While K-dramas are famous for their romantic-comedy and melodramatic love stories, they also showcase strong female leads who can hold their life together and refuse to give up. There are leads with deadly stares that would make any grown adult quiver.
Nothing is more inspiring than seeing strong, accomplished women and striving to be like them. And with fantastic dramas that deliver a passionate, compelling story, who needs a male lead when these leading ladies are worth all our admiration?
Here’s a list of some of the top female leads from recent Korean dramas for you to watch.
1. Ko Moon Young – It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
We had to kick off the list with the very charming, Ko Moon Young. Played by the talented Seo Ye Ji, Ko Moon Young from It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is a bit quirky but in a good way. As a child, she was subjected to emotional abuse by her mother, who also had an antisocial personality disorder. She’s a force to be reckoned with as an adult. She comes out as cold, aloof, and commanding, yet no matter what others say, she knows what she wants. Her immaculate fashion complements her fierce demeanor. She has no fear of anyone and will defend herself and others when necessary.
Ko Moon Young definitely has to be one of the most iconic female leads. The internet could not stop talking about her in 2020, and it’s safe to say we still aren’t over her – the one who made the entire world fall for her savage attitude and fashion.
2. Jin Sun Woo – The World of the Married
The World of the Married offers a deep, complicated, and dramatic plot with a strong female protagonist. Ji Sun Woo, played by Kim Hee Ae, is a respected doctor who appears to have it all. But it turns out she is deceived by her friends and spouse when she learns that her husband is having an affair and that her friends are aware of it.
She now craves vengeance and seeks to destroy the lives of those who have wronged her. Sun-Woo keeps her calm and maintains a solid facade as the drama takes numerous twists and turns.
The World of the Married, ended up becoming the highest-rated K-drama in the history of South Korean cable television, and Ji Sun Woo, one of the most celebrated female leads.
3. Kang Soo Jin – Mother
Mother has to be one of the most underappreciated K-dramas in the suspense genre. The female lead, Kang Soo Jin (Lee Bo Young), might not be a hero according to the bookish definition, but she definitely won our hearts as one. A remake of a Japanese television series of the same name, the drama follows the life of an elementary school teacher who realizes one of her students is being physically and emotionally abused at home. In order to save the young girl, she goes as far as to kidnap her without thinking what she is doing is a criminal offense. Her only priority at the moment is to save the child.
4. Bae Ta Mi, Cha Hyeon, and Ong Ga Kyung – Search WWW
Search WWW is a famous drama loved by both fans and critics for breaking the stereotypes associated with female characters and giving an empowering message. The three main leads Bae Ta Mi (Im Soo Jung), Cha Hyeon (Lee Da Hee), and Song Ga Kyung (Jeon Hye Jin), work at an IT company and are career-driven. And popularly we would witness the female characters constantly trying to pull each other down in any way possible. But, Search WWW said, we only stan women supporting women in this house.
All three of them are constantly seen pulling one another up and having each other’s back throughout the show, even if they have a fight. Even when it actually comes to a physical fight to save a friend, they aren’t afraid. There’s a tense sequence in which two characters walk down a misty street together. They emerge with bats in their hands, looking ferocious.
5. Yoon Ji Woo – My Name
For a long time, mainstream media has created the notion that the man is supposed to take the fight and the woman will probably be sobbing in one corner of the room out of fear. The male lead fighting a whole gang of criminals and still being able to come right back the next day, we have seen that a lot. For once, we would love to see our heroine take the gang and prove to the world that being exceptionally good in physical fights and techniques isn’t a gender trait but something anyone can learn if they put in their heart and hard work to it.
And well Netflix’s 2021 original revenge drama, My Name, just did that. Yoon Ji Woo’s (played by Han So Hee) sole motivation is to avenge her father’s murder. She is put through months of physical training in order to bulk up. During those times she had to face many struggles, fights gangs of goons, joins the police force, just to be betrayed by her close ones, but still manages to shine through.
Actress Han So Hee went through extensive boxing training in order to play Yoon Ji Woo. She has performed every single fight scene we see throughout the series.
6. Yoon Sae Bom – Happiness
First, Yoon Ji Woo, now Yoon Sae Bom. The Yoon sisters really have a strong grip on our hearts.
Yoon Sae Bom (Han Hyo Joo) is a high-ranking police officer who is focused on her career and yearns for a home of her own. She pretends to marry her long-time friend Yi Hyun (Park Hyung Sik) in order to qualify for an apartment rental in a posh society, which gradually becomes overrun with zombie-like people. When she is told that she must save herself at the price of others, she refuses and risks her own life to help others. Despite the fact that she and Yi Hyun are on an equal footing in every manner, it was incredibly thrilling to see her come to his aid at a critical moment. She proved that you don’t always need a man to protect you, and also there will be times a man will need the support of a woman.
7. Do Bong-soon – Strong Girl Bong-soon
Strong Girl Bong-Soon has been praised for its gripping love triangle, but the female protagonist has also captivated audiences. To begin with, don’t expect this sweet-faced girl to be just that, since the drama gives her a unique spin.
Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with supernatural abilities that had been passed down through the ancestors. Her superhuman strength, paired with her helping attitude, lands her a job as the bodyguard of the CEO of a gaming company. When she beats up a group of gangsters for mistreating an elderly man, it’s a hilarious sequence in the drama. She even goes for her best friend’s alleged kidnappers.
8. Jang Man Wol – Hotel del Luna
Played by the singer, songwriter, and actor IU, Jang Man Wol appears to be harsh and irritable in the drama. She terrifies people, but frequently saves the day and demonstrates her great power and loving nature. When it comes to getting what she wants, she isn’t shy either. Despite her heartbreak, she proves that she can thrive without a man.
9. Go Ae Shin – Mr. Sunshine
Most people ignore the strong female lead in one of the most well-received historical dramas. Go Ae-Shin (Kim Tae-Ri) is a two-edged sword. She is the daughter of an aristocrat, and she lives in a society where social hierarchy reigns supreme. She’s also a lethal resistance warrior who fights for a cause she’s passionate about. This lady, willing to put her life on the line for her nation, battles to the end for her convictions and proves that anything a man can do, she can do better.
10. Do Han Na and Choo Mae Ok – The Uncanny Counter
When it comes to being leaders, The Uncanny Counter’s leading ladies deserve the highest praise. After her family is poisoned and killed, leaving her as the sole survivor, Do Ha Na (Kim Se Jeong) becomes a Counter. She is wary of disclosing her background since she is still haunted by remorse over her loss. Ha-Na is a tough cookie who doesn’t like it when anyone gets bullied.
Choo Mae Ok (Yeon Hye-Ran), the female matriarch, loses her only son in an accident and becomes a Counter, while her son becomes her handler. Applause is given to the character for never backing down from a fight and for putting herself in danger by employing her healing talents.