The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy, by Amano Yoshitaka

The Art of Final FantasyΒ  Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com

Artist’s blog (Japanese)
Publication date – August 6, 2013

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Previously available only as a part of the now sold-out The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Boxed Set, Dark Horse is pleased to offer fans another chance to own the three-book hardcover set The Sky I, II, and III, included in the new The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Slipcased Edition! Yoshitaka Amano is one of the world’s foremost fantasy artists, and The Sky I, II, and III showcase Amano’s ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games. Each hardcover book in The Sky Slipcased Edition is 11 5/8″ high by 10 5/8″ wide, and printed on glossy stock. Volume 1 contains Amano’s work for Final Fantasy I-III, Volume 2 his contributions for Final Fantasy IV-VI, and Volume 3 features his art for Final Fantasy VII-X. The elegant slipcase containing The Sky I, II, and III features the same wraparound exterior artwork as The Sky Boxed Set, with a double-hinged flap that folds around the open edge and is held flat to the back side with a hidden magnetic closure, making it easy both to remove the books and to display the set closed.

Thoughts: You can’t have played games in the Final Fantasy series without becoming aware of Amano’s art. His work borders on legendary. And even if you haven’t heard of him, take a moment to browse through some of his artwork and chances are you won’t be able to deny that the man has some serious talent going on.

So when I got the chance to even browse through a digital copy of the rereleased copy of The Sky, I wasn’t about to say no. This thing is packed with hundreds of pages of beautiful artwork from Final Fantasies 1-6, and if all you’ve ever played is the original versions of the games, in all their 8- or 16-bit glory, here’s a great chance to see more detail than you get to see with blocky sprites.

And also the chance to see many of your favourite characters wearing long flowing dresses (females) or skin-tight pants that show off one’s butt (males).Β  Seriously, Amano seems to have a thing for tight pants.

The description does say that it contains work up to Final Fantasy X. It may well do so, but the digital review copy I got seems to have only contained the first 2 collections and not the 3rd. Which was a bit disappointing considering art from some of my favourite games would have been in there… And sadly, due to the collection’s hefty price tag, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to afford a hard copy of my own so that I can peruse and admire Amano’s art at my leisure.

This isn’t an artbook I would recommend for everyone. I can’t even say that I would recommend it for every die-hard Final Fantasy fan, though that’s mostly due again to the collection’s cost. This isn’t an everyday purchase. But for the fan who has the money to spare, it’s definitely worth buying this collection. The art is beautiful, the insight amazing, and there will be no regret in acquiring this artbook. I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

(Book received for review from the publisher via NetGalley.)