Gone are the days where damsels in distress are the most common trope in K-dramaland. Instead, characters who are or become strong women who speak their minds have become the trend. While there’s no shortage of inspirational leads to admire, characters who can literally kick ass are especially girl crush worthy.
Check out some highly capable women who are forces to be reckoned with here.
Gang Seo-hae — Sisyphus: The Myth
As a survivor living in a war-ravaged future, Gang Seo-hae (Park Shin-hye) has learned how to fight for her life. Sisyphus just recently began, but we’ve already seen Seo-hae exhibit close combat fighting and a variety of shooting skills.
It’s such a refreshing change to see the female lead save the male lead in her quest to save the world. She’s aware that she’s putting her life on the line, but she remains confident and optimistic. How badass is she when she says “I’m not going to die today” ?!
Seo Yi-kyung — Sweet Home
Sweet Home’s Seo Yi-kyung (Lee Si-young) is a character created for the series and not in the original webtoon, but her character is essential and much loved. As a former firefighter, Yi-kyung makes smart decisions to keep the residents as safe as possible and displays leadership.
She shows bravery and volunteers herself for dangerous missions despite her personal circumstances. One of Yi-kyung’s most amazing moments is when she’s fighting the spider monster in the vents. Oh, and did we mention her amazing ripped muscles?
Do Ha-na — The Uncanny Counter
Do Ha-na (Kim Se-jeong) is a Counter who has super strength and is able to sense evil spirits from far away in The Uncanny Counter. Leaping through the air and fighting demons is routine for this Counter. Although she appears a bit gruff at first, we see that she suffers from guilt and trauma due to being the only person to survive the poisoning that killed her parents and sister. Tough and resilient, she’s also a source of support for So Mun who is the newest Counter on their team. Her elevator fight scene is especially memorable!
Do Bong-soon — Strong Girl Bong-soon
Strong Girl Bong-soon centers on Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young) who has supernatural strength. While she has tried to keep her strength hidden for whole life, Bong-soon begins to stop caring as she pursues a misogynistic kidnapper. Disproving her cute and demure image, she beats up bad guys easily. Even though she thought her strength was more of a curse than a blessing, Bong-soon learns to no longer be ashamed of it. She’s definitely a superhero after our hearts.
Cha Hyeon — Search: WWW
Search WWW centers on three strong professional women, but the most badass of the three is definitely Cha Hyeon (Lee Da-hee). She always stands up for herself whether she needs to smack her cheating boyfriend upside the head or beat up a pervert in an elevator.
Having a judo athlete background comes in handy when she’s laying down her own form of justice. She also proves herself to be a good friend when she helps Bae Ta-mi get revenge by wrecking someone’s car with baseball bats. You definitely don’t want to get on Cha Hyeon’s bad side.
Jang Man-wol — Hotel Del Luna
Hotel Del Luna also features a fiery main character in Jang Man-wol (IU). Prior to becoming the owner of a hotel for dead souls, Man-wol was a fierce soldier who slayed many people. While fulfilling her hotel owner duties for over 1,000 years, the Man-wol we see in the present is still bold and deftly overpowers bad spirits. She’s also not above scaring misbehaving humans while being dressed to the nines. If you have a ghost problem, you’ll want to hit up Man-wol.
Go Hae-ri — Vagabond
Vagabond is full of intrigue and action, and the same can be said for Go Hae-ri (Bae Suzy). As a covert operative for the NIS, Hae-ri has to lead a double life as a cover. Her character is shrewd and begins to piece the truth behind the fatal plane crash alongside Cha Dal-geon. Her special training comes in handy when apprehending opponents and escaping risky situations. On top of all this, she’s also loyal enough to go to jail in order to find out what happened to Dal-geon.
Go Ae-shin — Mr. Sunshine
Mr. Sunshine’s Go Ae-shin is both a courageous independence fighter and a member of the aristocratic class. With her parents dying while fighting for Korea’s independence, Ae-shin also takes up the cause on her own and learns how to skillfully use a rifle.
As a noblewoman, she could easily turn a blind eye and enjoy the comforts her place in society comes with. However, she chooses to be brave and leap across roofs fighting against enemies and for her country’s sovereignty.
Cha Soo-hyun — Signal
Signal’s Cha Soo-hyun is a detective who leads a team that investigates long-term cold cases. As the drama has two timelines, one in 1989 and one in 2015, we see Soo-hyun as a timid rookie officer in 1989 and an experienced detective in 2015.
Tackling dangerous criminals is just another day’s work for the empathetic detective. Even though it’s been 15 years since her mentor disappeared, she doesn’t give up searching for him. The world is a better place with officers like Cha Soo-hyun.
Ahn Eun-young — The School Nurse Files
Having the ability to see the hidden world of “jellies,” school nurse Ahn Eun-young gets rid of malignant jellies to protect students in The School Nurse Files. While she has unconventional weapons like a toy sword and BB gun, she’s an expert at exterminating harmful jellies.
There are times when Eun-young dislikes her special ability and wants to be normal, but she ends up helping people even though she doesn’t get any credit for it. Eccentric but loveable, Ahn Eun-young sure knows how to kick jellies’ butts.
Which of these kickass characters are among your favorites? Watch all of them in action on Netflix!