Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Wonder Egg Priority

Go To
Believe in yourself and break the egg.note 

Wonder Egg Priority is an original anime series created by CloverWorks. It is the directorial debut of animator Shin Wakabayashi, and premiered on January 12, 2021. In America it is licensed by Funimation.

While on a night walk, 14-year-old Ai Ohto buries a dead firefly, who reanimates and acts as her guide to acquire an egg from a capsule machine. Ai is told that the egg is key to finding what she desires the most: a friend. After realizing what happens when the eggs break, Ai discovers that in order to receive her innermost desire, she must save as many people as she can through the eggs.

For an anime with a similar concept, check Black★Rock Shooter, which has a similar premise but with a much more defined early 10s emo aesthetic.

Tropes featured in Wonder Trope Priority include:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The Seeno Evils are done in CGI to make them stand out from their surroundings.
  • Achey Scars: The scar where Neiru's sister stabbed her aches constantly. Only participating in the Wonder Egg Project alleviates the pain.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Neiru is dark-skinned.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • In episode 5, we learn that Neiru's sister apparently stabbed Neiru and then jumped off a bridge. At least, that's what Neiru was told when she woke up in the ICU. However, Neiru doesn't remember the details personally, so it's unclear if this is precisely what happened or if there was more to the situation.
    • In a flashback in episode 11, Frill murders Azusa by tossing a hair dryer into a bathtub while Azusa is still in it. Later, Acca's daughter Himari apparently dies by suicide, and Ura-Acca believes that Frill must have killed Himari somehow since Frill killed Azusa before. It's not yet clear to what extent Frill was involved in Himari's death.
    • The Finale has more than a few of these left lurking in its wake, Neiru fading out of existence after making a Deal with the Devil with Frill for a human body, and Rika saying she wants die after finding out that her friend was an AI this whole time being two major examples, as whether Frill kept her end of the bargain or if Rika did go through with another attempt at her life are never followed upon.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: A downplayed example. While the show is dark psychological thriller, the bright and cutesy art style would be unfitting if it weren't for the fact that the show does have many lighthearted slice of life moments where the style would be appropriate otherwise.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the special, Ai goes back into the Dream World, wanting to see Neiru again. She then ends the special reintroducing herself to Acca and Ura-Acca before posing and smiling in a Freeze-Frame Ending.
  • Badass Bystander: On occasion, sometimes a Victim of the Week will help a protector defeat the Wonder Killer:
    • In episode 2, Minami Suzuhara has spent the episode blaming herself for her gymnastic coach's abusive treatment of her. But when Ai gets blinded by goop during the fight against the Wonder Killer, Minami suddenly defies her coach by shouting directions to Ai so that Ai can still dodge attacks and land hits even while blinded.
    • At the beginning of episode 4, Miko and Mako prevent the Wonder Killer from skewering Ai by playing a video of the idol Yu-Yu, because since the Wonder Killer is based off Yu-Yu's stalker, the Wonder Killer would never skewer a girl while her idol is watching. Simultaneously, while Momoe is fighting the Wonder Killer based off the executive who harassed Miwa, Momoe starts to have trouble when the Wonder Killer fires a red square of energy and she needs to block it with her umbrella. Suddenly, Miwa pretends to give into the Wonder Killer's advances, causing the Wonder Killer to let its guard down so Momoe can break through the red energy square and stab it to death.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Throughout Episode 6, the girls tease the idea that Ai actually has a crush on Mr. Sawaki which would explain why she closes herself whenever he's around. At the end, she runs to her old school and catches up to Mr. Sawaki to tell something important.
    Ai: I'm going back to school!
    • This could be explained by the fact that Sawaki reminds Ai of school, the place that's caused her the most pain. The girls come up with a multitude of reasons for why Mr. Sawaki makes Ai feel uncomfortable, or why him dating her mom upsets her, but none of them quite fit the picture entirely. His presence is a constant reminder of Koito's suicide, of other students bullying Koito from her supposed affair with Sawaki, of Ai's incapability to stand for her friend, of those same students bullying Ai herself for her heterochromia, and of Ai's status as a shut-in (she may think she's ruining her future and that she's a coward). It's only natural that she'll avoid him at any cost. That's why when she grab him in the school, she cleared her hair away from her left eye.
    • The appearance of the Wonder Killers in eps. 1 and 2 makes it seem like they will all look like somewhat regular people with hidden pixelated eyes and huge slasher smiles. However the coach from ep. 2 suddenly turns into a bizarre colorful monstrosity, and from that episode on all monsters will be radically different from each other.
