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Sun-Ken Rock Main Members
- Badass Crew
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Enforced.
- Five-Man Band: Played with.
- Ken: The Leader for the most part. If people are joining the gang, it's because of him and he's the one to fight the antagonists.
- Tae-Soo: The Lancer, as well as The Smart Guy. Also acts as the Shadow Leader and engages in all of the economic and political negotiations/machinations that gets the group into the situations they find themselves.
- Marin and Do-Heun: The Big Guys
- Kae-Lyn: The Chick
- Benito and Pickaxe don't really fulfill one of the traditional roles
- Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: While they are not truly "good", they're still much better than everyone else.
- 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.
- The Worf Effect: The other members of Sun-Ken routinely get their turns at getting stomped by new foes.
- 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.
- Undying Loyalty: All of the members for the most part due to Ken's charisma and moral conviction.
- Yakuza: The Korean version.
Ken KitanoA 17 year old Japanese delinquent who moved to South Korea to chase after the girl of his dreams, Yumin. Upon arrival however, Reality Ensues as he has no skills and doesn't speak any Korean, leaving him broke, hungry, and living in a tiny room in a cram house. After protecting an old man from local gang members, he catches the eye of Tae-Soo who recruits him to be the new boss of his budding gang. In need of money both to live and impress Yumin, he reluctantly accepts, beginning his long, bloody, and tumultuous Protagonist Journey To Anti-Villain story.
- Adorkable: In his down time, he lives like a NEET.
- Almighty Janitor: Despite being one of the most influential crime bosses in Korea, still chooses to be paid a 20 million won salary and live in a cram house.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Part of the reason he was chosen to be the leader.
- Badass Beard: When he reappears in Origin
- Badass Long Coat: A gift from Tae Soo, he looks remarkably stylish, combining it with a nice scarf. It should be noted that he never fights with it.
- Batter Up!: Whenever he means business, will usually bring a bat with him to the fight.
- Beard of Sorrow: At the very beginning.
- Berserk Button: Has a few, but most prominently the strong attacking the weak/defenseless.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Celibate Eccentric Genius: Downplayed mostly on the genius part: though his sheer charisma and fighting prowess are frequently commented on as being on a different level, he has been shown to lose fights.
- Character Development: The more his gang expands the more Ken begins to question the role of the gang itself in society.
- Chaste Hero: Tries very, VERY hard to be this since he's already in love with Yumin, but nearly every woman who meets him falls for him and proceeds to try to seduce/sexually assault him. It should be noted the furthest a woman has gone with him was Miss Yoo who gave him a blowjob.
- Chick Magnet: Mostly due to his strong conviction and desire to protect. Unfortunately, his love for Yumin makes it a futile effort but it doesn't stop the women from trying.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He looks like a normal (if somewhat eccentric guy due his haircut), but don't be fooled, he is a One-Man Army for a reason.
- Dark and Troubled Past: It's not explained why, but both of his parents were killed in the yakuza war created by Yumin's father.
- Declaration of Protection: Does this to almost everyone he meets.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Ken's MO for most people he comes across.
- Delinquent: Was one when he was a student. Lost his entire family in the yakuza war, which led him to lash out.
- Determinator: Shows himself to be this in the training arc.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Started as a broke Japanese high school dropout and became the most influential boss leader in the country in a matter of a few years. This trope is indirectly invoked when Yumin asks the district attorney which gang is the most powerful in Korea after learning her father was aiming to take them down. His response: some upstart group with an unknown leader.
- Good Is Not Soft: Though only as a last resort.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: While some illustrations colour his hair brown or white, he's canonically blond... For some reason, apparently, his dad was also blond.
- The Heart: He is easily the most scrupulous member of the gang and is probably a humanizing force for Tae-Soo's machinations.
- Heroic Build: He's constantly training since early morning, his appetite is justified.
- Humble Hero: Despite being wealthy as the leader, still requests to be paid a salary and lives in a tiny room in a shared building.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Recall that part of the reason he even joined the gang is so that he could be seen as a presentable member of society by Yumin (emphasis on "seen"). In the beginning, often wrestles with his desire to help others and his desire to just be normal enough to pursue Yumin without complications. One arc even revolves around Ken resigning from the gang so he can work as a idol manager, something he excitedly tells Yumin. It doesn't last as he learns the idol business is run by people just as shady as gang leaders, if not the gangs themselves, and he needs power to challenge them. He's ultimately forced to request his old gang's help to protect the idols he manages, with the condition that once he comes back, he can never quit again.
- The Leader: Type III & IV.
- Made of Iron: Takes beatings like it was his job and continues to get back up. In the casino arc this is lampshaded:
- "Either this guy is seriously hurt or he has amazing abs."
- Magnetic Hero: Why people end up joining/trusting him.
- 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.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Ken makes a point to train diligently and thanks to that he gains a Heroic Build and becomes one of the world's strongest men.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The passionate, charismatic, strong-headed, and straightforward red to Tae-Soo's calm, cool, tactical, manipulative blue.
- Spiky Hair: Like you wouldn't believe, it's revealed he uses wax.
