Pulpy, fast, funny and manga-inspired
Retropunk is an awesome ride, that really leaves you wanting more by the end. It follows a duo of mercenaries – a half-cat ‘splicer’ girl and a robot – that are hired to protect an innocent pop idol that runs from her previous employers. The relationship between the mercs seem like a direct nod to Appleseed. You feel a great manga influence in the story, specially in the humor and art style.
The action scenes are fast and engaging, and even with it’s pulp DNA the story brings a surprisingly mature look at relationships and, well, immaturity. The exchanges between the characters are one of the high points, they are really relatable and endearing, and sound complex and real even if in that over the top manga fashion.
The only caveat for me really was the cyberpunk setting, that I felt was a bit generic for my tastes and could be explored more creatively, like the book does in character design and dialog. And don’t be put off by the furry protagonist even if you, like me, is not fan of Japanese all-out-otaku-weirdness. Retropunk is a fun and fast story that makes you wish it was a long running manga series by the end.