(Spoilers for each girls back story)
Few studios in this world can produce vibrant animation much like CloverWorks. Rather it is the creepy atmosphere of The Promised Neverland, the ever so intriguing flop and collab Darling in The FranXX, or one of the most successful rom-com in recent memory Horimiya, my point is they make good shit. Though I usually give my trophy of ‘favorite studio’ to Trigger, CloverWorks is without a doubt a studio that I trust with whatever animation they end up picking up. Winter 2020, was specifically interesting for the studio, it was the season for the before mentioned Horimiya but even that I don’t believe it was the best show to come from them this winter. No, that title I have to give to an original series that follows 4 girls struggling with trauma, battling in a dreamscape, facing their past while also helping others who suffer the same fate. I am of course talking about Wonder Egg Priority, a show I can comfortably say was my favorite of the Winter lineup.
Boy, so this will be a ride, okay so let’s see where to start.
Wonder Egg follows Ai Ohto, a 14-year-old shut-in with very distinct heterochromia. Due to this Ai suffered from bullying, finding her time at school as a social leper she quickly got used to being alone. That is until one day a new student is introduced to the class, Koito Nagase. Being assigned to seat next to Ai, she quickly befriends the quiet girl, though not easily. Hurt and shut off for a while by the time, Ai is slow to warm up to the new girl’s advances, but in a grand proclamation, Koito breaks through her defenses quickly becoming her best friend.
As their relationship grows, however, so does the scope of bullying. Koito becomes the victim of the ruthless wrath of her classmates, Ai assumes because of their friendship. Wonder Egg gets, well, complicated around this time. As Ai and Koito build their friendship, they are both under the care of a teacher, Shuichiro Sawaki. Much to Ai’s curiosity, she starts seeing Koito seemingly get closer and closer to the teacher, even one time finding him hugging her as she cried. Confused by her best friend’s sudden distant behavior, sadly Ai never gets to confide in Koito, as she commits suicide.
Destroyed and confused Ai shuts down, even more, stops going to school completely, and does what she can to rebuild her traumatized emotions. Finding charm in late nigh walks, Ai sneaks out wondering the sidewalks seeming with no destination in mind. She reflects on her current situation, the weakened relationship with her mother, and a curious suspicion of her former teacher’s involvement with her best friend. Stumbling across a beetle one night, it tells Ai to follow it, leading her to a strange arcade full of vending machines, within those machines, are eggs.
This is where shit gets, well, complicated.
Taking the egg home Ai goes to bed, waking into a dreamscape high school where an ominous voice tells her to break the egg. Within in doing so pops out a girl, one that is rather annoyed Ai decided to break the egg in the restroom. Giving her a brief rundown Ai discovers this girl, suffering from her own demons, had sadly taken her own life. But unable to move on, it is up to Ai to help her face her past, destroying the traumatic bond allowing her to move on. Though it’s a task that sounds easier than it actually is. Ai discovers that within this world she can get hurt, fatally so. But all of it could be avoided if she just allows the egg girl to fend for herself, the trauma only goes after whoever resides within the eggs.
Then she learns if she does help her, and many more, her best friend, Koito will come back to life.
With the chance of finally being able to ask her dearest pal why she did what she did. Ai squares up, destroying the Wonder Killer allowing the spirit to move on. It is only now, the three other main characters get involved. The highly intelligent but stand-offish Neiru Aonuma, the white knight Momoe Sawaki, and the very popular and charismatic Rika Kawai. Though unaware of one another at first, the group of four ends up on a path where they become close friends, all fighting for their own reason, against their own demons.
Rika the amateur idol is racked with guilt, as her harsh words towards one of her biggest fans lead the girl astray, resulting in her death. Momoe is handsome, very much so. The world sees her as a pretty boy, she suffers from the lack of her own femininity, confiding mostly in her best friend Haruka her own sexuality becomes a point of tension as Haruka confesses, Intensely, scaring Momoe into harshly rejecting her.
Then there is Neiru, who is, well in my opinion, the most complicated one. Born into a ruling class of sorts, Neiru is highly logical, allowing her to disavow her emotions completely to make decisions. So she is like most American CEOs, a bonafide Sociopath. Though quickly befriend by the bubbly and bright Ai, she is very skeptical of the other two girls, more Rika than Momoe. Born into what is pretty much a role of royalty, Neiru always had everything anyone could ask for, she was the golden child, but sadly not an only one. As a result of brooding jealously her sister lashes out against her, though that action results in her own downfall instead of Neiru’s.
With the stage set and their reason their own. The 4 girls go in nightly, to fight for and avenge girls of the past while at the same time, developing their friendship and ultimately, becoming stronger people. There are a few key takeaways I want to say about this series. The plot is amazingly original, interesting but sadly, as do most original anime series, tries to apply logic way too late in the game. What plays mostly on mysticism, the eggs and the logic behind them tries to get explained in one single episode, and it’s, well, not great.
Add the fact there was an extremely annoying and useless filler episode, those are without a doubt my two biggest issues with the series.
However, that alone doesn’t really outweigh how I feel about this series overall. Though not the highest-rated series of the Winter, giving it a 7/10 I can say that it was my favorite. Wonder Egg Priority is aesthetically beautiful, the action is crisp and fluent. Each girl has their own style of fighting, and even while in the same dream, uses their styles to complement each other.
Honestly, that is something that I really want to point out. The fight scene fucking slap, truly, it was something I never expected to take hold but anytime there was a fight on the screen I was glued to it.
Add the sound, the story, it all is just good, Wonder Egg Priority is a fantastic show, and I am thrilled for the true last episode that is going to be airing this June. If you are looking for something that is off the wall, full of dazzling animation, charming girls, great sound, and a complex but pleasing story check it out, the series is worth it.
As always thanks for the read!