Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! Volume 11 Review

Life has never been happier for newly-married Adachi and Kurosawa – although they still haven’t planned their honeymoon. As Adachi checks in on his friend Tsuge, he finds out that although the novelist and young dancer Minato are dating, there’s not been much progress in their relationship for a while, not helped by Minato’s career keeping him out on the road, rehearsing and performing. So, when Adachi suggests they go for a double date together, Tsuge’s keen to give it a try and plans are made to go to a local park to admire the autumn foliage. Kurosawa and Adachi make bento lunches (Adachi’s enjoying learning to cook, tutored by Kurosawa) and in due course they meet up.

Tsuge, of course, still has his wizardly magical powers to hear others’ thoughts which isn’t always the easiest gift to live with, as Adachi already knows. And Tsuge hasn’t told Minato yet because that would also mean admitting that, as a romantic novelist, he has absolutely no experience of romance (or sex) himself! When the four men get together for the picnic, things are definitely a little tense between Minato and Tsuge – and it’s not until Tsuge overhears Minato telling Adachi, “I think maybe he got bored with me” that the novelist bursts out, “That’s not true!” It’s time for some plain-speaking to clear the air… and maybe move their relationship to a deeper level.

And what about the honeymoon plans? The newly-weds were planning on going abroad but then comes the news that Kurosawa has been chosen to lead an important new project at work and can’t spare the time (work must come first!). They decide to compromise and take a short but romantic break in Atami by the sea.

In Volume 11 of Cherry Magic! the story moves beyond the material dramatized in the recent TV anime which concluded very satisfyingly with the wedding. If any readers thought that married life with Adachi and Kurosawa might be cosy but a little dull, there’s no need to worry! Yuu Toyota has introduced some delightful (and sometimes mischievous) touches into these chapters to keep our interest – and if you’re still reading by now, it’ll be because you’re invested in the characters. The section in Chapter 53 where Kurosawa delivers a cooking tutorial to Adachi for ‘Salmon and Mushroom Takikomi-Gohan’ is a neat little homage to Fumi Yoshinagi’s What Did You Eat Yesterday?

Then there’s the shopping trip where Adachi and Kurosawa persuade Tsuge to try on different casual outfits until he finds one that he thinks Minato will approve of. When Adachi learns that Minato and Tsuge have been keeping in touch by texting, he silently observes, He said they hadn’t made any progress… but they’re learning about each other by sending messages while they’re apart. It feels a little like the Heian era. And then we’re shown Adachi’s vision of the four of them in Heian costume (just as if they were actors in a J-drama) as he concludes, It’s right up Tsuge’s alley and I’d say it’s fine. But the best moment of all comes in the following chapter – and without spoiling it, I’ll just say that it will definitely appeal to fans of Kurosawa’s charming (although maybe also a little disturbing) ability to make up songs in his head!

Cherry Magic! remains one of the most sympathetic and positive portrayals of contemporary gay relationships in Boys’ Love available in translation at the moment, largely thanks to the mangaka’s story-telling skills and distinctive character portrayals. Even though the ‘cherry magic’ gift is now confined to Tsuge, it’s heartening to realize how much diffident Adachi has gained in confidence through his love for Kurosawa. This volume also comes shrink-wrapped and is rated Mature because it builds to a sweet and semi-explicit sex scene (as you’d expect on a honeymoon).

As in previous volumes, there’s a mangaka’s afterword, a one-page preview of Volume 12 as well as several pages of Chapter 57 to whet the appetite. (At the time Yuu Toyota was writing the afterword (2022) the live action movie had just been released but the anime series had not yet been announced.) The translation and lettering for Volume 11 for Square Enix Manga are again in the very capable hands of Taylor Engel and Bianca Pistillo respectively and there’s a page of translation notes as well as a really attractive colour image at the front, one of the mangaka’s best. (A word of praise also for Square Enix Manga’s continuing use of very good quality paper for these trade paperbacks which makes reading a really pleasant experience.)

Even though it’s good to see Adachi and Kurosawa confident enough in their relationship to hold hands in public when exploring Atami, the pressures of working in a highly competitive office environment are beginning to accrue again and the next weeks may not be so easy for the young couple as Kurosawa takes the reins of this high-profile assignment. Volume 12 is slated for September 2024.

Our review copy from Square Enix Manga was supplied by Turnaround Comics (Turnaround Publisher Services).

9 / 10


Sarah's been writing about her love of manga and anime since Whenever - and first started watching via Le Club Dorothée in France...

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