Have you ever wondered what it's like to be the Chosen One? Kappa, or "The Beacon" as most refer to him as, does; and it's nowhere near as fun as it sounds. Unfortunately for him, he's compelled to fulfill the ancient prophecies of every mer kingdom in the sea by the enigmatic God of the Surface. He goes about this routine until one day he goes into the kingdom of the sharks. Unlike every other kingdom, rather than helping them fulfill some task, their prophecy involves killing him to break the curse that is slowly wiping them out. However, this is also were he meets Siren, prince of the sharks and the very person destined to end his life. Despite this, the two of them quickly form a friendship which causes them to question their respective roles and to possibly escape the shackles of fate.
The comic is a fantasy webtoon created by Wendy Lian Martin and can be read here
Castle Swimmer contains the following tropes:
- 100% Adoration Rating: Prince Siren is beloved by the entirety of the shark kingdom and when the truth of the prophecy is revealed, they decided to let The Beacon go rather than have him killed.
- Alluring Anglerfish: The creatures that dwell within the trench are blind monsters that look like four-armed mermaids that are twisted upside-down and use a light at the end of a staff to make illusions to lure merfolk out into the open.
- Artistic License Politics: Every mer kingdom seems to be ruled by a monarchy, but many of them act more or less like big families; the sharks are notable in that when Susna is taken down from the throne, Siren is considered for being next in line but ultimately gives the role to his friend Skiff, who he believes is more qualified. Siren is also revered more for being Susna's son rather than specifically of royal blood, and even when it's proven that he can't fulfill the prophecy, the other sharks remain loyal to him. This basically demonstrates that royal blood isn't inherently a factor in being chosen to lead (although it isn't clarified whether sharks are the norm or an exception). This is justified in that mer kingdoms seem to function more for immediate survival and familiarity, not unlike a school of fish.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The Witches boast about being evil and claim to have done many vile deeds but come off as goofy and harmless to the point that they are mistaken for performers..
- Covered in Scars: Every denizen of the shark kingdom has scars on their bodies thanks the curse that is killing them, the only exception is the prince himself, at least until he gets a massive scar on his back after pushing Kappa out of the way of a spear.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": The Beacon dislikes his name and he prefers to be called Kappa.
- Dying Race: The sharks are slowly dwindling away thanks to a Dying Curse from a minigod that was slain by a shark hero centuries ago, they are plagued by accidents that leaves them with scars until they finally die. They were forced to hide in a cavern system to minimize the danger to themselves and the prophecy is currently the only way to save them.
- The Octalia were also wiped out by a mini god, save for Mono, Queen Nethimir and Mucku.
- Friend to All Living Things: Kappa has a connection to all living things in the ocean and as such, they will will assist or protect him when he's in trouble.
- The Hecate Sisters: The witches are these; Mucku is The Maid (eccentric, somewhat goofy, and naive), Mono is The Matron(eccentric but sensible), and Queen Nethimir is The Crone (jaded, impatient and worldly).
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: One of the main elements of the story, Kappa hates being The Beacon both because the prophecies often end up being different than expected and because he has no life outside of it which leaves him with no agency of his own.
- Siren falls into this category as well; from a young age, he also had the weight of knowing he would eventually kill the Beacon and free his people from the curse, and later episodes demonstrate just how much of a mental toll this has had on him. When the truth of the prophecy is revealed, it's not much better, since Siren can only lift the curse if he dies.
- Knight Templar Parent: Susna altered the mural of their prophecy by switching the places of her son and The Beacon to spare him and when the citizens start becoming impatient she has a silent breakdown and out of desperation, tries to kill Kappa herself in order to satisfy them and even locks up Siren to prevent him from interfering. She also insists on doing it even after Elder Selkie points out that killing The Beacon could potentially cause the other kingdoms to declare war on them, which they will not survive.
- Lima Syndrome: Siren falls for Kappa after getting to know him during his time in the dungeon. However this is a downplayed example as Siren didn't imprison directly and tries to help him escape.
- Mama Bear: When the sailfish leaders began grooming Pagoon to be a warrior and subjected him to grueling training, his mother Pim threatened them directly and afterwards left the kingdom with her son all together.
- Man Bites Man: The sharks are shown to sometimes bite their opponents during combat and Pim notes that Siren seems to have an instinctive need to use his teeth when training but he doesn't like it because he finds the idea of biting people to be "improper". Later when one of the angler-creatures grabs Arp, he gets angry enough to tear its throat out.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Witches are extremely hammy and silly to the point of ineffectiveness but when faced with a large sea serpent, they show that they are quite skilled at using their powers in combat and nearly kill it until Kappa sends it away.
- Our Gods Are Different: Minigods appear to be this settings equivalent to demigods, they have many of the hallmarks such as being The Ageless and having powers like teleportation and curses. They start off as normal animals until they are are exposed to strange gears that cause them to grow into what they are now.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The mers of this setting range from various kinds of sea life like fish , mollusks and crustaceans. They also each live in their own kingdoms, each with their own customs and their own prophecies.
- Proud Warrior Race: The sailfish are all master sword fighters as a result of living in a particularly dangerous part of the ocean and refusing to leave out of pride.
- Shout-Out: The witches are a group of "evil" octopus sea witches who practice dark magic.