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10 Anime Like Great Pretender

PS has been watching anime as long as she's been living. For her, it's a perfect getaway to the cherished world where everything's possible.

Great Pretender

Great Pretender

About Great Pretender

Makoto “Edamame” Edamura is the main character of Great Pretender. Due to unfortunate events, he is forced into the crime world and thus, regularly indulges in pickpocketing and scamming people to earn a living.

One day while swindling an apparently naive tourist, he learns that he is being tricked. To make the situation even worse, he is now on the wanted list of the police forces.

While escaping from the police, he once again confronts the same tourist. The tourist is actually his fellow con man known as Laurent Thierry. Makoto escapes with Laurent to Los Angeles. Envied by Laurent’s ingenuity, Makoto challenges him to a competition to determine the Japanese Greatest Swindler. The competition is fierce as their chosen target is the biggest mafia leader on the West Coast.

Now traveling from city to city, the anime explores Makoto’s endeavors along with Laurent and his interesting associates, all in the most detest world of high-stakes fraud. Makoto’s character takes upheaval now and then when his self-proclaimed skills are continuously put to the test.

If you liked this instinctive storyline, then here is a list of ten anime that share a similar storyline:

10. Akudama Drive

Akudama Drive is produced by the famous Studio Pierrot company, which is known for its Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, and YuYu Hakusho series. It is created in collaboration with Too Kyo Games, the Japanese video game developer.

The anime primarily focuses on the life of criminals called Akudama. A long time ago, when war broke out in Japan, the country was majorly divided into Kanto and Kansai. Kansai started to depend on Kanto for its every need. Due to the lack of proper structure and policies, police and government lost control of Kansai to Akudama.

The anime explores the life of this criminal organization and the unprecedented future of the Kasai inhabitants when it is primarily under the control of Akudama.

9. ACCA: 13-Ku Kansatsu-ka

ACCA is the only organization of its kind that works quite differently from the central parliament. It is the national body of the Dowa Kingdom. Its major purpose is to provide important services to the inhabitants. It was originally established as the mean of the peace settlement between the Dowa King and the 13 states at the time of a revolt.

It's been 100 years when ACCA successfully established peace in the kingdom and 13 states through its under-controlled agencies. However, rumors of rebellion have started to surface now. Jean Otus, the second-in-command of the ACCA investigation agency, is given charge of the situation. He needs to inspect all the branches in the 13 states and discover the mystery behind the rumor.

ACCA: 13-Ku Kansatsu-Ka is a mysterious and thrilling anime. It is politically-centered and explores diverse cultures and lifestyles, also showing stimulating connections among its characters.

8. Baccano!

Baccano! is based on the award-winning novels of the same. It shows several seemingly unrelated events. In the early 1930s somewhere in Chicago, Flying Pussyfoot, the transcontinental train, has commenced its historical journey all over the country, which is sure to leave prints in American history.

Meanwhile, in New York, Szilard is an enthusiast scientist who is looking for lost bottles of the immortality elixir along with his aide Ennis. Also, there’s a war going on between the criminal groups, turning worse day by day.

Far away from these events, in the year 1711, onboard the Advent Avis, alchemists are thriving for immortality and soon going to learn the price for the same.

The anime starts with confusing events as they are totally different in time and place, but as the story progresses, each of them turns out to be the piece of a bigger story. The story majorly focuses on alchemy, immortality, and survival. It explores the journey of Isaac and Miria, the would-be thieves and people connected to them, who have their own hidden desires.

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7. Lupin III

The anime is about the journey of the grandson of the former world-famous thief Arsene Lupin, named Arsene Lupin III. Lupin III, himself, is currently the world’s greatest thief, known for declaring his intentions before stealing the valuable objects. He always sends a calling card to the owners and then effortlessly commit the crime later.

Daisuke Jigen is Lupin III’s right-hand man and most trustworthy ally. Daisuke is an expert marksman who can faultlessly shoot a target Witi 0.3 seconds. They both work together in each endeavor though they are occasionally accompanied by Goemon Ishikawa XIII, who is a master swordsman, and Fujiko Mine, who is Lupin III’s love interest. Goemon’s sword is known to cut anything one can think of while Fujiko often uses her charm to lure Lupin to steal the treasure for her own good.

Due to his infamy, Lupin and his gang are regularly followed by persistent Inspector Koichi Zenigata of the ICPO. It is Koichi’s life mission to arrest Lupin come what may. What makes the anime more interesting is the rival criminals who chase Lupin out of jealousy.

6. Bungou Stray Dogs

Atsushi Nakajima is an 18-year-old young adult living in an orphanage. He is the only eye-witness of a mystical tiger that constantly visit their orphanage. Since no one else is aware of any such being, Atsushi is presumed to be behind the strange incidents occurring at the place. He is kicked out of the orphanage and left all by himself to die in hunger and wander around the city.

While roaming on a riverbank, Atsushi comes across a detective named Osamu Dazai apparently drowning in the water. He saves the eccentric detective and learns that it’s Dazai, who has the supernatural ability to turn himself into a white tiger during the moonlight.

Dazai lets Atsushi join his agency, where individuals with supernatural abilities are recruited to solve mysterious cases that are out of police range. Everything, now, turns adventurous for Atsushi as he solves unique cases with his enigmatic colleagues. However, a bigger problem is waiting for him as he has become the prime target of the Port Mafia gang.

