Soundtrack music’s goal, first and foremost, is to evoke the emotions running through any given scene and help immerse the viewer in the going-ons. Good soundtrack music will do that so well that one can simply let the power of the music convey the scene in its totality. And for those who are fortunate enough to be able to experience good music paired with memorable visuals, the scene will forever be etched in their minds by the nostalgia borne from experiencing such a sublime combination.
But good soundtrack music doesn’t necessarily always remind people of how great a show can be. Many enjoyable soundtracks accompany mediocrity on down. Guilty Crown is often cited as one of the more recent examples of this. And there’s Yosuga no Sora from 2010 too. The list goes on.
Andante Grandeioso Kokka
[audio:TYTANIA Original Soundtrack – Andante Grandeioso Kokka.mp3]
Tytania, an anime that aired in 2008, falls into this same boat. The brainchild of author Yoshiki Tanaka, known for writing Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Tytania was expected to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps by detailing an epic, galaxy-spanning conflict filled with memorable personalities and story twists. The grandiosity of it all was hinted at in the over-the-top (but delightful) operatic opening theme, as well as tracks like “Andante Grandeioso Kokka.”
“Andante Grandeioso Kokka” sure is grand isn’t it? The melody during the first half of the track is stirring, using the strings to play a processional air, lending an aura of regality that is fitting of the Tytania clan’s power over the Empire. Once you reach the second half of the track, the piece quiets down even as it retains the theme found in the first half, creating a more graceful feeling as, while protocol still exists, there is no need to display their power so blatantly when in the presence of fellow clansmen.
For those of you who have seen the anime, you’ll know that their grip on power becomes undone by a man named Fan Hyulick, a commander who successfully wins a battle against one of the Tytania clan, Duke Ariabert, and so, inspires other colonies to revolt against the clan’s rule. With such a premise, I expected an epic story to burst forth on a grand scale, bearing with it the full array of fleet battles and political machinations.
This is the promise that the anime ultimately failed to deliver upon. Long story short, frustrated by Fan Hyulick’s inaction and lameness, I dropped the series after watching 20 episodes.
In the end, all I’m left with is a feeling that Tytania was a waste of potential. The fantastic orchestral music (courtesy of the Kanegawa Philharmonic Orchestra) composed by Hiroshi Takaki will linger on in my memories as what could have been, as my mind is spurred to imagine how the narrative would flow had it been done well. After all, what we got did Takaki’s score little justice.