It is no mystery that men in Korean dramas often have viewers falling head over heels for them – not just based on their dashing good looks, but also their charming personalities. From a bad boy like Choi Young Do in The Heirs, to the handsome yet narcissistic Lee Young Joon in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, we’re all guilty of daydreaming about these fictional heartthrobs as actual people. Since this is a judgement-free zone, here are 10 K-drama leading men that we hoped were physically real to further fuel your imagination.
#1 Na Won Deuk in 100 Days My Prince
After experiencing an attack that causes him to lose his memory, crown prince Lee Yool (EXO’s Do Kyung Soo) unknowingly transforms into Won Deuk, a man of low status who enters a marriage of convenience with a peasant spinster. Despite his initial hesitation about his engagement, he soon proved to be a swoon-worthy lead when his feelings start to develop for his partner, and he begins to be a lot more romantic and protective. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a way with words, especially when you’re in need of comfort and he leaves you with a sweet promise to be with you forever. Aww!
#2 Jang Sun Kyul in Clean With Passion For Now
Falling in love with a germaphobe can result in a trying relationship, but Jang Sun Kyul (Yoon Kyun Sang) is able to prove otherwise when he falls in love with the part-time worker of his cleaning company. Due to forces that had them going back-and-forth about their feelings for one another, Sun Kyul’s determination to get the girl pushes him out of his comfort zone, culminating with a genuine confession towards the object of his affection. Despite struggling to create a sense of normalcy due to his extreme fear of germs, it’s the effort that he puts into the relationship which makes him such an ideal man.
#3 Choi Gun in Clean With Passion For Now
Though he is the second lead of the show, Choi Gun (Song Jae Rim) is still capable of holding his own when it comes to romance. Known as the mysterious neighbour with a hidden identity, he shows no signs in letting his secret lord over the way he behaves whenever his love interest is around. His quiet, caring personality also manages to waver hearts because who can resist a guy who’s always there in your time of need? Unlike the male lead, Choi Gun is a lot more straightforward and honest with his feelings which is something every girl can appreciate in a growing relationship.
#4 Do Kyung Seok in My ID Is Gangnam Beauty
Compared to most K-drama male leads, Do Kyung Seok (ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo) is a very different kind of character who does not fit the usual mould. Gifted in reading a person from the way they behave and react, he never makes assumptions about anyone unless there’s proof that he has seen for himself. And his unique personality doesn’t just stop there – receiving his affection is not a difficult task either, as he priorities a person’s personality over their looks which means his love isn’t based on superficial factors. What a gentleman!
#5 Kang Bok Soo in My Strange Hero
There’s nothing quite like a high school romance that sets your heart aflutter. Kang Bok Soo (Yoo Seung Ho) is the shining example of a first love who returns to his high school after being wrongfully dismissed nine years ago. Though he may be on the path of revenge because of what had happened in the past, Bok Soo is able to balance his vengeance with the amorous, goofy side of him while he continues to court his former crush with sweet gestures and lovey-dovey expressions that are just too cute to handle!
#6 Ji Soo Hoo in Radio Romance
As an actor, it is often difficult to navigate through any personal relationships given the scrutiny from the public. Despite his struggle to overcome this hurdle while fighting off being controlled by his mother, Ji Soo Hoo (Highlight’s Yoon Doo Joon) is adamant on changing himself to become a man worthy of his name. Although prideful, there are times when he would let down his guard to show his vulnerabilities and insecurities in front of people he cares about. His ability to step back as the stereotypical dominant male of the relationship to give his other half the reigns, is what helps to make a relationship better.
#7 Hwang Woo Joo in SKY Castle
In comparison with the rest of the characters from the competitive SKY Castle world, Hwang Woo Joo (SF9’s Kang Chan Hee) is the opposite of all the uptight youngsters who receives top scores without professional tutoring. Apart from his smarts, Woo Joo is also extremely good-natured and wholeheartedly devoted to whoever has his heart. His determined adoration creates a sense of stability, which ensures an unlikely situation where his feelings would waver – pretty much everything a girl can ask for in a guy.
#8 Seo Do Jae in The Beauty Inside
Seo Do Jae (Lee Min Ki) is a man who takes unconditional love to a whole new level. In addition to him having a successful life, he unfortunately also suffers from prosopagnosia which leaves him unable to recognise people’s faces. But he doesn’t let his disability hinder his daily life, including his pursuit for the woman he loves. He is also an exemplary gentleman who sees pass the flaws of his romantic interest, and always goes above and beyond to ensure her happiness.
#9 Lee Yoon in The Last Empress
Regardless of his royal status as a prince, Lee Yoon (Oh Seung Yun) has a lovable and carefree personality that makes him different from similar noble roles in Korean dramas. Unlike his counterparts, he doesn’t conform to the rules of aristocracy and instead chooses to live like an ordinary person. Apart from being down-to-earth with an adorable disposition, Lee Yoon’s impishness is also what makes him such a joy to be around. Just look at that smile!
#10 On Joon Young in The Third Charm
Before he became the flawless and handsome On Joon Young (Seo Kang Joon), he was a goofy nerd with braces, glasses and a bad hairdo. On top of being a clumsy sweetheart who seemingly faces many internal struggles about his self-worth, Joon Young is someone who dedicates every fibre of his being into a relationship. Though this can be viewed as a stifling quality, it can also be seen as a courageous trait since it isn’t easy for a man to wear his heart on his sleeve, and any girl should be so lucky to have such an honest partner.