Spoiler about WEP ahead, and I guess I might also talk about some themes from Wonder Egg Priority, which includes suicide and other mental troubles. More over, how do people watch that show, realizing the dream battles are metaphors, and not realizing the show is a giant metaphor about social media? It’s like not realizing a bunch of trees make up a forest.
Wonder Egg Priority Is about Social Media is the original title to this post.
I read this and, like, come on. When I was a lad in his 20s I’ve read analysis of contemporary media that takes out of context of the place such media is created. Like, if you wanted to make a SF story for general consumption that includes, say, the internet, you needed to say “the internet” somewhere, even if it’s just a metaphor. I guess, is this still needed in the year 2020/2021? I want to say, resoundingly, lol no. But maybe it’s still good in case people don’t get it?
Frill is a great plot device because it is the equivalent of saying “the internet.” What kind of AI-driven madness that whispers in little girls’ ears which drive parents insane trying to stop them from harming themselves? Is it not a parent’s hot take? But while throwing a hair drier into a bathtub may have killed their mutual lover, the fact that a bot did it seems to me also a possible metaphor on some level as well.
The deadly AI aside, or that Frill has baked itself into the the dreams of the adolescents like Lain of the Wired, WEP has dropped things like “anti” and various cues make the whole show a bit of a “guess the metaphor.” What are the magical pets, Twitter’s mod tools? Young women with magical powers fighting against institutional or individual evils online to save the souls of those who have perished in order to reclaim a fragment of what they wished for? Is this the power of social gaslighting and SJW-warrioring? In as such cranking a gachapon and hatching a dream goes (did they just take this out of social games?), this is definitely the coolest representation of cyberspace yet.
Let’s be realistic. How many high schoolers don’t have smartphones, use LINE (how many stories about high school life in the last 5 years of anime, manga and games didn’t include social media anyway?), or otherwise incorporate this aspect of the world in their lives? It may be conspicuous, to me, to ignore this entire aspect of the daily lives of suicidal kids and then talk about killer, Turning-Test-passing bots killing dream people in dreams, and not draw the line between the dots. Do you get hurt in dreams? Can you get hurt on social media? I think that is a yes.
Ai was lonely, bullied in real life, and suicidal until she found salvation through her then only friend in real life. Through the WEP she has found 3 friends–online friends, perhaps. But being able to navigate the treacherous Metaverse that her dream has become gave Ai strength, strength that her alternate, parallel-universe self acknowledges. Perhaps each egg dream is born of some trauma, but we are engaging them with the tools of the 21st century, and not via the Spear of Achilles or something from the lore of yore.