Final Fantasy VII Remake has been a hit, and Final Fantasy VII Remake Material Ultimania is a wonderful companion book for fans. The tall hardcover is 336 pages and bursting with gorgeous imagery and behind-the-scenes information.
The book is divided into sections: Key Visuals, Illustrations, Planning Materials, Soundtrack, and Voice Actor Q&A (which just involves the Japanese actors). But simply knowing these sections doesn’t give you a real idea of how much is being offered. In the beginning of the book we have the music and lyrics for “The Midgar Blues” so you can perform it yourself. After that we get into Key Visuals, which are a feast for the eyes. But, on top of that, the visuals are set with comments from the staff so we can learn more. Details of armor and clothing are pointed out in case we missed them. Some of the comments even veer toward personal, as staff members talk about hopes and fears with their work. There’s a whole subsection of clothing references that also includes real models wearing the outfits. There are cut scenes, original sketches, worldbuilding materials, planning materials, storyboards, etc., all with ever-important and ever-enlightening commentary. It technically doesn’t have everything from Final Fantasy VII Remake here, but this is as close as you can get.
In the voice acting section, each actor gets a page (and these are long pages) to talk about his or her character. Some of the same questions are asked throughout (like what is the appeal of their character) and other questions are specific to each actor.
This is the kind of art book an RPG like Final Fantasy VII Remake deserves. It’s engaging, fascinating, and something every big fan of Final Fantasy VII Remake (or even just Final Fantasy VII) ought to enjoy and cherish. You can tell a lot of effort went into Final Fantasy VII Remake, just as you can tell a lot of effort went into making this sumptuous book.
Editors: Studio BentStuff/DIGITAL HEARTS
Publisher: Square Enix Manga & Books
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.