Jeana’s Top 10 Lady Badasses

In most Asian Dramas, there is always more talk than walk about how intellectual the heroine is. Producers use the classic element of make believe and create so much hype that people really start to see the MC (main character) as smart and witty even when there is no visible evidence to back it up. 

In the synopsis, it is stated repeatedly how much of a genius she is, the characters in the show boast about her relentlessly but in reality, she usually turns out to be a hollow personality-less beauty vessel constructed on baseless compliments. However, every once in a while comes a drama with a female character that marches to her own tune, one who is an established class act, and knows how to assert her badassery over everyone. Here are ten such women:

10) Lee Jin Sook (Cruel City)

Lee Jin Suk; a badass ahjumma who had to sell her body for survival, but soon honed it into a deadly weapon she knew just how to use. She was the stubborn and ruthless “Madam” and someone who was eternally loyal. Kim Yoo Mi did an excellent job with this role, giving nuanced acting a whole new meaning.

9) Woo Soo Ji (Because This Is My First Life)

Woo Soo Ji was a headstrong professional who embraced every aspect of herself with utmost honesty. She dealt with patriarchy and prejudice like a pro, and let nothing ruffle her feathers. She was confident in her sexuality and style, and she set her own pace for everything. Moreover, she had a jawline to kill for.

“Why do I feel like you’re rationalizing yourself and romanticizing your possessiveness as love?”

^^ Now you know what to do when your man’s getting all up in your space. and you want him to back the hell off- As shown by Woo Soo Ji.

8) Han Yeo Jin (Stranger)

One of the most endearing characters in this show was our female lead Han Yeo Jin. Bae Doo Na held her own in terms of acting and the amount of chill that her character possessed was unlimited. She was such a genuinely cool person. Relentless, strong and quirky. Even though she won against bad people numerous times, there was never any pomposity in her, as to her, even the wins felt like failures because they were against her own people. You could see how her heart hurt at the name of injustice and how fully determined she was to stand against it. No matter the consequences. She was the kind of fearless cop that is every ordinary citizen’s dream and every corrupt person in power’s nightmare.

7) Jeerawat (Kleun Cheewit)

Jeerawat (Urassaya Sperbund) was a strong and brave woman who was not afraid to speak her mind. And if she had to cut up some ho*s, b*tch slap some jealous bishes, throw remote controls at ugly foreheads, and knee asshats in the groin to get her point across; so be it. She never backed away from a fight and was tough as nails. At the same time, she was desperate for love, and extremely self-sacrificing, at times vulnerable and someone who was genuinely kind. Surrounded by people who constantly took advantage of her and wanted to downplay her success, Jeerawat stood tall in her branded shoes and million dollar dresses. I loved her so much, that even the fact that her waterworks started every five minutes in every episode couldn’t lessen it. ‘Cause only Jeerawat could make the highly irritating runny nose, pitiful ‘woe is me’ look work. 

6) Ma Yi Deum (Witch’s Court)

Ma Yi Deum was the only thing unique about this otherwise run-of-the-mill drama. She was the one making the show, for every second she went off-screen, the show turned utterly boring. Jung Ryeo Won brought forth a character that was extremely real and relatable. Often, I felt like she was my soul sister considering how many similarities I had with her. This is also why she was so easy to connect with.

I loved the fact that she went through life staying true to herself and not giving a sh*t about what people thought. Even though at times, she acted like she was all over the place, in reality, she was a very composed and strong woman. Her face remained impassive in the worst of situations and she always had something clever in her bag of tricks. Her bright smile, dark red lipstick, and bad hair cases gave me so much life.

5) Bai Qian (Eternal Love)

Damn, I think I have a little bit of a girl crush on Yang Mi. She’s an absolute star, to be honest. She portrayed her different personalities excellently. From the youthful and mischievous Si Yin, to the kind-hearted and vulnerable SuSu and finally to the boss ass queen Bai Qian; she simply slayed. There is this utter grace with which she speaks and moves that you can’t help but be entranced by her. She was the true embodiment of a Queen, and a total badass. Her fighting scenes were empowering, and the way she wielded that Jade Purity Fan- just dang. She was a woman of power to her core, and when Ye Hua forcefully kissed her once, she didn’t just let it be -nuhhun- she bestowed him with a five-fingered b*tch slap ’cause ain’t nobody messing with the Queen of Qing Qiu.

4) Chu Qiao (Princess Agents)

Chu Qiao was the definition of a badass. She was intelligent, witty, an excellent fighter, loyal to the bone and fully determined in her beliefs. Nobody could boss her around and she always stuck to what she thought was right. Watching Zhao Zanilia on-screen has always been a pleasure. She’s such a versatile actress and her effortless elegance along with her sincere charisma never fails to make her acting seem extremely natural. I loved Chu Qiao so much and her fighting scenes always blessed me with these unexpected bursts of adrenaline rush that left me jumping around in excitement. 

3) Go Hye Ran (Misty)

Go Hye Ran (Kim Nam Joo) was a cutthroat anchorwoman who let nothing stand in her way. She was a morally ambiguous character who lied, schemed, and cheated, but was excellent at her craft, and never one to back down without a fight. You just don’t mess with Go Hye Ran or you’ll get payback like nobody’s business. She was unapologetic and made no excuses for who she was – a blunt and fierce shark of a woman. However, despite her ruthlessness, there were times when she was vulnerable and her shoulders stooped. But even then, she never let her crown fall. 

Personally, she’s one of my favorite drama heroines. Every scene with her made me feel empowered and sing her praise. With her wit and classy fashion, she made her enemies bow down in front of her like the queen she was.

2) Yanzhi (Rookie Agent Rogue)

Zanilia once again makes use of the things she has an excess of: charisma and grace. And like always, with these two things she wins the masses.  She consistently brings forth characters that are genuinely likable and so it isn’t at all a surprise that I loved my girl Yanzhi. A lot.

Simply put, Yanzhi was a kickass babe; smart to the bone and exactly what you imagine when you think of high-class agents. She carried out brilliant strategies and shootouts, all the while calmly chewing her gum and rocking her dark shades. She was too cool to be true with unlimited tricks up her sleeve and every time she was on-screen you knew shit was about to go down and she was going to come out on top. Furthermore, the show itself was just excellent. With the right amount of thrill, action, suspense, intelligence, intrigue, and romance- it easily makes the list for my most favorite dramas of all time.

1) Niang (Empress Ki)

I don’t think I have ever felt more strongly for any female heroine before Niang (Ha Ji Won). The intensity of love that I felt for her was crazy. She was deadly beyond measure, a mastermind and the definition of strength. She was the real deal from the start; a highly intelligent woman, a schemer, a warrior, a meticulous planner, and a ruthless executioner. She didn’t need other people to gas her up, because everything she did spoke for itself.

She didn’t require saving because she was the saviour, a Queen in every sense of the word and honestly, I would rather kill everyone -love interest or not- if they dared hurt her. My heart clenched whenever she faced a setback. I pumped my fists and screamed joyfully every time she was victorious. I cried with her, I smiled with her, and I rooted for her every single time. I can honestly sing odes in honor of her perfection and it would still not be enough. Therefore, unsurprisingly, she is my favorite badass of all time.

There are so many strong, awesome female leads left that I’ll have to follow this up with a part 2 but these are my top ten for now! 

What are yours?

eternal love
rookie agent rouge
empress ki
princess agents
cruel city
witch’s court
strong women
badass females
kickass women
kluen cheewit

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