It seems like I'm constantly praising the drama and emotion in Eiichiro Oda's One Piece, but he somehow manages to keep coming up with scenes that should be ridiculous, but are actually moving. The latest example can be found in volume 37, when Usopp is confronted with the reality that the crew's ship, the Merry Go, is beyond repair:
We had previously seen that Usopp was willing to fight a losing battle against Luffy and quit the crew when confronted with the possibility of scrapping the ship, but the revelation that he's aware of its doomed status turns this into a tragic love affair, one that should seem silly, but is so emotionally pure that it borders on tear-jerking. And what's more, we find out that the crew's love for the Merry Go was so strong that its spirit actually took on a physical form in order to help the crew continue their adventures a little bit longer:
How Oda manages to make this serious and touching rather than silly is a mystery to me, but it's just one more example of how incredibly good he is at what he does. I'm continually surprised and amazed at what he comes up with, and while I never know what's coming next, I can pretty much guarantee that it's going to knock my socks off.