Does “Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?” strikes a chord? It would, if you are a fan of Japanese BL, being the most popular show on the circuit in recent days! When the production house decided to premiere this show, they were only targeting their local fans, but Cherry Magic became a global phenomenon for some unprecedented reason. Even though the show doesn’t have English Subtitles and the fans have to rely on the fan-subbed videos, the excitement for this show hasn’t dimmed even slightly.
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—Edited by TheFNGee
What is it about this show that makes it transcend national borders and puts Japanese BL on the International ‘map?’ Headlined by the very handsome Machida Keita, who plays the charming “Kurosawa Yuichi” and Akaso Eiji, who portrays the rather clumsy yet adorable “Adachi Kiyoshi,” the show’s success has been praised by fans and skyrocketed by the vibrant chemistry between these two actors. They have brought the manga characters to life and given the audiences “A Dream to Live By.” So as we wait with bated breath for the broadcast of the next episode, Psychomilk is going to take you down the memory lane to figure out how this adaptation set a precedent for forthcoming Boy’s Love dramas.
Adapted from the manga series “30sai made Dotei Dato Mahotsukai Ni Narerurashii ” by You Toyota, this show chronicles the life events in Adachi’s rather obscure life. While still a virgin, after Kiyoshi Adachi reaches his 30th birthday, he becomes a “wizard”: he develops an ability to hear other people’s thoughts when he touches them. One day, accidentally, he discovers that his popular co-worker, Yuichi Kurosawa, is in love with him. While dealing with the awkwardness of seeing Kurosawa’s rather explicit fantasies about him, Adachi comes to terms with how much Kurosawa values him and starts to develop reciprocal feelings of his own. The premise seems simple, albeit the supernatural angle, there might not be anything special. So let’s figure out why Cherry Magic is magical!
Adachi is the Main Cause
Adachi Kiyoshi is a normal man who, on his 30th birthday, inexplicably develops the ability to read people’s minds. He is an introvert, rather clumsy yet hardworking. Akaso Eiji manages to make the character entirely believable. You cannot help but be charmed by Adachi’s innocence and naivete. You feel sorry for him when his Senior Urabe Kengo scares him with the urban legend of “Virgin Wizard” or when Urabe is trying to force his work down to Adachi’s desk. However, it isn’t until he develops his special ability and comes across co-worker Kurosawa Yuichi’s thoughts that the story steps into overdrive.
Adachi has spent his life alone and has no basic concept about relationships. At first, he is horrified, but he becomes more accepting of Kurosawa’s feelings with time. Adachi represents the slight panic or misgivings that most LGBTQ face when they come to terms with their sexuality. It is what is it, but until you meet the right person, you don’t want to admit it.
Kurosawa is Mr.Right
Kurosawa Yuichi is the man of your dreams. Millions of fans wish that they would find a man like Kurosawa and I’m sure there’s another group who feels jealous of Adachi. This character is portrayed as off-the-charts popular, someone who is out of your reach. Not in his wildest dreams would have Adachi imagined this level of attraction. But it’s there, and although Kurosawa doesn’t have the courage to voice them openly, his honesty is surreal. We listen to most of his thoughts as a plot contrivance because Adachi can read minds. However, ranging from entirely sensual to sweet, Kurosawa’s entire existence revolves around Adachi. The heartwarming aspect is that Kurosawa is very professional when it comes to working, but his weaknesses are apparent when faced with Adachi. The guy loves with his entire heart, and even though he doesn’t have the guts to confess, that doesn’t dim the level of his attraction. Kudos to Machida Keita for portraying this character with utter honesty.
Interesting Side Characters
While most stories don’t have a recurring theme for the side couples, Cherry Magic is definitely unique. Tsuge Masato, played by Asaka Kodai, is Adachi’s friend from college and is a romance novelist. Like Adachi, he has reached his 30’s as a virgin and can read the minds of people he touches. He owns a cat named Udon, which he rescued from abandonment. Playing his apparent love interest is Minato (portrayed by Goto Yutaro), a deliveryman assigned to Tsuge’s neighborhood. Though wary of Tsuge, he is attached to Tsuge’s cat, Udon, which he had wanted to adopt but couldn’t. Tsuge, unlike Adachi, has major difficulty accepting his newly developed powers, even resulting in a breakdown. However, hearing Minato’s thoughts gives him a new perspective because it’s nice hearing someone else appreciates your efforts. I’m looking forward to this romance solely because the socially awkward Tsuge needs some light moments in his dark and lonely life.
