|Age||25-26 (DOB: Showa 45 - 1970, 21st of August)|
|Affiliation||The Lagoon Company|
|Manga||Chapter 00: Black Lagoon|
|Anime||Episode 01: The Black Lagoon|
|Japanese Anime Voice||Daisuke Namikawa|
|English Anime Voice||Brad Swaile|
Rokuro Okajima (岡島 緑郎 Okajima Rokurō), more commonly known as "Rock" (ロック Rokku), is the main protagonist of the series. He is a Japanese businessman who turned into a unwitting pirate of the Black Lagoon.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Rock is a fair-skinned Japanese salaryman with black hair that has bangs hanging on the right side and brown eyes.
Despite being a pirate, Rock is able to retain his business persona by continuing to wear a teal neck tie, short-sleeved dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. From the outside, Rock appears as a normal person, which ironically makes him stands out from the rest of Roanapur's residents. Eda, who is always teasing Rock, defines Rock as "handsome" and "cute," but little is known about how others perceive his physical appearance. On the other hand, Revy preferred Rock to wear the Hawaiian shirt that she bought for him when he first joined the company. But being who he is, Rock prefers his usual wear even when he's at Yellowflag or on a job. Ultimately, Rock not abandoning his Japanese Business Man looks represents his lingering attachment to his old way of life.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rock is a humble and good-natured person, despite being on the business end of guns from friends and foe alike, who often seems surprised at the barbarity of the Southeast Asian crime world. He wears a teal neck tie, short-sleeved dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes since even though he is a pirate, he retains his business persona. He is not a fighter in any way but a pacifist who prefers to use words over weapons when interacting with the hostile people encountered on the job. Rock, from joining the Lagoon Company, has often wondered if he is experiencing Stockholm syndrome, consequentially developing a friendship with his former captors and current co-workers.
Within the Lagoon Company, Rock is usually responsible for account management, diplomacy, negotiation, translation, interpretation, and running occasional errands. Having worked in the resource department of Asahi Industries, Rock is skilled in geology and chemistry. He is also a skilled linguist due to frequent traveling from his previous job, able to speak in Japanese (his native language), English, Spanish, Romanian and Russian. He also has a surprisingly high tolerance for alcohol, owing to the heavy drinking lifestyle of a ladder climbing salaryman.
Rock's earnest personality has earned him the interest and respect of several characters in Roanapur, which caused those like Balalaika, Mr. Chang, Rowan, Sister Yolanda and Eda to develop an interest in him, and the young Garcia Lovelace, whom he trusts to the greatest degree. In many ways, Rock is the heart of the Lagoon Company, serving as a balance for his more jaded teammates and as a bright spot in the world of darkness that is Roanapur. He retains a strong sense of right and wrong, trying to hold on to and share his beliefs with others in Roanapur. He is often shocked and horrified by how people suffer from the injustices of the criminal underworld despite his best efforts, wearing him down as the series progresses. Although physically weak and unarmed, Rock has shown tremendous courage to stand up for himself, others, and for what he believes is right as seen when he clashes with other characters over their immoral actions, especially Revy.
He is one of the "luckiest" characters in the series as he managed to survive every single thing he experienced from being taken hostage to being shot at. Thus far, he has survived the wrath of Revy, Balalaika, Roberta and Sawyer, all without using a weapon other than his wit. Though he is a pirate with morals, he is neither good nor evil as described by Yukio Washimine, but rather in the twilight, unable to chose between a life of crime or normality.
Later in the series, Rock begins to enjoy his life as a pirate, becoming even more comfortable with corruption, and it is shown that a darker side of his personality is beginning to emerge. In "Roberta's Blood Trail", he is personally appointed by Mister Chang to help Garcia and Fabiola Iglesias track down Roberta before she finds the American Special Forces unit that killed Diego Lovelace (Garcia's father), before she and the unit kill each other and endanger Roanapur to destruction at the hands of the United States. Rock knows that Chang does not care if Garcia or Roberta is killed and only wants to keep Roanapur out of the eyes of the world for its drug trafficking. Rock manages to turn Chang's plan around by demonstrating exceptional deductive reasoning skills, figuring out every factions' motives and playing on them. He manages to give the Americans an escape route out of Roanapur, towards their mission area in Laos, as well as having Roberta follow them and have Garcia snap Roberta out of her psychotic rampage. However, doing all that requires him to use the same callous and manipulative thinking as Chang, and he even seems to find the same sense of power over others psychologically rewarding.
