Hentai is all about visual appeal. If the art isn’t strong and the characters aren’t cute or sexy, is it worth it to read the manga? Is it considered a good hentai book if the story is strong while the art lacks appeal? These are shades of gray and lines of opinion that I found getting tested heavily by the latest book release by NaPaTa, titled You’re All Mine.
If there’s one thing that NaPaTa specializes in, it’s drawing girls with doll-like faces and flat, petite bodies. A lot of the stories in You’re All Mine focus on girls with slender frames like this, and it capitalizes on the talents of the artist wisely. When he ventures out of that realm and tries drawing other body types, things get a little hairy. Large breasts drawn by NaPaTa are a little underwhelming, lacking the kind of dynamic volume or softness that they need. There’s also a lot of detail lacking in the male anatomy department, making a few chapters in the volume a little underwhelming in their uncensored form. My biggest issue with the art of NaPaTa is that there just isn’t any kind of unique style present in this book. From the way he draws faces to the character designs and everything else, I feel like I’ve seen it all a million times before.
Normally, I would say that full-color pages help amplify the work of an artist and really make the details in their work shine. Unfortunately, there aren’t any colored manga pages in You’re All Mine. There are just a handful of colored pinup illustrations that only serve to accentuate my issues with the art of NaPaTa. Sure, the color work itself is exquisite — there are softly blended tones of peach and white that create perfectly glistening depth on the bodies of the girls in these drawings. Unfortunately, the bodies and faces themselves are still drawn in that unimpressive and slightly generic art-style that just fails to wow me.
Thankfully, the storytelling and character development in You’re All Mine helps to somewhat make up for the underwhelming artwork. One story in the volume that manages to capitalize both on NaPaTa’s strong storytelling and penchant for illustrating dainty girls is I Can Do It Myself. In this story, a young succubus with a flat-chested and slender body sneaks into the home of a young man in order to have sex with him. She can’t even manage to plant a kiss on his lips, though, from sheer nervousness. It turns out, she’s never even held hands with a man before, let alone had any kind of sexual experience. Her older sister told her that she isn’t allowed to come back home until she learns to have sex, though. Stricken by panic and worry, she turns around and discovers that her mark has woken up from all the commotion. When she explains her situation to him, he admits that she’s just his type and that he would be happy to help her have sex and become an adult.
While character design isn’t NaPaTas strong suit, the succubus girl in this chapter is easily one of the most interesting characters he’s drawn in You’re All Mine. The contrast between her sexy leather outfit with choker and mini-skirt and her shy, inexperienced demeanor was an incredible recipe for success. I loved the way the guy in this chapter took charge of her and shared his experience; he was never forceful or demanding, but the dynamic of a regular guy teaching a succubus how to have sex was really interesting. It’s a simple story, but it plays into the strengths of NaPaTa as an artist and storyteller perfectly.
When it comes to storytelling and interesting characters, another story in You’re All Mine that had me impressed was Please, Senpai. This chapter is all about a highschool guy in glasses who loves the bliss of a nice, quiet library. As he’s sitting there, reading a book and relaxing, his paradise is quickly taken away from him by the presence of his underclassman, Yamada. She’s beautiful, slender and curvy, and has always gotten on his nerves. Today, she came to the library with one of her most ridiculous requests yet; her boyfriend just dumped her, so she wants library boy to date her instead so her boyfriend-less meter doesn’t start ticking up. Our reading hero immediately shoots her down, but when she proposes that being her boyfriend means they get to have sex all the time, he begins to become persuaded. Reluctantly, he accepts and becomes her boyfriend. What he didn’t realize, though, is that the promise of unlimited sex from Yamada would come to take over his entire mind.
Just the first few pages of this story alone were hilarious enough to be my favorite part of the entire volume. Our protagonist is so serene and relaxed, yet the second he sees Yamada he’s ticked off, and every panel they’re at each other relentlessly with hilarious reactions and misunderstandings. The erotic parts of the chapter are less interesting by comparison, but I was really intrigued by the development of our protagonist. The more he dates and fucks Yamada, the less he’s able to focus on reading because all he can think about is Yamada. It’s a wild story with some of the most interesting characters in the entire book.
Overall, You’re All Mine is a bit of a mixed bag. Arguably, the most important part of a hentai volume is the quality of the art, and I found that to be the most lacking aspect of this anthology. Even though NaPaTa has a knack for drawing enticing petite girls, the rest of his style tends to fall flat. Still, the interesting and sometimes hilarious characters and relationships in the book helped to somewhat make up for that.