Taiwanese Drama: Swimming Battle (飛魚高校生)
Airs: Fridays
Episodes: 20
Leads: Kingone Wang & Mandy Wei

Swimming Battle Synopsis:

Despite being extremely successful in his career, our hero Gao Hai Fei has one thing he has been searching for since he was eleven years old- his first love.

Unable to forget the girl that first saved him for being bullied then taught him how to swim, Hai Fei doesn’t know his mermaid princess’ name but only by her nickname of 533 and the necklace she gave him.

Jumping into the water without any hesistation when he sees somesone drowning, Hai Fei saves our unconscious heroine, He Yu Die and carries her to shore. Stunned when he sees the extremely familiar looking necklace on Yu Die, Hai Fei is overcome with joy to have finally found his girl.

Assuming the worst when she opens her eyes to see Hai Fei’s hand hovering over her chest (CPR), it took a moment for Yu Die to realize Hai Fei is actually the one who saved her. Puzzled when Hai Fei starts to talk to her in a familiar manner, it finally dawns on Yu Die that Hai Fei is searching for someone important to him and she quickly assures him that they have never met before. Confused that Yu Die would have forgotten him AND lose her ability to swim, Hai Fei nonetheless deicides to trust his gut instinct that Yu Die is the one he has been searching for.

Going along with Yu Die’s assumption that he must be some hardworking young man working as a lifeguard, our hero quickly spins a new identity for himself. Believing that our hero’s words that he is just an ordinary part timer from the next villiage, Yu Die naturally thinks of Hai Fei that night once it becomes apparent that her father’s swim team desperately needs a new coach to help them win the national championship.

Jumping at the perfect opportunity to have an excuse to see Yu Die often, Hai Fei is ready to do anything…even if means helping a group of boys make an impossible dream come true.

Ninja’s First Impression:

Um… haven’t I seen this show before? Does anyone else feel like this one is a rehash of Mandy Wei’s last drama When I See You Again? Hero hiding his true identity, heroine not recognizing the hero and a mystery about what happened to the heroine? The seaside villiage setting is also not helping since that was also the same setting When I See You Again used.

Now, Swimming Battle has added a whole slew of good looking strappling young lads to the story so I am assuming at least some of the time will be spent on the boys’ individual stories. I usually like these kind of underdog stories only in theory since it is extremely difficult for most writers to keep the plot cohesive and not fall into the trap of focusing too much on the secondary characters.

Having said all that I am now going to admit that I enjoyed the first episode of Swimming Battle quite a bit. Did a feeling of deja vu plagued me the whole time? Sure, but hey I am ALWAYS a sucker for a good rich hero incognito set up. Am I worry about our leads’ romance getting lost in the swim team’s motivational plotline? Of course…but Kingone Wang’s confident smile has just muddled my thoughts so I am obediently putting this one on my watch list and hope the writer can pull this one off.

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