Ken, a young Japanese guy, is in love with a young Korean girl Yumin. He followed her in Korea and wants to become a policeman just like her. But then, he finds himself at the head of a local gang. What will happen to Ken?
Volume 12: Trigun: The Lost Plant
**Might contain some spoilers, but I have tried to be discreet about it!**
Even though this series is not completed yet, I felt that writing a review for this w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ manhwa was necessary when I noticed the ratings in the 8-10 spectrum (!!?). Don't let the art fool you; this is a shallow, unoriginal, tasteless mess.
☆ Here goes ☆
Ken follows his high school crush Yumin from Japan to Korea (wut) where she starts working as a police officer. Ken on the other hand becomes a gang-boss and as the story progresses he works himself through the gritty world of organized crime, while staying childishly infatuated with Yumin.
The outset of the story isn't that bad. It's simple and could have acted a solid foundation for a pretty exciting story. It fails miserably when it comes to execution though, and because of the non-existent depth in character portrayal the story falls completely flat.
The story is quick-paced and consists of different extremely repetitive arcs. 1 Ken acs silly (insert jokes and ecchi). 2 A generic Yumin clone gets raped and/or beaten. 3 Ken gets angry and gathers the gang. 4 Fight commences. Even the fights get boring (!!) with predictable turns during the 'mini boss-fights' before the 'final boss'. These arcs and fights are so predictable that they even had me (a hardened shounen enthusiast) bored and unfocused.
Because the story is so quick-paced it also feels as if most of it happens behind the scenes or not at all. There are big jumps and the impact of the exploits of Ken and his gang is not felt to the degree that it should. I presume that this is because the focus is on Ken and his path towards sex with Yumin rather than the actual gang-related plot. Even so, it's like you keep expecting the real story to start or get intense, but it never happens and everything stays incredibly shallow even up to date.
The amount of large themes introduced as potential main story points but then not explored enough are many. For example the concept of the state, the history of South Korea, immigration and xenophobia just to name a few. It's a bit sad that that these interesting themes were pushed aside to make space for naked women.
☆ 5 out of 10 ☆
The art is beautiful. Really, the environments and the (male) characters are drawn in great detail and variety. The fight-scenes are well drawn and the facial expressions and movement of the characters are great. The extra chapters where Boichi explains the inspiration behind certain elements are interesting and can be felt afterwards in the sceneries and portrayal of Korea.
The women however, only appear is two varieties: Yumin clones and childlike Kae-Lyn clones that give you pedophile vibes. Neither is very well drawn with strange poses and weird proportions/anatomy. They are often drawn in the same poses with no body variety at all. There is also no shading in their faces to show any difference between the characters' features (whereas the male characters have this).
As good as the art may be at times it still feels like trash in a nice package. Even so, standalone the art deserves an 8 for the male character portrayal, fights, facial expressions and sceneries.
☆ 8 out of 10 ☆
Ken had my expectations up because he had inherited Shou from Akumetsu's eyebrows lol.
No but I thought he would be more interesting then he was at least. He's basically as cliché as cliché protagonists get; the humble kind man who gets badass and strong in serious situation. You supposedly think he gets some character development a bit into the story but he then reverts back to his original self with no explanations, so that's that.
The saddest character in the series is the female 'lead' Yumin. She has no personality to speak of. I think there is meant to be some tension regarding the protagonist struggle to hide his identity from her, but she's so bleak that you sometimes forget her existence. She is basically a blank canvas for the author to express his sad sexual fantasies and uniform kink (much like the entire series).
Aside from becoming more manly, almost any form of character development is a transparent attempt to fool the reader into thinking that this series is actually capable of plot twists. (rest assure, it isn't)
Even at the supposed emotional climax of the story, it still feels as if you hardly know or care about the characters at all.
☆ 3 out of 10 ☆
I may be harsh but it's hard to enjoy something when its main purpose entails creating different scenarios in which to draw women being abused sexually is as many ways possible, annnd good 'ol brawl. Especially when you're only there for one of the two (hint: it's the last one), and that one is executed poorly.
Even any slightly successful joke gets unfunny when you're reminded of the sexism. This series has women coerced into sex (perpetrator is later forgiven), rape as torture, fathers wanting to rape their own daughters, under aged women getting raped and much much more. Not even addressing the fight-scenes ruined by the ridiculous nudity, it objectifies the female characters to the point where it's annoying even if you're normally ok with ecchi.
It's basically so incredibly sexist that the escapism value disappears completely. There is no dignity for any female character in this story. None at all. Not even through the art quality.
☆ 3 out of 10 ☆
Read it because - The art is great, it has interesting facts about South Korea and its culture/history, lots of fights, a funny Italian character and Ken's eyebrows.
Don't read it because - The shallow story, nonexistent character development, shitty female characters (also sometimes badly drawn), annoying amount of ecchi, sexism, anticlimax, boring fights and repetitiveness.
If this series was a hentai I wouldn't have bothered with this review, but the fact that it tries not to be is what makes it so bad.
May contain minor spoilers for initial 2-3 chapters.
On a side-note, my first review on MAL.
STORY: Kitano Ken's crush Yoshizawa Yumin, moves to Korea to become a police officer. Following her, Ken moves to Korea as well. However, he is a failure. He meets Park Tae-Soo, leader of a local gang. Tae-Soo tries to convince Ken to become their boss. Ken agrees on something really ridiculous. (Salary what?). So basically, a failure rises from the bottom of scum to the top of the country. So, in my opinion, story is a 9/10.
ART: Each strip of the manga perfectly switches from sadism to beauty to fanservice as per the requirement. I don't have any more words. 10/10.
CHARACTERS: Character development, again is a strong point of Sun-Ken Rock!. The euphoria of reading how everyone comes to respect Boss Ken is just something you cannot forget. 9/10.
ENJOYMENT: I started reading Akumetsu. I started reading Berserk. I started reading Vagabond. All of them had one thing in similar. I felt sleepy after one or two chapters. However, for Sun-Ken Rock!, I even forgot to have any food for an entire day. It's got action, it's got badassery, it's got comedy, it's got Japanese/Korean Cooking Tutorials and it's got Kitano Ken. Ken is one of the best characters I ever came across. Badass when required, normie when not. 10/10.
OVERALL: Favorite manga. Never read something as good as this. Just love it. Read it already if you haven't already. Sun-Ken Rock! is gonna give you thousands of goosebumps, so consider warned. 9.5/10.
A memorable quote:
"Yes, the King is back.. On his throne.. And ruling over the lowlands of this country once more!" ~Kim Kae-Lyn, Sun-Ken Rock!.read more
I have to say this is potentially one of the best I have read.
It blends comedy and mature seinen into one. On one hand it is a comedy but on the other it begins to deal with the mature and realistic side of korean gangs. This is by far a classic and will not onlymake you laugh but have your blood pumping for the next chapter,
Do not read if you hate awesome stories/
This looks like even after only two chapters its going to be something really really great.
Basically, this Korean girl attends a Japanese school , where one of the locals fall for her.Problem is she wants to be a cop in Korea and hes a hoodlum .
Following her dread she actually leaves and becomes a cop.
Deciding to follow her to Korea , with the view of becoming a cop , he ends up by default becoming the head of the local gang! classic!
The comedy will have you laughing and the action parts are quite well done as well.This one is a keeper for sure!read more