The art of Seiten Taisei in the elaborate robes is really foreshadowing of his Buddha form at the end of the series.Assuming that Minekura uses this part of the original Journey to the West, and assuming that this appearance isn't just Rule of Cool, art such as this◊ depicting the Seiten Taisei could be really far in advance foreshadowing of what Goku/Seiten Taisei will become upon the end of the journey (see the last listing on The Other Wiki for details on Sun Wukong's becoming a Buddha). My reasons are thus:
Hakkai will go blind.Because it'd be incredibly ironic (at least, I think that's the word), because he's put a lot of strain on his remaining eye, and, most importantly, I'd find it hot.
Hakuryuu is actually... Goujun. Recycled.Okay. Hakuryuu (also known as Jeep or 'the little white dragony lizard Hakkai has') is basically part of the group. Goujun is eventually brought into the group during the events of Gaiden, where he's Kenren and Tenpou's boss. During the standoff in Western Army headquarters, Goujun is their main hostage and Kenren and Tenpou formally resign before their escape attempt to clear their commanding officer's name. Goujun reappears in the underground laboratory rebuking Kenren for not going through his chain of command. He survives the rebellion but is seriously wounded. After completing a written account of the events as a penance for being blind to Li Touten's corrpution, Goujun dies of his wounds. As the others are cast back onto earth many centuries later, reincarnated, it also makes sense that Goujun is reincarnated as well. What else would be so fitting as being what he had so much power over back in the good ol' days? Plus, it would explain why Hakuryuu is so fond of Hakkai- they were good mates back in the day. Also, if he remembered all of this, it would explain why Hakuryuu is so helpful to the boys even though at least half the group tend to forget about him at times and annoy him to no end. Besides, it'd make a cool twist in the story!
Sanzo will become (or is already) a YoukaiBecause the whole 'kill a thousand demons' thing worked on Hakkai. And how many youkai has Sanzo killed? Um. Lots. And it would be pure Fetish Fuel for some people. So... yeah.
The events of Gaiden will be revealed sometime during Blast!Because how can it not happen? Remember Kanzeon's ending speech in Reload? And the ominous picture of Nataku? It would be one hell of a chapter. And it would just be pure, undiluted awesome. (Besides, there's just not enough angst in Blast yet. Mwahaha.)
The Minus Wave is not an inevitable side effect of mixing magic with science.In the very first chapter, the Sanbutsushin claim that the forbidden technique of mixing youkai magic with human science in order to revive Gyumaoh is the cause of the Minus Wave, and explicitly compare it to how the children of youkai and humans are born cursed. There are a few problems with this.
Sharak will dieHow many other cool female characters have survived? TWO. My bet is that she goes psycho and Sanzo has to kill her, or she dies saving the ikkou. Either way, she's toast.
Sharak is a literal arhat.A kind of alternative to the WMG above. Sharak introduces herself as "The 28th of Arhat" (as opposed to Genjyo's "31st of T'ang"). In Tibetan Buddhism, an arhat is a being enlightened enough to predict the time and place their next incarnation will appear. The best known real world arhat would be the Dalai Lama, who is believed to be the 14th successive incarnation of the same being. There are dozens of arhat lineages of varying authority in Tibet. Hence, succession for the Koten sutra may go by reincarnation instead of by master-disciple transmission, perhaps explaining how the Koten line has survived despite being MUCH closer to India and Gyokumen Koushu's minions than the Seiten line. OR...
The Koten Sutra's power has kept Sharak hidden from UkokuSharak is thousands of miles closer to Houtou Castle and the Minus Wave than Koumyou was at Kinzan Temple, and than the unnamed Uten Sutra sanzo was when he was killed, yet she's survived to the present day. Yes, part of it may be that she's holed up in a heavily armed fortress at ~11,000ft elevation in the middle of the Himalayas. However, it may also be because the Koten sutra governs "the unknown and the ineffable". She may be able to conceal the location to some degree, enough at least that Ukoku and Gyokumen haven't been able to pinpoint it yet.
