At only 12 episodes, the first season of Wonder Egg Priority is rather short and fans are already eager for more in the form of a dub or a second season. The fact that the CloverWorks anime is an original work means that there is no manga or other content to go to once Wonder Egg finishes airing. So, are there any anime like Wonder Egg Priority?
The concept of Wonder Egg Priority is very unique: Ai and her friends, all of whom have lost a loved one to suicide purchase wonder eggs from mysterious entities. Breaking them in their dreams, they find themselves in nightmarish worlds, where they have to protect other people who have committed suicide from the metaphorical monsters that haunted them when alive. This brings the girls closer to eventually saving the people they lost.
Wonder Egg Priority is an important artistic achievement that has been praised for its art, opening theme, and sensitivity with which it touches on scary and potentially triggering topics like self-harm, mental illness, and bullying. If this sounds like one of the most unique anime of the season, it’s because it is.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are no anime shows with similar themes and topics. We’ve made a list of similar anime to keep you company after Wonder Egg Priority.
The 2010 anime by P. A. Works and Aniplex follows a group of teenagers who are all dead and trapped in an afterlife that looks very much like a school setting not entirely different from Ai’s nightmarish world though perhaps a little less menacing.
Angel Beats! is a sad anime about young people whose life was cut short for all sorts of reasons and they can’t or won’t move on. Rather than being saved by an external and still alive force, they have to save each other – if they don’t destroy each other all over again.
While most of the characters in Angel Beats! died of causes other than suicide, their tragic backstories might still remind you of some of the stories found in Wonder Egg Priority. The great music and the bittersweet atmosphere is another plus.
Since Wonder Egg Priority first started airing, many fans have noticed similarities between that and Mahō Shojō Madoka Magica. Both have young, female characters. Both have bright colors and magic. More importantly, both are much, much darker than they seem once they drop the shōjo façade.
When Madoka and her best friend are offered to have any wish fulfilled by a magical, cat-like entity, if only they become magical girls, there is nothing not to like in the offer. Unfortunately, the truth is much more sinister. The monsters they fight – drawn in a more abstract way than the rest of the anime, much like in Wonder Egg – are more dangerous than they seem.
Soon, it becomes apparent that the anime is about much more than fighting monsters. It’s about female mental health, deception, and fighting about what you believe in – even if the price is much greater than initially suspected.
Compared to the previous two, Anohana (also known by the full title Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai) by A-1 Pictures is a bit more grounded to reality. The teenage characters are ordinary students with no magical abilities. In truth, there’s little to distinguish them from the types you would meet in a typical slice-of-life anime.
But things are more complex than they seem. One of them died long ago and is now a ghost, originally seen by only one of the characters: Jinta, the protagonist, who like, Ai, is a recluse who can’t get over the loss of his best friend.
His calm, uneventful life changes when said best friend, Menma, appears to him as a ghost. Now Jinta must move out of his carefully crafted comfort zone and interact with the rest of the friend group – people he hasn’t interacted with in a long time – and persuade them that he is truly seeing Menma’s ghost, hoping that together they can help her move on.
Like Wonder Egg Priority, AnoHana uses fantasy – here in the form of a ghost – to talk about grief. The main characters lost their friend when they were too young to make sense of the situation or realize they are not to blame. The anime is about friendship, as a force that helps characters move on.
So far, we’ve seen anime shows with teenage characters who are or used to be students. The world of Sunday Without God or Kamisama no Inai Nichiyobi is much more sinister. It’s a world abandoned by God, which means that no children are born anymore, and death is no different from life. Those who die simply rise and keep walking the earth as if nothing happened.
One similarity with Wonder Egg Priority is that it falls on a young girl – coincidentally also names Ai – to give people peace. Ai is a Gravekeeper, one of the only people with the power to put the dead to rest. Embarking on a journey to help as many people as possible, Ai learns about the world and discovers tragic stories. There is an arc that takes place in a school, that might even remind you of Wonder Egg Priority.
The anime has amazing art and features a nightmarish world where death means nothing and every wish is granted no matter how absurd and twisted. The aesthetic might be quite different from Wonder Egg but the extreme emotional situations and the main girl’s responsibility towards the dead mean that the anime might be enjoyed by those who can’t get enough of Ai Ooto and her group.
