Drama Reactions & Reviews
Dramabeans Top 10: Korean dramas about enemies-to-lovers romances
by | January 22, 2016 | 111 Comments

girlfriday: We promised more Dramabeans Top 10s and now we’re back! Year-end shenanigans kept us busy for a while there, but it’s a brand new year and there are many more dramas to be watched!

javabeans: Our last Top 10 focused on friends who became lovers, so what better counterpart than ye olde dramaland favorite, enemies to lovers? There’s just something to be said about that crackling energy in the air, the bicker-bicker-bicker back-and-forths, the sparks that start out full of anger and hate before turning to the happier kind…

girlfriday: …Mind you, this is no model anyone should be endorsing for real-life romance, but sometimes hate is irresistible.

javabeans: The bickering courtship is a staple of dramaland and you’ll find it in just about any romance story, so we had to narrow our focus down for this list—we skipped the couples whose initial conflict was relatively mild and focused on couples who had a particularly antagonistic dynamic, otherwise we would have had a Top 100 list instead.

girlfriday: Yes, we went with hate in the form of high treason, deep-seated betrayal, generations-long animosity between families, or just plain hatey vitriol. In other words, the foundations of any healthy, long-lasting relationship.


Enemies of the State


1. Gaksital (2012)

HeadsNo2: There are differences, and then there are ideological differences, which can inspire whole new levels of antagonism—which is why your mother always warned you to never talk politics at the dinner table. Set during the Japanese colonial era of the 1930s, the romance at the heart of Gaksital focused on two people who couldn’t be any further apart on the ideological spectrum, with a heroine fighting for Korean independence and a pro-Japanese anti-hero determined to stop her.

That is, of course, until he ended up donning the infamous bridal mask himself, effectively becoming the figurehead of the independence movement overnight. When wearing the mask, he was the hero who represented everything the heroine was fighting for. When he wasn’t, he was nothing more than a vile traitor as far as she was concerned, and the real conflict came when he couldn’t reveal his true identity to her. You can think of it as being kind of like Superman, only better. Yeah, I said it.


2. The King 2 Hearts (2012)

LollyPip: A hoped-for political alliance was the driving force behind pairing a spoiled South Korean prince with a badass North Korean soldier who had no use for his bratty antics. It was hate at first sight (and some reluctant attraction), and coercing them into courtship was no way to ease the already high tensions between their countries. Ordinary romance would have been bumpy enough with their warring personalities, but the show put their road to marriage on the international stage and turned the two people into symbols of their countries’ hope for reunion.

But nobody was more surprised than the hero when his life turned upside-down and the biggest source of support came from the woman he’d considered his enemy. While threats from within and without the country made it difficult for him to trust anyone, she became his friend and greatest ally, making it possible for him to rise to the challenge of leading a nation as its king. Despite the difficult road, both politically and personally, in the end their love became so strong that it could prevent wars. It doesn’t get much grander than that.


3. Athena: Goddess of War (2010-11)

girlfriday: Athena has the quintessential enemy spy romance at the center of its story. You know the one: Boy meets girl, girl turns out to be badass double agent killing machine, boy loves girl despite her allegiance to enemy terrorist organization, girl is torn between anarchy and love. Ah, romance.

Of all the enemies-to-lovers dramas on this list, Athena probably had the most clear-cut enemy pairing, between a South Korean agent and the double agent who was sent to infiltrate his organization and kill him. She was always the enemy, and yet never fully evil (or so we hoped, trail of dead bodies be damned), and just when you were convinced he’d walked into a yet another death trap, she always found ways to protect him. Her loyalty remained in question until the very end, lacing every romantic development with an undercurrent of danger and suspicion. I guess that’s just what you sign up for with spy-on-spy romance—love and duty must always be at odds, and you’re never quite sure whether you’ve been double-crossed, triple-crossed, or just plain played.


4. All About My Romance (2013)

odilettante: When two members from opposing political parties go head-to-head (or, in this case, fire-extinguisher-to-head), sparks are sure to fly. Romance was the last thing the fiery leader of the tiny progressive party wanted as she idealistically put her constituency first. There was no way she’d fall for a pompous (but so charming) member of the conservative majority party, whose policies she actively abhorred.

