Hello Asia! writer K-Ci Williams continues his year of TV-binging with Cherry Magic.
Life is unpredictable. Sometimes the universe throws you a curveball and takes you onto an uncharted path. Much the same happened to me recently and it is why my goal, of watching as much TV in 2021 as possible, has stagnated. But sometimes the uncharted path fills your world with delights you never would have imagined. I know that now, and nobody knows it better than Adachi, the shy and self-kept virgin in Japan’s Cherry Magic.
This fragile heart of mine needed something soft and dewy after I Told Sunset About You (find our review here) and Cherry Magic seemed perfect. It was everything I needed and more.
For someone who has shied away from the fantasy genre in recent times, I have come to love magical realism. Adachi becoming a mind-reader through physical touch because he is a virgin at 30 is a welcome spin on several tropes. It is a credit to the series itself that emphasis was never placed on the ‘virgin’ aspect, only ever on the magic that came from not ‘popping their cherry’.
Often in fiction, the truth lies in what is not said. A writer will scramble to convey the unsaid, to hold a light against the subtext and reveal what the characters really mean to say. It is refreshing to say the least, that the plot device of hearing others’ thoughts lends itself to skipping straight to the point.
It Is So Tender
I would be lying if I said that watching BL does not give me some sense of sexual gratification, if not a vicarious experience that will only live on in daydreams. Cherry Magic is the antithesis of that experience, with a lushness that is coated in longing stares, Keita Machida‘s smile as Kurosawa and the doe-eyed expression of Eiji Akaso as Adachi; the core story began with Adachi in the elevator, hearing Kurosawa waxing lyrical about him, and ends with their kiss in the elevator, albeit hidden from us.
That Is Growth
Kurosawa opened Adachi’s eyes to the fruits of an ever-changing world, pushing him to realise he was worthy of an existence outside of the mundanity he had resigned himself to. His love in the end is for himself, in wanting to stray from his own beaten path and forge ahead, stronger, more assured. Kurosawa is a perfect gentleman, an ideal we all want but somehow fall short of. Men are always better in fiction.
And spare a thought for the secondary characters, Minato and Tsuge, the latter of which annoyed me to no end throughout the entire series with his theatrical and overbearing personality, but softened once he, uh, lost his ‘magic’. Minato was a sweetheart and deserves all the good in this world.
It is a fast watch but it leaves a mark. There’s nothing like a wholesome BL series with minor conflict to remind this writer that every calendar day has charm to be found. Cherry Magic proves how much better life would be if we all, in our own way, started to say what we mean and mean what we say. We do not need mind-reading magic, we need only let those we love know how much we love them.