Oppa virus (n) – is a virtual addiction caught when the lead man in a Korean drama hits the heart of a kdrama fan. The affected woman will exhibit dreamy state after watching the episodes, grumpiness while waiting for the next episodes and craziness watching the cute and sweet scenes over and over again.
Let’s look back on the best Korean drama lead men in the past years who have covered almost every dream guy character there is. And as a known rule regardless if the character is young… if he is handsome, we call him “oppa”. *chuckles Let’s see if you remember them all.
Lee Young Jae/Rain in Full House – The top star who always have an everyday bickering session with his lead girl. He is so full of himself, but he sure know how to nurse his girl when she is sick. The cohabitation plot and the eventual romance build up is perky and engaging. I’m sure legit kdrama addicts will agree.
Jung Jae Min and Kang In Wook/Jo In Sung and So Ji Sub in What Happened in Bali – This is my first serving of second-lead syndrome. Who won’t be crossed between them? Albeit the sad ending, I enjoyed the promising portrayals So Ji Sub and Jo In Sung oppa offered that I accepted the let’s-all-die-together closure without any objections. *lol Now that I’m looking back on old melodramas, I can’t help but compare how agonizing they did it back then without so much weep fest compared to how they do it these days.
Kang Hyun Woo/Ji Sung in Save the last dance for me – Hyun woo’s story paved the pay to “the problematic chaebol prototype storyline mixed with series of unfortunate events before the love finally gets realized” drama trope prevalent to love stories in kdramaland. He went through the go-to-amnesia-conflict, survived the you-and-me-against-my-rich-family problem hence making my college self root for him. Brimming with cliches, the romantic melodrama maintained its beauty because of the heartfelt love fulfilment.
Kim Hyun Woo/Kim Rae Won in Lovestory in Harvard – Kim Rae Won can fit any dream guy character and make it work. His I’ll-be-your-hero love journey to his girl while challenging law school in Harvard was just as piercing as when they finally claimed their disrupted love when they became lawyers.
Choi Seung Hee/Kim Rae Won in What star did you come from – Laid back Seung Hee oppa moved mountains and solidified his top actor who really knows how to act status in this I-fell-in-love-with-twin-sisters drama. He made sure that his girl would not feel that he was trapped in her sister’s memories.
Hyun Jin Hun/Hyun Bin in My Lovely Samsoon – The guy who made all the chubby girls feel happy on the thought that a you-and-me-against-my-flabs-and-pesky-ex-gf is achievable. *chuckles
Gong Chan/Lee Dong Wook in My Girl – With the premise of hiring a fake cousin to appease his ailing rich grandpa and finding himself loving his fake cousin in the process, Gong Chan melts every woman’s heart with his cute submission to admit that he is in love. His impeccable chemistry with the con girl he hired established K-Drama trademark scenes that are modified and used in trendy rom-coms these days.
Lee Shin/Joo Ji Hoon in Goong/Princess Hours – Lee Shin I think is a fan girl favorite due to how he suited up well to the prince character he portrayed. His character emotions progressed in the story. He easily puts the women viewers on a romantic trance. His projection of a crown prince who got in an awkward arranged marriage to a normal girl is a runaway hit because every girl secretly wishes to meet their princes. He literally came out fresh from a fairy tale adding his sporadic temperament for a modern twist.
Jung Ji Oh/Hyun Bin in The World that they live in – This underrated drama is one of my favorite because of its spontaneity. Ji Oh oppa’s character is not coated and tailored fresh to feed on a woman’s euphoric delusions. His being rational in his approach to love is relatable and his interaction with his woman is soothing and realistic.
Choi Han Kyul/Gong Yoo in First Shop of Coffee Prince – Aloof cafe boss who struggled overanalyzing if he was falling in love with a guy is adorably fun. period. When he is liberated with the truth about his lead girl’s identity, boy he is so smooth in showering love to his woman making all lady viewers wanting to cross dress and find the hottest cafe owner in town. *wink
Gu Jun Pyo/Lee Min Ho in Boys over Flowers – Suiting up for a famous manga character, Gu Jun Pyo sweeps the women of kdramaland with his undeniable charisma and pretty face. His love approach started off bullying his girl but when he realizes how the girl seems to be lingering in his heart, he did adorkable things by parading his wealth and protecting his girl at all cost, even defying his witch-like mother. He is a living imaginary character testament that rich-guy-poor-girl love affair can be achieved at the right time.
