The release of Cobra Kai’s Season 3 trailer has gotten fans excited for the return of beloved characters from the Karate Kid franchise. In particular, there has been some buzz surrounding the fact that Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) is making an appearance.
Kumiko Was Daniel LaRusso’s Girlfriend In The Second Film Of The Franchise
As fans are aware, Kumiko is a dancer, and Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) girlfriend in the 1986 film The Karate Kid Part II. As reported by Collider, the pair met when Daniel was visiting his sensei Mr. Miyagi’s (Pat Morita) hometown, located in Okinawa, Japan.
It is revealed that in this youth, Mr. Miyagi had expressed romantic interest in Kumiko’s aunt Yuki (Nobu McCarthy), even though she was set to have an arranged marriage with his friend Sato Toguchi (Danny Kamekona). This conflict ultimately led to Sota wanting to battle Miyagi until one of them died. Miyagi, however, refused to participate and ended up moving to America.
Toward the end of the film, Daniel saves Kumiko from Sota’s nephew Chozen (Yuji Don Okumoto). However, their relationship ultimately fizzles out and she is only briefly alluded to in The Karate Kid Part III, with Daniel stating that she was unable to visit him in the United States because “she got this great job with a dance company in Tokyo.”
Daniel Will See Kumiko When He Returns To Okinawa
In Season 3 of Cobra Kai, the owner of LaRusso Auto Group returns to Okinawa and sees his former flame after what is presumably a three decades’ long separation.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tomita described her experience with returning to The Karate Kid franchise. She noted that she was contacted in 2019 by the show’s producers to see if she would like to step back into the shoes of Kumiko. After she agreed to sign onto the project, she was given the Season 3 script just a few months later. She also noted that she was a fan of the show but did not watch it upon its initial release when it was distributed on the subscription service YouTube Red.
“At the time [that it debuted], though, I saw [that it was on] YouTube Red, and I never followed up on it — I didn’t want to pay for it because I’m such a cheapskate,” revealed the 54-year-old.
Later in the interview, Tomita revealed what fans can expect between her character and Daniel in Season 3.
“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,” assured the actress.
Tomita went on to say that she thoroughly enjoyed being able to work 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,” said Tomita.
For fans who are excited for this long-awaited reunion, be sure to watch Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix on January 1.