Category: Weekly Reviews

Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 8

Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 8

The Strongest Magical Girl

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season Episode 8 was a fairly good episode, all things considered. It wasn’t as amazing as I hoped it would be. But, I understand that not every episode can be what the kids call a banger.

There is one issue I had with this episode, though — there were no subtitles for about a third to a half of it. And since I didn’t feel like wasting time finding a version of the episode with complete subtitles, my Japanese skills were really put to the test.

I’m pretty sure I got like 75% of the dialogue that wasn’t subtitled, which is honestly better than I expected. But, I just wanted to bring that up in case there’s something missing from this review. I don’t think that will be the case, though.

Tsuruno realizing she killed Meru from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Tsuruno realizing she killed Meru

Anyway, during the main portion of the episode without subtitles, we learned that Tsuruno blames herself for the death of her friend Meru. And she does so in two different ways, even though neither is really her fault.

First, when Meru died, Tsuruno was the only member of their squad who wasn’t present. This led Tsuruno to feel as though Meru could have been saved if only she were there. In response, her friends kindly remind her that she’s weak and so her help wouldn’t have mattered.

This led Tsuruno to always strive to be “the strongest magical girl” so that none of her friends would ever die on her watch. However, this image of herself was shattered when she learned that she killed the Witch version of Meru.

That’s understandably going to be difficult to deal with mentally. But, there’s really nothing else she could have done in that situation.

Connect

Obviously, Yachiyo’s attempt to connect with Tsuruno from Episode 7 didn’t work out. It was explained that the reason for this is that Yachiyo didn’t truly understand how Tsuruno felt, specifically when it came to Tsuruno’s feelings regarding the death of Meru.

But, I originally thought the reason Yachiyo’s connection to Tsuruno failed was that Tsuruno was already dead. After all, Tsuruno’s body was in pretty rough shape at the end of the previous episode and she was moving around as if she was a puppet on strings.

I was fully expecting it to be revealed that Tsuruno had been dead ever since she turned into “green” Tsuruno. And as you might recall, I mentioned last week that I thought Tsuruno’s death would actually benefit the growth of the other characters.

Tsuruno after being saved by Yachiyo from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Tsuruno after being saved by Yachiyo

However, now that we got a bit of backstory for Tsuruno, I don’t mind the path Magia Record went down. I think that may be mostly due to the fact that we at least got details on someone dying — Meru.

We’ve known that one of Tsuruno’s and Yachiyo’s friends died since sometime within the first season. But since we never had a face or a name to go with it, that random death didn’t have much of an impact. Now that we know who Meru is and how her death affected Tsuruno, I’m satisfied.

Additionally, I think what we saw happen with Tsuruno in this episode may be the path to saving the magical girls who turned into Doppels, like Kaede. If her friends can figure out what caused her to fall into despair, they may be able to connect with her and save her.

I’d definitely like that a lot more than some Deus ex machina saving everyone in the end.

Walpurgisnacht Heads to Mitakihara

One thing I’m a bit unsure about is why Walpurgisnacht changed course and began heading toward Mitakihara at the end of the episode. All our heroes did was rescue Tsuruno and Mami from the Wings of the Magius.

They didn’t stop the artificial Witch Eve. And as far as we know, there are still a lot of Witches and Wings of the Magius members running around in Kamihama. Wasn’t it stated that the combined magical energy of Eve, the Witches, and the magical girls that was leading Walpurgisnacht there?

As far as I can tell, nothing has changed that would cause Walpurgisnacht to abandon Kamihama in favor of Mitakihara. And, even if you want to argue that something caused Walpurgisnacht to head to Mitakihara in the original series, that something was Madoka — who’s currently in Kamihama.

Kyouko, Sayaka, Mami, Madoka, and Homura from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Kyouko, Sayaka, Mami, Madoka, and Homura

I see three possible reasons for Walpurgisnacht heading to Mitakihara in this timeline. The first, and one I like the least, is simply that there’s no real explanation and it’s just an excuse to remove the Mitakihara girls from the current storyline. Removing them will let the new girls shine more, but I want a real explanation to go with it.

