Squealer is going to declare war on humanityBakenezumi colonies have come a long way in the brief 2 year timeskip. Having lobotomized (thus essentially disposing of) their queens, the Robber Fly colony has since merged with other colonies and began to develop advanced weaponry and infrastructure. With a Manipulative Bastard like Squealer at the helm, taking over human settlements seems like a window of opportunity that he would probably not want to miss.
Maria's role in the climax. PLACE YOUR BETS!Way back in Episode 3, a grown-up Saki mentioned that Maria will be responsible for something terrible to happen in the future. What will exactly happen, however, is unclear as of Episode 15. That said, we have the following options:
The series is set in the same universe as AKIRA.Consider: thematically there are many great similarities. The younger generation developing uncontrollable psychic powers that ravage their users and surroundings. A society that comes to the brink of destruction because of their use. An absolute imperial monarchy set up in the ruins of the old world under the most powerful psychic in the region. Basically, we can deduce that Tetsuo was the first, unrecorded victim of a particularly severe case of the Raman-Clogius Syndrome. And the Boy A? That was Kaneda. Constant exposure to psychic powers caused his own psychic potential to manifest after the series was over, but the experience drove him to insanity and turned him from a chivalrious letch into an obsessive-compulsive rapist-murderer.
The series will end in a Kill 'em All fashion.
The real Manipulative Bastard and Big Bad of the series is Tomiko, who is a closet Social Darwinist.Let's say Tomiko wanted, for whatever reason (I'll get to this later), to have some cantus-users separate from the group and go their own way. Then the events in the series makes perfect sense. Tomiko arranges it so a group of kids are free from the usual mind control of people in their society. When this leads them to step outside the boundaries of the world they're placed in, Tomiko allows enough modifications to avoid immediate consequences but leaves enough for the effects to stay around. Then she waits for things to develop. Shun turning into a karmic demon may have been an unfortunate occurance for Tomiko (she might have wanted to use him in other ways), but once Mamoru starts to buckle under the strain two years later, she has her chance. She lets the Education Committee plan to get rid of him, then saves him from death (we know she has the final control over the cats), but this makes him afraid enough that he doesn't want to stay around the settlement. Maria deciding to go with him is an added bonus. The bones provide a nice cover story for them — Tomiko knows they're still alive, but lies about the DNA and dental testing, so that (if questioned) she can say they are dead for sure. She also starts grooming Saki, using flattery and guidance to get the most leadership-minded member of their group on her side. But why go to all this trouble? Think of what her motivation might be. She's over 200 years old, and has seen humanity continue to decline over all this time. She also knows the destructive power of ogres and demons, and knows that an ever-increasingly repressed society will eventually collapse on itself. ("A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.") How to make the society stronger? Triumph over an adversary. What adversary? The queerats. She therefore has allowed queerat society to develop by leaps and bounds under Squealer without pushing back at all. For what it's worth, I find it entirely possible that she allowed them to have the false Minoshiro so that they could develop technologically. When hostilities inevitably break out with the humans, however, she leads the human society in condemning the queerats as despicable, so that they won't wonder what's going on and instead throw themselves into the fight. But all this isn't enough: a concentration of trained cantus-users is still likely to be able to defeat any number of non-cantus users. Solution: get some cantus-users on the queerat side. More specifically, Maria and Mamoru. I think that right now, with Tomiko's tacit blessing, Maria and Mamoru are being held captive by the Robber Fly queerats and forced to use their cantus to aid them. Maybe they are brainwashed. Maybe they are working on pain of torture. Maybe they've gone full-scale into madness and become ogres or demons, but with queerats closely minding them. In any case, this would explain whose cantus skills could have caused the genocide of the Giant Hornets without any other humans noticing. Tomiko's plan is for the humans to free themselves from their former restraints and wipe out the queerats. Then, with independent thinker-turned-leader Saki at the helm, they will recover their glory days of unrestrained cantus use. Will she pull it through? Is this just some loony WMG theory? Only time will tell...
The Akki is a...
The reason Kiromaru led his original expedition to Tokyo was to find the Psychobuster so he could use it himself.
The Akki is not an Akki.In Episode 22, Saki questions whether or not the Akki really is an Akki, and it was previously shown that the Akki will not attack bakenezumi. It is possible that the Akki thinks of itself as a Bakenezumi and thus, is able to kill humans. Basically, the death feedback and attack inhibition does work on him but would only activate if he attacked a Bakenezumi since, to him, they are the same race.
Maria and Mamoru's child was responsible for their deaths.Considering even the Bakenezumi's best technology cannot trump mankind's cantus, Yakomaru's Manipulative Bastard status likely helped in breeding their child into a demon before turning it on them.
Squealer bred his first Akki.Watchers seem to assume that Maria and Mamoru were captured/killed by the queerats after their kid had been born; but in the same episode they're shown to have disappeared, we're also treated to the revelation that Squealer had his colony's queen lobotomized and has been using her as a mindless breeding machine. There's simply no reason why he wouldn't do the same to Maria and Mamoru.