Follow TV Tropes

Following

Anime / Great Pretender

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/great_pretender_0.jpg
Great Pretender is a a 23 episode original anime from WIT Studio, directed by Hiro Kaburagi and written by Ryōta Kosawa. The character designs are by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame.
Advertisement:

Young con man Makoto Edamura calls himself "Japan's greatest swindler," but in reality, he's still got a lot to learn about conning. One day, he attempts to pickpocket what he assumes to be a guillible French tourist. But that "tourist" is actually Laurent Thierry, confidence man par excellence, who specializes in conning rich and horrible people out of their money. And rather than taking offense, he decides to take Makoto under his wing. Nicknaming Makoto "Edamame," Laurent drags his new, not-entirely-willing protégé into the world of high-stakes confidence games against powerful and immoral people. With the help of Laurent's muscle-woman Abigail Jones, the group embarks on globetrotting escapades as they seek to con the world's worst.

The show was picked by Netflix for international distribution, and they released the first 14 episodes worldwide on August 20, 2020, with the remaining 9 episodes dropping on November 25, 2020. In March of 2021, it was announced that the series would have a stage play adaptation in Japan that adapts the show's first arc. It's a musical featuring live band accompaniment and several original songs, starring Toshiya Miyata as Edamame and former Takarazuka Revue otokoyaku Miya Rurika as Laurent.

Advertisement:

Tropes appearing in Great Pretender include:

  • Ambiguous Situation: At the end of the series, we see Laurent working for the President of the United States. It's left ambiguous, however, if he's finally working as a diplomat, like he always wanted, or actually trying to con the President. Or, perhaps, running a con with the President.
  • And the Adventure Continues: One of the final scenes of the series is Laurent talking on the phone to Makoto, asking him if he's bored—implying that he might have another con planned.
  • Angry Collar Grab: When Makoto and Laurent first meet one another (not counting when Makoto tried to pickpocket him), Makoto vigorously shakes Laurent by the collar while screaming in his face. Laurent's reaction? He coolly tells him to be gentle, because his shirt's expensive.
  • Asshole Victim: The marks of each con are all unsavory types: mobster/drug kingpin Eddie Cassano, race rigger/saboteur Sam Ibrahim, counterfeit art appraiser James Coleman, and yakuza queenpin Suzaku.
  • Advertisement:
  • Award-Bait Song: The series has three examples among its original songs, each of which is Award Bait-y in slightly different ways. "Someday" is the soulful Love Nostalgia Song ballad heavily associated with the series, "Our Love" is the sparkly, uptempo Silly Love Song used as the team's Friendship Song, and "Through the Night" is the triumphant song the show ends on, which serves as its dramatic, emotional conclusion.
  • Back for the Finale: In the final arc, Makoto hires all of the previous marks with the promise of them getting revenge on Laurent. Since actually harming him is less profitable than just getting paid for showing up, said "revenge" is mostly "scaring him and making him feel out of control."
  • Bland-Name Product: Episode 1 features the plane flying past In-Z-Out Burger, which is basically In-N-Out with one letter changed.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Makoto is drawn into the world of Laurent (blond) and his closest associate Abbie (brunette). Arcs after the first add Cynthia (redhead).
  • Breather Episode: "Snow of London" is the most lighthearted of the four arcs—Team Confidence is largely working in sync and getting along, there's little physical danger to any of them, Cynthia's backstory is more bittersweet than tragic, and the arc's mark, James Coleman, is perhaps the least threatening of them. It comes right after "Singapore Sky," which has Abbie's extremely violent backstory, and right before "Wizard of Far East," which is much, MUCH darker than the rest of the series.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During their time in Los Angeles, Abbie wonders why they didn't just pick up some Taiwanese guy to pretend to be the scientist responsible for Sakura Magic, claiming no one can tell the difference between Japanese and Taiwanese anyway. Later in France, the owner of the restaurant where Makoto is working seems to need to be reminded repeatedly that Makoto is Japanese, not Korean.
    • After the timeskip between the second and third job, Abbie's hair has grown at some, and Edamura notes it looks like a horseshoe crab. In the next arc when she meets Clark again, he makes the exact same comment.
  • Camping a Crapper: When Makoto leaves his bodyguard to use the restroom in Episode 4, the FBI agents tailing his mark capture him for questioning.
