Who comes to your mind when you think of the best Kdrama female leads? In this article, we will be listing down who are the best Kdrama female leads and why. Korean dramas are the perfect combination of everything. They are short, beautiful, and will make you cry no matter what the genre. Although, a lot of Korean dramas have the problematic trope where the female lead is a poor damsel in distress, and the main lead is perfect and rich. Korean dramas have really up their games in the strong female leads department. So much so that almost every Korean drama that is airing seems to have the best female leads. In this article, we will be talking about some of the best female leads that Kdramas have blessed us with.
A strong female lead in Korean dramas was unheard of a few years back. Female leads like Cha Eun Sang in Heirs, Geum Jan Di from Boys Over Flowers, Oh Ha Ni in Playful Kiss, and Hwang Jung Eum from She Was Pretty really make my headache. Furthermore, I would like to add that when I say that these female leads were a headache, I mean no hate to the talented actresses that portray these characters. Fair warning: This article may not have your favorite Kdrama female lead. With the overflowing supply of amazing Kdrama female leads, especially in recent years, it is very difficult to pick and choose. Let us have a fun ride viewing all these amazing female leads that stole our hearts.
Kdrama Female Leads That Stole Our Hearts
10. Kim Bok Joo in Weightlifting Fairy
On paper, this drama is a coming-of-age story. Furthermore, it is about a group of athletes in college that are trying to make a name for themselves. In between college hustle, they find people who will stick by their side. This is one of the best Kdramas that has existed. Lee Sung Kyu, the beautiful actress, plays the main female lead that is Kim Bok Joo. She lost her mother at a young age and lives with her father and uncle. Ever since she was young, Weighlifting was her only passion. Kim Bok Joo’s journey to discovering her femininity is truly special and refreshing.
She is one of my favorite Kdrama female leads because she rediscovered her passion and remained true to herself. One of the best scenes, both in terms of acting and dialogues, is when Kim Bok Joo breaks down in front of her father, confessing that she all of a sudden hates her only passion that is Weightlifting. The story is one of the most realistic portrayals of depression and pressure from society. Let us also give a round of applause to Lee Sung Kyung gained five kilograms to play this role, and she pulled it off beautifully. You can watch Kim Bok Joo’s swag personality in Weightlifting Fairy on Netflix and Viki.
9. Kang Mo Yeon from Descendants of The Sun
The role of the beautiful doctor Kang Mo Yeon is played by the beautiful and talented Song Hye Kyo. Kang Mo Yeon is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Haesung Hospital. I believe that if there was a spin-off drama that only showcased Kang Mo Yeon’s story, it would be a hit. Furthermore, Kang Mo Yeon stands by her belief that in any field, a person’s ability and hard work should be considered rather than connections.
Many would be able to relate to her as she tries to make her way to the top while being a woman with no connection. She is one of the best female leads in drama because she is a total package. Smart, strong, funny, and of course, the pretty one. Although there are few, who find her annoying, Kang Mo Yeon is the strongest working woman that kdramas have given us. An amazing example is when she refuses to back down from treating a VIP patient even when a gun is pointed at her. Kang Mo Yeon also gave me chills when she chose her job and stood by her principles instead of blindly falling in love with the male lead, which is a rarity in Kdramas. I and many others will turn to Kang Mo Yeon when in need of inspiration. You can watch the bright Kang Mo Yeon in Descendants of the Sun on Netflix and Viki.
8. Jang Man Wol in Hotel Del Luna
Hotel Del Luna is a hotel that caters to the dead souls that have some unfinished business in the living world. Jang Man Wol is the CEO of this hotel and has been for 1300 years. Furthermore, Jang Man Wol is the personification of the word badass. This woman is unstoppable, she is not even afraid to call Harvard a scam. Back when her time was running, she used to be a leader of a nomad clan. Jang Man Wol takes all the people she has killed with her sword to the Moon Inn so that they can rest in peace. Which leads her to be tied to the hotel to repent for her sins. She is funny, fierce, and fashionable.
Jang Man Wol is one of the best female leads in Kdrama because she remains powerful no matter what the situation. IU did a wonderful job portraying Jang Man Wol’s character. Moreover, if you know IU you know what a cute little doughnut she is, and Jang Man Wol is the opposite of a cute doughnut. Fans loved Jang Man Wol and had a hearty laugh as she struggles with her finances. You can watch Jang Man Wol being a queen or CEO in Hotel Del Luna on Netflix and Viki.
7. Ko Moon Young from It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
It won’t be a valid best drama female leads list if it does not have Ko Moon Young from It’s Okay To Not Be Okay in it. The most special characteristic about her is that she is a children’s book author, and the stories that she writes will actually help children be more sensitive. She portrays the pain of facing abuse and trauma as a child phenomenally. Furthermore, Ko Moon Young has an antisocial disorder. She is one of the best female leads in drama as she does not let anybody step over her and get what she wants. One of her most girl boss scenes is when she scares the journalist who was asking her for sexual favors in return for writing a good article about her book. You can watch Kang Mo Yeon being cute yet psycho in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay on Netflix.
