Okay, these guys are busy bees this year and most on the list did at least two K-dramas this year and some even more than that (Song Kang, imma looking at you). With the year coming to a close, there is a promising new crop of breakout male drama actors who are expected to rake in more casting offers to capitalize on the momentum delivered this year. The 2021 breakouts as considered by K-ent are out and first (in no particular order) comes Na In Woo who did Queen Cheorin (Mr. Queen) and who I lol called a constipated wet noodle but it turns out that was 90% the terrible second male lead character and he ended up turning my opinion around when he stepped in for the swapped out male lead in River Where the Moon Rises.
Next is Lee Do Hyun who was a raging workaholic this year doing two full dramas with Youth of May and Melancholia, a shivery guest starring turn in Beyond Evil as young Shin Ha Kyun, and is heading to 2022 as Song Hye Kyo’s male lead in the Kim Eun Seok drama The Glory. But he got out-worked by Song Kang who did 4(!!!) dramas this year with Navillera, Love Alarm 2, Nevertheless, and Office Romance Cruelty (which was filmed this year but will be released in early 2022). If you count Sweet Home which premiered at the very end of December 2020 then his full calendar year is 5 dramas. Then there is Kim Young Dae who was in Cheat on Me if You Can and all three seasons of Penthouse, plus a guest starring turn in Undercover and up next is Shooting Star with Lee Sung Kyung. And rounding put this group is idol-actor Lee Jun Young (Jun of U-KISS) who was in two idol dramas Imitation and Let Me Be Your Knight and a cameo in D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) with a Netflix movie coming out called Moral Sense with Seohyun.