The Slowburn Romance
Japanese BLs are mostly characterized by overtly sexual content, which raises the bar quite high. However, Cherry Magic is an exception. Adachi and Kurosawa are on the opposite poles of the spectrum. Adachi has an insecure personality and easily swayed by other people’s opinions, and Kurosawa, on the other hand, is popular, extroverted, and engaging. The chances of these two people falling in love are near to impossible. That’s the reason Kurosawa keeps his affections to himself. That is until the day Adachi develops the ability to read minds. It’s as if a switch is flipped because both of them are thrown into classic romance situations. Unbeknownst to Kurosawa, Adachi becomes privy to his feelings. There were several moments that had me melting into a puddle of feelings. When Kurosawa adjusted Adachi’s scarf and also when he offered to take Adachi home because he was late, leaving the office are two such adorable moments.
The fact that Kurosawa has a nightshirt that he specially bought in the hope that Adachi might someday wear it will make you yearn for a thoughtful lover like him. Kurosawa doesn’t expect anything in return and loves selflessly. I love how Kurosawa never crosses his limits and respects their boundaries. Even when his office colleagues force them to kiss, Kurosawa is a total gentleman. Adachi might be confused in the initial phase, but the fact remains that he can’t see Kurosawa hurt or sad.
The Almost “Kiss” that didn’t Happen
Adachi has bouts of panic at times. One such moment is where the office staff is celebrating, and they play a game. Their overbearing boss forces them to kiss, and Adachi loses his shit. Kurosawa feels his discomfort and pecks him on the forehead instead. The moment is significant because although he feels disappointed, Kurosawa doesn’t force his desires on Adachi. Seeing Kurosawa’s crestfallen face, Adachi feels hurt.
Consent is important, and while Kurosawa mistakes Adachi’s discomfort as a sign of disgust, it is anything but that. Adachi might not be clear about his own feelings, but if there is one thing that he can’t stand, it is disappointing Kurosawa. So he takes the plunge and openly declares that he didn’t feel disgusted by the kiss. Adachi is just clarifying his stance, but for Kurosawa, it is almost a love confession. So the “Kiss Scene” on the rooftop makes sense. Although they get interrupted and Adachi runs away, the almost kiss would always be my most favorite scene ever.
Damsel in Distress or Not
The “almost Kiss” scares Adachi so much that he spends most of his time hiding from Kurosawa. Despite that, Kurosawa’s nature doesn’t change nor his feelings. I’m actually surprised by this character’s honesty. Kurosawa doesn’t expect anything in return from Adachi and even fights the thugs that try to assault Adachi. Even their co-worker Fujisaki Nozomi notices Kurosawa’s attraction is a major plus point as well. I laughed so hard when she starts shipping them (because in the first episode, Urabe Kengo had been trying to set up Adachi with Fujisaki). Although initially, she returned the sentiment, Fujisaki backs off when she sees the way Kurosawa looks at Adachi with heart eyes.
I’m all for positive women characters who know their limits and even go a step ahead to ship the BL couple! I like these moments where Adachi forgets his fears and looks at Kurosawa in a new light. It is only in these instances that he realizes how lucky he is to be the recipient of affections from someone like Kurosawa. Akaso Eiji and Machida Keita are great friends off-screen, too, and the two make a handsome couple. During a recent press conference, Eji said that Keita had no flaws. Keita said that Eji was kind and caring and full of beauty. Their Instagram interactions are just as adorable, and they even admitted that they act like their characters off-screen.
A testament to their chemistry is their close-to-life photoshoots! Eiji and Keita look good together, and you cannot deny the evidence.
The unexpected success of this BL adaptation has heralded the way for its international distribution. The show’s producers are stunned by the development. Read the MyNavi News’s interview with Cherry Magic’s Producer Kanami Hon’ma. He expresses surprise about the wide world reach and talks about the prospects related to this popular drama’s worldwide distribution.
We also have the English Translation of FAST Tokyo’s interview with Keita Machida. Keita talks about his character and how he identifies with Kurosawa’s basic emotions. He also talks about his working experience with co-star Eiji.
Last but not least, we have the translation of FAST Tokyo’s interview with EijiAkaso. Eiji shares his perspective about Adachi’s mental abilities and also talks about work and career at length.
Keep watching this space as we bring you further updates and most possibly reviews from this romantic comedy!