OP: 「巣立ちの歌」 (Sudachi no Uta) by アネモネリア (Anemoneria)
「友達の条件」 (Tomodachi no Jouken)
“The Terms of Friendship”
Some of the novelty might have worn off since the first episode. But Wonder Egg Priority remains every bit as intriguing. Ai remains incapable of facing the real world – rejecting both her mother and teacher. But she finds solace in the world where she can take custody of an egg and protect the person inside from the outside dangers once they’ve hatched. This episode focuses on Minami – a girl who’s bullied and physically abused by her gymnastics teacher. What sounded like tough love coming from her mouth proved to be an unreliable account, from a narrator with low self-esteem. In reality, her teacher behaved extremely monstrously. Besides, even if these imaginations are exaggerated, the fact Minami was presumably driven to suicide in the real world speaks for itself.
I’ve been really enjoying the soundtrack and visual components for Wonder Egg Priority. As I’ve said last week, the visuals are reminiscent of KyoAni crossed with Shaft’s abstractness. The monstrous transformation by the gymnastics teacher reminded me of the Witches from Madoka Magica. Plus the OST helped generate this elevated sensation of mysterious, psychological chill. Thrilling audible tension too when Ai’s eyes became obstructed by goo, forcing her to dart around blindly in an attempt to avoid being crushed or killed. That whole animation sequence where they fought was brilliantly animated. With the aesthetics being cleanly presented with minimal distortion (e.g. Pain’s face in Naruto) in addition to the frame motions being remarkably fluid.
One thing bugs me. The girls from the eggs dissipate once their traumas are resolved, which makes me wonder – have they always been dead? Or is there a fantastically supernatural element where their lives have actually been saved? I feel inclined to believe it’s the former, since I don’t believe that this series will be sunshine and rainbows. However, putting aside my ominous, foreboding premonitions, I’m delight at Ai’s character progression now she’s had the chance to forge meaningful connections with other people. Koito might be dead. Perhaps there’s no way to go change that, despite Ai being driven by the assumption that saving these eggs can help resurrect Koito. Which I ultimately believe to be a coping mechanism to deal with her own guilty conscience.
But she’s slowly changing. Finding the strength and conviction to stand up for what she believes to be right, gradually overcoming her past regrets over inaction regarding Koito’s plight. And this culminates in creating a direct bond with Neiru. Although she is initially rejected by Neiru and initially loses confidence in reaching out again, Ai’s encounter with Minami gives her the courage to try again. And this time, her feelings of goodwill and friendship come through to Neiru – who agrees to become her friend over tasty drinks on a hospital roof top. In spite of the strange and unsettling paranormal activities which largely define Wonder Egg Priority and still require explanations, this show can be weirdly wholesome too.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week.
ED: 「Life is サイダー」 () by アネモネリア (Anemoneria)