Music / Man With A Mission

"We are the MAN WITH A MISSION."
(「゚Д゚)「 GAW GAW!

The MAN WITH A MISSION is an alternative Japanese band formed in 2010 in Tokyo. Its lineup consists of members vocalist Tokyo Tanaka, bassist Kamikaze Boy, vocalist and guitarist Jean-Ken Johnny, disk jockey DJ Santa Monica, and drummer Spear Rib (pronounced like "spare rib"). Each member of the band wears a unique wolf head costume, lending to their back story that they're scientific experiments with wolf heads and human bodies. Their music explores a bunch of different genres, mixing pop, hard rock, dance and punk elements. They're mostly known in Japan, but have also briefly toured the US and parts of Europe and were invited as guests to Japan Expo 2012 in France. One of their songs, "Emotions", was used as a theme for Hentai Kamen's 2013 live action adaptation. They're better known, though, for being the artists behind "database", the original opening theme for Log Horizon, and "Raise your flag", the first opening theme for Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.

  • They have released the following albums:
    • Welcome to the New World (2010)
    • Man With A Mission (2011)
    • Trick or Treat e.p. (2011)
    • Welcome to the New World - standard edition - (2012)
    • Mash Up The World (2012)
    • Untitled EP (2014)
    • Tales of Purefly (2014)
    • The World's On Fire (2016)

  • Singles

    • "Man With A Mission" (2010)
    • "Rain Of July" (2011)
    • "Never Fxxkin' Mind the Rules" (2011)
    • "distance" (2012)
    • "Emotions" (2013)
    • "database feat.TAKUMA (10-FEET)" (2013)
    • "Seven Deadly Sins" (2015)
    • "Raise your Flag" (2015)
    • "Memories" (2016)
    • "My Hero"/"Find You" (2017)
    • "Take Me Under/Winding Road" (2018)

Man With A Mission contains examples of:

  • Animal Motifs: Wolves and five of them, to boot!
  • Anonymous Band: No one really knows what the guys actually look like or who they are.
    • This extends to when they perform live. Jean-Ken Johnny, Tokyo Tanaka, and Kamikaze Boy all don different masks that free their mouths so they can sing more easily, but their faces are painted pitch black. Japanese broadcasters go out of their way to avoid showing their faces during live performances, either opting for wide shots of the whole band slightly from behind, closeups of the top half of the wolf masks, bad lighting, or closeups of DJ Santa Monica and Spear Rib instead. All for art.
      • It also extends to their touring support guitarist E.D.Vedder who wears a plain white mask like Buckethead.
    • Rumors abound in the Japanese blogosphere that the band is a reinvention of their previous band Grantz, comprising vocalist Tsuyoshi (Tokyo Tanaka), bassist Nishida (Kamikaze Boy), guitarist and vocalist Hiroshi (Jean-Ken Johnny), DJ Nakajima (DJ Santa Monica), and drummer Yumiza (Spear Rib). Grantz allegedly ceased activities in 2009 and MAN WITH A MISSION formed in 2010, and Yumiza's long abandoned MySpace page has a demo of Rock in the House, a track eventually released on MAN WITH A MISSION's debut EP.
  • Backstory: They claim to have been created by a genius wolf biologist named Jimee Hendrixx, who froze them to eternal sleep until the ice melted in 2010. It kinda makes sense in context.
  • Bilingual Bonus: They usually switch between English and Japanese in most songs.
  • Catch-Phrase: "(「゚Д゚)「 GAW GAW!".
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The video for Take Me Home shows the band snowboarding on Yes boards.
  • Censored Title: Never Fxxkin' Mind The Rules.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: They kinda come across as that when they don't sway from their backstory in interviews.
    "We’re not "wearing" [our masks]. We’re made like this."
    "We were made in a laboratory on an island which is not on this world anymore."
  • Cool Mask: Their most evident characteristic.
  • Cover Version:
    • They covered both Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium".
    • They also cover "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran.
  • Desert Punk: The theme fo the "Raise your flag" music video.
  • Furry Fandom: Very much so.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: They have them in the video for Feel And Think.
  • Homage: "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind" is an original song based around the Mr. Big song of the same title (itself a Widget Song of sorts), sampling the guitar intro and making several lyrical nods.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their range tends to be between 5 and 8, with quieter songs down to 4 or 3.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Word of God says their intention is to make music from all kinds of elements.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Or in their case, Japanese Rockstar Anthro Wolves.
  • Petting Zoo People: They claim to actually be wolves.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Raise. Your. FLAAAG!!!"
  • Self-Titled Album: Man With A Mission.
  • Shout-Out: The band is really fond of them. They quote The Beatles in "Fly Again" ("life just comes and goes/tomorrow never knows"), The Bible in "Emotions" ("you'd always [...] loved your neighbors as yourself"), and the video for "Distance" features an octahedron that looks quite suspiciously like Ramiel from Neon Genesis Evangelion (the song itself seems to sample its scream, or at least features a sample that sounds quite similar, pointing out that it's probably an intentional nod). Also, the video for "When my Devil Rises" features an animation of Devilman fighting demons (done as a collaboration with Go Nagai, who contributed album art).
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Their lyrics can easily fall victim of this, thanks to the random Japanese words and their non-native English.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Spear Rib is pronounced as "spare rib" and is probably supposed to be written that way.
  • Stage Names: Obviously.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Well, at least it's pretty good for a Japanese band.
  • Vocal Tag Team: All songs feature Tokyo Tanaka and Jean-Ken Johnny in varying amounts.
  • The Voiceless: Jean-Ken Johnny is the only member of the band to speak (Japanese and English) in interviews. Apparently he was the only member of the band "created" to speak. Except Tokyo Tanaka is lead vocalist and Kamikaze Boy sings during choruses and shares lyric writing duties with Johnny. They never quite explain this.
    • During a TV interview hosted by Daisuke and Nao of Maximum the Hormone with just Jean-Ken Johnny and DJ Santa Monica on set, DJ Santa Monica accidentally spoke on camera, leading the others to feign surprise and crack a couple jokes that they heard him speak. During this same interview, Johnny complains he cannot speak English very well. All of his subtitles (and tweets) also substitute the katakana writing system where hiragana would be used instead.
  • Widget Series: Oh, yes.