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on 2 November 2013
Having bought this amazing, well presented collection of Final Fantasy artwork I was surprised to see such a low star rating here. However, it's clear that some reviewers don't seem to grasp the difference between reviewing the item and reviewing the service they received in receiving it...

Anyone who is a fan of this series will be aware of the delicate artwork that accompanies the games. This three volume slipcase collection of the art that accompanies the games through history is a joy for anyone who loves the series. High quality images on good quality paper. I'm so happy this graces my bookshelf.
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on 8 December 2012
I bought this book from Forbidden Planet after I had a feeling that amazon wouldn't deliver because they had the release date wrong so I cancelled my 9 month preorder.

The books themselves are amazing, high quality prints and contained in a silk-printed box I had no idea there were only a thousand considering I got it for £89 (forbidden planet still have a couple in their Covent Garden Store for £110)

The extra book contains interviews with Amano and a signed Postcard (mine looks like its from the end of the run, more of a squiggle).

So don't downstar the book, It wasn't revealed there were only 1000 until a few weeks before release (from what I found), maybe because of the speed these sold they will make a reproduction just without the signature.
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on 11 November 2012
Amano's amazing, etherial, otherworldly artwork must clearly have sent the staff at Amazon into their own Final Fantasy when they put this product up for sale, such is their lack of sense around this product.
When an item clearly states it's limited edition, in this case, 1000 copies, Amazon should restrict this to whatever chunk of 1000 purchases Dark Horse allowed them. As another, equally angry reviewer noted, it's simple subtraction.
Since I, and a fellow Final Fantasy fan have both ordered this exquisite item, and received no word on when we'll get it, I have, sadly, cancelled my order, due to Amazon's amazing ineptitude.

My advice to fellow Final Fantasy fans, wanting to celebrate the 25th Anniversary through Amano's stunning artwork? Buy Amano's other Final Fantasy artbook, Dawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy

All in all? A true, true shame.
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on 21 November 2012
I believe The Sky would be an amazing purchase to any fan of the Final Fantasy franchise which is why I pre-ordered it when I first saw it. Sadly Amazon's service has failed to deliver the book and my order has been canceled with an statement that says " our supplier has informed us that this item is no longer available." How? I have no clue, especially when it was a pre-order...

I would like to point Amazon one small thing out: Check the quantity of copies you will get before putting the item in your shop. It's a huge failure to sell something when you don't know how many copies you will have.
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on 13 December 2012
This is a review taken from my blog and edited (in case you see it elsewhere over the internet). This is a reflection on the book and not on Amazon/Dark Horse. It should be noted I did purchase this copy from Ebay for £100 just before the UK launch. These were released a week early in the US, hence why UK Ebay sellers had them before Amazon UK. My Amazon order did pull through however so I sold my £100 copy on to a friend and kept my cheaper Amazon order. Before I get flamed - my friend was one of the ones who missed out on an Amazon copy too and no, I didn't make any profit.

Now to the review.

I've finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the English version of The Sky by Amano! It has just been released in the West although this was first released in Japan back in 2001. There is little difference between the two versions except for two things: the language - one is Japanese and the other English, and the Western version includes a hand signed card by the legend himself - Yoshitaka Amano!

The contents:

Book 1: Final Fantasy I, II, III
Book 2: Final Fantasy IV, V, VI
Book 3: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X
Book 4: All About Yoshitaka Amano
Book 5: The Sky Premium Flipbook
Two Postcards (Bartz & Terra)
One clear sheet with an illustration etched in silver (this is really hard to explain)
One hand signed card (1 in 1000)

This is probably the best piece of Final Fantasy merch I have ever brought. Amano is my favourite artist so to have a whole boxset of his work is too much for words! Not only is it pure awesome, it was also limited to 1000 copies so if you see one for sale don't hesitate to snap it up!

I will make a little note about the amount of content each game has received because they are very disproportional. I, II and III are fairly even in my opinion. Amano was heavily involved in the design of I in particular and you can see a lot of the enemies and environments. IV has little art compared with V and VI, and VI in particular has a hefty amount. Amano's favourite characters are Tina (Terra in the Western games) and Mog so expect several images of these two. All the other characters have many illustrations too. VII is extremely heavy on Cloud and Aerith. Red and Sephiroth make some appearances too and there is one of Tifa but most of the remaining cast barely get a look in. VIII is even more limited, focusing completely on Squall, Rinoa and Seifer. There is a group shot of the party and one of Ultimecia but little else. IX however is -extremely- heavy. Not only do we have double pages of each character but several sketches of each are included as well as many scenes. This is a joy for me as VI and IX are two of my favourite of the series! Amano has taken a completely different approach to X and seems to be experimenting with a new art style. There is a lot of sketching and scenes (you'll have to look up photos to get a proper idea of the difference) but I really loved these sketches so much! There isn't a great deal for X either and again there is a heavy focus on Yuna and Tidus but the images are fantastic. It should also be noted that VII onwards is very character based (which some environment scenes) whereas pre-VI has a lot more monsters included (but still has many characters images too).

