One Piece: Usopp & Whitebeard Commander [SPOILER] Save Samurai With Cowardice

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter 1036, "Bushido is the Way of Death," by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul, and Vanessa Satone, available in English from Viz Media.

King and Queen are finally down for good and it seems victory is in sight for the Straw Hats in the Onigashima Raid. The only foes that stand in their way now are Kaido and Big Mom, along with the thousands of remaining Beast Pirates. In the latest Chapter 1036, Usopp was left to face these gruesome soldiers, alone, while protecting the badly injured Kiku and Kin'emon. Will his cowardice get the better of him or will it actually be what saves him in the end?

The second floor of the castle was in a complete uproar, as Usopp was surrounded on all sides by the Kaido's men. As longtime readers would expect, the sniper was not emotionally prepared to fight this many enemies at once, but he remained by the samurai's sides as he shoots his trusty slingshot. Kin'emon and Kiku, however, have accepted their fates, but this just infuriated Usopp.

Usopp doesn't understand the samurai's pride or their ritual of harakiri, or seppuku, the way of samurai slicing their belly with a sword to restore honor in their death. Usopp isn't shameful of his cowardice, as he puts it "I don't care if it looks pathetic! I survive -- It's what I do! And it's the entire reason I stand here today!" He doesn't see the point in fighting your very hardest only to give up your own life when the battle becomes too difficult. Unlike Kin'emon and Kiku, Usopp was terrified throughout the entire battle, but he still fought past the end so that he could see the new Wano and continue his adventures with his friends.

As Usopp ducked for cover, another ally emerges ready to lend a hand. Izou, a former member of the Akazaya Nine and Whitebeard Division Commander, arrived guns blazing, literally. There's a great action panel that served as Izou's introduction into the fight showing his quick marksman as he shot every Beast Pirate around in a single rotation.

Izou checked in on the condition of his sister, Kiku, assuring her that if she believed in Luffy then she should focus on surviving, not just laying down their lives for The Straw Hats and Momonosuke. Izou removed his garments, revealing a striking tattoo on his back of the crest of the Kozuki Clan, most likely done in honor of Kozuki Oden. He told "God" Usopp to take the samurai to safety as he dealt with these ruffians, which only flattered the sniper that someone recognized his epithet.

Usopp hasn't gotten very much to do in Wano, but this was still a great moment for him in showing the contrast between him and the Akazaya Nine. The reason why Usopp fans love the long-nosed sniper is that he may be scared and he may be weaker than most, but he still finds the courage to do what he can, because that's all we can expect from anyone. He proves that time and time again and this time is no exception, either.

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