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I don't mean to be a downer, but wow, Chapter 615 was...well...depressing would be one way of putting it. The people in the castle are about to go from soiling themselves out of fear and worry to soiling themselves while having an aneurism and collapsing into shock. If the Minister of the Right's reaction was any sign of how things are going to be handled, then frenzied panic is about to engulf the room faster than a bad fart. Shirahoshi's gone, pirates are invading on the threat of death. Hatchan's been shot (he cannot catch a break when it comes to being shot, can he?), and the graveyard is the depressing cherry on top. This is one of the few times where I don't mind waiting to see the next chapter.

The front line of pirates I'm not that worried about, they just look like normal mass knockout fodder. Logically with them I feel that the Straw Hats won't have any problem defeating them. It's just the fact that the inevitable always happens. To misquote Blueno, "If a door is closed, surely it can open. Mostly I'm just worried about the princes. They are about to have a wave of pissed off, juiced up fishmen coming at them, though I would like to see their fighting skills. Sanji wants to go to the palace, so he and Chopper are going to catch some of that as well.

Then there's the Sea Forest. I can't wait to hear the philosophical reason why Oda refered to a graveyard as a forest (I actually mean that, never have I heard of a graveyard being called a forest of any kind). I found the whole Otohime thing to be just plain saddening. It's obvious Shirahoshi wants to go to the forest to visit her mother's grave as there is a more than obvious connection between her being locked in the tower, her mother's death, and what transpired ten years ago. Interesting note, this will be the second time Luffy has visited a grave (if you don't count the Rumbar Pirates' on Thriller Bark, since he didn't actually visit it, otherwise it would be the third). Both times were for someone's mother, and both had a cross as a grave marker.

I really hope the mood picks up in the next few chapters. Stuff looking too hopeless is never fun.

By the way, just saying this now, a flashback is going to start in the next 2-4 chapters. I can smell this coming from a mile away.