- Small Steps Hero: Played for drama. 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.
- Stock Shōnen Hero: While the manga is seinen, he fits the description almost to a T.
- Wild Hair: When he's not in full badass mode, otherwise he has a stylish undercut which actually change over time.
- 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.
- Badass Bookworm: Casually references concepts and notions of statebuilding and state craft from historical political theorists and modern political scientists, like Machiavelli and Charles Tilly.
- Celibate Eccentric Genius: Rarely shows any interest in women, is a Chessmaster, and views the seedy world of gangs as akin to just ruling a nation.
- Chessmaster: Very much so. Has orchestrated several of Ken's encounters in a way to further his own dream of development. Ken calls him out on this, but ultimately leaves Tae-soo to his machinations.
- Crazy-Prepared: He IS a Chessmaster.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: His earrings.
- The Creon: Desires above all to build a country with Ken at its head.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His father, who led the casino that Lee Man-gu runs, was killed by Lee.
- The Dragon
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Tae-Soo is rarely seen without his rings.
- Evil Genius: If you are not on his side, this is how you'll probably view him.
- The Face: Tae-Soo is the one making everything run smoothly and making relations with other groups and politicians.
- Guile Hero: Often takes responsibility for the dirtier actions the group needs to do to stay alive.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick
- The Lancer: What he is now to Ken.
- The Leader: Before Ken, Tae-Soo was a Type I & II.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Moreso after Art Evolution kicked in, he was a somewhat handsome or cute Korean guy, afterwards he's as much as a hunk as Ken is.
- 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.
- Poisonous Friend: To Ken, at times.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The calm, cool, tactical, manipulative blue to Ken's passionate, charismatic, strong-headed, and straightforward red.
- The Strategist
- The Starscream: 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.
- Smoking Is Cool: Tae-Soo is rarely seen without a cigarette in hand.
- 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.
San-Dae "Pickaxe" Yang
- Butt-Monkey: Often falls into this role as he's neither the strongest or the smartest, but is one of the most ambitious within the group.
- Face of a Thug: Very much so.
- Gag Penis: He putted... beads on his penis... It's both horrifying and disgusting, it's so disgusting that Ken ends up puking his guts out when he saw it.
- Lovable Coward: Talks a big game, but will run if it's the best move, unless it's for the gang.
- The Starscream: Has this attitude towards Ken, but also respects him.
- Token Evil Teammate: He routinely tries to dethrone Ken as the leader, but it never pans out.
- Badass Beard: He rocks it over time.
- The Big Guy: Easily towers over everyone. Played for laughs with his tiny car and his meticulous knowledge of food and health.
- Heroic Build: Well, he was training to be a body builder, so it's understandable.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Anything that happens to his car.
San-Ki "Marin" Lee
- Improbable Weapon User: He doesn't use guns or knives, but instead decides to competently dual-wield a pair of wrenches.
- The Big Guy: While not as big as Do-Heun, he still serves this purpose, particularly to Tae-soo as Marin often accompanies him on his more private dealings.
- Semper Fi: He's actually a South Korean marine.
- Action Girl: In a manga where they are few and far between, she stands out.
- Badass Adorable: Absolutely a badass. Def tries to invoke the adorable part with her chosen way of dress and mannerism.
- The Chick: She's not on the same level as, say, Marin, but she's pretty effective.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: She's actually introduced this way, because she sunbathed naked in mount Giri for a lot of time, everyone was visually impressed... Except Ken.
- The Ditz: She often comes off this way, but is the weapons expert of the group.
- Knife Nut: Her weapon of choice tends to be some kind of knife or blade.
Benito "The Italian Stallion" Armani
- Badass Beard: Post-time skip, he has an incredibly italian beard.
- Big Little Man: He's shorter than Pickaxe.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: He certainly thinks so. His female partners, while appreciative, always comment on his lack of stamina. It leaves his parthners satisfied... in part.
- In-Series Nickname:"The Italian Stallion".
- Lovable Coward: Will run away if that's the best move, unless it's for the gang.
- Smarter Than You Look: He is the first to notice than Ken appears and disappears in their trip to Italy, so he decides to investigate.
Other Sun-Ken Rock Members and Affiliates
Ji-Hae "Miss Yoo" Yoo
- Hooker With Heart Of Gold: Cares a lot of her fellow prostitutes, and she endures rape and torture after her newfound faith in Ken.
Bae-Dal ChoiA former monk turned casino director who trained Ken and his group for ten months.
- Bald of Awesome: He's a tough mofo but he actually makes you a total badass, imagine Master Roshi, except he's not a pervert, and he's way more serious.
Rival Leaders and Main Antagonists
Kim "KG" Gae-Ha
Friends and Associates of Ken Kitano
Yumi "Yumin" Yoshizawa
- Action Girl: As a highly competent police officer. And as the daughter of Japan's biggest crime boss.
- Badass Adorable: She's cute and can probably defeat most men in hand to hand combat.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her mother and sister were killed in the yakuza wars, which made her father train her to be his successor at a young age. She became an officr because she hates the crime lifestyle for what it cost her.
- Mafia Princess