Korean Drama Antihero Characters – Not only in superhero films, but a series of antihero characters in Korean dramas also tend to invite the sympathy of the audience and appear full of charm.
For those of you who are film activists, of course, you are familiar with the term antihero character. The actual protagonist doesn’t have a heroic soul. Even so, this character still gets sympathy from the audience because he still has a human side.
This antihero character is amid both the protagonist and the antagonist. If the protagonist is willing to sacrifice doing good to block the antagonist’s bad intentions, the antihero character probably won’t do it. If he does, it is usually not on humanitarian grounds, but rather for personal interests.
One more thing, antihero characters usually also have traits that are contrary to legal norms and social norms. Well, if we usually see antihero characters being discussed around Marvel or DC Comics films, this time we will discuss antihero characters featured in Korean dramas.
Anyone? These are the antihero characters of Korean dramas with their memorable actions and make it hard to hate them.
1. Vincenzo Cassano – Vincenzo (2021)
Remember, how early Vincenzo (Song Joong-ki) was very ambitious with the gold that was under the Plaza Geumga temple? He was even willing to dive against Babylon to get gold. The character traits of antihero are anti-hero, aren’t they, usually when they do good things, they’re not based on humanity, but rather for personal interests.
Starting from his ambition to pursue gold and getting involved with Lawyer Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-bin), over time Vincenzo tries to achieve social justice in his way. As an adviser to the Italian mafia group, Vincenzo believed that evil must be fought with evil, so he became accustomed to punishing his enemies with violence and murder. Although at first, he looks aloof and intimidating, Vincenzo also has a comedic side that makes his actions even more memorable.
2. Do Hyun-su – Flower of Evil (2020)
Flower of Evil tells the story of Do Hyun-Su (Lee Joon-gi) who hides his dark past from his wife who works as a detective. During his time as husband and son of a daughter, he also behaved like a perfect husband, caring, and loving family. However, the truth about his true character begins to come to light when his wife investigates a series of murders related to him.
Although Hyun-su is shown as a serial killer, viewers can see that he often shows himself as a man who is far from dangerous. He looked warm especially when he was facing his little daughter. Despite his antisocial behavior and sociopath tendencies, he has his way of caring for those around him.
3. Ji Sun-woo – A World of Married Couple (2020)
The drama, which went viral last year, focused on the revenge process of Ji Sun-woo (Kim Hee-ae) after finding out that her husband, Lee Tae-oh (Park Hae-Joon), was having an affair. Why can Ji Sun-woo in this drama be called an antihero character? Because in the beginning, everyone would support him. However, when he found out that he had done something immoral, namely sleeping with a man who was the husband of his friend, the audience was instantly disappointed.
Even though he did this bad thing, he has his own goals for his life and his children. This he did to dismantle Lee Tae-oh’s finances. He also often does some bad things too because he is cornered by bad people who oppose him. He also has little choice but to play dirty, because everyone around him is playing dirty against him.
4. Na Yi-Je – Doctor Prisoner (2019)
Doctor Prisoner tells the story of Na Yi-Je (Namgoong Min), a genius surgeon whose career is suddenly ruined when he is accused of malpractice. This forced him to be discharged from the hospital where he worked. After getting his license to practice again, Yi-Je decides to work as the head of the medical clinic at the prison,
The decision was no ordinary decision, but a prelude to Yi-je’s revenge. Through working in prison, Yi-Je wants to approach the influential people who inhabit the prison to take revenge on the hospital that overthrew her. Just like Vincenzo, Na Yi-je’s character also uses cunning tactics to defeat his enemies.
5. Choi Yoo-jin – The K2 (2016)
Do you still remember the character Choi Yoo-jin in K2, the stepmother Go Anna (Im Yoon-ah)? Although we initially saw him as an antagonist character. However, Yoo-jin’s character is arguably an antihero character.
The reason is, what he does to achieve his goals (even though he almost doesn’t care about the lives of other humans) is a demand from his terrible state and many enemies. Especially towards the last episode, we see how he is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of Go Anna.
You could say Choi Yoo-jin’s character is much more complex than the protagonist, Go Anna, whose demeanor is pure and innocent. As we know and understand that humans are inherently imperfect, and Yoo-jin seems like a woman who just isn’t satisfied with what she has. He wasn’t a good person, but he wasn’t a bad person either. He still has a human side that is difficult to make the audience not empathize with him.
6. Kim Tae-hyun – Yong Pal (2015)
This action, romance, and medical genre drama tell the story of a surgeon who practices secretly outside a hospital. Most of his patients are gangsters and common criminals. He is Kim Tae-Hyun (Joo Won), a doctor who decides to join a group of other unscrupulous doctors to treat an heir who is in a coma.
He agreed to help the heir who offered him some money to help him escape from the hospital. Although Tae-Hyun is not a moral doctor, he does it for the good of his brother who is suffering from kidney disease. Tae-Hyun needs a lot of money to be able to pay his brother’s medical bills and be free from debt collectors.
7. Seo Jeong-hu – Healer (2014)
Healer tells the story of a courier who is paid handsomely to do illegal things. He is Seo Jeong-hu (Ji Chang-Wook). The courier lives in a secret hideout that few people know about. He also only communicates with his colleague who is a hacker.
Although Seo Jeong-hu tends to be anti-social, his skills in carrying out his missions successfully make the audience amazed. Although he often does illegal things, he stays away from murder.
He was serious about doing his job not even because he had an immoral desire, but to save up so he could buy a private island. So, Seo Jeong-hu’s anti-social nature came not from his desires, but the demands of his job that made him the person he is.
The antihero characters in the Korean drama above appear most memorable and steal attention. From the list of characters above, how many have succeeded in winning your heart?