syrup village arc

Zoro & Usopp in Syrup Village arc

Instead of talking about these two in bits and pieces throughout my reading of this arc, I thought I’d wait til the end to pull it all together and put all my thoughts into one big post. Usopp and Zoro’s relationship is really important to me, and this arc has so much great stuff between them that is either often overlooked or just not discussed as much or as often as I think it should be. This is pretty long, and it starts off more general, so I’m putting it under a readmore.

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I’m in the process of writing several posts about the Syrup Village Arc, and I just want to remark on the difference between the Usopp Pirates and Black Cat Pirates.

Actually, what I really want to talk about is Usopp and Kuro, and their respective philosophies on training a crew.

Kuro apparently has some skills as far as being a captain (or maybe he’s just good at manipulation), but he has probably the lowest possible opinion of other human beings, and his crew is no exception:

And then, of course, he tries to wipe them all out, because they were nothing more than fodder to him to begin with.

And then we have the Usopp Pirates, who are literally children, yet Usopp treats them with a certain respect that doesn’t evaporate suddenly when the real danger arrives.

I was really touched by this scene. Usopp very well could have yelled at them and told them to buzz off (and we wouldn’t have blamed him, given the situation), but as Zoro said, he gave them a noble reason to run so that they wouldn’t feel useless or disloyal.

Also notice how Kuro has been all-out deceiving his crew for three years and they are rendered shocked and helpless once the truth is out. Usopp’s crew knows that he’s a liar, but he maintains their respect because he isn’t deceiving them. However, Usopp is not above lying to Carrot, Pepper, and Onion, but he does it to protect them.

I know it seems like a no-brainer, that Kuro is a bad person so of course his crew sucks, and Usopp is a good person, so his crew is good, but guys–IT SHOWS.

The Black Cat Pirates are grown men who have actually been out to sea and have done the piracy thing for years, but the second their captain turns on them, they have no idea what to do. All they do is beg for Kuro to stop.

But when the Usopp Pirates are put in real danger, they think. 

They may just be kids with no real fighting ability, but in many ways they prove to be more resourceful and independent than Kuro’s crew because they were treated with respect.