Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Desert Punk is a post-apocalyptic Seinen manga series written and illustrated by Usune Masatoshi, serialized in Enterbrain's Comic Beam since 1997. As of 2013 the comic is running and the published chapters have been collected in 14 volumes.The story takes place after a nuclear holocaust. Japan, like many other countries, has been reduced to a desert, and the surviving humans seek out a meager living in the hot sands. Seventeen-year-old Kanta Mizuno, nicknamed Desert Punk (Sunabōzu) due to his seemingly incredible feats of skill and daring while on the job, scratches out his own living in the desert as a mercenary for the Handyman Guild between his occasional obsession with big boobs and sex, and, later, his training of an apprentice named Kosuna. Despite his flaws, he is highly professional, accomplishing his task no matter the cost.Desert Punk was adapted into a 24-episode anime television series produced by Gonzo and directed by Takayuki Inagaki with character designs by Takahiro Yoshimatsu and music by Kohei Tanaka. Funimation has licensed the series for distribution in the United States.
Adaptational Attractiveness: Due to the dry and somewhat realistic artstyle of the manga some characters tend to look rather plain, scary or downright Gonk looking. Because of the different artstyle in the anime, characters like Kosuna and Junko fall into this trope largely as a result of Generic Cuteness.
Anime Theme Song: It's used for the ED rather than the OP, but it's still there.
Artistic Age: In the anime Kosuna looks about 8-10, but is actually 14. In the manga she looks a bit older (or at least less specific in age), but she still suffers from a huge case of Teens Are Short, being nearly a foot shorter than Junko.
Black Comedy Rape: The whole of episode 11 is about Kanta trying to coerce Junko to have sex with him, as her having tried to kill him meant he had her dead to rights. It doesn't work, and she's able to con him into giving her amnesty without doing anything.
Blatant Lies: The way Taiko (Kosuna) manages to trick Kanta into thinking she will grow up into a nice big breasted woman from his dreams, she says the woman in the picture is her mother, so by proxy she will eventually grow the exact same bust line as her "mother's". Aside from genetics not working this way and Kanta falling easily for it, Kosuna is always erratic about her promise, forgetting to pretend the woman in the picture is her mother. In the anime it's even worse, the woman pictured doesn't even resemble Kosuna that much, while in the manga the woman in the picture does look like a grown up Kosuna with long hair and big breasts.
As if the pictured woman not being Kosuna's mother wasn't obvious enough, she also lied about growing a voluptuous bust size; adult Kosuna post Time Skip has one of the smallest busts in the whole series.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Entire cast at least once or twice in the English dub every couple of episodes "Remember Kids, A smart man knows when it's time to run like a little Bitch!"
Building Swing: Frequently done by Punk and other mercenaries/anyone that has a similar suit, using those special backpacks they all have.
Changed My Mind, Kid: After he joins La Résistance, Rainspider has a habit of consistently abandoning them when things get tough, shouting "So long suckers!" or the like before high-tailing it out of there. However, he invariably returns and saves them from an otherwise insurmountable danger.
Combat Breakdown: Kanta vs. Amagumo. It lasts so long that the watching townsfolk get bored and go home.
Destructive Savior: Subverted; some townsfolk thought the battle between Desert Punk and Rain Spider could destroy their entire village, but due to the abovementioned Combat Breakdown they barely do anything.
Disaster Scavengers: The occasional "skeleton cities" are the main reason people started living in the desert; most of which have been picked dry without more been discovered decades ago.
Disproportionate Retribution: When Kanta and Kawaguchi siblings (the Machine Guns Brothers + Natsuko) were little, Natsuko let Kanta touch her breasts in exchange for not getting her brothers in trouble anymore. When they found out, they beat Kanta up. Kanta responded by planting an IED in their outhouse.
In the Japanese version Kosuna is just an alias she takes up after becoming Kanta's apprentice (derived from his alias "Sunabozu"); her real name is Taiko Koizumi. In the English dub, Kosuna is her actual name.
For whatever reason, the characters called Kaido and Tachibana in the Japanese version are called Stryker and Tech in the English dub.
Fuyuo, Haruo, Koimizu, and Mitsuru also had their names shortened to Fuyo, Haru, Koi, Mitz.
Earth That Used to Be Better: the "Great Kanto Desert" would seem to be the future of the Kanto region in Japan, which is currently not only fertile, but heavily industrialized. It's also not clear what if anything of the rest of the world is left.
Eat the Dog: Kosuna cooks and eats a dog she was walking in revenge for Kanta giving her crappy jobs. In the anime the dog is replaced by a rare giant bug.
