Cover Song Joong-ki as Vincenzo | Photo: tvN

Despite their flaws, mysterious secrets, and turbulent pasts, these characters make us realise that sometimes there’s good in the bad

A hero is a person who is admired by many people for doing something brave or good. To many, a hero is someone who saves other people from trouble without breaking the rules; someone who is good to a fault. But what if the hero has his own flaws? What if he mysteriously hides something? What if he has a dark past? What if he hurts and kills other people? Is he still a hero? For these characters below, they’ve challenged the laws and have gone against the flow. We list down below our favourite K-drama anti-heroes and why we still love them despite the odds.

1 / 8

Vincenzo Cassano played by Song Joong-ki | Vincenzo

He’s a consigliere for an Italian mafia family and given this fact, he has had blood on his hands taking people’s lives, punished enemies and amassed wealth. But also, let’s not forget, Vincenzo has helped the tenants of Geumga Plaza to stop the monstrous conglomerate, Babel Group from tearing the building down. Together with his female lead, Jipuragi Law Firm’s Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), a feisty lawyer, he seeks justice for the death of Cha-young’s father, the imprisonment of his mother and many more. In the end, he brutally punished Babel Group’s CEO Jang Han-seok (OK Taec-yeon), Wusang Law Firm’s evil senior partner Choi Myung-hee (Kim Yeo-jin) and CEO Han Seung-hyuk (Jo Han-chul), who made his and the lives of many miserable, calling it quits.

Read also: Top 10 Vincenzo Moments We're Still Not Over: The Most Shocking Plot Twists And Memorable Scenes

2 / 8

Kang Yo-han played by Ji Sung | The Devil Judge

An eye for an eye is how Judge Kang Yo-han puts things in perspective. He is fearless and one that punishes evil with evil. He helms the Live Court Show with associates Kim Ga-on (Park Jin-young) and Oh Jin-joo (Kim Jae-kyung). On this platform, offenders are put on a televised trial where the nation can judge them guilty or not through the Dike app.

While to some, he is a heartless monster who gives inhumane sentences such as flagging, electrocution and in some cases, imprisonment that lasts more than a lifetime, to many, he is the intrepid judge everyone needs in a dystopian version of South Korea. His rivals accuse him of taking away his foster family’s wealth, killing his brother in a church fire and cancelling a vast donation to the Social Responsibility Foundation. As the story progresses, the secrets of Kang Yo-han’s past slowly unveil a smart, warm-hearted man who only wants justice for his family and for everyone … in his own “devil judge” way.

Read also: 8 Ji Sung Shows To Watch This 2021: The Devil Judge, Doctor John, Kill Me, Heal Me

3 / 8

Seo Jeong-hu played by Ji Chang-wook | Healer

Seo Jeong-hu or codename “Healer” will do anything except murder. He works as an illegal “night courier”, has top-notch fighting skills, and is known as the best in his field. More than that, he is capable of executing plans using advanced technology and his reliable hacker partner, Jo Min-ja (Kim Mi-kyung), a former detective specialising in cyber crimes.

His goal is to save money and flew alone to a faraway island, however, he got derailed when he received an order to find and protect Chae Young-shin (Park Min-young) from people who want to kill her. He eventually fell for this girl, protecting her with his knight in shining armour skills to a T. How can we not fall for him?

Read also: 10 Korean Actors Who Are Talented Singers Too: Hyun Bin, Seo In-Guk, Jo Jung-suk

4 / 8

Kim Do-gi played by Lee Je hoon | Taxi Driver

This Korea Military Academy graduate now works as a taxi driver for Rainbow Taxi Company, which offers a “revenge-call” service or simply put, he takes revenge on behalf of victims who are not able to get justice by law. With his mother being a victim of murder herself, his goal is to seek justice by helping others attain the same. He is merciless to villains but empathetic to the victims and their families. He is one who would reduce fares for tired passengers, but would go out of his way to catch the culprits. His disguises in the series are so good, often hilarious.

Read also: 8 Lee Je-hoon Movies And Shows You Have To Watch: Taxi Driver, Signal, And More

5 / 8

Do Hyun-soo played by Lee Joon-gi | Flower of Evil

On the surface, Do Hyun-soo is a perfect husband to wife, the detective Cha Ji-won (Moon Chae-won). A series of murders in the past is tied to him, which his wife tries to investigate. While everything unfolds, including how and why he had to take on the identity Baek Hee-sung (Kim Ji-hun), there is one thing that remains intact—Do Hyun-soo’s unwavering love for his wife and daughter. This affection will definitely touch your heart and reconsider all the thoughts you’ve had across the episodes.

Read also: Baeksang Arts Awards 2021: All The Best Drama And Film Nominees

6 / 8

Kim Soo-hyun (Jang Ki-yong) | Kill it

Contrary to his role in My Roomate is a Gumiho as an adorable 999-year-old gumiho (nine-tailed fox), Jang Ki-yong plays Kim Soo-hyun in the 2019 series Kill It, a passionate pet-lover, veterinarian, and one of the most lethal killers in the world. But behind this skilled assassin is a man yearning for love. He gets entangled with tenacious detective Do Hyun-jin (Nana). The two set out to unveil the mystery that linked them years ago.

Read also: Ultimate Korean Drama List: 30 Of The Best Shows This 2021

7 / 8

Na Yi-je played by Namkoong Min | Doctor Prisoner

Excellent surgeon Na-Yi-je gets his licence suspended and is kicked out of the hospital he’s working at for medical malpractice. But the truth is that he was forced to leave the hospital after having an encounter with the second son, and ultimate troublemaker, of the influential Taegang family who happens to own Taegang Hospital. He then started his job as a doctor in prison with the aim of gaining connections that he can use to seek revenge, for him and many others, justice.

Read also: Hospital Playlist, Grey's Anatomy, Dr Romantic: 8 Intriguing Medical Dramas To Binge Watch

8 / 8

Kim Moo-young played by Seo In-guk |The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

On the surface, Kim Moo-young (Seo In-guk) is indifferent, cold, and heartless. This daredevil craft microbrewery worker has been accused of killing Go Min-si’s friend as well as his ex-girlfriend Baek Seung-ah (Seo Eun-soo), a daughter of a rich family and best friend of Yoo Jin-kang (Jung So-min).

Little did others know that he saved Go Min-si from this friend--whom he supposedly killed--from extortion and bullying; likewise, Baek Seung-ah’s real killer is her ex-boyfriend, the business magnate Jang Woo-sung (Do Sang-woo). As he struggles to clear his name and remember his past life, Kim Moo-young falls in love with Yoo Jin-kang, an advertising designer who lost her parents in an accident when she was young. The two fell in love with each other and eventually discovered the secrets of the past that ties them together, leading to a tragic end.

Read also: Seo In-guk: 5 Things You Need To Know About The 'Doom At Your Service’ Actor