In the 24 episode series Desert Punk, Japan has been reduced to a giant sun scorched desert called Kanto. It’s so rough there that most people have to commit crimes just to get by. Meet your main hero Kanta, armed with a shotgun, a Handyman hat, cloak, and a fishbowl-like helmet. Well perhaps I spoke too soon, as he is not really a hero. You see, he swindles, takes boyish pride in nearly everything he does, cheats, and dismisses anyone, unless they’re female and have a rather nice body.
The show garnered a cult audience and though it didn’t appeal to everyone many checked it out, myself included. Desert Punk is a classic example of a show that can’t decide what it wants to be. It’s got a dark setting with occasional dark humor. But then it also has ridiculous characters like Kanta that throw all the seriousness out of the window. There is a scene very early in the anime where the anti-hero of the show meets another mercenary who is generously endowed with a triple X sized bra cup. He speaks to her, and in about ten seconds he manages to make a statement that both greets her, and at the same time uses every possible slang synonym for “large breasts” in the entire english lexicon. It was quite funny. Thankfully Desert Punk only has one set of ridiculously sized breasts to work with and it is enough to be fun yet not insulting to ones intelligence.
FUNimation did a fantastic job dubbing this in English with a very mature, crud, and witty dialog. The animation is dynamic and vibrant; there is a singular style to the character designs that emphasises bold lines, and high contrast, while the desert setting quite understandably invokes a limited sandy palette of colours. As far as dialogue is concerned, Desert Punk’s dub is nowhere near as constrained as other anime dubs get. It lacks the awkwardness required to fit English dialogue to Japanese phrasing. Lastly, I will say that it’s refreshing to encounter such a despicable, narcissistic, money-grubbing, sex-obsessed character and have the whole show revolve around him.
I usually don’t like fan service in my anime. It usually just gratuitous and doesn’t serve any point. Not so with this show. In this series most of the laughs and a good deal of the plot revolve around breasts. However, as the series evolves, so does he. Desert Punk gains a little dimension around the third volume, and it’s not just in the bra sizes. It also adds entertainment value while filling out more of the show’s back-story, and gives it something more of a dark edge. Over the course of these 24 episodes the show matures and becomes much more intricate and full than the early episodes would indicate.
The show is very mature with its language, there’s even one episode where Punk is protecting a cargo truck full of human crap and ends up getting bathed in it. The problem is not that Punk is a bad guy, but how this realization effects us in the ending. Desert Punk once again pushes all the boundaries and at the same time gives the viewer an enjoyable and funny watch. The humour in this show is very crude and it astounds me at how many different words and phrases punk can come up with that all mean boobs. One of the main things that stands out about this show is the shock factor appeal of it and the fact that the Punk continually reaches new depths of sickness and depravity. It is still funny as hell. The characters are all hyperctive and over the top, making this one crazy show.