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Image via Great Pretender anime Twitter account
© WIT STUDIO/Great Pretenders
It’s time to return to a world full of scammers with Wit Studio’s newly announced sequel, Great Pretender razbliuso. Studio president George Wada, anime director Hiro Kaburagi and producer Hitoshi Itō held a panel at Anime NYC on Saturday to discuss the new work. The anime’s actual format and length have yet to be revealed; it will premiere on DMM TV in Japan, and the screening includes the title card “Taipei Rendezvous”, suggesting that there will be multiple episodes, however, the team has also announced that there will be a theatrical release in the US, with Crunchyroll support. The anime may have a similar number of short episodes as the standard movie length, or the theatrical release will not include the entire anime. Fans will have to wait for further announcements for clarification.
The anime’s subtitle, razbliuto, can mean “confused” or “sentimental” and appears to be at least partly based on the anime’s central character, Xiang Xiang Dorothy, and the new character, Chiang ”Jay”. Both characters suffer from amnesia; Dorothy is directly involved in her appearance in the final episode of Great Pretender, while Jay takes a hard hit in the bathtub in the opening episode. They are both recovering from recent heartbreak.
The opening may feel awkward if you don’t want to use the Great Pretender, but the many moving parts still click easily into place. It doesn’t hurt that Dorothy is an instantly appealing character. She’s no fool, quickly exposing the scammer Yang K’un I is targeting her mother and using her position to pull Jay into her orbit. Jay is handsome, like Loid Forger or Kento Nanami, although his personality is more affable than either of them. We’re in a good time for anime men wearing suits, and I can’t complain about that.
The story is set in Taiwan and Kyoto, but the first episode is in sunny and saturated Taipei. Having never been there, it feels like the staff is familiar with the locality, including fishing shrimp, night market and famous stinky tofu. The backgrounds and character animations are the highlights. Great Pretender may have lost some of its audience due to its storytelling choices, but it’s still a distinctive-looking anime that knows how to laugh.
Kaburagi explained that the production team wanted to delve into Dorothy’s back story, so fans of the character will get to learn more about her exploits when the anime premieres next year.