Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is known not just for its fluid animation but also for its energetic and stunning music. Following the footsteps of many notable artists involved, MAN WITH A MISSION and millet have teamed up to produce opening theme song “Kizuna No Kiseki” for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village. We had the incredible opportunity to talk to MAN WITH A MISSION’s Jean-Ken Johnny as he shared the group’s insights and reactions before their international tour beginning with North America.
Thank you for your time! What was your reaction when you were asked to work on the opening theme song for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Swordsmith Village?
Jean-Ken Johnny (MAN WITH A MISSION): I was really amazed and not nervous but a bit anxious since it is definitely one of the most biggest hit series of this decade. But above all very grateful for those who chose us.
How did the collaboration with milet happen and initiate for the opening theme song?
The director of the animation had a plan for this arc’s song, which was to be a duet of both male and female singers, assumingly because this arc was focusing on both male and female main characters. She was already chosen as the main female singer, but we and other artists, I believe, were still on the table at first. We wrote a couple of songs as a demo, and the director happened to like the potential of those song’s demos and that was the start.
Often time, the anime opening animation sequence is aligned and synced with the song melodies. What was the collaborative and creative process like with the anime staff and staff in charge of the OP animation?
As mentioned above, the director thankfully liked some of the parts of the first demo, so it was mostly building it up from that. We had many decent meetings about the lyrics and how they wanted the track to sound to fit the animation, of course paying full respect for what we’ve already made. Mostly talked about which point and part of the song must be powerful or subtle and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun but also a tough one to nail.
For the latest single “Kizuna No Kiseki,” what is the song’s main theme and/or message?
The title’s direct translation would be “The miracle of bonds” which means and implies the power and the trueness of the bond of people, friends, and your love can create. The song also holds the message to hang on to your unbreakable will make that miracle happen.
What makes “Kizuna No Kiseki” fit for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and what does the song say about the upcoming Swordsmith Village arc?
I wanted the whole song to have a very matching Japanese vibe that reminds us of the historical context and also the scary and dark side of this animation, and also to have an aggressive energetic power as the main theme of this battle adventure.
I guess it says a lot about the philosophy throughout the whole story of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, but also singing about the main theme of Swordsmith Village arc which I think is exactly what the title of this song relays.
Were there any memorable moments or stories while working on “Kizuna No Kiseki” with milet?
I once talked with her that I made the melody and the lyrics of the bridge part totally imaging her singing style and was confident that it would become great.
She immediately reacted that part was cool and so natural for her and that she loved singing it. I was really glad to hear that.
How is producing a song for an anime more different or potentially difficult compared to other music the band has created and written?
It actually helps in a way because there’s already a solid story to follow and what we focus on is to naturally add our philosophy, views, and elements to it.
What would be difficult is you need to be sure of the balance to make it as persuasive and purely strong as the song itself. Sometimes if you put too much of the main story into your song it might sound contrived and cheesy. The opposite might sound totally unnecessary.
Any final comments to international fans of MAN WITH A MISSION?
We are proud to announce the world tour since it has been a very long since we last visited you guys out there. Those who are still waiting, we promise that we’ll catch up with you guys as soon as possible. At first, looking forward to meeting you guys during this tour, and please check out our new single with the great animation and story of the new series of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
As always, thank you so much and see you all soon.
Special thanks to Jean-Ken Johnny from MAN WITH A MISSION and Milan Records for the opportunity. MAN WITH A MISSION world tour begins May 14 in North America and will include stops in the United Kingdom and Europe. “Kizuna No Kisekai” is now streaming on various digital music platforms.