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This Week in Anime - Great Pretender is a Devious Joyride




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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 5142
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I pretty much agree all what's been said here about Great Pretender's strengths and flaws (I'm miffed that Abbie's backstory was so rudimentary compared to Makoto's and especially Cynthia's). If they can nail that last arc, I can easily place this show one of the best Netflix anime original that took advantage of the binging format. And even if the last arc ends up being meh, I do hope more future Netflix anime originals productions look at this show as a model on how to structure their series. Or mess around with it! Surprised
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Silver Kirin



Joined: 09 Aug 2018
Posts: 316
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:00 pm Reply with quote
Great Pretender is easily one the best Netflix "anime originals",I love the artstyle and art direction, the characters are very likable and it made me laugh a lot in many ocassions (which is weird for an anime to make me laugh). The only thing I can say is that in my opinion the first Case was the best, it was a very good introduction and the plot twist were amazing, the other two Cases were very good but the pacing was not as great as the introduction, though still they had amazing moments.
I watched the neutral spanish version, so the scenes were Makoto and Laurent were speaking in English kept the original japanese audio as well, which was kind of jarring because of the sudden change of voices, I don't know why they didn't just let the dub actors speak in English for those scenes, later Laurent spoke some phrases in French and his dub actor didn't have a problem pronouncing them. Still, the lat-am dub was very well done.
I can't wait for the next case, which I guess will be focussed on Laurent.
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TexZero



Joined: 25 Oct 2017
Posts: 399
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:35 pm Reply with quote
It's so nice to see this show finally getting some traction.
Sad that netflix has kinda ruined it with the way they like to hold back western market releases until they can dub it in 27 languages though.

Had this been simulcast in the west it probably would have garnered enough attention to be talked about being in contention for anime of the year for the production values alone. Instead it's largely flown under the radar.
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Skerlly Fc



Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:30 pm Reply with quote
Same as Steve, I watched the series in 3 sittings for each arc and it felt like watching the "Ocean´s movie trilogy" experience. Even if you don´t like binging anime this explains why WIT Studio (not Netflix) might take the decision to release the series on batches in Japan. One of my small criticisms is that the first 2 arcs are too dragged or don´t have a lot of content for filling 5 episodes each, so I don´t feel that comfortable on thinking that a 9-episode, Laurent-focused arc can be properly paced and be consistently good. I liked Cynthia´s arc because they were able to tell a good, tight story with plenty of content and some compelling drama in 4 episodes. But that doesn´t tarnish a funny, twisty, exhilarating and sometimes touching hit from Wit Studio. I´ll quote this opinion from polygon.com´s review on the series:

Quote:
No longer involved in the hit series (AOT), it seems the studio found the opportunity to be a bit more ambitious and creative with their projects, and demonstrate what they are capable of. First with 2019’s adaptation of Vinland Saga, a series I’ve described as a sort of capstone work of the decade for them, built on everything they’d learned from their work in the 2010s and realizing a manga that seemed nearly impossible to adapt. If Vinland Saga was the studio looking back, Great Pretender feels like a signal of where the studio wants to go from now.


It could be a good signal in the sense that they could either tackle more original projects, or lesser known source materials, that they can apply all their learned stylistic musings and techniques on.

Quote:
I just wanna say—as someone who has learned to approach the phrase “Netflix Original Anime” with equal parts fear and trepidation... my expertise in crappy Netflix shows (which, thanks to TWIA, is unimpeachable)

Not to insult the writers of this column (as I like them) but I´d love to see 1 or 2 articles taking a deeper look at the catalogue of Netflix Anime Originals and determine if it´s all trash, if it´s all manufactured to appeal to international tastes or stuff like that. Because I still think most of their series are sold from the Japanese studios to the company, and Netflix only licenses or produces the shows. It still looks like stigmatizing. Now, will you discuss the latest season of The Seven Deadly Sins? I find weird that there hasn´t been a review on it, although I think other releases might be more important for you to review and that´s understandable.

