Sometimes it feels like WIT Studio can’t go wrong with the anime they produce. Great Pretender, which first aired in 2020, is another proof of that. This anime is an original work, meaning it’s not based on a manga or a light novel. It follows the story of a small-time swindler, Makoto Edamura, who finds himself in legal trouble.
He flees to the US while following a mysterious stranger. What Makoto doesn’t know is that the stranger, Laurent Thierry, is a con artist who personally scouted him as a new member of an international swindling team. Soon, an exciting high-stakes game begins and Makoto finds himself in a lot of trouble.
Netflix released the anime in 2 parts – which they list as 2 seasons. The first half has 3 separate arcs. The first arc focuses on Makoto, the second on Abigail, and the third on Cynthia. The second half consists out of 9 episodes, and one arc. It’s darker than the first, with more serious themes. It also gives us more insight into Laurent’s backstory.
Great Pretender is a fun, action-filled story, with some interesting characters and a lot of unexpected plot twists. Each arc is well written and researched, even though it focuses on completely different things. There is not a single moment in this anime that is boring. The characters are all unique, and special in their own ways. OST is pretty great, and the anime gets bonus points for the ending theme – which is The Great Pretender by Freddie Mercury. Except it’s sung by cats in ED sequence (which makes it even better).
If you have a free weekend, give the Great Pretender a go, seeing as it’s definitely one of the best Netflix original anime.
7SEEDS manga started coming out in 2002, and when Netflix announced an anime adaptation by studio GONZO, it came as a bit of a surprise. However, fans welcomed it and season 1 came out in 2019. As of today, there are 2 seasons, adapting around 110 chapters (out of 178 total). There is still no official news about season 3, even though it would complete the story. Keep in mind, Netflix labels seasons as parts for this specific anime.
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, filled with mutated plants and animals. Four teams with 7 humans were cryo-preserved and set to wake up in the far future. But soon after waking up, the survivors will realize that they might have way bigger problems than the hostile environment. A fight for survival and co-habitation begins, and not everyone will make it out alive.
The first season of 7SEEDS is a mixed bag. The pacing is pretty bad since the anime adapts 83 chapters in only 12 episodes. As a result, a lot of the events feel rushed, and there’s not a lot of space for character development. Some tragic events and moments are badly executed. Characters are often annoying because the anime simply doesn’t have enough time to properly introduce them. But even though it doesn’t start off great, you can still enjoy it, especially if you’re binge-watching it. In comparison, season 2 is much better. The pace is slower, with only 27 chapters in 12 episodes. It focuses on one arc, with a set group of characters.
Why binge-watching makes 7SEEDS better
Netflix has a great system of releasing entire seasons at once, but that can be intimidating sometimes. However, it works well with 7SEEDS. It’s much easier to get sucked into the story and ignore small issues that might ruin your experience when you’re watching it all at once. 7SEEDS does have a captivating story, filled with action, mystery, and a unique world setting. The characters, when given more space, get to shine as the series explores their backstory.
You can watch both seasons on Netflix.
Don’t let the CG animation keep you from watching Beastars. It’s fluid, with lovely colors and sleek movements. Studio Orange is among the best when it comes to CGI and Beastars is proof of that. Characters are anthropomorphic animals, meaning they have human movements and traits with animal features.
The story is set at Cherryton Academy – an elite high school where herbivores and carnivores co-exist. But after someone kills an herbivore student, the whole student body is put on edge. Legoshi, a wolf, finds himself in a weird spot. Everyone is scared of him because he’s a carnivore, even though he’s a very calm and peaceful person. Soon he meets Haru, a white rabbit, and develops feelings for her. But can a wolf and a rabbit ever be happy together?
When you first look at Beastars it’s hard to imagine that the anime deals with serious topics. Interspecies tension, Beastars’ version of racism, and ethnic tensions are big plot points in the series. As we follow Legoshi’s journey we learn more about the world, and it’s not pretty. What starts as childish bickering within the Academy, leads to much more serious consequences outside. The elitism points at a much more complicated social structure as well.
Beastars introduces the viewer to a variety of characters. In addition to their personal struggles, it’s also quite interesting to see how they adapt to society while being a part of their unique species. Louis, a herbivore, wants to prove that he’s able to lead the society, despite his weak constitution. On the other hand, Legoshi is trying to control his instincts, because he wants to fit in better.
Beastars is definitely not something you should sleep on. There are currently 2 seasons, but the the second season is coming to Netflix worldwide in July 2021.
Did Netflix change how we consume anime?
There’s something special about sitting down and watching the whole season in one go that makes it better, even if the content in question is mediocre at best. Netflix played a big role in making anime more accessible, but for many viewers waiting for the season to end to watch it is nothing new. Back in the day, you were forced to do so, but the rise in streaming services eliminated the problem.
However, there are still some issues, especially with the Netflix format. Most fans are familiar with the term “Netflix jail” which is used to describe the content (anime) that is available on Netflix but only in Japan. This is usually reserved for simulcasts, and overseas fans have to wait for months for their favorites to become legally available.
Despite all this, Netflix still changed how anime is seen, mainly with casual viewers. It not only made it accessible but also made it quite easy to find new series. The original anime they produce may not be always the best but definitely offers some good finds. So, if you have time to spare, head on over to their website and find something new to watch.