The second reason is the more meta option, which is that Walpurgisnacht is being drawn to the potential energy of Madoka in all the other timelines. As far as we know, she stayed in Mitakihara in most of those timelines, so her potential magical energy may be strongest there.

And the third reason is that there’s actually something else going on in Mitakihara and we’ve now effectively finished the Kamihama portion of Magia Record’s story. Perhaps we’ll see the Kamihama girls head to Mitakihara where some new development will occur.

I think my second theory is the best of the three, but we’ll have to wait until the third season to find out.

Conclusion

What do you think of the final episode of Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season? Like I said at the start, I think it was a good episode, even if it wasn’t the best episode of the season.

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.

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Boruto Episode 217

Boruto Episode 217

Baryon Mode

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 217 was a great episode. It wasn’t as visually stunning as Episode 189, but I honestly don’t know if another episode will ever match that. Maybe something near the very end of the series.

Anyway, let’s talk Baryon Mode, Naruto’s new ultimate technique that he’s only going to ever use this one time. That description makes it sound pretty cheap. It’s a technique that he can pull out once when he really needs to defeat his opponent and save the day.

But, considering the drawback is literally death (not really), it makes it slightly less cheap. Overall, I still prefer something like Might Guy’s Eighth Gate of Death simply because we always knew that existed. Baryon Mode is pulled out of nowhere.

Kurama from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Kurama

Now, you may recall from last week that I said I don’t believe Naruto is actually going to die from his use of Baryon Mode (which wasn’t named at the time). Kurama says something at the start of this week’s episode which seems to confirm that. He says that Baryon mode uses up their chakra until one or both of them dies.

Considering the death of just one of them is an option here, it seems like Kurama just set up his own death flag. There’s no way Naruto dies at this point. But now that we know only Kurama has to die, that seems like the logical outcome.

And, don’t forget that in my review of Episode 215 I said Naruto needs to be nerfed in some way, such as by removing the tailed beasts from within him. Kurama dying would pretty much solve that.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what a baryon is, it’s a heavy particle like a neutron or proton. I’m not sure what that has to do with this mode. I’m a writer, not a physicist.

First and Last

I didn’t realize how much I missed fights that take place on bodies of water until we got this fight between Naruto and Isshiki. There’s just something about Naruto fights and bodies of water — they go together perfectly. But, they also work together simply because they’re already an iconic duo.

I hope you’re ready because here’s the part of the review where I show how much of a Naruto fanboy (nerd) I am. This fight was actually a reference to another fight that occurred over 16 years ago. That might be before some of you reading this were born.

Back in May of 2005, Naruto Episode 133 aired and gave us one of the most iconic Naruto scenes to this day. Even if you’ve never watched the original Naruto series, you’ve seen the scene of Naruto punching Sasuke up into the air and finishing him with a kick to the chin.

And if you somehow don’t know what I’m talking about, click on that link to my Naruto review. There’s a gif of the scene in that.

A splash of water caused by Naruto and Isshiki fighting from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
A splash of water caused by Naruto and Isshiki fighting

You might be thinking, “Wow, that’s pretty cool that Boruto Episode 217 referenced Naruto Episode 133!” But, what if I told you there’s more to it than just that? Think about the two fights and how they relate to Naruto’s character.

The fight in Naruto Episode 133 wasn’t the first fight between Naruto and Sasuke, but it was the first real fight between them. This was the fight that really started Naruto and Sasuke down their respective paths.

And now, in Boruto Episode 217, we got what’s probably going to be Naruto’s last major fight. So it’s only fitting that Naruto’s last big fight had a direct reference to his first big fight.

Naruto Burns Out

As the fight between Naruto and Isshiki progressed, I started to feel like maybe I wouldn’t mind if Naruto actually defeated Isshiki once and for all here. I know I previously stated that Boruto and Kawaki have to be the ones to defeat Isshiki — and they probably will be — but let’s consider how things could have played out if Naruto won.

If Naruto defeated Isshiki with his Baryon Mode and then lost Kurama as a result, it would effectively serve as a reset for the series. The main antagonist would be gone, but so too would the main protagonist.