But he found her fervor irresistible, and she gradually began respecting him when she discovered that even though they were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, their desire and determination to better people’s lives were more alike than she’d believed. The news headlines may have trumpeted the antagonistic rivalry between these two leaders, but behind closed doors it was classic rom-com, replete with accidental smooches and grand romantic gestures. Despite their best efforts to keep their burgeoning relationship on the down-low, it became a test to see which was stronger: love for each other, or loyalty to their party. Navigating both love and politics is no easy journey, but for these legislative enemies, it was the beginning of a beautiful bipartisanship.


Enemies of the Heart


5. Boys Before Flowers (2009)

javabeans: This one’s a classic enemies-to-lovers romance, albeit perhaps filtered through a kindergarten lens, where attraction manifests as a boy pulling a girl’s pigtails and leaving bugs in her shoes. Childish antics aside, this youthful romance between a spoiled rich manchild and the plucky common girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day sucked us in with its addictive pacing and juicily over-the-top characters. While we knew our hero’s gruff attitude and crude maneuvers were part of his (comically misguided) attempt at the courtship dance, to our exasperated heroine, they bore all the marks of an enemy out to get her and made her determined to stay away. (Luckily for him, he eventually figured it out. Eventually.) There were definite hot mess moments in Boys Before Flowers, but somehow the drama tapped into our guilty pleasure vein with its deliciously makjang episodes (makeover delivered via kidnapping! Bullying! Obsessed admirers running interference!), its jet-setting vacations, and of course, its beautiful privileged boys with an excess of money and a dearth of common sense who won us over, eventually.


6. Secret (2013)

Saya: Secret was, dare I say, gloriously dysfunctional—it transcended everything wrong with it to become terribly, terribly right. Or at least, terribly addictive.

When the heroine willingly took the fall for her boyfriend’s hit-and-run, she didn’t anticipate the victim’s boyfriend holding her responsible and going after her with everything he had. And when he sought to punish her for it, repeatedly coming uncomfortably close and blazing with hatred, he didn’t anticipate falling in love with his victim instead. Yet through her steadfast goodness, he came to realize her innocence and true nature, and somehow transformed our livid hate for him into burning loyalty. Their relationship had an immediacy that sucked you into the moment, with character growth and payoff to mitigate the heavy dose of heartache. The crazy chemistry alone was enough to drive the compelling, addictive story—this couple positively crackled with it, whether as enemies or lovers. And let’s be honest, sometimes we couldn’t tell.


7. Emergency Couple (2014)

Saya: Maybe it’s strange to call husband and wife enemies, but this couple was the perfect example of marrying in haste and quarrelling at leisure. A hasty marriage led to bitter divorce, and when the pair met again years later and were forced to work together, it was hardly a happy reunion, or functional workplace.

He couldn’t stop himself from finding the pettiest ways possible to snipe at her, while she just tried to do her job amidst his constant belittling and immature behavior. But working alongside each other every day and saving lives, they found themselves constantly relying on each other in crises. Her competency and maturity forced him to look at her anew, and his respect for her grew every time she succeeded where he failed. It was gratifying to watch them both gain perspective on themselves, and finally recognize the mountain of misunderstandings that had grown between them. He managed to grow up and she managed to forgive him, and lucky for these lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers, Emergency Couple was, at its heart, a romance of second chances.


Enemies of My Father


8. Prosecutor Princess (2010)

girlfriday: If you’re in the mood for an enemies-to-lovers story but not in the mood for a heavy drama, this is a good one to watch. Prosecutor Princess was a light, fluffy comedy for the most part, about a spoiled rich princess who became a prosecutor and slowly learned the ropes of adulthood in an entertaining fashion (with an emphasis on the fashion). But the love story was straight out of a classic revenge drama, because the hero had inserted himself into her life with a mysterious agenda. He was out to prove that her father had committed a crime, and because you never quite knew what he was thinking, their relationship maintained a fantastic tension between his lifelong desire for justice and revenge, and his growing affection for this hilariously lovable woman he didn’t intend to fall for. They weren’t outright enemies who hated each other, but because he approached her in order to take her father down, they had all the angst of two enemies falling in love in spite of their allegiances. Sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded that once in a blue moon in dramaland, falling in love with the enemy of your father doesn’t mean your love story has to end in tears.


9. Princess’ Man (2011)

LollyPip: Set in the Joseon era, this drama took the descriptor “enemies of my father” as literally as could be taken: The star-crossed lovers fell in love during a time of political unrest, not realizing that her power-hungry father was out to destroy his, and by the time all hell broke loose, their affections were too strong to sever. Their family strife held them apart, but despite it their love grew deeper while the world around them spiraled out of control, testing their loyalties, drawing in their friends and family, and threatening their lives. But this was more than a simple Romeo and Juliet story—this Romeo wasn’t about to sip some poison when he had revenge to pursue, nor would this Juliet stick a knife in her chest before doing everything in her power to stop her usurper father from destroying not only her love but his own self. These were tragic lovers who refused to roll over to fate and insisted on writing their own ending—dramaland could use more like them.


