Desert Punk is a post-apocalyptic Seinen manga series written and illustrated by Usune Masatoshi, serialized in Enterbrain's Comic Beam since 1997. The published chapters have been collected in 13 volumes as of late.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. It differs from the manga in that the first half focuses on Kanta's life in the desert as a series of humorous adventures, while the second half turns more serious as he becomes embroiled in political turmoil that erupts over the Great Kanto Desert.The manga used a more realistic approach than its anime adaptation, using black comedy as opposed to quirky and sexual humor.
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. For Kanta, however, it happened the opposite: even for the manga's artstyle Kanta looks like a fine young man in it, while the anime upscaled his perverted lust in his facial expressions to the point of looking downright freakish sometimes.
Anime Theme Song: It's used for the ED rather than the OP, but it's still there.
Black Comedy Rape: The whole of episode 11 while chapter 81 pushes the possibility of a more exact adaptions of the manga quite far out the window.
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!"
Breakout Character: Now as an adult from the manga's 13th Volume and on, Kosuna became the protagonist of the series.
Building Swing: Frequently done by Punk and other mercenaries/anyone that has a similar suit, using those special backpacks they all have.
Buxom Is Better Pretty much every male character is enamored with Junko's breasts
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.
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.
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, then cut to the credits featuring them all just continuing with what they were doing shortly before the ending.
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.
Genki Girl and Plucky Girl: Kosuna fits these, but is kind of a darker take on the idea since her goal is to be a badass bounty hunter, not a "hero of justice".
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.
Lighter and Softer: The manga regularly contains violent deaths that are reduced to Amusing Injuries in the anime. Consequently, there's a lot less Black Comedy and a lot more sex comedy. Some arcs from the manga were also skipped which dealt with rape, slavery, and political warfare.
Little Miss Con Artist: A pair of orphans encountered by Punk, Kosuna, and 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.
Lemony Narrator: Usually in response to the underwhelming behavior of the protagonists.
Particularly the time he imprisoned Junko and tried to force her to have sex with him. By the standards of the desert society he was actually technically being "lenient" (as a traitor, Desert Punk claims he has the right to kill her on the spot), but still...
Magical Girl: Some of the episodes parody the idea by showing Kosuna as one of these.
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 earlier when Kanta Face Heel Turn and left Kosuna on her own.
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.
The Rival: Rain Spider/Amagumo, and to a lesser extent the Machine Guns Brothers.
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).
In one episode, Kosuna is shown burrowing a path through the sand and makes a comment about taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque (a line said by Bugs Bunny when doing similar behavior)
After taking out a government tank, the Machine Gun Brothers triumphantly shout out Wolverines!
In the english dub, a shout out to the Kool-Aid Man is given byy Kenta shouting "Oh no!" followed by the current antagonist bursting through the rock wall behind him, shouting "OH YEAH!"
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.
Squee: Kosuna acts like she has a crush on Natsuko who is her idea Action Girl role model; Mitz behaves similarly toward Stryker.
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.
Took a Level in Badass: Mintz in his debut episode suffers from Hulk Syndrome and goes all Yoda on the series's first Hulk Syndrome sufferer.
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.
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