  • Barefoot Suicide: Ai's flashback to Koito's suicide shows her corpse's bare feet before the camera pans out to show the rest of her corpse.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Momoe has short hair and is described to be mistaken for male.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Rika wets herself in fear in Episode 11 after Dot kills Mannen and destroys her blades.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Neiru is implied to be part-Japanese, as she has a Japanese name, and another part of an unknown nationality, as she communicates to Ai in English at one point in their Line messages and has darker skin than the other three girls.
  • Bystander Syndrome:
    • Ai used to have a case of this, as she backed out of filming Koito's bullies because she got scared, and as she laments, she stood by and pretended not to see what Koito was going through. She feels tremendously guilty over this, and grows out of it in episode 2, saying she's through with pretending not to see.
    • Symbolically, the Seeno Evils, the hench-creatures of the Wonder Killers, represent this, as they represent people who see cruelty going on but do nothing to stop it.
  • Came Back Wrong: Downplayed. The Maidens aren't technically resurrected, merely transplanted from a parallel world. As a consequence, while they're still the same person, they have absolutely no memory of the girls who fought so hard to revive them. Ai learns this the hard way when she tries to talk to the revived Koito, who has no idea what she's talking about and dismisses her.
  • The Cameo: Nao, an actress in Japan who has starred in several Japanese commercials, television dramas, and films, makes a special appearance in episode 7 as Rika's mom.
  • Cliffhanger: Episode 3 ends with Rika getting petrified.
  • Coming of Age Story: The process of fighting the Wonder Killers stands in for dealing with the characters' issues and development of more adult interpersonal skills.
  • Cruel to Be Kind:
    • When Rika learned that Chiemi was shoplifting in order to afford going to her handshake events over and over, Rika told her that she would never accept a fat girl like her as her fan in order to try and get her to stop stealing. However, this backfired as it caused Chiemi to develop an eating disorder that eventually caused her to starve to death. It becomes clear that Rika feels directly responsible for Chiemi's death.
    • In episode 5, Rika speaks disparagingly of the Captured Maidens, accusing them of being "selfish" for committing suicide. This is an ugly thing to say, but Rika hopes that saying it will convince her new friends that they aren't responsible for the deaths of the Maidens, so they don't have to keep putting themselves in danger just to bring their loved ones back to life.
  • Death Seeker: Acca and Ura-Acca suggest that Neiru may be fearless because she wants to die, as she buys so many eggs at a time.
  • Dénouement Episode: The second half of the special episode, which shows what happened after the protagonists completed the game and brought back their old friends.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Neiru is rather cold and refuses to talk to Ai at first, but after Ai visits her at the hospital, they become friends.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Played for Laughs in the special, where Ai sings the anime's closing theme during karaoke and utterly butchers it. This is especially hilarious because...
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening and ending is sung by the main cast.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: In order to retrieve an egg from the capsule machine, Ai must travel to the garden through a tunnel, which leads to a descending escalator and ends with a hole.
  • Dream Land: The third episode explicitly confirms that the egg missions all take place in a dream. Ai's dream world takes place at a school, Rika's dream takes place in a field of lilies near the beach, Momoe's dream takes place in a train station and Neiru's dream takes place on a bridge. In episode 3, Ai and Rika have a Shared Dream because they fell asleep next to each other at the same time, and because Rika's desire to save Chiemi was stronger than Ai's desire to save Koito, their egg mission takes place in Rika's dream.
  • Driven to Suicide: Each Victim of the Week died by suicide. They later appear in eggs, and once the eggs are hatched, Ai and the others must defeat the manifestation of their trauma in order to save them.
    • Rika ends up going through this twice. Once during her fight with The Teacher in Episode 7 that is thwarted by Mannen and the rest of the girls talking some sense back into her. The other being in Episode 12 after she and Ai find out that Neiru was never real, admitting to Ai that she wants to die. We never find out if she actually went through with it as she disappears after this exchange, and Ai never really speaks to her again due to her own Heroic BSoD from this reveal.
    • Miwa, the girl Momoe has to defend in episode 4, reveals that she killed herself after being molested by her father's boss.
  • Electrified Bathtub: In a flashback in episode 11, Frill kills a pregnant Azusa this way; she tosses a hair dryer into the bathtub while Azusa is still in it.
  • First-Episode Twist: The trailers and promotional summaries are vague so that Koito's death and Ai realizing the only way to save her is to save as many people through the eggs are spoilers just at the first episode.
