In the original CloverWorks anime show Wonder Egg Priority, the death of Ai’s friend, Koito, is one of the biggest mysteries that sustain the series, making viewers eager to return to it each week. The 12-episode show has been very cryptic regarding the circumstances of Koito’s death; so what happened to her?
The Wonder Egg Priority Special revealed that Ai managed to save Koito, though she never got to hear the truth from her, as the now alive Koito has no recollections of her friendship with Ai. Mr Sawaki tells Ai that Koito fell in love with a teacher who then committed suicide although he had a family - which might cause viewers to suspect that the teacher molested Koito.
Then, Sawaki claims that he found Koito ready to jump from the top of a building and tried to persuade her not to go through with it. In return, Koito started to shout that Sawaki raped her before falling. There are two ways to interpret this: if you believe Koito, Sawaki might have indeed molested her and even pushed her, but unfortunately, we only get his own side of the story, so the exact circumstances around Koito's death might remain a mystery.
Wonder Egg Priority follows Ai Ooto in her quest to save Koito, who used to be her only friend at school. Buying eggs from the mysterious mannequin-like entities Acca and Ura-Acca, Ai spends her nights in a nightmarish world where she tries to save girls who have committed suicide from the reason behind their death, which is amplified and takes the form of a vicious monster.
In this world, Ai finds a statue of Koito who also committed suicide under mysterious circumstances – at least this is what we are told. Ai believes that when she has saved enough girls, she will manage to bring Koito back to life. But why did Koito die in the first place?
In the first episode of Wonder Egg Priority, Ai saves a girl who committed suicide due to being bullied at school. Koito, who was a recent transfer student in Ai’s school, was also bullied so, at least at first, one can easily assume this was the reason behind her suicide as well. After all, the damage bullying can do to young students is no secret.
Later episodes, however, drop hints about less obvious events that might still have contributed to Koito’s death. Mr. Sawaki, Ai and Koito's teacher, seem to be involved, or at least know something that Ai does not.
While bullying is arbitrary and there is never a good reason for it, Koito believed her classmates mistreated her out of jealousy. After all, Mr. Sawaki, a young, attractive, and artistic teacher paid her a lot of attention – supposedly to help her acclimate since she’s a transfer student. But did Sawaki’s behavior cross any lines? While we can’t tell for sure yet, the anime wants us to believe so.
After all, Ai – who had a crush on her teacher, a fact she does not admit to anyone, not even to herself – found Koito and Sawaki embracing. While it could theoretically be said that the teacher was supporting Koito who was being bullied, this does seem like suspicious behavior from a teacher towards his young female student.
Then, there’s Sawaki’s obsession with drawing Ai. Sawaki is not only a teacher but also an artist, and it might be that he wanted to make Ai feel better about her eyes – each a different color. This characteristic made her feel ugly until her teacher pointed out that it’s beautiful. While a teacher should absolutely boost their students’ confidence, it’s easy to interpret the scene as creepy.
This is especially true in the art exhibition scene. Agreeing to go to Sawaki’s exhibition, Ai comes across a photo of herself as an adult woman who looks like her mother. Of course, Mr. Sawaki is now dating Ai’s mother and claims to love her very much. The explanation he gives is that he painted Ai as the strong woman she would become.
Drawing a portrait of someone isn’t necessarily problematic of course, but the viewers can’t help thinking that the man’s insistence to draw a teenage girl with whom he has a student-teacher relationship is a bit suspicious, especially since he’s dating said girl’s mother.
Then again, it should be noted that we only see Ai’s councillor through her eyes. Portraits aside, Sawaki never tried to approach Ai romantically or sexually as far as we are shown. It seems that the crush if there is one, is very much one-sided on Ai’s part. It’s possible, then, that Koito was also having a one-sided crush on her teacher, and that the embrace was her own attempt to act on it.
It seems unfortunate that Ai caught Koito at such a moment since she felt jealousy which likely made her stubborn and inattentive to Koito’s struggles. While it’s very much possible that Mr. Sawaki acted improperly, there are too many hints suggesting his involvement in his student’s death. Therefore, if he really was involved, it wouldn't come as a surprise plot-wise. This alone, causes some viewers to believe the teacher's supposed involvement is a red herring.
Many of the girls our main characters save have been abused by a teacher or parent figure, physically, sexually, or emotionally, so the anime, which often tackles triggering and scary real-life issues, definitely wants us to remember this is a possibility.
It has not yet been confirmed if this was the case with Koito and Mr. Sawaki or not. Many fans believe it, some even theorizing that her death wasn’t a suicide at all, but only made to look as such. If that was the case, Sawaki would surely be a prime suspect.
Then again, Acca and Ura-Acca repeatedly tell us that the wonder eggs grant access to a world where young people go after committing suicide, so there would be a huge discontinuity if Koito had actually been murdered instead. On the other hand, Acca and Ura-Acca have also mentioned that the eggs are all about girl's suicides, but Episode 10 has Momoe meet a trans boy, suggesting the pair isn't to be trusted. The more you think about it the hardest it seems to find a definitive answer.
While we’re never outright told just what happened to Koito, there are multiple hints the viewer is supposed to make something of – but if Wonder Egg Priority has taught us anything, we shouldn’t take probabilities for granted. The end of the anime’s first Season will hopefully solve this mystery.