Quote:
It's so nice to see this show finally getting some traction.
Sad that netflix has kinda ruined it with the way they like to hold back western market releases until they can dub it in 27 languages though.
Had this been simulcast in the west it probably would have garnered enough attention to be talked about being in contention for anime of the year for the production values alone. Instead it's largely flown under the radar.

Not saying that it doesn´t matter, but nowadays you can go to any internet forum, like reddit r/anime, or myanimelist, and you´ll find that the newest Netflix Anime Originals have less discussion than they should, because some anime viewers decided that they´d rather wait for the series to be released legally and support the series that way instead of watching it Illegally. (edit) For example, your average episode of Sword Art Online might have an episode thread on reddit with 2,000+ karma points and almost 1,000 comments. Other Netflix Originals, Little Witch Academia and Violet Evergarden, had a similar reaction on reddit. However, Dorohedoro´s episode threads could only generate 1,000-1,400 karma points and less than 500 comments, same as Beastars. And there are other Netflix Originals that have the same reaction from 2019 to this month. (close edit). Does this mean that those anime fans that don´t discuss the series weekly are not true anime fans for doing so? Even if Netflix´s anime products are not as popular withing the anime community, they are proving to be good gateway anime products for the international audience that the service is reaching. Heck, the latest season of The Seven Deadly Sins was on the Top 10 Daily from Netflix for 17 days on Dominican Republic, so some of these series are reaching a worldwide audience.


Last edited by Skerlly Fc on Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9084
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:50 am Reply with quote
Quote:
However, it was great to see Wit and Co slap themselves on some planes.

Let's not forget BanDai which managed to sponsor competing planes in the same heat. Win-win, I guess! Very Happy

I still have the last 3 eps to go, but I've really been enjoying this. Having seen enough classic Hollywood conman movies, I sussed out a few of the twists, but they've still mostly kept me guessing, and even when I could see where it was going, it's kept me well-invested in how it plays out. Plot-wise, the only thing that's really bothered me is that they keep using their "real" names (if they're not all aliases to begin with) during their jobs. Seems like their reputations would get out among the kind of folks they target and kill their future grifts the moment Laurent or Cynthia introduced themselves.

I couldn't quite get on board with the English dub, but that's probably because Junichi Suwabe is just killing it with his Laurent.

Lol at the subtitle trying to localize to London and having Coleman say "the camera adds 10 stone." Ten pounds or one stone, pick one, but 10 stone would be 140 pounds!

I'm still wondering about the character designs, which I love. They look so much like Bungo Stray Dogs that I can't believe they share almost no staff in this area, just Key and In-between studios. I guess if I squint, I can see some ghosts of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's work on Eva, Wolf Children, and Summer Wars, but I still can't shake the BSD flashbacks.

Btw, the first image link to "El Presidente" is broken (imcomplete sizing). If anyone wants to see what the pic was.

Spoiler question: spoiler[Was the prison staff steering Makoto into auto mechanics arranged by Laurent too? Or did they just use that once he was about to be released to point him at the right shop?] Lucky he was good at it! Wink
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Piexouar



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 40
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Skerlly Fc wrote:
I´ll quote this opinion from polygon.com´s review on the series:

Quote:
No longer involved in the hit series (AOT), it seems the studio found the opportunity to be a bit more ambitious and creative with their projects, and demonstrate what they are capable of. First with 2019’s adaptation of Vinland Saga, a series I’ve described as a sort of capstone work of the decade for them, built on everything they’d learned from their work in the 2010s and realizing a manga that seemed nearly impossible to adapt. If Vinland Saga was the studio looking back, Great Pretender feels like a signal of where the studio wants to go from now.


The first sentence in the qoute is quite ironic considering according to reliable sources the reason Wit dropped AoT is because it was too ambitious for the staff and they simply couldn't carry on.
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