Top 10 | Traits of the Perfect Male Lead | Korean Dramas | Chinese Dramas

After a consistent period of drama watching, it became apparent to me that there is a very specific recipe for concocting the perfect male lead. This recipe applies to both Korean and Chinese dramas.

Accordingly, I have taken it upon myself to list ten different traits/characteristics of the perfect/successful male lead because lets face it there are some leads which make it and others which don’t (and it is important to know why).

Let me know in the comments below whether you agree or if there are any other traits that should be added.

One | He must know how to say his name

First and foremost, a perfect male lead must know how to say his name (with perfect male lead style). This every-day task may seem trite, but when said with skill it makes for an unforgettable scene.

See below videos (with sound) of Ye Hua from Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and Lee Hee-kyung from My Love from the Star

Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms | Chinese Drama | Ye Hua
My Love from the Star |Korean Drama | Lee Hee-kyung

Two | He must have perfect hair

Perfect hair is mandatory for the perfect male lead. Regardless of time period — he could be placed in a drama set a millennium ago or it could be a modern-day drama — a perfect male lead needs to have every strand in check.

Yan Xun from Princess Agents manages to keep his hair in meticulous condition despite trying to overthrow an emperor and have his bloody revenge.

Image result for yan xun princess agents
Princess Agents | Chinese Drama | Yan Xun

Choi Young-do from Heirs must know his hair is flawless, right?

1. Kim Woo Bin.gif
The Heirs | Korean Drama | Choi Young-do

You can’t have hair like that and not know… (notice how it does not move even as he does)

7. Kim Woo Bin.gif
The Heirs | Korean Drama | Choi Young-do

Three | He must have an impeccable sense of style

Whether he is a deity or just another heir of an international conglomerate, head-turning fashion is a must for the perfect male lead.

Son Oh-gong in A Korean Odyssey loves a striking coat —

Related image
A Korean Odyssey | Korean Drama | Son Oh-gong

… and so does Dao Ming Si in Meteor Garden.

Image result for dao ming si meteor garden
Meteor Gardens | Chinese Drama | Dao Ming Si

Four | He must be in peak physical shape

Even the geeky IT nerds in Dramaland are in peak physical shape.

Take Min-hyuk from Strong Girl Bong-soon. He is President of a successful Gaming/Tech company. But, he still has spare time to fight bad guys…

Strong Girl - fight scene.gif
Strong Women Do Bong Soon | Korean Drama | An Min-hyuk

Xiao Nai from Love O2O (similar to Min-hyuk) is the CEO of a successful Gaming/Tech company but is also an excellent sportsman…

Love O2O - Basketball.gif
Love O2O | Chinese Drama | Xiao Nai

Five | He must possess innate knowledge

The perfect male lead must be endowed with innate knowledge on all matters (yes, I mean all matters).

Do Min-joon from My Love from the Star is not afraid to flaunt his legal and medical knowledge as required.

My Love from the star - doctor.gif
My Love from the Stars | Korean Drama | Do Min-joon

As Ye Hua in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms demonstrates, household responsibilities are also not exempt from the purview of a perfect males lead’s innate knowledge.

Image result for Ye Hua cooking
Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms |Chinese Drama | Ye Hua

Six | He must have an abundance of time to wait for Mrs. Right

Although the perfect male lead will always have critical/urgent issues to deal with, he must also make time to to wait around/watch his Mrs. Right (without her knowledge or consent).

As Lee Young-joon from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim frequently demonstrates he always has time to wait around for Kim Mi-so.

What's wrong with secretary kim - waiting.gif
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim | Chinese Drama | Lee Young-joon

Runyu from Ashes of Love is next level and is not opposed to constant surveillance of his female love interest … privacy is a non-issue, clearly.

Runyu the stalker .gif
Ashes of Love | Chinese Drama | Runyu

Seven | He must be obsessive/possessive

Although being obsessive/possessive would be highly problematic in the real world, in Dramaland it’s a demonstration of love.

Sometimes, in circumstances where the male lead is a God of War, this base instinct makes sense. Xufeng in Ashes of Love  demonstrates this.

Ashes of Love - Xufeng possessive.gif
Ashes of Love | Chinese Drama | Xufeng

Other times, when an alien becomes possessive/obsessive/ jealous such an instinct doesn’t quite make sense. Even Do Min-joon cannot explain his behaviour.

My Love from the Star - jealously.gif
My Love from the Star| Korean Drama | Do Min-joon

Eight | He must get along with his love-interest’s family (the same may not apply vice versa)

The perfect lead men also have an uncanny ability to get along with their counterpart’s family. Unfortunately, female leads are not blessed with such fortune as demonstrated in Boys over Flowers and Meteor Gardens.

Meteor Garden - family.gif
Meteor Gardens | Chinese Drama | Dao Ming Si
Boys over Flowers - family.gif
Boys over Flowers| Korean Drama | Gu Jun-pyo

Nine | He must be popular with the ladies

The perfect male lead must also be very popular with the ladies and have at least one stalker.

In Ashes of Love, Xufeng is the unwilling recipient of Suihe’s affection (despite being cousins).

Ashes - suihe the stalker.gif
Ashes of Love | Chinese Drama | Suihe

Oh Min-ji in Boys over Flowers was obsessed with Gu Jun-pyo from when she was 5 years old. She went so far as to drop out of school and undergo an incredible amount of plastic surgery after Gu Jn-pyo called her ugly… (it’s still not clear why she liked him so much and for so long).

Boys over Flowers - stalker.gif
Boys over Flowers| Korean Drama | Oh Min-ji

Ten | He must only have one love

Finally, the most important quality of a perfect male lead is that he is only allowed to fall in love once and once he is in love he must never be able to get over it.

As both Ye Hua in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms and Do Min-joon in My Love from the Star demonstrate, this love must withstand centuries/millennia.

Ye Hua falls in love with Bai Qian in the Mortal Realm…

Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms | Chinese Drama | Ye Hua and Bai Qian

… and keeps loving her (after both die and come back) in the Heavenly Realm.

Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms | Chinese Drama | Ye Hua and Bai Qian

Do Min-joon unable to get over his encounter with young Cheon Song-yi in the Joeson Era…

My Love from the Star - timeless.gif
My Love from the Stars| Korean Drama | Cheon Song-yi and Do Min-joon

…holds out for 400 years until he is able to be with a reincarnated Cheon Song-yi.

My Love from the Star - together.gif
My Love from the Stars| Korean Drama | Cheon Song-yi and Do Min-joon
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