a poster for the kdrama twenty five twenty one

Prepare to Cry When Watching 25 21!

So, What is the show about?

It's 1998, and a young teenager (Na Hee-do) faces the disbandment of her school fencing team amid the IMF crisis. Undeterred, she transfers to Taeyang High, determined to thrive, and eventually secures a spot on the National Fencing Team.

Where can I watch it

Netflix or become a pirate.

Twenty Five Twenty One (25 21) Cast

actor Kim Tae-Ri

Na Hee Do

Actor: Kim Tae-Ri

actor Nam Joo-Hyuk

Baek Yi Jin

Actor: Nam Joo-Hyuk

actor Bona

Go Yu Rim

Actor: Bona

actor Choi Hyun-Wook

Moon Ji Woong

Actor: Choi Hyun-Wook

actor Lee Joo-Myung

Ji Seung Wan

Actor: Lee Joo-Myung

actor Seo Eun-Kyung

Hee Do's mother

Actor: Seo Eun-Kyung

Thoughts & Review (Some spoilers)

main character cho hyun wook suprised

25 21 social media buzzing in 2022. With two prominent stars Kim Tae-Ri and Nam Joo-Hyuk taking the lead, it made complete sense why K-Drama fans were overwhelmed with anticipation. But soon, the story itself would take everyone by storm.

This kdrama doesn’t give audiences a cookie-cutter ending, and that’s exactly why this drama was able to remain the focal point for months.

Na Hee-Do is a compelling character. She is driven, honest, hard-working, and sincere. This female lead is easy to root for and emotionally invest in. Likewise, Yi-Jin is doing his best in life by trying to support his family and make amends for his father’s mistakes. It’s no wonder these characters were electric when they became friends.

With humor, romance, mystery, and drama, the plot was very rarely stagnant. It was also a breath of fresh air for those who were tired of overly romantic storylines. Twenty One Twenty Five spends most of its time watching relationships blossom between friends. The romance doesn’t really enter the scene until the tail end of the show, giving it a sense of realism.

the teenager fencing

Baek Yi-Jin and Na Hee-Do spend most of their screen time cheering each other on in life platonically. And that even continued from afar after their break-up. Their connection was grounded in mutual respect and aspiration.

And perhaps this purity made it that much more heartbreaking to watch as their close relationship fell apart. However, this also was something fans appreciated. Not all relationships work out–that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthwhile for the time that person is in your life. You can see during the bus stop scene and television interview how much they still loved and cared for the other.

Another great relationship was between Hee-Do and Yu-Rim. The whiplash of watching them support each other as chat-room pen pals and then seeing them as fencing rivals made for a unique tension. This friendship was so meaningful and special once they were able to put aside their differences and recognize who they were on the inside.

a scene from the kdrama 25 21

The acting itself was incredible in this drama. The small attention to detail was truly on display when characters would often leave things unsaid, instead chosing to make subtle facial expressions.

The youthfulness of the teenage characters was infectious, with their wide grins and bold body language. Though many of the actors are beyond this age range, viewers never doubted the age of the character. Additionally, the side characters were just as entertaining and enjoyable to watch as the lead.

Twenty Five Twenty One’s retro 90s setting was the perfect environment for this story to take place. From the great soundtrack to the vintage fashion, there’s something so warm about the way this drama was captured. As the leads grow older, the world seems to become bigger and colder. The large cityscapes start to drown out the naivety, and the harshness of 9/11 wears on Yi-Jin. This led into the realistic breakup of the lead characters.

the cast of 25 21

Speaking of, the tunnel and the bus stop–two scenes seared onto the viewer’s memory forever. The break-up scene itself was one of the best in any K-Drama I’ve ever seen.

However, the scene that gripped me most was when older Hee-Do reads her journal in the tunnel. It’s the words never said, the words that screamed to be spoken, that make a lasting impact. This was a beautiful bitter-sweet ending to what some consider to be the best drama of 2022. Twenty Five Twenty One is compelling, haunting, and beautiful, and is sure to remain in the minds of K-Drama fans for years to come.

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Questions after watching the show.

1: Does the show have a happy ending or a sad ending?

Twenty Five Twenty One has a bitter-sweet ending. There’s resolution, but the main relationship doesn’t work out in the end. Many fans have cried their way through the break-up scenes, making this drama not for the faint of heart.

2: Is Twenty Five Twenty One season 2 coming?

There is no official announcement of a season 2 for the kdrama. In considering the storyline, it is complete without another season, and thus some fans are happy that there are no more episodes.

3: Who was the husband of Na Hee-Do?

Though the show doesn’t say, there is speculation. Older Yi-Jin and Hee-Do meet on-air during a live interview. Yi-Jin congratulates her on her recent marriage, and they both seem a bit shy of each other. This alone has led many to believe that they did not end up together again. However, some like to believe that the two did get married, and just kept it a secret from the media.

4: Is Twenty Five Twenty One worth watching?

Absolutely. It’s a beautiful story that has humor, depth, and warmth. However, you will need to get your tissues ready because there are some heartbreaking scenes.

5: Who was the father of Na Hee-Do's daughter?

This is hidden throughout the entire season, as fans never catch a glimpse of Na Hee-Do’s husband, nor do they see any father figure in the daughter’s life. Some speculate maybe it’s Yi-Jin, but that appears to be unlikely.

[Quick Info] Twenty Five Twenty One | 25 21

Alternate Names: 25 21 스물다섯 스물하나
Genre: Romance, Life, Drama, Melodrama
Duration:1 hr. 15 min.
Status: 1 Season (as of this review)
Number Of Episodes:16

  • 25 21
  • romance