From time to time, it’s possible to tire of the usual good versus evil story and wish for a story that was a little less conventional instead. This is where the scam story comes in; intelligent and lively, relying on twisted morality and the absence of traditional storytelling rules. A good scam requires a different type of protagonist and one that may not be a hero at all.
They could be smug, ruthless, unlovable anti-heroes that we really shouldn’t support. Still, it’s a pleasure to watch them tug on authority. Whether that authority is the police, the mafia, or perhaps even an entire country. Their goals can also vary from gaining riches to simply ruining an enemy. For those who can’t get enough of tricksters stealing the show, here are six anime to check out.
On the brink of World War II, joker game is the collection of stories from a new spy ring known as the “D Agency”. It follows that the men employed for their various talents are assigned around the world on various missions to collect the most valuable monetary information in the world. With individual stories attributed to agents, joker game maintains a serious approach to the world of espionage, never delving into the adrenaline-pumping adventures of a James Bond or Jason Bourne character while maintaining the same tense atmosphere with the highest stakes.
Agency D grew out of the labors of Lt. Col. Yuki, a retired spy who failed to earn the respect of the military for his “cowardly” tactics. The same tactic will then be passed on to the eight men of Agency D. Alongside the eight spies is a man appointed by headquarters to watch over Agency D, Lieutenant Sakuma, who comes closest to a protagonist of the series as he realizes just how complicated the games being played around him really are and how much the men of Agency D risk. As the world heads into another global conflict, the scams and heists the spies have to pull off become all the more serious, and not all of them make it home alive.
joker game can be streamed on Crunchyroll.
The fact that this anime’s namesake comes from the Italian word for “ruckus” should indicate how much of a departure it is from the atmosphere of joker game, but this show, which is mostly set during the American Prohibition era, is much more than just a ruckus. An elixir of immortality is at stake, but as if power-hungry alchemists weren’t enough, Baccano! likes to throw in the mafia, two incompetent thieves and a transcontinental train known as Flying pussy. As alliances fly fast and loose and sometimes are not tied at all, Baccano! provides scams on scams where no one can be trusted and all is well. To not spoil the plot too much, baccano! is probably a show best started watching with the promise that boredom is not an option.
Baccano! can be rented on Youtube.
Terror in resonance
What if what seemed like a simple terrorist attack was much more than that once the true motivations began to come to light? Mishima Lisa finds herself bonded to a pair of terrorists known as the “Sphinx” after they rescue her from the building they blew up, and once she begins to know the teenagers for more than their terrorist characters, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that the joyful game they run the police on is much more than a destructive pulse. They seek to overthrow the country and seek revenge for events long past, and Lisa is now part of them, whether she likes it or not. When Sphinx themselves become the target of another trickster who might be up to their skills, everything is derailed with the three geniuses and Lisa in the middle, all trying to outsmart the others before it’s too late. This original anime from Studio Mappa is a triumph in animation, score, and storytelling, with a plot that will keep viewers enthralled along the way.
Terror in resonance can be streamed on Funimation.
The plan is simple: infiltrate the Vanetti mafia family, earn their trust, then assassinate Vincent Vanetti for killing your family seven years ago. Sure, Angelo Lagusa’s plan is simple and straightforward, but nothing ever stays that way for long in a world of banned booze and gangster families. Angelo must hope that no one realizes that he is the only little boy who escaped the night the Lagusa family was murdered, because then there is no way his plot for revenge will come to fruition. But it gets harder and harder as he gets closer to the family business and gets closer to Nero Vanetti, the one who didn’t pull the trigger. Although also set during the American Prohibition era, 91 days is a much darker view of the times than Baccano!as matters of family, allegiance and the price of revenge come into play against a backdrop of betrayal and Prohibition anarchy in a city where bloodshed is just a matter of spot cleaning .
91 days can be streamed on HBO Max.
One of the most recent Netflix releases, super crooks is a fun mix of the modern superhero genre and the scam, showcasing a fresh and fun superhero world with enticing new powers and creative ways to use them. If a jerk’s strength lies in the intelligence of their brains, adding superpowers into the mix is a sure way to spice up how the jerk job and the powers should work, delivering a story with some truly unforeseen moments. . Johnny Bolt just has to pull off one last heist, then he can retire from being a little bad guy and live happily and anonymously with his girlfriend, Kasey. It’s a shame Johnny doesn’t seem to pull off a single con with the kind of superheroes he and his ragtag group of villains are up against. But Kasey has an idea for a scam this time, one that could really be their ticket to happiness, and Johnny has never been one to turn down a challenge.
super crooks can be streamed on Netflix.
Flashy, fun, and featuring fantastic cyberpunk world-building, Akudama Drive is the classic team of crooks brought together by fate and held together by the promise of a big payday. The anime is dedicated to its premise, not even assigning names to the team members, referring to them as their roles – Courier, Doctor, and Hacker being a few. An ordinary person is even dragged for the ride. This dedication to the genre pays off as the series plot twists and then rushes to an adrenaline-pumping finale that is truly unforgettable. Anime fans with social commentary and a cool cyberpunk style will probably enjoy this one, so if Psycho Pass Where ghost in the shell were particularly favorites, Akudama Drive is a must.
Akudama Drive can be streamed on Funimation.
A crook’s story is almost always filled with sudden twists, unexpected allies and villains, and a cast of abnormal protagonists who don’t fit the heroic mold. The fact that it’s not as common as the good vs. bad dichotomy is what makes it so exciting, and yet if it became more common, the novelty would wear off, making the bullshit stories we have d all the better for it, the heists all the more satisfying. For those who live for good betrayals, plans gone wrong, plans made right and maybe a car chase or two, the above six anime are definitely worth checking out.
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