0 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Manga / Sun-Ken Rock


"If a Nation is a Gang, a Gang should be able to become a Nation. I want to establish a Nation of a certain class. Hey, let's build a country of our own. Ken."

"I don't force anyone to follow me. I fight for what I believe in, and to protect those who need my help! I force nobody to fight beside me. Everyone's free to their own opinions! And I fight beside only those who share mine! But I help all those who ask me, and I ask for nothing in return!"

After his parents' death when he was 13, Ken lost everything. He became embroiled in a world of violence, constantly fighting one group of thugs after another. Then he met Yumin, the only person left in his life that he cared for. When Ken finally confessed his love, Yumin turned him down with the reason that she plans on moving to Korea and becoming a police officer. Ken decides to drop out of high school, and flies to Korea in order to become an officer himself. Unsurprisingly, as a high school dropout he doesn't get the job and ends up slumming it in Korea.

One day, after helping out an old store owner getting extorted from a local gang, Ken is then made the boss of a small gang by a man named Tae-Soo. Ken now finds himself fighting local gang bosses, protecting the ones he cares for and making sure Yumin never finds out, otherwise he'll lose the girl he loves and get arrested.

Sun-Ken Rock's South Korean author and artist Boichi, aka Mujik Park, holds the distinction of being one of the few foreign mangaka in Japan. Boichi's other manga, including Wallman, HE the Hunt for Energy, Space Chef Caisar, and the upcoming The Origin, all take place in the same verse. The manga is currently on Crunchyroll Manga with new chapters released the same day as its Japanese publication in Young King. The other manga connected to Sun-Ken Rock have been scanlated with Boichi's blessing by Japanzai and are available to read for free on his official site and Japanzai's reader. Japanzai also officially scanlated the three Sun-Ken Rock spinoffs:

  • Sun-Ken Rock Gaiden Pickaxe Calamity, a NSFW sci-fi fanservice comic focusing on a NEET who gets his hands on some Power Armor and becomes the "Dango Knight"
  • Sun-Ken Rock Gaiden - Yumin, yet another NSFW fanservice sidestory focusing on Yumin going on an undercover police job
  • I Want Feed Yumin, a shojo styled, somewhat suggestive yet SFW series of sidestories concentrating on a character that could very easily be replaced by the reader taking Yumin out on dates to various Korean restaurants. Much attention is paid to ridiculously detailed descriptions of Korean Food Porn and how freakin' cute Yumin is.

Contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Ken.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Tae-Soo isn't a bad guy at heart, but wants to take over Korea even if his methods cause suffering to the population.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When the leader of the White Dragon Clan is finally cornered by Ken, he asks him what drove him to this confrontation. Ken replies that despite any morally questionable actions he may have done on his way, he honestly wants to protect the good, helpless people because he understands their plight. The problem comes when the man then asks his daughter why she came to destroy his empire and kill him. In a twist of Diabolus ex Machina proportions, Yumin realizes she wants to take over the White Dragon Clan and blasts Ken out of the building.
  • Art Evolution: The art in the beginning volumes was pretty good to start with, but became incredibly polished as time went on.
  • Art Shift: The comedy sections almost seem like they come from a different manga when compared to the rest of the manga.
  • Author Appeal: Boichi seems to love writing dramedy; there are some notorious Mood Whiplashes to be seen here, with extremely dramatic events followed by wacky humor (and vice-versa).
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Pickaxe and Benito in chapter 96, in a rare moment of awesome. Yumin, Ken, and Ban-Phoung at the end of the Korean Gang Saga.
  • Badass: Everything Ken does from beating down whole gangs on his own to having so much charisma that not even his enemies can help but respect and look up to him.
  • Badass Bookworm: Tae-Soo.
  • Badass Crew: The Sun-Ken team.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: When Ken puts on his suit, it means serious business and almost always serious ass-kickings.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Played straight with the corrupt and cruel politicians and gangsters. Interestingly, characters also become uglier when their personalities get nasty.
  • Berserk Button: If you mess with anyone Ken is trying to protect or hurt anyone on his team, Ken will destroy you.
  • Bigger Bad: Yumin's father.
  • Bishounen: Tae-Soo.
  • Bland-Name Product: A movie Ken watches at the theater was apparently produced by Boniversal Studios, who have the same logo as real-life Universal Studios,
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Happened to Tae-Soo's father.
  • Brick Joke: The Boar when you least expect it.
  • The Cape: Ken.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Due to the detailed art style, all the male characters have unique features.
  • Celibate Eccentric Genius: Tae-Soo comes off as one, being brilliant and showing zero interest in women.
  • The Chessmaster: Tae-Soo and Yumin's father.
  • Continuity Nod: Go Ju-Mon says that maybe one day his cousin will reach space through one of his descendants. The character shadow next to him gives away that that one will be Caisar, a character from another of Boichi's works: Space Chef Caisar, the chef known as the best in the world goes on journey through space to cook the greatest recipes and kick ass.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Oh Dal-Soo.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Tae-Soo and his plans.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Tae-Soo's earrings.
  • The Creon: Tae-Soo desires above all to build a country with Ken at its head.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ken.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: After getting attacked by Ban Phoung, Tae-Soo falls and collapses on his back with his arms spread-eagle. Also later on when it's revealed that he has made himself the boss in order to spare Ken and the rest of the gang.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ken is adapt at handing these out to whoever happens to be unlucky enough to be his opponent, though he has been on the end of a few of them himself.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Most characters have them.
  • Darkest Hour: The unmasking and fall of the Sun-Ken Rock group due to reporter investigations and the White Dragon Clan's machinations.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Ken employs many of his past opponents into his gang, knowing they were good people who happened to work for his enemies. This is, however, completely averted in his stand against the White Dragon Clan. He and his allies kill everyone they can, with Ken later stating he finds them unredeemable. This dark turn of events highlighted when Ken seemingly kills a guy who was a misguided fool manipulated by a false friend... until it turns out Ken did spare him after all.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Marin and a Russian woman in chapter 96, much to their chagrin. They become unable to hurt each other due to sympathy upon realizing they both were trying to seduce their respective leaders, so they just rip each other's clothes off.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Yumin's father.
  • The Don: Don Prego, Benito's boss, and Yumin's father.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Tae-Soo.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Ken is respected by his closest peers, but when his reign spreads to greater schemes like casinos and record labels, people in those sects don't pay their respects, mostly because Ken likes to keep a low profile and doesn't like to be worshiped. Still, many are quick to treat him like a hobo or a petty criminal, because someone as "dull" as him can't be the boss, posing around dressed in Armani and driving imported cars. This also makes it easier for him to get away when the police try to arrest the rest of his gang after Tae-Soo turns himself in.
  • Evil Genius: Tae-Soo.
  • The Face: Tae-Soo is the one making everything run smoothly and making relations with other groups and politicians.
  • Fanservice: You want breast and ass shots, you're gonna get 'em.
  • Food Porn: The author can go on complete tangents describing in incredible detail the food that the characters eat during the story. Describing the preparation of the ingredients, carefully detailing how it's all cooked while detailing how the various sauces and juices add to the taste and texture of the dish, finishing off by describing the delicious taste of the meal...
  • Good All Along: Ban-Phoung had always admired Ken and was trying to protect him from the White Dragon Clan.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ken, though only as a last resort.
  • Guile Hero: Tae-Soo, often taking responsibility for the dirtier actions the group needs to do to stay alive.
  • The Heart: Ken. He is easily the most scrupulous member of the gang and is probably a humanizing force for Tae-Soo's machinations.
