The second season of the Netflix original Great Pretender is finally released with the longest arc containing a total of nine episodes whereas the previous arc contained four or five. Though the last arc was the weakest by the end, it remains one of the best shows to watch.
“Great Pretender” final case titled, Wizard of Far East follows Makoto Edamura who’s trying to live a normal life in Japan but Laurent and his group of confident men have other plans for him for one last con on the mafia of Japan and Shanghai.
Though the plot itself is interesting and is the biggest operation the characters had done since the earlier arcs have been starting pretty small leading to the biggest con ever. But some things went right and things that didn’t.
What makes this different from the rest of the series is that there’s a lot of diversity throughout the show regarding people of color. Though there are shows that do have diversity, this is one of the few that has the most in it.
On top of that, there are scenes where characters are speaking different languages which is one of the most stand-out points of the series. There are moments where Shanghai members are speaking in Chinese and one of the con artists speaks in French, giving the show a flare not many others have.
It’s also one of the few that uses a western song for its ending theme. The show used, to no surprise, Great Pretender by Queen.
The animation is amazing as always with its amazing landscapes and the music was really well done making the scenes emotional, chaotic, or suspenseful.
The show was able to pull off the characters’ motives for wanting to pull the scam especially one of the main characters, Laurent, who was finally given a backstory this season and what are his intentions.
With Makoto, he faces his past, and it’s great to see how he deals with it and how everything he had seen and believe wasn’t entirely the case. By the end of the show, he changes to become a better person and can pull off things without messing things up like in the previous cases.
It’s refreshing to see him gaining the upper hand in these operations and tells the group the harsh truth of their way of doing things.
The antagonists did give off a scary presence, but that’s there was to them. With the other antagonists in the series, they had personalities and traits that made them different from one another. These characters fell flat.
There was an attempt to give the Japanese mafia, Akemi Sukazu somewhat of a backstory but it was only mentioned two or three times and was forgotten until the last episode. Liu Xiu, the leader in Shanghai, was nothing more than the leader of the mafia and connected to certain characters.
The show tends to trick the audience into what’s actually happening and that’s one of the great things about the show. But there was one part where it got repetitive and it is hard to take seriously when it happens again.
Then the characters do something that doesn’t make sense. It makes sense that the creators wanted to have the arc with the biggest bang but the choices they make are weird. They didn’t need to do all that work when they could’ve stopped at that simple plan they did and skip the whole chaotic scene pulled.
But that’s something to shrug off as it still made it entertaining and tricked the audience to wonder if what was happening was real or not.
However, the one thing that made this arc the weakest was the end credit scene. To avoid spoilers, the scene alone makes the audience question what was the point of this arc if the creators decided to make that choice.
The characters have gone through so much not to mention they were getting ready by doing other connings. Now, all that work was for nothing.
If it weren’t for that scene, this still would’ve been a really great show with a satisfying ending. But sadly that’s not the case.
With that said “Great Pretender” is definitely worth checking out as it has great characters, storyline, humor and is one of the best anime aired this year.