neiru aonuma

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.

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Flowers for Momoe Sawaki: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 10

Momoe Sawaki’s addition to the Wonder Egg Priority cast in the series’ fourth episode also introduces two major hiccups to the series’ narrative. The first — and seemingly at the time, more pressing one — is that of Ai Ohto’s teacher Shuuichirou Sawaki and the fact that he is framed as predatory by the series itself, is linked to the death of Ai’s friend Koito Nanase, and just so happens to be Momoe’s uncle.

The second is of Momoe’s gender presentation.

It’s no coincidence that in the series’ tenth episode, Momoe’s focus episode, Wonder Egg Priority returns to both of these plot threads.

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Flowers for Rika Kawai and notes on flower language in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 6-7

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.

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The Kunihiko Ikuhara school for teachers (why Wonder Egg Priority’s Sawaki is bad actually)

Is Shuuichirou Sawaki all that bad?

I’ve seen this question asked fairly frequently as Wonder Egg Priority has continued to air. Sawaki, who is protagonist Ai Ohto’s teacher and visits her house frequently, hasn’t technically done anything wrong. Even in the series’ latest episode, his desire to date Ai’s mother (which is his most egregious action thus far) isn’t bad per se. Most of Sawaki’s actions are framed as suspect, but could still be written off as over-caution or a negative bias on Ai’s part due to his presence in Koito Nanase’s life (and, presumably, her death).

Although Kunihiko Ikuhara isn’t involved in Wonder Egg Priority‘s production, his influence is present throughout the series. I wanted to take the time to talk a bit about Ikuhara characters found at schools and how Wonder Egg Priority is framing Sawaki in a very specific way.

Spoilers for Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, and Yuri Kuma Arashi.

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Ai Ohto’s room and safety in Wonder Egg Priority

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.

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