Tag: Let's Make a Mug Too

Let’s Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln

Let’s Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln

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

Second Kiln

Let’s Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln (Yakunara Mug Cup mo: Niban Gama / やくならマグカップも 二番窯) is the second season of the Let’s Make a Mug Too anime. Surprisingly, it only aired six months after the first season of the series.

This season is formatted exactly the same as the first. There are 12 episodes that each run for about 12 minutes. Then, there’s an accompanying live-action 12-minute episode associated with each anime episode.

Once again, I didn’t watch the live-action portions of the series, and so I won’t be discussing them at all. But, I don’t think that I’ve missed out on anything by skipping “half” of the series. The live-action stuff is really just extra; like how some other series have weekly broadcasts with the voice actors.

Anyway, the focus of this season is slightly different from the first, which is good. In the first season, we followed Himeno as she crafted a piece to display in a ceramics competition. From what I remember, she didn’t win first prize, but she got an award of some kind.

That doesn’t matter anymore.

Now, Himeno’s new goal is to craft a piece that can be displayed in her family’s cafe alongside the mugs her mother made. There’s an empty spot on one of the shelves, and Himeno’s father tells her that it’s reserved for one of her pieces.

However, having a piece sit alongside those of her mother causes Himeno a lot of stress. In fact, deciding on the right piece for this situation is an even harder task than deciding on what to make for her first competition.

I think I preferred the focus on Himeno’s family in this season over the focus on the competition in the first season.

Ximena Valdez

There are a few new supporting characters introduced in this season, such as Rio Matsuse, who proclaims herself to be Touko Aoiki’s rival. But, I think Rio only shows up in one or two episodes and isn’t actually important in any way whatsoever.

Ximena Valdez is the one new character who matters. Originally from Mexico, Ximena traveled to Japan to learn more about ceramics. While there, she fell in love with Mino ware and decided to stay in Tajimi to develop her own pottery-making skills.

Himeno first meets Ximena when Ximena is looking for a particular object around town. It turns out that this object is the ceramic sculpture created by Himeno’s mother, Himena. And, yes, both Himena and Ximena are pronounced the same way. This is obviously intentional.

Ximena Valdez drinking from a mug from the anime series Let's Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln
Ximena Valdez drinking from a mug

If you’re worried about spoilers for this series, now’s the time to just skip to the end. I don’t really think this is the kind of series people are going to worry about spoilers for, but I figured I’d let you know before ruining the end of the season.

Anyway, Ximena creates a miniature set of ceramic dishes that are meant to be used for food offerings. The idea is that instead of putting a full-sized meal at the family altar, you place a miniature meal at the table with you for your deceased family members.

The idea behind this is that it mixes the beliefs and customs surrounding death from the cultures of both Japan and Mexico. And, it’s this set created by Ximena that Himeno decides to display in her family’s cafe rather than a piece of her own creation.

In the end, Himeno comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t need to create a piece to be compared to those of her mother. She wanted to display a piece that helps her feel connected to her mother, and that’s exactly what Ximena’s dish set does.

Third Kiln?

I was surprised when it was revealed that Let’s Make a Mug Too was getting a second season. But, what about a third season? Are there still more stories for this series to tell? I don’t know what else is in the manga, but more stories can always be created.

However, that doesn’t mean I think there’s going to be a third season. Honestly, I think it’s probably a 50/50. From a storytelling perspective, I don’t necessarily think we need another season. This one ended in a good spot.

With that said, this series does get funding from a local tourism board. So, I could definitely see a third season being created simply because it’s funded as a form of advertisement.

Naoko and Himeno looking at freshly fired mugs from the anime series Let's Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln
Naoko and Himeno looking at freshly fired mugs

But if there is a third season, what would it be about? We already got a season about Himeno entering a ceramics competition and another season about her comparing herself to her mother. Would revisiting one of those topics be a good idea?

After all, Himeno didn’t win the competition from the first season. And she didn’t create a piece that she could proudly display alongside those of her mother. So, naturally, you’d think that having her accomplish those goals would make sense. Except, this isn’t a shounen battle series; Himeno doesn’t need to become the best pottery-maker in all of Tajimi.

I could see a third season involving Himeno creating a piece that’s meant for someone else, just as Ximena’s pieces were exactly what Himeno needed. And since the second season covered Touko’s character arc as a sub-plot, I could see a Kukuri character arc being featured in a third season as well.

Conclusion

Overall, Let’s Make a Mug Too: Second Kiln is a 5/10 just like the first season. I liked this season a bit more. But the two seasons are so similar that I really can’t justify rating them differently.

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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.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the second season is available now.

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