Jo Guk/Cha Seung Won in City Hall – My ideal man is very close to Jo Guk’s brilliant character. He is smart and encouraging to his woman’s dreams. He listens well, contemplative and yet he gives you some charming surprises. His declaration of love amidst the lighted garden in the closing scene of this drama is still my favorite up to this date.
Seo In Woo/Park Shi Hoo in Prosecutor Princess – With his killer gaze and the secret-vengeance-twist-turned-love-wins plot, I liked that In Woo’s pained character chooses his emotions over revenge. He is blithe at one moment and then blatant at the next which makes an interesting combination on how he settled his issues with the woman who proved to him that she is more than his half-hearted-i-love-you.
Hwang Tae Kyung/Jang Geun Seok in You’re Beautiful – In the spirit of presenting how idol stars could be when they are in love, Hwang Tae Kyung and the rest of ANJELL’s fire up a following on how an idol star faces the same dilemma coffee prince did. He emerged victorious even with the second lead’s equally mesmerizing run for the lead girl’s hand. He operated on a stuffed toy, took care of her when she was sick and a lot more little things that melted the drama followers’ hearts.
Sungkyunkwan Scholars/Park Yoo Chun, Yoo Ah In, Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal – Before they became established lead men of their generation, they are the righteous, the charming and the dangerously sweet scholars of Sunkyunkwan. If you haven’t seen this drama, please free your time. More than the amazing story, you will be showered with pretty boy faces that will bring you good vibes.
Jun Jin Ho/Lee Min Ho in Personal Preference – He just walks in a drama set effortlessly bringing out the vibrancy of the character with his handsome face and charming demeanor. Architect Jin Ho not only protected Kae In’s heart, but he is there by her side while she chases on her dreams.
Cha Dae Woong/Lee Seung Gi in My GF is a Gumiho – Going extra mile to provide meaty food for his supernatural dream girl whom he has to protect against the rain, this vivacious love affair is well handed by Dae Woong’s yolo attitude matching the memorable quirky portrayal of Shin Min Ah. His I-will-be-here-for-you promise is enough to win every girl’s heart.
Kim Joo Won/Hyun Bin in Secret Garden – His sparkling jumpsuit, dimples and the thirst to prove his devotion to the stunt woman he loved took kdrama addicts in frenzy. The curl-up sweet scene as well as the coffee foam kiss frame still give a smile on my face when I remember it in passing.
Dokko Jin/Cha Seung Won in The Greatest Love – The top actor who fell in love with the struggling then-famous girl group member is lively with upbeat track turning the drama to a superb watch. The crazy antics and the zesty development of the love story is a runaway hit and the see how much i love you showcases of the mushy-man-in-love Dokko Jin will sweep you off your feet.
Kang Woo/Eric in Myungwol the Spy – Another top actor who uses efficiently a manual to woo a secret North Korean spy. It is no easy task but with genuine yearning, Kang Woo oppa moved me with his unwavering strength to conquer the divided country conflict that is hindering his romance to come true.
Lee Shin/Jung Yong Hwa in You’ve Fallen For Me – Served youthful and cute, Lee Shin is every college school girl’s dream boy. He reminds us of those days when we have secret crushes and when we do those silly things for our crushes to take notice.
Lee Yoon Sung/Lee Min Ho in City Hunter – There’s something appealing to a man with a dangerous job. His enigmatic performance is a high-octane hit and the added bonus of his suave ways of making his girl’s heart flutter is an icing on the cake.
Kang Ji Wook/Lee Dong Wook in Scent of a Woman – All a woman needs is for a man to stay by her side and support her dreams and worries. Ji Wook oppa encouraged his woman to chase her dreams and do whatever she wants when she realized too late how she has not done anything fulfilling in her life after unexpectedly receiving her death notice. He makes sure his terminally ill girlfriend would be loved by a man who knows how to love and stayed with her even if she kept pushing him away.
Cha Chi Soo/Jung Il Woo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – The persistent love chase of Chi Soo to his noona romance are most of the time hilarious, but definitely worth the effort. The rest of the flower boys alongside the main lead are added perks. The hero patiently warms up his heroine’s heart by playing cool, reliable and true to his love declaration.
Lee Jae Ha/Lee Seung Gi in King2Hearts – He proves that a man’s pure love can be a driving force to change for the better. In this utopian unified korea story, he is a delightful mix of a man every girl wants to have. Cheeky and charming, not perfect but caring, refraining from complicating things yet loving.