Mysterious entity? Check. Are absurdly ordinary objects having magical effects? Check. The overall absurdity that symbolizes serious real-life issues such as grief, abandonment, and family problems? Double-check.
The anime follows the Takakura siblings: twin brothers Kanba and Shoma, and their young sister Himary who is terminally ill. In one of their rare outings, Himari collapses, and everything seems lost, but she’s miraculously revived by a penguin hat. Not exactly similar to Wonder Egg, but the concept makes about as much sense as using eggs to reveal a dream world - and yet it's eerily wise.
From there on, Himari shares her body with a mysterious entity beyond human morality, that might remind you of the entities Ai and her friends buy eggs from. If Himari is to keep living, her siblings must obtain the mysterious “Penguin Drum.” The more deeply we delve into the story, the more we realize they sustain trauma from a shocking past with more details revealed us we go – not unlike Wonder Egg.
With Flip Flappers a more obscure, artistic anime which many fans describe as a hidden gem, we go back to more straightforward magical girl anime. In it, we follow Cocona, an average student who meets a bubbly, cheerful girl named Papika.
Together the girls travel to the World of Pure Illusion – an alternative dimension where everything is possible. There, they’re tasked with finding crystal shards. Unfortunately, this dream world is very dangerous, and it’s not long before they’re attacked. Their only hope is to turn into magical girls and learn to work together.
Flip Flappers is a bit more light-hearted than Wonder Egg Priority – but honestly, at this point, something a little more light-hearted can’t hurt. Nevertheless, the show is still artistic and heavy in symbolism, with every little detail meaning something and themes deeper than originally suspected.
The aesthetic of the 1995 Gainax anime might be completely different from Wonder Egg Priority but if you look beyond the obvious differences, there are many similarities as well.
Early on, we find that even though Ai and her friends can’t die in the dream world, they can be injured – and carry the injuries back home. And while they are able to save a lot of people and help them move on, we’re constantly reminded that they’re teenage girls themselves each with her own trauma, and perhaps the only reason why they – unlike those they help – survived is a combination of luck, support, and community.
Neon Genesis Evangelion too, features teenage characters being tasked with saving the world. Being the only ones capable of piloting the Evangelions – gigantic machines that can defeat evil entities called Angels – the main characters consistently risk their lives for the greater good.
What makes Evangelion unique is that it realizes this is a lot to ask from 14-year-olds. A lot of shōnen and shōjo works feature plucky characters who will happily risk their lives on a daily basis and defeat enemies consistently with no long-term damage to their mental health. Evangelion suggests that, in fact, such a situation could leave children severely traumatized, a theme it shares with Wonder Egg Priority.
Like Wonder Egg, the show is highly symbolic and uses speculative imagery to tell shockingly real tales of pain and suffering.
In Otherside Picnic, as in Wonder Egg Priority, the action takes place in a world outside of our own. Sorawo Kamikoshi, is a student who finds herself in the “Otherside” where creepypasta and urban legends are real. There, she meets Toriko, another girl looking for a lost friend.
Like the characters from Wonder Egg, Sorawo and Toriko find that the ”Otherside” is affecting their bodies but they still try their best to defeat monsters and help others. Plus, the anime has shōjo ai elements too.
Remember when the duelists in Revolutionary Girl Utena kept going on about how we won’t be born unless we crack the shell of the world, same as a chicken won’t be born unless it cracks its own egg? This metaphor was always on my mind while watching Wonder Egg Priority and I like to think the latter pays homage to Utena though of course, this is just a speculation.
Compared to many of the tearjerkers above, Utena might feel very light-hearted for this list. However, there are much darker elements too. Add the school setting and the surreal symbolism, and we have an anime that fans of Wonder Egg might enjoy, even if the style and plots are quite different.
At the end of the day, what many of these anime shows have in common is that they challenge our stereotypical views about anime, showing that this medium can tackle serious everyday life issues just as well as any other – if not, at times, better. These anime can often be hard to watch, and you should start streaming prepared to shed a few tears.
Still, as is the case with Wonder Egg Priority, all these anime series are here because they have important messages to convey and even though they’re dark, they resist becoming entirely hopeless. To a greater or to a lesser extent, these shows use fantasy as a vehicle to explore real-life issues without shunning magic and light-hearted fun, reminding us that symbolism and serious yet significant themes don’t have to be boring.