The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

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Wouldn’t you love to own this?

 

A few years ago I clapped and cheered when I discovered on Dark Horse’s website that Yoshitaka Amano would be getting another release in North America. It’s called The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy, and until that point it was only available in Japan. Prices on AnimeBooks.com and Ebay went for at least $400, and being a teenager without a job meant no imported collection in my hands.

The Sky was first announced via Dark Horse’s Amano Zone, a section of their site dedicated to the artist most famously known for his work on Final FantasyDawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy, a book featuring artwork from only Final Fantasy I-IV, was hot off the press and must have been selling well enough to warrant the announcement. But did Dark Horse jump the gun?

It seemed to take a while for a release date to surface, but retailers finally popped up with March 2011. It would be a long wait but completely worth it in the end. Even better, the price point was $140, a fraction of the previous cost to import. When March rolled around the collection was nowhere in sight and the date was eventually pushed back to December 2011/January 2012. During this time it was even listed on Amazon, yet only briefly before it was taken down. For collectors and fans it seemed The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy was slowly leaving our grasp.

In December I finally preordered the collection from Things From Another World, Dark Horse’s go-to seller for their products. December 28th came and went, and so I emailed TFAW about the collection. They told me the product was indeed unavailable and then removed the artbook collection from their site. I was disappointed and gave up hope for The Sky collection to come stateside.

Then, somewhere out of the blue, Dark Horse started listing the collection again on their website with an October 17th, 2012 release date. This time it seems promising, considering it’s actually listed on the site. Here is Dark Horse’s description for the set:

 

To everyone who waited patiently for The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy: congrats! The multiple delays and presumed cancellation have all been worth it. No more having to pay over $700 for an out-of-print Japanese import. You can currently preorder the collection from Things From Another World, but Amazon
currently has the best deal out there. Let’s show Dark Horse that we’re serious about owning artwork by Yoshitaka Amano!

About Jared Cyhowski

[Former Staff] Jared is a recent graduate from Fitchburg State University where he studied communications, video production, and English. He enjoys playing video games, watching anime, writing, and of course pizza. His favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus and Final Fantasy IX, but he can’t possibly choose a favorite anime. Jared enjoys following the games industry and observing what will happen next, and he puts out an invitation for discussion on these topics. He loves a great story in these mediums and prefers a stronger narrative design over most features. Jared is personally responsible for creating and managing the Anime section of the website, and hopes to inspired and entertain with everything he writes.




  • I’m not much for artbooks, but that looks like a really nice bundle. Especially since the art is from older Final Fantasies, which had better art than newer ones in my humble opinion.

    • Jared Cyhowski

      It’s hard to judge, sort of. I can see where you are going if you are talking about the character designs that weren’t first created by Amano. What I think is fascinating is how the team at Square would use his concept designs and translate them to 8-bit and 16-bit presentation. Then that shift happened where graphics got better and Nomura’s designs became more prevalent. Even so, Amano would create his own designs based off of these games which are also featured in the collection.

    • This appears to be pretty much an English translation of the original Japanese release that came out a decade ago, which means it’ll cover I through X. I paid hundreds of dollars for a Japanese import awhile ago, but can’t help getting an English version for much cheaper. Absolutely beautiful set, by the way.

  • I’d love to own this. I love Yoshitaka Amano’s style. Amazon has it for $90, which is pretty damned good.

    • Jared Cyhowski

      Amano’s style is so unique, and the ways he uses water colors with some of his prints are amazing.