All About Mackenyu

If you’ve seen the live-action version of One Piece, then you’ve definitely noticed the actor who portrayed Zoro. His name is Mackenyu.

If you’ve seen the live-action version of One Piece, then you’ve definitely noticed the actor who portrayed Zoro. His name is Mackenyu. But what do we really know about Mackenyu?

On November 16, 1996, Mackenyu Maeda was born in Los Angeles. Tamami Chiba and Japanese action hero Sonny Chiba are his parents. Additionally, he has two siblings: a brother named Gordon Maeda, who is three years his junior and is also an actor, and a half-sister named Juri Manase, who is the child of his father’s previous marriage. He spent the majority of his time focusing on school and graduating while attending Beverly Hills High School in their Advanced Placement Program. He made a few appearances in movies and TV shows while he was growing up, including the TV miniseries Team Astro (Astro Kyudan in 2005) and the Japanese feature film Oyaji in 2007.

When Mackenyu was young, he was interested in numerous things. At the age of 7, he discovered Yabusame (traditional Japanese archery), as well as horseback riding. He began studying the Japanese-inspired karate style Kyokushin at the age of 8, and in middle school, he finished third in the US Kyokushin Karate Nationals. He participated in wrestling, water polo, and gymnastics while in high school, the latter of which saw him represent the school. He had a passion for music and had been playing the piano since he was ten years old. Later, he joined the Beverly Hills school’s brass band and played the saxophone and flute.

As soon as he began acting professionally, he established the name Mackenyu Arata or just Mackenyu. He is also Sonny Chiba, an actor and martial artist. Did you know that his father starred in a number of well-known Japanese films and TV programs? His father was likely best known to Western viewers for his role as Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Takuma Tsurugi in The Street Fighter and Uncle Kamata in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Sadly, he passed away in 2021.

He saw a Japanese movie when he was 15 years old, and was inspired to become one by the actor who played the lead. He sought a professional acting career in Japan. He clung to the hope that, after establishing his performing career in Japan, he would share a screen with the actor. Later, he admitted that the late Haruma Miura served as his inspiration for becoming the actor he is today. He co-starred with him in the Gunjou Senki movie adaption, where they first met.

When he turned 16 in 2014, he won his first leading role in a feature film in Take a Chance (2015) and was a part of the well-regarded short film Tadaima (2015), which focused on the hardship of a Japanese family in the years following World War II. The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival awarded that film Best Narrative Short. He pursued acting in Japan that same year, believing it would be the finest country for him to learn because there are so many different roles available for aspiring actors.

Speaking of Japan, mentioned that it’s one of the most beautiful places to travel to.

In 2014, after focusing solely on acting since 2013, he appeared in the feature film Buzz (So-On: The Five Oyaji) and the television film Yonimo Kimyo na Monogatari. His acting career swiftly developed, landing him three supporting parts in the TV miniseries The Kindergarten Detective (Hanasaki Shin’ichiro wa Nemuranai!! ), Yume o Ataeru, and The Hatsumori Bemars. When he was cast as Eiji Tomari/Kamen Rider Dark Drive/Paradox Roidmude in the 2014–2015 Kamen Rider franchise entry, Kamen Rider Drive, based on the well-known manga series created by artist Shotaro Ishinomori.

He received his first starring part in two 2015 releases from the United States, Take A Chance and Tadaima. He earned best-supporting actor at the Asians in Film Festival for his work in Tadaima. In 2016, he made his theatrical debut in the Japanese musical Hana Yori Dango: The Musical’s Boys Over Flowers. Additionally, he played a well-known character in the 2016 feature film Chihayafuru Parts 1 and 2, which were released back-to-back in March and April.

Shojo (Little Girl) was one of the most difficult parts he has played so far in his career. Additionally, he played “Makise” in the title character of the 2016 Shojo film Night’s Tightrope. He increased his options for acting in Hollywood in 2018 by playing Cadet Ryoichi in the science fiction movie Pacific Rim: Uprising. He also appeared in the Kiss That Kills television series, Chihayafuru Part 3, the manga adaptation Impossibility Defense, and the fast-paced action drama Over Drive all in the same year.

He was chosen to play Yukishiro Enishi, the final antagonist in the final two live-action Rurouni Kenshin films, in 2019. Then, in December 2020, he declared that he would be quitting his company, Top Coat, in April 2021 and temporarily pausing his activities in Japan. He declared that he will concentrate on international endeavors in 2021.

He played the title role in the Brave: Gunjou Senki manga adaptation when his 2021 global activities began. He is currently employed with Asian Cinema Entertainment. He was given the role of Roronoa Zoro in the American Netflix live-action One Piece series, which premiered this year, in 2023. He appeared in Knights of the Zodiac, an action/adventure movie, in addition to One Piece, which was broadcast this year. In the Saint Seiya manga’s live-action version, he portrays Pegasus Seiya.

Additionally, it was revealed in March 2022 that he has been chosen to play Scar in the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist sequel.

He kept his marriage to his wife very discreet. However, he acknowledged that he wed a non-celebrity, and the union was publicized in January 2023 together with the nuptials of his younger brother. He never confirmed the reports that they were parents to a girl.

The live-action Zoro is portrayed by the One Piece actor. In the movie adaptation of the well-known manga series by Eiichiro Oda, he plays the pirate hunter. Even the sword fighting was a trick he performed himself for the part. Additionally, he had pierced ears in order to wear Zoro’s well-known trio of earrings. He had grown up with the One Piece manga and was a major fan of it in real life as well.

Everyone has begun to take notice of the actor with the debut of One Piece and has remarked on how well he performed in portraying his version of Zoro. Along the way, he might have also picked up some new followers.

If you want to see more of the famous movies and dramas he’s been in, this is the list:

  • Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future
  • Night’s Tightropes
  • BitterSweet
  • Peach Girl
  • Over Drive
  • Kiss The Kills
  • Our Dearest Sakura
  • Tokyo Ghoul S
  • The Master Plan

You can also follow the actor on his Instagram (@mackenyu).

I hope after reading this you were able to get a grasp of who Mackenyu is as an actor. If you liked him as Zoro, then I’m sure you’ll like him more in his future roles, so make sure to keep an eye out for him.

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