The story revolves around Ken, a man from an upper-class family that was orphaned young due to his family's involvement with the Yakuza; he became a high school delinquent known for fighting. The only thing that motivates him to take action is through his romantic affections for a classmate, Yumi. After learning she decided to move to Korea to become a police officer, Ken leaves his life in Japan behind and tries to follow in Yumi's footsteps; due to unforeseen circumstances, he incidentally becomes the head of a local gang and tries to hide it from Yumi. As the leader, the gang is renamed the Sun-Ken Rock Group.
Volume 12: Trigun: The Lost Plant
I am not sure why this has such a high rating, so I want to give a warning to like-minded readers – don’t bother with Sun-Ken Rock, if you’re looking for a good story. The only thing this manga has going for it is art, and the writing is extremely cringeworthy.
You’ve read the synopsis? And now add “and then they dance”, because that’s what happens when the main character joins mafia, cause dancing is great, right? They dance for 7 panels on two pages. This is also a gag manga somehow, and what’s the worst is that it’s not humor added to a good plot,
but gags replacing some important plotpoints and warping motivations.
You think you’ll see the hero rise to the top from the slums, building his muscle and personality? Forget it, he becomes the boss by chance, just because a teen loser is so awesome, I guess (he is a NEET loser at that moment allright). You think you’ll see how his love trains to become a cop? Nah, she is just there and oh-so-hot in her uniform.
Yeah, there’re some ideas, that wouldn’t be out of place in a serious criminal drama, like comparing a state to a gang or the stand for you subordinates and they’ll stand for you thing, but the poor overall quality of writing drowns what little good there is. Yeah, there’re potentially interesting topics - politics, nationality, revenge, forgiveness, etc. – but they are treated with all the grace of a story, written by a 12-14 year old boy. The moral dilemma of being a part of the underworld is replaced by the idea of following one’s heart and nakamas – the shounen motivation set A. The main hero fights for his friends and justice and somehow gains property. There’s also a tendency to include trivia and ethnographic info in the form of direct exposition, like, for example, in one of the early chapters the protagonist punishes MMO-money speculators and reads them a lecture on Korean gaming industry, because this is a manga about gang warfare, I suppose.
I honestly wanted to read more of the story to feel more secure about condemning it, but it’s physiologically painful (I probed in the later chapters, the same effect).
The art is good, as I’ve mentioned. For it and only for it this manga gets a 4.
The emphasis is on showing the badass characters’ designs, and the author can draw bodies (especially male) magnificently. But the art also jerks uncomfortably between amazing panels with characters looking like older people from a better story and chibies or cartoon exaggeration. I must also add, that design-wise the main character seem to be the best thing there is, so you kind of saw it all on the cover. Maybe the protagonists’s right-hand man is somewhere close with his gothic-flawored prettiness (no wonder, since he is rivalish), but flipping through the additional couple of dozens of chapters doesn’t reveal other characters, that are comparably memorable.
There’re nice scenery shots, sometimes even cinematographic.
The manga has severe problem with female characters however. And no, I don’t try to push the femi angle here, I understand what the genre demands, but creepy is creepy. The female cast is drawn with exaggeratedly “pretty” features and a particular kind of beauty in mind (seems legit Korean, btw - see, I give praise where it’s due), which results in lush bodies and baby faces with pouty lips and eyes straight off a gray alien. They also all look very similar. For me alien girls broke additional straws of immersion. The level of sexualization is total, a normal shot for a heroine being a close-up of her butt in sexy lingerie. Boichi sure loves drawing ass, so you see female characters’ panties as often as their faces. The girls act kind of strange personality-wise too (“I train my body, because someday it may please someone” – …well, ok). Sex, rape and weird sexual stuff happen in abundance.
And then there is action. Action in bad context doesn’t work for me, and battle logic here allows shounen power-ups, like being able to fight with broken arms, because of trueness to one’s heart, indignation or wish to save someone, but, I guess, the often spectacular fighting may still be a plus for some readers. Here my judgement is neutral, yet I honestly think that you can get more engaging fights in a number of better series.
All in all I do not recommend Sun-Ken Rock. I don’t want to start a flame war or diminish tastes, but I honesty was let down by this manga as I rarely have been before in this medium.
I grant that it may work for some readers, it can be used as a source of powerful panels and, probably, as a gold mine for ass-shots, if this particular shape suits your fetish, maybe, and I am very unsure here, as a source on some info on Korea – but I hardly see this manga holding water as a proper story in the eyes of an older, more experienced reader. If you look for a good criminal drama, a good story or a proper seinen, don’t be fooled by the good art, avoid!
You got to be crazy not to enjoy Sun-Ken Rock or a child or even just a parent who doesn't like explicit things. This is by far in my top five of my favorite mangas and only the purest of eyes should be able to read Sun-Ken Rock if it was up to me,but luckily for you its not the story was magnificent I had to have read every single chapter in a 2 day span of time because of my infatuation with the plot. The art was so focused and centered but still so different that I was happy to use some styles even
in my own drawings. Seinen will always be my favorite though and I will always hold the upmost biased opinion about every Seinen manga but trust me if this was truly bad I wouldn't even waste my time reading it in the first place. If you're looking for a great read and ran out of interesting manga you gotta read this for sure.
(English is not my native language, sorry if i make any mistake.)
Sun-Ken Rock is one of the best mafia/gang themed mangas you can ever read.
It's simply a story of a gang named ''Sun-Ken Rock''. Main character is the boss, Kitano Ken.
In first volumes, you can say ''it's not a great story, but i can tolerate that.'' But when Sun-Ken Rock gang starts to grow, the story grows too. Especially after the chapter 80. You just can't stop reading after that. You always leave with a curiosity in the end of chapters. It's so well constructed and written. Well, except for the final. It's
Actually, there is no need to write anything here. It's just amazing. The only defect in the art is that characters' face are so similar. Specially the females.
All characters have unique characteristic. Every member of the gang has a great personality. However, the strongest character is of course the main one. Kitano Ken. He has very strong ideals. He can do anything for his ideals and his friends.
I've never bored during the series. I laughed, i almost cried, i got excited...
Even the ones that don't like gang/mafia theme, can enjoy reading this manga. It has a gorgeous art, great story and great characters. You won't regret for reading this. (Except for the final. Damn, it still hurts when i remember that horrible final.)
Story: a man that like a woman...it's seems cliche, but no, to change of country it's no joke, and he did this.
the force and effort of Ken to be stronger is insane, as shown in your trainings, his hands are bruised with calluses and lots of blood.
a man call Ken for get in a gang of mafia, Ken acept it
Ken turned the leader, and your gang stay so BADASS that I would wish entry
art: i don't need to say, it's simply amazing, each trace, each detail, impossible to have someone who doesn't like the fine art, it is pleasing to the eyes XD
Character: they are
very interesting, even the main antagonists, who give a lot of work to Ken
Overall: this manga has passed a message for me: we must fight for what we want, even if we fall, we must get up again and again, until we die.
seems exaggerated, but who keeps us from achieving our dreams are ourselves
I hope that this message pass for everybody that will read Sun-ken Rock