A gorgeous take on the character that’s worlds apart from the Disney version, and can be read in English or Japanese.

Recently, there’s been a bit of a debate in Japan regarding publisher Kawade Shobo Shinsha’s line of storybooks based on classic fairy tales such as The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast. Specifically, critics say the artwork, drawn by two-person manga creative team Futago Kamikita, is too “moe,” which seems to be their way of verbalizing an overall anime-like aesthetic.

At least part of the grumbling is no doubt due to the fact that while those characters weren’t created by Disney, their Disney animated versions are so popular and famous that to many, anything that looks significantly different feels off-putting. However, to more open-minded readers, there’s nothing wrong with taking things in a completely different direction than Disney did, and it’s hard to argue with that sort of accepting stance when you see things like this.

If the art style looks familiar, odds are you’ve played a Final Fantasy game or two. The illustrations for this version of Cinderella come courtesy of Yoshitaka Amano, who served as the Final Fantasy series’ character designer for its first six installments, until the franchise transitioned to polygon-based graphics at a time when rendering his beautifully intricate art in geometric blocks was beyond the processing power of video game systems.

▼ Cinderella, stuck cleaning the house for her wicker stepmother and stepsisters

▼ “Don’t cry,” Cinderella’s fairy godmother comforts her. “You are always a good girl, so as a reward, I will help you go to the ball.”

While the book was originally published in a small-page format, it’s since been reprinted in a larger size, all the better for admiring Amano’s unmistakable style applied to one of the most famous characters in children’s literature.

It should be noted that while the visuals are like nothing we’ve ever seen before for Cinderella, the story is as it ever was. If you don’t already have the plot memorized, though, you can still follow along even if you don’t speak Japanese, since the book is bilingual, with the story told in both Japanese and English text. Learners of Japanese who’re still far from fluent can also enjoy the Japanese rendering, as it’s written entirely in easy-to-read phonetic hiragana, as is often the case with Japanese picture books for children.

Officially titled Amano Yoshitaka Meiga Monogatari Cinderella (Yoshitaka Amano Masterpiece Tale Cinderella), the 30-page book can be ordered here through Amazon Japan, priced at 2,700 yen (US$24).

Sources: Hachima Kiko, Amazon Japan
Featured image: Twitter/@kotobuki_siwasu
Top, insert images: Amazon Japan

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s a little sad the Amano Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage isn’t pulled by a team of chocobos.