Ys: The Art Book

fan­tasy fran­chise This gor­geous book charts how the look of the ven­er­a­ble Ja­panese role-play­ing game Ys has de­vel­oped over a 25-year pe­riod

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

This ex­ten­sive art collection cel­e­brates 25 years of Ys, the flag­ship se­ries of Ja­panese role-play­ing video game pub­lisher Ni­han Fal­comi.

The thick 280-page soft­cover book dis­plays art­work from more than a dozen ti­tles in the Ys fran­chise, from the first game in 1987 right through to the lat­est one in 2012. The book high­lights the evo­lu­tion of the game’s art over two decades pri­mar­ily through char­ac­ter de­signs. There are hun­dreds of vi­brant il­lus­tra­tions, which in­clude rare con­cept art, sto­ry­boards and char­ac­ter poses, the de­tail of which you could pore over for hours. While dom­i­nated by char­ac­ters, it also fea­tures a small yet bril­liant se­lec­tion of miscellaneous art too, in­clud­ing props and lo­ca­tions.

Com­men­tary is sparse, with the only text be­ing short notes next to some of the il­lus­tra­tions. While this doesn’t take any­thing away from the art­work, we would’ve liked some more in­for­ma­tion about the games that they’ve in­spired. Over­all though, this is an ex­cel­lent collection of manga art and a wor­thy in­vest­ment, rec­om­mended to char­ac­ter de­sign­ers and Ys fans alike.

Al­though this book cen­tres mainly on char­ac­ter art, the scenery is also amaz­ing.

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