  • Caper Crew: Makoto, Abigail, and Cynthia serve as this for Laurent. Other members are included depending on the job.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The final arc, "Wizard of Far East," is much darker than the rest of the show. While the first three arcs are mostly lighthearted, the fourth arc has Makoto trying to infiltrate a child trafficking ring run by yakuza—and he slowly begins to become as cold and unfeeling as he pretends to be for the con.
  • The Con: Each story arc includes a new con scheme targeting a new mark carrying more money than karma should allow.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In the third arc, Cynthia muses on how coincidental it was that an old and unlikable figure from her past crossed paths with Makoto, and proved to be so unlikable that Makoto decided to scam him after a brief meeting. This scam later grew in proportion. She concludes Laurent somehow manipulated this into happening, which he doesn't deny.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Part of the reason Team Confidence pulls off their elaborate and expensive cons is to help expose horrible crooks and turn them over to the authorities. But not, of course, before swindling them blind.
  • Criminal Found Family: While the official motto of the confidence team defies the idea that they're friends or family and they all insist they'd leave each other behind in an instant, this never actually happens. They all go to great lengths to help each other out, not only when they're in danger because of their con, but to deal with their past trauma before they'd even joined the team.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each story arc focuses on one member of Laurent's crew, delving into their backstories and motivations:
    • Los Angeles Connection focuses on Edamame, his childhood and just why he became a con artist.
    • Singapore Sky focuses on Abigail and her past as a child ballerina star and former Iraqi soldier during the early 2000s.
    • Snow of London focuses on Cynthia's relationship to the painter Thomas.
    • Wizard of Far East focuses on Laurent himself, particularly his beginnings as a con man, as well as his grudge against Liu Xiao.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Happens twice over the course of the series:
    • At the beginning of the fourth arc, Makoto visits his mother's grave and tells her about everything that's happened to him over the past few years. Surprisingly, he shows a lot of affection towards the other members of Team Confidence... even Laurent, whom he openly admits "having a lot of resentment towards" elsewhere.
    • The fourth arc also shows that when no one's around, Laurent talks to Dorothy's ring as if talking to her. "I pretend that you're still around" indeed.
  • Dénouement Episode: The ultimate climax of the "Wizard of Far East" arc, and the series, happens in Episode 22. The final episode is dedicated to showing how the crew pulled it off, and then shows what everyone gets up to afterwards.
  • Dirty Cop: In "Los Angeles Connection," the LAPD are shown to be incompetent at best, and racist scumbags being outright paid off by Eddie Cassano at worst.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Pola Dickens is initially set up to be the show's primary antagonist, being an FBI agent who's been hot on the trail of Laurent for years and who's determined to bring him in. Of course, she's actually Laurent's compatriot Cynthia—the real Pola Dickens has no idea who Laurent is, and thus, she vanishes from the show afterwards.
  • Don't Tell Mama: While she was still alive, Makoto didn't want his mother knowing that he was involved in criminal activities.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The third arc's title, "Snow of London," is both one of the series' usual location titles, and a reference to the Fictional Painting at the center of the plot.
  • Effective Knockoff: Thomas' copy of Snow of London, in a sentimental sense. Having witnessed how much effort Thomas put into forging it, Makoto intentionally had the original auctioned off.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The very first thing shown in the first episode is the Hollywood sign, establishing the setting for the first arc.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Team Confidence has no trouble robbing their Asshole Victims blind, but they never kill, no matter how horrible their mark. As evidenced by the fact that Suzaku and the rest of the yakuza merely get stranded on a deserted island.
  • Everybody Lives: Despite the incredibly dangerous situations the team finds themselves in, every member of Team Confidence makes it to the finale. Even Dorothy, who, as it turns out, is alive after all.
  • Fair-Weather Friend: The "official" motto of the confidence team is, "We're not friends, and we're not family. Screw up, and we'll dump you." Circumstances, however, do not bear this out, as they readily rush to one another's aid when things go south.
  • Fake High: In the first arc, after Makoto ingests some "Sakura Magic," his vision goes blurry, he starts freaking out, and he attempts to violently make his escape from Eddie Cassano's mansion. But Sakura Magic is just candy; the "high" he got was a combination of adrenaline and the placebo effect.
  • Faking the Dead: A favored tactic of Team Confidence is to fake their deaths in front of their marks in order to escape them. Poor Makoto mistakes it for real the first time Abbie and Laurent get gunned down in front of him.
  • Fiction 500: Team Confidence is ludicrously wealthy, able to construct massive building projects in relatively short order and having the funds to do pretty much anything their cons require. The final episode does acknowledge, however, that given how expensive the last arc's con was, they only barely broke even despite conning a massive sum out of their marks.