  • Foreshadowing: It's briefly mentioned at the end of Episode 1 that the girls in the Wonder Eggs come from across the Multiverse, not just Ai's own world. The existence of parallel worlds is confirmed in Episode 9, then comes back in a big way in Episode 12, in which Ai hatches a Wonder Egg containing herself.
  • Former Child Star: Rika used to be an Idol Singer.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Of the four main girls, Ai is Sanguine (a cheerful, friendly Nice Girl), Momoe is Phlegmatic (also a gentle and polite Nice Girl but quieter), Rika is Choleric (a brash, blunt and outspoken Jerk with a Heart of Gold) and Neiru is Melancholic (being The Stoic, rather aloof and skeptical).
  • Friendless Background: Ai was bullied at school due to her heterochromia, to the point where she often stays at home. Also, Neiru makes no initiative to get to know others and, in the trailers, seems to be wary when Ai wants to be her friend.
  • Genre Buster: The show can be best described as a psychological thriller...while also doubling as an action packed slice-of-life Magical Girl anime.
  • Gold Digger: At first glance, Rika seems very shallow and constantly asks Ai for money. She also refers to Chiemi as her "piggy bank" and claims to want to save her in order to have a rich patron again, that is, until she finally tells Ai about the nature of their relationship. Likewise, the two schoolgirls in episode 3 also shamelessly admit that they both have "sugar daddies" in order to afford to see their favorite Idol Singer, Yu-Yu.
  • Gone Horribly Right: As we learn in a flashback in episode 11, Frill came into existence because Acca and Ura-Acca wanted to create an ideal girl, giving her positive traits, but also giving her negative traits like selfishness and jealousy, because they believed "flaws are important". They got their wish: Frill was a cheerful and adorable girl, who eventually became jealous enough to murder a pregnant woman.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Episode 3 reveals that Ai became jealous when Koito got close to their school counselor, Mr. Sawaki, as she previously thought of herself to be Koito's closest companion.
    • Why Frill killed Acca's wife and daughter, and implied to be why she's pushing teenage girls to kill themselves in the first place.
  • Hikkikomori: Ai has not attended school since the beginning of the semester, and occasionally, she gets visits from the school counselor, Mr. Sawaki, to check up on how she's doing.
  • Honey Trap: At the beginning of episode 4, Miwa helps her protector Momoe defeat the Wonder Killer this way: the Wonder Killer is based off an executive who harassed Miwa, so Miwa pretends to give into the Wonder Killer's advances, causing it to drop its guard and give Momoe an opportunity to stab it to death.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ai's biggest desire is to have friends. Likewise, despite appearing as a very popular girl, Kurumi is also lonely and wants to have a best friend instead of The Friends Who Never Hang.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: The reason why all four main characters are buying Wonder Eggs is because they feel guilty over causing the death of someone close to them.
    • Ai's only friend, Koito, commits suicide after relentless bullying, and she feels guilty over this. Ai becomes determined to save people through the eggs if it would mean Koito coming back to life.
    • Neiru goes on reckless egg missions to save her younger sister and tells Ai herself that she let her die. However, this is subverted when Episode 5 reveals that Neiru's sister apparently stabbed her and then jumped off a bridge; Neiru is only going on egg missions because whenever she doesn't think about her sister, her scar aches.
    • When Rika discovers Chiemi was shoplifting and reselling goods in order to attend her handshake events, she tells Chiemi not to see her again and that she wouldn't be friends with someone overweight. This causes Chiemi to develop an eating disorder and she eventually dies from malnutrition.
    • Momoe's friend, Haruka, commits suicide by jumping in front of a train shortly after trying to have sex with Momoe.
  • Improbable Weapon User: All of the girl's weapons are modified mundane objects. Ai wields a four-colour pen that expands into a four-sided mace, Rika dual-wields swords that look like boxcutters, Momoe uses an umbrella, and Neiru's appears to be a drafting compass.
