Review: The Sky- The Art of Final Fantasy: Boxed Set
The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy: Boxed Set Review
“I have to resolve all of my stress in the work
In the sky . . . a longing to be afloat” -Yoshitaka Amano
In the days before the internet, the most advanced piece of tech equipment in my house was a Super Nintendo. Before I’d ever had the privilege of seeing a Dali or Van Gogh up close, I was in awe of Yoshitaka Amano’s art in my Final Fantasy game instruction books. For most of us born in the 1980’s and raised with a Nintendo, Amano’s art was a part of our childhood experience. To this day I still have the full-page spread of his painting of the world from FFXI, taken right from the center of my program from Dear Friends. This was the man who gave form to the characters, settings, and monsters before they took their forms into 8, 16, or 32 bit. Dark Horse has put out a large, essential compendium of all of Amano’s art from the Final Fantasy years. Anime and comic fans will also recognize Amano’s hand in Vampire Hunter D as well as collaborating with Neil Gaiman on Sandman: The Dream Hunters.
Book 1 is bio and filled with interviews with the artist himself, many printed for the very first time in English. These are very telling and meaningful, as he answers not only what brought him to the job originally, but gives fans some real insight into his work process and his personal life. Though he is an artist, he is inspired to draw a lot by what he reads; “get used to reading the words and then forming an image. It’s almost like a sickness, when I read something and then I want to try to make an image from it.”
Book 1 also contains many never before seen rare Final Fantasy test art and designs that didn’t make it into the game. The pages are beautifully rendered in stunning color, true to the original lithographic designs. For fans, flipping through the eras these pages represent will bring back many fond memories. There’s even a section of Amano answering fan mail specifically from aspiring artists. The full collection comes in at nearly 800 pages and features art from the first ten final fantasy games. The multiple sections span entire decades and consoles of FF artwork. Many designs were rendered directly into the games: monster designs and character menu portraits being the most recognizable. This beautiful books is a must own for any video game and Final Fantasy fan. It’s available in pre-sale and will be available 10/30/12 to be added to your shelf or coffee table. This is a book by a true artist, with the added purpose of inspiring other artists out there.
“If many people who buy this book aspire to travel on the path of art, nothing would bring me more happiness.” —Yoshitaka Amano