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Fan-Favorite K-Drama Male Lead Characters Who Will Melt Your Hearts Away

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Among the hundreds of Korean dramas that make their ways onto the small screen featuring a multitude of characters ranging from personalities – from morally-grey charmers to sickly-sweet heartthrobs – the ones that usually end up being the fan-favorite K-Drama male lead characters are the ones who are written to be heartwarming and give the watchers a lot of giggles and comfort. Nowadays, fans usually prefer the leads that do not indulge in the wrist-grabbing of their love interests, being playfully manipulative with them and showcasing toxic jealousy played off as desirable attributes, but this was the trend in writing male lead characters in Korean dramas until a few years ago.

Nowadays, the male leads that are popular are the ones that treat their women (and everyone else around them) right and always stay beside them through every circumstance for support. And the present K-drama male characters who are toxic are portrayed as so, and their toxic traits are portrayed as character flaws of the male lead which end up hurting even themselves (think Park Jae Eon from Nevertheless whose playboy-tendencies were shown as a coping mechanism because of his family problems and past incidences). Let us have a look at some of the fan-favorite K-Drama male lead characters and see what exactly makes them so irresistible to the viewers.

A List of Fan Favorite K-Drama Male Lead Characters:

Ryan Gold, from Her Private Life (2019)

Played By Kim Jae Wook

Ryan Gold is the golden standard (pun intended) of the loveable male leads in K-dramaland. Ever since his first appearance on Her Private Life at the airport, he set the standards for the Korean drama male love-interest characters. Ryan Gold is open-minded, he is communicative, is all open to apologizing when he is in the wrong, and is also considerate and understanding about Sung Deok Mi’s secret fangirling persona. Ryan Gold didn’t shy away from turning on the heat either (yes, we are thinking of his Necklace Kiss). Not to mention he is incredibly easy on the eyes. Evidently, Ryan Gold marks all the checks for a swoon-worthy character and thus is a fan favorite K-drama male lead. Watch Her Private Life on Rakuten Viki.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Ryan Gold

Kim Jung Hwan, from Reply 1988 (2015)

Played By Ryu Joon Yeol

It is not an over-exaggeration to say that whenever Reply 1988 is mentioned, the hearts of the fans who watched the show ache for the fate of Kim Jung Hwan, aka ‘Jung Pal’ (as Deok Sun called him). The character arc of Jung Hwan is a whole study of lost chances and missing one’s timing, and this is even admitted by Jung Hwan himself in the drama, as he thinks about how fate doesn’t mean a thing when one hesitates to take the steps needed to achieve what they ardently desire.

Kim Jung Hwan

His way of silently putting up with the burden of his unrequited love for Deok Sun, him being playfully crass with her like a friend but always helping her out too. Confessing his love for his own closure even when the feelings that Deok Sun had towards him were irrelevant makes him a fan favorite K-drama male lead. However, the teeniest consolation for us fans is that at least the actors Ryu Joon Yeol and Hyeri ended up together in real life and have been going strong for years.

Also Read: Top 6 Best K-Dramas And Movies Of Wi Ha Joon: The ‘Squid Game’ Actor

Hwang Yong Shik, from When The Camellia Blooms (2019)

Played By Kang Ha Neul

Viewers of the K-drama When The Camellia Blooms could help but fall head over heels for Viewers of the K-drama When The Camellia Blooms could help, but fall head over heels for Hwang Yong Shik, who confessed his lady-love Dong Baek by saying he cannot indulge in the push & pull tactics of confessing love, and neither can play hard-to-get too well. Even if their meeting started off on the wrong foot as Hwang Yong Shik couldn’t keep his eyes off of her in a bookstore because she was too pretty, which creeped Dong Baek out, Hwang Yong Shik proved his good intentions by always being supportive, protective, and encouraging towards her and standing beside her as the community continually ostracized her for being an orphan and a single mother.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Hwang Yong Shik

Despite fancying himself to be a “cunning brat who wants to seduce her,” Hwang Yong Shik has won the hearts of K-drama watchers everywhere for being a straightforward man who is not afraid of showing vulnerability at all. All thanks to the portrayal of Yong Shik by the massively versatile Kang Ha Neul, this sweet fool definitely earns a spot on the list of fan-favorite K-Drama male lead characters.

Goo Dae Young, from Let’s Eat series (2013)

Played By Yoon Doo Joon

For the foodie K-drama watchers who just can’t get enough of K-drama Mukbang compilations, The Let’s Eat series is a proper godsend! And the male lead of the show, Goo Dae Young, who is the one anchoring the storyline for multiple seasons, is just the cherry on top. When Goo Dae Young is not having emotional monologues about the delicious food he is eating and updating his famous food blog, we can see him help the season-specific female lead go through the various events in their lives, from helping them solve a murder mystery to supporting them through eating disorders. His passion for food and sweet guy-next-door nature make Yoo Doo Joon a certified fan-favorite K-drama male lead character. Watch Let’s Eat Season 1 on Amazon Prime.

Goo Dae Young

Also Read: Kdrama Leads That Would Even Impress Your Mom

Kim Shin Hyuk, from She Was Pretty (2015)

Played By Choi Siwan

To hell with Ji Sung Joon (this is not a Park Seo Joon slandering post, we promise!), all our K-drama watching homies root for the real one, Kim Shin Hyuk. And why not, after all, he fell in love with Kim Hye Jin when she was all in her curly-haired freckled-faced glory. Kim Shin Hyuk was the guy who supported Hye Jin even when she was down at her worst. The way he was the better person than Sung Joon was easy: he didn’t yell at or belittle her, didn’t treat her like a piece of trash, and wasn’t a crass, emotionally stunted person. And the fans argued Hye Jin had more chemistry with Shin Hyuk!

