See that's my line of thought, and particularly why that specific battle interests me. Let's take a look at everything chronologically shall we?Originally Posted by X_evo
1. During the Jaya Arc, Usopp sees their ship, Going Merry, repair itself at night. We find out later that he believes it to be the spirit of the ship and that he knew about the extent of the damage to the ship. He even knew that it wasn't sea worthy. However he misunderstood the sign and assumed that it meant that the ship still wanted to stay with them, when really it was trying to let them know it wouldn't last much longer.
2. During the beginning of the Water Seven arc, pre CP9, we sea Usopp is entrusted with 200 million beri, which was to be used on repairing their ship, since at the time they thought it could still be repaired. We know now that Usopp himself knew the ship was irreparable.
3. Shortly after that, Usopp is robbed of his money, which keep in mind is a huge amount. He is shamed, and his pride is broken. Gathering his courage he goes in to fight the Franky Family and regain the money... only to be beaten to a pulp. Broken, vulnerable, and blaming himself for everything, he lies on the ground ashamed of himself as Luffy and the Gang end up fighting the Franky Family for him. This is a penultimate moment. It signals Usopp's realization (true or not, and I don't think it's true ) that he is the weakest in the group. He suddenly feels like he's a walking vulnerability for them.
4. Luffy tells Usopp about his decision to buy a new ship. Usopp, who considers the ship as much a member of the crew as himself is heartbroken. He knows that the ship cannot go on any longer, and he equates this with his own inability to be of any further use to the Straw Hat pirates. If the ship is thrown out when it is no longer of any use, then is it the same with him? He decides to leave, not simply because of the Going Merry's leaving the gang, though that's very important, but because he thinks he's useless. A pride thing. He fights Luffy for the boat, a meaningless battle that's really just a show of resolve, and then breaks ties with them.
5. Enter CP9 and then later Sogeking. At first Sogeking is just Usopp's excuse so he can help out his friends. In the end, no matter what he says or they say, they're friends, and it's a mutual thing.
So? He has an impetus to hold up his end of the bargain. Oda has made him serious, as we can tell by the sudden bout of Mutiny, something many of us never expected. Now if only he could prove to us that he's serious.