However, this apparent change in Rock alienates and disturbs the other characters, particularly Revy and Dutch, who do not understand Rock's motives and think he is simply doing it to extract a large reward from Garcia, causing them to fear that Rock is becoming sadistic, selfish, cunning, and ruthless due to being corrupted by Roanapur. However, he does it entirely because he wanted to save someone, and manages to achieve Chang's goal of keeping the US out as well as saving Fabiola, Garcia and Roberta. Fabiola, enraged by Rock's high-risk strategy which involved manipulating Garcia into a game of "Cambodian Roulette" with Roberta and gambling with people's lives, shoots him with a blank and states that she hopes to never see him again. Months later, things have not changed in Roanapur and Rock begins to think he has not made a difference at all. Revy later tells him that it will hurt him if he continues to look at Roanapur with life in his eyes, to which Rock responds that he came close to the darkness but is not ready for it yet.
Dutch has stated earlier that he believes Rock should never wield a gun because if his bullets were like his words, they would ricochet back to them.
Background[edit | edit source]
Rock was born into a well-to-do but neglectful family in Tokyo. Due to him failing to enter college on his first try, his family lowered their expectations of him and begin to favor his academically capable older brother who landed a job with the Japanese government. Rock was able to enter college on his second try but by then, his family has already cast away all expectations of him, leaving him to do whatever he wants. After college, Rock was able to find a job in Asahi Industries in its resource center as a salaryman. Since then, Rock has lived an unremarkable life as a white collar salaryman working for Asahi Industries until he had his near-death encounter with the Lagoon Trading Company.
Story[edit | edit source]
Black Lagoon[edit | edit source]
Rock first appeared in the story while on a business trip in the South China Sea. During his trip, Rock's ship is hijacked by the Lagoon Trading Company run by the pirate individuals Dutch, Revy, and Benny, who sought the disk he carried. He is then taken hostage by Revy for ransom and kept aboard their PT boat, the Black Lagoon. Despite being capture, Rock didn't feel endangered or hopeless around Dutch which makes him wonder if he is experiencing Stockholm Syndrome. Dutch carefully explain to Rock that what they're doing is nothing personal and is strictly business. Their job is to deliver the disk to their client, Hotel Moscow, and that is where their duty ends. Dutch proclaim that they're just normal people who sometimes brushes against the law to put food on the table.
In between their trip to deliver the Disk, they stop by Roanapur to have some R&R. This is Rock's first encounter with Roanapur and his first-hand experience of the type of environment Roanapur is built upon. Rock describes the town as a Clint Eastwood movie at the end of the world to which Dutch amusingly agrees. During their drink, Benny casually explains to Rock that after working with Dutch for two entire years, the only thing Benny knew about Dutch is that Dutch is strong, intelligent, and eccentric. Indicating that even though they are coworkers, Benny knew next to nothing about Dutch personal background. When Rock ask Benny why he joined Lagoon, Benny simply replies that he had a run with the mafia and the FBI in Florida and was saved by Revy. Revy quickly interferes saying that Benny is still too young to reminisce about the past. She then quickly insults Rock for drinking beer saying that Rock may as well drink piss. Revy casually pushes a cup of Bacardi towards Rock and told Rock to drink it if he was a real man. Offended by Revy's provocation, Rock drink the cup in one go leading the both of them to have a drinking contest. But little did they know that the bar was surrounded by all side by the EO (Extra Order) mercenaries lead by The Captain, ready to take their lives.