With both Isshiki and Naruto (Kurama) out of the picture, Boruto and Kawaki would be free to go up against the next antagonist without their predecessors hanging over them. Also, let’s pretend Sasuke lost his Rinnegan so he’s out of the picture too.

Baryon Mode Naruto bursting through flames from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Baryon Mode Naruto bursting through flames

It might seem odd for Naruto to be the one to defeat Isshiki. That’s what I originally thought. After all, shouldn’t Kawaki play a role in his defeat to show that Kawaki has grown as a character? Yes, but we could also view Isshiki’s defeat at the hands of Naruto as a way to cleanse Kawaki of everything holding him back.

There are still other, strong opponents for Kawaki and Boruto to fight. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Delta, and we haven’t seen anything of Code yet. Kara still exists even without Isshiki, though it’s unclear exactly what their next steps would be.

And, let’s not forget that Momoshiki could still play a role later in the series. If Naruto had defeated Isshiki here, it would set the stage for Boruto and Kawaki to do the same to Momoshiki later on.

But, none of that matters now that Isshiki defeated Naruto. I just thought I’d mention it because Isshiki isn’t necessarily the final antagonist for Boruto and Kawaki to overcome and grow from.

Kawaki’s Choice

Obviously, the “right” choice for Kawaki to make would have been to not reveal himself to Isshiki, thus allowing Naruto to be killed. This would have meant Isshiki also died, and therefore Kawaki would have saved the world from him.

However, that’s not the choice Kawaki makes. Kawaki thinks that giving himself up to save Naruto is the same as Naruto giving himself up to save Kawaki. What Kawaki isn’t realizing is that he and Naruto have very different dynamics in how they’re supposed to interact with each other.

Kawaki thinks that in order to be like Naruto, he has to be willing to sacrifice himself for others. However, he’s missing the important context that he and Naruto aren’t equals. Naruto is the father figure here, while Kawaki is the child. The sacrifice isn’t supposed to go both ways.

Kawaki from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Kawaki

I’m interested to see how this choice plays out. On one hand, now that Kawaki has made his choice, we might see Isshiki take him away and make him into a new vessel. If this is the case, Boruto and Kawaki probably wouldn’t meet face to face again until their battle in the Leaf Village ruins.

However, the current OP has actually been pretty good at foreshadowing — which is uncommon among Boruto OPs. It clearly shows Sasuke, Boruto, and Kawaki standing over Naruto on the ground after the fight against Isshiki. This seems to imply that Isshiki has been defeated.

So, on the other hand, I think it’s also possible that Isshiki implants his Karma on Kawaki here before dying, we get the scene from the OP, and then that explains how Kawaki has Karma again for when he and Boruto fight in the Leaf Village ruins.

Conclusion

What do you think about Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 217? Are Naruto, Kurama, or both going to die from using Baryon Mode? Did you catch the reference to Naruto Episode 133? And do you think Isshiki is going to take Kawaki away or leave him with Boruto? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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My Hero Academia Episode 113

My Hero Academia Episode 113

Shigaraki’s Upgrades

The final episode of My Hero Academia Season 5 is here, and I have to say I’m glad that it’s finally over. This series can definitely be good at times. But overall, I think it’s just alright and I usually don’t really want to watch it.

Episode 113 isn’t one of the good episodes. I knew that going in, though. I’m not sure if the final episode of any My Hero Academia season has been good. From what I remember, they’re all these “wrap-up” episodes that don’t include any worthwhile content.

Honestly, I’d rather have had Episode 112 be the finale of the season. I know some people hate cliffhangers, but they do make me anticipate the next season more. And when a season concludes without anything exciting, it detracts from the season as a whole — like an anime with a bad ending.

Shigaraki Tomura from the anime series My Hero Academia Season 5
Shigaraki Tomura

Anyway, I wanted to talk about Shigaraki’s quirk upgrades in this section of the review, so let’s move on to that. We already saw that his quirk achieved an “awakened” state that turns his Decay quirk into an area of effect-type attack.

We also knew that the doctor was going to perform some sort of treatment on Shigaraki to make him even more powerful. And, I had assumed that this treatment would either give him a second quirk or specifically give him One-for-All.

