REVIEW: ‘Wonder Egg Priority’ Episode 2, “The Terms of Friendship”

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Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2

Content Warning: Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 features  themes of bullying, suicide, body horror

Wonder Egg Priority is a brand new anime debuting in the second week of the Winter 2021 anime season. Unlike a lot of titles this season, Wonder Egg Priority is an anime-only series with no prior manga or other forms of media. That being said, this intense, thoughtful series about bullying, suicidality, dreams, and friendship has made its mark, and is steadily on its way to being a contender for one of this season’s strongest anime.

Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 took viewers into Ai’s surreal and nightmarish dreamscape where she found a new friend and ultimately saved her from un-existence. While it was a deeply touching premiere, there’s still a lot of questions. Namely, how will Ai recover from the trauma she’s experiencing? Furthermore, how many other girls are there in need of saving? Viewers don’t yet know, though we can expect at least one girl per episode.

With that in mind, Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2, “The Terms of Friendship” picks up directly from episode 1’s ending. Viewers encounter Ai and our new character, Neiru. Ai attempts to be friendly, however, she’s given the cold shoulder. That is, until our new character has a question. Her question is pointed: who is Ai fighting for? Ai returns with a simple answer: Koito, the girl she saved in episode 1, and her new friend. This mysterious new girl remarks that Ai kind of tosses herself into danger regardless of her own fears. She even remarks that she loves herself, indicating a reticence to just jump into danger, unlike Ai who… has little self-preservation. Granted, that makes sense: Ai is a deeply traumatized child who is hurting. Still, developing a sense of preservation will be critical to Ai’s growth throughout the cour.

After the gorgeous OP, viewers return back to Ai, who returns home to find both her mother and teacher present. Gently, they try to coax Ai to respond, but she remains closed off, tucking her face into her knees. It seems that for now, Ai will stay relatively shut-in. School just isn’t an option.

The scene cuts back to Ai and Neiru, our braid-wearing girl. They strike a deal: Neiru will buy eggs on odd days, Ai on even. Together, they’ll utilize them as best they can as they delve into different dreamscapes and crack more eggs. Only then will they start to work towards saving Koito and Neiru’s sister, as well as multitudes of other girls trapped inside the shells. Realistically, Ai is a bit reluctant to crack more eggs, which is reasonable. After all, the Seeno Evils are pretty discomforting foes. Yet there’s no evading her task: plus, once her new egg cracks and releases another girl, it’s up to Ai to shape her dreams and hopefully, save Suzuhara Minami from a gruesome fate.

However, before any more action, we get another heartwarming moment of Ai connecting with another girl her age. Minami, our girl of the episode, is a gymnast in her school’s club. Whereas Ai’s world has shrunk to the walls of her house and occasional forays outside, Minami’s world consists of club activities. Yet all is not easy for Minami. Her coach yells at her often, she has a rigorous schedule and is quite self-conscious. She’s even started skipping morning practice just to enjoy the feeling of morning rush hour. Additionally, both girls share a similar longing for a friend. That last tidbit is such a small, delightful pleasure: intensely relatable, easily understandable for its simplicity.

As soon as things get sweet, Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 sends some very uncanny, uneasy enemies come crashing in. This time, Minami’s trauma manifests as her coach, who instantly sets into chiding her. Emotionally worn out from her coach’s constant chiding, Minami readily agrees that because she’s not good enough. She also agrees that her Coach is… right. It’s painfully relatable, especially when her coach, in the form of a monster, starts to deliver some rather severe corporal punishment to Minami.

There’s a lot to digest in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2. Just like the premiere, episode 2 can be quite heavy, and genuinely painful. Ai’s own trauma starts to peek through once again as we get more snapshots of Ai and Koito. The bullying remains realistically brutal, dolled out in a way so specific to childhood that it stings like a fresh wound.

Yet there remains so much hope in this series, even though it’s ultimately dealing with death, abuse, and bullying. That’s honestly what’s keeping me coming back week after week. Even though I know Ai has a lot to work through, I still want to believe in her. I want to believe in this painfully beautiful story as well.

Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 was just as splendid as the first, introducing new characters and taking us back into the trippy, disorienting world of Ai’s reality meshing dreams. Seeing Ai reach out for friends feels really good, even though friendship is hard. Seeing her slowly recover from her trauma feels even better.

In the end, Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 is yet another reminder that trauma is not the end, and that there’s often a way through to the otherside, even if that means that healing is painful. Hopefully, Ai will find her way through to the otherside of her on-going grief and trauma. Words can’t express just how powerful that message really is. Truly, Wonder Egg Priority should be on everyone’s watchlist this season.

Wonder Egg Priority is streaming now on Funimation.

Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 - “The Terms of Friendship”
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

In the end, Wonder Egg Priority Episode 2 is yet another reminder that trauma is not the end, and that there’s often a way through to the otherside, even if that means that healing is painful. Hopefully, Ai will find her way through to the otherside of her on-going grief and trauma. Words can’t express just how powerful that message really is. Truly, Wonder Egg Priority should be on everyone’s watchlist this season.