Cover of first volume of Sun-Ken Rock
|Genre||Gangster, martial arts|
|Published by||Shōnen Gahōsha|
|Original run||April 24, 2006 – February 22, 2016|
Sun-Ken Rock (Japanese: サンケンロック Hepburn: Sanken Rokku) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Boichi. The plot tells the story of Ken, a high school delinquent turned down by the girl he loved, Yumin, who promptly left Japan to become a police officer in Korea. Yearning to see the girl he loved, Ken dropped out of high school to travel to Korea and become an officer just like Yumin. Though Ken managed to travel to Korea, he found himself unable to become an officer and instead became a poor Shut-in with no money or job. After saving an old man from being abused by a group gang members, he was scouted by the head of a local gang led by Tae-Soo Park, who made him the new boss. The manga was licensed by JManga, but is now available through a read-only/print-only subscription at BookWalker and Crunchyroll. It was announced in Young King's fourth issue of 2016 that the manga will end on February 22, 2016.
The story revolves around Ken (the main protagonist), a man from an upper-class family that was orphaned young due to his family's involvement with the Yakuza; he became a highschool 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 left his life in Japan behind and tried to follow in Yumin's footsteps; due to unforeseen circumstances, he incidentally becomes the head of a local gang and tries to hide it from Yumin. As the leader, the gang is renamed the Sun-Ken Rock Group. At the first, the gang only consisted of few members and didn't even have a base. As the story progresses The Sun-Ken Rock gang becomes bigger as they recruited new members and take over other gangs' territories and investments. The Sun-Ken Rock Group acquires an MMORPG company, a large casino, one of the biggest television media companies in Korea, as well as garnering political favors (making them the most powerful gang in Korea). However, throughout all of this, Ken has done his best to evade revealing himself to Yumin as a gang leader as she despises gangs. Ironically, Yumin was groomed to become an advanced plant in Korea to help her Yakuza group lay the foundations to expand their hold into South Korea; due to Yumin's refusal to join the "family business," their plans were stalled as various members either tried to take her back to Japan or try to get her back into Yakuza control. In between Ken's rise, he and Yumin got closer and Yumin started to have feelings for Ken. However, things were always complicated by the interference of either Ken's gang activities and/or Yumin's Yakuza connections. The series, despite being very adult-oriented, espouses many shonen-esque values, such as the importance of friendship and the concept of being a "true man". The turning point in the story was when she was kidnapped by her own group and Ken was exposed as a gang leader in his attempts to rescue her from his greatest rival, Kim Ban Phong (a Vietnamese-Korean that has a vicious score to settle with Ken). The manga has three spin-offs "Dango Knight ", "Sun Ken Rock Gaiden - Yumin" and "I Want Feed Yumin".
- Ken Kitano (北野堅 Kitano Ken)
- A high-school delinquent and the primary protagonist who drops out of school and leaves Japan in pursuit of his love, Yumin. While in Korea he lives his life as a shut-in for an entire year being unable to find an actual job. After saving an old man from being killed by loan sharks, he was scouted and invited to join a local gang (gondal) to work under Tae-soo as one of his underlings. After fighting against Tae-soo, he was offered the position of boss instead. He initially declined since he wanted to join the police force alongside Yumin but Tae-soo eventually manipulates him into taking the position. His strength and sense of justice earns him the loyalty of his gang and the local community. As the leader of the Sun-Ken Rock Gang, he often hides his true identity from others (ex.: he tells Yumin he works at a video game company as a cover). Ken's parents were killed during a Yakuza war when he was 13. The manga ends with him handing all of his businesses over to Yumi, so that he and his gang can act as protectors of Japan rather than criminals, with the final panel showing him driving by the place where he first told Yumi he loved her, with the implication that, though they can never be together, Ken will always love her. The character design of Ken is heavily influenced from Vash of Trigun Manga.
- Yumi "Yumin" Yoshizawa (吉沢祐美 Yoshizawa Yumi)
- Ken's love interest, a girl that left Japan to become a cop in the department in charge of organized crime. She initially claims to be a Korean girl by the name of Yumin, as she did not want anyone to be suspicious of her immediately leaving for Korea out of the blue. Her true name is Yumi and she is actually Japanese. She hates gangsters, later it is discovered that she is the daughter of a Japanese Yakuza Boss that killed Ken's parents. Her hatred of gangs is due to her mother and sister being killed by other Yakuza when she was young. As the daughter of a Yakuza boss, she has mastered some martial arts and is a very capable fighter. She also has feelings for Ken while not knowing he is an underworld boss. Later she was kidnapped by Kim Ban-Phuong's gang who hold her as their hostage. She is shocked when she finds that Ken is the boss from Ban-Phuong. Feeling betrayed at first, she confronts Ken only to forgive him after an apology later, after which she cheers him on the duel with Ban-Phuong. The two decide to attack her father's headquarters, but decide to first take time off at a popular vacation hotspot and finally make love in a church during a storm. It is eventually revealed that Yumi had been manipulating Ken to help her seize control of the White Dragon Clan at first, only to actually fall in love with him. After the two kill Ryu, Yumi destroys the White Dragon Clan headquarters and takes control of the organization, though she has become depressed over her feelings for Ken, which had changed into self-loathing for having betrayed his love.
