Cobra Kai Season 1 and Season 2 have done a bang on job of taking us right down to memory lane. The Karate Kid franchise has had its ups and downs. But it did one job splendidly, which was establishing the lore. The Karate Kid universe has had four movies and a web-series spanning two seasons. It has a wealth of characters and history to explore. Season 1 kept things close to the chest. Season 2 slightly expanded upon the Karate Kid universe. It’s in Season 2’s finale that we realize Season 3 is about to blow things wide open. Ali Mills is coming to the show.
And here’s why we think its a bad move. There’s someone better suited for the role. A forgotten character from the second Karate Kid movie would be much better suited to rile up Johnny Lawrence’s and Daniel LaRusso’s feathers. The world does not need Ali Mills.
It needs Kumiko, Larusso’s forgotten romantic interest in The Karate Kid II, played by Tamlyn Tomita. The show would look much better with Tomita, instead of Elizabeth Shue completing the holy triad of the Cobra Kai Universe.
Kumiko first made her appearance in The Karate Kid II. She is the niece of Yukie, Mr. Miyagi’s lot love from ages ago. Daniel and Mr. Miyagi travel to Okinawa to explore Miyagi’s ancestral roots. There they meet Miyagi’s rival Sato and once-best friend Sato. Sato was supposed to marry Yukie but that did not happen and he holds Miyagi responsible for it somehow. Sato’s nephew Chozen Toguchi loves Kumiko, who finally ends up with Daniel LaRusso. After a game of psychological battles between Sato and Miyagi, things reach a boiling point where Chozen unsuccessfully tries to kill Yumiko.
LaRusso saves the life of his Japanese Girlfriend and becomes host to the next generation of Miyagi-Do.
The third Karate Kid movie revealed Kumiko decided to pursue a career in dancing in Japan. LaRusso and Kumiko called it quits soon after. We have not heard from her since. With Cobra Kai Season 2 ending on such a climactic note, things are heating up. Johnny Lawrence has lost the dojo. LaRusso was asked by his wife Amanda to shut down Miyagi-Do for good. Cobra Kai Season 3 trailer showed us that Daniel LaRusso is traveling to Okinawa to re-connect with the Miyagi-Do past. From what the rumors tell us, it appears to be Chozen that pins Daniel down. Who’s to say Kumiko might also not be making an appearance given the show’s penchant for always choosing the nostalgia lane.
Bringing back Kumiko will benefit the show in multiple ways. Daniel has lost his mojo. Miyagi-Do is in peril and LaRusso needs to be reminded his roots. Kumiko and Daniel could have a chemistry together on screen. She could still have feelings for Daniel. And the third most important part is Kumiko has never met Johnny Lawrence and Cobra Kai. How does Okinawa welcome Cobra Kai’s teachings? That would be something we would like to see on screen.
Ali Mills is too mainstream now. It would be very predictable if she joins Cobra Kai Season 3. But nobody could have anticipated Kumiko to be the third leg of the tripod, should the show-runners want to see it that way. Elizabeth Shue has made a huge name in the industry. She played a major role in The Boys. But it’s probably time for Tamlyn Tomita to shine. She has made some major waves in the last few years. Tamlyn Tomita has been seen in The Good Doctor, Teen Wolf, and Star Trek: Picard. Her greatest role was probably playing Tamiko Watanabe in Amazon Prime’s The Man In High Castle.
If Netflix wills it, Tamlyn Tomita could be roped in for a recurring role in the third season of the show. There’s so much room to explore with her character than Ali Mills. For once, we would like Netflix to not go the nostalgia route with Cobra Kai. They need to think it logically this time.