Sun-Ken Rock, the Adult Shounen
Rags To Riches
Now, this manga has a very comedic beginning and while it may very realistic, albeit, perfectly sculpted anatomy. The story starts as the world’s beefiest bum, living in the ghetto with a nice crew of neighbors. He was living a pretty uneventful life until the local ramen shop was roughed up by some yakuza. To everyone’s surprise, this NEET is absurdly strong and adept at fighting. He dispatches the goons and gained the attention of another gang. This gang gives him the vision to create a gang like no other. In truth, the protagonist doesn’t wish for fame nor power but as he puts, “I just want to protect someone!” The gang uses his bland desire to coerce him into not only joining the gang… but becoming the gang leader, Boss Ken.
Now from that line alone, we know that this manga is Shounen at its core. A common trait in these types is a hero who has sole motivation in life… fighting for others. He also can yell wisdom to most of his enemies and strike a nerve in their hearts, with a dash of never staying down – I mean this guy has all the Shounen buffs only excluding a transformation…
The Art Of Boichi
I wanted to stop and talk about the artwork. Sunken Rock dances between elementary to the nearly masterful expression of emotion and movement. Now, the artist, Boichi, loves “perfect” humans bodies. He loves for the men to be perfectly sculpted, and the women to always be sexy, with nipples galore. While reading this you may find the nudity to be quite consistent especially for the female characters and well there’s a reason behind that. Boichi has a strong background in a more, “sensual” art. Now while everyone’s physique is highly idealized, it does show Boichi’s limitation for body types. Another possibility is that he simply doesn’t care to draw other body types. Je also has a thing for oddly distorting their proportions depending on angles. I’m not sure if this is an error or by design. If you follow his work, his preference becomes an obvious crutch as his designs began to look repetitive.
However, when Boichi wants to portray emotion, he does it in spades. He enjoys rigid lines and pitch-black ink-ins. I would assume this art choice is to save time on drawing eyes, which is doubly efficient because the blacked-out eyes are often used to depict a character in an opposing matter. When expressing rage, he may blur the lines to create a sonic effect that lets you taste what their feeling on a cathartic level. Needless to say, I believe that Boichi is one of the best artists out there. He may not always show his best work but when he does, it’s poster-worthy.
The action is well conveyed throughout the manga for the most part. My only complaint is throughout the story, our protagonist, Ken overcomes his enemies with seemingly endless Shounen power. While other characters may show their fighting prowess though skill, Ken seems to simply hulk his way through adversity. Now it’s all entertaining but for someone who reads so many mangas of the same genre, I would have enjoyed it so much more if Ken’s fighting growth was better emphasized in his battles.
The Story Ends
The story of Ken is simple to a fault. While at first, we get a glimpse at Ken’s desire, nut when he’s thrown into the world of gangsters it becomes hard to gauge his motivation. He transforms from the unwilling bum into the inspirational Paragon so fast, that he often seems like two different guys dancing back between each page. Ken is your every man out of luck, turning into what we all want to be – the man who conquers all, has every woman’s gaze, attracts all those to follow you, and always says the right thing. He is the purest and also the most toxic of masculinity. Well, if you can do that daily, then I guess you would be the Boss too.