Twenty-Five, Twenty-One shows a new side to fencing and career ambitions

Watch the new k-drama, Twenty-Five, Twenty-One, on Netflix today.

Soumya Rangan

Watch the new k-drama, Twenty-Five, Twenty-One, on Netflix today.

Soumya Rangan, Photo Editor-in-Chief


First released on February 12th and finally finished on April 4th, the new k-drama Twenty-five, Twenty-one is a fresh twist on the classic romance dramas that are staples to fans. It takes place in two time periods, drawing many parallels between the present COVID-19 pandemic and the 1998 financial crisis in South Korea. The drama combines all the heart throbbing moments of k-dramas: the long gazes, clueless leads, eventual romance, fast paced sports segments, and classic comedy. 

The Story 

Told through flashbacks, the story follows the Na Hee-do (Kim Tae-ri) as she tries to navigate her ambitions of joining the national fencing team, as well as the Baek Yijin (Nam Joo-hyuk) who tries to piece his life together after his father’s business goes bankrupt. 

They begin to date while Hee-do battles her competitor and lifelong role-model in fencing, and Yijin works odd jobs in hopes of one day becoming a sports news anchor. As they both navigate the struggles of being in the limelight, Yijin turns to alcohol to get rid of his PTSD from reporting and Hee-do travels around the world for the fencing team. 

Pros and Cons

The drama not only shows a more realistic love story, it also stays true to fencing as a sport. It correctly depicts the fast-paced scenes of the matches, the competition, and the hard work that the athletes put into the sport. 

“I definitely enjoyed it a lot because of my background with fencing. It made me so happy that they really put effort into making it as accurate as possible,” said fencer Katelyn Ma (‘23).

Through the breakup scenes of the main leads and the struggle to become successful, viewers are also able to understand that not everything works out the way that one dreams of, and that it is healthy to accept flaws. 

However, though it is a very wholesome drama, it definitely does not have the fairytale love story ending that many viewers hoped for. Additionally, the rivalry scenes between Hee-do and her competitors are over-the-top and many of the scenes are unrealistic. 

“All of my teammates have been extremely supportive … but I think one thing about fencing is that it’s also really known for its emphasis on sportsmanship [through] the salutes and everything … I personally think that the whole rivalry is a little bit dramatized,” said Ma.


The drama is definitely refreshing, and a fun watch for school evenings. It was fun to watch the chemistry between Yijin and Hee-do, as well as the competition to become the best at their chosen occupations. Though there is not much romance, and it focuses more on their individual lives. It also keeps many aspects of the sport accurate along with having a well-defined storyline with its parallels between the two decades. 

Additionally, it is very relatable for all students, because it emphasizes getting through the slumps in life. All in all, the k-drama is definitely a fun watch, so get ready to laugh, cry, and enjoy Twenty-five, Twenty-one on Netflix.