Bubbly, outgoing, positive, and friendly female leads used to dominate the K-drama realm, but introvert characters are also on the rise.
It is often that we see headstrong, optimistic, and friendly female leads in K-dramas. However, recent years have also introduced many characters with quieter personalities and somewhat weaker presence. Below are some iconic K-dramas that feature these “introverted” female leads, who provide a different charm.
Kim Ji Won in “My Liberation Notes”
“My Liberation Notes” is perhaps an expert at writing “introverted characters”, as all the major cast are written in a realistic and in-depth manner.
A female lead of this K-drama is Yeom Mi Jeong (Kim Ji Won), who grew up in a poor countryside family with 3 siblings, and the youngest after her eldest sister Yeom Ki Jeong (Lee El) and her older brother Yeom Chang Hee (Lee Min Ki). All of the siblings have their own set of struggles, especially when faced with the hectic pace of Seoul.
Yeom Mi Jeong is a token introvert, who prefers to be left alone in her very mundane life. She never participates in after work gatherings and parties and doesn’t have any close friends – all so that she wouldn’t miss the last train home.
However, despite being as normal as all of us, Mi Jeong always keeps a determined attitude about the future, and works hard to attain her goal. She doesn’t attempt any grandeur task, and yet has her own growth, making her an extremely relatable character in “My Liberation Notes”.
Park Eun Bin in “Do You Like Brahms”
In “Do You Like Brahms”, Park Eun Bin transformed into the female lead Chae Song Ah, who always dreamed of becoming a professional violinist. She’s closed-off and struggles to make friends, and yet decides to make a drastic decision: giving up on her economic degree to pursue her love for the arts.
This leads to Song Ah joining a music university as a violin major at the age of 29 and going against the wishes of her family. However, her path to the violin dream is at best rocky, as Song Ah constantly ranked at the bottom of the class, was not allowed to perform, harshly criticized, and getting more reserved the more she went on.
At the same time, she gets involved in a “love triangle” with the male lead Park Joon Young (Kim Min Jae), and faces various other hardships.
While Song Ah is far from being the typical “passionate, strong, and outstanding” female lead, she shines in her own way, and the fact that she has endured all sorts of adversities in the name of her dreams is already extremely impressive.
Jung So Min in “Because This Is My First Life”
In “Because This Is My First Life”, the female lead Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) graduated from the prestigious Seoul University and dreamed of becoming a top screenwriter. However, she instead got stuck in the role of “screenwriter assistant”, who had to shove in various PPLs into a drama in less annoying manners.
Stuck between career and finance struggles, Ji Ho is reserved, worried, and lacks confidence in herself. She didn’t even have a place to live, and had to enter a fake marriage with the male lead Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) to reduce money burdens.
While the plot of “Because This Is My First Life” is far from being new, the realistic portrayal of Yoon Ji Ho and her relatable introverted personality kept viewers going from one episode to another.
Overall, this K-drama is a tactful work that’s full of both laugh and worries, with characters you can relate to and fall for.
Gong Hyo Jin in “When The Camellia Blooms”
In “When The Camellia Blooms”, the female lead Dong Baek (Gong Hyo Jin) started out as an orphan with various challenges in her life. She has a child with her lover, but was abandoned, and so, as a single mother, she moved to the town of Ongsan where she runs a bar called “Camellia” and faces the judgemental gaze of many others.
Thanks to her clear, gentle appearance, Dong Baek has made many men in the town fall in love with her, including the policeman Hwang Yong Sik (Kang Ha Neul). This made her the center of bad gossip from the people in town.
Dong Baek is regarded as a gentle, quiet woman with a private lifestyle, which is why she gets into so many troubles. However, the drama’s humanistic message is properly delivered thanks to actress Gong Hyo Jin’s excellent acting ability.
IU in My Mister
Lee Ji Ahn (IU) is a reserved person. She is straining to make ends meet while also caring for her ailing old grandma. Ji Ahn’s life is stuck in a rut because she has to sell off her self-worth while being harassed by creditors. But the small girl’s heart was still full of love for her grandmother and a fragile faith in life.
Unlike other Korean dramas with sweet love stories, My Mister’s innovative content and delivery, as well as its humanitarian message, have evoked strong emotions in the audience.