Sometimes you come across a series which opens up an entirely new world for you. That is what happened to me. My first ever BL drama was Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! (we’ll call it just Cherry Magic for now because the name is huge) and it lives so close to my heart that sometimes I am not able to like anything else just because my expectations are so high. There are so many moments that I love and so many scenes which live in my heart. Cherry Magic is a sweet natural romance with a tiny bit of supernatural.
Based on the manga Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! by Yu Toyota, the series follows the manga well. The manga is still continuing the story of Adachi and Kurosawa (the side characters as well). It is a beautiful depiction of how both the characters fall for each other because of their kindness. The story follows the life of a Adachi (played by Eiji Akaso), who turns thirty while remaining a virgin. In their world, there is a saying that if a man turns thirty without losing his virginity he becomes a wizard. He gains the ability to read people’s minds. Our protagonist gets the said power and one day he discovers that the star of his department at work, Kurosawa (played by Keita Machida) has deep-rooted feelings for him. He freaks out and tries to stay away from Kurosawa as much as possible. One, because he is surprised about the feelings and two because he feels it is unfair that he is reading Kurosawa’s thoughts without his knowledge. Events and situations start to line up one after another which forces Adachi to spend more time with Kurosawa. While spending time with each other, Kurosawa becomes more upfront about his feelings and Adachi too starts to reciprocate.
Adachi is an average worker and Kurosawa is the star of the department, winning hearts here and there. Why is it that out of all the people Kurosawa is attracted to Adachi? Because of his kind heart. The same can be said for Adachi. After discovering Kurosawa’s feelings he gets overwhelmed and anxious and tries to stay away as much as he can. But as it is said that the more you try to run away from something, the more that thing actually comes for you. The simple psychological aspect of this can be that you are constantly thinking about the same thing. When you spend so much time thinking about the same thing you are bound to ‘feel’ something. Now that feeling can take either a good turn or a bad one. For Adachi and for Kurosawa, this ‘feeling’ takes a turn for the better.
In the first episode, when our poor overwhelmed Adachi is going through a crisis and asks himself why Kurosawa likes him, we get all the answers from Kurosawa himself. Well, we get the answer from his thoughts. We realise his honest admiration for Adachi. That he doesn’t just like Adachi, he respects him as well. He appreciates the small gestures that Adachi makes, some unconsciously and some consciously, which others don’t seem to notice. Maybe that is when Adachi starts to fall for Kurosawa. Things are only set into motion right when Adachi starts to discover Kurosawa’s feelings. Kurosawa moves maybe because they started spending so much time together and his admiration and attraction turn into something more. The process of realization here sped up because Adachi can read Kurosawa’s thoughts. But that still does not mean that just one day Adachi got to know Kurosawa’s feelings and then bam, they get together. Things are gradual, they take the right steps. But some of the initial steps are skipped. Which makes the process a little faster. Adachi slowly realises that the star of the department is not some perfect superhero that everybody thinks he is. He is just a normal human being, who worries and panics over small things, just like everybody else. When Kurosawa comes down from being a God to a normal human being in Adachi’s eyes, that is when his feelings start to get real. That is when his feelings go from, “I appreciate you have feelings for me and I do not want to hurt you. I am confused so let’s get to know each other” to “OMG heart eyes and gay panic every moment”. He goes from, I-am-so-pathetic-and-a-disappointment to i-can-do-something-for-Kurosawa. It is like a turning point in Adachi’s life. Because only then does he seriously starts to consider that anything real will happen between them. Before that, it is just all admiration and respect.
Imagine if Adachi never got the powers. Then who knows, Kurosawa might have never confessed. Adachi would never have known and they would have never ended up together. But yes, his wizardly powers worked well for him. Maybe that is why, in their world, Gods bless people over the age of thirty, who are virgins, with these powers. So that they can realise the feelings others have or maybe to set things into motion for them, romantically. Because the same thing worked out for Adachi’s friend (Tsuge) as well. And the powers go away right after they make love with their partner. Because a bond has been created and they no longer need superpowers to make relationships work. They need to rely on their intuition and feelings to make things work.
The reason why this series holds a high place in my heart is also because of the inner monologues that the characters have. They are focused so much on true feelings that there is hardly any toxicity. Even if the characters do have toxic traits, they are somewhat aware of their actions. They are aware that their actions have consequences and they are in touch with themselves. That is what we learn in their inner monologues. How their actions have affected them and their loved ones. They suppress their feelings, they deny them, but at the end of the day, they are aware. That is one thing I find so common in Japanese series. Their heartfelt messages. They do not just seem like characters, with the dialogue delivery and the acting, they start to come to life. They seem realistic. I cannot find the right words to express, but this show is like a warm hug or a hot cocoa mug on cold winter nights.
The story of the side characters too is full of fluff. The drama, the way Tsuge(played by Kodai Asaka) apologises to Minato(played by Goto Yutaro) is absolutely hilarious. At first, Tsuge does not believe Adachi. But then when he finally experiences the mind-reading himself he realises that whatever Adachi was saying was right. Not long after, he falls for Minato, who is his delivery man. They were brought together by none other than Tsuge’s Kawai Neko, Udon. Their story development is faster than the main character though.
The genuine feelings Kurosawa has for Adachi, Adachi’s panic over everything and then him actually getting over his initial discomfort and realising that he is missing out on the opportunity of spending time with a good human being. The normal process of falling in love is so rightly shown, that it makes the drama special. The acting is good and the direction is great, some shots are so beautiful that they will stay with you. They make a strong impact. For example, when Kurosawa and Adachi share a conversation on the terrace after their drinking game with their colleagues, that conversation portrays their chemistry. It feels intimate. Even though they both are not doing anything intimate, you can feel from their conversation that, that is the beginning of Adachi starting to care for Kurosawa. And also them becoming a little more comfortable in each other’s presence.
From start to finish, I felt like this series was a masterpiece. If you are not into fluff and drama, this might not appease you as much as it appeased me. Some things do get extremely dramatic (insert Adachi and Tsuge’s head-banging scene, except Adachi did it in the elevator in front of everyone which obviously scared people). But honestly, if you do want some positive feel-good series to binge and fangirl over, this is highly recommended.
Rating- 4.5 out of 5