Character Analysis: Kurosawa & Adachi in Cherry Magic! 30 years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! by Yuu Toyota
If you have not yet watched the series or read the manga, be warned: spoilers ahead.
I’ve recently discovered and fallen in love with the Japanese BL Series, Cherry Magic! 30 Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! The original story was created in manga format, with the story and illustrations by author Yuu Toyota. And when I say I fell in love with it, I mean almost obsessively so. In the first two weeks after I discovered it, I watched all available episodes of the series probably ten times, and I read the first two volumes of the manga (because those are the only two available in English translation at that time) perhaps a half a dozen times.
The premise of the story is fairly straightforward: ordinary and plain office worker Adachi hits his thirtieth birthday having never dated, or having ‘intimate relations’ before, only to discover that the urban legend about becoming a magic user if you hit 30 while still a virgin is true—he now has the ability to read the minds of those he touches. When he gets stuck in a crowded elevator pressed up against the sales leader in his company, the handsome, popular, and perfect Kurosawa, he is shocked to discover that Kurosawa has romantic feelings for him.
While the story itself is very sweet, what draws me to this story so strongly is the two main characters, Adachi Kiyoshi and Kurosawa Yuichi, and the things about each character that end up bringing them together.
In Kurosawa’s case I can easily see why he fell for Adachi. Throughout his life, his good looks have been both a blessing and a curse to him. They increased his popularity and helped him to easily pass the interview for his current job, for instance. However, he has always felt that people were unable to see past his looks to who he really is inside, and he very much longed for someone to appreciate the real him.
In an effort to get people to really look at him and see him, the very kind Kurosawa tries to “manage his work and personal relationships perfectly.” Despite these efforts, however, he is often still treated like ‘eye candy’ by his seniors at work, and girls who barely even know him still flock around him because of his looks. In fact, over the years, many girls confessed their love to Kurosawa, but they were never able to give a straight answer when he asked why they loved him, because it was just superficial: they loved his looks.
One scene that reveals a lot about Kurosawa’s character is the flashback scene where Kurosawa thinks back to an incident that happened seven years earlier. He and his ‘boring’ coworker Adachi, who is the same age as him and was hired at the same time, were asked to a dinner by company seniors.
They weren’t invited based on merit, though. They were invited because the older, female president of a client company, President Matsuura, liked good-looking young men. Kurosawa is smart enough to know why they were invited, but he tries to prove his worth by speaking with the president of the company about her products and the advantages of them.
In the end, however, he inadvertently insults her by reacting in a shocked manner to her advances. Shortly thereafter, before leaving for the night, he overhears his coworkers talking about him, confirming that they only invited him for his looks and complaining that he managed to mess it up anyway.
Kurosawa was quite drunk when he left the restaurant that night, partly because he drank the wine President Matsuura tried to pressure Adachi to drink, after Adachi said he didn’t do well with alcohol. Kurosawa stumbles along, feeling sorry for himself, and at one point he begins to pass out and fall, only to be caught by Adachi. Adachi lays him on a bench, looks after him, and talks to him. When Kurosawa expresses his discontent and that maybe he is ‘just a pretty face,’ Adachi disagrees with him. He points out that Kurosawa is very hard-working and meticulous and does his job well, and that he is kind, having gotten drunk himself that night to save Adachi from having to drink.
When Adachi spoke to him that night, Adachi gave Kurosawa something he needed but hadn’t ever gotten before: though they weren’t close at this point, Adachi was still able to see and appreciate Kurosawa for who he really is underneath the handsome exterior. Not only that, but Adachi also expressed that he really liked it when Kurosawa showed the less-than-perfect (a.k.a. real) side of himself. That put Adachi on Kurosawa’s radar enough for him to start noticing Adachi more and allowing him to see all the many lovable things about Adachi that most people missed because he is so quiet and unassuming.
As for Adachi himself, he has very low self-esteem. The manga gives hints of things in his past that made it worse, like overhearing a girl he liked saying that it might be too much for her to handle that he’s a virgin (as in too heavy), but it doesn’t really indicate why he was that way in the first place. It could just be his personality. Adachi is really perceptive about other people (like how he could see beyond Kurosawa’s looks before he even knew him very well), but he is not good at seeing his own good points. He’s one of those people who is likely to think stuff like, “Why would they want to talk to me?” “Who would want to be saddled with a sad-sack like me?” (that last one is a line from the manga).
I was extremely shy growing up and that’s exactly the kind of negative self-talk that would go on in my head all the time (I’m making up for it as an adult by talking / writing too much). Adachi thinks he has no notable qualities and that he is just plain and boring. Because of this, he thinks no one notices him. He thinks he’s invisible—he even says he’s “like air.”
So, just like how Kurosawa was hit hard when he realized Adachi really saw him, Adachi is also hit hard when he reads Kurosawa’s thoughts and realizes that Kurosawa really sees him. And not only does Kurosawa see him, he sees all the good points in Adachi and really values him as a person. Because someone Adachi looks up to as handsome, popular, and perfect is able to see Adachi’s worth, he finally is able to see those things in himself and value them as well, which helps him start to become more confident.
In one of the early series episodes, Adachi makes a comment that “If there was someone who truly loved him from the bottom of their heart…but that’s absurd.” He didn’t think that would ever really happen, so he is really touched that Kurosawa feels that way about him. At first he doesn’t think it would last, as we can see when he thinks that he was “afraid to start something and then be a disappointment.”
But as time goes on and Kurosawa only grows to like him more as they get to know each other better, Adachi’s fear and insecurity in this respect start to lessen. Also, Adachi already realized that Kurosawa was a good guy, but once he is able to see Kurosawa’s thoughts, he sees just how kind and considerate he is, and how he truly is a really good person.
Adachi ends up falling for Kurosawa not only because he is such a good, kind, and considerate man, but because Kurosawa is also able to give him something he needed that he had never gotten before: Kurosawa sees and accepts Adachi for who he is, and unlike what Adachi always thought of himself, Kurosawa thinks that the person Adachi is is amazing and lovable.
I could sum all this up by simply saying: Kurosawa and Adachi fell for each other because they are both sweet, kind, and considerate people who were able to give each other that “thing” they needed in their lives that was always missing before. I think that Yuu Toyota did an amazing job at character development for these two, especially given the limited space for written explanations and dialogue that manga allows.
One thing I like about Boys’ Love (BL) series, novels, and manga is the idea that it’s not really about gender—they fall for who the person is. It might be a little idealistic, but I can see the truth in it too. How many of us close ourselves off to certain possibilities because of societal “norms” and expectations? For many of us, it’s scary putting ourselves out there in the first place, then add that extra pressure and fear and it’s even harder.
Since becoming a BL fan, I have found myself often wishing that we had more of these types of series here in North America. They help to normalize love in its truest and purest forms and can help to open people’s minds to the many facets of the human heart, many of which can be damaged and irreparably harmed by those who don’t fit into societal “norms” trying to force themselves into the boxes that society as a whole tries to convince us we belong in.