「子供の領分」 (Kodomo no Ryoubun)
“The Domain of Children”
Explaining the Philosophy behind ‘Breaking the Egg’
“Break the egg and change the world”.
These are the cryptic words that were given in the visual trailer. Upon closer inspection, we’ve seen this before. Shoujo Kakumei Utena was the first. According to my one of my friends who studies philosophy, it’s actually a reference to Demian by Hermann Hesse, which was apparently referencing Carl Jung’s ideas of Gnosticism – with Gnostics considering the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight.
They primarily deal with concepts of illusion and enlightenment – as opposed to sin and repentance. But the egg metaphor itself began with Demian: “The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas”. The philosophical pretense sounds like Passerby’s cup of tea. As for me, I know I can’t help but dive into mysteries when they catch my intrigue – and explains why I’m beset by such a sense of foreboding.
From what I can tell, Ooto Ai is a hikkikomori for two reasons. She’s bullied for her heterochromia (which looks really beautiful) and she harbors guilt over her friend’s implied suicide. Regarding her experiences, where the wounds she suffers end up re-appearing in the real world, just how much of that was imagination? And how much of that was reality? If that was reality, then we can deduce that there’s a supernatural aspect involved. Something tells me that the eggs are containers for ‘lost souls’ (proverbially speaking) that have attempted suicide. At the insistence of some angry toilet paper, Ai forcefully smashes the egg into the ground. And it hatches into a girl named Kurumi, who is being pursued by these strange little creatures who seem intent on murdering her. When Ai decides to make her stand and defeat their boss, order is restored to the world and she wakes up as it fades away.
The statue of Koito, presumably the friend who died, seems like it will have a surprise in store when Ai-chan rescues enough eggs from evil apparitions. I think the outcome will either be nasty, or a situation where Ai-chan is forced to accept reality for what it is. Either way, I don’t believe that they will go for a cop out where a dead person will be resurrected thanks to the power of friendship. That never seems to be Japan’s style when it comes to these kind of stories.
With so little information out there and Wonder Egg Priority being an anime original, hence no source material to parse spoilers from, I didn’t know what to expect going into this show. We knew it would be Wakabayashi Shin’s debut as a director after his long tenure in the anime industry. But it is definitely one of the stranger, yet more compelling of the psychedelic fever dreams anime is capable of. The aesthetics reminiscent of KyoAni. Yet the abstractness so reminiscent of Shaft. And I rather like this stylistic union. I’m not very good with horror and this episode did send some shivers up my spine. However, I will continue paying attention to this corner of the anime world in the hopes that this series really can become something more. Finally, if you’re a fan of supernatural mysteries with a layer of philosophical conceit, examples like Penguindrum coming to mind, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be watching this.