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Dragons Of Wonderhatch’s Mackenyu Arata On His Role

Dragons Of Wonderhatch is a new hybrid live-action/anime fantasy adventure. The live-action segments will depict the “real world” while the anime segments depict another world where dragons live. It is slated to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar sometime in winter 2023.

The main leads are Nagi, a high school girl in the real world, and Tyme, a boy who lives in another world where dragon riders hear the cries of dragons and communicate with them. Sena Nakajima plays Nagi, and Daiken Okudaira plays Tyme. Yoshito Emmanuelle plays Nagi’s friend Son, and Mackenyu Arata plays the dragon rider Akuta.

Kentar? Hagiwara is directing the project after spending five years developing it, and Takashi Otsuka is directing the anime segments. Posuka Demizu (The Promised Neverland (manga) is drafting the original character designs and concept art.

Mackenyu Arata is the son of the late legendary Japanese actor, Sonny Chiba. He has previously starred in many movies, especially anime adaptation like Rurouni Kenshin The Final and Fullmetal Alchemist The Final Alchemy. He will star in upcoming high-profile projects like Pegasus Seiya in the Knights Of The Zodiac live-action film and as Roronoa Zoro in Netflix’s live-action One Piece series.

Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar, we were lucky enough to interview Mackenyu Arata. This interview has been edited for clarity.

You’ve worked on a lot of anime adaptations in the past. How does that compare to working on an original series like Dragons Of Wonderhatch?

Mackenyu Arata: I think working on something that has the anime version or you know, everything I do is live-action, though it has the anime version already. But in this case, we didn’t have something we could watch before I make or be that role.

So, there’s a lot of freedom, there’s a lot of freestyle, in that role, so that’s one interesting part.

You play a dragon rider named Akuta. What can you tell us about your character?

Mackenyu Arata: Akuta is a hero of Upananta. Upananta is the ‘anime’ world, it’s called Upananta. And we have our world, the real world, so yeah, he’s the awesome hero of Upananta.

What was filming like as Akuta? Were there actual dragons riding ala Game Of Thrones where you ride prop dragons or machines?

Mackenyu Arata: Of course, we had actual dragons flying across the sky. I’m just kidding, I’m sorry. (laughs)

Right, the thing is, we just, just started filming and we haven’t shot any of the dragon stuff yet. So, there’s almost nothing I can tell you.

What is the experience like transitioning between live-action and animation parts?

Mackenyu Arata: So, the anime parts, there’s only my voice in the anime parts, and I haven’t seen the anime parts yet. Something I’m looking forward to is to watch the anime version of me, of that character, Akuta. So, yeah, I’m excited.

What attracted you to the role in Dragons Of Wonderhatch in the first place?

Mackenyu Arata: Going back and forth between two worlds is something you don’t do very often, so I thought that was a very interesting part of this Dragons Of Wonderhatch. And it’s every child’s dream to be a hero, so just to be a hero of a world is an honour.

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