Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! 01 by Yuu Toyota

Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜

Genre: boy’s love, romance, LGBTQIA+

Content warnings: none

Once in a blue moon I stumble upon a book that completely blows my expectations away even though I went in with none, and as such immediately makes it to my all times favorite list. That was the case with Cherry Mahou as well. It is a gem among boy’s love titles, standing out mainly by the fact that it shows us that you can write an engaging romance that you want to root for with healthy boundaries and unproblematic characters.

At first sight I was wary of this title – our main character gains mind reading powers due to his virginity after all. As an advocate for healthy romances and asexual coded characters I was worried the main character would be mistreated or ridiculed even. But the story never makes fun of Adachi due to his virginity or never implies that he is less in any way. He is treated with respect, and consent and communication are a huge part of the story. This alone made me really appreciate this manga and let me tell you about all the things I loved about it.

Oh and don’t be worried about the explicit warning, this volume and volume two contain no adult scenes so far, the author however stated they would like to include some later on.

Adachi, turning 30, suddenly finds himself being able to read other people’s minds – people that he touches, that is. He finds the power more bothersome than anything and tries not to pay a lot of attention to it. That is until thanks to a crowded elevator ride, he realizes that his super handsome, kind, popular co-worker likes him. After confirming that he isn’t just hallucinating and loosing his mind, as one could when turning 30 and living a lackluster life, Adachi starts to think about how he never had a relationship before.

He never dared to act on it even if he had someone he liked, due to a fear of being rejected and being afraid of not being able to meet other’s expectations. Surprised but not entirely put-off Adachi finds himself pondering if he possibly could like kind, sweet Kurosawa back. The two suddenly find themselves spending time together more often than before which let’s Adachi learn more about Kurosawa.

I also find it very refreshing that Adachi doesn’t even have a gay panic moment – he is surprised by Kurosawa’s interest in him because he has no romantic experience and he is awkward around people but he is super chill about gay things otherwise. There is also an added humor in how Adachi can read other people’s unfiltered thoughts such as Kurosawa noticing a mole on Adachi’s neck and finding it super sexy. While there is no way to top the live action adaptation’s perfectness the manga is also super sweet. I love that the story deliberately avoids falling into any of the time-tried and frankly problematic BL tropes.

While the mind-reading brings up the question of privacy, it is due to be addressed in later volumes. It is not something Adachi can control, and even when he uses it on purpose it is mostly to serve as a social aid of sorts since he struggles with social anxiety.

Kurosawa invites Adachi to stay over after he misses his train home and they spend some time alone together but he never tries to take advantage of him. There is another instance when drunken coworkers egg them on to kiss just for fun, but the moment Kurosawa sees that Adachi is uncomfortable he backs off. I really appreciate this, especially since it is clear Kurosawa is interested in more but he never wants to risk pushing Adachi too far. Thanks to his magic Adachi can hear Kurosawa’s conflicting thoughts about wanting more but not wanting to force himself on Adachi. The fact that Kurosawa being considerate of him is one of the major reasons Adachi starts liking him is just something we rarely see in romances and it makes this story so refreshing.

The fact that Adachi has no prior experience in romance is also treated so amazingly, he is not treated badly or any different because of this – if anything Kurosawa reacts respectfully when he tells him, and vows to be even more careful in how he tries to woe him. A lot of thinking happens in this volume, and I am excited to see more as Adachi will continue to realize his feelings towards Kurosawa.. the below is just the closing thought of his for this volume and it sums the sweetness of this series up perfectly.

We desperately need more boy’s love titles like this where the focus is on communication and mutual respect. Relationships that are built on both parties being interested in romance and treating each other as equals. Characters that care about consent and don’t push their partners out of their comfort zones.

The manga moves slowly, and this is a slow burn romance built on the characters getting to know each other.

For now only two volumes are available in English (6 in Japanase and still running). The third English translated volume will drop in May. If you can’t wait to see more of the story though there is an incredible live action adaptation with amazing writing and really cute actors. The live action keeps the main themes and central plot lines and polishes the writing and character interactions even more, it is clearly a love of work. You can read my detailed review on it here. You can watch it on Crunchyroll with a free account.

Also can we just appreciate the fact that the author drew the first few pages of this story for fun and posted it on twitter (@toyotayou) and when the post went viral a publisher reached out and that’s how we got this manga! Let’s go and support this title! 💜💜💜

Where to find:

The manga on Goodreads

The manga on Amazon / Kindle available

My review on Goodreads

The tv show on Crunchyroll

My review on the tv show

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