Are you like us who were charmed by Mackenyu Arata, a.k.a. Roronoa Zoro in the One Piece live-action?
The breakout star is now in the Philippines for some commitments, including his appearance at the Manila Pop Convention 2023. He also met with the press on Saturday, Nov. 18 ahead of his much-awaited fan meet.
At the recently concluded media conference, the actor expressed delight at the love he has received from Pinoys so far.
"I'm honored to be loved by the Filipino fans. I saw it, I felt the love," he said, adding that he expected the Netflix live-action adaptation will be well-received even for those who aren't that into anime.
"I am also happy that fans loved the live-action," Mackenyu continued.
Talking about his iconic role in One Piece, the 27-year-old actor revealed it took months of preparation as he had to master the three-sword style of his character in the series.
"We had months and weeks of training for his three-sword style. I wasn't familiar with three swords," he shared, adding that his Japanese-American roots and love for anime mainly influenced his approach to successfully portraying the role.
Mackenyu shared that more action is expected in the second season of the live-action series. When asked how he prepares for fighting scenes, he said, "I don't know, it's in my blood. It comes naturally."
In case you didn't know, Mackenyu is the son of legendary Japanese actor and martial artist Sonny Ichiba. He is known for his death-defying stunts in film and television in the 80s and 90s, including The Street Fighter and The Killing Machine, which inspired the brutal fighting game Mortal Kombat for his impressive moves.
The One Piece star is holding a fan meet in Manila titled Closer to You: Fun Fan Meet. The event will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday, Nov. 20.
Mackenyu expressed his desire to visit Palawan and Boracay to explore not just the beauty of the Philippines, but also its delicious food. "I really want to but I do not have time to, so please tell someone to give me the time to enjoy the Philippines," he told the press.