Even with season 3 here and already watched by most if not everyone that’s interested in the show it’s very likely that we’re going to keep talking about it for a while until the next season is said to be underway, and then we’re REALLY going to start talking about it again. But that’s going to be a while so clips such as the anime opening of Cobra Kai are going to be what will be shown for a while now. It’s hard to help when the series has been seriously impressive up to this point and is only about to get better since season 4 will be pitting the Cobra Kai’s against the combined efforts of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence and their students. Priorities have been put more or less in order and the only ones missing out now are Torry and Robbie, and the hope is that they’ll both see the truth about Kreese, but the reality might be very different. It’s been rumored that Cobra Kai could go for a couple of seasons more, though it’s fair to wonder how the story might extend beyond the tournament. It could be that we’re not done being surprised by who is going to show up since people are wanting to see Terry Silver, Mike Barnes, Julie Pierce, and whoever else can make it that has been involved in the movies over the years.
Things are definitely going in a different direction than a lot of people had expected since no one was really thinking about being understanding of Kreese, especially given that in the movies he was a little more two-dimensional as a villain, but people were okay with that. Now that we know what he went through when he was younger and the losses he had to incur, it’s fair to say that he’s a more sympathetic character than anyone was bound to realize back in the day. All we were shown was that he was a bully and a villain, and he wasn’t even the main villain in the movies, though he did make it clear that he trained people to be bullies thanks to the harsh lessons he was given during his time in the military and the unfortunate deathmatch that he was thrust into. But one thing is also clear about Kreese, he crossed the line and didn’t look back. He had a horrible teacher and someone that wasn’t even thinking about what might happen should his subordinate be pushed too far, but it was Kreese that made the final leap from being warm and compassionate to being cruel and unforgiving. For those that want to say that Mr. Miyagi wasn’t perfect by comparison, they’re right, but they’re also wrong since Miyagi could kill, he was capable of it, but he chose not to. For anything and everything he might have done, Mr. Miyagi understood compassion and mercy because he’d been taught to value such things.
That kind of leads us to the students, as Kreese is the kind of guy that will find the weak points in a person’s psyche and work on them relentlessly. While some folks, including Martin Kove, the guy that plays the role, would say that John Kreese is not the villain, it’s kind of like saying that Daniel was the real bully in the original movie, there are certain angles that would make this possible to accept as a statement, but the moment one thinks of this rationally they’ll find that the balance between good and bad tends to shift drastically with both characters. Where Daniel was a hothead and had an attitude that didn’t help him in the least, and did in fact play a tit-for-tat game with the Cobra Kai’s, John Kreese had been an aggressor for a long time before the movie had started. He began as a kid that was bullied fairly often, but after his time in the military, he became the ruthless fighter and less than comforting personality that would happily watch his students bludgeon each other to prove a point. The main difference between many characters and John Kreese in Cobra Kai is that he’s had years of being a bitter, angry individual and isn’t bound to change, and while Daniel and Johnny have a long road ahead of them as well, the students are the ones that require the opportunity to learn what karate is about and are in need of the self-discipline that goes with it.
As the show has depicted, karate is all well and good when it’s really needed, but when it’s practiced in a manner that allows it to be a tool for sheer aggression, it creates a very negative atmosphere that leads to fear, uncertainty, and ultimately little more than destruction. Seriously, the next season can’t come soon enough.
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