addicted2dramas considers herself addicted to both dramas and mydramalist.com. A relatively new addict, her drama list is growing rapidly. And she likes to talk about her favourite dramas and characters a lot.
Gender bender, aka scenarios involving girls dressing up as boys have been a popular concept since many centuries. Be it Hua Mulan from an ancient Chinese poem or Rosalind from Shakespeare's famous play 'As You Like It' pretending to be an eunuch, this idea has been around since a long time. Of course, it is still popular nowadays with movies, anime and of course- dramas being made with such stories.
Cross dressing dramas are always very entertaining. It always revolves around some funny or serious situation due to which the girl is forced to dress up as a boy. I can't say which was the drama that did this kind of plot first, but there have been so many popular ones till now.
The best part of such stories is the portrayal of unconditional love especially in the case where our hero falls for the girl without even knowing her real gender or identity. And then comes the struggle of homosexual tendencies, which he fights till he can but in the end always gives in to his feelings. Or, even when the guy knows the truth and has to protect the girl's identity is also cute and touching. Guys with such unbelievable capacity to love can win over any girl's heart.
Let's start the countdown:
5. Hana Kimi
Hana Kimi has been popular for so many years now. Based on a very successful manga, it centers around Mizuki Ashiya who moves to Japan from the United States to meet her idol- Izumi Sano, an athlete who high jumps. She dresses up as a boy and attends an all-boys school to be close to Sano. Not just that, she tries her best to bring back his confidence into jumping again which he stops doing after an accident. There, she also meets Shuichi Nakatsu who falls in love with her without ever knowing she's a girl. And Sano also helps in protecting her identity throughout the story. Although there have been so many versions and remakes of this drama, I think the Japanese one is really worth watching at least once.
4. You're Beautiful
This drama became an internet rage when it came out and still holds a pretty good rank on various websites. It is about Go Mi Nyu, a sister-in-training who has to pretend to be her identical twin brother who is the member of a band. Then, she has to live with three other guys in the same house and convince the whole world that she's a boy. All three guys fall for her and try to protect her identity in every way possible. Tae Kyung and Shin Woo are aware that she's a girl, but poor Jeremy is the last among the three to find out the truth and keeps struggling with his attraction to a "guy". You should watch this show if you haven't yet!
3. Secret Garden
Although neither the girl (Gil Ra Im) nor the guy (Kim Joo Won) choose to dress up like the opposite gender, but fate plays tricks on them and their souls get interchanged on various occasions. They are unable to tell anyone about this and have to carry on with their regular lives while convincing every person that they're still them. Sounds confusing, right? Well- the scenarios will make you crack up in this one too. This drama gave us a whole new concept regarding gender bender. Though I am not the biggest fan of Secret Garden, I'd still ask every one to give it a shot because so many other people love it immensely.
2. Coffee Prince
I believe this drama is very close to being #1 among all gender bender dramas. It has one of the best romantic scenes out of all Korean dramas in general. It is tough beating Coffee Prince in a lot of aspects. It is about a girl Eun-Chan who always gets mistaken for a boy and this is how she gets hired as a worker at a coffee shop. She cannot tell her boss she is a girl because she gets afraid he might fire her. Her boss, Han-Gyul is arrogant, rich and spoiled but still falls for this poor "guy". His struggle with his feelings is almost heartbreaking to the limits, but he pulls through eventually. This is a must-watch drama.
1. Sungkyunkwan Scandal
While the other listed dramas are all lightweight, if you want a gender bender drama with a somewhat serious plot, then try this one. It follows Kim Yoon Hee who attends Sungkyunkwan University dressed as a boy because she wants to earn money for her debt-ridden family in order to help her sick brother. She is noble and has a highly sacrificial side. She is badass if you consider the fact that girls weren't allowed in Sungkyunkwan at that time and being found meant instant execution. There, she meets the minister's upright son Sun Joon who falls for her without knowing about her being a girl. She also befriends Jae Shin who protects her from other males of the university. This drama has also got parts that will keep you laughing till you drop.
This pretty much sums up the top 5.
Of course, there are still loads of other dramas out there which were good and not-so-good, but I believe these are the best among the lot.
Hopefully, there will still be more gender bender dramas in the future to come along the way and that would more entertaining and more touching. Which ones did you like the most?