An anti-hero is a main character that lacks conventional heroic qualities such as morality, courage, or selflessness. Some popular examples in Western media are Deadpool, Dexter, Walter White, and more. But what about K-Dramas?
It’s not very common, but there are, in fact, several K-Dramas with anti-heroes! These are just 7 of the best ones.
1. Taxi Driver
Kim Do Gi (Lee Je Hoon) has lived as a responsible officer in the Special Forces. However, when a serial killer murders his mother, he spends his days in misery. Do Gi meets Jang Sung Chul (Kim Eui Sung), who recruits him to work for his company, Rainbow Taxi. Rainbow Taxi is a secret organization that avenges victims whom the law didn’t protect. Meanwhile, Kang Ha Na (Esom) is a prosecutor who is investigating Rainbow Taxi. She is furious with their lawless behavior but also feels confused to see them solve cases that the law cannot.
2. Doctor Prisoner
This series centers around a skilled doctor in a university hospital’s emergency care center. His medical license gets suspended after a medical malpractice incident happens when the hospital board director causes a scene. He decides to apply to work at a prison, where he plans to become friends with the most powerful people there—business tycoons, celebrities, sports stars, etc. With these allies, he hopes to get revenge against the hospital that fired him.
At the age of 8, Park Joo Hyung (Song Joong Ki) was adopted and went to Italy. He now goes by Vincenzo Cassano and is a lawyer who works for the Mafia. Because mafia factions are at war with each other, he flees to South Korea, where he gets involved with Lawyer Hong Cha Young (Jun Yeo Bin).
4. Kill It
Kim Soo Hyun (Jang Ki Yong) is a veterinarian who also happens to be a professional killer. Animals are his only companions, but deep inside, he constantly yearns for love. He struggles to develop and maintain any relationships around him. One day, a client asks him to kill in exchange for information regarding his mysterious past and a conspiracy involving his birth.
Do Hyun Jin (Nana) was once a ballerina, but now she is a detective working in Seoul. Although she looks cold and stern on the outside, she is very sympathetic. Hyun Jin trusts her instincts and isn’t afraid to rely on the things around her to make a decision. She starts to chase after Kim Soo Hyun as she believes he is a serial killer.
5. Flower of Evil
Although Baek Hee Sung (Lee Joon Gi) hides a dark secret, he has established a happy family life and a successful career. He is a loving husband and doting father to his daughter. However, his perfect life begins to crumble when his wife, Cha Ji Won (Moon Chae Won), a homicide detective, investigates a string of murders from 15 years ago.
6. Bad Guys
To combat rising violent crimes, the Police Chief asks Detective Oh Goo Tak (Kim Sang Joong) to form a team consisting of criminals. Goo Tak gathers team members: Park Woong Cheol (Ma Dong Seok) who is a gangster, Lee Jung Moon (Park Hae Jin) who is the youngest serial killer with extraordinary intelligence, and Jung Tae Soo (Jo Dong Hyuk) who is a contract killer. Police Inspector Yoo Mi Young (Kang Ye Won) also joins the team.
7. The Last Empress
Set in an alternate universe where Korea is a monarchy in 2018, Oh Sunny (Jang Na Ra) is an optimistic musical actress who marries the emperor. She becomes involved in the palace power struggle and a mysterious murder that sets off events that threaten the monarchy itself. She teams up with Na Wang Shik (Choi Jin Hyuk), who works as a bodyguard for the imperial family to uncover the Imperial family’s crimes. Na Wang Shik originally started working in the palace to take revenge on the person responsible for his mother’s death.