by XingBack, December 7, 2020
140

A while ago I had this funny but weird interaction with someone on MDL that seemed to have a problem with me enjoying and looking for "strong" female characters, so that gave me the final push to make a part 2 to my original "XingBack's Strong KDrama Female Characters".


First off I want to start this by defining what "strong" means in my book: 

A well written character (female or male) that is layered and different from the usual repetitive mould - i.e. the candy or the loud bully- and basically independent enough to function and stand on their own as characters.

A physically strong black belt that controls, bullies, kicks or belittles other people and never seems to accept anyone's opinion.


Now in real life everyone is "strong" in their own way, women or men that cry? Strong. Women or men that ask for help? Strong. Women or men that went through hardships? Strong

Writers that use trauma to add cheap depth to their characters? Not strong. Writers making the FL cry until the guy comes and saves the day? Not strong. Writers that put the FL in harms way so the ML comes and twirls her to safety? Not strong + annoying. Writers that makes their FLs loud, naggy or overly opinionated? Not strong. Writers that makes their FLs slap, punch and kick people? Not strong!

In this article I'll mention a few strong FLs. Usually I'm more kdrama centered but I added one from jdramas, one from a thai movie and one from a cdrama too.

Do you see the pattern? We are discussing fictional characters and what makes them "appealing", mostly to me ;)


Kim Seo Hyung in Nobody Knows (Cha Young Jin)

She was my dream detective, not just as a female but she was the most amazing detective in the history of television! 

She was calm and level headed but she was also compassionate and sweet. The past trauma didn't make her cold, reserved and jaded. She was a human. She cried, she smiled, she listened, she empathized, she admitted her mistakes and she asked for help when she had to.

She was a little too thin, but her fighting scenes were also better than male characters xD
I don't think I will be able to watch another crime show because of her ;)


Kim Hee Ae in The World of the Married (Ji Sun Woo)

I loved how she didn't take anyone's bs or depend on someone else to save her, though I think in the last quarter of the drama she went overboard so I stopped liking her but it was still fun to see her rattle people up.


Jung Hye In in Rugal (Song Mi Na)

I wish this drama was about her.  I got bored by the drama really fast, but she was just my style, and she kicked butt too~ I wish they gave her a love line with Han Tae Woong (Jo Dong Hyuk) as well :(


IU in Hotel del Luna (Jang Man Wol)

I just LOVE her, as a character, as an actress, as a fashion icon, as a cold yet funny precious bean, basically I just adore her ❣ I had a lot of fun watching her, I could even look at her for 1000 eps.


Gong Seung Yeon in Circle (Han Jung Yeon/Byul)

We see "byul" as a mysterious silent memory and later on as a normal college student trying to uncover the mystery surrounding her friend, and lastly as the mature and more mysterious "blue bird", and overall she was a great example of each of them. Even as a normal student she always tried hard to find the truth.


Amami Yuki in BOSS (Osawa Eriko)

She's my 2nd favorite "detective" after Cha Young Jin; she was a well balanced, smart, strong, conniving, caring, competent, independent yet quirky layered character. Even though the quality of the drama was old, I still want to watch the 2nd season one day.


Aokbab Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying in Bad Genius (Lynn)

I rarely watch Thai dramas/movies but I really loved her performance as Lynn. She was smart and manipulative yet still immature and awkward, and that created a nice complex layered character.


Seo Ye Ji in It's Okay to Not Be Okay (Ko Moon Young)

I adore SYJ, and Moon Young was just amazing. She was so complex, so not perfect, so layered that it was fun to watch her. Usually complex characters are given to the male lead so it was refreshing to see her. Plus her beeeauuutiful fashion sense was just a feast for the eyes❣


Bai Lu in Arsenal Military Academy (Xie Xiang)

I had issues with the pacing, the writing and the plot but Xie Xiang was on par with Ae Sin (Kim Tae Ri). She was so fun to tease, but better yet, she was hardworking, independent and smart. I especially loved it when by the end, when she got kidnapped, she was able to save herself and kick everyone butt without needing the ML to swoop in (again).


Jung Da Eun in Mystic Pop-Up Bar (Kang Yeo Rin)

She was such a pleasant surprise. She was a bodyguard so she was tough but behind that exterior she was a total UWU softie. She was confident yet shy, she was awkward yet she always went after what she wanted❣ Jung Da Eun did a great job portraying her, I hope to see her as a main role soon.


Stephanie Lee in When I Was the Most Beautiful (Amber)

People think I hate "cute", but I just hate "flat" characters.

Amber was actually the best representation of "spoiled" bubbly airheaded sweety. She was clingy but it was more because she was giving Hwan (Ji Soo) a chance rather than blindly following him because she loved him.
Later on when she saw how toxic he was she talked to him, yelled at him to stop acting that way then she broke up with him. But still she was the more mature person and the next time she met him she treated him as a friend rather then held a grudge or forgot what he did (that was the only good writing in there). Plus, she was also independent and took her job seriously. 

Even in Start-Up, Stephanie's character seems arrogant but she's caring and hardworking, overall she deserves a main role too ;)


Long story short, I love finding character driven stories, great female characters -and best of all- female driven plots❤

For me loving the female characters is 100x better than finding a good ML, though I also have a "different" view on when male leads are "great", but that's for another article (if anyone is interested to see my rankings of the "oppas" ;p)

I just wish to see more diversity, more layered and well written characters, that in my book deserve to be called "Strong", also XingBack approved since some people have issues with the word "strong" ;P

I started planning for this article since March 29, 2020, but I was in a slump (still am) so it took me longer than I thought to wrap this up, though I wrote all of the character descriptions in a day xD So until I make a third part, look at this List.

*Gif and picture credits to owners, all found around Google, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or recap pages. I made a couple of them too.

Editors: KimWanHee (1st editor)

circle lee ji eun gong seung yeon seo ye ji bai lu hotel del luna strong female characters rugal nobody knows the world of the married psycho but it's okay arsenal military academy kim seo hyung kim hee ae jung hye in amami yuki boss aokbab chutimon chuengcharoensukying bad genius jung da eun stepahine lee my prettiest moments

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