While this still might happen, it seems that the main benefit of this treatment is that it will allow Shigaraki to combat the negative effect of quirk singularity. Basically, even as his quirk continues to go stronger, Shigaraki won’t lose control of it.

This effectively removes the natural limit for how powerful a quirk can become. It may be a prerequisite for giving him an additional quirk.

Deku’s Next Quirk

Of course, Shigaraki isn’t the only one who received a new quirk upgrade this season and is going to be receiving another in the future. Deku acquired his Blackwhip quirk from one of his predecessors, and there are four or five (I forget exactly how many) additional quirks for him to awaken.

Interestingly, although Deku awakened Blackwhip seemingly at random, All Might believes that Deku will be able to specifically select the next quirk to awaken. And the quirk All Might suggests is Float, the quirk of Nana Shimura.

I feel like this is the first time we’ve actually been told what Nana’s quirk is. And, going along with that, I think this is the first time we’ve seen it being used — even if we only got a still frame.

Nana Shimura (and Gran Torino) from the anime series My Hero Academia Season 5
Nana Shimura (and Gran Torino)

Unfortunately, just from the name and the little bit of it we saw, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how the quirk works. We know it allows the user to fly. But beyond that, we don’t really know anything about it. It does seem likely to have additional uses, though.

Originally, I was thinking that it might work like Ochako’s Zero Gravity quirk, allowing the user to make objects they touch float as well. However, I’ve come to realize that’s probably not going to be the case. I doubt the author is going to make Ochako irrelevant by giving Deku the same quirk.

Sure, Blackwhip works in much the same way as Sero’s Tape quirk. But it’s not as if Sero is a major character or anything. I often forget he exists despite being a member of Class 1-A. Ochako isn’t one of the most important characters either, but she’s more important than Sero.

If Float really only is the ability to fly, the main benefit of it I see is that it would allow Deku to avoid Shigaraki’s area of effect quirk upgrade.

The Next Season

Based on the very end of Episode 113, it seems like the next season is going to include, if not start with, an arc in which the students take on the newly formed Paranormal Liberation Front. I believe all of the Class 1-A students are participating in work-study programs, so they should all be involved.

But, something that’s unclear is whether or not Shigaraki will be participating in the upcoming battle. The doctor mentioned that it’s going to take four months for his treatment to be completed. Does that mean he’ll be on the sidelines for all of the next season?

I’m going to predict that we won’t see Shigaraki appear until fairly late in the next season. And I think he’s not going to show up until after Deku awakens the Float quirk. If Deku is primarily confined to the ground, he won’t be able to escape from Shigaraki’s advanced Decay.

Izuku "Deku" Midoriya from the anime series My Hero Academia Season 5
Izuku “Deku” Midoriya

It also makes sense for the next season to kill off some characters. I know it’s popular to think that All Might is going to die, but I don’t believe that’s going to happen — at least not anytime soon.

But Hawks seems like a great character to kill off. Because he’s embedded himself within the Paranormal Liberation Front, he has access to the villain leadership and they have access to him.

Since Spinner and Mr. Compress didn’t get quirk power-ups during the My Villain Academia arc, I think they’re going to die. And it may be Hawks who kills them. But then it also makes sense for someone like Dabi to end up killing Hawks.

Remember, Hawks and Endeavor work closely together. And I’m almost certain that Dabi is actually Endeavor’s “dead” son. So Dabi killing Hawks would really bring everything together.

Conclusion

What do you think of My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 113? Do you think Shigaraki is going to gain a new quirk? How do you think Nana Shimura’s Float quirk works? And which characters could you see dying in the next season, if any? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Episode 48

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Episode 48

The Next Chapter

TenSura Episode 48 was the final episode of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. It was structured more or less as I expected. But it was also better than I was anticipating thanks to some of the additional details regarding the demon lords we got.

For that reason, today’s review is going to focus almost exclusively on the demon lords. And to start off, we need to take a look at the death of, arguably the weakest demon lord, Clayman at the hands of Rimuru.

Clayman’s death was important because it closed out the current chapter of the series (not to be confused with manga chapters). Clayman had been the primary antagonist for a while, and with him dead, we can now move on to the next antagonist.

