「おとなのこども」 (Otona no Kodomo)
“An Adult Child”
Well, the plot certainly didn’t move in a direction that I expected. Personally I’m not sure what to make of the series giving a cursory exploration of themes like depression, gender identity and suicide. Then throwing artificial intelligence into the mix 11 episodes down the line. I suppose it begs the question – is Wonder Egg Priority being sincere or superficial in its exploration of themes? What is it trying to say about these serious topics?
Introducing Our Antagonist At the Eleventh Hour
While the introduction of a villain in Frill is a wonderfully wacky curveball which is totally in line with the style of Wonder Egg Priority, it brings a whole host of troublesome implications for me. I’m generally fine with bait and switches. But I can’t approve of the way they misled us over the Accas. It feels rather inconsistent with the Accas sinister laughing and sketchy motives. There’s a difference between making them somewhat suspicious, and making them behave in ways that seem obviously evil, then suddenly flipping that on its head and tell us they were the good guys all along with this random villain being yeeted in at the last second. Honestly, I’m getting flashbacks to Naruto. And those flashbacks are not good ones too.
Nevertheless, I can believe these two, socially awkward scientists might try to raise an AI girl with good intentions. What went wrong? Frill used to be such a cheerful and lovely girl. The answer seems obvious to me – emotional neglect ensuing from oversight and personal shortcomings – culminating in the greatest tragedies of the Accas lives as she ruthlessly murders the woman they both loved. As well as the child she had with one of them. How they lost their humanity and became mannequins seems to be a story for another day. Putting that aside, I can buy into Frill’s evil origin story and even consider it to be rather compelling.
My Gripes Against Frill’s Unclear Motives
But. It just seems too abstract from the premise Wonder Egg Priority’s been establishing over the past 10 episodes. Laying the spate of female suicides squarely at the feet of Frill – rather than diving into self exploration of the internal psyche and the trappings of modern society, seems like a massive cop out to me. Examining Frill as a character, while her motives for murdering Azura and her daughter was crystal clear – she was utterly jealous that they occupied the attention of the two people she loved. She has no real reason to manipulate girls into committing suicide other than ‘I’ve gone batshit crazy and have no idea what I’m doing and why’. I mean, we still have one episode left. So who knows. But I’m finding it difficult to draw a clear link between Frill and our four girls in a way that makes me think, this is logically consistent and fantastic writing with a cohesive vision on how everything plays out.
A plausible explanation I can think of is that Frill might be projecting her suicidal desire and not the girls she ends up psychologically influencing. That something inside her snapped, and all she craved was the attention of Accas. But then, that begs the question. I understand there’s sci-fi and fantasy in the mix. Yet it doesn’t explain how she’s able to dive into the psyche of girls and push them along to their deaths. If you ask me, this is verging on Babylon territory of ridiculous to justify. Who knows, maybe the creators of Wonder Egg Priority have some grander design in mind. So I’m willing to wait and see what they’re trying to do here.
Rika and Momoe suffering in the midst of a breakdown, it looks like Ai and Neiru will have to step up and stop Frill. But Frill, Dot and Blossom seem omnipotent in the Wonder Egg Reality, utterly rolling over the other girls who couldn’t even lift a finger or fight back. There are still unresolved mysteries in the form of Koito’s suicide and Sawaki’s underlying motives. And exactly what Thanatos is. Like we can guess with decent certainty it involves death. But why must the warriors of Eros be specifically deployed against them? If there’s only one episode left, I don’t think it would be possible for the series to achieve a satisfying conclusion that ties up the story as well as sufficiently explaining the answers to said mysteries.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!