10. Green Rose (2005)

javabeans: These two were lovers first, not enemies, but as this was a Count of Monte Cristo-esque revenge story, the wedge driven between the couple served as a key element of the drama’s setup. It was bad enough that the unassuming hero was framed into taking the fall for a crime he didn’t commit, but learning that her father was a key player in his demise fueled his rage, and his mother’s death from shock and grief was the nail in the coffin, propelling him to reinvent himself with new name and new attitude. But no matter how fixed his mind was on payback, his heart couldn’t be indifferent in the presence of his old love, and the angst was made more delicious by her certainty that he was exactly who he couldn’t be. Green Rose placed its lovers directly on enemy lines and drew out that tension intentionally alongside the romantic tension, playing with our hearts in the best/worst of ways. It may be an old-school revenge romance, but old-school doesn’t have to be a bad thing: The fashions and the hairdos may be dated, but that romantic angst (and our addiction to it) is forever.


Other Enemies-to-Lovers Dramas
(Some of these are decent, some are much less decent—watch at your own risk)

Golden Cross: Her father killed his sister, prepare to die.

A Love to Kill: He hates her for his brother’s demise and intends to take her down. But who can resist falling in love with Shin Mina?

Queen of the Game: Her father ruined his father’s life, so he’ll make her fall for him and get revenge. Just don’t fall in love with her… oh wait.

Fantasy Couple: She’s a haughty heiress and he gets revenge when she conveniently gets amnesia. His revenge involves convincing her that she’s his girlfriend. If you don’t think too hard, this drama is cute.

Sword and Flower: Her daddy is king, his daddy kills the king, their love is doomed. But don’t skip this because it’s sad, skip it because it’s directed by a crazy person on acid.

Level 7 Civil Servant: He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This is a terrible drama.


111 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Gwinna

    Is All About My Romance any good? I ask because Athena is on this list, and I thought that was universally reviled. What about Queen of the Game (the only one I’ve never heard of)?

    • 1.1 darkice7_12


      All About my Romance – I really, really liked the hero in this one. Shin Ha Kyun made me sympathize and really root for him. The heroine (and the actress) were bearable, and I had no sympathy for her in the end. But I think it’s worth one watch.

      Queen of the Game – is one of my guilty pleasures. Both Joo Jin Mo and Lee Bo Young are great, and I love their scenes together. It is terribly makjang at times, and the side plots, second leads were all kind of bland/boring. It did get repetitive after a while, but I still rewatch it periodically.

      • 1.1.1 Lovedramas

        I too love queen of the game. I have rematched it so many times. JJM is love love and LBY is great even if there is much makjang plot in it. It’s one of my favorite kdramas. Some reason I just buy into the hate turns to love storyline. I’d recommend it for folks who like the actors and actresses in it. Otherwise, it’s an ok drama.

        I also found that I liked all about my romance too. Shin ha kyun surprised me the most in this drama. I guess I didn’t really see him as the rom com type before that. Lmj was ok but shk was great. It really surprised me how much I liked it.

    • 1.2 eliza

      I may be in the minority, but I ADORED All About My Romance. It is one of my top favorites. This has a lot to do with my love of Kim Soo Young and my own interest in politics (political science major here), but I also found the writing smart, the characters extremely likable, and the chemistry between the two leads sparkling.

      It doesn’t try to do anything original or new. It is classic rom-com in a lot of respects. But the characters and storyline felt grounded and real. Even the second leads and side characters were multidimensional. Best of all, the romantic relationship was built on a mutual respect and that was very refreshing!!

      • 1.2.1 eliza

        *Kim Soo Young is the name of the character played by Shin Ha Kyun. Just realized that could be confusing!

      • 1.2.2 Den

        Yes, I loved it too. I couldn’t stand Lee Min-jung in Big but I loved her acting in this. Also, since Shin Ha-kyun was so adorable here, he together with Jang Nara made me sit through most of Mr. Back despite the awful writing.

    • 1.3 Z

      I really liked All About My Romance and still I never was able to finish it. The characters were darling… the action was non-existent.

