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Since I've commented on a much, much, much worse manga (Arms Peddler) it would be a crime to not comment on one of the best manga I've read (and anime I've seen). I've become a fan of this title the moment I saw anime (which was in 2008) but unfortunately, until a while ago there were only raws available. Thanks to GWR it changed and I'm really, really grateful to them. Anyway, below I'll try to explain why I consider it as one of my favourite titles (try since my English skills are far from good and sometimes you might read it as if it was done through Google translator).
Sunabōzu is a unique manga, interesting from start to finish and even though humour wasn't too refined (it was more of a college humour) I consider it as one of the most valuable reads I've had in my life as a manga reader. Paradoxically, despite it's often primitive jokes or out of the top behaviour (sometimes even cartoonish) of characters, there are not many manga that depict reality as well, even if it's in a setting almost completely unknown to us. The same goes for characters who we see as made from flesh and blood and not ink and paper. It's very rare to find characters such as these. Since the world they live in is more cruel than the one most of us know and here motto "survival of the fittest" is a fact and not just an empty slogan, characters behave very logically in such conditions. The main hero (and most of other characters that have at least half a brain) are pragmatist and/or opportunists. If there was a chance to screw someone over they don't miss it, if the opponent has an advantage they don't think twice about withdrawing. The latter action is something that most mangakas do not consider. Main hero would run ?! That's ridiculous. He can't. He must stand firmly and fight with his foes and surely he will defeat them because of sheer fighting spirit... Well, not in Desert Punk (but in Arms Peddler unfortunately yes). There is no honour here, no pardon, what matters are results and effectiveness. It reminds me of Fallout game (but not crappy Fallout 3 but Fallout 1 - godly game) and maybe that's why I've loved it so much. It also reminds me of Firefly (the best tv show ever) and I haven't found any cartoon/anime or other tv series that would get even close to it.
Even though the plot isn't very original, carrying it out is. Desert Punk surprises (in a good way) in every chapter. Often I had to pick up my jaw from the floor, even more often I laughed (my sense of humour isn't too refined :P) and sometimes my adrenaline level would rise. There are only few manga/anime that could trigger such reactions from me and even fewer that managed to maintain it from start to finish (Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Legend of Galactic Heroes, SPT Layzner, FMA, Urasawa's mangas, Romeo no Aoi Sora, Kemono no Souja Erin, Kaiji and that's about it). So if you're looking for a non-schematic, action manga, something that would allow you to relax and something you won't forget than this manga is for you.
Manga and anime are unfortunately very under-appreciated. This title has disappeared in tons of sh*t that floats around and are considered as masterpieces when they can't even compare to Desert Punk (e.g. Code Geass which is mediocre at best). The proof of that is that no fansubbers have translated the anime and manga has only one group that's interested in doing it but is very slow because of the amount of other projects they have. Which is very sad. On the other hand such poor manga such as Arms Peddler is being scanlated by two groups. I can't understand it. *sigh*
Great news !!!