Let’s Make a Mug Too (やくならマグカップも) is the anime adaptation of the original shōnen manga series that revolves around high school girls and their love of pottery, taking place in the city of Tajimi in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan. The anime is being produced by Nippon Animation and directed by Jun Kamiya.
Normally, I don’t like shows that are super moe-y, but after watching and falling head-over-heels in love with Laid-Back Camp, I’ve come to appreciate the charm that the Cute Girls Doing Cute Shite category has. Plus, Tajima is a gorgeous city, so seeing an anime centred in it appealed to the part of me that is weak-at-the-knees for beautifully animated landscapes. What I wasn’t expecting was the somewhat evocative element to the series that came out to sneak-attack me in the heart.
We learn that Himeno Toyokawa has recently moved to town with her dad, where he’s opened up a café with some gorgeous mugs. As the story continues and it’s revealed that Tajima was her late mother’s hometown, who was a renown ceramics artist, the emotional strings start to drop out from the awnings. What I foresaw as a simple series about adorable ladies and their vehement appreciation for pottery quickly attained a level of depth potential that tends to be a favoured niche of mine (grief-related character development and focus is a huge buzz phrase for me with respect to anime and manga). By the episode’s end, I was completely sold for sticking with it.
Other traits that made it easier for me to keep this glued to my seasonal watchlist include the city scenery I had mentioned earlier, my low-key interest in pottery and ceramics as an artform, and the shorter episode lengths.
The shots of the city being in full cherry blossom bloom was stunning. Seeing sporadic pink petals all over the place created a nice swirl of glee and calm within me as flowers and the colour pink are big positive self-care visual triggers. It puts one into a light-hearted, flourishing mood fit for the pollen-infested yet naturally breath-taking season. I screen-grabbed all of the scene shots that I could because they looked so damn nice and comforting.
For the pottery stuff, it was neat watching Himeno sit down and try her hand at moulding a cup or bowl for the very first time. While she is surrounded by the smell and ambiance of clay, nostalgia brings back something special and hidden away in the recesses of her mind and heart with respect to her mother, which I suspect shall come out to unleash tears as the series progresses forward, especially as it relates to her father who clearly still loves his late wife quite a lot.
Since each episode is approximately fourteen to fifteen minutes long, it makes it much more effortless for me to engage with the super cutesy element of Let’s Make a Mug Too without feeling too put off. The writing (so far) also seems to fit the time restrictions rather well and honestly, if there was an extra ten or fifteen minutes to the segments, I strongly believe it would be too long for this specific type of narrative. Its small doses of feel-good storytelling about a cool topic that we see rarely in any medium feels just right.
Overall, if you really enjoy anime that encapsulate the atmosphere of the season they’re airing in (in this case, Spring) and if you’re a fan of the Cute Girls Doing Cute Shite gimmick, then I feel you will definitely like Let’s Make a Mug Too, more so if you’ve got time constraints since the segments are shorter. If you don’t typically care for moe type stuff, then it’ll be far more hit-or-miss depending on other factors that draw you into a title. As it stands, I would recommend it thus far. Let’s Make a Mug Too is streaming on CrunchyRoll and VRV (linked below).
Source: Manga series
Season: Spring 2021
Studio: Nippon Animation
Director: Jun Kamiya
Content Warnings: Brief mention of death.
AniList: Yakunara Mug Cup Mo
Streaming: CrunchyRoll; VRV