  • Heroic Build: Ken.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tae-Soo makes himself the bait to find Ban-Phoung's hideout. Thankfully he makes it.
  • Hidden Depths: Ken starts out as an employed high school dropout that spent a year in Korea in a shoddy apartment. As the series goes on, he proves himself to be a man that sticks by his ideals and is willing to do anything to help those he wants to protect.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Tae-Soo to Ken.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: One arc revolves around Ken resigning from the gang so he can work as a idol manager. It doesn't last and he's forced to request their help to protect the idols. Tae-Soo respects Ken's desire for a normal life, but advices him to remain as their boss so he can have the power to bring justice to the evil and corrupt.
  • Improbable Weapon User: San-Ki Lee, AKA Marin, is an ex-Korean soldier who doesn't use guns or knives. He instead decides to competently dual-wield a pair of wrenches.
  • Informed Attractiveness: When we first see Kae-Lyn.
  • Knife Nut: Kae-Lyn, the one that teaches the group how to use knives, is understandably good at wielding them, along with other pointy objects.
  • The Leader: Ken is a Type III & IV. Before him, Tae-Soo was a Type I & II.
  • Lovable Coward: Pickaxe and Benito.
  • The Mafia
  • Mafia Princess: Yumin.
  • Man Behind the Man: Tae-Soo to Ken, probably deliberately invoked. He handles all the shady operations for the expansion of the Sun-Ken Group, hoping to shield Ken away from such things. Meanwhile, Ken acts as the heroic and responsible leader of the gang and retains the authority to put the reins on Tae-Soo if he goes too far with his ambitions. Both hold the other in the highest esteem, making this a mutual example of the trope.
    • The Yakuza led by Yumin's father.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Defied as Ken is not only still a virgin but he turns down the very aggressive advances of other women in order to save himself for Yumin.
  • Martial Pacifist: Ken uses violence as a last resort at protecting the things he cherishes. He's a dopey, harmless guy when not in berserker mode.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Real-estate business is some serious shit in this manga.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: The Sun-Ken group. While they are not truly "good", they're still much better than everyone else.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Yakuza, whose connections are so great they could bring down the Sun-Ken Rock gang by instigating the President of Korea into investigating their corporations.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Tae-Soo pushes Ken off a cliff so he wouldn't get arrested by the policemen after him. This only knocks Ken out for a few hours. Then he gets blasted out of a window by Yumin and has a long fall into the sea, but survives his injuries.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Basically everything that Tae-Soo does.
  • Oh Crap!: This goes through the mind of a lot of thugs when Ken finally gets serious or pissed, which ever happens first. It also happens when people end up out gambitted by Tae-Soo.
  • One-Man Army:Anyone of the members of the Sun-Ken gang could take on ten or more guys at once and that's before they took a level. One of Ken's own traits is that he can take down whole gangs on his own.
  • Only One Female Mold: All of the women look exactly the same.
  • Out-Gambitted: Most of the Sun-Ken Rock Gang's enemies. And them by the Yakuza.
  • Poisonous Friend: Tae-Soo to Ken, to a T.
  • The Promise: Ken made a one with Yumin in the form of a Pinky Swear.
  • Protagonist Journey To Anti-Villain: Initially, Ken is okay with having a small gang that can pass as posers thinking way too big. As time goes on, Ken's influence actually creates a parallel state, he becomes a criminal big shot by owning corrupt Casinos, idol agencies and real estate companies. That's the point where where Ken starts doubting himself, being noticeably careless about rivals trying to destroy or seize his empire, as he thinks it could be for the best.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Ken doesn't always manage to save the many women under threat of rape that he encounters.
    • Miss Yoo was brutally gang-raped and sexually abused by the Garugi after she was kidnapped by them.
    • Chapter 65 to the idols under Ken's care.
  • Scenery Porn: The manga often devotes entire spreads to luscious and intricately-drawn backgrounds.
  • Sexual Extortion: The Idol Agency is basically built on this.
  • Small Steps Hero: Ken, unfortunately. When he first tried to help Miss Yoo, the unforeseen consequences totally ruined her life. Ken is horrified when he realizes what happened. She eventually gets better.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Tae-Soo is rarely seen without a cigarette in hand.
  • Smug Snake: Most of the Sun-Ken Rock Gang's enemies.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil
  • The Starscream:
    • Pickaxe has this attitude towards Ken, but also respects him.
    • Tae-Soo eventually takes over the Sun-Ken-Rock organization and demotes Ken. Of course, he's trying to protect Ken from being involved in an increasingly dangerous situation. He ends up taking the place of Ken so that he didn't go to jail.
  • The Strategist: Tae-Soo. Truly a Chessmaster of epic proportions.
  • The Syndicate
  • Take Over the World: The Yakuza's plan.
  • Talk to the Fist: Ken punches through an opponent's Dark and Troubled Past in chapter 95.
  • Title Drop: A quote from chapter 23 explains the meaning.
    "Ken, you're warm like the sun... a strong person as solid as a rock!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ken and the rest of the members of the gang take a huge one after their training is done at Mount Juri.
    • Ken continues to move on forward with each battle and victory.
  • Training from Hell: The Sun-Ken team go through months of this once they start training at Mount Juri and emphasis on hell. Their training would make a veteran Navy SEAL wish he was back in hell week.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Sun-Ken group.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Oh Dal-Soo and his son.
  • The Worf Effect: The other members of Sun-Ken routinely get their turns at getting stomped by new foes.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Tae-Soo's modus operandi. It's insane how much he can read into the future and account for all possible outcomes of a plan.
    • Thanatos Gambit: He is perfectly willing to sacrifice himself for his greater goal.
  • Yakuza: Yumin's father runs this.
  • Young Conqueror: Tae-Soo aims to shape Ken into one.