Upon realizing the danger, Revy and the rest of the quickly took cover. The rounds of bullets fired into the bar nearly killed everyone who was in it. When The Captain and his team enter the bar to check for survivors, Revy jumps into the fold and killed the mercenary group with ease. Rock, who witness Revy's valor, couldn't help but find it strange that Revy is able to smile and laugh while mercilessly killing other people. Dutch, seeing the situation, ask Rock if he's willing to part ways with them right there. Rock reply in contempt that they're the one who kidnaps him so they have to take him with them. Thus, they escaped together. After escaping the ambush, Rock un-amusing joke that they must be in a Hollywood movie. Revy replies with a smile that what they're doing is better than Hollywood seeing it isn't fake. Rock and the Lagoons was able to get back to Black Lagoon and made their way to Balalaika. That's when Benny was able to successfully contact Rock's employers.
After making contact with his boss, department chief Kageyama, Rock was informed that the disk he carried contains the secret plan for Asahi Industry to develop nuclear weapons for a certain country. The scandal will cause the entire Asahi Industry to go under if it was ever brought to light. In order to save Asahi Industry, Rock's boss told him to die at the hands of the mercenaries hired to take down the Lagoon Company along with the disk. With all hope lost, Rock fail into despair as The Captain came after Black Lagoon with an anti-tank aircraft.
With no hope of winning, Dutch tries to steer Black Lagoon into the open sea where they can avoid a direct attack. But they were forced by The Captain to sail towards the river fork which means they will eventually run out of places to run. After chasing Black Lagoon to a place with a wrecked ship, The Captain stop and hover his aircraft to a standstill, letting Black Lagoon go. Dutch thought that The Captain has abandoned his chase only to find out that the river has led them to a dead end. With no place to go, Black Lagoon has no choice but to turn back and face The Captain. But against an anti-tank aircraft, their torpedo boat doesn't stand a chance. That's when Rock came up with his crazy plan to use the wrecked ship as a ladder for Black Lagoon to reach the aircraft in the air and fire their torpedoes.
Dutch called Rock crazy for thinking up that plan because the boat will be in midair and it requires The Captain's aircraft to be right in front of them in order for the torpedo to hit. Rock told Dutch that since The Captain, who could have easily ripe them to shred, is toying with them, he would not back out on a Chicken Contest and the plan will go well. Revy then replies that at this point, the plan is the only thing they got and told Dutch to go through with it. Dutch once again called Rock a crazy bastard for thinking up such an impossible but smile saying that life is not fun without a little danger and gamble. With Dutch agreeing with the plan, they sail at full speed towards The Captain.
Seeing that Black Lagoon as come back, The Captain ready his aircraft for battle. With Revy firing at The Captain to start the Chicken Contest, The Captain hovers right at Black Lagoon. The result afterward went exactly as Rock planned. Black Lagoon slide on the wrecked ship like a latter and flew to the air. Dutch fired the torpedo which landed right into The Captain's face. And with Rock screaming "I Fucked You!," The Captain and his aircraft crash into the ground next to the wrecked ship. Black Lagoon landed back on the river with a bang, shaking everything in it. When Dutch and Revy came to it, they found Rock unconscious but alive, lying happily on a barrel. Rock first gamble on the lives of other people came to and end and the rush that he felt dissipated. Afterwards, they were able to deliver the disk to Balalaika on time and the negotiation with the Asahi went as planned.
Having met his boss, Kageyama, alive and well, Rock was invited back to Asahi industry. But not wanting to go back to the company that sold his life for a disk, Rock casually repeat Kageyama's words back to him, saying that Rock is already a dead man. With that, Kageyama left Rock and went back to Japan. Free and with no ties to chain him down, Rock decides to start his new life in the crime-infested Thai city of Roanapur and joins the crews of the Black Lagoon.
Ring-Ding Ship Chase[edit | edit source]
After settling down in Roanapur, Rock finds himself being tricked by the people around town. To his lament, he is yet again tricked when he bought some mango from an old lady only for the mango to turn out terribly bad. Revy, to her discontent, told Rock that he needs to learn how Roanapur runs things or he'll end up getting cheated out of everything. Afterwards, they rode towards Black Lagoon on Dutch's order for another mission given to him by Donnie Yen. While on their way to port, Revy points out that Rock is not wearing the Aloha shirt that she bought for Rock. Rock reply back in disdain that the shirt looks terrible, prompting Revy to interpret Rock's words as saying that she has bad taste.
