What They Say:
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!
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 forFinal Fantasy I-III. Volume 2 contains his contributions for Final Fantasy IV-VI, and volume 3 features his art for Final Fantasy VII-X.
The 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.
Writer: Yoshitaka Amano
Artist: Yoshitaka Amano
If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series then the name of Yoshitaka Amano is probably one you’re familiar with. His iconic artwork has been one of the defining characteristics of the releases of these games over the last 25 years. The Sky is a collection of many of his illustrations, concept sketches, and splash images over the course of his time working on the Final Fantasy series, from its launch in 1987 all the way through the release of Final Fantasy X in 2001.
There’s a reason that Amano’s artwork has been so iconic and so popular amongst the fans of the Final Fantasy series – it is a gorgeous, rich art style that simultaneously conveys great complexity and depth to the worlds Amano created while also maintaining an elegant simplicity to its presentation. Especially with the character designs, the amount of detail Amano puts into his work gives his audience a sense of the worlds that these characters lived in and explored.
The books are broken down in sequential order by the games they cover – The Sky I covers Final Fantasy I, II, and III, with The Sky II containing the artwork for IV-VI, and The Sky III contains the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy VII, rounding out with VIII, IX, and X.
One of the best parts of this collection is watching the artwork of Amano grow and evolve and explore new ideas, much the games of the series did over the course of their lifetime. The depth and growth of the worlds that Final Fantasy has brought fans over the years is matched in equal stride by the brilliant and creative artwork that Amano lends to the series.
While I have always enjoyed the character artwork for the series, as they are the faces of the games and who we the players get to experience the world and stories through, Amano’s skill and creativity really shines in the designs of the monsters and summons that have become as much a part of the series as the characters have. Even starting with the first game, the complexity and uniqueness to some to the monster designs and sketches are absolutely breathtaking, and watching them evolve over the series history was very exciting for me as a long time fan of the series.
This is something any die hard Final Fantasy fans will want to seek out as soon as possible before the books go out of print again, as it is a great addition to the collection of anyone who is a fan of video games, rich and vibrant character or creature designs, and of course – fans of the legendary game series Final Fantasy.
If you are not a huge fan of the series, it is difficult to recommend that you should seek out this collector’s item to add to your library. With a price tag of $89.99, The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy (Slipcased Edition) will not be a purchase that a casual fan or collector will make. However, if you are a fan of gorgeous artwork, a collector of “coffee table books” that will spur good conversation or of video games then this item is certainly worth the time and investment.
Grade: A- for collectors and die-hards, B- for everyone else