Clayman's broken mask from the anime series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2
Clayman’s broken mask

The way I see it, there are three primary candidates for the role of the next antagonist. And no, Guy Crimson isn’t one of them. I could definitely see Guy being an antagonist later on in the series, but not right now.

For now, the contenders are the demon lords Kazalim, Cromwell, and Valentine.

Kazalim is an obvious choice because he’s Clayman’s master and the only one not connected to the newly formed Octagram. However, the argument could be made that it’s too soon after Clayman’s death for Kazalim to show up.

Cromwell has been the stated enemy of Rimuru since way back in the first season due to his involvement with Shizue. And Valentine appears to be connected to the nation that invaded Tempest and killed Rimuru’s citizens.

Honestly, Valentine would make the most sense if Octagram wasn’t just formed. That kind of makes things awkward.

Octagram: The Eight-Star Demon Lords

Before Rimuru was officially accepted as one of the demon lords, there were 10 of them and they were known as the 10 Great Demon Lords. Simple enough. And, since Rimuru killed Clayman, that means his addition to the group didn’t change that number.

But, both Frey and Carrion decide to give up their demon lord titles so that they can serve under Milim. They’re still going to control their own domains — or at least Carrion is — but they also want to formally acknowledge Milim as above them.

It should also be noted that this doesn’t mean Frey and Carrion are going to disappear. Every demon lord is allowed two companions, and Milim brought none. So at the next Walpurgis, I fully expect Frey and Carrion to be accompanying her. Also, let’s not forget that Carrion and Eurazania are allied with Rimuru and Tempest.

Vampire, the Queen of Nightmares: Luminus Valentine from the anime series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2
Vampire, the Queen of Nightmares: Luminus Valentine

Anyway, with the departure of Frey and Carrion, we’re now down to eight official demon lords, known as Octagram. And of these eight demon lords, I think only about half are true (awakened) demon lords.

Guy states that Frey and Carrion hadn’t awakened, so we don’t have to question their status. And it was revealed that Roy Valentine isn’t a real demon lord either — he was just a stand-in for Luminus Valentine.

We know for a fact that both Milim and Rimiru are awakened demon lords. It’s also fairly obvious that Guy and Valentine are as well based on their power. As for the others, it’s less clear.

Ramiris might be a true demon lord since she’s one of the three oldest demon lords, alongside Guy and Milim. We don’t know enough about Deeno or Daggrull to say either way for them. And it seemed to be implied that Cromwell is not an awakened demon lord.

Yes, Cromwell killed Kazalim, who is almost certainly a true demon lord. But, he stated he killed Kazalim just to take his title, which implies he didn’t awaken himself.

God Luminus

I’m glad we got the scene toward the end of the episode that shows Hinata is working under the demon lord Valentine. I was going to bring it up anyway, but now I feel like I don’t have to waste as much time explaining the connection between the two since we were shown it.

But, basically, the “god” who Hinata and many other characters in this world believe in is none other than demon lord Valentine. It’s no coincidence that Hinata’s god is called Luminus and she was present within Luminus Valentine’s domain.

However, Valentine’s influence seems to extend far beyond Hinata. We know the Holy Kingdom Ruberium is a nation in this world, and I’m guessing that’s Valentine’s domain. On top of that, the Falmuth Kingdom also worshipped the god Luminus, if I remember correctly.

Hinata Sakaguchi from the anime series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2
Hinata Sakaguchi

And, remember the skeleton who formerly worked under Clayman, but who has now defected to Tempest? That’s right, he was also a follower of the god Luminus. We can even assume Luminus is the god Shuna worships since we don’t have the names of any other gods within this world.

I’m going to guess that Luminus Valentine is a fairly powerful demon lord considering she’s revered as a god throughout multiple nations. She’s probably not as strong as Guy or Milim, though.

Also, I know he’s dead now, but you may be wondering about who Roy Valentine was. There’s really no question about his identity; he’s exactly who he was stated to be. Roy was the servant of Luminus Valentine. She turned him into a vampire like herself and gave him her surname, as is common.

Conclusion

What do you think about the final episode of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2? Who do you think the next antagonist is going to be? Which of the eight current demon lords do you think are awakened? And why do you think Hinata is following a demon lord? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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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.

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