  • Fictional Painting: The third arc is built around the fictional painting Snow of London, previously thought lost and found in a little boardinghouse in France.
  • Fight Clubbing: At the beginning of the Singapore Sky arc, Laurent and Co set up a fake one in order to swindle Corrupt Corporate Executive Danny out of his money.
  • Food Porn: Laurent enjoys the finer things in life, including good food. In the first arc, he takes Makoto out to an expensive restaurant, and the fancy spread is highly detailed to show off how ritzy it is.
  • Foreign Language Theme: The ending theme is fittingly Freddie Mercury's cover of The Platter's "The Great Pretender".
  • For the Lulz: 50% of why Edamura is the only one kept out of the loop that the "FBI agents" in the first heist were fellow conmen working Laurent was so that he would give a genuine performance. The other 50% was because they thought it was funny watching him squirm.
  • Friendship Song: "Our Love," the insert song that plays when Makoto and the other members of Team Confidence are getting along. The actual lyrics to the song skew more romantic ("It's the best thing, honestly, waking next to you"), but its usage in show is entirely platonic (outside of possibly being Ship Tease).
  • Friendship Trinket: Makoto has a tendency to buy or give capsule toys to people when he likes them. He gets a cops-and-robbers themed capsule toy for Salazar's son, and he gives a Toyotomi Hideyoshi toy to Laurent. Considering that Laurent holds onto it until the end of the series, even after chucking his Tragic Keepsake, it clearly meant a lot to him.
  • Gambit Pileup: The climax of the final con has the collision between Laurent's plan to get revenge on the yakuza and Makoto's plan to get revenge on Laurent, with all of the former marks, hired by Makoto, showing up to cause havoc. Thankfully, Makoto and Laurent end up in sync for long enough to pull the whole thing off without anyone getting hurt—and Makoto still gets his revenge in the form of scaring the crap out of Laurent.
  • Gambler Groupies: During a flashback, young Laurent is shown flanked by groupies in his card-shark days.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Eddie Cassano, Sam Ibrahim, and James Coleman agreed to make a deal with Makoto in the fourth arc where he would give at cut of the profits in exchange for any of their assistance, and are allowed to stay for the celebratory party afterwards. Commenting how revenge isn't as profitable as business.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Laurent is rather affectionate towards Makoto, both in his manner of speech and his physicality, and the show stops just shy of stating whether it's something he does just to mess with the kid, or if it's because he's genuinely trying to flirt with him. The closest it comes to a confirmation one way or another is when Laurent tries to flirt with Cynthia, and she responds that she "thought Edamame was [his] favorite." But it's left ambiguous as to whether she's just teasing him about his favoritism, or whether he's genuinely attracted to Makoto, keeping things as subtext.
  • Honey Trap: This is an invaluable tool in Team Confidence's arsenal, especially since most of their marks are sleazy older men. Abbie is especially good at them, since, in addition to being very conventionally attractive, she's also an incredibly athletic Kick Chick who is more than capable of defending herself. But Cynthia is unafraid to use her body as a tool as well, and Shi-won was a master of them when she was a hot young thing.
  • How We Got Here: The first episode begins with Makoto dangling upside-down from the Hollywood sign, strung up by his feet and screaming for help. The rest of the episode establishes how he managed to get himself in that situation.
  • Implied Love Interest: The Laurent/Makoto/Abigail relationship is thick with subtext, forming an Implied Bisexual Love Triangle. Generally, it seems that Laurent has feelings of some sort for Makoto, and Makoto has a crush on Abbie, though little is made explicit. The show also ultimately ends with none of the main cast in relationships with anyone. However, the show does deliberately invoke Romance Arc tropes in Makoto's relationship with both, and the song the show uses to show his closeness to both of them, "Our Love," has lyrics that lean romantic.
    • Laurent flirts constantly with Makoto; Cynthia even calls him out on it, saying (in reponse to him flirting with her) that she "thought Edamame was [his] favorite." However, exactly what he means by his flirtation is left unclear. Does he do it just because, as he himself admits, Edamame is fun to tease? Is Makoto a Lust Object for him, whom he's sexually attracted to but for whom he has no romantic feelings? Or is he actually in love with his protege? On one hand, Laurent is shown to still be deeply hurt by the murder of his lover Dorothy, and he clearly still misses her, suggesting that, while he might be attracted to other people, Dorothy is the only one he truly loves.. On the other hand, at the end of the series, he throws Dorothy's ring into the ocean, but holds onto the Toyotomi Hideyoshi capsule toy Makoto gave him, and is shown staring at it fondly instead. This could imply that he views Makoto as a Second Love... or just that he views his friendship with Edamame as more important to him now.
