The 10 Best Korean action dramas that will keep you on the edge of your seat
Many Korean drama fans love romantic comedies, but there are other options for viewers who want a change of pace. Even if chaebol romances are your bread and butter, sometimes you just want to see some stuff blowing up or bad guys getting punched in the face, ya know? Well, if you're one of those drama fans who craves action or even if you're looking for a different kind of drama to hook your friends or significant others who aren't really into romcoms, we have some suggestions for you! With Kim Bum's action-packed Hidden Identity premiering next week, here are 10 other action dramas that will make your heart race and keep you on the edge of your seat.
There's a reason this show shot to the top of our weekly top 10 list during its run. Healer focuses around "Healer," a mysterious night courier who completes high-risk jobs for the rich and elite until he runs into a determined young reporter who changes everything. It's a masterful blend of action, mystery, comedy, and romance that works for a wide variety of audiences, and Ji Chang Wook is fantastic as the titular "Healer."
2. City Hunter
Lee Min Ho isn't the only reason to watch this series about a young man trained from an early age to infiltrate Korea's Blue House and enact revenge on the people who killed his father. The series also boasts a fast-paced plot, heart-thumping action sequences, and the taste of sweet, sweet justice.
I have often heard Iris described as the "K-drama 24," and that's not a bad description. Iris follows two best friends who are recruited to a top-secret government organization that engages in dangerous missions. It also features one of the most badass female K-drama characters of all time with Kim So Yeon's Kim Sun Hwa. If you enjoy Iris, you can continue with the sequel Iris 2 and the spin-off series ATHENA: Goddess of War.
4. Two Weeks
All I have to do is hear the theme song for this series, and it already gets my heart racing! (This is a great series to watch at the gym, by the way.) Lee Joon Ki gives one of his best performances as a man framed for murder who goes on the run to save his daughter's life.
Sometimes you just need to take the badassery back in time. Many historical dramas feature gorgeously choreographed fight scenes, but for epic action, Chuno is probably the best. Jang Hyuk stars as a nobleman who becomes a ruthless slave hunter bent on revenge.
6. Bridal Mask
Bridal Mask (aka Gaksital) goes back to the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s, where a mysterious vigilante called Gaksital fights against the corrupt and ruthless rulers. I like to think of him as Korean Batman — he may technically be a "good guy," but he's not always a good guy, if you know what I mean. Give this one a few episodes to really get the plot into full swing, and you won't regret it!
This is one case where you don't have to watch the original to understand the sequel. In both Iljimae and Return of Iljimae, we see a Robin Hood-like figure who robs from the rich to help the poor. Whether you prefer to see Lee Joon Ki or Jung Il Woo as the titular hero is entirely up to you, but really, it's tough to go wrong either way.
If you enjoy noir crime thrillers, this series about undercover cops entering the seedy world of organized crime is the perfect choice. Amazing acting, amazing storyline, and the amazing Jung Kyung Ho kicking butt and taking names as the mysterious "Doctor's Son." What's not to love?
If Heartless City is just a little too gritty for your tastes, you can always go the action comedy route with You Are All Surrounded instead. The first few episodes are pretty dark, but then it lightens up as Cha Seung Won, Lee Seung Gi, and Go Ara become part of a ragtag team of detectives who have to learn to work together to solve crimes.
10. Bad Guys
Sadly, this one isn't available to watch on DramaFever, but it bears mentioning anyway because the writer and PD from this excellent series are joining forces again for Hidden Identity. (Yesssssssss!). Bad Guys is about a group of hardened criminals, including a gangster, a hit man, and a convicted serial killer, who are released from prison in order to capture elusive killers. The quality of the series was top notch, which leaves me expecting great things for Hidden Identity.
BONUS: Hidden Identity
That leads us to Hidden Identity, the upcoming tvN series from the writer/director team behind Bad Guys. Starring Kim Bum, this series follows a special unit of undercover officers who specialize in thwarting violent crimes. Based on the trailers, it looks like it will be another nail-biting intense action thriller! Just check out the trailer below:
Hidden Identity will premiere exclusively on DramaFever on Wednesday, June 17. Receive new episode alerts HERE! After the first week, new episodes will air on DramaFever on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Are you a fan of action thrillers? Are there others you would add to this list? Which is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Vivi is an unapologetic Korean drama addict and blogger. She blogs with her K-drama best friend Coco atKdrama Fighting! In her free time, she likes to bring her commentary to the DramaFever crowd.
Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KdramaFighting
Follow Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kdramafighting