After setting sail, Rock is with Revy who's literally showing him the rope. After failing to tie a monkey knot, Revy complains about how Rock can't even do what a monkey can. Rock replies that it can't be helped seeing how what he did for a living had has nothing to do with what he's doing now. Revy sarcastically asked Rock about the things he did before he came to Roanapur. Rock casually explain his job to Revy which sum up as him, sucking up to his boss and getting his ass kicked by his superiors. Revy asks Rock whether he's a Masochist for taking so much crap. Rock replied that it can't be helped because that's what he has to do in order to survive. Rock then ask Revy what she did before she came to Roanapur. Revy reply with a serious tone saying that what she's doing now is no different from what she did as a kid. Rock, thinking that Revy was joking, sarcastically asked if Revy was waving around a gun shooting people as a kid. Revy looks at Rock with a dead serious face and said that that is exactly what she did. Realizing the depth of Revy's words, Rock is left speechless.
Upon setting sail, Black Lagoon is immediately chased by what seems to be the local police, looking to capture pirates. But after examining closer, Revy quickly realize that they weren't being chased by police but other pirates. That's when Rock quickly ask Dutch whether the person who employed them has anything to do with it. To Dutch's dismay, he replies that Donnie Yen might. When the pirates reach them, the captain revealed himself to be Luak, a mercenary pirate that works for Chin. Realizing this, Dutch urge Luak to turn back stating that there is no prey for him to hunt. Luak replay that Black Lagoon is the prey. And with this, the battle between pirates begin.
Dutch, who is sailing the Black Lagoon, told Revy to show why everyone calls her "Two-Hand." Rock, not knowing what Revy can do by herself, ask Revy on her plans to fight against Luak. Revy simply replies that Rock best stop talking about his world because she needs to focus on hers. And with that, Revy took up her Sword Cutlass and a grenade launcher as she lay waste to Luak's boats. Within a few minutes, Revy has completely demolished Luak's entire fleet, leaving him with only his mother boat to which Revy destroyed as well. Witnessing the prowess of Revy's destructive force, Rock can't help but be at awe. He doesn't know what had happened to Revy in order for her to be so skilled at killing, but the fact that he's praising Revy for her force of destruction means that he too is broken inside.
With the battle between pirates coming to an end, they set sail back to Roanapur having wasted their time on a false mission. To appease their pain, Dutch propose a trip to Yellow Flag to drink away their problem on his treat. They all agreed to go with Revy telling Rock to wear the Aloha shirt since they're not on a job. Rock painfully reply with a "Hell no!"
Eagle Hunting and Hunting Eagles[edit | edit source]
As Black Lagoon sail back to Roanapur from a mission, Rock discusses his scuba diving trip in Ishikagi to Dutch and exclaims his wish to scuba dive under the hot summer sun that they're in. While walking around town, Rock encounters an old man who's selling air tanks and scuba diving equipment. Rock wanted to buy but the price was too high and he let it go. Rock returns to Lagoon HQ only to find Dutch with the very same air tank that Rock wanted to buy. The catch is that Rock isn't going to scuba dive for leisure, but for a scavenger job to rob a U-Boat that sank almost forty years ago.
The job for Lagoon this time is to procure an old art piece known as "The Twelve Knights" Led by Brunhilda, for a Spanish client who's madly interested in collecting Nazi's era art. An easy 50,000 dollars plus expense job. Benny went on to explain that the U-Boat was captained by a German Major named Wenztel H. Ahbe, whose mission was to deliver the Japanese officers, Lieutenant Colonel Matsuto and Spielberger, to Batavia. On their way to their mission, they were attacked by U.S. ships that had nothing to do and perished in the depths of the sea. The U-Boat was discovered by a French ship and the picture was rediscovered. But despite knowing there the U-Boat is, no one can lay a hand on it due to the area not being owned by any country. Thus it was the perfect job for them, who are pirates, to swipe the picture from under everyone's noses.