Gainax Ending/Gecko Ending/No Ending: The anime ends with the whole cast apparently being obliterated by a reactive WMD, scenes of the wreckage being shown, then cut to the credits featuring them all doing everyday activities, with it unclear if this is a flashback or a flashforward.
Gas Mask Mooks: Played straight and averted. Everyone wears gas masks in the deserts—besides working as actual gas masks against frequent poison attacks they have built in binoculars and personal air-conditioning units.
Gonk: Quite a few. If a character is unnamed or over 40, chances are that they are a gonk.
I Call Her "Vera": "Alice", the M40A1 sniper rifle, complete with a gushing description at the beginning of episode 4. There's also a minor character in episode 8 with "Kasumi-chan Mark II"—a gigantic armored tank.
Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Ties into the nature of the protagonists and is particularly true of Kanta and Junko. One good illustration is that episodes 15 and 16 open with a flashback that at first seems like Kanta was a childhood friend of the Machine Gun Brothers and Natsuko, but the end of episode 16 shows the reality- young punk bullying the brothers into stealing for him and sexually harassing Natsuko.
Little Miss Con Artist: A pair of orphans encountered by Punk, Kosuna, and Kaido/Stryker turn out to be this, and their being this as well as Punk and Kosuna's apathy toward their poverty is emblematic of the Crapsack World setting. at the end of the show, Stryker is shown taking care of them anyway.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Due to how dangerous his career path is, Kanta Mizuno doesn't give his name away to outsiders looking for his services, Kanta presents himself as the Desert Punk, and that's how he famed himself with the title; Taiko Koizumi also follows suit when she becomes Kanta's aprentice, only going by Kosuna.
Passing the Torch: The 13th manga volume marks Kosuna, now as a grown up woman, debut as the new Desert Punk. Arguably it even happened in the anime as well when Kanta pulls a Face-Heel Turn and left Kosuna on her own.
Perpetual Poverty: Whenever a big mission for Kanta ends successfully the events of the next episode will end up negating his gains to both his finances and his reputation.
Ridiculously Human Robot: It's indicated that the robot guards have an ability to learn, and it's quite visible in the series, as within a couple of episodes, they go from merely loyal soldiers/killers to loyal soldiers/killers that complement Stryker as being a Worthy Opponent and start to engage in banter. If history repeats, they'll shed the loyal part at some point and bad things will happen.
Robot War: It's implied that along with the use of nuclear and biological weapons, humanity was nearly destroyed due to something roughly equivalent to what happened in the Terminator films (minus the time travel part).
Shown Their Work: The author puts in an effort to make the guns in the series accurately depicted. All volumes of Desert Punk feature a section at the end dedicated to showing the various guns used throughout the volume and giving pictures and their specs. The author focuses more on "functional" guns that will continue to work reliably in the desert, as opposed to "powerhouse" guns that may be less reliable in harsh conditions.
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Most characters are veeeeery far to the cynical side, particularly Kanta (and by extension Kosuna) but Stryker is almost ridiculously idealistic... which got him and Kanta and Kosuna in a whole heap of trouble.
Small Girl, Big Gun: Lengthily subverted when Kosuna tries to convince Kanta to buy her a bigger gun.
Smoke Out: Parodied with Rainspider. He often does a "we will meet again" and throws down a smoke bomb, but then when the smoke clears, you see him running away quickly laughing maniacally.
Stealth Hi/Bye: As noted above, parodied with Rainspider's Smoke Outs, although Punk plays it straight (aided by his balloon doubles)
Technical Pacifist: Kanta and Rain Spider both seem to prefer taking everything their defeated opponents have on them (clothing included) to killing them. Still, Rain Spider's reasons for keeping some of them alive could be that he considers it a Fate Worse Than Death.
Time Skip: The manga 13th Volume features in 3 years later after Kanta's betrayal.
Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Kanta and Kosuna are hired to help clear the way of a cursed rock where a supposed vengeful dog deity resided. The rock was literally invulnerable to anything used on it. Hammers, guns, explosives... everything. When Kanta tries to remove the rock, he's visited by the dog deity herself. She just happens to be so damn sexy that all of her attempts to stick a knife in his back and kill him are thwarted by his sheer sexual lust. Eventually, she finds herself trying to run away from him just to survive. He goes to such great lengths to have sex with her that his own orgasm ends up destroying the rock. Kosuna was mortified when she saw this.
Uncanceled: After a four year indefinite hiatus, the manga returned to publication September 2009. It went on another hiatus a year later, then came back in 2013.
Unholy Matrimony: possibly between Kanta and Junko, although it's not clear that they became a couple post-Face-Heel Turn, although they definitely have a closer relationship