[Ishani's Picks] Top 10 K-Drama Characters That You Cannot Help But Love
By Ishani Sarkar | Published on
Characters are what make a story. A huge reason for the appeal of Korean dramas has been its characters: sometimes larger than life, sometimes brilliantly ordinary and other times, completely fantastical. There might be many dramas where you loved the characters more than you did the story but it is nearly impossible to enjoy a story while despising its characters. Here are 10 K-Drama characters that you cannot help but love, ranked in no particular order.
Han Ji-pyeong - "Start Up"
The second male lead who stole the show and everyone's hearts, Han Ji-pyeong truly deserves all the love and affection he gets. Played by the charming Kim Seon-ho, this character exemplifies sacrifice and love that is not self-serving and yet, worth it.
Seong Deok-seon - "Answer Me 1988"
You might oscillate between Ryu Jun-yeol's Kim Jeong-hwan and Park Bo-gum's Choi Taek when it comes to the primary love interest of Seong Deok-seon in "Answer Me 1988" but there's no doubt that the most adored character is the centre of the love triangle, Seong Deok-seon herself, played by Hyeri.
Lee Joon-ki - "Welcome to Waikiki"
There has not been a funnier drama to come out of the Korean entertainment industry than "Welcome to Waikiki" ever since it was released. Even its own second season could not trump the popularity of the first one. While all the characters were equally incredible, Lee Joon-ki, played by Lee Yi-kyung, will always remain superior when it comes to being loveable (besides Sol, of course). His quirks, situational humour, comedic timing and pure unadulterated hilarity are iconic, to say the least.
Jeong Joon-hyeong - "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo"
If there has ever been a K-Drama character who has made innumerable people rethink their standards when it comes to romantic relationships, it has to be Jeong Joon-hyeong (Nam Joo-hyuk). Joon-hyeong showed the world what being a partner truly means: being there for someone and loving them through thick and thin. If that's not your ideal type, you probably just haven't watched this drama yet.
Lee Yong-tae - "Racket Boys"
Kim Kang-hoon endears himself to his audience regardless of the character that he plays. While his most beloved character has always been Pil-goo from "When the Camellia Blooms", his latest role as Lee Yong-tae in "Racket Boys" has surpassed the same. The main reason for this new development is that we can see a lot more of Kim Kang-hoon's own essence in the character.
Ji Eun-hyeok - "Suspicious Partner"
"Suspicious Partner" is one of the best romantic comedies of all time and it owes all its popularity to its colourful characters. While all the characters have their unique charms, Choi Tae-joon's Ji Eun-hyeok brightened up the scene whenever he appeared. From his back story that explained his current behaviors to his adorable idiosyncrasies, this character was simply too lovable.
Han-seong - "Hwarang"
In a drama about political intrigue, power struggles and royal conflicts, Han-seong, played by BTS member V brought a much-needed and unique sensibility, sweetness and charm. One of the most heartbreakingly painful scenes of the drama also revolved around Han-seong and his unapologetic sense of love and loyalty. We cannot help but love this character to pieces.
Hwang Yong-sik - "When the Camellia Blooms"
Love doesn't need to be old to be mature or young to be fresh. Hwang Yong-sik, played by Kang Ha-neul is one of the best-written romantic male leads of all time. What makes this character special is that he accepts his position as a supporting character in Dong-baek's life and empowers her to find her own strength rather than treating her like a damsel in distress. We definitely need more characters like this!
Kang Sae-byeok and Ji-yeong - "Squid Game"
Jung Ho-yeon's Sae-byeok and Lee Yoo-mi's Ji-yeong give us a beautifully poignant relationship in "Squid Game", representing a sentimentality that almost all of the other characters lack, especially when put in life-threatening situations. It would be a disservice to their story if we were to pick one of them since it is undeniable that both the characters reach a transcendent dimension because of each other. Without a doubt, Sae-byeok and Ji-yeong were two of the most beloved characters in the show.
By Ishani Sarkar
Ishani Sarkar is a Writer, Editor and Hallyu journalist with years of experience in writing about Korean art, entertainment and culture, editing and managing content as well as interviewing Korean artists and celebrities. Ishani Sarkar can be reached at email@example.com.