- Tae-Soo Park (朴 泰秀（パク・テス） Pak Tesu)
- A Korean gangster and the true mastermind behind most of the gang's more underhanded actions. Originally the boss of the gang, he passed leadership over to Ken as he realized his potential and charisma. He serves as Ken's right hand man, and has numerous underground connections and is in charge of handling the day-to-day business of the gang. He can be seen as the real evil behind the gang and is often doing dirty works for the gang, but his loyalty to Ken is unquestionable. He took over the gang after his father was killed. He was put into a coma by Ban-Phuong but later recovers.
- While he initially puts full trust in Ken, the difference between their principles eventually renders their positions as 1st and 2nd in command in the gang blurry. He eventually usurps control from Ken in a bloodless coup, only to reveal that it was a ploy to make himself the scapegoat for all of Sun-Ken Rock Group's crimes and allow Ken and their friends to fight the White Dragon Clan without worry.
- San-Dae "Pickaxe" Yang (梁 相太（ヤン・サンテ） Yan Sande)
- One of the original members of Tae-Soo's gang and one of Ken's henchman. He dislikes Ken and often comes into conflict with him. While his loyalty is sometimes questionable, he is highly competitive and does not back down from a fight. He left his village when he was 16 after he had sex with a farmer's wife. Later on San-dae finds his hometown turned into a US Army base and realizes that he can never go back to his previous life. His nickname comes from the fact that he uses an actual pickaxe in combat. His past reveals that San-dae used to be a superhero/vigilante called Diago Knight and was rejected by female supervillains.
- Do-Heun Chang (張 頭弘（チャン・ドゥホン） Chan Duhon)
- One of the members of the gang. He is known for his muscular physique but meek demeanor. Ken recruited Chang in a fight by using a variety of tactics to take him down. Despite his muscular and big physique, he is quite agile, able to dodge and block two professional killers at te same time. He loves his car and his hobby taking care of it. He apparently dies in Chapter 84 falling from a building under construction, but survives the fall thanks to his car. He is also a foodie and lover of Japanese cuisine. In volume 12 he lost his virginity to prostitute in Kiss Club
- San-Ki "Marin" Lee (マリン/李 爽崎（イ・サンギ） Marin/I Sangi)
- The first member of Tae-Soo's gang after the death of Tae-Soo's father long before the story begins and one of Ken's henchmen. He is loyal to both Tae-Soo and Ken. An Ex-Korean soldier, he often fights dual-handed with wrenches.
- Kae-Lyn Kim (金 恵隣（キム・ヘリン） Kim Herin)
- Female member of the gang, also the "cleaner" of the Sun-Ken Group. Is a weapons specialist and the 'cleaner' of the group. She mainly uses knives, and is obsessed with Ken.
- Ji-Hae "Miss Yoo" Yoo
- A Tea house barmaid in trouble with the local gang during the first chapters of the story. She has feelings for Ken and tried seducing him after Kim Bon-fuu defeated Ken. Before the gang goes to the mountain to train, they take her home to her village. But Ji-hae was caught and gang-raped, resulting in her parents committing suicide when they see pictures of their daughter being gang-raped posted throughout the village. Ken finds her working in a Sex shop, due to this Ken decides to take over the pleasure district. She is put in charge of the pleasure district after Ken takes it over for her.
- Oh Dal-Soo
- a corrupt businessman whose son was beaten by Yang-bae and later arrested. He asks Ken to find the man behind his son's beating.
- Rei Huzimi
- Rei is a bodyguard of Yumin's father who saved her from her Yazuka past. He also bears a striking resemblance with Ken, later he develops feelings for Yumin and is forced by her father, the boss of the Japanese Yakuza, to kill her, but is defeated by her, during the fight he loses one hand while trying to rape Yumin. On the order of Yumin he brings back his severed hand and a sword to present to Yumin's father. He later fights Ken in Ryu's office, where Ken defeats him by exploiting his desperation to be loved by Yumi.
- Kim Ban-Phuong
- Lai Daihan (Born to a Korean father and Vietnamese mother). Ban-Phuong's parents met during the Vietnam war when his father Kim Jin-hae was a soldier who saved his mother as a child from getting shot by Korean soldiers. Later he felt guilty and returned to Vietnam in 1988 to apologize later they were married. Ban-Phoung was trained by his father and learned martial arts from him and his uncle. When his father died, Ban-Phoung traveled to South Korea and fell in love with the Vietnamese girl Hae-yi. Their relationship was sadly short lived as she committed suicide shortly after her boss and 2 Korean men attempted to rape her one day while she was alone. This caused Ban-Phoung to kill these men and join the Garugi Gang. He later defeated Ken and disappeared. Ban-Phuong has returned as the leader of an assassins guild, under the command of the White Dragon clan, that is busy interfering with the Sun-Ken Rock Group. He revealed to Yumin Ken's secret and in the end he was killed trying to save Ken and Yumin from her father's henchmen.