The anime has much more to deliver which can’t be known unless you watch it on your own. The interesting turn comes when Atsushi fights against the mafia and learns about unbelievable supernatural facts.

5. Cowboy Bebop

When a collision with a hyperspace gateway made the Earth unsuitable for living, human beings made rocky planets and moons of the Solar System their home. The anime is set in the year 2071. The crime rate is on an exponential rise and thus, a legalized contract system is established by the name ISSP (Inter Solar System Police).

ISSP registers bounty hunters (also called “Cowboys”), who chase and catch criminals to receive a reward in return.

Spike Spiegel, the main character of the series, is a bounty hunter and a former hitman of the Red Dragon Syndicate, a criminal gang. He works along with Jet Black, a former ISSP officer, Faye Valentine, a con artist, Edward Wong, a hacker, and Ein, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with impressive human intelligence.

The anime explores their past stories and disastrous mishaps that often leave them penniless. Their past incidents are also a main part of the show. These include the reasons why Jet left the ISSP, how Faye’s accident on the Earth forced her to cryogenically frozen herself, and much more.

4. Banana Fish

Aslan Jade Callenreese nicknamed as Ash Lynx is a runaway and lives on the street of New York City. Later, he is picked and raised by the notorious godfather, Dino Golzine. The story starts with Ash as a 17-year-old running his own gang as the leader. He comes across a mysterious drug named “Banana Fish”. Interestingly, he heard the name before from his older brother Griffin when he arrived back from the Iraq War.

Ash starts to investigate the mysterious drug, but the problem occurs when Dino orders his man to take the drug from Ash, who currently lives in an underground bar.

At the bar, Ash meets with two Japanese photographers Shunichi Ibe and Elji Okumura, who report on the lifestyle of American street gangs. Their meeting is interfered with by Dino’s men who arrive storming the bar. Amid the chaos, they mistakenly kidnap Skip (Ash’s friend) and Elji.

Now, Ash has two important tasks lying ahead of him. First, he needs to rescue Skip and Elji. Second, he needs to find the truth behind “Banana Fish”. The question is, “Will he succeed in his endeavor considering his past relationship with Dino?”

3. Persona 5 The Animation

Ren Amamiya is a high school student, who is put on probation for defending a woman from sexual harassment. Pretty wrong, though. He is now a transfer student at Shujin Academy in Tokyo.

The story starts with his first day at school when he notices an unknown app on his phone. Curious to know, he clicks on it and is transferred to a strange world of Metaverse. In Metaverse, he learns that the place contains people’s shadows, in other words, the distorted image of true selves. While exploring the new world, he accidentally awakens his Persona. It kicks out his true potential and he gains the power to fight the evil shadows.

Coming back to the normal world, Ren forms The Phantom Thieves of Hearts with like-minded students. Their mission is to save people from fulfilling their evil desires by taking their hearts so that these people can learn from their mistakes and start anew. Their endeavor help them gain immense popularity and resentment as well.

However, when they are at the peak of their popularity, Ren is taken into custody and subjected to harsh interrogation. The future of Phantom Thieves is uncertain now and the outcome will certainly be bizarre.

2. Durarara!!

Longing to live the city life, Mikado Ryuugamine’s dream finally comes true when his friend Masaomi Kida invites him to his place. They are childhood friends and are meeting after a very long time.

While exploring the city streets, Masaomi warns Mikado about the ill-minded gangs and individuals scattered in the city such as Shizuo Heiwajima, Izaya Orihara, and a mysterious gang called “The Dollars”. Above all this, there’s an urban legend of a headless Black Rider, who drives a black motorcycle across the streets and often neighs like a horse. Witnessing him on his first day, Mikado’s long-awaited wish finally becomes real.

In reality, the Black Rider is a woman and her name is Celty Sturluson, who is wandering to find her stolen head. Along with that, she also works as an underground courier.

The anime narration covers each character’s life in detail. As the story moves forward, various supernatural events start occurring that add to a greater plot. These events are shown differently as per different characters’ knowledge. This never-seen or heard-before plot certainly makes it a worth-watch.

1. Black Lagoon

There couldn’t be any other anime besides Black Lagoon to be placed in the first position. Its similarity with the Great Pretender is quite close, something you’ll know when you'll switch to it.

Roanapur is a crime-ridden corrupted city in Thailand. The city has become so grave that even churches and authorities are caught in the web of corruption. It is a hub of illegal activities that are conducted openly and sponsored by local crime groups.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Rokurou Okajima is an average businessman who is tired of his monotonous lifestyle. He gets an offer for a delivery trip to Southeast Asia to pace up his business.

However, his hopes are soon obliterated when he is captured by a mercenary group called Black Lagoon operating in Roanapur. His business trip has come to a halt and now he is being used as a bargaining chip however, the group’s negotiations result in failure.

Rokurou is betrayed and left all by himself by his former employer. Despaired by the circumstances, he reluctantly joins Black Lagoon. To ensure his survival, he must adapt to the new surroundings and quickly pace up to confront future tribulation and bloodshed.

Black Lagoon is a high-octane thriller with non-stop entertainment. It explores the depths of humanity and moral values. It is worth watching how Rokurou transforms from a hopeless businessman to a ruthless mercenary.


Great Pretender is one of the upcoming age anime, something that everyone can digest. Filled with high-level eccentricities, betrayals, and a calculative plot, it keeps you hooked till the very end. I hope these suggested anime do perfect justice to it.

© 2020 Prachi Sharma

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