Wonder Egg Priority is an original series airing this season that has generated a lot of interest. Only four episodes in, many have rushed forward to declare it a masterpiece. The crisp animation and unique music themes during battles place CloverWorks once again as a great animation studio, with three hits this season, including the second season of Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland).
Written by Shinji Nojima, who has built his career on writing dramas focusing on youth and social issues, Wonder Egg Priority deals with heavy themes like suicide, bullying, the dark side of idol culture, and tackles homophobia and gender identity. Wonder Egg Priority has been compared to Puella Magica Madoka and Flip Flappers in its use of heavy themes and psychedelic visuals. But, what’s the deal with the eggs? We see them in the opening, in the gacha machine, they are a constant part of the show’s visual language… We decided to look more into them and we hope to persuade you by the end of this article to catch up with this highly promising anime!
Come Out of Your Shell
Let’s start with Ai Ohto, our protagonist. Ai’s best and only friend Koito - perhaps even her love interest - has committed suicide. The circumstances are still unclear but we know that Ai feels directly responsible for Koito’s death. Since then, Ai stopped going to school and we see her in only one outfit, an oversized yellow hoodie with a sunflower. It’s easy to see that Ai has shut herself out, frozen in her trauma - she looks like an egg, hiding her face in the hoodie and concealing her body. Still, the sunflower on her clothes and the sunflowers appearing when she is on-screen show her for who she really is: a warm and friendly person who has lost her spark.
Each girl, Ai, Rika, Neiru, and Momoe, have put up barriers to protect themselves from guilt and painful experiences. As teenagers, they have been at the mercy of adults, who have either directly victimized them or indirectly, with their indifference. They cannot move on because of their guilt and at the same time they are trapped in their circumstances, that’s why they have to fight, each one to break out of their shell!
Similarly, the girls saved by the Wonder Egg team are trapped between life and death, unable to move on, until their trauma gets recognized and avenged. After all, we have seen the egg symbol used before, in older anime, like Revolutionary Girl Utena or Angel’s Egg, as both a symbol of life and of social constraints.
Not All Eggs Are the Same
We noticed that the girls who come out of the eggs have similar issues to the people Ai, Rika, and Momo have lost (at the time of writing this article we do not know much about Neiru’s backstory). For example, in the first episode, Ai has to save a girl who is being bullied at school, much like Koito. Rika has to rescue two fans that killed themselves after their favorite idol committed suicide. Rika used to be a junior idol and feels responsible for her fan’s death, so the connection is clear. Finally, Momoe saves girls that fall for her, much like her friend did. It is heavily implied that either Momoe rejected her friend, who then took her life, or she did affect her friend in another way, leading her to the edge.
This is another hint that our main characters might not be able to save their friends at all. Fighting to protect the girls coming out of the eggs might actually be a way for all four to deal with their own hang-ups and right the wrongs they did before they lost their special people, by helping others.
Spoilers in the Opening Theme?
Ai, Neiru, Rika, and Momoe have appeared one by one in the first four episodes. The opening theme shows each girl and their egg. By the end of the opening, we only see one egg, Ai’s, that starts to crack. We wonder if this is a sign of a tragic outcome: will the girls survive their fights? If the show goes down the Madoka route, we might have to gear up for tragedy. Hopefully not, though! The cracked egg might stand for a positive outcome, that Ai will overcome her dark memories and break the silence about Koito’s abuse and bullying, avenging her in the real world by speaking up.
Even if you feel that the use of symbolism in anime is not your cup of tea, we do recommend Wonder Egg Priority because it has the complete pack: adorable character designs, cool personalities that complement each other, and excellent production quality which have all made Wonder Egg Priority one of our favorite anime this season.
Our only concern at this point is whether Wonder Egg Priority would end up biting more than it can chew. So far, we have four main characters dealing with trauma, several girls that have committed suicide, a gender-ambiguous character in Momoe, and symbols thrown at us every other turn that all create a rich, if not overwhelming, experience. We do hope that Wonder Egg Priority will not lose its focus and continue to handle challenging topics with the same honesty.
But what do you think about the Wonder Eggs? Any ideas about how Wonder Egg Priority will progress? Let’s discuss in the comments below. After all, not having an idea of what is going to happen next is the magic of original anime!