Sunday, June 27, 2021

REVIEW: Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! (manga, vol. 2) by Yuu Toyota, translated by Taylor Engel

Cherry Magic is a BL manga series with fantasy aspects. It's licensed by Square Enix Manga. I bought my copy brand new.


I couldn't find my copy of volume 1 and don't remember exactly what happened at the end, but I think Kurosawa kissed Adachi's forehead and Adachi said he didn't mind, but they didn't go any further than that. Now Adachi is stressing over his interactions with Kurosawa. Kurosawa's behavior seems perfectly normal, but Adachi's telepathy (which Kurosawa still doesn't know about) tells him that Kurosawa is definitely still hoping they can become a couple. Resistance isn't going to be easy - Kurosawa's hot, romantically experienced (if only with women rather than men), great at everything, and a skillful negotiator.

And so the two of them end up on a staff trip at a hot spring resort with the rest of their coworkers, giving Kurosawa lots of opportunities to spend time with Adachi. Unfortunately, the trip only underscores for Adachi just how popular Kurosawa is. All the women at work want to spend time with him. Why is someone like that at all interested in a depressing and thoroughly forgettable guy like him? Adachi's telepathy may give him the ability to peek at other people's thoughts, but it doesn't let him truly understand their hearts.

Okay, series with the cringe-y title and annoying premise, you have won me over. I'll continue reading. This volume was super cute and sweet, even though I, like Adachi, couldn't help but wonder why Kurosawa fell for him in particular. I mean, yes, he saw Adachi's quiet little acts of kindness and was moved, but surely he'd seen other people do similar things?

One thing I loved about this volume was the way it played around with perspective. Although Adachi has the ability to read the mind of anyone he touches (or who's in the water with him, since apparently water conducts thoughts as well - try not to overthink the telepathy aspects, I guess), that doesn't really mean he understands them, and that was really apparent in this volume. Readers could tell that Kurosawa was jealous of Rokkaku and Fujisaki and fretting over what he viewed as Adachi's moments of closeness with them, but Adachi's completely missed those signs. He knew that Fujisaki preferred Kurosawa to him and figured that was obvious, and Rokkaku didn't even enter his mind as someone who might even vaguely be interested in him.The author took it a step further later by including a couple chapters from Kurosawa's perspective. It was both hilarious and bittersweet.

The second half of the volume introduced another jealousy storyline, after Adachi spotted Kurosawa with a pretty woman. Thankfully that was resolved in this volume, although the resolution was contrived enough to make me wonder what Kurosawa said to her and whether there was some deliberate matchmaking going on.

My favorite moments in this volume: Kurosawa neatly shooing Rokkaku away; Adachi finally realizing some of what Kurosawa had been going through during the staff trip; Kurosawa getting super excited about his glimpse of Adachi's belly (and Adachi vowing to work on his abs more, even so); and pretty much anytime Adachi and Kurosawa got a chance to talk a bit in private.

So yeah, I'm cautiously keeping this on my To Buy list, at least for a little while. Which doesn't really help me with my goal to free up shelf space, but oh well. The series is funny, sweet, and although Kurosawa could end up becoming overbearing, for now he's trying really hard not to come on too strong. Volume 1 did have some moments that made me uncomfortable, but Volume 2 was better in that regard, so I guess I'll find out how Volume 3 works for me.

The "Parental Advisory - Explicit Content" stamp on the cover still makes no sense to me. There is absolutely no explicit content in this or the first volume. While it's true that Square Enix Manga may just be playing it safe and preemptively marking the series this way in preparation for a future more explicit volumes, the longer this series goes on without any explicit content, the more annoyed this stamp is going to make me. After a certain point, it starts to look like the publisher has just decided that two guys being interested in each other is automatically explicit content, and that's not okay.


A page of full-color artwork at the beginning (set up to look like Kurosawa thinking of a paper doll version of Adachi, with a few outfit changes); a short bonus chapter featuring Tsuge, Adachi's romance novelist friend who also developed telepathy at age 30 due to his virginity, and his delivery guy crush; a couple pages of translation notes; and a fairly lengthy preview of the next volume, featuring an amusing moment in which Kurosawa mentally punches his own self out after he finds himself attracted to a sick and feverish Adachi.

I'm not really interested in Tsuge and his crush - I'd rather have more Adachi and Kurosawa. I suspect that the series will switch over and focus more on Tsuge at some point, though, when the author runs out of steam on the primary romance between Adachi and Kurosawa.

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