    • 1.4 tess

      I love All About My Romance. If you want to watch something that is not really heavy, I think this drama can gives you that. Shin Hakyun is so arrogantly charming in this drama that I cannot help but to fall for his character.

    • 1.5 salt n' pepper

      I, too, really liked All About My Romance. It’s not grand nor anything special really but it’s a good rom-com and I found the lead pair’s chemistry quite convincing. Check it out if you have time and want a light one.

  2. pigsnout

    If only the heroine in Gaksital was played by anyone else….. I kept wondering why I don’t enjoy the romance or her parts at all when Rie or Shunji were somux

    • 2.1 Kaylie

      The best ‘romance’, no, bromance in the show is definitely between Shunji and Kang-to.. That scene when Kang-to is leaning on Shunji and crying on the bike. Ahhhhhh.

    • 2.2 pigsnout

      ….so much more interesting, and it was only when the drama finished that I realised that it was because the acting was bad.

      Some of these romances or even dramas are not truly top 10 anything, it’s only that they are “enemies to lovers”. A Love To Kill otp was much better/had better chemistry than Boys Over Flowers/Athena/Gaksital, even if Gaksital as a whole drama is bether. Other than the love story part of course.

  3. Kaylie

    Ah I enjoyed Gaksital so much. ‘Superman, only better’ that is so true. Except I wish it had a better actress, romance with a wooden block is not that appealing. Watch it for Joo Won, NOT the romance.

    I didn’t enjoy Emergency Couple because I felt that they didn’t have much chemistry, and they didn’t fall back in love convincingly. Lee Pil Mo > Choi Jin-hyuk!

  4. Mandy

    “He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This is a terrible drama.”

    LMFAO. I think there are about three awesome dramas mentioned here (K2H, Princess’ Man and Gaksital) – everything else? Forgettable even if I’m a huge fan of the enemies turned lovers. My list would include Shining Inheritance and Marriage, Not Dating though.

    Also, I feel like Kdramas lack in the playboy trope (????) or is it just me? I can’t seem to string even three dramas where the main lead is a play boy. I’m probably getting older or something 😐

    • 4.1 pigsnout

      Yeah, and only two out of three dramas you named as good, actually have a good romance. Gaksital is a great drama but I didn’t care at all about its love story or Mok Dan as a character. We all know the true love-your-enemy romance was Kang To/Shunji anyway, in spirit.

    • 4.2 bd5

      Agreed – most of the list is uninspiring w/ better choices left off (such as both “Let’s Eat” series).

  5. Ck1Oz

    Omg the description for Level 7 civil servant made me die. Oh you poor poor recappers.

    • 5.1 Blueribbon

      But the drawings were hilarious and made it worth while. I wish there was a section here on dramabeans were people could summit their fanart, of the most laughable scenes in K-dramas even if it was stick figures, I bet it would be hilarious.

  6. heartoppaya

    This list is grand.

    Guess you missed these, Nice Guy, Best Love, Color of Woman, Falling for Innocence, Flower bouquet next door, flower boy ramyun shop, Let’s eat 2.

    And more..

    Thanks for the list… Contained many of my favorites.

    • 6.1 nil

      I believe they’ll be in their top 100 as they mention at the begining of the post.
      The hatred on the dramas you’ve mention i think is a mere sexual tension in disgiuse of hatred rather than real-true-hatred like the top ten above.

      • 6.1.1 Lwx_23

        How is nice guy just a sexual tension?

    • 6.2 bd5

      Better choices than most of the list – both “Let’s Eat” series, “Discovery of Romance”, “Best/The Greatest Love” and even MGIAG.

      • 6.2.1 wanderingjinny

        Let’s Eat 2 was mentioned in their Friends to Lovers list

  7. juniper

    Them’s fighting words about Blade and Petal. The directing for the first half is out of this world–it took a while for the tone to settle and not all of its experiments were successful, but it remains one of the most visually exciting and explosively creative Kdramas I’ve ever seen. If ever there were a case for preproduction, that would be it–it was sad to see the second half get bogged down in bad weather and live shooting. Add to that some phenomenally charismatic performances and you’ve got an imperfect but very memorable show. If you really want to pick on it, pick on the writing–that was the only gigantic, glaring problem with it.

    • 7.1 wonhwa

      But the writing was horrible. As in really horrible. I found the directing a bit over-arty at times, but I agree that the visual sensibility could be quite striking in the initial episodes. However, a solid cast and all the pretty in the world couldn’t salvage a script that made no sense. I gave up after eight episodes, and from what I read about later elements, I think the ones I watched were the “good” ones.

