. Like I said before Usopp has known Luffy for a very long time he should know that Luffy wouldn’t abandon Merry unless he had a valid reason. This makes him leaving the crew and disrespecting Luffy in front of everyone out of character for him.
Was Zoro in character throughout this series of events
Definitely yes. While everyone (except maybe Sanji) seemed to be against Luffy, Zoro was totally on Luffy’s side from beginning to end. He understood what was going on and saw both sides of the issue. In his eyes what Usopp did wasn’t wrong but it was the way he did it that made him upset. Luffy’s decision was the right decision in his eyes and knew that Luffy needed someone there for him when the burden became too much for him. Zoro assumed the big brother role and allowed his younger siblings to sort their problems out themselves and then speak when only necessary. He also assumed the first mate role well by showing his undying loyalty and respect to Luffy with his speech about respect.
What were the lessons and impact of this series of events
There were two lesson one learned by Luffy and other learned by Usopp. Luffy learned the burden of being a captain. His decision will not always be the popular one and there will be times where your crew won’t agree with you but you must stick by them and accept the consequences of your choices whether they be the popular choice or not. For Usopp he learned a lesson about respect. He learned that he’s not the captain of the crew. Luffy is the captain and what he says goes. Even if Usopp doesn’t agree with Luffy’s decision or likes it he must respect the decision of his captain and trust him. As far as impact goes this event did shed a new light on the crew as this was their first real fight amongst each other cannon-wise. They had fights before in the past but they were mostly for comedic purposes. This was the first time we actually saw members of the crew actually have a legit fight amongst themselves. When I first saw this I was pretty shocked especially since it was Luffy and Usopp who were fighting each other. If it was Zoro and Sanji I could understand but Luffy and Usopp? Those two were like the best of friends. This in turn actually makes them all seem more human and relatable. Friends do have disagreements with one another and those disagreements can often hurt each other but what needs to be remembered is that for every decision there’s a reason behind it and even though we may not like those decisions and disagree with them we must respect them.
So was Zoro picking on Usopp? No, he wanted Usopp as well as the rest of the crew to learn an important lesson about respect. While the lesson may have been seen as tough love Zoro is doing this to prepare Usopp down the line for the battles to come and in the end everyone learned a valuable lesson and are now stronger than ever. Thanks for reading and I’ll see next time on Project Nitsuj and if there are any other scenes from One Piece or other mangas/anime you would like to hear me talk about and analyze let me know I’m thinking about turning this into series.
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