One Piece: Usopp & Nami Make an Emotional Last Stand in the Wano Arc

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece, Chapter #995 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul, and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.

It can never be overstated how well Oda executes jumping around between the various perspectives of different characters during any One Piece arc. This formula does a great job at making every different interaction and encounter feel important and dire, even when major characters like Luffy or Kaido aren't involved. The latest installment of the manga proves this by switching focus to Nami and Usopp.

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A lot happens in Chapter #995. The ice oni virus is still spreading throughout the palace and what's worse, Chopper, the only one who could develop a vaccine, has now been bitten as well. Things don't look for those trapped on the first floor of the palace, however, the main focus of this chapter is a different encounter entirely.

When all the Straw Hats reconvened on the first floor in the past, our favorite duo of hit and run cowards, Nami and Usopp, were targeted by the siblings of the Tobiroppo officers, Ulti and Page-One. The dinosaur siblings chased the navigator and sniper away from the main battle on the first floor. Now, we get to see how they've been fairing against them.

Usopp launches one of his Green Star projectiles, which creates a massive venus flytrap-like plant that captures Ulti. However, Page-One, in his spinosaurus form, easily chews through the vines and roots with his jaw, freeing his sister. Although we've seen Page One and Ulti bicker a lot, Page-One getting the brunt of it most of all, they seem to have good teamwork, which is what's putting them ahead of Nami and Usopp.

Panicking, Usopp launches another Green Star, creating a quick bamboo forest barrier. However, the siblings again break through that just as easily. Ulti then unleashes her signature attack on Usopp, Ulti Mortar, a violent stampeding headbutt reinforced by her haki and Pachycephalosaurus Devil Fruit powers. We saw her use this same attack a while back on Luffy, but there's a clear divide here, with Usopp as the target, shown by a close-up x-ray panel of the sniper's skull being fractured, which is similar to when he got hit with Mr. 4's baseball bat in Alabasta.

As Usopp is sent flying into a wall from the impact, Nami is already on her last legs. This leads to an interesting conversation between Ulti and Nami, as the Pachycephalosaurus-hybrid holds her in her hand like a doll. Ulti explains that she's furious with Luffy for believing that he would be King of The Pirates instead of Ulti's captain, Kaido. Nami, afraid for her life, begs Ulti not to kill her. Ulti says she won't, but only if Nami admits that "My captain will never be King of the Pirates!"

It's a steep price to openly deface your captain in such a way, but Usopp admits that it's all pointless if they just die here because of it. However, though Nami begins to speak, "Luffy will never…" the navigator concludes the line with "... stop until he's King of the Pirates."

What's interesting about this is that usually, Nami's the first one to openly call Luffy a moron or an idiot, but even when faced with death, she doesn't have the heart to mock her captain's dream. In a way, this feels like another callback to the Alabasta fight against Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas. When Usopp picked himself up after being hit with a bat he punctuated that moment with one of his best quotes, one that is being echoed here in Chapter #995. "There comes a time when a man has to stand and fight. That time is when his friend's dreams are laughed at."

As the navigator cries, certain she's about to meet her end, out of nowhere, the young Wano girl, Tama, arrives on her komainu, Komachiyo. He bites down on Ulti, saving Nami from certain death. Although she was the first character we met when Luffy arrived in Wano, we haven't seen Tama in quite some time, so for her to show up in Onigashima at this moment is quite a surprise, to say the least.

Overall, this chapter is great character work for both Ulti and Nami. Out of the Tobiroppo, Ulti arguably has the largest personality, being very bratty and not afraid to speak her mind, yet we see that she still has respect for Kaido. Nami, meanwhile, one of the most cowardly in the Straw Hats, demonstrates that she simply can't mock the dream of her captain. She's come such a long way from being the thief from Cocoyashi Village who hated pirates.

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