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DVD Review

DVD cover

Desert Punk
Volume 1 - Enter the Desert


Starring (voice): Chihiro Suzuki, Tomoko Kotani, Chiwa Saito and Jiro Saito
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 02 February 2009

In a future world decimated by war, Japan has become a vast desert populated by small groups of human survivors living amongst the hot sands. Wandering the wasteland of the Great Kanto Desert is a hormonal, breast-obsessed badass, a mysterious and mouthy mercenary known as the Desert Punk. Willing to take on any job so long as cold, hard cash is his reward, Desert Punk's victories and conquests have earned him a reputation that reaches far and wide and have made him a legendary figure to be feared. Desert Punk's only weakness is the female form, particularly in the voluptuous shape of Junko, a like-minded hireling endowed with a couple of physical attributes guaranteed to attract attention...

Desert Punk (Sunabōzuis) is based on Usune Masatoshi's manga series. Volume 1 features the first four episodes of the 24-episode series and is directed by Takayuki Inagaki (Black Cat), with character designs by Takahiro Yoshimatsu (Ninja Scroll; Slayers; Trigun).

In today's politically correct society Desert Punk is either a breath of fresh air or a relic of the past depending on your point of view. Relying heavily on Benny Hill style innuendo, mainly centring around Desert Punk's obsession with large breasted women, the series is a bombastically comic celebration of juvenilia, filled as it is with sarcastic put-downs, explosive action and plenty of lechery and lewdness.

Episode one, Ghost and Boobies, introduces us to our hero and his large breast fixation. When Desert Punk stumbles across a big boobed woman in need of help he can't help himself and agrees to attack the Kawazu gang. However, this helpless woman might not be so helpless after all.

Sand and Rain, and Desert Punk is on the trail of an old man who owes money to a gang. But he's not the only one trying to collect the bounty. Another gun for hire, Rain Spider, is also determined to claim the bounty. When it's obvious that the old man has nothing of financial value, Rain Spider plans to sell the only thing that might fetch some money - the old man's young daughter. Desert Punk objects, as she's a cute woman, and the two bounty hunters end up fighting over what to do.

Tank and Machine Guns, and we get out first look at Desert Punk without his mask. He's a teenage boy - which explains why he's so short and has a breast fixation. Our hero is deep in debt so when Junko (his female rival from episode one) asks him and the Machine Gun Brothers to help her on a mission, he's glad of the chance to earn a little money.

Sniping and Footsteps, and Desert Punk finally has enough money to buy his dream sniper rifle. However, a rival sniper damages the new gun during a shoot out. This sniper want to humiliate Desert Punk, becoming famous in the process. Somehow this sniper always seems to be one step ahead of our hero.

Extras include Making of Live Action Opening (8 min, 28 sec rough behind the scenes footage for the opening sequence); Interview with Hideaki Takatori (8 min, 28 sec with the artist who performs the opening and closing theme on the Japanese dub); textless opening and closing title videos; English Cast Auditions (15 min, 04 sec); As Seen on T.V. (original cut for TV of episode one); and trailers for other shows.

This is an almost faultless start to what looks like a very promising series. However, already a few themes seem to be emerging which might get old quickly. The most notable is Desert Punk constantly falling for any woman who he meets - and the women getting the upper hand as he blindly walks into a trap.


Darren Rea

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