MANILA -- "One Piece" star Mackenyu Arata received a warm welcome from Filipino fans as he visited the country for the 2023 Manila Pop Culture Convention (ManiPopCon).
He was a headliner for the geek celebration, which ran from November 17 to 19 at Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque.
Aside from his solo panel discussion, Mackenyu also signed autographs and posed for photos.
On the sidelines of the event over the weekend, the Japanese actor said he is overwhelmed by the support from his fans in the Philippines.
"I'm honored to be loved by the Filipino fans," he said. "I've seen and felt the love, and I'm just happy."
Mackenyu recently gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of the green-haired swordsman Roronoa Zoro in the live-action adaptation of the manga and anime series "One Piece."
Prior to this, he has starred in other movies such as "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final," "Pacific Rim Uprising," "Knights of the Zodiac," and "Over Drive," among others.
As "One Piece" is set to return to Netflix for another season, Mackenyu said viewers can look forward to "more action, [and] a more... good-looking Zoro, hopefully."
When asked how he prepares for intense action sequences, the son of the late martial arts legend Sonny Chiba replied: "It's in my blood... it comes naturally."
LOVE FOR GAMES, ANIME, WATCHES
As someone who has portrayed many characters in live-action anime and manga adaptations, Mackenyu is a fan of Japanese comics and animation himself.
But when asked to pick between the two, he quickly replied: "Anime."
As for his position in the "subs versus dubs" debate in anime, the actor said: "Normally subtitles, but for this show, dubbing I also like. So for 'One Piece,' dubbing."
Mackenyu also opened up about the other things he geeks out about, such as gaming and watch collecting.
"I'm not much of a collector [but] I collect watches," he said.
"I have a PC at home... [My favorite games are] Rainbow Six Siege, Apex (Legends)," he continued. "I shoot a lot, I like to shoot."
When asked about the game he is playing at the moment, Mackenyu was on-brand and said: "One Piece Cards."