The Yuri Times had an interview with Ayu Inui sensei who is the creator of If We Leave on the Dot released by Shodensha Publishing/MangaPlanet! This is one of the monumental manga to boost the Shakaijin yuri genre and even brings readers who usually don’t read yuri into this.

If you haven’t read the Part 1 of this interview article yet, you can read it from the link below.

The Yuri Times: If We Leave on the Dot draws very realistic situations in the office, working environment, and lives of working women in Japan. Are those based on your experience?

Ayu: Some portions were based on my experience at my second work place where I can leave the office on the dot, but there was unfortunately no couple like Yukawa and Mizuki in my office. (lol) I was working in the sales department as an admin assistant like Yukawa.

When I planned to make Yukawa and Mizuki in love, I could not decide which department Mizuki should be in because I wanted them to be in different departments to have some distance and highlight contrast. If Mizuki is in the sales planning department, she would not have much chance to communicate with colleagues and would conflict with others because being a salesperson her clients would be the top priority.

Therefore, I decided to put Mizuki in the product planning department where she should have more chances to communicate with colleagues such as Yukawa in a friendly way. Well I didn’t really draw them working in the office in the end though.

You are like an HR manager! Could you share more about Yukawa and Mizuki with us?

When I create characters, I first decide the cosmetics they use and the magazines they like to read. Yukawa is humble, kind, quiet, and supportive but has a backbone. She uses Coffret Dor and Sofina, she sometimes reads Bijin Hyakka magazine.

Mizuki, she is active and friendly. She likes cosmetics and fashion so she uses high-end cosmetics such as M.A.C. and RMK. She reads Oggi magazine. Their names actually have opposite meanings as their personalities are, “Yu” (=warm water) and “Mizu” (=cold water).

This background has never been disclosed but Yukawa’s parents were both working and busy so she was taken care of by her grandmother so she loves her a lot. Her first name “Kayoko” is also named by her grandmother, that is why her name sounds a little bit traditional compared with Mizuki’s first name “Kaori.”

Initial Character Design Left YukawaRight Mizuki

One of the scenes in the memo. 2, volume 1, Yukawa tells her feelings to Mizuki at the cafe which she did not intend. Yukawa asks Mizuki to forget it and left from Mizuki, but she comes back and says “Don’t want you… To forget it, after all.” I wanted to express that Yukawa looks quiet but she has her own strong-willed, she didn’t run away from herself and convey her feelings. This is one of my favorite scenes and I really enjoyed drawing!

You set the characters’ background in detail and express those in a TOUTOI way! Although they are opposite, we found that they are very fashionable and also always wear different clothes.

Glad to hear that! I love fashion, too. However, it was really tough for me to let them wear different clothes every time. I read the actual magazines they read and some other magazines every month when I draw If We Leave on the Dot. I also had a list of clothing designs.

Planning Clothes for Yukawa and Mizuki

Wow! Even the accessories!

Not only clothes and accessories, but I also planned the hair makeup. Even if you have read If We Leave on the Dot before, I would like you to check again so you will notice they have various types of hair makeup to match the seasons and scenes.

Planning hair makeup for Yukawa and Mizuki

It is so detailed. No wonder If We Leave on the Dot is very popular among women!

I majored in Textile Design at my University, so I love drawing fashions too! I often struggled to meet the due date because I was very particular about this topic. I draw manga digitally, but I always use a paper and pen to plan, so my sketchbooks are very important. In terms of digital and analog, although the series was released in digital but when I received the printed copy, I was very touched! When I was asked to sign my autograph from my editor on my comics, I enjoyed even there were 100 copies.

We are so lucky that you showed us your sketchbooks which are very important to you, and grateful for your autograph on the printed book! Your overseas fans might get jealous.

I would be more than happy to autograph on If We Leave on the Dot if the English edition will be released as a printed book~! Thanks to MangaPlanet releasing the English edition, I see more non-Japanese speakers are following my Twitter. I have never imagined that I could have fans from all over the world, therefore, I deeply appreciate and would like to communicate more with them.

You are so generous! We are very sure that your manga would be loved by overseas fans! Do you have any plans in near future since If We Leave on the Dot completed in Japan at volume four?

It was already fixed that If We Leave on the Dot would finish at volume four when the volume two was released. I myself enjoyed seeing how the love between Yukawa and Mizuki would grow, but my editor suggested creating another new story, and for If We Leave on the Dot I can still continue by creating the after story or spin off anytime. I thought I should give a try!

That is amazing! So do you mean you are planning to release after story, spin off of Yukawa and Mizuki or a new manga?!

I can’t say yes or no for now… But I will let you all know on my Twitter account if I have any good news so please follow me on Twitter! haha

Messages to Overseas Fans

I am very grateful to my fans for their warm support always. I still cannot believe that I have fans overseas but I am happy to receive replies on my Twitter even in English. (Please allow me to reply to you in simple English only when I can understand your message…) I will keep drawing to deliver my manga to you all over the world, your continuous support would be highly appreciated. Arigato gozaimasu!

Thank you very much, Ayu Inui sensei! If you would like to read her manga more, check YURI HUB website and support her. We also have some bonus pictures of inside her sketchbook available for only Patreon supporters, so please become a patron and check them out if you are interested.