Opus XIII: Crystal Radiance was released on March 26th 2021 and included several premium full art cards that boasted some seriously impressive artwork. The most valuable and sought after of this set is the full art Lightning – 13-081H, which also happens to hold one of the highest FF TCG raw card values on the current market.
In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is trying to save her sister Serah but gets mixed up in a plan that puts her homeworld of Cocoon in danger. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning is a knight protecting the goddess Etro from her rival, Caius Ballad. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, she is chosen to be a saviour by the god Bhunivelze to save people’s souls before the world ends.
The last full art copy of Lightning, which came with Opus XIII: Crystal Radiance, sold for £150 on December 9th. This value is in line with the prices seen on TCG Player around the same time but has since seen a slight increase with a sale of $200 on January 13th. Although there haven’t been many sales throughout January, a BGS 9 copy of Lightning did sell on the 20th for $177.
Lightning 13-081H was illustrated by Akira Oguro, who first began working with Square Enix and the Final Fantasy franchise on their first movie, The Spirits Within. On that project, he worked on the storyboard and later moved on to the episodic Final Fantasy IV: The After Years mobile game, which was released in 2008. He also illustrated the artwork for the novel adaptations of The After Years, as well as some wallpapers on the official Japanese website for the DS version of Final Fantasy IV. Not only has Akira Oguro’s work been showcased in the FF TCG, but he has also worked on illustrations for Lord of Vermilion II and has worked on the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series.
What makes this card most striking is the black background, which perfectly highlights Oguro’s instantly recognisable art style of the heroine. In an interview with the artist, he was asked about the inspiration behind his style. He answered that he took inspiration from old fashion magazines, where the dresses and those wearing them were sketched out in a particular style. Lightning 13-081H isn’t the only illustration done by Oguro that focuses on the outfit of the character, with cards like Ursula 11-064L, Luca 11-084R and Dusk 7-115R being just a few.
If you would like to see more from other FFTCG artists, check out our article – OPUS XIII: Premium Full Art Cards. To check out the game’s other big chase cards, head over to Anthos – the ultimate Final Fantasy TCG database.
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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