Wonder Egg Priority’s Fourth Main Character Faces Gender Struggles

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wonder Egg Priority Episode 4, “Colorful Girls”, now streaming on Funimation, and discussion of sexual harassment and suicide.

The first three episodes of Wonder Egg Priority introduced the hikikomori protagonist Ai Ohto, the kind but distant Neiru Aonuma and the tough former idol Rika Kawai. Episode 4 introduces the series' fourth main character, Momoe Sawaki, an androgynous girl who struggles with being constantly misgendered by others.

Momoe’s dream setting is a train station, where she is tasked with protecting a girl named Miwa who was sexually harassed by her father’s boss. Miwa eventually reported the harassment, but her father was fired because of the incident and her mother blamed her for it. Miwa’s story highlights the difficulty that the #MeToo movement has faced in Japan, with victim-blaming and retaliation being very common.

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Miwa mistakes Momoe for a boy, falls in love with her and chooses to call her “Momotaro,” the name of the male hero from a famous Japanese folktale. Miwa comments that Momoe has broad shoulders, a comment which seemingly makes Momoe feel dysphoric. Momoe dresses androgynously and refers to herself with the masculine pronoun “boku” instead of the more feminine “watashi,” but she is visibly uncomfortable when people misgender her.

The episode intercuts between Momoe’s battle with the harasser and Ai’s battle with the stalker monster from the previous episode. In both instances, the girls who are supposed to be protected bravely confront their own monsters, showing that their positive mental state may be the key to defeating the monsters. Ai gets a timely assist from Rika, who explains that their dreams make them immortal, so all their injuries, including petrification, can be fixed with time.

Momoe’s second dream is about a women-only train car. The monster in this dream thinks Momoe is a boy, but she fights back against being misgendered this time, loudly proclaiming that she is a girl. After the battle, the girl in the dream also professes her love for Momoe even after knowing her gender, almost kissing Momoe before she disappears.

It turns out Momoe’s dream statue is of Haruka, another girl who fell in love with Momoe. Haruka tried to seduce her, even though Momoe didn’t seem to reciprocate. Since both Momoe’s dreams are related to sexual harassment, it is possible that her and Haruka’s relationship became some kind of harassment scenario that led to Haruka’s death.

Momoe, Rika and Neiru meet at the gacha place. Both Neiru and Rika assume Momoe is a boy, and Neiru asks the Accas why a boy is allowed to get eggs, Acca says boys and girls have very different motivations for committing suicide, with girls supposedly being more susceptible to a “temptation of death” and subsequent regret, so the gacha place exists in order to bring them back. This is the first clarification of the Acca's purpose, but it's still very unclear what they really mean by "temptation of death."

Momoe leaves the gacha place distraught. It has not been confirmed whether Momoe is a trans girl or just misunderstood for her butch presentation (both theories are equally plausible), but it's clear the pain of being misgendered still haunts her. Just because she presents masculine, it doesn't mean she's a boy, and the people around her need to understand that. Interestingly, the flashback with Haruka is the one time Momoe's seen wearing a girl’s uniform, so there's almost certainly more story to be told regarding her gender identity and presentation.

As Momoe cries, Ai arrives and correctly identifies Momoe as a girl without hesitation. Momoe feels relieved after hearing Ai’s words; she begins referring to herself with "watashi" and her voice subtly raises to sound more feminine. The girls converse about their sense of style, and their conversation suggests Momoe is attracted to men. Whether Momoe is straight or bisexual is also left ambiguous, but it is clear she feels troubled by the constant love confessions she receives from girls who assume she's a boy.

Friendship quickly blossoms between the girls of Wonder Egg Priority, and Momoe formally introduces herself to the group. Upon hearing her full name “Momoe Sawaki,” however, Ai pauses. Ai’s teacher, who continually visits Ai in her home, has the same last name. It was hinted in past episodes that Koito’s suicide has something to do with Mr. Sawaki, so the girls may have an even deeper and darker connection than has been shown so far.

If you are a U.S.-based victim of sexual assault or misconduct in need of help, contact RAINN at 800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. If you are based outside the U.S., click here for a list of international sexual assault resources.

For more information on the warning signs and prevention of suicide, click here. If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you live outside the U.S., click here for a list of international hotlines.

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