Desert Punk Volume 2
In the post apocalyptic wastelands that remain after a huge disaster on the planet Earth, most of the population has been wiped out. With only the few people who remain living in deserts and ruins trying to forge out a new life with what little they have, it doesn’t take long before people try and make money in and way that they can. Although greenery might be a thing of the past, the ruthless thrill of money making is a strong as ever.
We find our anti-hero after a series of unfortunate events in Volume 1 trying to restore his battered reputation. Desert Punk was once the very best missionary that money could buy, but unfortunately for him a number of bad jobs has left that once shining reputation in tatters. To try and get some cash together to try and repay his lost jobs, Desert Punk takes on an easy job – looking after villagers. This episode is a vague and frankly somewhat poor attempt at a parody of The Magnificent Seven and the Seven Samurai rolled into one. Although this would’ve been better if it had not tried to pay homage to these over done stories.
Fortunately the successive episodes take the rest of this volume to better places. Kanta is forced to take on an apprentice, although he would rather of had an older women with plenty of cleavage for him to admire. His apprentice is actually the apprentice of the sniper who tried to kill him in an earlier episode. Fortunately for this apprentice, she is a clever being and blackmails Kanta into accepting her by what she’ll look like when she grows up. Of course this superficial attitude is not something that a parent may want to promote to their children, but in all fairness a good parent wouldn’t be letting their young children watch this type of show.
Desert Punk then kicks the humour up a gear with the next episode. Kanta and his lovely apprentice Taiko are tasked with trying to clear a cursed rock from a prominent businessman’s land. This rock has claimed the life of many-a-missionary in the past and to reclaim his once amazing reputation Kanta is determined that he will be the one to rid this businessman of this irritating cursed rock. Throughout this episode Kanta has vision of what he would love to happen and also a couple of nightmares as well. These crude dreams are well placed and are in direct contrast to the horror that Taiko is experiencing from her rational mindset.
Desert Punk Volume 2 is certainly a release of two halves. The first half of this DVD is a step away from what one might expect from the action packed first volume. Of course, the second volume of any anime is a hard one, just like that second novel is often scrutinised far more harshly than the first. However, in this case the first two episodes really do take Desert Punk in a direction that’s not necessarily where the second half was taking it.
The voice acting remains as consistent in English and it does in Japanese and although there are a few generic moments from some of the supporting cast, the main cast do a great job in English and they match the Japanese voice cast brilliantly. The animation remains as smooth and consistent as before and the washed out colours are no longer present. One big qualm is with sound quality though, be prepared to turn the volume button right up as it’s a very quiet release.
The first half of this DVD was droll, with the entire Seven Samurai plot; it makes the show feel tired and old. Of course the Seven Samurai legend is amazing, but it’s been done to death and with a basic premise (world destruction after an implied nuclear war) that’s also clichéd and overused the actual content of the show needs to be not only well above average, but delivered brilliantly to merely be passable. This is something the first two episodes do not do under any circumstance.
Fortunately the latter two episodes turn the entire DVD around and take Desert Punk back in the direction that is expected from Gonzo. They are action packed, humour inserted and appropriate and often random moments and a script quality that’s not paying homage or taking overused plots and working them into something nearly new. If it had not been for these two episodes, many would not continue with this series.
From what was a great first volume, the second volume of Desert Punk is unfortunately a bit of a let down. The last two episodes are very good, but do not make up for the first two mediocre episodes.