One sanzo will end up with all five sutrasRelated to "Sharak Will Die". We're down to 3 sanzo priests: Genjyo, Sharak, and Ukoku. Sharak's clearly been fighting for her life for quite some time now (she's got an impressive collection of scars even by Saiyuki standards), Genjyo is on a virtual suicide mission, and Ukoku "never feels alive unless it's eat or be eaten". Sharak's chances, as a named female character, are slim. There will be at most one survivor from Genjyo and Ukoku's showdown. Chances are there will be ONE surviving sanzo with all five sutras...which we've been told is a recipe for disaster (remember, living sanzo priests are supposed to split up to reduce risk, even when only carrying one sutra at a time). OR...
The age of the sutras, and of the sanzo priests, will endRelated to the WMG above. There are currently only 3 out of the required 5 sanzos, none of whom seem to have acolytes standing by to take over for them (unlike, say, Goudai training novices who hope to become sanzos or Koumyou having Koryuu in place to succeed him immediately). According to Ibun, this problem did not exist 40 years ago. Ever since Genkai's untimely death, the life expectancy for current sanzos has been plummeting. When it comes down to a confrontation between Ukoku and Genjyo, dark and light, is one going to be able to overpower the other or are they going to end up in some sort of stalemate or mutual destruction? Without anyone left to bear them, the sutras may change into some other, less dangerous form that does not require a human bearer, marking the End of an Age (and likely the end of Shangri-La's peace and stability as well). We're told that when more than one sutra is in close proximity, their powers can combine into something completely new and different. All five together could be...explosive.
Sharak is Kanzeon in disguiseBecause we all know Se likes messing with Sanzo and co.
Sharak is Minekura Kazuya in disguiseProve me wrong. I dare you.
Jeep's true nature will be dramatically revealedEveryone will react with shock and/or horror and/or amazement, and we'll get a double-page spread of everyone's reactions looking suitably astonished; then the next page will have Goku saying "That's such a big deal? I knew it all along", immediately followed in the next panel by Sanzo and Gojyo simultaneously punching him in the head.
Ukoku tore out his other eye so he wouldn't have to win the bet against KoumyouThis goes on the assumption that at the end of Reload Sanzo shot out one (and only one) of Ukoku's eyes; Ukoku did the other one himself. That's not just because he's nucking futs, although that is certainly true. He realized that there was pretty much nothing standing in his way against reviving Gyumaoh, and from there somehow winning their bet. "Winning" means that the game's over, and he'd already spent so much of his time defining himself as the "dark" in opposition to the "light"; he realized that he was about to lose his "definition", and so gave himself a handicap. Literally. Although he used Sanzo as an excuse because he wasn't ready to admit it to himself yet. TL;DR Ukoku is a crazy bastard with issues revolving around Koumyou.
The other 4 sutras have different activation mantrasOkay, this one is mostly just for my geeky satisfaction but maybe someone else will find it interesting. The activation mantra for Genjyo's Maten sutra is On mani hatsumei un, the Japanese version of the Sanskrit Om mani padme hum, one of the most widely used mantras in Mahayana Buddhism. "Mani padme" specifically invokes Avalokiteshvara/Kanzeon. There are 5 sutras and 5 bodhisattva administrators in Heaven. I'm guessing that the other sutras use different activation mantras honoring different bodhisattvas—they may all be in the 6-syllable format, which is popular in Tibetan Buddhism. I.e., Om vajrapani hum to Channa Dorje or Om wagishwari hum to Manjusri.
Hassan will become the next "Uten" SanzoSo we know he had training as a potential Sanzo candidate, and I'm of the firm belief that Sharak will die (because she's so awesome, and this way I'm either prepared or pleasantly surprised). She dies, but before croaking manages to pass the sutra on to him. That, or she decides she's sick and tired of being a Sanzo, and is all like "Hey, you; you're stuck with the job now. Have fun. I'm off to tour Europe without a bunch of youkai trying to kill me."