    • 7.2 Kiara

      It took me a few episodes to get into it because it had a different style and the first one to be seen on tv. I learnt to appreciate it after rewatching Duelist.

      I love that time period. If only the writing was better towards the end it would be one of my favorites. Maybe a bigger budget would’ve helped too.

      The main cast were pretty awesome, Choi Min-Soo,Kim Young-Chul,Uhm Tae-Woong,Kim Ok-bin.

      It looks like the first and last of it’s kind. Back to normal uninspired dress up sageuks.

    • 7.3 Kiara


      Hop over to “Signal” and watch it with me. Eps 1 is on DF already.

      • 7.3.1 juniper

        Sorry I didn’t see this 🙁 I did watch it though!

    • 7.4 no name #6

      Yeah, the directing was actually kind of why I kept watching that drama. Acting stayed good, but the writing went nowhere. At least there was something interesting going on from the directing side.

      I’m always willing to give Kim Yong Soo’s dramas a shot, because I know he’ll at least try to do something different. It’s a little hit or miss whether it works, but I like that he’s willing to try. He needs to get paired up with a writer who’s on the same page as him creatively. And possibly producers who can rein him in just a bit from time to time.

      • 7.4.1 juniper

        +1. Have you seen White Christmas? Not surprising he did his best work with a writer of Park Yeon-seon’s caliber lol. The acting dragged it down that time, but those two had some amazing creative vision, working together.

        • no name #6

          Oh, I definitely have seen White Christmas. 🙂 And that reminds me that I’ve got to get around to finishing Evasive Inquiry Agency.

          Also: The Scary One, the Ghost and I! I feel like that drama special is so underappreciated, lol. Love that one too.

  8. pigsnout

    I know right? I don’t know why this is called a top 10 list when it has honorable mentions of dramas that were terrible and made the poor reappears suffer. Saying something is top 10 or close at least implies it was a good drama/pairing, and L7CS…..why is it here when db says right there it was terrible? Please don’t take this as me criticising, that’s not my wish at all. jb, gf, Heads and everyone worked hard, and suffered, especially from that drama if you see the recaps.

    • 8.1 confused_turtle

      It doesn’t say honorable mention. It says “Other Enemies-to-Lovers Dramas.”

    • 8.2 lolabeans

      To add to the previous comment, there’s also a warning right below it:

      (Some of these are decent, some are much less decent—watch at your own risk)

      Anyway, it’s a top ten so yeah there’s an assumption that the contributors actually like their recommendations, but it’s still subjective at the end of the day.

      I would never recommend Boys Over Flowers to anyone because, while I watched most of it without skipping, I think it crap. But when people I also mention that it’s well loved and that many consider essential viewing, so it’s their choice. So, you can think something’s bad while still including it in a list.

      • 8.2.1 snowysky

        Right? I’m surprised BoF made it in the list. Horrible, terrible, overacted drama. I never recommend K-version of BoF to anyone.

    • 8.3 Brittany

      MTE. Why are they even mentioning bad dramas.

      • 8.3.1 wanderingjinny

        Because it’s not a list of the best dramas that have an enemies to lovers theme, it’s a list of the most solid examples of enemies to lovers in dramas, which is an important distinction to make. A drama can be a solid example of the theme even if other aspects of the drama left much to be desired.

  9. elvira

    “Level 7 Civil Servant: He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This is a terrible drama.”

    I stopped watching after 5 or so episode.

    • 9.1 TrinPie

      You got me beat. I think I made it 3 episodes.

    • 9.2 K Stars Fan

      I beat you as I watched the complete series which was ofc unbearable but had to bear it just for uri Joo Wonnie…

  10. 10 momosa

    Level 7 Civil Servant: He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This is a terrible drama.

    Hahaha.. for whatever it’s worth, I enjoyed the watching the manchild hilarious moments though I have no idea what the hell happened.

  11. 11 An

    I have no idea how Secret worked so well but it did (probably the chemistry). It’s the best enemies to lovers for me. Princess Man and K2H are good too. I don’t really count BOF in this category..

    Lol @ end — why is that terrible drama even in the top ten list?

    • 11.1 gadis

      I know Secret wasn’t the best drama at that time, but I just love it with all the super dysfunctional relationship between out OTP. Maybe it’s the HJE-JS charm.