With the mission underway, Rock and Revy sink toward the bottom of the sea and dive into the heart of the U-Boat. When they get inside, Rock and Revy find themselves surrounded by skeletons. They quickly search for the picture, which was found beneath the corpse of Spielberger. Despite having the picture, to Rock's objection, Revy decided to stay and salvage more out of the corpses by taking their badges and whatnot. Upon Revy's return, Rock tells her to leave the badges behind because they're meant as a symbol of honor for those who died. He believes the people who deserve to have them aren't Revy's but them and their family. That is when Revy begins to grow tired of Rock's never-ending lecture of goodness and justice and decided to put Rock in his place.
Revy coldly explains to Rock that the sentimental values Rock puts on everything is an illusion and at the end of the day, the only thing that truly gives something value is money. She then explains to Rock how those sentimental values of love and friendship, along with faith in God, "Didn't do shit for her" when she was being abused as a child. The only thing that was true to her, the only that could protect her, was money and guns. Hearing this, Rock was overcome with a sense of pity for Revy and her life which Revy is quick to redirect. She told Rock that she didn't want Rock's sympathy because she's fine with the way she is. She adds that if Rock were to ever think that what she's doing is wrong again, Rock will no longer be one of them and Revy will kill Rock, causing Rock to hesitantly nod in agreement.
After their conversation, Rock and Revy were intruded on by Kruppen Feller and his crew. Revy has a shootout with Feller's men in the U-Boat as Feller manages to secure the picture from Rock. Rock and Revy quickly follow Feller to the surface only to be under fire by Ratchman's men. Angered, Revy continues to fire back. Rock, who knew that they would be killed if they continue to fight back, grabs Revy and forces her to descend down to the sea. Thinking that they're dead, Ratchman and his men stop the attack and sail towards their destination. When Rock and Revy resurface, Revy is in a very bad mood, half from letting the picture get stolen, the other half from her conversation with Rock.
Lagoon slowly followed Ratchman's ship at a distance, waiting for night to fall. Dutch and Rock discuss the content of the picture, informing Rock that the resource Ratchman used was too overboard for a mere picture. That's when they both speculate that the picture might be worth something rather than it just being a collectible art piece. Dutch then told Rock to get Revy some food before the fight. Upon giving Revy some food, Rock quickly realizes the tension between him and Revy and decides to bring back up the conversation they had in the U-Boat. Revy quickly shoots him down, saying that there is nothing to talk about. Night finally came as Dutch and Revy ready themselves to set out towards Ratchman's ship. As they got off board, Dutch quickly notices Revy's 'Whitman Fever' and overly angered attitude towards him. When Dutch asks Revy if anything happened between her and Rock, Revy simply replies, "No."
As Rock and Benny wait patiently at a distance, Rock causally asks Benny what kind of face they should make knowing that Dutch and Revy are out there killing. Benny told Rock that when Revy and Rock were down in the U-Boat, Dutch was completely calm, reminding Rock that he and Benny are different from Dutch and Revy. Unlike Revy and Dutch, the both of them can't pull the trigger on people. This is why they hold down the fort. Upon taking over the ship, Dutch and Revy fire a signal flare. Recognizing the signal, Rock and Benny sail towards Ratchman's ship to pick them up.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Occupation[edit | edit source]
Within the Lagoon Company, Rock is usually responsible for account management, diplomacy, negotiation, translation, interpretation, and running occasional errands. Having worked in the resource department of Asahi Industries, Rock is skilled in geology and chemistry. He is also a skilled linguist due to frequent traveling from his previous job, able to speak various languages such as Japanese (his native language), English, Spanish, Romanian, Cantonese and Russian. He also has a surprisingly high tolerance for alcohol, owing to the heavy drinking lifestyle of a ladder climbing salaryman.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Rock has no experience or interest in any sort of combat weaponry and his main "weapon" are words. But, it is safe to say that he has a fair amount of physical strength as he was able to overpower and push away Revy when she punched him after they had an intense argument. He also seems to possess at least an above average reaction time as he is constantly able to avoid being hurt by crossfire and is able to get out of tricky situations involving armed enemies efficiently. At one point he was even able to redirect a gun being fired at him from almost point-blank range so that he did not take any serious damage from the bullet. Even though he has some potential, he consistently refuses to actively engage in combat with anyone, regardless of the situation. Because of his inexperience with weaponry and his pacifistic nature he is clearly one of the weaker members of Black Lagoon. Dutch has stated earlier that he believes Rock should never wield a gun because his bullets would ricochet back to them.