Book 4 offers an insight into the artists personal life. It is completely translated in English though so I will at some point read through it. It has a variety of things included such as an interview, how he became involved with Final Fantasy and a list of all of his books and artworks.

Book 5 can't really be considered a book as such but it is lovely nevertheless. It is a very small flip book which has two stories depending on which way you flip it. One is of a moogle as it stumbles around and the other is of a dancing spirit.

There is not much to comment on regarding the postcards. They both must be favourite pieces of Amano though as the same drawing of Bartz is also used on the front cover of the box and Tina is also used on the inside cover. They are made from card and have a very plain back. It always makes me wonder why postcards are included in sets like this as they clearly will never be used but either way they make lovely prints.

Next is the clear, plastic sheet. This is a very unusual item and I have tried my best to photograph it at the right angle so the silver shows up. It has been suggested to me this artwork could be of Cosmos and now I look back at the image it does resemble her.

Lastly included in this set is the hand signed card. When I first heard about this boxset I assumed Amano's signature would be printed and just thrown in but no, these sets are limited to 1000 and each card is signed personally. I've spoken to others who also have this set and some have had the item signed in black ink, another in red ink but mine is signed in black paint. Amano must have got bored signing so many cards! The sets aren't actually individually numbered which is a shame but it does say `limited to 1000′ on the card.

Sadly XI-XIV aren't included in the box. I know Amano has been less and less involved with the series post X but I would have loved a minibook including some of the later work. Although in saying this there is no shortage of content in here so don't let the lack of post XI put you off!

To give some of you hope who weren't able to get the limited version, Dark Horse are planning a rerun of this set with just the 3 main artbooks in a slipcase (as far as I am aware). I don't know specifics but they tweeted about it in Novemeber. It might be a cheaper alternative for those who don't mind missing out on the exclusive extras.

To leave you with one last thought about this collection... These are the last powerful words in book 3...

Look up at the sky...

There must be a fantasy.
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on 21 November 2012
I was really looking forward to receiving this item as a huge final fantasy fan and a computer animation student. However, a few months ago Amazon informed me that my pre-order would be delayed by a month, then only today, a month after when I should have originally received the item, that I will not be receiving it. Amazon only gave the reason that the seller was no longer selling the item and only gave a weak apology on how long it took them to inform that my order is cancelled. I am furious with the way Amazon handled this matter, if they had kept proper contact with their sellers about the amount of stock they were receiving and informed me before the item was released I might of been able to find it for a reasonable price else where, but now I can not and could never justify paying £500 for a book set now. In conclusion, Amazon messed up big time and did not even give an adequate apology.
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on 2 November 2012
I feel the preorder for this product has been misleading and I am furious about the delay/ probabilty that they do not have enough to fulfill preorders. 1000 is a pretty simple number and so is subtracting. I preordered in September.
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on 8 December 2012
I've been an active shopper on Amazon for quite some time now and this one hiccup has truly disappointed me.

As a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series, I clicked pre-order for this item the second I saw it. Amazon sent me an e-mail explaining that there would be a delay and that I would recieve more information a month later. When I read the latent information a few days ago, I just lost all respect for Amazon's usually fantastic service.

I actually called up Waterstone's, who apparently had a few copies of the collection and they had told me that Black Horse had stopped the production entirely. I'm not particularly sure if this information is true or not, however, it is a light of hope for other fans.

£500 or so is not a fair price to pay. Especially when you've been told the book is in stock, that you are going to get this book on a certain day and that you have to pay a certain price... Therefore, I completely agree with all the previous comments and reviews.

A real disappointment, Amazon.
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on 5 November 2012
Have this Collector's item on pre-order since early 2011. Due to Dark Horse Comics not updating info around the original release of September 2011, Amazon cancelled my pre-order. In May 2012 the same item, under a new listing was available for pre-order again with a October 2012 release date.

Fast-forward to early November, my 18 month pre-order has not been delivered on time and postponed to December 2012, of course only 1000 copies were released and I have to pay a ridiculous amount of 500 pounds for this item through resellers.

Horrible experience on Amazon trying to get my hands on this wonderful item.
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on 3 November 2012
I agree entirely with the other review. Someone has seriously messed this up and it seems to be a similar issue in the States where some people have received their item and some have not. I pre-ordered in August and I am now being told that I must wait until December (that is if I receive the item at all!). NOT IMPRESSED.
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