Review: The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Slipcased Edition

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Rating: ***** / 5 out of 5
Genres: Illustrations
Expected Publication: August 6, 2013 by Dark Horse Comics
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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.

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An ARC of this awesome book was given in exchange for an honest review.

As a long time fan and gamer of the Final Fantasy series by Squaresoft / Square Enix, I felt very honored and overwhelmed when I was given an ARC of this baby on Netgalley. I’ve always been fascinated with Yoshitaka Amano’s artwork, for the way he draws, colors, and creates individuals, humans and monsters, is simply amazing, unique, and creative. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen very little of his works, most of them from freebies of the games I bought (conceptualisation of characters, etc.), so this illustration book has somehow rekindled and revived my love for him and the game series I remember being fond of.

And once more, I am simply astounded and amazed of Yoshitaka’s gorgeous art and sheer talent for drawing and creating creatures I never would have imagined. And I consider myself having quite the imagination, but his take the cake. Looking at all of them, I remember the many hours and weeks I spent lost in the characters, the stories, and the games overall. The unique way he draws people, from their facial expressions down to the details of their costumes and garments, is impressive. The monsters? Even more so! They are striking, unusual, exotic, just the kind you’d expect from fantasy artists like him!

I seriously recommend this to all FF fans, especially those who played the earlier games and loved them. Buy it, if not for the nostalgia, for the art, because the illustrations themselves justify whatever price tag it gets. Now if only the series redeems itself… I’d gladly ditch all the recent Final Fantasies and lose myself in the classic ones!

Examples of Yoshitaka Amano’s works (not in the book):

Characters from Final Fantasy IX

yoshitakaamano2

See more of his works HERE, HERE, HERE.

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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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