Whenever I watch a movie involving Asian characters before the 2000s, I get a little apprehensive. Asian representation in media and entertainment has come a long way, but sometimes it can be painful to look back.favorite movies like sixteen candles and breakfast at tiffany’s Leaves me with a sour taste, not because I can’t understand Sam’s teenage American girl struggles, or because I’m not fascinated by Holly Golightly’s eccentricities, but because those movies contain similarities to mine man cartoon. They turned Asian faces into laughing stock.That’s always been my fear and the reason I’ve been avoiding it Karate Kid. When I thought about the idea of a wise and experienced Japanese teaching karate to white kids in New Jersey, I immediately thought: no, I’m going to pass on that nostalgia.
Considering I’ve never actually seen the movie, I don’t think I’m being fair. But I’m tired of feeling angry and a little ashamed when I see these statements, and I don’t want to be disappointed again.
“Cobra Kai” turned things around for me
but then i started watching cobra kai. Partly because it’s my job to learn about hit shows, but also because I’m curious. The series, which debuted on YouTube Red, was acquired by Netflix and has the original cast of the movie, seems to be a popular favorite. Most importantly, I don’t think I’ll encounter any racism or racist sentiments in an episode created in 2018. So I started watching it.
It’s fair to say that I was instantly captivated by the series’ characters.from Ralph MacchioDaniel LaRusso William ZabkaJohnny Lawrence, two characters I’ve only become familiar with through pop culture osmosis, for the new kid on the block Solo MaridunyaMiguel Diaz, Tanner BuchananRobbie Keane, and mary muserSamantha LaRusso.
Thankfully, this show filled the gaps in my knowledge of what happened in the movie. However, playing those flashbacks of the movie made me realize that the movie wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be.Played by Mr. Miyagi Morita PatHe does have a heavy Japanese accent, but his words pack a punch, he’s respected by Daniel, and he’s never a character we laugh at. He doesn’t seem to be the butt of any jokes, often acting as a father figure and protector to our protagonists.So after binge-watching the show on Netflix and talking about it at work, I decided to give Karate Kid one shot.
Mr. Miyagi is the most prominent character
From the point of view of someone who has seen everything, this is surprising to me cobra kai. Daniel and Ali scene (elizabeth sue) feels like filler, it’s cute, but ends up having no consequences. Meanwhile, the heart of the film is actually about Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Even Johnny, who plays such a big part in the show, feels like a very small part of the movie.
Seeing Morita play Miyagi, I could see firsthand how Daniel was influenced and inspired by him. His classes are not just teaching karate, they are life lessons. Sometimes he is stern and serious, but other times he is also warm and caring. He is a man who has suffered and yet can still be a righteous man. I worried that Miyagi would fall into the stereotype of the model minority, docile, soft-spoken, but his defense of not only himself, but Daniel as well, eased my concerns.
The film slowly develops the connection between Miyagi, a man who has lost his wife and child, and Daniel, a fatherless child, and is well worth watching. Makio and Morita have great chemistry in their scenes, and Miyagi slowly transitions from teacher to father figure. As Daniel learns more about Miyagi, and one night while he is in Europe in World War II, Miyagi’s wife dies in childbirth in Manzanar, and he begins to see his mentor differently.
These moments examine Miyagi’s life, not as Daniel’s teacher or guide, but as an Asian-American grappling with past trauma and his own identity. This man lost everything fighting for a country that put American citizens in concentration camps and considered them enemies, but still managed to stay united. He’s alienated, he’s spent his life grieving, and he sees in Daniel the son he never had. It’s amazing how all of this comes across in a film that, on the surface, is about a kid who moves to a new city and deals with girls and bullies.
The Karate Kid Forges a Series of Powerful Storytelling
I say all this not because it’s the only thing about the movie that stuck out to me, but because these scenes end up winning me over. I obviously enjoyed the music and the karate scene, especially the finale of the All Valley Championships.but also knows where the end of the path is, thanks to cobra kai, making me less cautious about exploring the journey that led to it. Knowing that older Daniel inherited Miyagi’s outlook on life and teaching style and still respecting it, knowing his family saw him as part of the family, Miyagi even getting to know baby Sam gave me a hard time elsewhere Find comfort.
Watching the show for the first time offers unexpected insights.start from cobra kai, it’s easy to feel sympathy for Johnny, who, as an adult, was baptized and kind of pathetic, stuck in the past and just trying to get by day in and day out.Finding out that his behavior in Quangu ended up ruining his life, which led us to the scene where he sweeps his legs Karate Kid That would be even more tragic. Going into the movie without knowing any of this, Johnny just seems like a bully with some serious issues. He doesn’t actually have that many scenes to examine his character. Although the few scenes we saw in Quangu showed the light of who he would become. Not really a bad guy, but misguided by someone who was also devastated by war.
Karate Kid At the end of the day, it’s an inspirational story and an underdog story.On its own, it’s fun and unconventional at times, but combined with bigger things and plans Cobra Kay, It builds a storytelling dynasty, not just showing off cool karate moves.