      • 11.1.1 Ageha

        I feel weird because I ended up really hating Secret and felt that it tarnished how I looked at “Kill Me, Heal Me”, which is really unfortunate since I’ve liked both its stars in other things (Can You Hear My Heart and Protect the Boss).

      • 11.1.2 AJK

        I loved Secret too … for the acting of the four leads. They totally committed to a really crazy storyline and went all out, full bore, 1000%. Even the scenes where I didn’t like the writing, I loved the actors.

        I’m apparently the only person in k-drama land who hated Gaksital. I hated everything about it starting with the mask.

    • 11.2 Splash Splash Fan

      Secret was bordering on sadist-masochist relation to be exact and honest. Not judging, I still rank Secretary as one of the best movies I’ve seen. Yet, it worked. I think its because of Hwang Jung-Eum and Ji Sung, they had blazing chemistry. Any other actors, this show could have been a massive disaster. For, that sole reason it is top in the list.
      As for Boys Before Flower, it is cringe-worthy if you try watching it now. So that is really down the list.

    • 11.3 Drama fan

      I like Secret too. Their romance is weird. But people find comfort in each other in their desperate and difficult time. So every relationship cant be all roses and sunshine.

  12. 12 whitewire

    A hundred percent yes to GREEN ROSE (2005)
    Andwendagoooo, nugudo andwendagoooo! LOL!

  13. 13 Gyuim

    Park Shi Hoo’s dramas are my faves. I like him as an actor, his personal life I got no comment. Excited to watch his new drama Local Hero, I hope it’s good.

  14. 14 whitewire

    But I absolutely think it’s still SURGEON BONG DAL-HEE. That is absolutely ENEMIES to LOVERS. The chemistry is total bang. It tops everything to be honest.

  15. 15 Brian

    Hmm, one of my favorite enemies to lovers is Shining Inheritance of Brilliant Legacy — where the wealthy guy thinks that the girl befriended by his grandmother is out to get his inheritance while the girl wants nothing to do with him because he prevented her from seeing her father for the last time before his untimely death as well as prevented her from finding her autistic brother who somehow disappears from supervised care! So much melodrama but I love love loved it!

  16. 16 Bahrez

    My favorite dramas in this list are:
    1- Princess man
    2- Secret
    However, the best recent drama I watch in this genre is “Full Sun”.
    I think this drama genre is only appealing when the romance is full of heartaches…

    • 16.1 anotheraddict

      Full Sun! I forgot about that one, but you’re right, that would be a great candidate for this list. Another one that I think is a lot better than a few on this list is (The) City Hall.

    • 16.2 Ofl

      +1 ! Princess’ man and Secret are my faves of the list.

  17. 17 Doremi

    I don’t remember Prosecutor Princess as enemies to lovers type…
    I love All About My Romance but I think they got affected by the ratings and just rushed to finish the drama 🙁

    • 17.1 neener

      The dramas are divided into three categories and PP belongs to the Enemies of the father category which was the main reason why the hero got into the heroine’s life hihihi 😁

  18. 18 redfox

    maybe I should watch Athena…

  19. 19 yeah

    all the couples hate each other in every drama in the begining

  20. 20 Rica

    athena, they end together with happy ending?

  21. 21 kanz

    I think Empress Ki should be on the list, no?
    Ta Hwan and Seungnyang hated each other in the beginning. Then Seungnyang hated Ta Hwan for what he did (indirectly) to her father and felt betrayed to the point she wanted to kill him. Then in the end they turn into lovers who love each other.

    • 21.1 spazmo

      awwww, YES to Empress Ki — everyone hated Ta Hwan (but i didn’t… he was so adorable) and Seungnyang even had to succumb to his charms, doomed though they were…

      • 21.1.1 kanz

        Every character in that show hates Ta Hwan or has certain vested interest against him.. Poor him..

    • 21.2 Coco

      I agree with you except it’s more friends->one sided enemy->lovers

      But she hated him for soooo long it must count for something right?

  22. 22 mary

    You forgot Misaeng’s Jang Geu-rae and Suk-yool.

    They started as rivals/enemies and end up having (possibly) the most romantic development in that show.

    Heehee 😛

  23. 23 teaellipsis

    Really happy to see All About My Romance on the list (and at #4 too)! I didn’t expect to see after so many people didn’t really care for it. Shin Ha-Kyun and Lee Min-Jung had awesome chemistry.

    I do need to check out the out the other dramas on the list. I do realize that dramas tend to follow a pattern, but the actors do have a huge part in making it their own.

