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What you need to know about 'One Piece' breakout star Mackenyu

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The anime adaptation of "One Piece" has been the talk of the town since its release on Netflix on August 31.

The eight-episode series is currently the most-watched show by Filipinos on the streaming platform.

In a nutshell, "One Piece" revolves around young and ambitious Luffy, who is on a quest to find the legendary One Piece treasure. Along his journey, he forms bonds with other colorful characters, including skillful swordsman Roronoa Zoro.

Zoro is portrayed by Japanese actor Mackenyu Maeda, who has captured the attention of many Filipinos for his good looks, physique, and acting skills.

Mackenyu was born in Los Angeles on November 16, 1996. He is the son of renowned actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba with his second partner, Tamami. They got married in 1996 but split up in 2015.

Sonny gained international fame for his role in the 1974 action film "The Street Fighter," where he portrayed the protagonist Takuma Tsurugi. He also appeared in Hollywood productions such as "Kill Bill" and "The Fast and the Furious."

Sadly, Sonny passed away in 2021 due to complications from Covid-19 at the age of 82.

Mackenyu has two siblings, a half-sister named Juri Manase (his father's daughter from a previous marriage) and a brother named Gordon.

Both of them are also in showbiz. Juri was a stunt double for Lucy Liu in "Kill Bill," while Gordon starred in "Tokyo Revengers."


Acting career


Following in his father's footsteps, Mackenyu pursued a career in acting. He played the lead role in the 2015 film "Take a Chance," which also featured his father, Sonny.

Mackenyu made his mark with his portrayal of Arata Wataya in the Chihayafuru live-action trilogy in 2016, which earned him the 40th Japan Academy Newcomers of the Year Award in 2017.

He has also taken on roles in several live-action adaptations of popular anime, including "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter I" (2017), "Tokyo Ghoul S" (2019), "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final" (2021), "Fullmetal Alchemist" (2022), and "Knights of the Zodiac" (2023).

Mackenyu was also part of the 2018 film "Pacific Rim: Uprising."

The Japanese heartthrob is skilled in wrestling, karate, gymnastics, and water polo.

Beyond acting and sports, Mackenyu sings. In January 2016, he made his stage debut in the Japanese musical "Boys Over Flowers" (Hana Yori Dango: The Musical).

Earlier this year, he revealed that he was married. Little is known about his wife, other than she is not in showbiz.

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