The motorbike riding crazy-guy Shin Hyuk, with the whacky sense of humor and a set of dimples to die for, has a solid place on a list of characters that gave viewers a severe case of the Second Lead Syndrome also thus is a fan-favorite K-drama male lead. Watch She Was Pretty on Netflix.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Kim Shin Hyuk

Ko Dong Man, from Fight For My Way (2017)

Played By Park Seo Joon

Speaking of Park Seo Joon, he almost always becomes a fan-favorite with any lead role he plays. The roles he played in the dramas like Itaewon Class (2020) and What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018) were certified hits and proved that he was now able to pick out roles of likable lead characters after his questionable character in She Was Pretty (2015). Of course, fans especially loved his portrayal of Ko Dong Man in Fight For My Way and couldn’t get enough of the sweet yet sizzling chemistry with Kim Ji Won’s Choi Ae Ra, with whom he was childhood friends with.

As the characters helped each other realize and fight for their childhood dreams, fans couldn’t help but love the way they portrayed realistic struggles related to love and career people have to face. Park Seo Joon’s comedic timing (refer to scenes like Ko Dong Man making his bed sturdier, Ko Dong Man having an aegyo-battle with Ae Ra). Watch the show on Netflix.

Ko Dong Man doing aegyo.

Also Read: Park Seo Joon On His Filming Experience In the Upcoming ‘The Marvels’

Lee Ik Jun, from Hospital Playlist series (2020)

Played By Jo Jong Suk

Arguably one of the most “perfect” male characters written for Korean television, the Hospital Playlist scriptwriter Lee Woo Jung packed the character of Doctor Lee Ik Jun with every positive attribute a person can possibly have: smartness, being wise and understanding, helpful to his peers and even to strangers, a total social butterfly, a good singer, and a skilled guitarist, and topping it all off with handsome looks. In fact, the only regrettable aspect of his personality is that he is too sacrificing!

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Lee Ik Joon

Lee Ik Joon is the associate professor of general surgery of The Yulje Medical Center, who, apart from saving lives, is also a divorced dad who tries to do his best at taking care of his son. Viewers had the time of their lives watching Ik Jun dancing around the hospital premises wiggling his hips, getting into funny antics like unintentionally outing a secret relationship of his fellow doctors, and when all this is supplemented by the fact that the freaking Prince of Charisma Jo Jung Suk is playing the character, no wonder Lee Ik Jun is a fan-favorite K-drama male lead character.

Also Read: Jeon Mi-do Net Worth: How Much Does the Hospital Playlist Actress Earn?

Vincenzo Cassano, from Vincenzo (2021)

Played By Song Joong Ki

There is not a part of the heart that hasn’t already been stolen or melted by Song Joong Ki but him playing the morally-grey hero who catches villains in Vincenzo just hit different: from him hilariously sprouting random phrases in Italian and sometimes English, his electrifying chemistry with Hong Cha Young (played by the equally charismatic Jeon Yeo Bin) and more made viewers come back for more every week.

Of course, because of the re-watch value, people couldn’t stop watching the series over and over on Netflix either. A character like Vincenzo Cassano has not been seen in K-dramas until now, and even Song Joong Ki confesses that it’s the most exciting character he has been given a chance to play yet in his career.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Vincenzo Cassano

Also Read: Song Joong Ki Reveals Lee Junho’s Driving Skills At His Fan Meeting

Jung Joon Hyung, from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)

Played By Nam Joo Hyuk

Jung Joon Hyung was the college-level swimmer who had been helped by the weightlifter Kim Bok Joo back when they were children, and when they chance upon each other many years later, they create small screen magic, and the rest is history! Viewers did appreciate a male character whose problematic family life issues didn’t translate to being a toxic person to others, which makes him a fan-favorite K-drama male lead.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Jung Joon Hyung

In fact, the only time Jung Joon Hyung showed signs of jealousy (When Kim Bok Joo called Ji Soo “oppa”) made the viewers squeal with delight. Viral clips from the show have made it into the feeds of even non-K-drama watchers, so we don’t need to say much about the hilarious relationship between Bok Joo and Joon Hyung that is of love with a generous helping of friendly savagery. You can watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo on Netflix.

Also Read: Is NamLee Dating Again, Are Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Stars Back Together?

Nam Se Hee, from Because This Is My First Life (2017)

Played By Lee Min Ki

Nam Se Hee, from our favorite Korean drama based on the ‘forced proximity’ trope Because This Is My First Life is like South Korea’s answer to Sheldon Cooper in that he too is of a quirky, apathetic, and meticulous nature, but what makes him so swoon-worthy to viewers is his polite way of making his love known, and his actions always showing that the people around him are his first priority. Everything from his expressive poker-face to his love for his cat to his thoughtful nature makes this man of few words a worthy entry in the list of fan-favorite K-Drama male lead characters.

fan favorite K-Drama male lead

Nam Se Hee with his cat named “Cat”.

Seo Joon Hee, from Something in the Rain (2018)

Played By Jung Hae In

Jung Hae In played the younger-aged lover of Son Ye Jin’s character Yoon Jin Ah in the show. Viewers appreciated the writing of the show by Kim Eun, which did not fetishize the noona-lover relationship, and instead showed Seo Joon Hee as a person whose age didn’t define his maturity.

Seo Joon Hee

He stood by and fought for Yoon Jin Ah throughout the whole show and with his warm support and many tribulations due to the harsh criticisms had to face from her mother, set a standard for the character arch-type of a younger-aged boyfriend in K-dramas. Hence, Seo Joon Hee is one of the fan-favorite K-Drama male lead characters ever.

Also Read: Son Ye Jin and Jung Hae In’s ‘Something In The Rain’ To Get An Indian Remake

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This is a staff account for OtakuKart Team.

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