Review and Synopsis by Anime Girl

Great Pretender Review by Amy

Great Pretender is an action-packed anime that follows Makoto “Edamame” Edamura in a life of fraud and trickery. It’s full of adventure, rivals, and espionage. Every episode will leave you wanting more.

Talented con-artist Makoto Edamura makes a living from pickpocketing and scamming others. Along with his partner, Kudou, he tricks a woman into buying an overpriced water filter. After a successful scam, Makoto and Kudou try to scam a French man named Laurent Thierry. However, Laurent cons them instead. As the police cops chase them down, Makoto escapes with Laurent to the airport.

The two fly to Los Angeles, and Laurent introduces Makoto to his connections. Makoto meets Eddie Cassano, a movie producer in Beverly Hills, and Abigail “Abby” Jones, Laurent’s scam partner. Laurent and Abby try to use Makoto in a scam, but he runs away. Laurent catches Makoto because of a tracker, and he knocks him out.

When Makoto wakes up, he agrees to help Laurent and Abby with their scam to sell “Sakura Magic” to Cassano. Makoto pretends he created the “Sakura Magic” drug, and Cassano bribes the police to stay away from the deal. Cassano is a secret drug dealer and is being chased by Anderson, a Los Angeles cop. Anderson and FBI agent Paula Dickins begin to track Cassano and Laurent’s scam.

Salazar, one of Cassano’s henchmen, keeps Makoto in his house under Cassano’s orders. Abby sneaks in to help Makoto learn how to make the “Sakura Magic” drug. When Makoto and Salazar leave the house to go into the city, Makoto is approached by Paula and Anderson. They begin to ask him questions, and Paula convinces Makoto to help the FBI arrest Laurent and Cassano. Makoto does not want to help the FBI, but then he agrees.

When Makoto begins to make the “Sakura Magic” drug, he wears glasses that the FBI gave to him. The glasses allow the FBI to see everything that Makoto is doing. The FBI breaks in to the laboratory to arrest Cassano and Laurent. Abby steals a gun and shoots an officer, and Laurent is shot down when he tries to protect her. Makoto grabs a gun and aims it at Paula, telling her to let him and Salazar go. As this happens, Cassano blows up the lab and runs away. Makoto catches him and Salazar knocks him out. The FBI catches Cassano, Makoto, and Salazar after their fight. Paula decides to free Cassano and destroy the evidence, but only if they give her $100 million. When Makoto refuses, he is punched and goes unconscious.

Makoto wakes up on an island, and Laurent and Abby welcome him to freedom. Paula is there as well, but she is not really an FBI agent. She reveals that her real name is Cynthia Moore, and she is a part of Laurent’s gang. Laurent explains that everything was fake, and the FBI agents were part of his team. Laurent tells Makoto that he and Abby faked their deaths to escape. Cassano was caught, and Salazar disappeared to take care of his secret son. After Makoto finds everything out, he goes back to Japan and turns himself in to the police.

After turning himself in, Makoto spends the next two years in prison. He begins to train himself as a mechanic. When he gets out of prison, he starts working as a car mechanic at Nakanoshima Heavy Industries. Shougo Nakanoshima, the owner, teaches Makoto how to fly and take care of a propellor airplane.

On the other side of the world, a terrible manager named Danny fires an employee that he sexually harassed. After firing the employee named Chris, Danny flies to Las Vegas and meets Cynthia Moore. Cynthia asks him to place bets for her in an underground boxing club. Danny agrees and places bets on Abby, but he does not know that the matches are rigged. Abby loses the match on purpose and makes Danny lose all his money. Cynthia takes all the money and gives it to Chris, Danny’s old employee, as payback.

Laurent tracks down Makoto and tells him his next scam plan. Laurent’s gang has created an air racing team, and they have been training Makoto for it. Although he is angry, Makoto joins the gang and Abby takes Makoto on a test flight. Laurent sabotaged the plane, and it explodes. Luckily, Abby and Makoto use parachutes to survive the explosion.

