Review: Netflix's The GREAT PRETENDER Offer Big Thrills

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Anime is commonly known for extreme levels of drama, fantasy, sci-fi, and more. But it’s amazing when anime can take normal people and put them in interesting and impactful situations that are as exciting as any sci-fi or fantasy epic. Great Pretender has three storylines, like mini seasons, that put characters in engrossing situations, unique set-ups, and unexpected twists.

When considering an anime, the main things to put under the microscope are the plot, animation, and characters. Starting with the actual plot, Great Pretender follows a young man who thinks of himself as a great swindler but then gets thrown into a wild set of circumstances far beyond what he would imagine himself doing. As I mentioned above, there are three main story arcs in the season, each one being about five episodes. These mini seasons are a really great way to keep the action and story going while giving time for character growth and definition. I think the pacing is really great, it never suffered from filler episodes.

The animation for the characters is pretty smooth and fairly average, but the environments are beautifully painted and surprisingly colorful. And because the environments are so varied and eye-catching, it gives the whole show a bigger sense of personality and beauty. But other than that, the animation is fine and does the job well.

The last major thing to discuss is the characters. Our protagonist and the other characters that he deals with, including enemies and allies, are all fairly engaging and mostly unique. The character interactions feel pretty natural and well designed to create a lot of good humor and drama. I found one or two characters in the latter part of the season to be somewhat forgettable and cliché. Except for those weaker moments, the show has good characters that really impact each other creating good drama and dialogue. We don’t get so much time and development for the characters to be fully fleshed out and three dimensional, but there is enough depth to be consistently entertaining.

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The show isn’t one of the best anime ever, the third story line felt a little weak, and as I mentioned before the animation is really mostly standard. However, I think that is a really entertaining show and is a more easy-to-approach anime for those who don’t normally watch anime, while still having enough humor and interesting characters to keep anime fans interested too. I’d recommend this to anyone who is interested in heists, comedy, and intelligent shows.



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