Review Summary: A haunting and grandiose backdrop to Lelouch’s reformation of Britannia.
Code Geass / Code Geass R2 is a two part 50 episode anime that originally ran over the course of two years, 2006 to 2008; it revolves around a prince named “Lelouch” who aims to destroy his own country and liberate the nation of Japan (now christened “Area 11”) from its clutches. During that two year time frame it managed to gain millions of fans, who were all drawn to the deep political story, the well developed characters, the moral quandaries presented throughout and the teeth grinding tension that seemed to creep into every intense moment of the series. An anime with such a compelling premise surely would have a soundtrack to fit Lelouch’s rise to power? Luckily it does, the Code Geass R2 soundtrack is a massive composition with plenty of variation and emotional impact to propel the series along in its finest moments.
This soundtrack utilizes an abundance of horns throughout its run-time and they’re used to great effect; whether they’re at the forefront to build up momentum such as in “Overwriting”, or if they’re being used to support the other instrumentals in songs like “Showdown” they play a heavy role in a good portion of the songs, fluctuating in tone, intensity and pitch admirably. The cello and violin are the other two big contenders here, helping to craft some of the album’s more somber moments. The combination of the three instruments form the backbone of this soundtrack, all while being supported by a solid drum line more than capable of keeping the pace up.
That’s not to say that only those sounds dominate the album, there’s a wide variety of offerings here. There are Spanish-influenced guitar licks and fleeting dashes of piano on songs such as “Sub-Chairmen.” There’s even some electronic work with enough distortion mixed on to the point where they almost sound like guitar riffs in tracks such as “Guren.” Various other elements are incorporated into the mix as well such as booming vocal choirs, soft female backing vocal lines and even some bongos here and there. Throughout every little electronic trinket, string strum and horn blow there’s an ambiance established that fits perfectly with scenes in the anime; Lelouch would be proud to have this soundtrack backing him as he gained support amongs the Japanese for the liberation of their nation and the eradication of Britannia.