Wonder Egg Priority: Neiru’s Backstory Raises Questions About the Dream Statues

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Wonder Egg Priority, Episode 5, “The Girl Flautist”, now streaming on Funimation.

At the end of Episode 1, we were first introduced to Aonuma Neiru, but Wonder Egg Priority has put off revealing Neiru’s backstory until Episode 5, and it may have something to do with the truth about the dreams and the existence of the statues.

In Episode 2, we learned that Neiru is trying to save her sister, and both audiences and Ai were shocked by the fact that Neiru is the president of a large company, which only added more mystery to her background. Now it is finally revealed that Neiru’s sister brutally stabbed her before jumping off a bridge, killing herself. Neiru claims that she isn't actually trying to save her sister, but rather to find out the truth behind her sister’s actions, for her own reasons.

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Unsurprisingly, Neiru’s dream scenario is on a bridge, but the two monsters she fights off do not have much in common at first glance. The first monster is an ugly old man who bought a runaway girl, possibly for sex. The second monster, and the focus of the episode, is related to a girl who killed herself in order to preserve her youthful beauty. Her monster is three wigs that repeat the “Mirror, Mirror” chant from Snow White, highlighting the importance of beauty to the girl in the dream, and the connecting theme for both dreams: appearance.

This is the first time that the dream girl seems happy about her death, and she even tempts Neiru to die with her. Since the monster is the manifestation of the girl’s trauma, which in this case is the fear of losing her beauty, the monster is still attached to her body. Neiru figures out that her hair, which she thinks is beautiful, is the true monster of the dream.

This episode’s title is “the Girl Flautist”, considering the dream has a fairy tale element, it could refer to the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the magical musician who lures children to their deaths with the music of their flute. But who is the real flutist? Is it the dream girl obsessed with beauty? This doesn't seem to be the case, since she regrets her death. Or it is Neiru’s sister, the one who tried to kill her?

After Neiru’s backstory reveal, it's clear that most dream statue girls’ deaths are quite directly related to the main characters. Rika caused her fan Chika’s starvation, Momoe pushed away her friend Haruka when she confessed her love and Neiru’s sister probably wanted Neiru to die with her. The only outlier is Ai and her best friend Koito. Ai still has no idea why Koito committed suicide, but going by this logic, Ai probably has something to do with her death.

Though the series has been dropping more hints about Mr. Sawaki’s possible connection to Koito’s death, this episode suggests that his true interest may be with Ai. He drew a portrait of Ai to use for an art competition, and according to Koito, his future success is tied to this portrait. Mr. Sawaki’s niece Momoe denies that he has any sinister intentions, citing his kindness and tendency to take in stray cats, but even this could explain his interest in Ai. Since Ai has heterochromia, which is often found in cats, he may somehow see her as another stray cat that needs his help. His unusual fixation on Ai likely made Koito, who seemed to be in love with him, jealous.

In the last episode, the Accas mentioned the “temptation of death” as a reason why the statue girls committed suicide. But since all the statue girls have reasons to want their living counterparts to die, either due to animosity or extreme love, are the statues actually tempting the girls to die? The girls are all aware that going into the dreams is a life-risking mission, but even Rika, who knows her actions are irrational, and that she should quit, can’t stop going back into the dreams. Their motivations could be purely psychological like they claim, or something else could be pulling them back in.

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