A girl stares at a dead bug lying on the road, unwittingly blocking traffic and lightly angering a man simply trying to return home. Later, that bug lightly pokes fun at her in an otherwise realistic dream. If your introduction to Wonder Egg Priority was seeing a promotional poster, one of which featured said girl mugging at the camera and the other seeing her and a few others napping at a field, you might have thought ‘oh, this is just going to be some K-On!-ery’; you could not be more mistaken. Even on our end, what initially drew our eyes to this production was simply receiving word that local favorite sound magician De De Mouse is handling the soundtrack, which could even uplift the worst of dreck. Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 not only proved itself decidedly not dreck, but the original CloverWorks production also overwhelmed us so thoroughly, that a day later, recovery still eludes us.
But gosh, if this intelligently designed and maximalized to be cute girl opts out of slice-of-life hijinks, just what is this show about? Saying anything too conclusive about Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 feels like the wrong move, both to avoid spoilers and also because we’re not really sure, a spoiler in itself we guess. Instead, let’s list a series of occurrences in the episodes in order to convey the vibe over the story: Sentient toilet paper bullies Ai Ohto, pictured above, into breaking an egg. Another girl gets an axe thrown into her arm! Tears serenely flow out from the eyes of a statue onto the face of a protagonist. Someone asks someone else to be their best friend. School bullying is still a problem in Japan. Characters speak frankly. Little CG devils jump around, causing a ruckus wherever they go. Understand what the show’s about yet? Us neither.
Sure, Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 throws a mystery a minute at you, but it does so with extreme lavishness and splendor, selling you each one of its twists and absurdities out the gate. With a visual sense clearly pulling from the mileau of Kyoto Animation and Your Name alike, every single shot is a chef’s kiss of animation. Near movie quality from start to finish, doubly surprising seeing that CloverWorks has two other shows out this season. Like fall’s Akudama Drive, Wonder Egg‘s color and movement go beyond delectable fluidity and actually, you know, convey authorial and stylistic intent. These girls aren’t just moving well, but the very way they move screams ‘hey, somebody actually made this show. It wasn’t algorithmically generated!’
Anime, particularly of the television variety, so often fails to take advantage of what the medium of animation can actually convey. It’s genuinely exciting to see Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 fully utilize said capability without having to eschew aesthetic choice. These scenes are further brought to life with some particularly excellent soundtracking, which, if you remember the first paragraph of this very review, was the reason our eyes landed on this Wondered Egg to begin with. De De Mouse splits music duties with fellow veteran musician ‘Mito’ of the famed Clammbon, and the two add a heaping dose of vibrance to this already lively creature. A bit more subdued but just as beautiful as his solo work, De De Mouse makes this show sparkle. Wrapped in such luxurious packagings, the show forces you to accept it wholesale even at its most ludicrous, and its most torturous.
We’re now entering the penultimate and most critical paragraph of the official OTAQUEST Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 review. Mixed in with the wonders of the lifeful animation, the magical realist delights, and the beauty of the De De Mouse produced sounds, is brutality. Not shonen style rough and tumble violence, but the kind that makes you wince. Madoka really did make an impact, huh? We’re of the opinion these brutal excesses work for the episode, giving some weight and increased stakes to the experience, but we worry future episodes could go overboard with it. Some will already think so with what’s presented here. One other critique we, unfortunately, can’t ignore: This whole first episode could have been a damn movie. The show’s chomping off a whole chunk and it was a hell of a first episode, but pacing can ultimately make or break narrative art when taking it in as a complete work.
These flaws found in Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 are less flaws outright and things to be cautious about when watching future episodes. Ultimately, it comes together as one of the most comprehensive and moving first episodes of a show not from the last couple years. Just looking at the show move about on your screen of choice as it constructs its lavish shots from a playground’s worth of imagination justifies your usage of time alone. That animation feast coupled with drizzled joyous sound design, hunks of juicy narrative meat, and spiced with a sense of danger adding to the gravity of it all puts this one over the top. In addition to the highly The Promised Neverland Season 2 and Horimiya, CloverWorks also decided to give us the wholly original Wonder Egg Priority out of the goodness of their hearts, and it just might be their best offering this season.
Wonder Egg Priority Episode 1 exclusively streams on Funimation.