Fights between teammates are inevitable, even when they are as thick as thieves. Or, in this case, Pirates. The Straw Hat Crew was always a solid group but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had their fair share of disagreements. And sometimes those disagreements led to confrontations – escalating to a fight, like the one between Monkey D. Luffy, the infamous captain of the Straw Hats, and Usopp, the legendary Sniper of the crew.
Luffy has always been a force of nature. He is a magnetic character that attracts various people to his cause, but that doesn’t mean he can’t slip up and rub those same people the wrong way. While he’s definitely a powerful protagonist, people tend to forget that, in the end, he’s still a child. And he can be a fair bit obtuse when you consider how young he still is. This has been evident on multiple occasions, but the fight with Usopp was more than just childish banter.
While Usopp is an undeniable asset to the Straw Hat Crew and devoted to them, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his moments of pride that could blindside him. Remember, Usopp himself was the captain of a pirate crew once, known as the Usopp Pirates, which means he can be just as hard-headed as Luffy when it comes to leadership and decision making. This is why the fight between the two, stemming from a place of insecurity on Usopp’s part, is so significant. On the surface, it may have been a surprise to see the two argue about ships, of all things, but there was more to this than met the eye.
Of course, when this fight had happened, the aftermath involved Usopp leaving the crew entirely and only coming back later on. But how could have one confrontation push Usopp to take such a drastic step in the first place? It’s never as simple as it seems with this pirate crew! Let’s discuss what exactly led Usopp to the point of no return, and what caused him to come back regardless.
Why Was Going Merry So Important?
Around the time the crew arrives in the shipbuilding city of Water 7, the Going Merry, their ship, had suffered considerable damage to the point it had become unsalvageable. The shipwrights of the city plainly stated that it wouldn’t survive another trip due to the keel of the ship having been broken beyond repair.
At first glance, the fight started when Luffy realized that the Going Merry was more trouble than it was worth and irreparably damaged. So, keeping in mind that they didn’t have enough money to afford to get the Going Merry fixed up, Luffy decided to abandon her and get a new ship altogether.
And this did not sit right with Usopp, not in the slightest. To him, the Going Merry was more than just an object. It was family, as much a part of their crew as the next Straw Hat. It was a symbol of when he joined the crew in the first place, given as a gift from his childhood friend Kaya for helping her out with Kuro of a Hundred Plans.
In his mind, how could you leave behind something with that much significance?
Usopp Shoulders The Blame And Guilt
The truth is, Usopp felt directly responsible for this turn of events. He felt like the Going Merry was paying the price for his mistakes. Because the issue of repairing her would never have arisen if Usopp hadn’t lost a fortune when the Frank Family started pursuing him.
But it wasn’t just the money. Usopp had slowly been losing faith in himself, growing increasingly frustrated with the famed Monster Trio growing stronger day by day. After losing fight after fight, all Usopp felt like was a burden, to his crew, to his friends, and even to himself.
What struck a chord for him was when Nami pointed out how normal people like her and Usopp can’t keep up with those that hold superhuman abilities, bruising his pride. He was already insecure, and now this entire mess with the Going Merry? It added to his insecurities.
The Fight Between Luffy And Usopp
It’s no wonder Usopp decided to self-sabotage himself when he confronted Luffy in a duel, often considered an iconic fight. Luffy had already said this wasn’t about the money, that this entire mess wasn’t his fault, but Usopp held himself responsible regardless. After all, he was the main Helmsman of the ship up to this point.
And so, Usopp and Luffy fight it out over the ownership of the Going Merry. Usopp comes out slightly ahead against Luffy due to having known him for such a long time and being able to counterattack against him effectively though he eventually loses. Luffy leaves the ship behind feeling sorry for his now-former crewmate.