Cobra Kai welcomes back Kumiko in season 3 but who exactly is she? Let’s get the character’s The Karate Kid history explained.
It’s often said that we’re living in the golden age of television and considering the amount of celebrated TV which emerged in 2020, many would be inclined to agree.
Whether you’re into fantasy, comedy or a little bit of everything, there’s always something new and intriguing to check out, even if nostalgia is what tends to entice you to TV shows.
One of the recent shows to strike a chord with audiences is Cobra Kai.
Created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, the series premiered back in 2018 on YouTube Red, serving as a follow-up to The Karate Kid film series. Netflix then acquired it in 2020 and set a season 3 release date for Friday, January 1st 2021.
Those who grew up with The Karate Kid franchise will have been thrilled to reunite with some iconic characters over the previous seasons. However, for those who aren’t so familiar with the films, the arrival of certain characters may not resonate quite so much.
So, it’s worth explaining who Kumiko is, as she’s all ready to be welcomed back into the fold for season 3…
Cobra Kai: Kumiko explained
Tamlyn Tomita portrays Kumiko and first appeared in The Karate Kid Part II.
As noted by The Karate Kid Fandom, she is the niece of Yukie, Mr. Miyagi’s childhood girlfriend.
It’s established that she aspires to become a dancer and we first see her teaching young girls how to perform the O-bon dance, which was a Japanese way of honoring the dead. Subsequently, she teaches it to Daniel.
A relationship forms and blossoms throughout the film, but her fate is then addressed in The Karate Kid Part III.
When Daniel’s mother asks what happened to his girlfriend Kumiko, he explains that she was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity at a ballet company in Tokyo. Although the relocation threatened to push them apart, Daniel knew that he should encourage her to pursue her dreams, although he was reluctant.
Tamlyn is back in Cobra Kai season 3 to reprise the role and will inform fans of the path her life took between the events of The Karate Kid Part III and now.
In conversation with Digital Spy, Ralph Macchio spoke about reuniting with Tamlyn Tomita, saying: “Tamlyn and Yuji… every couple of years we connect in some way. But as far as being in each other’s presence for that amount of time… It was like being a teenager again, with Tamlyn… it’s been 30 minutes and 30 years at the same time”
Tamyln Tomita on her The Karate Kid return
Ahead of the third season’s release, a trailer revealed that Daniel crosses paths with Kumiko after travelling to Okinawa. There, he also meets his former nemesis, Chozen (played by Yuji Okumoto).
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, she was asked about Kumiko and Daniel’s reunion:
“I think it’ll answer a lot of questions, and fans will be happy as to where [the characters] find themselves and the kind of discussions they have. I think fans will be pleased. I just hope with all the hope in my heart that we all did a good job.”
Additionally, she said of working with Ralph Macchio again: “It was like slipping on a favorite pair of socks, or a beloved pair of shoes that still fit, that still are comfortable, and they still look good. [Laughs] That’s the important part. It was so easy, and we were just laughing, like, ‘Was it really 35 years ago? Has it been that long?’ Because it just feels like yesterday.”
Is Cobra Kai season 4 confirmed?
Yes, Netflix has already confirmed the renewal of Cobra Kai for season 4.
Speaking with CinemaBlend in December 2020, co-creator Jon Hurwitz revealed that “season 4 is fully mapped out”, so perhaps we’ll see Kumiko down the line too.
In other news, what time is Cobra Kai season 3 on Netflix?