It might be too easy to compare Wonder Egg Priority to the popular title Puella Magi Madoka Magica; but it’s fair to say that the latter popularized the idea of traumatized magical girls. An idea, which Wonder Egg Priority gladly picks up and runs with.
Inversely, it might be hard to imagine a series that rivals Puella Magi Madoka Magica at its own game, but Wonder Egg Priority — much like the girls featured in both titles, continue to try their best.
Wonder Egg Priority
Publishers: Aniplex, D.N. Dream Partners
Director: Shin Wakabayashi
Premiere: January 13, 2021
Wonder Egg Priority is a mouthful that doesn’t really give any idea of what the show is about. When first approaching it, I wasn’t sure to expect a slice of life series, a magical girl series, or something else entirely. What I got, was all three of those things.
Wonder Egg Priority follows Ai Ooto, a young girl who quit going to school after the death of her best friend. In a dream, Ai is given a mysterious egg by a disembodied voice possessing a dead cicada.
The egg is eventually broken in the dreamscape of a school and surprisingly a girl emerges from it. The girl however, isn’t some newborn chick but instead seems alert, aware, and surprisingly savvy to the goings-ons around Ai.
Ai and the girl are soon set upon by strange creatures, small doll-like figures wielding knifes that bounce around and a seemingly normal girl. Well normal save for the strangely realistic facial features (when they aren’t obscured by mosaics).
After being chased around the school by the “Seeno Evils” (as they come to be called) and the “Wonder Killer” (the girl with the strange face); Ai and the girl become separated. Rather than watch the girl be killed, Ai makes an inhuman leap towards the Wonder Killer and the pen she’s holding becomes a large multi-colored mace which she uses to slay it.
Shortly after, the girl vanishes into dust. What Ai learns however, is that this is her dreamscape, and a statue standing on the roof holds some connection to her dead friend and with Ai slaying the Wonder Killer some warmth has come to the statue. The disembodied voice that has been guiding her implies that if Ai continues to save eggs, something will happen with her deceased friend.
With nothing but that hollow promise to go on, Ai continues buying the eggs, now knowing where to get them. In her dreams, she breaks them open and helps the girls within confront their traumas that manifest in the form of the Wonder Killers. Along the way, she meets other girls also buying the eggs, all of them wanting to hopefully bring someone back from the dead.
Ontop of all that, it’s implied that all the girls that emerge from the “Wonder Eggs” have died in the real world. So while the girls protecting the eggs are confronting their own trauma, they’re helping the deceased with their traumas as well.
The reason for the eggs, what happens when a statue is “brought back to life”, all of these questions are asked early on and do a good job of keeping the viewer engaged and interested in the plot.
Wonder Egg Priority puts a lot of faith in its mystery and like Kyubey’s sudden character shift, it feels like some twist is coming in this series. I know I keep comparing it to Puella Magi Madoka Magica but the comparison is too apt to ignore.
Storywise, Wonder Egg Priority tells a dramatic story that’s steeped in metaphor and mystery. The eggs obviously mean something, but by the end of episode three we don’t know what that is.
Regardless, the sparse details are part of the draw. At the end of episode three I wanted to know more and that’s partly due to how well everything else is written. The characters, the dialogue, all of it’s well written.
The main cast of characters (or at least those we’re introduced to in the first three episodes) are cute and varied. Whether it’s Ai being cute when she swings between shy and passionate (and also being teased for her chubby thighs), or her first new friend Neiru who’s cold but thoughtful.
We’re also introduced to the seemingly self-centered Rika. According to the opening there’s a tomboy character that’s yet to be introduced by the end of episode 3; but I’m a sucker for that character type so that’s a plus in my book.
There’s one thing I want to start out with as far as visuals go: Wonder Egg Priority lacks 3DCG or if it exists it’s so subtle it’s hardly noticeable. You would think that the countless bouncing “Seeno Evils” would be poorly animated in 3D, but that’s surprisingly not the case.
In addition, the character design is fantastic and all of the protagonists are cute, this cannot be overstated enough. The heroines are probably among the most well-designed characters of the entire season.
The opening theme Sudachi no Uta by Anemoneria is a slow paced song and really more suited to be an ending theme for a fantasy series from the 1990s. But it suits the melancholic tone of Wonder Egg Priority.
The ending theme Life is Cider also by Anemoneria is more fast paced and upbeat. It’s interesting how the tone is inversed from most shows, which tend to feature an upbeat intro and a melancholic ending. It makes me wonder if there’s a particular story reason for doing that.
Ultimately, Wonder Egg Priority has the potential to tell a heartfelt and dramatic story using cute and magical girls as vehicles for their plot. It’s use of heavy subject matter and (admittedly) direct metaphor gives it enough depth to not get boring.
Fans of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and other dramas featuring cute girls won’t want to miss this series. Fans of other thrillers that feature psychological themes like Psycho-Pass or Neon Genesis Evangelion will probably find a lot to enjoy in Wonder Egg Priority.