Article: Top 10 Korean Dramas With Orphaned Main Leads

We all like to see self-reliant characters who can help themselves and have a strong sense of individuality. Although these traits are very good, they are often only found in people who grow up alone, with no one to lean on. Orphaned people experienced the loss of their parents and loved ones. They enter society with no one to back them up but themselves, leaving them to navigate the harsh world alone. They often show their resilience and endurance against things they cannot handle or face and inspire the viewers from the hardships they suffer to either have a peaceful life or to become successful in life. Here are some Korean dramas that exhibit these people.

1. It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

It follows Moon Gang Tae, a caregiver at a psychiatric ward. He takes care of his autistic brother, Moon Sang Tae, after he witnesses his mother’s murder. Gang Tae has worked at many hospitals, and both the brothers do not stay at a place for very long. Ko Moon Young is a famous children's book author who has an antisocial personality disorder, which makes her come off as mean and rude. She is selfish and does everything in her power to get what she wants. Gang Tae and Moon Young meet unexpectedly after many years, and Moon Young gets obsessed with him. Both have crossed paths in their childhood and have intertwined destinies. The trio helps each other overcome their fears and trauma and find happiness in life.

2. Vincenzo

It follows Park Joo Hyung, who gets adopted by Italian parents and moves to Italy. In a tragic accident, he loses his family and gets adopted by a mafia, Don Fabio, head of the Cassano family. He gets renamed as Vincenzo Cassano and grows up to be a mafia/right-hand of his adoptive father. After the death of his father, Paolo, his brother, tries to kill him because of jealousy. Vincenzo flees to South Korea to recover gold, which his partner had hidden. However, recovering that seems like a challenging task because it involves another entity, Babel group, that had been illegally committing crimes for their advantage. He gets involved with Hong Cha Young, a lawyer, but after realizing legal methods do not work against them, he uses his techniques to serve justice.

3. Start-Up

It follows the stories of four individuals who want to start- up their own companies. Seo Dal Mi is an ambitious woman who is unsatisfied with the life she has been living as a retail worker. She sets out on a journey in Sandbox company without having much to offer but her determination, ambition, and pioneering mind. She meets Nam Do San, whom she considers her old pen pal and her first love. In reality, Han Ji Pyeong has been writing her letters since her childhood under the alias of Nam Do San. Han Ji Pyeong is an orphaned child who was helped by Seo Dal Mi’s grandmother and never forgot her. Nam Do San falls for her and decides to start a company to turn Dal Mi’s misunderstanding into actual love.

4. Tale Of Nine-Tailed

It follows the legendary myth of a nine-tailed fox, Lee Yeon. He is a thousand-year-old Gumiho guardian of the Samdo River that protects the mortal world from supernatural beings. Nam Ji Ah is a TV producer who works for a show that showcases urban legends and finds Lee Yeon and suspects him to be a supernatural being. Her strong belief in the supernatural came when she was nine years old. Nam Ji Ah was involved in an accident where her parents supposedly died, but she was the only one who knew two other people who posed as her parents, they were foxes trying to eat her. Lee Yeon saved her, and never forgot about the incident even when magic was used. It shows the interesting love story between Lee Yeon and Ji Ah and their intertwined past.

5. Pinocchio

It follows Ki Ha Myung, who had lost his father in a factory fire. Alarmed about the event that took place people start blaming others for the cause and a reporter Cha Ok blames his father for causing the deaths of all his men because his body was not found. Outcasted by society and the nation, the Ki family is in ruins, and his mother commits suicide taking Ha Myung with him, but he survives and is saved by an older man who believes him to be his elderly son Choi Dal Po. He meets Choi In Ha, the granddaughter of the old man, and falls in love with her but later finds out that she is the daughter of Cha Ok, the reporter responsible for the demise of their family.  Both In Ha and Dal Po become reporters to uncover the truth and bring Cha Ok down.

6. Weightlifting Fairy Bok-Joo

It follows Bok Joo, a lively and ambitious young girl who studies in an athletic college to become a weightlifter. She reunites with her childhood friend Jung Joon Hyung, and develops a crush on his older brother. Joon Hyung is a talented swimmer who now attends the same university as her. He lives with his aunt and uncle after his mother leaves him and moves to Canada to start a second family. Joon Hyung is a charming young man who helps Bok Joo at first with his brother until he falls for her. In the beginning, the two had a playful friendship that blossoms into a loving relationship.

7. The Uncanny Counter

It follows So Mun, an eighteen-year-old high school student who is disabled after an accident in which he loses his family. He gets possessed by Wi Gen, a Yung spirit that provides superhuman powers to humans to fight against evil spirits that wander the earth to get immortal life. After noticing changes in himself, he gains answers after joining a restaurant where he meets people who are similar to him, having these supernatural powers. Do Ha Na is also a student who gets possessed by a Yung spirit and is the only survivor of a poisoning incident that caused her family’s death. They, along with Ga Mok Tak, Chu Mae Ok, and Choi Jang Mul fight evil spirits that roam the earth.

8. W: Two Worlds

It follows Kang Cheol, an Olympic gold medalist and millionaire, who searches for his family’s murderer. In an accident where he is stabbed by a person on the rooftop of his penthouse, he meets Oh Yeon Joo, a cardiothoracic resident from a different world. As it turns out, he is a comic character who lost everything, his profession, and his family in one night and gets accused of it, only for his character’s growth. Yeon Joo is the daughter of the comic book creator who keeps switching between the natural world and the comic world after being pulled by Kang Cheol on the rooftop to save his life.

9. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

It follows Kim Moo Young who has a forgotten past, he meets Yoo Jin Kang, a warm-hearted and kind woman who helps change his life. However, when an investigation takes place for a suicide, it is revealed to be a murder, and Moo Young is the prime suspect. Yoo Jin Kook has been a detective for twenty-seven years and is the older brother of Jin Kang, he will do everything in his power to protect his little sister, who has no one else but him after their family died in an accident when they were young. Jin Kook is adamant in revealing the true face of Moo Young, who is far from innocent.

10. I Can Hear Your Voice

It follows Park Soo Ha, who has supernatural powers of hearing people's thoughts by looking into their eyes. He gets this power after he witnesses his father’s murder. Although the court was planning on dismissing his father’s case as an accident, Jang Hye Sung gives an eye-opening testimony on the witness stand that puts the murderer behind bars. Soo Ha, grateful for her testimony, swears to protect and searches for her after growing older. Hye Sung had become an unempathetic lawyer who only worked for money. However, her outlook on society changed after she met Soo Ha. She, along with her lawyer partner, Cha Gwan Woo, helps people receive justice with the help of Soo Ha, who uses his mind-reading powers for good.