  24. 24 Shareen

    How about Protect The Boss? I love psycho Ji Sung in that drama. He got awesome chemistry with Choi Kang Hee too.

  25. 25 Denile

    ” He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This is a terrible drama”

    *bursts out laughing*

    It was a terrible drama and I hated it so much coz it kept me pulling out my hair yet I continued watching it and still hate myself for going on until the end

  26. 26 Nathan

    Can’t beleive you left the greatest drama of all time Padam Padam

    • 26.1 NamNavi

      Padam Padam my fav too!

  27. 27 kuromitsu

    Emergency Couple but no Cunning Single Lady? That’s odd.

    One of my favorite enemy to lover pair is a supporting one: Jung Sonseng and Ko Hwa Jung in Miss Korea.

    • 27.1 kuromitsu

      Also, I like all of the dramas on this list that I’ve seen. Mostly the non-melodramatic ones.

      Maybe I just like the trope.

    • 27.2 AJK

      Miss Korea has my all time favorite couple and they are the second leads. I loved their story and their chemistry.

  28. 28 korfan

    “He’s a manchild and she’s a liar. This a terrible drama.”


    Oh my goodness, I still remember that drama (yes, I admit to watching it!) …. those recaps …. the stick figures!

    Good times.

    *laughing again*

  29. 29 spazmo

    regarding A Love to Kill…

    i loved it for Rain (mostly just looking at him), but it seemed to me that maybe Shin Mina actually really disliked him (e.g., Debra Winger and Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman”)… what looked like ‘chemistry’ might have been ‘contempt’.

  30. 30 blo

    Heartless City was awesome, although the relationship was not. But I watched that one for the bromance. That drama needs to be at the top of the list if you do a bromance list.

    • 30.1 Cocoboo

      Omg yessss HC. <3

      I want to see a top ten bromance list too! 8D

  31. 31 As3beaniebean

    JB, today there is news about Murim School halting its production and will air until 8th episode is it true?
    Not that I’m shocked, but it’s such a pity Lee Hyunwoo’s comeback drama turn out this way…

    • 31.1 fan

      Latest news says it will air all 20 episodes. They just stopped shooting because of weather and poster works. They say this rumor came up because they were discussing about airing some other special program for Chinese New year’s holiday.

  32. 32 John

    Only seen 2 of those 10, Princess’ Man and Secret.

    Green Rose sounds good, thanks for mentioning it.

    • 32.1 John

      Ok watched first 20 minutes. Lee Da-hae is gorgeous.

  33. 33 Eny

    As drama my favorite from the list is gaksital n green rose, but i don’t think this 2 drama is enemy become lover, tin gaksital they were friend at first n in green rose , they never hate each other

  34. 34 Sancheezy

    Secret is when I find the stalking is understandable,
    he thought she killed his fiance and he can’t bring himself to forgive her or even forget his fiance so she’s the only thing that feed his mind.
    It’s really wrong in many ways but I find it true because it possible to happen, like taking the blame for other person, can’t let go of someone that kill your loved one. It’s crazy but people did it.
    Then the chemistry is really weird, I find them longing for each other even if when they haven’t in love.
    aaah that cry fest…

  35. 35 korini

    I have watched the majority of the dramas above, Javabeans, but I fail to understand why you included Golden Cross. I think the only thing absent in that drama was romance and rightfully so, a decent romance would make it… cheap.
    Thanks for mentioning All About my Romance for the first time (besides the news about the leading ladies going and… going). I absolutely loved it. I loved the writer (I Remeber You, Protect the Boss, the emblematic Crazy in Love), the beautiful Han Chae-Ah, Park Hee-Soon’s time on television and above all, I love Shin Ha-Kyun. The abysmal ratings and the so-so leading, the self-proclaimed as it said in drama Queen of Rom-Com, sort of “degrading” the post career this drama could have had and it’s a shame.

  36. 36 Chandler

    As much as I love Gaksital, seeing it get number 1 on a list for ‘romances’ is a bit jarring for me, considering how lack-luster the pairing was. The romance was the one thing that sucked about that drama, although I do wonder whether I would feel differently if the actress were switched.

    It is one of the best dramas on the list but if we’re judging which drama had the best enemies-to-lovers romance, King 2 Hearts should definitely come first.

    Other than that, I like the list. I feel like there have to be some missing though? I feel like there should be many more hate-love pairings, but I can’t seem to think of many right now…

    Nice Guy, maybe? I also think Brilliant Legacy should be on the list too.

