The third season of Cobra Kai is finally here, and it features the highly-anticipated return of Daniel LaRusso to Okinawa, Japan, the home of the late Mr. Miyagi. In the new season, Daniel heads back to Okinawa to try and save his car dealership, and he ends up reuniting with old flame Yumiko, as well as former rival Chozen. The interactions with both Yumiko and Chozen give Daniel a deeper understanding of the life of Miyagi, and help put him in a place to put some of his issues back home behind him.
It takes a grown up and forgiving Chozen for Daniel to be able to reconcile with Johnny at the end of Season 3. It's a very important part of the journey for all of the characters involved, and it makes you wonder why it didn't happen sooner. Cobra Kai co-creator and executive producer Josh Heald broke it down in an interview with ComicBook.com.
"The way things end in Season 2, with such tragedy with what happened with Miguel and his injury, with Robbie running off, with Samantha being bruised and battered and called out at the high school and what went on with all those kids, shook everyone to the core, including Johnny and Daniel, especially as their senseis and mentors," Heald told us. "So heading into Season 3, all these characters need to pick up the pieces and we see how they respond to it. With the path that Daniel ends up going on, he's trying to put on the brave face, he doesn't have all the answers. And I think that it was for us about, putting Daniel in a position where he's reached the end of his rope, where he doesn't really know exactly what to do next.
"So it felt like for him to return to Okinawa at a time when he is searching for wisdom and searching for something, even if he doesn't know exactly what he's going to get there, the draw of going to Okinawa to clear his head, was something that was appealing to us. And we knew that when we wanted to go to Okinawa, that we wanted to bring back Kumiko and Chozen, who are characters that we fell in love with when we were young and that we wanted to explore going forward. We knew that they'd be fun for fans, but also had the potential to be impactful in Daniel's journey as he sort of rights the ship. And I can just say that we felt this was the right time to do it and filming those episodes, we had such amazing directors working with us on those, like Lin Oeding. I was working on the episode four and Stephen Tsuchida was working on episode five and just collaborating with them and collaborating with the actors to really do justice to that Okinawa storyline, and actually shoot a couple of days in Okinawa, as opposed to Karate Kid 2, which filmed in Hawaii. Our goal was to present Okinawa in as authentic a way as possible in a way that people hadn't even seen yet in the Karate Kid, Cobra Kai universe."
What did you think of Daniel's return to Okinawa? Are you looking forward to Cobra Kai Season 4? Let us know in the comments!