The images from this review come from the original censored version floating around the net. The current Project-H release is brilliantly uncensored and can be purchased from their site, Amazon, or where I purchased it, bookdepository.
Vanilla Essence is mostly about concealed sex — the act of hiding and having sex in a somewhat public place. Which is a great and underappreciated fetish, in my opinion at least. And a trade focusing on it from a master of hentai manga like Yamatogawa certainly gives it the respect it deserves.
That concealed sex fetish and young vanilla heterosexual love are the two things that tie this set of nine short stories together. All the characters are students, and all of them are either in love or lust with each other. From a character who ventures into the world of voyeurism on fellow students and meets a kindred perverted spirit, to two swimmers who hide and mess around in a pool.
This omnibus of stories was localised by Project Hentai — but not the Project Hentai that was seen in the past. These stories are beautifully uncensored, with higher paper quality and coloured pages than a lot of their previous books. It pretty much a direct response to their competitor FAKKU. Although it doesn’t strive for the absolute one to one comparison with the Japanese release that FAKKU seems to. The more economical nature of Project-H’s books never bothers me though, the biggest highlight of it is the uncensored art. God bless that uncensored art. The only issue to have with this release, I believe, in that typesetting is somewhat dull and routine. I suppose being spoilt by the creativity and flourish of fan projects has it’s downsides.
Yamatogawa is truly a master. His art is mature but cute. Hairless tight vaginas and huge cocks. His art is absolute full of expression, and his background full of detail. This isn’t a book you’ll regret picking up. It’s erotic but sweet, lewd but loving — the very best of vanilla hentai.