The penultimate chapter has Edward regaining his right arm via Alphonse's sacrifice and May's Rentanjutsu, Father beginning to lose control of the "God" he absorbed, and Scar collapsing. Edward now stands above the struggling Father ready to finish him off, but will it go so easily? And what of Alphonse? What of Hohenheim? Will Roy regain his sight? What will happen to Amestris?
My predictions are as follows:
- Hohenheim ends up sacrificing himself to restore his sons. Hohenheim is seeking to be with his wife, is looking for death, and would probably sacrifice what's left of his Philosopher's Stone to return Ed and Al to the way they were. However, if this doesn't happen, I can see Arakawa going in the direction of "Life is precious, you shouldn't seek its end", where Hohenheim survives, but will now only live a regular mortal life and die sometime later of old age. Maybe this will allow him to be with his sons and live as a family.
- Greed will be vanquished somehow. He's the only homunculus left, and I can see him dying if Father dies. Otherwise, I don't see Ling having a happy ending, even though he's come to a amiable relationship with Greed. Either Greed will end up sacrificing himself somehow, or will just fade away when Father is defeated. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see if Ling keeps Greed in him and they return to Xing to rule it.
- Something about the way alchemy works will fundamentally change, or Amestris will start adopting rentanjutsu in some way to avoid the pitfalls of having the Truth involved with alchemy.
- Scar will probably survive. Just collapsing and dying quietly doesn't seem like something Arakawa would write for a character that's been around for so long. Part of me wants to see him die for his redemption, but another part of me doesn't think it's necessary. Living and becoming a better person, a wiser person, a more accepting person, that is redemption, too. I don't think anything Scar has done was so heinous that he cannot live to see another day as the person he's become, but if he dies, I will understand that, too. If he does die, I hope he thinks of the Rockbells as he passes, and their kindness, or if he lives, visits their grave with Winry, maybe farm some in Risembool.
- Amestris will change, because either Roy or Olivier will be the Fuhrer, or the government will change altogether to a democracy. Nothing happens over night, though. To be honest, though, I can see Olivier wanting to return to Briggs rather than run things at Central.
- Edward marries Winry and they have four kids, and one is named Maes, and two others are named after Winry's parents, and another is named... what, you think this is vomit-inducing fanfiction happy ending drivel? Yeah, me too. But it's not as though our hero doesn't deserve a happy ending. Personally, though, I like bittersweet endings.
(That last one isn't a real prediction.)
Anyway, this month is the month! The manga ends, Brotherhood ends (I think), and Fullmetal Alchemist is history. However it ends, I'm sure it will remain a favorite title of mine for quite a while.