In the past decade, Korean dramas usually feature weak female protagonists who need to be protected by the male lead. Most of the films revolve around the male lead and from there, the actions and behaviors of the female lead interact with the male lead. No matter what the situation, the male lead will suddenly appear in time to protect the female lead. This gradually creates a stereotype, just like Disney’s Cinderella, making viewers easily bored and able to predict the end of every episode.

But in recent years, the list K-Drama has started to have many bright spots with new female leads that are brave, strong or have a unique and eccentric personality. They do not need protection from the male lead, but on the contrary, always create active situations, bringing viewers from one surprise to another. Here are five Korean dramas with strong female leads, loved by millions of viewers.

1. Doctors (2016)

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Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) is an incredibly talented neurosurgeon in Doctors. Growing up in a bad condition, not receiving good education, she developed several bad habits during her teenage years. However, on her journey to adulthood, she decided to change and pursue the dream on her own. Despite all difficulties and challenges, Yoo Hye Jung became a talented neurosurgeon and worked at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country. This is also a character with a “tough” expression, making viewers extremely excited to watch.

2. Weightlifting fairy Kim Bok Joo (2017)

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Weightlifting is considered a profession or a traditional sport that evokes the impression of being strong and masculine. However, the writer of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo has shown us the image of a strong but lovely girl through its female lead. Although Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) has a big body and is far from normal beauty standards, Kim Bok Joo is always charming and also very cute. Her honest, straight and independent personality has made Bok Joo score in the hearts of the audience without the need for excessive protection of the male lead.

3. Strong girl Bong Soon (2017)

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Right from the name – Strong girl Bong Soon, the audience was able to imagine the character that the writer wanted to build. And literally, Do Bong Soon is a girl who was born with amazingly strong abilities. Born with superhuman strength, Do Bong Soon can lift even a bus and everything easily, without breaking a single sweat. Contrary to the female protagonists nestled in the arms of the male lead, Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) is placed in the active position when acting as a bodyguard for the male lead. Bad jokes and funny situations also make the audience fascinated after each episode.

4. Fight for My Way (2017)

5-female-leads-that-break-cinderella-stereotype-in-korean-dramas-5Unlike the other female characters on this list, Choi Ae Ra (by Kim Ji Won) portrayed a different personality. All the cunning, sly, ingenious characteristics are gathered in this girl. No matter how much trouble comes at her, Choi Ae Ra is always extremely brave to face them. Along with the tragic love story with the male lead Dong Man (Park Seo Joon), Choi Ae Ra makes viewers comfortable watching the details related to her struggled youth. She is also a funky character who is a bit innocent but also very daring. And if anyone tries to mess with her, she will be able to defeat them herself without the help of her boyfriend.

5. Hotel Del Luna (2019)

Hotel Del Luna is a place between life and death, managed by a woman named Jang Man Wol (IU). At the beginning of the movie, Jang Man Wol was a cold-blooded, murderous person who killed a lot of people to avenge the person she loves the most. For hundreds of years, Jang Man Wol is still stuck in the endless timeline.

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The owner of a mysterious hotel, Jang Man Wol is depicted stunning, powerful and brave. She is also the person who often protects the male lead from the troubles of the two worlds and makes the audience fall in love because of her somewhat bland personality. Although she has existed for hundreds of years, she still keeps her lovely appearance and a bit of clumsiness which makes viewers excited.