I’ve gushed about my love of Noona Romances all over my blog, it isn’t a secret. Even though my list of completed dramas is still very small, 4 of the 19 completed shows have been Noona Romances. I just started I Hear Your Voice (another Noona Romance story) and have 25 more on my to watch list. I thought perhaps I might take a stab at what makes a good Noona love story, at least for me.
I’ve expanded on this idea over at The Noona Meter
So far I’ve watched Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, What’s Up Fox, I Need Romance, and Last Cinderella. I’ve loved each of these shows for various reasons because they focus on a myriad of subjects that are specific to the Noona Romance. To be considered as a major player in this story type there are a few things I look for.
1) Age difference of more than 5 years
2) The age difference is a major theme which causes obstacles for the couple
3) An element of puppy love from the adorable/handsome/young dongsaeng
4) The Noona fights against the relationship but the dongsaeng doesn’t give up
5) Heart-fluttering feels from the adorableness of the couple once they agree to actually try and be a couple
6) Bonus: the show is more mature in how it approaches being intimate
7) Bonus: the script touches on the scandalous nature of the Noona Dongsaeng love or the romance is treated as a forbidden love
8) It really adds to the entire feel if the Noona is also a strong woman who already understands herself. That’s not to say the puppy love of the dongsaeng doesn’t throw her world view upside down, because that’s the best part. However, when the Noona is strong I enjoy the overall romance more.
(NOTE) The Noona and Dongsaeng don’t always have to have a happy ending, sometimes the obstacles and their positions in life work against them. I’d rather they have a whirlwind courtship and love but make the right choice to end things, than stay together just to stay together. Sometimes love doesn’t work out, and you have to let go in order to find a new love. Though its a huge present to me if the Noona and Dongsaeng do end up together.
The story doesn’t need to have everything I’ve listed above, but the more the merrier. At least there must be an obvious age limit that is the big subject of conflict between the Noona and Dongsaeng. However, I invest more feels into the drama if the writing uses more of the concepts listed above.
So far, of the four Noona Romances I’ve watched beginning to end, Last Cinderella is my absolute favorite hands down. It hit on every point on my list, even though the show was only 11 episodes long, it packed so much into every scene. The way the couple interacted was perfection! I am totally going to be watching this show again!
Second place for my Noona Romance obsession is I Need Romance it gave me some excellent feels with how they approached the Noona Dongsaeng love. There was just enough hesitancy on the Noona’s part and determination on the Dongsaeng’s part to get me in the feels. Once they agreed to actually date it was just the best!
Next comes What’s Up Fox. As a whole drama I liked it, but it wasn’t one of my all time favorites. What I really loved about this drama was that it had both a Noona and Dongsaeng romance and a Ahjussi and Dongsaeng romance, both of which I absolutely loved. For me I really enjoyed how this show portrayed the Noona’s struggle with accepting her feelings for a younger man.
Last, but certainly not least, is Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. The show took me 2 attempts to get through, but I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed the Noona romance here. The main lead was also experiencing sexual awakening as he was falling in love with his Noona and that added a whole new dynamic to the story.
On various places throughout the blogverse I’ve chatted with others about my obsession with this story trope. I’ve gotten some excellent suggestions for shows to watch, and added the list here. I’ve also spent time digging through drama lists and searching the net for as complete Noona Romance list. If you have any suggestions for me or opinions on the shows listed below I’d be ever so grateful if you shared them!