Initial reaction: I think you guys probably expected this rating from me, but I loved every part of this artbook – beautiful illustrations, stunning clarity and color, and a wonderful reintroduction to characters from the series that I fell in love with.
I have an immense amount of respect for Yoshitaka Amano. Final Fantasy was the first series that immersed me fully into the world, the music, and the overarching storylines and characters in gaming from when I was a young girl. Even today, I still have my games and pull them out to play from time to time, but Amano’s artwork and concept of the characters fascinated me when I would look in the inserts and packages that came with the games. “The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy: Slipcased Edition” is certainly a collection worth owning for anyone who loves the series, and it compiles his conceptualized art into one volume for the collector. The coloring is vivid and beautiful, the progressions between familiar characters and recurring creatures (including the chocobo and Mog) were interesting to see over time. As well, I loved the concept drawings of the settings featured in the games, just as much as some of the characters I loved and recognized over time. My galley lacked the third part of the collection, but I was able to see the first two section, which covered up to one of my favorite games in the series: FF6. The full pages are probably far more pristine than my digital galley provided, but the quality in this collection came across even in digital form, for scale and for immersion.
I would highly recommend this for the collective value. I don’t think you’d be able to find a more thorough compilation of the work Amano has done to date in the scope of this series than this. Beautifully organized and presented.
Overall score: 5/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Dark Horse Comics.