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Dramas, Special Features, Original Features

The 10 strongest heroines in K-Dramas ranked

By eric_r_wirsing   Tuesday, December 13, 2016   70,525   5,383   0



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There are tons of K-Dramas, and tons of heroines. They come in all shapes and sizes. There are firebrands liable to explode at the drop of a hat, there are weeping willows who dissolve in tears more than once an episode, and there is the flustered every-woman just trying to get by. But this is not about them. These are the heroines who are strong, without being over-the-top rude or angry. The ones who are exceptional, the ones who kick butt, the ones unwilling to back down when things get hard. So, ranked from last to first, here are the ten K-Drama heroines with true grit:

#10 Ha Ji Won as Gil Ra Im in 'Secret Garden'

A tough-as-nails stuntwoman whose life is complicated when a CEO falls for her. She's also a tough nut to crack, despite what her potential monster-in-law tosses at her. At one point, she is every bit the action hero, speeding to the set in Joo Won's sports car and trouncing a bevy of movie baddies. I guess you can say they got a kick out of her.

#9 Seo Ye Ji as Shim Soon Duk in 'Murim School'

In a school where mastering yourself is as important as mastering martial arts, Soon Duk distinguished herself as a top student. She also managed to save Chi Ang from drowning and both our male heroes from vicious wolves. When she got kidnapped, I found myself asking, "How the heck did they overpower her?"

#8 Shin Se Kyung as Oh Cho Rim/Choi Eun Seol in 'The Girl Who Can See Smells'

After witnessing the murder of her parents, she awoke from a coma with no memory and the ability to see smells -- they appear as distinct, glowing patterns. Just this ability alone, as well as being willing to track down the murderer, gives her this rank. Who needs a K-9 unit when you have her?

#7 Z.HERA as Park Soon Duk, wife to the 10th Prince in 'Scarlet Heart: Ryeo'

While they spent more time on her tumultuous marriage than on her skills, Park Soon Duk is anything but a housewife. She is, for lack of a better word, a tomboy -- someone who enjoys being active more than being beautiful. Just being able to beat the palace guards while playfighting (not to mention wearing bearskin that freaks out the princes) is enough to guarantee her a spot on this list.

#6 Suzy as Dam Yeo Wool in 'Book of the House of Gu'

Her whole story is officially badass. Dad trained her as an archer, and this hawkeyed hottie falls in love with a gumiho who loves someone else. Of course, her true love is endangered by a black-hearted nobleman. Not to mention the prophecy that foretells her doom. And that mouthwatering scene where she takes out hordes of assassins in the forest? Priceless.

#5 Park Min Young as Kim Na Na in 'City Hunter'

Aside from being the President's bodyguard (already certified awesome), she has a determination that is totally endearing. She wants her phone, so she sets off the alarm in Yoon Sung's ride to get his attention. Not only that, she uses her mad martial arts skills to knock our hero prone -- a prime position for a kiss.

#4 Kim So Yeon as Kim Sun Hwa in 'Iris'

The character has appeared in three linked series -- 'Iris,' 'Iris II,' and 'Athena: Goddess of War.' This fetching femme fatale tried to kill our main character in 'Iris,' only to defect soon after and help him -- because she's in love. She doesn't go soft on us though, vowing revenge and blowing through throngs of North Korean agents in the later shows.

#3 Park Shin Hye as Yoo Hye Jung in 'Doctors'

This doctor has a bedside manner that will knock you out -- literally. This rags to riches story is as good as it gets: a hood who hit the books and became a top neurosurgeon. That alone is remarkable. She busts heads with the best of them, and cracks open more than skulls -- like the deep corruption at the hospital she worked at.

#2 Yoon So Yi as Yoo Min Joo in 'Hidden Identity'

Her spot is deserved just because she has endless chutzpah. How else do you explain her telling the bad guy that they've been following him for a while once her cover is blown? She's like a Bond villain -- "Before I kill you, Mr. Bond, let me tell you what we're up to." Also, deftly convincing a mom to cooperate and sell Dad down the river makes her one smooth operator. It's obvious she has brains as well as brawn.

#1 Lee Young Ah as Yoo Jung In in 'Vampire Prosecutor'

Jung In
is one driven chica, a top of her class prosecutor. But she gets frozen out for not being male or vampire. Violating the tropes of K-drama, she doesn't go cross-dressing or get depressed, she goes it alone. And sleuths like a boss. She's an unholy terror during an interrogation. She can also fight, and gangsters fall to her like wheat to a scythe. That's why she clinches our top spot. What's not to love?

So you have my list, and hopefully you enjoyed it. But you're free to disagree. Does this match your list? Who would you add or knock off? And why?

SEE ALSO: Jo Duk Jae revealed to be veteran actor in sexual molestation case

  1. misc.

young_in Friday, December 16, 2016

I like drama/movie which female become heroin's cool <3

lisa1307 Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ha Ji Won in Empress Ki was just the best😊

nami_chan Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ha ji won is amazing *:*

prady Wednesday, December 14, 2016

wasn't ha ji won also an assassin in a drama with lee seung gi?

suflitta prady Wednesday, December 14, 2016

yes,an elite soldier from north korea The King 2 Heart

mydisplayname Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Um...Signal's Cha Soo Hyun played by Kim Hye Soo is probably one of the stongest female characters i've seen in a drama. She's pretty much consistent.

Aleeis Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Uh, yeah no. You missed so many strong heroines. You could probably add most of Ha Ji Won's characters to the top 10 list. Like how could you leave out Seung Nyang, one of the strongest female characters to grace K-drama land, whether in physical battle, wit and smarts, or decked out in full empress gear? Or Kim Hang Ah, the bad-ass (girl at heart) North Korean assassin who stood her ground in the face of danger and even against an entire country's opposition to her?

kalimilano Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ha Ji Won .. wonderful

hyungwxn Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Park Shin Hye in Doctors is amazing! I'm watching it right now:D

smokeee hyungwxn Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I like doctor dramas. How u compare that to doctor stranger and the one with the autistic doctor?

sava_q Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Han Groo as Cha Yeon-Jinin Killer Girl K

mickyhero Wednesday, December 14, 2016

kim bok ju weightlifting fairy!!

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