Summary: Na Hee Do aspires to be a fencing champion. She has to transfer to a different high school to get more training. At 18, she meets Baek Yi Jin, 22, a hard-working guy who does a lot of part-time jobs. They become friends, then lovers, then see what happens when they turn twenty five and twenty one.
Genre: Romance, Melodrama, Coming of Age
Stars: Kim Tae Ri as Na Hee Do
Nam Joo Hyuk as Baek Yi Jin
Bona as Koo Yoo Rim
Choi Hyun Wook as Moon Ji Woong
Likes: This is one of those kdramas that was just so well done. Such a wonderful story of love, friendship, support and relationship and all that comes with them, happiness, sadness, struggles, challenges, successes, failures and all.
The age. It’s so relatable because I was about Na Hee Do’s age during the turn of the century. All those stuff like comics, school uniform, school ground, friends hanging out a lot, eating, drinking, laughing, just simply having fun like you don’t have to worry about the future, my gosh, they all brought back memories of happy and carefree times. Then, there comes the crush, falling in love, having the first kiss, then comes the lapse in communication, then the breakup. So, we thought, oh well, that’s life. Then, we move on. This was also the time when we like to wear t-shirts a lot. That was our go-to outfit, even to the beach! I just love the beach outing in this drama. It was so like my time. It’s funny, because I always thought I grew up in that dull age 🤔. I come to think of it, and thanks to this drama too, it was not dull at all. It was fun, full of energy, challenging but we don’t break our head over things like we do now 😉. Really thanks to this, I get to look back to the past with a smile and pride and say hey, I grew up in that glorious age!
The characters. I was so impressed by the characters, they’re all very well-thought of.
Na Hee Do – I love her tenacity. She just didn’t give up being a fencer. She worked hard until she was level with her idol, isn’t that impressive! She was this fun, simple, a bit boyish, comics-fanatic, happiness comes from stickers kind of girl. She wasn’t the prettiest but exuded beauty and aura when she was fencing (this is why it’s easy to fall for varsity players ). She was also cute and funny, especially after her several confession attempts. My favourite was when she approached Baek Yi Jin thinking he was her online chat Injeolmi and said, “I have to have you.” 😊 Who wouldn’t fall for her, she was just too cute and likeable. And we’ve all got to thank Kim Tae Ri for bringing Na Hee Do to life. She did an amazing job! Such a great actress!
Baek Yi Jin – the amount of insults, embarrassments and treatment with contempt that this guy had to endure was no joke. I could feel his pain. And because of that pain, he wanted to make a difference for himself. If everyone works hard, he had to work even harder because he was just college dropout. Any career path would have been hard for him, but he worked harder to climb that ladder and I think he deserved where he was at the end. Well, at least the career side of things. I love Baek Yi Jin’s part in Na Hee Do’s life, bittersweet, maybe like Brad Pitt to Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow 😉. The way he would look at her with those puppy eyes, omo, omo, I melt! Credit to our handsome Nam Joo Hyuk for being our Baek Yi Jin. Well done!
Koo Yoo Rim – she was Na Hee Do’s happy ending and I just love the fact that they remained the best of friends after all those things. Koo Yoo Rim’s determination was very admirable. Her pain, struggles and sufferings because of poverty is something that a lot of us could relate to. I love her for loving her parents and sacrificing a lot for them. First time to see this idol Bo Na act and she is a very promising star. Watch out for her.
The Relationships. They always come as complicated. But hm, maybe not all. Some started simple then got complicated, others, the other way around, and sometimes it’s just smooth like butter!
Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin – I love how these two started. From strangers to acquaintances, then friends, then lovers, then wutt? Support from the distance? Okay, I’ll just accept that. The story on how they got closer as friends supporting each other on their lowest moments, then fell in love but started drifting apart, it broke my heart big time 😢! It’s so complicated. I just wish they both could have love, happiness and success all at once. But I guess that’s too much to ask.
Na Hee Do and her mum – I think Na Hee Do’s relationship with her mum had contributed to her break up with Baek Yi Jin. Her mum worked hard for her career missing out a lot on Na Hee Do growing up. Na Hee Do just doesn’t want another absentee loved one in her life. But I’m glad, in the end, these two ladies were able to fix things up.
Na Hee Do and Koo Yoo Rim – I love their connection. It truly rooted from when they were still young. It might have been an insecurity thing from Koo Yoo Rim’s side when she lost against Na Hee Do when they were just starting, but definitely that was the connection. She started to dream to be the rival of Na Hee Do. Koo Yoo Rim made it to the top, and that made Na Hee Do dream too, and that someday she’ll be competing against Koo Yoo Rim. It took them a while to be friends but they got there eventually, and what an amazing friendship they have! It was such a nerve-racking scene when they were competing for the gold medal in Madrid, and the embrace at the end made me tear up! Such an emotional scene!
Koo Yoo Rim and Moon Ji Woong – I admire these two for being strong for each other. Both young and in love but going through hardships together. I love that Ji Woong didn’t give up on Koo Yoo Rim, even when the latter tried to break up with him. Their goal was clear (especially from Ji Woong’s side), that they’ll be together no matter what. At the proposal, Ji Woong said, “It doesn’t matter where I come from. What matters is where I will go.”
Na Hee Do, Koo Yoo Rim, Baek Yi Jin, Moon Ji Woong and Ji Seung Wan – the bond between these friends was so strong and very admirable. I love how they hang out together – eat, drink, get drunk, talk, play games. It so brings back a lot of memories for me. I suddenly miss my childhood friends!
Collection of Quotes:
” Injeolmi, I have to have you.” – Na Hee Doo to Baek Yi Jin, mistaking him as her chat friend Injeomi 😍
“In the real world, you make an apology for the sake of everyone’s peace. It’s nothing personal. Society doesn’t care at all about an individual finding peace.” Sunbae giving Baek Yi Jin advice 👍
“”Wherever you are, I will make sure my support reaches you. I will go and reach you.” – Na Hee Do to Baek Yi Jin ❤️
“My support is not reaching him anymore.” – Na Hee Do to herself 😢
“We’re lovers only during the good times, and a burden to each other in the bad times.” Na Hee Do to Baek Yi Jin during the breakup 😢
“It doesn’t matter where I come from. What matters is where I will go.” – Moon Ji Woong proposing to Koo Yoo Rim 🥰
Handsome cameos. Choi Tae Joon (Park Shin Hye’s husband) as Na Hee Do’s ex-boyfriend came us a lovely surprise, especially that Baek Yi Jin was getting jealous of him. Kang Hoon (Red Sleeve) too, surprised us all when he appeared as Baek Yi Jin’s grown up younger brother, Baek Yi Hyun.
Unforgettable OST. I love all the songs that came with the drama. They match the 90’s mood, although they now leave a sting in my heart every time I listen to them. Here’s Twenty Five Twenty One OST!
Ending. I like the part where everyone finds their own closure. Na Hee Do, all grown-up, going back to the place where the most pain had happened. Baek Yi Jin, while retrieving his password after 20 years, reveals his answer to the question, Who’s your first love? In the end, I think it’s not how we grieve on the breakup but how we move on after it. Just like our Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin.
Dislikes: I’m still grieving though on the breakup! 😢😢😢