“The color of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline.”
-The Tale of the Heike
During her time at Kyoto Animation it was a truth universally acknowledged that any Naoko Yamada work must use flower language in some capacity. This remains true in her first work with Science Saru, an anime adaptation of the Japanese epic, Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike).
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.
While the garden of Aca and Ura-Aca places the four leads of Wonder Egg Priority against various floral backdrops to hint at their moods and personalities, Rika Kawai’s otherworldly flower field changes depending on her emotional state.
Private rooms and home decor can be used in pointed ways to tell us more about the characters they belong to and Wonder Egg Priority once again seems to be borrowing a lot from Kunihiko Ikuhara’s attention to detail in all of his series — particularly Yuri Kuma Arashi and Mawaru Penguindrum.
So, let’s overanalyze Ai Ohto’s room. Why? Because while it’s not quite Lulu Yurigasaki from Yuri Kuma Arashi level, it does say a lot about Ai, her mental state, and the concept of being safe in Wonder Egg Priority.