If you’re unfamiliar with Cherry Magic, the basic premise is that Achi (New Thitipoom) turns 30 and suddenly develops the ability to read minds, because he is a virgin. (I can say for a fact that this is, sadly, NOT an actual thing.) He quickly learns that Karan (Tay Tawan), the “it” guy at his company, has a giant crush on him.
Hello, all, it’s time for another show that I had to skip a week due to being in Texas. Again, I thought about doing a double review but in the end I decided to spare you all the essay that would produce.
I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the original Cherry Magic, which is based on the manga Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! by Toyota Yuu. So I can’t really compare the two, which is probably a good thing. But from what I’ve seen online, the Thai remake has a lot of the same energy and hits the same emotional beats as the Japanese version. It also has a few callbacks to the original, like when Achi turns to the internet for help with his problem and winds up on the Wiki page for the manga.
Anyway, episode 2 picks up where the first episode left off, with Achi having agreed to spend the night at Karan’s condo after the two got caught in the rain. Achi tries to keep things lowkey but Karan’s thoughts are borderline unhinged, and in the end, he fakes sleeping to avoid any further conversation.
But Achi also learns something new about Karan that puts a dimmer on the “perfect” image he projects: he reads manga. He also happens to be reading the same manga that Achi is, so the two have a genuine connection as they discuss the story. I love this moment because it’s organic, but it’s also something that Karan doesn’t seem to have predicted, and seeing him so excited was a joy.
I am living for this dynamic. Both Achi and Karan are relatable to me in totally different ways. Achi is awkward and lacks confidence and is unsatisfied with his life but isn’t making any real efforts to change. That is one hundred percent me, and I should be ashamed to admit it, but I’m not. His constantly comparing himself to Karan is also something I absolutely do, usually with friends or my siblings. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s hard not to look at your life and look at someone else’s life and wish that were you.
Karan represents my hyperfixation side. I was also kind of that ridiculous about crushes when I was younger, before I realized that I am not at all subtle. The difference is that Karan is actually able to hide his feelings pretty well, considering that Achi is only aware because he can read minds. Plus, Karan’s unhinged behavior – buying specific pajamas for Achi and having them monogrammed with a symbol that represents the mole behind his ear – is balanced by the fact that he genuinely has Achi’s best interests at heart. He can see when Achi is uncomfortable and dials it back.
I’m enjoying seeing these two navigate around each other. Achi clearly has an idealized version of Karan in his head because that’s all he sees, so the moment with the manga is great because it shows that Karan is a regular person. Meanwhile, the image that Karan has of Achi seems to be more accurate than Achi’s image of himself. Achi doesn’t think he’s anything special, but Karan sees his kindness and his loyalty and that’s what he admires – not the superficial trappings of capitalism Achi admires about Karan (his job, his condo).
We haven’t had much of the side couple yet, Achi’s friend Jinta (Junior Panachai) and delivery guy Min (Mark Jiruntanin), but I kind of love how it mirrors Achi and Karan’s relationship, just worse. While Jinta thinks Achi is losing his mind, he also wakes up on the morning of his 30th birthday with the ability to read minds. And the first thing he learns is that Min thinks he’s old and weird.
So I think I’m going to enjoy the two of them as we see them more. I do so love the mildly antagonistic love interest dynamic. Also, Jinta seems kind of smug and a bit condescending, so I liked seeing Min call him out. But at the same time, Min did remove his helmet the next time he made a delivery to Jinta’s apartment.
(Also someone please help that cat. The scenes with the cat make me so uncomfortable. Although it is funny that apparently cats speak Thai.)
I’m very curious as to this company that Achi and Karan work at. I don’t think I’d be comfortable going out drinking with my boss, although I understand that may be part of the culture. I definitely wouldn’t want to play any drinking games with my boss, especially drinking games where people randomly demand that others kiss. But Achi’s coworkers seem like good people, and Rock is super adorable. (Side note: I’m excited to see Sing in a role where he doesn’t turn out to be the villain.) And their boss seems like a cool guy, even good-naturedly letting Rock smack him in the head since it was a game.
I’m curious as to whether or not Pai and Dujdao are aware of Karan’s crush on Achi and are trying to get them together or if they’re just nosy. Their insistence last week that Achi take Karan a piece of his birthday cake (seemingly before having a piece himself) would imply the first. But it also could just be the fact that everyone at the company seems to worship Karan.
Basically, I am really enjoying this series. It’s such a delightful slice of fluff on a Saturday morning. As a relative newcomer to Thai BL who hasn’t seen a lot of the older shows, I’m also enjoying watching Tay and New and realizing why they’re so popular. It makes me want to watch more of their shows. It also makes me want to check out the original Cherry Magic. (Let’s be real, it’s already on my watchlist, I’ll just move it up.)
Cherry Magic airs on Saturdays and can be streamed on GMMTV’s official YouTube channel.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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