Intellect[edit | edit source]
Rock is one of the smartest and most resourceful people in Roanapur. Having perfected the job of a businessman, Rock is excellent at gathering information and knows how to fully utilize them to his favor. His attention to details and ability to piece information together has earned him praise from an intellectual individual like Sister Yolanda and Mister Chang himself. Because of his unconventional way of thinking, Rock is able to formulate solutions and think of scenarios that no one can ever think of. Even when driven to a corner, Rock is capable of thinking under pressure to calculate and come up with the best course of actions for most circumstances. Despite being an excellent critical thinker and problem solver, Rock's deadliest intellect lies with his gift to pick the most effective but riskiest solution in existence. Earning him the name "The Gambler" by numerous individuals.
Luck[edit | edit source]
Rock is one of the luckiest characters in the series as he managed to survive every single thing he experienced from being taken hostage to being shot at. He has survived the wrath of Revy, Balalaika and Roberta who are the three strongest and most violent people in Roanapur, all without using a weapon other than his wits.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Revy[edit | edit source]
From the beginning, Revy had a explosive and rough attitude towards Rock. It grows to a respectful but still rough relationship near the middle of the series. At times, he criticized some of her usual habits and job related actions to be extreme, infantile, and sickening in ways. He has also recognized her actions are not just out of toughness or sheer recklessness but also mental illness and disorders that have made her become who she is. To anyone else, Revy would retaliate to this attitude but took his words into account. Especially in their emotional standoff at a diner in Calm Down, Two Men. Rock left a lasting impact on her life after the confrontation. Rock is probably unaware of Revy's romantic feelings towards him even though she has become attentive and protective of him and displays jealousy, always ready to lash out at anyone who plans to hurt, kill, or hit on him. Even so she hides the fact by lashing out against him for his stupidity, morals, moments of embarrassment and chastises him about "trying to get himself killed". She also complains about his habit of being captured/kidnapped, though she does have a point to her claim. Rock is also unaware of moments when Revy could be seen visibly empathetic when he is hurt, or in a state of depression under grim circumstances like his feelings of alienation from Roanapur. His personality grew darker in Roberta's Blood Trail, in response Revy was very disturbed and at some point kicked him across the deck of the boat.
Revy seems to unconsciously feed off of Rock's more soft, kind, and justice-driven personality. She becomes very protective of what she probably sees as the only beacon of light in Roanapur, even going as far as to encourage Rock's reckless side during the Wired Red Wild Card arc in the manga.
Likewise, Rock seems to unconsciously feed off of Revy's more dark, sadistic nature. Slowly becoming more and more comfortable with corruption, he realizes he gets a psychological thrill out of making risky gambles with people's lives and does so on multiple occasions to solve problems.
Dutch[edit | edit source]
As a direct accomplice to Rocks kidnapping in the past, of course, there was talk ransoming and threatening and of course roughing up. But over time in taking him he took a liking and respect to Rock for his resourcefulness and skills as a former businessman which serve well in the company. Dutch remains unusually calm and mellow than the average person an obvious contradiction to most in the world of Roanapur. In Roberta's Blood Trail he along with the rest of the group were uneasy and disturbed by Rock's growing darkness as a result of the twisted wiles of Roanapur.
Benny[edit | edit source]
For the most part, he remains to get along with Rock. Seeming to be on common and friendly ground. Benny seems to be the only kind of normal person to talk to and not get eventually yelled at like Revy. In Roberta's Blood Trail, like the rest of Lagoon he was troubled by Rock's dark transformation. And there were some moments of weirdness between them when Jane begins a relationship with Benny. And sexually disturbing moments upon her return.
Mr. Chang is often amused at Rock's "unique" way of handling things, once commenting that Rock's actions will determine the fate of not only Garcia and Roberta, but of Roanapur itself.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
- The name Rokuro means "green" (緑) (roku) and "son" (郎) (rou).
- Rokuro's surname Okajima means "ridge, hill" (岡) (oka) and "island" (島) (jima/shima).
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In a popularity contest during the 10th collection manga release, Rock ranked 7th with 686 votes