Japanese politicians are known for sometimes cosplaying, but that’s much more rare in America. However, Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, has made a point to cosplay at Houston’s Anime Matsuri convention annually for the past six years. Each time he wears a different costume that his team picks out, and this time he cosplayed as Luffy from One Piece.
Turner won’t be mayor for much longer, and Luffy was chosen on purpose to connect with this. Mayor Turner explained, “As my term as mayor draws to a close, they [my team] thought the costume was a perfect fit because Luffy embodies unwavering strength and unyielding courage. His spirit reminds us that true strength arises from working together and standing resolute in the face of adversity.”
Choosing Luffy as my costume wasn't just for fun. Luffy stands for elevating the good, and just like him, I believe to overcome the bad in the world, you need to rally all the good 'pirates' to your side. Together, we can champion what's right and just. #OnePieceWisdom https://t.co/ogGlCIMjfN
— Houston Mayor's Office (@houmayor) August 11, 2023
In the past, he has also cosplayed as Goku (Dragon Ball Z), Ichigo (Bleach), the Akatsuki (Naruto), and Rengoku (Demon Slayer).
Anime Matsuri gave Mayor Turner an honorary plaque to honor his support for the con. (He has even declared Aug. 11, 2023 to be Anime Matsuri Day!) Deneice Leigh, who is Anime Matsuri’s founder and chairman, remarked, “I want to say you are the coolest mayor in the world. He embraces, respects everyone. Why you’re so cool, is he makes you proud to be a Houstonian. He is cool because he takes care of the people and this city. He’s not afraid to cosplay.”
VIZ Media publishes the One Piece manga and gave this description for the first volume:
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy was inspired to become a pirate by listening to the tales of the buccaneer “Red-Haired” Shanks. But his life changed when Luffy accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit and gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, still vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out on his adventure…one guy alone in a rowboat, in search of the legendary “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.