Wonder Egg Priority is a very strange anime, where dreams and nightmares intermingle with each other in equal measure. Oh, and there’s a bunch of cute yuri, both implied and explicit, to counterbalance how depressing and horrific the anime can get.
Wonder Egg Priority is a curiously titled anime that falls under fantasy, psychological horror, and psychological drama; which should give you an idea of what it’s about. Although, I would add yuri to it because, well, it’s pretty prevalent in the anime. Both implied and explicit yuri, as I said before, I might add. Magical girl too, since there are many similarities to that genre.
Wonder Egg Priority itself is an original anime (not adapted from any manga) created by Shinji Nojima, who also wrote for the anime. Shin Wakabayashi directed it, with Nobuhiro Nakayama, Masaki Shiode, and Hiroyuki Ueno producing. DE DE MOUSE and Mito worked on the music. CloverWorks (Darling in the Franxx, The Promised Neverland, Horimiya) was the animation studio behind the anime. Lastly, Funimation licensed the anime, so you have them to thank for bringing this to NA shores.
Wonder Egg Priority premiered on January 13, 2021, and ended on June 30, 2021, with a special finale episode. You can watch all episodes in either the original Japanese audio with English subtitles or English dub on Funimation, and Funimation only. This anime is a Funimation exclusive, and they show no signs of letting it broadcast on other streaming services whatsoever.
Warning: spoilers for Wonder Egg Priority below. If you want to watch the dreamlike/nightmarish insanity for yourself, stop here, and come back once you’ve woken up.
Wonder Egg Priority: Plot Summary
Wonder Egg Priority gives us a depressing start with our heroine Ai Ohto, whose best (and only) friend just committed suicide practically right in front of her. Now very deeply traumatized and getting no help from therapists whatsoever, she turns hikikomori and locks herself away at home, mentally and emotionally unable to attend school. You know, because it’s the source of her trauma?
Anyways, Ai then comes across a rather odd zombie beetle that speaks. Uncaring of the weirdness, Ai follows the beetle to a gachapon (basically small plastic capsules with toys in them) machine, where she gets a so-called “Wonder Egg” instead of a normal toy. That night, the Wonder Egg pulls her into a strange dream realm, where she ends up battling bizarre and horrifying monsters to protect a girl who emerged from the Wonder Egg. Upon completing this task, Ai learns that if she does this enough times, she’ll get to bring her friend back to life. Doesn’t sound suspicious at all, does it?
Ai then runs into 3 other girls: Neiru Aonuma, Rika Kawai, and Momoe Sawaki. All of them have had loved ones (or someone like it) commit suicide, and are now playing this Wonder Egg “game” to bring them back to life. In charge of this game are 2 beings named Acca and Ura-Acca, who allow them to purchase the Wonder Eggs they make. Everything seems relatively peaceful. That doesn’t last.
The Weirdness Rises to a Crescendo
While Ai and co. are fighting to protect the Wonder Egg girls, they learn that all of those girls committed suicide. There’s a reason for that. Turns out, all of those suicides are caused by a being called Frill. Acca and Ura-Acca apparently made Frill to be their perfect daughter, Prof. Utonium-style, by putting an AI into a biomechanical human body. Unfortunately, Frill turns out to be a murderously jealous psychopath, starting by murdering Acca’s wife and daughter solely because he was giving them too much attention. Ura-Acca burned her to death in response, but that still didn’t kill her. Somehow, she survived, and decides to mess with them by convincing girls around her physical age of 14 to commit suicide. Somehow. Acca and Ura-Acca couldn’t have that, so they came up with the whole Wonder Egg game to try and stop her. Also somehow.
Ai and co. actually do pretty well, until they actually reach the requisite number of Wonder Eggs to revive their loved ones. At that point, Frill’s creepy minions show up. They murder Momoe and Rika’s cute animal companions in front of them, and force-feed them their corpses. Thus suitably traumatized, they either abandon the game, or are made to abandon it. Ai herself nearly dies to a Frill minion, although her cute animal companion lives. Even worse, although their loved ones do come back to life, they have no memory of Ai and co.. Thus, they basically revived total strangers.
And Now For the Cliffhanger
And on top of that, Neiru turns out to be the same kind of being as Frill: an AI in a cyborg body. Neiru shows none of the murderous psychopath tendencies, but that apparently doesn’t matter to Ai and co. They all abandon Neiru to her fate, even in spite of seeing Frill kidnap Ai practically right in front of their eyes as they watch a dream video of Neiru’s last mission. Even when Neiru apparently somehow managed to get a call through to Ai, Ai tosses her phone away in rage, grief, whatever.
Fortunately, Ai realizes after a time skip that was a terrible idea. She rushes back to Acca and Ura-Acca to demand a chance to return to the dream realm. Presumably to fight Frill and her minions to save Neiru. Will she succeed? Well, that’s something we’ll have to find out in the second season of Wonder Egg Priority. Same goes for Momoe and Rika’s fates. At least, I hope CloverWorks makes a second season. Leaving this on a cliffhanger would suck.
Wonder Egg Priority: The Good
Ai and co. are the best things about Wonder Egg Priority. In fact, the characterization of all the characters is the anime’s strong point. When you become emotionally involved in the story of a side character you only meet for less than 20 minutes, you know the writing is strong. The characterization of the main characters though is the strongest. We see Ai, Neiru, Rika, and Momoe develop their characters over the course of the series into strong young women. Ai especially, since she goes from a near-suicidal hikikomori, to a strong and brave warrior willing to fight monsters to protect her friends and saved her loved ones. It doesn’t quite work out that way, but it’s the thought that counts.
Speaking of warriors though, the action sequences are pretty good. There’s a rational flow to the fight scenes that remind me of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Combined with the beautiful animation, the insane surroundings, and the horrific monsters; and you get these amazing action scenes. Bonus points to the fight scenes where the Wonder Egg girl participates in her own salvation. Those are especially satisfying to watch.
Lastly, as I said before, this is basically a yuri anime even though it’s not on the official description. Momoe is trying to bring back her girlfriend, many of the girls imply or outright express romantic feelings towards each other, and the female main characters get a large volume of shiptease with each other. If you’re a fan of LGBTQ stories, this is one I’d recommend.
Wonder Egg Priority: The Bad
My biggest complaint about Wonder Egg Priority is the cliffhanger. They basically cut the anime off right before the final boss battle. That’s not cool, man. I mean, I guess that sets it up for a second season, or at least an anime film conclusion. But seriously, that’s a bad cliffhanger. It’s even worse when we still don’t know what happened to Rika and Momoe. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to write fanfics about it, just to give them an ending.
My second biggest complaint is the 2 recap episodes. Seriously, Wonder Egg Priority is effectively 14 episodes long, counting the 2-episodes-long finale episode. It doesn’t need 2 recap episodes. Although to be fair, as it turns out, Ep. 8 is apparently because the staff failed to finish an episode on time. Thus, they filled in the time with a recap episode. That’s understandable. What isn’t understandable is why the finale episode needs to be 50% recap. I presume that they had plenty of time to finish it, so why does half of it need to be Ai recounting her adventure? There’s no help for it, but…arrggh.
Hopefully, they don’t pull that kind of nonsense in Wonder Egg Priority season 2. Or at least, the anime film. Or at least, something to conclude the anime. Please?