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Freddie Mercury's 'The Great Pretender' Song Will Be Great Pretender Anime's Theme Song

posted on by Egan Loo
1st TV anime to use late Queen singer's song as theme

The official website for Wit Studio's original television anime series Great Pretender began streaming a special promotional video for its theme song on Friday. The video announces that the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury's cover of The Platters song "The Great Pretender" will be the anime's theme song. This is Japan's first television anime to feature a song by Mercury for its theme.

A special will stream on the Periscope service (via Netflix Anime Japan Twitter's official account) and on TOHO animation's YouTube channel on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. EDT), to commemorate the streaming premiere of the first five episodes on Netflix in Japan later that evening. The special will preview the first episode and feature a talk segment with the staff and cast.

The show will have a theme of "credit fraud" and will be a "happy and comedic drama between worldly famous swindlers." The site describes the anime:

Makoto Edamura is supposedly Japan's greatest swindler. Together with his partner Kudo, they try to trick a Frenchman in Asakusa but unexpectedly get tricked instead. The Frenchman, whom they tried to swindle, turns out to be Laurent Thierry- a much higher-level 'confidence man,' in control of the mafias. Edamura is yet to find out what fate awaits him, after having engaged in the Frenchman's dirty jobs...!

Hiro Kaburagi (Hozuki's Coolheadedness, My Little Monster, 91 Days) is directing the series at Wit Studio. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion, FLCL) is designing the characters. Ryota Kosawa (Parasyte live-action film, Always: Sunset on Third Street live-action film series) is writing the scripts, and Yutaka Yamada (Tokyo Ghoul anime franchise, Vinland Saga) is composing the music. Maiko Okada is the producer.

The cast includes:

Chiaki Kobayashi as Makoto "Edamame" Edamura, the self-styled "Japan's greatest swindler" who makes a living running easy cons on well-meaning elderly and innocent travelers. Before his current life, he used to be honest and considerate. He collects capsule toys as a hobby, and is fond of coffee.

Junichi Suwabe as Laurent Thierry, an expert French conman who travels the world. He carries himself expertly and parts money from their owners with equal skill. He likes to dress smart and tell jokes. While on a sightseeing trip in Asakusa, he runs into Edamura when the latter tries to con him.

Natsumi Fujiwara as Abigail "Aby" Jones, a conman who prides herself on her flexible and well-toned body. She has a tendency to be brusque and quick to conflict, and hides a secret within her childhood memories.

Mie Sonozaki as Paula Dickins, a talented FBI agent who arrives in Los Angeles with the intent to take Laurent down. Driven and determined, she has earned the admiration of the local LAPD.

The anime will premiere on Netflix in Japan only on June 2. The Netflix debut schedule in Japan is (with release dates subject to change):

  • Case 1 (episodes 1-5): June 2
  • Case 2 (episodes 6-10): June 9
  • Case 3 (episodes 11-14): June 16
  • Case 4: (episode count unknown): "Coming Soon"

Netflix will stream the anime exclusively worldwide, but it will stream in Japan ahead of the rest of the world.

The anime will then premiere on July 8 on Fuji TV's +UItra programming block. The anime will also run on Kansai TV, Tokai TV, Television Nishinippon Corporation, Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting Co., Ltd., and BS Fuji. The anime will run for two cours (quarters of a year) for a total of 23 episodes.

Artist Daichi Marui is launching a manga adaptation of the anime on Mag Garden's Mag Comi website and Line Manga service on June 10. The first compiled book volume of the manga will ship on July 10.

Sources: Great Pretender anime's website, Comic Natalie

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