    • Makoto is clearly Distracted by the Sexy the first time he sees Abigail, but it's in the second arc, "Singapore Sky," where he truly seems to start crushing on her. Despite her past coldness towards him, he becomes extremely protective of her, and both tries to stop the team from pushing her too hard and tries to become more friendly with her to her to learn her history. He does grow much closer to her over the course of the arc, in part by coming to terms with the fact that there are things in her past he can never truly understand, that trying to force it won't help, and the best he can do is to be there for her when she needs it. In the third arc, they even spend an afternoon just casually hanging out in a way Makoto never does with anyone else. Of all his teammates, Abbie seems to be the closest to being his "best friend" of the group. However, there's no indication that the two ever grow particularly closer than this. Moreover, at the end of the series, Abbie goes off to spend some time in the wilderness, exploring the world by herself; it's open-ended as to whether this means she wants to be alone (and possibly cut ties from the team) forever, or if this is just a temporary Journey to Find Oneself.
  • Improbable Age: In the first arc, Paula Dickens looks fairly young to be a top-ranked, notorious FBI agent. Subverted — this was Cynthia impersonating her, and the real Paula Dickens is shown to be old.
  • Insert Song: The show heavily uses insert songs, both licensed and original. It has a number of original songs that it uses in its most emotional scenes (such as its Award Bait Songs "Someday" and "Our Love"), but it also uses licensed hip-hop and R&B, often from American artists. The very first episode uses a Kid Cudi song, for example.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Discussed in Snow of London; French people don't care to distinguish the minutiae between Asian cultures. This is why Makoto's Chinese bosses run a sushi restaurant (and later, a Thai restaurant).
  • Irony: Eddie Cassano dismisses Abigail Jones as not being able to act. In reality, Abigail is an incredibly skilled actress, and her role in the groups various schemes often rely on her taking on roles that clash harshly with her more rigid personality.
  • It's All Junk: At the end of the series, after finally getting his revenge on Liu Xiao, Laurent throws Dorothy's ring into the ocean to show he's moved on.
  • Island Base: Team Confidence owns a private island that they use as their base of operations. They give it up in the final arc to strand Suzaku and Liu Xiao at sea.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: The crew only target bad people for their cons, and often give some of their earnings to the people that their marks hurt.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: The first con we see Makoto and Kudo pull is one of these—Kudo is an obvious con man posing as a water inspector, trying to trick an old woman into buying an expensive water filter, while Makoto is the "real" water inspector... who then tricks her into buying an expensive water filter. Of course, the old woman turns out to have been in on it, and the house wasn't even hers—the real owners got a new filter for free.
  • Karmic Thief: The crew only targets bad people with their confidence schemes. Sometimes, they even give some of their earnings to the people their marks hurt.
  • Kitsch Collection: Makoto is a collector of capsule toys, and the one table in his small apartment is totally covered in them.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Someday," the theme of the third arc. It's a heartfelt ballad about moving on with your life, even after splitting from someone you loved deeply—that love still meant something. It describes the relationship between Cynthia and her ex-fiancé, Thomas.
  • Mid-Season Twist:
    • Halfway through the first arc, in episode 3, it's revealed that Makoto and Laurent didn't meet by chance—Laurent was actively scouting Makoto with the help of Kudo.
    • In the final episode of the first arc—episode 5—it's revealed that the show's alleged Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist, Pola Dickens, was actually one of Laurent's compatriots, Cynthia. This changes the show's dynamic considerably as she changes from an antagonistic role to a helpful, Team Mom-like one.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The first arc is a generally light hearted crime caper for the first 4 episodes, but then at the climax of the heist, the FBI swoop in and Laurent and Abigail get gunned down, Edamura gets his face beaten in by the target, and then said target is able to bribe the seemingly just FBI agent off to get away. But then subverted when all of the above (face beating aside) was actually all part of the scam all along. Laurent and Abigail are just fine and the FBI agent was another one of their teammates, and after taking the massive bribe from the target, they leave him high and dry with no more money to bribe his way out of jail time.
    • The Wizard of Far East arc is much darker than the rest of the show, as it involves human trafficking and Makoto slowly sliding into his harsh yakuza persona for real.
