Desert Punk Volume 1
Somewhere in the future, the world has almost come to an abrupt end. Civilisation as it’s now known has collapsed and the world has become something of a desert; with groups of the remaining human racing trying to scrape together something that resembles a life in small towns and villages. This fallout of an implied nuclear war is the basic way of life for the human race now, and some people are just better at adapting than others. Naturally debt is just one of those real world things that manage to make the leap over to a world in devastation, and in the Great Kanto Desert region, mercenaries take all sorts of jobs from recovering debts to just finding things for people.
Kanta Mizuno is one of those mercenaries, taking on jobs that will allow him to lead the life that he’s always planned. Yet, Kanta doesn’t just take on any old job – such as finding a lost dog – oh no. Kanta Mizuno is otherwise known as the Desert Punk or the “Demon of the Desert” and for the right price will take on any job. His reputation precedes him to the point where he can nearly ask for any price for any job he wants. Unfortunately this reputation gets a beating in the first few episodes of the show due to Kanta’s love for big boobs and he’s now burdened with a huge debt.
These boobs are attached to the woman known as Junko. She’s no dumb blonde, much to the contrary, she knows she’s got sex appeal and she knows her assets are likely to cinch the deal as much as her CV is. Unfortunately for her Kanta’s hell-bent on revenge as she’s the woman who’s caused the dent in his once perfect reputation. After run-ins with people like the Rain Spider and Shimmer Spider he’s got very little to loose – if he can get over his love of big boobs.
Then there are the various enemies that Kanta has created over the years. There are those he’s simply walked over to get what he wants, and there are those who just want a jab at him because his reputation is worth trying to attack. Throughout Desert Punk Kanta’s dealing with his love of boobs, taking on jobs to clear his debt and dealing with the enemies who are constantly trying to get a piece of him.
Fortunately Kanta has a screw a little loose, as he seems to relish challenging people who vastly outnumber him, or simply out-class him in terms of weaponry. Fortunately for the viewer, this “sandwich short of a picnic” look is depicted very clearly on his face and rather than being spooky or horrifying it’s simply funny to see. Humour is used in a highly stylised way throughout the show and during moments of intense emotion and undeniably important battle scenes – a flash of a chibi Kanta will appear, or a set of boobs. This crude and somewhat adult humour is what makes Desert Punk stand out from the crowd.
Rather than opting to tell the story of Desert Punk in the dramatic, and somewhat overused style of someone in a post-apocalyptic world overcoming the odds by becoming the best person that he can be. The central character isn’t giving, isn’t thoughtful and is very simply selfish. This slightly left of centre storytelling is really what sets Desert Punk away from many of the other series available at the moment. If Kanta as a character wasn’t so flawed, revered and selfish the comedic values of the show simply wouldn’t work and it would all feel false. Fortunately due to the careful characterisations of all of the characters, somewhat serious matters are dealt with brilliantly.
The animation is great as well, although at some points the colours may seem a little washed out, the majority of the time the animation is very detailed and everyone and everything is distinct. Which is a mean feat considering the buildings are made of sand and the background is a desert. The English and Japanese voice acting is all brilliantly done as well, the only character that is slightly grating is the little girl who idolises the Desert Punk as she’s very squeaky and trying too hard to be a little girl.
Overall Desert Punk Volume 1 is a great way to start a series. Introducing characters quickly, with some backstory and then getting rid of them entirely for a while so that the viewer is able to fully acclimatise themselves to this new show. With carefully stylised characters and great comic timing, Desert Punk is a must-have for any Sci-Fi fan.