[Guest Post] Artbook Review: BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works ~ The Art of Bravely 2010 – 2013

15 Mar

Hello everyone! This is Anne from Chic Pixel, and Lady Riven has graciously invited me to come share one of my recent pickups here on Plastic Pleasures. I don’t have nearly as many swoon-worthy doujinshi and artbooks as Plastic Pleasures’ lovely hostess, so that makes my recent acquisition of the BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works THE ART OF BRAVELY 2010-2013 book all the more exciting!

The Art of Bravely Default

At a whopping 255 pages, this book is practically a phonebook of gorgeous illustrations, sketches, and other Bravely Default-related content. Part of me wishes it had a hard cover, but the soft cover does keep the weight down, making it more portable and, ultimately, less expensive to import.

Before I go inside the book, be warned that everything hereafter can and probably will contain spoilers. Enemies, environments, job costumes… if you want to discover all of that for yourself, please bookmark this article and come back after you’ve finished the game! I’ve tried to leave out stuff that goes into major spoiler territory, but what I consider no big deal may be something you’d prefer not to see, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Also, it should probably go without saying since this is a massive book, I will not be sharing pictures of everything. Instead, I’ve decided to show of some of the previously unreleased and lesser-known illustrations in the book since you can see the official promo art anywhere!

The Art of Bravely Default

Rather than being dedicated to a specific game, the book features content from the whole Bravely Default series, including the browser game Praying Brage and the very thematically and visually similar Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light.

The Art of Bravely Default

The slipcover on the book is translucent enough to sort of see the illustration above, but they’ve also included it in the book so you can more easily view the full piece.

The Art of Bravely Default

Amongst the regular promotional artwork are a number of illustrations of the characters done by guest artists. I think this is a pretty fun rendition of Ringabel.

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

In with the official art and promotional materials at the beginning are some really fun sketches. I personally love seeing sketches as much as the finished products!

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

There are lots of great references for the job costumes and other details, such as Ringabel’s diary. Can you find the outfits that were censored/omitted from the western version of the game?

The Art of Bravely Default

I love these two sketches of Edea playing an original 3DS!

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

More details and sketches. These images would be great resources for all the cosplayers out there!

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

The Art of Bravely Default

There are some great sketches and paintings of the game’s environments, as well. Unfortunately this, the weapon section, and the enemy section are not complete (as far as I can tell), but they probably had to cut back on what they put in so the book wouldn’t be too long.

The Art of Bravely Default

Towards the end of the book there is a hefty section containing Praying Brage art. I haven’t played that so I have no idea what’s going on in most of the illustrations, but there are a lot of different artists involved. I couldn’t help sharing these cute magical girls.

The Art of Bravely Default

As mentioned before, there’s even a small portion of the book dedicated to Finaly Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light! You can really see the similarities between it and Bravely Default when looking at these job sketches.

The Art of Bravely Default

The final page of the book has this fun New Year’s card from 2013. What are you doing to that poor snake, Agnes?!

Finally, it’s worth noting that the artbook comes with a DLC code that can be redeemed for one of four costumes of your choosing and can be worn over any job costume in the game. It’s only compatible with the Japanese version of Bravely Default, which unfortunately I don’t have, so if you’re reading this and would like the code, please leave a comment and it’s yours!

At approximately $35, BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works THE ART OF BRAVELY 2010-2013 is an amazing deal for a ton of gorgeous content. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the game, especially considering the artbooks included in the collector’s edition of the game in Europe and North America are pretty lackluster in comparison. Even if you’re not interested in the game but want the book for the art itself, it’s a great coffee table book or just something pretty to add to your collection! As someone who hardly ever buys books of this nature, I am beyond thrilled with it.

Many thanks to Lady Riven for inviting me to do this guest post! If you liked what you read, please consider checking out my website, Twitter, and/or Facebook!

————–

Thanks Anne! I’ll wrap this up by saying that I also really love and recommend this art book! If you’re a fan of the game, it’s definitely a great value. My personal favorites are the background paintings. I ordered my copy through Amazon JP since they’ve lowered their shipping rates to be much more affordable! You can buy it here. Now go visit Anne’s blog. :)

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2 Responses to “[Guest Post] Artbook Review: BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works ~ The Art of Bravely 2010 – 2013”

  1. onthelam79 March 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Amazing artbook! I definitely love the art direction in Bravely Default. I’d love that costume code if it’s still available. Thanks!

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