The flowers of Wonder Egg Priority’s opening (and series reflections, I suppose)

Following a three-month wait for a finale that was half-recap and half-nonsense, Wonder Egg Priority will go down in anime history as yet another promising passion project that was stymied by poor planning — exacerbated by the general state of the industry. Wonder Egg Priority‘s production woes have been thoroughly documented and were especially apparent in the twelfth and thirteenth episodes of the series. The thirteenth episode is particularly egregious given how it not only fails to make important emotional narratives of the four main characters resonate but how it inexplicably introduces even more details about in-universe mechanics that few asked for and were not tied whatsoever to any of the aforementioned emotional narratives.

What was most noticeable to me in these two episodes was the lack of flower language which, until that point, had become a visual story that ran parallel to the girls’ own individual character arcs. The use of both Victorian and Japanese flower language was so consistent — even in the expository Episode 11 that I personally disliked — that the absence of it in the final two episodes is jarring.

I’m still trying to work out my own feelings and disappointment regarding Wonder Egg Priority, but wanted to revisit flower language in the series one last time, through the opening animation sequence.

The most noticeable flowers in the opening sequence are narcissus or daffodils, which have a variety of meanings — including their mythological tie-in with their vain Greek namesake. Due to the story of Narcissus, these flowers can be seen as representations of vanity or unrequited love. Since they’re one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, they are also seen as signs of rebirth or new beginnings. More specifically in Japanese flower language, they mean respect.

In addition to daffodils, there is a small dandelion that appears on the pavement. It’s at the point in its lifespan where it’s putting out seeds. Like many yellow flowers, dandelions can represent happiness. They are also said to represent absolute faithfulness to a partner if given as a gift. It can also mean perseverance or overcoming challenges, and the seed state specifically is said to grant wishes if you blow on the dandelion puff to scatter the seeds.

As Ai is walking along a dirt path, we see baskets of morning glories in the foreground. Morning glories are specific flowers with many power meanings, most revolving around the fact that the flowers individually only last for a day before wilting. In Victorian flower language, morning glories were given as gifts of never-ending love, but also as reminders of mortality or unrequited love, especially if laid at someone’s grave. Due to a Chinese myth, morning glories also carry a strong meaning of both unrequited love and a never-ending desire for someone else.

In Japanese flower language, morning glories represent a willful promise to someone or a bond of love between people. As a framing device for Ai, this could hint at her devotion to others (she’s shown as someone who will do anything for not only her friends, but even people she’s just met) but also her unrequited feelings.

9 comments

  1. For what it’s worth I have really enjoyed your flower analysis for these episodes. Such a shame WEP had to end this way

  2. Really beautiful analysis of the flower language which completely sailed over my head. Appreciate your thoughts and feelings. Wonder Egg Priority could have been an absolute hit instead of the poor miss that she is!

    1. I think it at least concludes Ai’s emotional narrative if you just go up to Episode 12 and stop there. Even then I take a few issues with it, but at least it makes sense and is a complete narrative. I’m still waffling on how I recommend this show to people (if I do) because the first two thirds of it are so good.

      1. That’s the frustrating thing about WEP. There was so much that was good, great, and promising.
        About the middle, (I forget the EP), the four girls come together as a solid team. If they would have just stayed with the four girls as central story, and forgot about all the extraneous stuff they kept introducing, I think they could have pulled off a major hit. Art that is really, really bad, is easily dismissed, but when your creativity reaches this degree, it is hard to put down even when you can see the train wreck ahead. Many great artists have great failures so perhaps the next project for this young team will be significant.

    2. I remember reading your thoughts on flower language within the first episode mere minutes after I decided to watch the series a few days after it premiered. I was stunned at how much symbolism lied in just a few frames that tied in so well to the themes of the episode they appeared in and the show itself. Every week I’d come back here and read a new article showcasing the flower language of the newest episode and felt like I was coming away with something extra.

      While the ending of this show has left me disappointed, I can say wholeheartedly that your analysis of every episode was wonderful, and I’m glad I took the time to read them. Thank you for taking the time to do them!

  3. Your commentary on the series’ flower language has added great depth to my commentary for this series, even though I feel the series lost its way in the last few episodes. Thank you.

  4. Weird how even to this day, i am still one of the few that actually still take my time to analyze the special. While, i am also equally disappointed, I don’t agree that it askes more question or make hypocritical choices. Rather, i believed that it answered a lot of the question, and is still connected to its core theme. I am more disappointed because it doesn’t have a ending.

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