In the 1986 martial arts film The Karate Kid Part II, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) ends his relationship with Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). However, he soon gets over the breakup when he meets Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) in Okinawa, Japan. While their relationship is brief, Daniel encourages her to visit him in America and admits he is in love with her.
Over three decades later, the former couple reunites during the third season of the acclaimed series Cobra Kai. In Season 3, Episode 4 and 5, Kumiko brings much-needed light to Daniel’s life. She reads him touching letters written by his late sensei Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and helps save his failing business. While Daniel is a married man, he still has chemistry with his ex-girlfriend. This has led some fans to wonder if the pair could potentially get back together in future seasons of Cobra Kai.
Tamlyn Tomita Addressed Fans Who Want Daniel & Kumiko Back Together
During a February interview with Steve Varley, Tomita acknowledged that many Cobra Kai fans would like Daniel and Kumiko to rekindle their romance.
“I understand the fanship out there for Kumiko and Daniel but you know now we’ll see where the universe takes us — takes the Karate Kid universe, Cobra Kai universe and I love all the fans for loving on that and wishing that,” said the actress.
The Actress Believes It Is Unlikely the Characters Will Rekindle Their Romance
Tomita noted that her character may still have feelings for Daniel. She stated, however, that it is unlikely Kumiko will allow her emotions to dictate her actions.
“We’re allowed to dream. We’re allowed to fantasize. We’re allowed to hope, of course, and we keep those hidden because to act upon those will have consequences, you know, for Kumiko to you know sashay in to the LaRusso’s household in Encino … it would be really bold and it would be and it would really upset that universe,” said the actress.
She went on to say that she appreciates the audience enjoying the idea of Daniel and Kumiko being together. She also stated that she “understand[s] and adore[s] fanfiction” written about the former couple.
“It allows people to really write and create stories and to live out in their imaginations as how they would want things would want things to turn out and that’s a good and healthy exercise,” said the actress.
However, she would like fans to respect the storyline outlined by the show’s creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg.
“We have this established world of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai and we want to honor those characters. We want to honor the characters in the collaborative minds of the three amigos because they’re the ones who are the gods and goddesses of what we’re seeing on Netflix,” said Tomita.
The Joy Luck Club star went on to say that she is interested in coming back on the show in future seasons. She also noted that she often communicates with the show’s creators.
“We have an open door. I’m able to write and text and go ‘oh my gosh that was a great scene.’ That’s the gift for me to be able to be able to have that door open, so whatever they have in their minds absolutely,” asserted Tomita.