Confidence Men


Alexander Gray

Great Pretender’s second season has recently been released, featuring the biggest con in the entire series. (Photo Courtesy, Alexander Gray)

Since my review on A Silent Voice, Netflix has strengthened its anime lineup, adding a few more Netflix Originals and announcing the development of some new titles. Great Pretender is one of those new  Original titles and is undoubtedly one of the top Netflix Original anime on the platform.

Great Pretender is about a group of con artists called Confidence Men going around the world, scamming criminals and corrupt people. There are a total of four acts in the series, the first three containing 4-5 episodes, and the fourth act being the longest and biggest heist in the series. Along with that, each act focuses on a character’s backstory which helps the viewer get to know the character better.

The main characters of the show consist of Laurent Thierry, Abigail Jones, Cynthia Moore, and Makoto Edamura who is called “Edamame” by the rest of the characters. All the characters play off each other well and have key roles in their scams they pull. Laurent is the brains behind each operation, Abigail is the muscle, Cynthia is the intelligence, and Edamura is just dragged into each scam by Laurent to fill a role he needs him to play. I find it funny how Edamura will leave the group to live a fulfilling life and get a job, only to have that job connect right back to Laurent and their next scam.

When it comes to English subbed and dubbed, it’s executed very well, not just the voice acting, but also the transition from Japanese to English. In the first episode, “Case 1_1: Los Angeles Connection,” the first half of the episode is in Japanese; however, the series transitions to English dubbed after Laurent tells Edamura that his accent doesn’t sound Japanese and saying, “It sounds like a weird jumble of a bunch of different dialects.” This transition also works with every other dub that is available.

One of my favorite things about this series, however, would be the coloring of the backgrounds. It’s surprising to me how vibrant the colors are and how all the colors come together. Two of the best examples of the coloring of the series  can be found in “Case 1_2: Los Angeles Connection” and “Case 2_1: Singapore Sky.”

Along with the coloring, there’s also the animation. There was never a point in time when the animation was too still, nor did it stay on one perspective too long. The implementation of the CGI (computer-generated images) was also good. Where this series comes short is the emotion. There are some sad moments in this series that didn’t strike me as a viewer. I didn’t feel sad during these scenes, nor did I feel anything for the characters. I feel if they built up the characters more and threw in some different music, it would probably help the strike emotions. Still, you get important information behind the characters and their motivation.

Great Pretender has restored some of my faith in Netflix to pump out a good title. Even failing to strike my emotions in scenes that aimed to do so, it still was an exciting, fun, binge-worthy series that I believe is a must watch on Netflix. Great Pretender is available on Netflix and is rated TV-MA for language, nudity, and smoking.

9/10 Great