While in Singapore, explains to Makoto that his targets are two brothers named Clark and Sam Ibrahim. These Ibrahim brothers fled their Middle-Eastern country and now run the Pathfinder Air Race. Sam is the promoter and he is rigging the tournament by paying off competitors to lose to his brother Clark. He is also sabotaging the planes of other pilots who do not cooperate.

Abby is the pilot for Cynthia’s “Team Confidence” and she qualifies. However, she freaks out because she sees a couple that remind her of her parents. Makoto uses social media to make Abby popular as the first female pilot in the Pathfinder Air Race. Cynthia convinces Sam to rig the tournament final to have Abby race Clark. The next day, Abby has her first match against Toto Vialli and she falls behind. She hears Sam’s voice telling her that women should not fly and that she will lose. Abby gets discouraged, but Makoto yells in her ear to bring her back to reality and win the race.

After Abby’s race, Laurent’s gang sets up an underground casino. Cynthia tries to seduce Sam again but is rejected, so Laurent uses his backup plan. Laurent makes Makoto hack into Clark’s team as a mechanic. Sam is skeptical and puts him to the test, and the crowd says that Clark flies better with Makoto’s help. However, Shi Won shows up and she tells Sam that Makoto was the one responsible for Lewis’s accident. Sam wants to visit the underground casino, so Makoto takes Sam to the casino. This is all part of the scam, but Sam doesn’t even realize that he is in danger.

The best part of the series is the diversity and different missions. Makoto is Japanese, Laurent is European, and Abby is Middle Eastern. The three of them travel around the world to carry out their dangerous and exciting missions. While I can’t travel right now, Great Pretender is the perfect replacement for me because of the different locations that the characters visit. People who love secret agents and spy missions will love this anime.

Makoto Edamura

Makoto Edamura is the main character of Great Pretender. As a child, he was sent to prison because of his father’s illegal schemes. After his mother died, he was arrested. When he was released, he started working with Kudou to scam people. He’s a young but smart guy who knows how to trick others to get what he wants.

Makoto is very manipulative and knows how to befriend his victims. He is smart and resourceful, but he can also be awkward and sensitive. I really like Makoto’s character because he knows what he wants. He is very sure of himself and trusts his instincts. This helps him when he does not know or trust the people around him.

Makoto is very naïve and not as experienced as Laurent and Abby, but that does not stop him from working with them. He is proud of his accomplishments even if he does not have many of them. I admire his courage and love how much he matures throughout the series.

Laurent Thierry

Laurent Thierry is an international con man. Makoto tries to scam him in Japan, but Laurent is smarter than him and catches him. Although Laurent makes a living from scamming and tricking people, he uses it for good. He only targets evil and criminal people, and he takes their money and gives it to poor people. Laurent is kind of like “Robin Hood” because he steals from the evil rich and gives the money to the poor. His gang is called “Team Confidence”.

Laurent is an expert con man because he is so charming and friendly, but he has a dark side. He loves revenge and has enemies that hate him. Even though he had a horrible past and could not protect his true love Dorothy, he does not let his mistakes slow him down.

One thing I really love about Laurent is his leadership. He tricked Makoto into “helping” Cassano when the real goal was to steal all of Cassano’s money. Laurent knew that Cassano was a drug dealer, so he used Cassano’s crimes against him.

Abigail “Abby” Jones

Abigail “Abby Jones is Laurent’s second-in-command and a member of Team Confidence. She is super athletic, having trained as a ballerina in her childhood. Her life was turned upside down when war broke out in Iraq, which is her homeland. She was a child soldier in Baghdad and lost her parents and friends in the war.

Abby is cold and blunt with the others, and she never pretends to like somebody. She’s skilled in combat and acting, which makes her a great con woman. She does not hesitate to do what needs to be done during missions. My favorite episode is where she loses boxing matches so that Cynthia takes all of Danny’s money to give it to the employee that he abused.

Abby is my favorite character in the entire series. She is an athletic girl like I am, and she is never afraid to speak her mind. I also adore the fact that she is Middle Eastern, which adds to the diversity of the show. I rarely come across a dark-skinned character in an animated series, but Abby is one of my favorite women because of her past. She faced a lot of trauma and hardship, but she is focused on helping out less fortunate people. She is kind and strong despite her past, which makes her fearless.

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