6. Choi Ae Ra from Fight For My Way
This character has a cult following, and even BTS’s Jungkook is a part of it. Furthermore, this character is played by the talented actress Kim Ji Won. In a world where even survival is hard, Choi Ae Ra aims big. Choi Ae Ra was someone that a lot of people could relate to. Although the capitalist world keeps failing her, Ae Ra does not lose hope and keeps her head up high. Choi Ae Ra’s character is super quirky and gives fans enough to laugh about. How she deals with rude people, rich brats, and discrimination in work all on her own is applaudable. Also, salute to Kim Ji Won, who makes each character she plays shine bright. You can watch Choi Ae Ra taking on the world one step at a time in Fight For My Way on Netflix and Viki.
5. Yoon Se Ri from Crash Landing On You
Honestly, she is one of the most loved kdrama female leads ever. She had a classy vibe that and she was the one who showed people who is the real boss. Yoon Se Ri was abandoned by her mother and was rivaled by her siblings. Although these problems had some effect on her, she did not let them take control of her. She made a big fashion empire and became one of the most well-known businesswoman in South Korea. Although she stood strong, we all know she too has vulnerable side in her. It all came out when she met Captain Ri. Yoon Se R stood strong to protect her loved ones and was always there to be at their side. Watch Yoon Se Ri in Crash Landing On You on Netflix.
4. Bae Ta Mi, Cha Hyun, and Song Ka Kyung from Search WWW
Whenever you think of a kdrama with strong and badass female leads, Search WWW comes to your mind. We couldn’t choose between the three main leads, that is why we mentioned all of them. Bae Ta Mi, Cha Hyun, and Song Ka Kyung have very different personalities but have a common trait. The trait is that they can do anything to be successful and achieve their dreams. Watch these three women break stereotypes in Search: WWW on Netflix and Viki.
3. Jang Hye Sung from I Can Hear Your Voice
As mentioned earlier, there were not any great female leads during 2013. This is because most of the female leads were damsels in distress who were totally dependent on their male leads. So, Jang Hye Sun became a very refreshing character to watch in a kdrama. Now let us talk about the kdrama female lead Jang Hye Sun. When Jang Hye Sun was young, she witnessed a crime and had fought as a witness for the victim. Even when she was threatened, she did not budge. But when she grew up, she did not uphold these virtues. Then again, she started to realise that she had started to go astray and came back to the right path. She is known for her strong character that sums up a female lead. Watch Jang Hye Sun being a badass lawyer in I Can Hear Your Voice on Netflix and Viki.
2. Do Bong Soon from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
An iconic drama named after an iconic character who literally broke records in the Korean TV cable history. Do Bong Soon is played by everyone’s favorite, Park Bo Young. Casting Park Bo Young to play the role of tiny Do Bong Soon, who has supernatural strength, was destiny. The supernatural strength of the character are totally contrary to her physique. Although that isn’t why I consider Do Bong Soon as one of the best female leads in Kdrama. Her never-give-up attitude and the will to use her power to help those in need is what makes her the best. Do Bong Soon became our dear friend that we all want to visit? Watch Do Bong Soon beat all the villains into pulp in Strong Women Do Bong Soon on Netflix and Viki.
1. Seo Hi Soo and Seo Hyun from Mine
Seo Hi Soo and Seo Hyun are the main leads from the ongoing drama Mine. There is only one word to describe these two characters, and that is AMAZING. Seo Hi Soo is played by Lee Bo Young, who like her co-star Kim Seo Hyung has a knack for choosing empowering roles. These two women, while fighting off the prejudice they face, redefine the meaning of strong women. Seo Hi Soo is empathetic, kind yet powerful, and determined. How she manages to keep her spirit alive in the world of the pretentious rich is what makes her beautiful. Furthermore, one of her best characteristics is the empathy that she has for every human. For example, when she stood up for her nemesis and refused to let her be mistreated by others.
While Seo Hi Soo is loveable and inspiring, Seo Hyun is another league. I won’t be surprised if there hundred more fan pages appear for the character Seo Hyun after this drama. Her character is cool-headed and so smart that it will blow your mind. She controls the entire Hong family without even realizing it. An added fact is that she is a lesbian. The difficulty with which she lets go of her lover and chooses to stay at Hyowon, beautifully portrayed by Kim Seo Hyung’s tearful eyes, is what makes the character shine. She is fierce, kind, and powerful. Watch Hi Soo, and Seo Hyun break out of the golden cage and find their true happiness in Mine on Netflix.