REVIEW: ‘Cobra Kai’ season 2 is an excellent journey from beginning to end


Photo Courtesy of Cobra Kai / YouTube

Miguel Diaz and Robby Keene fight off at the end of season one of Cobra Kai in a scene reminiscent of Karate Kid. Season two is now available on YouTube.

Robert Moon

WARNING: Spoilers for “Cobra Kai” seasons one and two.

After all of the community posts, trailers and a year of waiting, season two of “Cobra Kai” is finally here.

Cobra Kai continues 34 years after the plot of the original “Karate Kid” movie and includes returning characters including Daniel LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio, and Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka.

While season one of “Cobra Kai” focused on mirroring several of the plot points of the original “Karate Kid” movie, season two is much more ambitious, with a lot more character development and plot points unique to the series that are not simply references to the “Karate Kid” trilogy.

Season two is where “Cobra Kai” really comes into its own and defines what its story will be going forward.

One of the most changed characters is Johnny Lawrence, who originally just wanted to make a quick buck by teaching Miguel Diaz, played by Xolo Mariduena. Now invested in the success and image of Cobra Kai Karate Dojo, Lawrence wants what’s best for his students.

This leads Lawrence to go against what he was taught, teaching his students that not showing mercy isn’t the same as not having honor, a very important difference.

On the other hand, Daniel LaRusso who finds himself struggling to live up to Mr. Miyagi’s legacy, is focusing so much on reestablishing the Miyagi-do dojo that his successful auto company is struggling to keep its employees.

Although LaRusso had his share of failure in the “Karate Kid” trilogy, it is nice to see the script flipped in season two with Lawrence having his life more in order and LaRusso even risking his marriage due to his priorities not being straight.

The contrast between the two dojos and the success and failure of the characters helps bring the story alive. I found myself wanting to watch episode after episode, ultimately finishing all 10 episodes in less than 24 hours after its release.

“Cobra Kai” feels very much like something that you would expect to see on prime-time television, and not entirely expected for a platform like YouTube, which is odd for a platform that started based on amateur programming.

Luckily, Cobra Kai, and all YouTube original programming, will soon be available for free with ads much like every other video on YouTube. The acting, script and choreography are all excellent as is the pacing of the plot.

The fights are very well choreographed and believable enough that the consequences of them seem very real, and while avoiding spoiling too much there are very big consequences leading into season three.

Ultimately, I enjoyed every minute of season two of “Cobra Kai”, and I will likely re-watch them at some point before season three. The combination of the original “Karate Kid” actors with the new generation of students just feels right and makes me want to re-watch the entire “Karate Kid” trilogy.