WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
In an interesting turn of events, a new show, the sequel series to Karate Kid, appeared on Netflix. Being an enthusiastic martial arts spectator, I was immediately drawn to Cobra Kai and binged it in its entirety.
The 2-season long series is an unexpected sequel. Cobra Kai focuses equally on Daniel-son and Johnny, as well as their children. In a brief summary, both Karate Kid stars open up feuding dojos that compete at the end of year tournament. To add more fuel to the fire, Johnny’s son is trained by Daniel-son, with his “peaceful” karate rather than Cobra Kai’s “No Mercy” technique. Contrary to the movie, the series is filmed in a way that has the audience favoring Johnny over Daniel-son. While Johnny is a poor, occasionally drunk, relatable mess, Daniel-son is the successful, arrogant, entitled car dealership owner with spoiled, rich kids. That being said, the creators kept the series entertaining with surprising twists and turns.
I gave a high review because I genuinely enjoyed the show. It is a good mix of childhood nostalgic vibes and humorous, fresh material. Cobra Kai includes teen tensions, long-lasting grudges, and new friends. I especially appreciated Johnny’s extreme character growth. The show lost a star in this review because they KILLED OFF Mr. Miyagi and I am vocally upset. It is unbelievable that they kept evil Sensei Kreese and ALLOWED Mr. Miyagi to die of old age or disease or something. He was an icon, the embodiment of high morality, valued traditions, and powerful independence. He deserved more than the show offered him, more than Daniel-son represented. As a parallel to Karate Kid, Daniel-son did many things (tend bonsai trees, rebuild his dojo, hone his chi) that were meant to honor Mr. Miyagi, but all I felt was failure. Daniel-son thought he was honoring a great sensei by using his “Miyagi karate” to advertise and sell cars, but I deem him a sellout. He even gave away bonsai trees to those who bought a car from LaRusso’s. Despicable! Despite my fury at Mr. Miyagi’s absence and Daniel-son’s unfortunate character arc, the Cobra Kai series was a good view and I give it a “recommend.”