- a former monk turned casino director who trained Ken and his group for ten months. Enjoying the luxury, he eventually loses his touch but stills proves to be a contender.
- Benito Armani (ベニト・アルマーニ Benito Arumāni)
- An Italian man who is a failed pornographic actor. He is a ladies man and is next in line to a powerful Italian Mafia. He is quite agile, but uses this skill mostly to escape. He joined Ken's gang with blessings from the mafia, with the hidden agenda to kill Ken if he grows too powerful. Although he is quite the ladies' man, he is troubled by premature ejaculation. He has recently been forced to return to Italy due to the death of Don Prego so that he can succeed the aforementioned Don, though he still values the time he spent with Ken and the others.
- A Famous K-Pop singer who Ken becomes a road manager for during an identity crisis.
- Don Prego
- A famous boss known throughout Italy as one of the powerful mafia bosses ever. He has ordered Benito to follow Ken but kill him if he grows too powerful.
- The corrupt District attorney whom Yumin is working with. He is attracted to Yumi and does not know her secret.
- A gang leader who is responsible for Ji-hae's kidnap and rape. After being defeated by Ken, Ken tells him to go to the countryside and never show up in front of him again. The gang members proceed to cut off his family jewels so he'll "have no reason to return". He appears in the later chapters as now a broken homeless man living away from society.
- Kim Yang-bae
- A Casino dealer and ex-pit fighter who fought Ken during the casino arc. He was once a homeless boy who was taken care of Tae Soo's father. He later became a member of the Sun-Ken Rock Group after losing to Ken.
- Ryu Yoshizawa
- Yumin's father and boss of the White Dragon Clan and is the one who killed Ken's parents. He sent his own daughter to South Korea to act as a vanguard for the family yakuza. Later he ordered Rei to killed his own daughter.
- Muftal Batil
- He is one of the members of the Kim Ban-Phuong's gang. He's the one who drove the truck to attack Tae Soo, he is from Kazakhstan, his little sister Mai went off to Korea and to get married. He came to Korea to visit her, but instead of finding his sister happy and married with the man she chose he found her in a soapland. Enraged, he killed all the men in the soapland and later her husband and everyone in his family. After he became a bloodthirsty murderer his sister hanged herself. At that point he wanted to die as well, but by some kind of fate he met Kim Ban-Phuon the one that guided him and gave him purpose and by that point on he lived to exact his will.
- Kim Gae-ha
- The son of president and is owner of KG Entitlement who used aspiring singers as sex slaves to politicians. Later he was defeated by Ken.
He was last seen to blackmail Jang Yunchang about rape and incest
- Director Yan Tae-shin
- Works with KG Entitlement and fought with Ken once.He begged the Sun-Ken gang to take care of Ken not knowing that Ken is the boss. Ken later asks him to atone for his sins by continuing to take care of the idols and company properly.
- Kae-lyn's "sister" who is member of girl group by KG Entitlement
- Jang Ah-jung
- A member of girl group is daughter of Jang Yunchang is politician. She was raped by her father.
- a member of girl group with short hair and big breasts. She and Na Yun-jeong become close through a photoshoot.
- Na Yun-jeong
- A member of girl group, she lived as a homeless in the United States to be found by the agency. She and Mihiro became close after the photo session. She apparently is bisexual and masochistic.
- Jang Yunchang
- A corrupt politician who beat Tae-soo Park and left him in a coma and blackmailed by Kim Gae-ha
- He was demoted to a chef position and hates the casino boss however he still work because he is a professional. He said that all his underlings working in the kitchen is disciplined and makes his kitchen worthy to be part of the professional organization. He said he still follows Lee-Man-Gu because he is the most professional person he met and Ken responds with a big laughter.
- The fifth lieutenant stronger. It has great strength and martial skills, and experience great struggles.
- Cherry twins
Twin sisters who had a crush on Ken. T
- Moon Ji-Ae
- Sun's manager
- Oh Man-Won
- He is manager-in-chief in KG Entitlement.
- Lee Man-gu
- A Man who worked with Tae-soo's father.
- 16-year-old runaway who met Benito Armani and was saved by him from a gang.
- Unnamed man with glasses
- A Korean man who became Ken's roommate and friend. It is revealed he may be based on Boichi.
- Green, Scott (July 26, 2012). "JManga Adds Gangster Martial Arts Manga "Sun-Ken Rock"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- "SUN-KEN ROCK | Page 1 | eBook Store BOOK WALKER Global". eBook Store│BOOK WALKER Global. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
- "Sun Ken Rock Manga to End on February 22". Anime News Network. 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-01-25.