Great Pretender season 2 is a Japanese crime comedy TV series produced by produced by Wit Studio, directed by Hiro Kaburagi and written by Ryōta Kosawa. The first season released on Netflix on August 2020.
Eccentric and fun
Movies and TV shows that explore the delicate and intricate world of con artists always end up being a fun watch. There’s a lot of thought that goes behind fooling people out of money (as well as other things) and it’s a layered thing to bring to the screen. Because it’s not just about pulling the perfect con, there’s also the matter of understanding your target’s psychology. That’s what makes it fascinating – to see something complex open up gracefully, layer-by-layer, until you’re left with something very new and surprising.
When Great Pretender first came out way back when, I was thoroughly impressed, not just by the shockingly smart cons and by the animation, but also by the emotional depth that the series presented. It was a story with a lot of layers, there were people involved who had lives, a history and a lot of baggage. These bunch of misfits fit with each other perfectly and the way the series explored that was refreshing. Well, that and the cons were pretty awesome too.
Great Pretender season 2 explores these emotional depths more, and poses many questions as well as opportunities for growth for our protagonist, Makoto “Edamame” Edamura as well as the others in his “con group”. Unlike the previous season, this season follows a singular story broken up into 9 episodes, each around 25 minutes long. I was a huge fan of the previous arrangement of episodes – it kept the series exciting and kept you on edge. However, last season the stakes were not as high as this, and thus I am quite content with the change of pacing.
However, this is not to say that Great Pretender season 2 is slow. No, that it definitely is not. Just like the first season, this one is also high on the excitement and energy, so much so that it’s a haze sometimes. It’s fun and extremely energetic, and the way Laurent and Edamame go through with their million deceptions is something that we have come to expect. The last season really sky-rocketed our expectations, and season 2 delivered on it perfectly.
As I was previously saying, Great Pretender season 2 is a deeper exploration of Edamame’s grief and his maturing. He’s always been someone who is very impulsive and emotional. Although that hasn’t changed much, the series explores the various facets of his life and decisions by bringing his father to the forefront. This was something that was much needed to give context to season 1, along with Laurent’s backstory. The series brilliantly meshes these two very difficult things together to give us a series which is not only extremely fulfilling but also thought-provoking.
Producer Wit Studio does an excellent job with Great Pretender season 2, just like the first season. The animation work is splendid and adds to the eccentric way the show unfolds and races on. There’s a kaleidoscope of colours everywhere and the stylisation of the characters add depth and meaning to their personalities. Add to that the excellent and fast-paced background score and you have a well-rounded show that gives you a taste of everything.
Summing up: Great Pretender season 2
Great Pretender season 2, much like its predecessor, does not disappoint in the slightest. All the characters receive sufficient backstories and are fully fleshed-out and engaging with very real problems. The cons are fun, smart and never do they feel boring. There are no expositions, neither does it play into too many of the tried and tested tropes of the genre, making it quite fresh and engaging. Although yes, I did like the previous format more (three different stories), it is to be kept in mind here that this season has more at stake.
The series ends with a tiny sneak peek into what we can expect in the next season, and honestly, I can’t wait. Are there bigger things at stake?
Great Pretender season 2 is streaming on Netflix.