The most contentious character in Wonder Egg Priority continues to be Ai Ohto’s teacher, Shuuichirou Sawaki. Outside of what exactly is going on with Aca and Ura-Aca’s seeming quest for immortality, who is on what side, and (in my opinion the most and only important part of this) how young women’s pain is exploited by a variety of people in powerful positions, the most spirited discussion of the series has revolved around Sawaki. More specifically, whether Sawaki is a benevolent, perhaps a bit too-involved but still well-meaning teacher. Or if he’s predatory and trying to forcibly insert himself into Ai’s life.
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.
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.
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.
“There’s nothing to be scared of. They only come after me.”
Kurumi Saijo, Wonder Egg Priority, Episode 1