  37. 37 Vanessa S.

    I think that Shining Inheritance or Brilliant Legacy was also a story of enemies turned lovers.

  38. 38 Growingbeautifully

    Thanks DB Team!

    I did ask the question last time, about what Top 10 meant.

    I’m thinking with the choices we have here, that Top 10 may not mean the best shows with enemies to friends couples, but rather the 10 shows with the most divergent individuals who got together (according to DB Team’s opinion) as OTP. That will account for the choice of shows and what’s left out. 🙂

  39. 39 salt n' pepper

    The King 2 Hearts and Prosecutor Princess are two of my all-time favorite dramas! I actually really enjoyed All About My Romance, too, and thought it to be a pretty good drama despite the poor ratings and lack of buzz.

  40. 40 cheekbones

    I would nominate Full Sun. Definitely.

    For the rom-com, yeah, I like Brilliant Legacy.

  41. 41 therealpacman

    Pinocchio? Her mom destroyed his family, he wanted revenge, and gave it up kind of for her

    • 41.1 sel

      Wow that’s so true story-wise. Huh didn’t even consider that. But I think Pinocchio just doesn’t have any of the antagonism necessary for Enemies to Lovers between the actual lovers.

      The family aspect was more a source for sadness, but it didn’t provoke personal vendettas or dislike between the main couple. That couple was like the cutest cos of how much they propped each other up and how honest & direct they both were to each other (well, eventually)…like just relationship-wise, they might be too functional and good for this list.

  42. 42 therealpacman

    Also, this is a little outside the parameters set forth, but Healer. Moon Ho isn’t the romantic lead, but he’s her mentor/idol and when she finds out there’s a sense of betrayal before she ultimately comes back to help take down his brother

  43. 43 therealpacman

    Last one i promise. Secret Garden’s two pairings. She can’t stand him, he doesn’t understand her, her father died saving him and curses him to body swap with her and somehow they fall in love. Alternate pairing: she can’t forgive him for what she saw when he thought he was having a private conversation and hates him and he can’t remember/understand why.

    Also, and I hesitate to bring this up but Dr. Stranger? He calls her a quack, he’s north korean hung up on his first love who is now a North Korean agent trying to get him to kill the president who banished him to North Korea from whence he escaped he lost said first love who now works in the hospital for his rival who is bent on getting revenge on quack’s (adopted? step? surrogate?) father because he denied his parents lifesaving treatment represented metaphorically by a princess in a castle he obsesses over

    • 43.1 bd5

      Except – SG was horrible due to the writing.

  44. 44 Cocoboo

    I would not recommend Athena…. Eh. I did not feel the chemistry between the two leads. I was only into Cha Seung Won despite him being the villain! Ack. xD

    I watched The King 2 Hearts a long time ago and liked it, but reading the summary on it makes me want to watch it again.

    And Prosecutor Princess sounds like pretty good.

  45. 45 sel

    “If you don’t think too hard, this drama is cute.” LOL.

    “But don’t skip this because it’s sad, skip it because it’s directed by a crazy person on acid.” LOL.

    “This is a terrible drama.” Hahaaa LOL.

    I love this list, dysfunctional relationships are the saddest to witness and the best/funnest to watch. Enemies of the State seems like the section w the best dramas, though Enemies of my Father is a very close second (possibly driven by my love for Prosecutor Princess <3 that is good angst).

    I should love Enemies of the Heart, but I never enjoyed Boys over Flowers enough to feel any endearment, so I just hated it completely for all its bad-ness. Emergency couple didn't reel me in, but one day I imagine it'll get another shot cos of Song Ji-Hyo. Secret…has Ji Sung! But it also has Hwang Jung-eum.

    Thanks for the list guys, this was fun. <3 I love these themed top 10s.

  46. 46 Bahrez

    I wonder why Full Sun is not in the list???

  47. 47 missjb

    prosecutor Princess was so much better coming to 2nd half of the drama, It’s just got deliciously good and layer…
    If only the first half is as good, many people wouldn’t turn off by it.

  48. 48 snowysky

    Surprisingly I’ve seen most of these and hated all of them. There were some that I didn’t even bother to finish them. The only enemies of the heart drama I recommend is the Japanese version of BoF.

  49. 49 Didam

    Gaksita my best drama too i love the couple and all thing about this drama & Secret

  50. 50 Audrey

    I really enjoyed Sword and Flower and I was not on acid.

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