"Luffy vs. Usopp! The Spirit of the Clashing Men" is the 236th episode of the One Piece anime.
Usopp challenges Luffy in order to decide who keeps the Going Merry. Though he is injured, Usopp fights harder than he's ever fought before. Luffy actually seems to pose no threat but all the while, he's remembering what great friends they used to be, sailing together on the same ship. Even after taking a harsh beating, Luffy defeats Usopp. Luffy and the crew then leaves Usopp and the ship behind.
As promised, Usopp returns to Scrap Island at 10pm for the duel with Luffy. Luffy tells him not to have any regrets regardless of the outcome. Usopp replies that, unlike previous enemies, he's well aware of what Luffy is capable of, and is ready to defeat him. He tells Luffy to come at him with everything he has. The rest of the Straw Hat Pirates watch from the deck of the Going Merry with varying degrees of concern.
Usopp starts with some of the boasts he made when they first met. When Luffy comes at him with Gomu Gomu no Pistol, Usopp uses his Hissatsu Ketchup Boshi to fake coughing up blood. This stops Luffy in his tracks out of concern. Usopp mocks him for showing pity on the enemy, and blinds him with a Flash Dial, then hits him with Hissatsu Tamago Boshi, pelting his former captain with rotten eggs. Luffy tells Usopp to get serious; Usopp says he is, reminding him this is how he fights. Usopp shoots Hissatsu Tabasco Boshi right in Luffy's mouth, making him spit fire and fall back right onto a pile of caltrops, scratching up his body. When Luffy gets up, Usopp knocks him back down with Hissatsu Koshou Boshi, which explodes in a cloud of ground pepper. Luffy coughs in fits and repeatedly lands in the caltrops.
Luffy recovers enough to finally get out of the caltrops, remarking how much it hurts. Usopp says he won't give Luffy a chance to retaliate, and starts to amp up the danger with Shuriken Ryuuseigun, firing strings of throwing stars at Luffy, forcing him to focus on dodging. He gets in an area that appears to be smoky. Usopp says it's actually gas coming from a Breath Dial; he couldn't smell it because of the rotten eggs. Usopp fires Kaen Boshi, setting off a tremendous explosion that throws Going Merry back from the shore. For a moment, Luffy lays on the ground and thinks about the past with Usopp. The water thrown up by the explosion makes it look like the ship itself is crying.
Usopp remarks he knows that explosion wouldn't kill Luffy. Luffy tries to attack with Gomu Gomu no Gatling, but Usopp responds with Sakuretsu Saboteso Boshi, which explodes on Luffy's fist and pummels Luffy with small pins. Usopp fires several Sanren Kayaku Boshi at Luffy, forcing him to dodge the resulting explosions. Luffy finally knocks Usopp back with Gomu Gomu no Pistol. But when he tries Gomu Gomu no Bazooka, Usopp catches it with an Impact Dial and dishes it back out on Luffy, knocking Luffy back, but also injuring his arm with the recoil. That was the last of Usopp's tricks. Out of ideas, he stands there and takes it as Luffy fires Gomu Gomu no Bullet, punching him hard in the chest and knocking him out, winning the duel.
Putting his straw hat back on, Luffy tells Usopp that he can keep the Going Merry, and bids him goodbye. Chopper wants to treat him, but Sanji stops him, saying it's wrong to show pity on the loser of a duel. Chopper still leaves some supplies for him to help treat himself. As he returns to the ship, Luffy tears up, commenting on the heavy burden. Zoro responds that it's the burden of the captain, and the rest of the crew relies on him to bear it. As Luffy, Chopper and Nami tear up over this turn of events, the crew then leaves the ship, and a crying Usopp, behind.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- During the flashback which shows Usopp complaining that Luffy is sitting on the figurehead of the Going Merry, it is incorrectly depicted bearing a tin plate. By the time of the Drum Island Arc in the anime, it had been mended from the accident with Laboon, and remained fixed up until being broken off again in the anime-only Ruluka Island Arc.
- The flashback showing the Straw Hats having a party the night before gold hunting in the Skypiea Arc, some of them are incorrectly depicted without shoes on, unlike the scene in the anime.
- Up until this episode, Luffy would flash a triumphant smile after winning a fight. However, this is not a fight he wanted to go through with, and it was very painful emotionally. He does not smile for quite some time following his victory, because he continues to go through troubling situations. Four episodes pass until he finally smiles again, once he makes a "safe" landing on a building with Nami after using his Devil Fruit powers to trapeze through the air.