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< Water Boys
This is a review subpage for the drama Water Boys.

Review by User:Lady Zhuge[edit]

Do You Want to See More "Water Boys"?

First, it was a hit movie. In Summer 2003, the story was retold as a hit drama. Still can't get enough of "Water Boys"? Well then Fuji TV has just the thing for you this season. WATER BOYS is back... again.

In the movie, the lead was played by Tsumabuki Satoshi. In the first drama, it was given to Yamada Takayuki. For the third time around, they decided to go with Ichihara Hayato. He plays Mizushima Eikichi, who has just moved to a small town in the country. He used to go to the renowned "Aoba High School" in Tokyo, but his father moved to New York, and Eikichi decided to stay in Japan and live with his grandfather in this small town.

His new high school is "Himeno High School", which up until three years ago was an all-girls school and still has a student population which is over 90% female. The school is run by an uptight student president, and to get on her bad side is to make enemies with all the girls in the school. The small number of male students is bullied and forced to eat lunch together in a dank room.

The first student Eikichi meets is Yazawa Shiori. He doesn't make a very good first impression on her, and she treats him very coolly from then on. She is annoyed by his presence, but obviously because she actually likes him. On the way home from the first day of school, they are surprised when they both arrive at the same house and discover that they live together. It turns out that Shiori's mother is a friend of Eikichi's grandfather and they have no other place to stay due to some problem related to Shiori's father. This creates a lot of friction at home between the two young students, but this is only going to strengthen their relationship of course.

A male student, Yousuke immediately befriends Eikichi. He is trying to start a boy's swimming club at school, and he heard that Eikichi used to be on the swimming team at his old school. Eikichi adamantly refuses to join for some reason, but Yousuke is determined to start a swimming club, and believes that Eikichi will join eventually. He is assisted by Saotome-sensei, who is from the main cast of the movie (the effeminate one). Apparently he's a teacher at this school now.

In order to start the swimming club, they have to go through a lot of obstacles and uncooperative teachers - much like in the movie and first drama. When the team has still barely even become reality, they have a competition which they want Eikichi to compete in. This coincides with a point at which Eikichi's father asks him to come to New York, and he makes the last minute decision to stay. He runs to the site of the competition and he is quickly forced into a swimming suit and onto the starting blocks. When he gets in the water, we find out that he can hardly swim at all, and to make things worse, he gets a leg cramp and his swim suit comes off in the pool, making for a situation that embarrasses the whole school.

Since competitive swimming doesn't quite seem to be working out for the boys, Saotome-sensei suggests that they switch to synchronized swimming instead. He shows them the video of his team's performance (the last scene of the movie) and Yousuke immediately loves the idea. Unfortunately, Saotome-sensei has to deal with the exact same opposition from the rest of the school that we saw in the movie and the first drama, so the synchro team is allowed to exist only under the condition that they put on a performance before the end of the semester, which is only a matter of weeks away.

All the old background music is back again, and the theme song for the first drama by Fukuyama Masaharu is back with a new rendition. The question that prevailed in my mind from the very beginning is, "Do we need another WATER BOYS?" The movie was great. The first drama made sense, though it was already beginning to drag a little by then. But a second drama? How much more do we need to explore the concept of male synchronized swimming teams? I'm sure it's going to go through the same old pattern of obstacles that threaten the existence of the team, and the determination of the boys to overcome them all and continue on.

You may think that you've had enough, but Fuji TV estimates that the WATER BOYS series still has plenty of selling power left in it. In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised to see "WATER BOYS 3" next year. I hope you like WATER BOYS, because there is plenty more left in store. I probably won't watch much of it this season, and you can definitely count me out for "WATER BOYS 3".