Do You Feel Lucky, “Punk”?
Seldom do you see a character who is so totally amoralistic and every time he gets his butt handed to him (which is like, oh, every episode), you know that he fully earned his come-uppance, but you also find yourself cheering him on. Kanta Mizuno (our garbed hero in the center) is easily one of the three greatest perverts in anime history, and that is saying a lot. He is a mercenary, a ‘hero for hire’ and his ability to complete his job, in the face of insurmountable obstacles, has earned him the reputation of being good at what he does. But he’s still a loathsome punk and nobody likes him. If they found him face down in the desert, they would go through his pockets for loose change, then roll him over so the sun could bake his butt but good!
Japan has been reduced to a vast wasteland (referred to as “The Great Kanto Desert”), where people scratch out a meager living. Some cataclysmic event has triggered this ‘nuclear summer’ (for want of a better term), as ruined cities and relics from another time can be found. Kanta tries to do his job in this cauldron of hopelessness, but he has two distractions.
The first is Junko Asagiri (the vixen on the left). Now, you can’t see it here, but she has enormous breasts that Desert Punk is always making lewd and crude reference to and drifting into his salacious fantasies about them. Junko is no fool and uses those sand dunes of hers to manipulate the Punk to do her bidding during missions, then absconds with the rewards, leaving him high and dry.
The one to the right is Taiko Koizumi, also known as Kosuna. She started out as an apprentice to the Shimmering Sniper, but after the Punk left him naked in the desert (and I mean NAKED; I have the DVDs and it’s still pixelated out, but you know he has zero pants on), Kosuna agreed to become Punk’s apprentice (with the vague promise that in a few years, she would have boobs bigger and better than Junko’s), but much to her overall dissatisfaction, as the Punk is vile, reckless and poor with money matters, as well as treating her like garbage.
The series follows Punk through his many trials and tribulations, but it really is a two part show, which a crucial Mid-Course Correction. The first half of the show is stupid and funny and ludicrous and ridiculous, but the second half takes a serious political bent and everything changes (and not for the good).
Still to see Desert Punk as a mentor is like having Richard Nixon teaching a course in ethics. Everything you know is wrong. And the conflicts between Junko and Kosuna is funny, as both give as good as they get.
I want to highly recommend Episode 15 (“Sibling and Childhood Friend (The Girl Next Door)”), as aside from being one of my Top 10 Funniest Single Episodes ever, it is rude and crude beyond belief, and perhaps the epitome of the Desert Punk series. Even when it turns ‘serious’, it is still stunning, as the dialogue and performances from everyone involved is top-notch the whole way through. Again, this is another series that I own. That says a lot, as I don’t buy a lot.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Very good artwork, but the weirdoes are really weird)
Plot 8 (Even with the political tale)
Pacing 8 (Runs wild at times)
Effectiveness 7 (Gets a bit repetitive)
Conclusion 8 (It reaches a series end, but it can go on)
Fan Service 8 (A similar show would be “Sekirei”)
Overall 8 (Lotsa laughs and lotsa boobs)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Never failed to complete a mission.