Choi Young/Lee Min Ho in Faith – Wielding sword has never been sexy until Choi Young. His suave and manly ways in protecting the time traveling lead doctor resurrects those girly dreams of a knight in a shining armour. *giggles That scene where he chewed on the meds to give to the sick lead girl through a fleeting kiss is oh so sweet.
Prince Lee Gak/Park Yoo Chun in Rooftop Prince – The quirky prince who traveled from the past to solve the murder mystery of his princess-to-be threw me at laughing fits when it was airing. He is so cute that Yoo Chun finally made my list of actors to watch. With an era he is not accustomed to, he is able to do one thing that is constant from the past and present – a sincere love.
Kim Boong Do/Ji Hyun Woo in Queen In Hyun’s Man – My smart dream man dwelled in my heart with his nimble mind and spontaneous ability to melt his woman with mushy scenes he is not aware of. He remains to be on my top favorite KDrama hero characters to this date.
Kim Tan/Lee Min Ho in The Heirs – What makes Kim Tan different from Gu Jun Pyo is his reckless attitude defying his family and not waiting if time will resolve something. He takes the risk to be with the girl he loved because it is how reckless love should be dealt with.
Joo Joong Won/So Ji Sub in The Master’s Sun – So Ji Sub leaving his comfort zone to do a rom-com is already a treat. So the supernatural love ride with a ghost seeing woman is a hilariously blissful experience. His straightforward attitude in love cracked me up and drew sigh from me at the same time.
Kang Tae Ha/Eric in Discovery of Romance – Discovery of Romance is a secret kdrama gem you should take time to watch. What I liked about Tae Ha is how he did not give up on love and his realization that just because the first serving in love didn’t go well, it doesn’t mean the second chance won’t be too. He made his first love realized the reason why after all those time fate still keeps binding them together.
Do Min Joon/Kim Soo Hyun in You Who Came From the Stars – If aliens are really as hot as Do Min Joon then all girls would be permitting alien invasion. *chuckles The stranded alien who fell in love with a top actress has used his ability to protect his woman even defying time. His unmatched chemistry with Cheon Song Yi raised a frenzy addiction through his alien love definition.
Jang Jae Yul/Jo In Sung in It’s Okay That’s Love – Jae Yul’s unconventional character won my heart because of his vulnerabilities. Because he made me think that if I was in that position, I would also become his shield. You see some girls would appreciate more if their men will be brave to admit to something they can no longer bear. That’s what made his character special.
Seo Jung Ho/Ji Chang Wook in Healer – My 2015 kdrama hero crush knocked my heart down because of his manly-McGyver-ish charm. A courier of impossible missions with peerless attitude made all the girls want to be a damsel in distress just so he can be there to save them. His dangerous side made my eyes turned to hearts. The Healer hideout kisses left me on trance.
Kim Young Ho/So Ji Sub in Oh My Venus – Coach-nim is women’s solution to weight loss problem. It would be heaven to do sit-ups with him… to feel his hands and body in the workout drills… and before my thoughts turns R-rated, I have to go back to reality. So Ji Sub is my dream guy period so if the drama is bad or good I don’t care as long as there will be topless scenes. *chuckles Thankfully the drama is generally okay with ample fan service moments. The romantic cuteness is a bonus.
Kang Sun Woo/Jo Jung Seok in Oh My Ghost – When he thought his lead girl is suffering from bipolar disorder because of her ghost-possessed body, I was so amused with his line of thinking on how his being hard on her incited her mood swings. Chef-nim resolves conflicts im a way that he can only understand. In the end, it is a relief how he did not linger on sulking over the absurdity of his situation with his woman by ultimately accepting that love always wins.
Choi Taek/Park Bo Gum in Reply 1988 – He only knows baduk but he warms my heart with his gentleness and knowing when to surge forward when it comes to claiming the love he waited for a long time.
Yoo Si Jin/Song Joong Ki in Descendants of the Sun – He is the reason why I came up with this post. hahaha His melting gaze, sweet remarks and soldier bearing are and will be putting me in frenzy right now.
Kang Chul/Lee Jong Suk in W:TwoWorlds – Strutting his dapper look and protecting the woman he loves while crossing two different worlds sent me to varied emotions ranging from a giddy-ish high-school girl, a woman tapping on her inner goddess and a lady who wants to fall in love again. Kang Chul is that imaginary dream guy girls dream of marrying when they were in high school.