  • Informed Attractiveness: While the characters have similar character designs, the first thing that Ai does when she sees Neiru for the first time is to praise her beauty. Likewise, upon meeting her, Rika asks Neiru to join an idol group with her, whereas Ai relegated to being a "back-up dancer."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Special Episode reveals that the Captured Maidens that the main characters fought to bring back don't actually remember who they are; in fact, they seemingly go out of their way to avoid their respective' main character, hanging out with different friends, idolising different people, falling in love with someone else. What's more is that not only does no one but the main characters and helpers notice that these people were dead, but all other evidence of their relationship with them has been erased, such in the case of Ai's phone no longer having any photos of Koito. According to Ai's account from Acca, when a dead person comes back to life it creates a "noise" and changes their normal lives a little.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: In Episode 6, the girls are rewarded with a reptile pet that can help them during egg missions. Panic, Momoe's companion is slaughtered right in front of her by one of Thanatos's agents while protecting her, only to be then force-fed Panic's flesh. This causes Momoe to go into a panic-induced Madness Mantra to try and avoid going to sleep, in the case said agent decides to finish the job. The next episode opens with another agent doing the same thing to Rika's companion Mannen, leaving her similarly traumatized and wanting revenge, but getting denied by the Accas because her mission is over. Only Ai, who called her pet back when the third agent encounters her; and Neiru, who is the last one still fighting off Wonder Killers, are the only ones with their companions still alive by the end of episode 12.
  • Ma'am Shock: Ai and Rika taunt the Monster of the Week in episode 3 about her age, which causes her to attack them in rage.
  • Man in the Machine: Both Acca and Ura-Acca reveal to the girls in Episode 10 that they're just human minds in dummy bodies. They even give the girls a good look at their former human bodies.
  • Meta Twist: One of the series recurring characters is Ai's homeroom teacher Mr. Sawaki, a kind, very handsome man popular with the students who also has an explicit connection to Ai and her deceased friend Koito. Given the series tone and subject matter, combined with Ai's clear distrust of Sawaki himself, one would suspect a twist where he was outed as a villain. Only he's completely innocent. Sawaki is exactly who he appears to be, and Ai admits in the penultimate episode that she had projected everything onto him out of her own inability to deal with her grief surrounding Koito's suicide.
  • The Multiverse: Neiru in episode 9 encounters an Alternate Self of her former friend, Kotobuki Awano, who claims to have proven parallel worlds exist and can be interacted with after death and through dreams. Further proven in Episode 12, where Ai's Captured Maiden is an alternative version of herself who never met Koito and ended up killing herself by drowning.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Acca and Ura-Acca explains that this is the purpose of the Eggs and the Dream World: of the people who give into the "Temptation of Death" and kills themselves, some may end up regretting doing so. Thus the Dream World and the Eggs exist for others who want to bring those types of people back to life, with the added incentive of eventually bringing back someone a Hero wants to live again.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Kotobuki's Alternate Self in the finale explains she could only show up in the main character's world when that version of her died, citing that two of her can't exist at the same time. Considering Ai's meeting with her Alternate Self, the Dream Land seems to be a place where exceptions can be made.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Ai and Momoe are nice, Rika is mean, and Neiru is in-between.
  • No Ending: The one-hour finale only wraps up Ai's character development and the story of the Captured Maidens. However, it fails to deliver closure to certain plot points (i.e. Acca and Ura-Acca's rivalry with Frill) and also introduces new ones, such as Neiru being an Artificial Human who becomes trapped in the Dream Land with Frill).
  • "Not So Different" Remark: When Ai confronts Rika about picking her friends based on their looks, Rika points out that Ai is the same, because she considered Koito "pretty" enough to be around.
  • Once More, with Clarity: At the art exhibition, Ai asks Sawaki why Koito killed herself, but it cuts away before we learn his response. The special repeats the scene, but this time we hear Sawaki's explanation. At the same time, said explanation casts his relationship with Koito in a whole new light.
  • Parental Abandonment: Rika's father abandoned his family when she was small, turning her mother into an alcoholic.
    • Ai's parents are separated, but she sees her father "once in a week". After learning Rika's parental issues, she tries to comfort her by saying that both have single mothers.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: All four heroines have a phrase they say before delivering the final blow:
    • Ai: "Now I'm mad!"
    • Neiru: "I'm going to blow your mind!"
    • Rika: "I'll knock you off your feet with a shot to the heart!"
    • Momoe: "Get lost!"
  • Punny Name:
    • Rika helps the others remember her name by describing herself as "Cute (kawaii) Rika", since "kawaii" is pronounced similarly to her last name, Kawai.
    • Rika also cracks a joke about Neiru with her name, describing her as "sleeping" (neteiru), which as localized into a joke about her being "nailed" to bed.
    • When Ai's full name is spoken aloud with the family name first, it sounds like "odd eye".
