While out for a walk, Ai Ohto happens upon a dead firefly on the side of the road. As anyone would naturally do at such a solemn occasion, Ai fashions a shallow grave for the poor insect, and buries it under a small tree. Closing her eyes, she kneels down to pay her final respects, but when she looks up, Ai is shocked to find the firefly dancing in her vision, perfectly alive. And then it speaks. “What are you doing in a place like this?” A dream? Ai wonders. But she doesn’t wake up immediately, so she follows the firefly into an abandoned theme park, where she finds an egg, emblazoned with a series of mysterious letters and numbers. Rolling over in bed, she wakes up with a start, to find the same egg lying beside her. So it wasn’t a dream, she muses. But what should she do with the egg? Refrigerate it? Incubate it? Crack it?
Later that night, she slips out of her room in secret, resolving to visit that amusement park again for answers. But when she opens the door, she’s startled by a familiar sight. A familiar place. One that she had been trying to avoid for quite some time.
If I’m being honest, I’m a little dizzy after that first episode. So much exposition. So many scenes. So many characters. It’s a little too much for my tiny brain to comprehend!
First off, the show looks fantastic. I was expecting as much from CloverWorks, since I really liked their work on Promised Neverland and Slow Start. But Wonder Egg Priority‘s production values are in a class of their own. The real-life settings are bursting with character, and the egg-world (not sure what else to call it) has its own harrowing, dystopic feel. The animation drew me in, especially during the chase scenes, but also during the tiny moments of the first few minutes of the episode. The show’s premise drew me in as well; it’s something of a cross between Madoka Magica and Anohana, and it holds promise—that is, only if it can get over its indecisiveness. Wonder Egg Priority‘s trying to be a lot of things at once: a show that revives the traditional hero’s journey, a show that tackles issues of depression and social anxiety, a show about ghostly parallel worlds. If it can pick one of these roles and stick with it to the end, it’ll be enshrined among the greats. But only time will tell.
(Disclaimer: Wonder Egg Priority contains extreme depictions of violence and touches on themes of depression and suicide. If you’re sensitive to that sort of thing, I’d advise you to steer clear of this show.)
Wonder Egg Priority can be streamed through Funimation. Read our thoughts on most of the new winter anime series, in addition to comments from our other writers, on our winter 2021 anime first impression master post.
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