You know what Wonder Egg Priority reminded me of? Interviews with Monster Girls. Let me tell you why.
The deal with the demi-human girls of Interviews is that while they are explicitly monsters, deep down they actually represent common high school stereotypes: The girl with ADD, the girl who gets her boobs first, the girls who’s so shy people think she’s a snob and so on. See the deal? On the surface they’re monsters – Machi the dullahan, walking around with her head literally in her arms is the most obvious of them – but they’re REALLY people you knew back in high school. If you weren’t one of them yourself. (Me, I was Hikari, hyperactive and disruptive).
So we have the girls of Wonder Egg Priority, Ai, Rika, Neiru, and Momoe. On the surface, they’re a team of – let’s be honest about this – magical girls, right? I mean, Wonder Egg Priority has every magical girl trope except the cute costumes: The girls transform into powerful and in fact unkillable warriors, they have each other’s backs, and they each ultimately achieve their goal.
Of course, this being Wonder Egg Priority, achieving their goal – each of the girls is trying to save another girl they knew that committed suicide – leaves them feeling empty. The game is rigged against these magical girls.
But that’s because the game itself doesn’t really matter. The show isn’t about the game.
The show is about the girls.
They aren’t high school tropes like the monster girls. They’re girls with stereotypical problems.
Ai’s eyes are different colors, so she has been bullied about her appearance
Rika is epically insecure due to coming from a broken home with an alcoholic mother
Neiru is totally alienated from her family. In fact, her only family is a sister who tried to kill her
Momoe is boyish and has questions about her sexuality and orientation
Right? Just like the monster girls, you’ve probably known people like each of them. I mean, seriously? Bullied for her appearance? Alienated from her family? Questioning her sexuality? Epicly insecure? Together they are like every troubled high school student since the dawn of time.
This is why the show resonates, I think. The fights are eye candy, lots of sound and fury in which the girls can be injured but can’t be killed. Where are the stakes in that? And the goal, to save the person who committed suicide, is just a McGuffin for them, to keep them playing this inane game. But the girls themselves have to confront their problems and the consequences of their problems.
They have to look themselves in the eye and make real decisions.
Sure, right? Rika reconciles with her mother, or at least comes to accept that she’s doing the best she can
Neiru has to make a hard choice to let a good friend go, to stand on her own without family
Momoe accepts, once and for all, that she is straight
And Ai has to get over her fear of other people bullying her
In certain ways the theme is very Japanese. If Ai wasn’t going to school because she was being bullied in the US, she’d be in therapy or talking to the school psychologist or whatever. She wouldn’t be left alone to just figure it out for herself. The Department of Family Services might have a few choice comments about Rika’s situation. There would be support groups all over for Momoe to join, and Neiru, well, more therapy, probably. But in Japan they’re left to work out their problems for themselves.
Might not be an accident that they all know someone who committed suicide, when you stop to think about it.
Ultimately, the only point of the game narratively is to let these girls face their insecurities and overcome them. The actual saving of others doesn’t actually matter. That’s why, from the standpoint of the game, Ai ends up stuck in the wrong world. From the standpoint of the game the series isn’t ended.
But the series is ended. Because it’s not about the game. It’s about Ai finding herself and going forward with strength and self-confidence, which is exactly where we leave her at the end. She, and the others, have overcome their problems. Who gives a damn about the eggs?
I always look at comments and feedback, and I’m sure I’m not the first to see what I’ve seen, so have at it. Just keep it clean and keep it on target…no personal attacks, okay? Thanks.