  • Queer Colors: In episode 10 Momoe must protect Kaoru, who the audience is lead to believe to be a girl. But as the two talk, Kaoru eventually admits to being a boy "on the inside." Notably, Kaoru wears a light blue jacket with white and light pink stripes. He's also introduced standing in front of an ad with the same color scheme.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The girls that Ai, Neiru, Rika, and Momoe had wanted have returned from the dead, but in reality, they aren't the same versions of the girls they know, having no memories of them and having their own lives seperate from the main characters. Frill is no longer a threat, but has kidnapped Neiru after tempting her with fufilling her wish to become Human. Momoe no longer wants to have anything to do with the Egg World, while both Ai and Rika quit upon learning that Neiru is an Artificial Human. Ai learns that Koito had been a Jerkass the entire time and transfers schools as she no longer has a reason to stay, and subsequently, she drifts apart from Rika and Momoe. However, Ai comes to regret her decision of abandoning Neiru and decides to return to the Egg World to save her.
  • Recap Episode:
    • Episode 8. There wasn't initially intended to be one; it was thrown together at the last minute because the show's Troubled Production meant the final episode wouldn't be ready by its scheduled air date, so they needed something to pad it out.
    • The first half of the special also acts as this, this time narrated by Ai.
  • Sadist Show: Is setting up to be a reconstruction of the trope. Each episode focuses on serious themes such as bullying, suicide, abuse, self-harm etc. None of these themes are romanticized or Played for Laughs and the protagonists attempt to work through their respective issues, along with the trauma of the girls they're assigned to save, in order to achieve their happy ending.
  • Sadist Teacher:
    • Minami's trauma manifests from her abusive coach who would constantly insult and beat her while calling it tough love. She even boasts that she can get away with this behavior because she has a great standing with the school.
    • There's also Kaoru from episode 10, a trans boy who was raped by his teacher when he went to him for help, to the point where he got pregnant.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Rika was very insistent on going to the Dream Land after being locked out at the end of the series, but after she learns that Neiru, who disappeared, is actually an Artificial Human, she decides she no longer wants to participate as she believes Neiru is not worth saving.
  • Self-Harm: Rika has cuts on her left upper arm, and in the bath, she recalls her promise to someone that she wouldn't cut anymore.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Wonder Killers will usually try to justify the harm they caused (except the axe-wielding Wonder Killer in episode 1, who doesn't speak). This results in either the protector or the victim firmly denying the justification, like telling a gymnastic coach that her "tough love" is really just abuse, or telling an executive who harassed a teenage girl that he should go back to his wife.
  • Stepford Smiler: Rika openly jokes around and has a flighty attitude, but secretly she feels very guilty about Chiemi's death and takes her egg missions very seriously.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: In episode 3, during a texting conversation by cell phone, Neiru says to Ai that "junior idol" can mean "bedroom stuff". Ai asks if Neiru is talking about "pillow fights", and Neiru just decides to say yes.
  • Title Drop: At the beginning of Episode 6.
    Neiru: Our greatest objective is...
    Rika: Wonder...
    Momoe: Egg...
    Ai: ...Priority.
  • Together in Death: The Victim of the Week in episode 3 are two friends who committed suicide because their favorite Idol Singer, Yu-Yu, died in the same manner.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Airu, she never wanted to be rescued by Neiru, once this happens. She does not hide her hatred for Neiru and tells her she will never be accepted in society.
  • Victim of the Week: Each episode features Ai trying to help or save a school girl with a given trauma.
    • Ai's girls are usually victims whose abuse mainly happens in school settings, such as bullying from other students or abuse from authority figures.
    • Neiru's girls deal with issues related to beauty, such as a girl involved in enjo kosai (compensated dating) and a girl who is pressured into staying beautiful.
    • Rika's girls are victims related to the entertainment industry, such as idol fans.
    • Momoe's girls are victims of sexual abuse, who usually end up falling in love with her.
  • Visual Innuendo: Episode 10's Wonder Killer a kendo teacher who raped one of his students is a tengu-like figure with a big phallic nose that is sometimes dripping. Momoe chops his nose off before defeating him.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 11 finally reveals Frill, the series' Big Bad, and explains the tragic backstory of Acca and Ura-Acca.
  • You Are Fat: Rika talks about Chiemi in a condescending way, often insulting her based on her weight. This is Played for Drama, since Chiemi took Rika's insults about her weight very seriously, to the point of developing an eating disorder and dying because of it.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Ai is told by the firefly that if she dies in one of the dreams, she'll die in real life. This is because all injuries from the dream world carry over into real life, even though they fade quickly within the dreams themselves.