'One Piece' star Mackenyu visiting the Philippines in November for ManiPopCon 2023

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'One Piece' star Mackenyu visiting the Philippines in November for ManiPopCon 2023
Mackenyu in Netflix's "One Piece"

MANILA, Philippines — Japanese actor and "One Piece" star Mackenyu Arata will be in the Philippines this November as the headlining guest for this year's Manila Pop Culture Convention (ManiPopCon) to be held in Ayala Malls Manila Bay.

ManiPopCon organizers opted to invite Mackenyu months before Netflix's live-action series adaptation of "One Piece" premiered to immense success, prompting its renewal for a second season.

Apart from portraying Roronoa Zoro in the live-action version of Eiichiro Oda's long-running manga, Mackenyu is also known for starring in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final," two editions of "Fullmetal Alchemist," and "Tokyo Ghoul S."

Also confirmed to attend ManiPopCon 2023 is Japanese cartoonist and comic book writer Stan Sakai as he discusses on a panel the upcoming 40th anniversary of his most popular creation "Usagi Yohimbo."

The event organizers are in talks with other television actor and video game voice actors to attend, all of which will be announced a couple of weeks before ManiPopCon 2023 once confirmed.

Activities for ManiPopCon 2023 will spread all around the venue at scheduled times for better organization and crowd control. Some events will be ticketed like closer access to Mackenyu's panel though most areas of the convention will be open to the public.

Related: Tony Tony Chopper debut? Netflix renews 'One Piece' for season 2

Another ticketed activity are the screenings of classic Filipino films care of ABS-CBN's Sagip Pelikula, highlighted by the remastered version of the 1941 film "Ibong Adarna."

Other films to be screened are the Lorna Tolentino horror films "Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara" and "Init ng Apoy," Dolphy movies "Captain Barbell" and "Omeng Satanasia," the 1939 movie "Giliw Ko" starring Fernando Poe Sr., and "Tisoy!" starring a young Christopher de Leon.

A highlight of ManiPopCon is the games convention "Laro" featuring an array for board, tabletop, and card games such as "Dungeons and Dragons," "Magic: The Gathering," "Star Wars: Shatterpoint," "Crisis Protocol," and for the first time a virtual reality game in an arena setting.

Also being featured at the convention is the Artists Alley co-presented by Komiket and Cosplay.ph which will showcase local comics artists like Pol Medina, Manix Abrera, and Kevin Raymundo — even Sakai will get a dedicated booth for fans to meet him and purchase his works.

With the support of Cosplay.ph, ManiPopCon will be a haven for the Filipino cosplaying community who enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters from every corner of the pop culture sphere, proving true that the convention is an event "by geeks, for geeks."

Organizers are targetting a total attendance of 250,000 people from November 17 to 19, basing its number on the venue's track record when it previously hosted Henry Cavill when he visited the Philippines to promote "The Witcher."

Chief Geek Officer Marco Aventajado shared that all 2% of the revenue received at ManiPopCon 2023 will be given to charities and foundations to be chosen in due time, thus inviting pop culture fans to attend for a cause beyond representing their favorite fandoms.

RELATED: Myrtle Sarrosa cosplays Nami from 'One Piece'

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