The anime Great Pretender is fresh out of the box and yet has accumulated a decently large fan following. Recently on June 2, 2020, it was released on Netflix, Japan.
This development made many fans in the United States jittery. They wanted to watch the anime as soon as possible. However, it is very unlikely that it will come out any soon due to Netflix’s distribution policy.
The anime Great Pretender is an upbeat anime that largely bases its plot development in an international setting. It takes us through the international world of crime, drugs, mafia, and conmen. Its approach to portraying the landscapes and natural surroundings is quite unique and innovative.
1. Quick Review
The anime Great Pretender does a brilliant job of revitalizing the conman genre. The art is amazing, the landscapes are brilliantly well-drawn, and the plot moves refreshingly at a fast pace.
The characters are fun and entertaining. They help enrich the plot with their various quirks and humorous antics. They are designed well, and their subtle differences are explored in depth.
2. Is it worth watching?
The anime does have a lot to offer to anime veterans. Its interesting plot is one of a kind and has a wealth of fun experiences for the viewer. The extent of the influence of Western animation is quite strong.
The whole world of the Great Pretender Universe is set in Los Angeles, Hollywood. It is set in a very glamorous world and takes us through the dirt, crimes, and malevolence of the world of celebrities and millionaires.
The plot of the anime focusses on the main character Makoto “Edamame,” Edamura, who aspires to be the best conman of Japan. One fateful day, as he tries to dupe a foreigner with his partner-in-crime Kudo, he is outsmarted and loses his money instead.
This act hurts his pride as the best conman in Japan. He decides to follow the French citizen all the way to Los Angeles Hollywood. The Frenchman named Laurent Thierry has many crime networks and projects and plans to use Edamura to dupe an infamous millionaire.
Through Laurent, he learns more about the tricks and techniques of a conman’s job. He realizes that the work he was doing in Japan was nothing compared to what Laurent and his partner Abigail have been indulging in.
The pacing of the plot is pretty good and intense. It maintains the kind of excitement and vigor through the entire course of the anime. The anime pulls you in and gets you hooked with lots of comedic scenes, witty actions of the characters, and the glamour and hedonism of Hollywood.
Since it is a joint production of Fuji TV with Netflix, it does deviate a bit from much Japanese anime. The use of vibrant and loud colors in Great Pretender is dazzling and is a treat for the eye.
The art style of the anime is marvelous as well. The way in which the natural landscapes and environment are animated is innovative and uniquely enchanting. The intricate portrayal of the cityscapes helps infuse the anime with a greater sense of believability. It is the perfect backdrop for the events to transpire.
The characters are all varied, shrewd, and cunning in their own way. While the anime starts with making us believe that Edamura is the best conman, we are introduced to an even more cunning Frenchman.
As Edamura unwittingly becomes a pawn in Laurent’s game, he starts to mature more and see the world from a different lens. Also, Edamura’s English speaking skills are revealed in the start, functioning as punctuation of comic relief.
Also, Edamura’s past is revealed to us, which helps us understand his motivations for choosing to become a conman. Laurent’s skills and expertise in the art of persuasion and duping drive the plot to further heights with displays of his wittiness and grand schemes.
IV. Theme Music
The usage of the Freddie Mercury version of the song “Great Pretender” is a great complement to the narrative and plot of the anime. It is definitely not far-fetched to speculate if the “great pretender” is indeed referring to Edamura or Laurent or both.