PICK: Five Thrilling Action Hero K-dramas

best hero kdramas

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

The new Disney Plus series Moving tells the story of children living in the present, hiding their superpowers, and their parents living with their painful secrets concealed. From the ability to fly to instant healing and terrifying superstrength, each possesses distinct superpowers. The show meticulously builds the characters’ narratives, heightening the anticipation for their imminent battle against a looming colossal threat. In this article, we introduce five thrilling Korean action hero dramas that offer the same exhilarating sensation as Moving.

The Uncanny Counter 2 (2023)

Back for a second season, The Uncanny Counter continues to energize audiences as a successful adaptation of a webtoon. The demon-hunting Counters are as lively as ever, with Soo Mun (Jo Byung Gyu) inspiring trust with his growth since an unfortunate family history. The new Counter Na Juk Bong (Yoo In Soo) joins in, infusing vitality. Their demonic adversaries are formidable, with Extraordinary Attorney Woo actor Kang Ki Young and The Glory star Kim Hieora as powerful demons absorbing the Counter’s abilities. Jin Seon Kyu appears as a firefighter who experiences a tragic incident and becomes malevolent, creating taut tension. Amidst these changes, the Counters’ actions remain satisfying as they punish evildoers like domestic abusers and loan sharks while lending a hand to neighbors in need.

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper (2023)

The unfamiliar Cultural Heritage Administration is the stage for the hero Dae Myeong (Joo Won) in Stealer: The Treasure Keeper. Dae Myeong follows in his father’s footsteps, becoming a government official, but his cultural heritage retrieval efforts repeatedly meet resistance from higher-ups. Eventually, he compromises with reality and half-heartedly does his job, but he becomes suspected of collusion with the art thief Skunk. As the plot unfolds, Dae Myeong’s hidden identity is revealed: living a double life as an ordinary office worker by day and skilled art thief Skunk by night. Joo Won’s dashing performance as a dark hero and his desperate emotional portrayal of seeking the truth about his parents’ deaths are superb. Glimpsing the history of Joseon through cultural heritage recovery is a delightful bonus.

Bad and Crazy (2021)

Bad and Crazy narrates the story of a corrupt detective, Su Yeol (Lee Dong Wook), who meets the righteous madman K (Wi Ha Jun), intent on correcting him through violence. As the product of the successful collaboration of The Uncanny Counter makers, Director Yu Seon Dong and Writer Kim Sae Bom, Squid Game star Wi Ha Jun, and top actor Lee Dong Wook, the show garnered attention even before the broadcast. The series joyfully depicts the bickering duo’s struggles to prevent evildoers, revealing early on that K is, in fact, Su Yeol’s alter ego stemmed from trauma.

Rugal (2020)

Rugal is a rare Korean SF action drama focusing on the “human weapon” theme, adapted from a webtoon. A secret organization called Rugal, composed of individuals enhanced with biotech, battles the ruthless terrorist group Argos. Choi Jin Hyuk portrays a detective who loses his wife and sight to Argos, then is framed for her murder, while Park Sung Woong plays Argos’s mastermind Hwang Deuk Gu. The drama enhances immersion through the narrative of victims resurrected as Rugal members, providing body-slamming, impactful action with minimal computer graphics.

Strong Girl Bong-soon (2017)

Strong Girl Bong-soon charmed audiences with its unique premise: a super-strong female protagonist. Stemming from the question, “What if women were stronger than men?” the show follows the righteous exploits and sweet romance of supernaturally strong Bong Soon, played by the lovable Park Bo Young. Her love story with Park Hyung Sik sets hearts aflutter for viewers. The success of the drama led to the spinoff Strong Girl Nam-soon, starring Lee Yoo Mi, Ong Seong Wu, and Byeon Woo Seok, with special appearances by Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik, set to air later this year.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

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