Let’s Make a Mug Too

Let’s Make a Mug Too

Let's Make a Mug Too anime series cover art
Let’s Make a Mug Too

Series Overview

Let’s Make a Mug Too (Yakunara Mug Cup mo / やくならマグカップも) is an anime short that consists of 12 episodes, which are each about 14-minutes in length. However, each episode also has a live-action episode paired with it.

I didn’t watch the live-action portions of the series, so this review is only going to be of the animated episodes. After all, this is an anime blog. But, my understanding is the live-action portion features discussions of each episode and the aspects of the Gifu Prefecture highlighted within.

If you know nothing about this series, that might sound a bit odd. So, let me explain why the Gifu Prefecture is important within the series.

As you may have surmised, Let’s Make a Mug Too is an anime about pottery. And yes, they make more than just mugs. It’s a “cute girls doing cute things” (CGDCT) series about a high school pottery club located in Tajimi City within the Gifu Prefecture.

The Gifu Prefecture is known for a type of pottery known as Mino ware, which is why the series is specifically set within Gifu. I know nothing about pottery, so I couldn’t tell you what makes Mino ware so special. But, I’m sure Google could help you out if you’re interested in learning more.

Usually, I find myself enjoying CGDCT anime about activities I have no interest in doing myself, such as camping and fishing. So, I figured that I’d like Let’s Make a Mug Too as well since I’m not really interested in making pottery. Unfortunately, that trend didn’t apply to this series. Maybe it’s because it’s not an outdoor activity.

Main Characters

Himeno “Hime” Toyokawa is the protagonist of the series. Before joining the pottery club at school, she had either no experience with pottery or very little from when she was a child (I forget which). But, she quickly learns how much fun creating art out of clay is.

Naoko Naruse is Hime’s best friend who I’m pretty sure isn’t a member of the pottery club despite often hanging out there. She’s probably the worst of the four main characters because she’s so bland compared to the rest of them, including her character design.

Touko Aoki is the president of the pottery club and the one who takes pottery the most seriously. Hime and Kukuri don’t see pottery as a joke or anything, but Touko is far more traditional in how she feels about the art of pottery making. She also hates being distracted when working.

Touko, Kukuri, and Naoko watching Himeno make pottery from the anime series Let's Make a Mug Too
Touko, Kukuri, and Naoko watching Himeno make pottery

Mika Kukuri is the fourth and final main character. I believe she’s a freshman like Hime and Naoko, but she already had a connection to the pottery club and Touko. Kukuri is energetic, loud, and not exactly the brightest. However, she does really love making pottery.

Aside from these four girls, there are three other recurring characters in the series. These are Hime’s father, her grandmother, and the teacher who acts as the advisor to the pottery club, Mami Koizumi.

The biggest issue I have with this series is probably the characters. Not much happens in the series, but I can overlook that since it’s just a slice of life series about pottery. But that means the characters need to do all of the heavy lifting, which they simply don’t in Let’s Make a Mug Too.

A second season of this series has been confirmed, so let’s wait and see if it solves this issue or if it’s just more of the same.

Is it Just a Tourism Ad?

Something you may have heard, or even assumed yourself, about Let’s Make a Mug Too is that it’s just an advertisement for Gifu prefecture’s tourism board. I assumed that was the case too at one point. But, after doing a lot of research (I read the Wikipedia page), I learned that’s not actually true.

However, that’s not to say that it’s completely false. The tourism association for Tajimi City actually is involved with the anime, so in that sense, it is a tourism advertisement. But I’ve not seen any indication that the tourism association was connected to the original manga.

And speaking of the manga, I was surprised to learn that it’s actually been running since 2012 and has 33 volumes published (online) to date. For reference, that’s 1/3 as long as One Piece, which is insane for a slice of life manga about pottery.

Touko, Himeno, Kukuri, and Koizumi-sensei taking pottery out of a kiln from the anime series Let's Make a Mug Too
Touko, Himeno, Kukuri, and Koizumi-sensei taking pottery out of a kiln

Obviously, I haven’t done too much research into this because I honestly don’t care enough to. But my assumption is that while the Tajimi City tourism association wasn’t involved in creating the series, they were responsible — at least in part — for funding the anime adaptation.

I hope the anime has helped with the city’s tourism. But at the same time, I feel like it probably didn’t. I get the feeling that the age demographic for this anime and for traveling to Tajimi to see Mino ware and whatever else the region has to offer culturally are pretty different.

And even if there are people who enjoyed this anime and then travel to Tajimi for vacation, I can’t imagine it’s a large number. Mino ware is such a niche thing. It would be different if the anime focused on all kinds of different things in Gifu prefecture.

Conclusion

Let’s Make a Mug Too is a 5/10. It was okay. It definitely wasn’t good, but I wouldn’t say it was bad either. If the episodes were a full 24 minutes, however, I probably would have rated it lower. Sitting through 24-minute episodes of this series wouldn’t have been very enjoyable.

Oh, and before I wrap this review up, I want to say that I do actually like the OP song. The visuals don’t really matter, but the song is fun. So at least I can say that part of the anime is good.

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