  • Multinational Team: Laurent's crew hail from Japan, France (...as far as most people know), Iraq, South Korea, and potentially the United States, given Cynthia's accent.
  • Omniglot: The main cast is shown as fluent in four different languages (English, French, Mandarin and Japanese), while strongly suggesting that at least some of those characters know others (specifically Arabic and Korean).
  • The Place: Each arc's title is named after its central location: "Los Angeles Connection," "Singapore Sky," "Snow of London," and "Wizard of Far East".
  • Product Placement: Laurent can be seen very clearly drinking The Alley bubble tea in episode 7.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: While Makoto is almost always at odds with Laurent, it comes to a head when he discovers that Laurent has been using him throughout their entire career together as part of a long con to get revenge on the man who murdered his lover. Makoto outright punches Laurent in the face, in public, over it—and privately begins planning revenge of his own.
  • The Reveal: Episode 5: Paula Dickens' real name is Cynthia Moore and she & her FBI team were all members of Laurent's gang.
  • Scenery Porn: The show's backgrounds have a unique visual style reminiscent of Expressionism, with broad strokes and vibrant colors. This is used to make some pretty beautiful scenery, but Singapore-as-seen-from-the-air is among the most striking.
  • Scooby Stack: In the last episode, when Makoto looks behind him into the hallway at the building, he sees the rest of Team Confidence standing behind him, peeking around the door and nodding their support at him. Except Abbie, who, instead of her head, offers her usual contribution.
  • Sequel Hook: The final episode ends with a number of small hooks related to specific characters, such as Kudo having a wife and daughter from whom he is estranged, and who he wants to find again, and Laurent having a sister who's been looking for him. But the biggest two are Laurent, now working for the President of the United States, talking to Makoto on the phone and asking him if he's bored, and Dorothy turning up, alive but amnesiac, in a small fishing village in Taiwan, after her adoptive father finds her old ring in a fish's stomach.
  • Shout-Out: A few:
    • The opening credits resemble the ones of Catch Me If You Can, another movie about a conman.
    • A variety of real life actors get name dropped from Leonardo Dicaprio to Ken Watanabe.
    • The bad movie series Cassano produces is named the "Razzie" series.
    • During the Los Angeles Connection arc, when Edamame is forced to actually cook Sakura Magic, the FBI agent tells him to "act like Walter White."
    • The Snow of London story arc, since it focuses on the fine art world, references a lot of nineteenth and twentieth century painters like Modigliani and Picasso.
    • The con target for that same arc is known as the "007" of the art world.
    • Sam Ibrahim uses "Mike Portnoy" as a fake name at the underground casino in the Singapore Sky arc. Laurent even responds by asking him if he's "the one from that theater group".
    • Anyone who's ever watched The Sting will probably be able to predict most of the reveals of the first story arc.
    • Edamura's superior in his job in the fourth arc drunkenly notes that he's been a fan of the Nobunaga's Ambition series for years.
    • Team Confidence's members used to include a wizard named Oz and a woman named Dorothy.
  • Sibling Team: Clark and Sam Ibrahim. The pilot and tournament organizer of their air racing team, respectively.
  • Silly Love Songs: Four of the show's five original songs are love songs. Two of them, "Someday" and "I'll Keep You," are the themes for past relationships had by the characters, while the other two, "Our Love" and "You Know," are used in more general contexts. "Our Love" in particular, despite its more romantic-sounding lyrics, is used as a platonic Friendship Song.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Makoto starts trying out new coffee beans with Suzaku every day, so that when he does slip her a sleeping drug, she doesn't notice the unusual taste.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Laurent and Cynthia have a tendency to tease and make fun of one another, and are often facetious with each other.
  • Starving Artist: Snow of London shows that Cynthia and her ex-boyfriend Thomas lived the bohemian starving artist lifestyle in France, she an aspiring actress and he a talented painter. Contrast is shown more than once between the canned beans they ate for dinner in the past and the glamorous restaurant they ate at later on.
  • Stealing from Thieves: Laurent is a Gentleman Thief Con Artist who has a strict moral code of only conning crooks. When his apprentice Makoto tries to show off by tricking a random bystander into agreeing to pay for their meal at a restaurant, he pays for it himself saying his conscience wouldn't allow it.
  • Stealth Pun: What's the real name of the legendary con man known as "The Wizard"?: Oz, short for Ozaki. He also has a companion known as Dorothy, her real name as far as we know. However, no one directly points out the book this is a reference to.
  • Story Arc: The show is built around 4 story arcs that take place in different locations, in which Laurent and his team take aim at a certain mark as part of a long con.
