The Backstory ‘Cobra Kai’ Should Tell

WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Season 3 of Cobra Kai.

The third season of Cobra Kai has been out for a few weeks already on Netflix and a lot unfolded over the course of its ten episodes. Familiar faces returned, dynamics between some of the characters changed for the better while others changed for the worst, and through a sequence of flashbacks, audiences got a glimpse at the backstory of the original (and current) Cobra Kai sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove).

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‘Cobra Kai’ Has Got to Step Up Its Representation Game in Season 3

The 50th San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and this year, the stars of the YouTube Premium series, Cobra Kai, were in attendance. For two seasons already, viewers of this continuation of The Karate Kid franchise have been following the rivalry of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) via their feuding dojos. Continue reading “‘Cobra Kai’ Has Got to Step Up Its Representation Game in Season 3”

‘Cobra Kai’ and Cultural Appropriation

by Steven Barnes | Originally posted on his website

Some time back, I watched a documentary about master Fumio Demura, one of the first to bring authentic Japanese karate (Shito-ryu) to the United States. I thought of him because he was Pat Morita’s stunt double for the Karate Kid movies.

One of the things that struck me about the documentary was his struggles to integrate into our culture, his uncertainty about sharing his cultural treasure with us, the degree to which his masters in Japan didn’t really want him sharing (“cultural appropriation,” anyone?) and his superhuman efforts to create not just a life of meaning but to uplift the children of Japan’s former antagonist.

As he is struggling with health issues now, the story is all the more poignant. One of the most affecting portions was his interactions with Pat Morita. Morita adored him, and the respect was fully returned. The “Mr. Miyagi” character was greatly beloved in Demura’s social and professional circles, and Morita was a superstar, the one who had “made it.” They were so happy that he had made it, and his success was a beacon of hope and pride to the Japanese-American community. The love and admiration at a testimonial dinner when Morita took the podium was unmistakable. The shining faces made me so happy.

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Favorite Asian Bad Guys

This week on Hard N.O.C. Life, I’ll be interviewing our buddies Stephen and Patrick from the National Film Society. They just premiered their Kickstarted webseries Awesome Asian Bad Guys to packed houses last week during CAAMFest in San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to have them on to talk about the series. In addition to the NFS guys, I’ll also be speaking with Yuji Okumoto, aka Chozen from The Karate Kid II.

All this talk about Awesome Asian Bad Guys got me thinking about which iconic Asian villains are most beloved by the NOCs. So we assembled around the old roundtable and shared our own Awesome Asian Bad Guys.

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