    • Case 1: Los Angeles Connection (episodes 1-5)
    • Case 2: Singapore Sky (episodes 6-10)
    • Case 3: Snow of London (episodes 11-14)
    • Case 4: Wizard of Far East (episodes 15-23)
  • Surprisingly Good English: Despite Laurent and Edamame speaking accented English, their grammar and pronunciations are correct, and they speak clear enough for the average English speaker to comprehend what they are saying. In the Japanese version, they have the English-speaking (but French) Stefano Paganini do Laurent's most fluent lines.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The Vegas con involves Abigail defeating opponents twice her size to trick a mark into betting all his money on her in the next match where she is supposed to go down to make him lose his money. When Abigail loses her temper and goes all out on her opponent, she's beaten to a pulp in seconds.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Early on, the show introduces Pola Dickens, a famous FBI agent who's been hunting Laurent for years and tries to tempt Makoto into helping her catch him. It's subverted when it turns out that she's actually one of Laurent's compatriots, Cynthia, and the real Pola Dickens vanishes from the show afterwards, leaving the show without one of these.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Makoto doesn't exactly get along with the other members of Team Confidence at first. Laurent is extremely untrustworthy, and Abbie is downright mean to him. Even in later arcs, he has difficulty working with Laurent without bickering with him constantly.
  • Time Skip: Between all of the major story arcs.
    • Explained between Los Angeles and Singapore as Edamame turning himself and spending a few years in prison, plus a few months working at a mechanic shop.
    • An indeterminate amount of time between Singapore and London but enough for Abby to grow her hair out a little bit.
  • Titled After the Song: "The Great Pretender" (most specifically the cover by none other than Freddie Mercury) plays in the end credits. The credits are even (mostly) a copy of Mercury's music video starring Mercury's cats.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The major con women, the taciturn and athletic ex-soldier Abbie (tomboy) and the glamorous ex-actress Cynthia (girly girl). This is highlighted in Singapore Sky when they pose as an up-and-coming pilot and her fabulous team owner, because the two personality types in this dynamic mean they instantly have a broad appeal.
  • Translation Convention:
    • Canonically (after the story moves away from Japan), everyone is speaking English. A note appears partway through episode 1 to denote that the characters will be speaking in Japanese for the remainder of the show after having Edamame and Laurent engage in a conversation in English (both of them being heavily accented).
    • The English dub approaches this by keeping all the main Japanese dialogue from the original version intact as well as Edamame and Laurent's accented conversation but performed by the dub actors instead and uses the transitional note to instead have Edamame and Laurent drop their accents entirely.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: In one of Laurent's more openly flirty moments, in the "Singapore Sky" arc, when it starts to rain at the air races, he rather teasingly suggests that Makoto join him under his umbrella. Makoto gives him a "You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!" look before refusing in a huff.
  • Virgin-Shaming: One of Abbie's favorite insults for Makoto is to call him a "virgin." He swears he isn't; she doesn't believe him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • In general, Team Confidence swears that they're neither friends or family, and openly say that they'll dump anyone who screws up. In reality, they're thick as the thieves they are and clearly care deeply about each other. Even extremely bitter Abbie and manipulative Laurent are shown to truly care about their companions.
    • In particular, Makoto and Laurent have a... complicated relationship. Laurent freely admits that Edamame is an easy target to pick on, and he ceaselessly manipulates his protégé without regard for Makoto's feelings. However, he also seems to genuinely respect Makoto, and it's implied that he truly thinks of Edamame as a friend. Makoto, meanwhile, depending on how recently he's been the victim of one of Laurent's schemes, ping-pongs between genuinely liking him, being his bickering ally, and outright hating his guts.
  • Watching the Sunset: In the fourth arc, Makoto and Laurent have a heartfelt conversation about their career together while watching the sunset. This is one of the last peaceful moments before the show takes a darker turn.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The second half of the final episode shows what each of the characters goes on to after the final con. Makoto is thinking of opening a café, Laurent is working for the President of the United States (though whether he's conning him or acting as a diplomat is unclear), Abbie is off rock climbing in the United States, Cynthia adopted one of the children from the child trafficking ring, and Shi-won and Kudo are hanging out in Seoul together.
  • Wine Is Classy: Team Confidence tends to drink wine and champagne when they're relaxing on their private island or in their expensive hotel rooms, especially Cynthia. Laurent even teases Makoto for serving them cheap beer when they come to visit his appartment.
Top