Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai is next folks! And when I write about the greatest character ever created…. I don’t mean about the Karate Kid himself. Or Mr. Miyagi for that matter. Although I’ll be the first to admit that it’s an iconic character.

No, for the purpose of this post, in particular, I’ll focus on Johnny Lawrence. Famously portrayed by William Zabka in the movie series. And in the now-iconic Cobra Kai. It’s a spin-off series of the Karate Kid, and if you’re not watching it… You’re missing out. I’m huge fan of Cobra Kai and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have the opportunity to write about it. Not just the TV show, but my all-time favorite character from the TV series. Johnny Lawrence.

And sure. I’ve written about plenty of iconic characters before. From Indiana Jones to Goku. But Johnny Lawrence is totally different. Here’s why.

Cobra Kai
William Zabka as Johnny Larence

Cobra Kai Is The Spin-Off That We Needed

Indeed. I’ll get to the character himself a bit later. And the subsequent game too. But for now, I believe that introduction about Cobra Kai- the TV series is in order.

First of all, nobody thought that it would get the status that it has when it premiered on YouTube Red back in 2018. Except maybe me. And I proudly praised the show on my blog, when most of the other blogs and media outlets were mocking it. But I did love the show, back then (circa 2018) and I love it now even more. Here I’ve got proof of that. Just take a look at my old blog post about the first season of Cobra Kai. See? I knew that it was awesome. You’re welcome BTW.

But yeah. Cobra Kai’s story revolves around Johnny Lawrence. The bad guy of the film franchise. The ex-rich, spoiled bully is now the lead in the spin-off series. And we get to see the plot development from his point of view. He opens a dojo in Reseda and immediately rekindles his rivalry with Daniel Laruso (Ralph Macchio). But things are very much different for the two characters now. Daniel is a successful businessman with a loving family, while Johnny is broke, alone and not on speaking terms with his son Robbie.

Daniel and Johnny

And What About The Cobra Kai – The Video Game?

Now, I can’t simply go on writing about this post without a mention of the game itself. Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues. Indeed, we have Cobra Kai available for purchase here at IndieGala. And it’s on sale too. So hurry up and get it while it’s hot.

Developed by Flux Games, Cobra Kai is dynamic and fantastic action side-scrolling beat ’em-up game. A game that has the spirit of Cobra Kai and the characters too. 8 playable characters in fact. 34 years after the events of 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, the rivalry of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence continues. The fight is in your hands now!

I mean just take a look at some of the Steam user comments about the game:

–         My favorite game about two 50+-year-old karate masters and their roaming gangs of LA karate babies. Also, Kreese looks like an anime villain. 10/10, would suffer through horrible controls again. – said ErikWatersXIII.

–         If you’re a fan of the show it’s a nice little tie-in with a good story – adds Matt Galvatron.

And What About Johnny?

Well, as I mentioned in the title, I strongly believe that Johnny is the greatest character in the entire Cobra Kai series. First and foremost, I love the concept that the creators have of him. The show’s plot starts with him and focuses on him as the series progresses. And of course, the POW to be from this character in particular. However, that couldn’t have happened if the showrunners didn’t decide to change Johnny entirely. Indeed. The plot of the TV series 34 years after the events of the first Karate Kid. And a lot has happened in the meantime. Johnny is down on his luck, a misanthropic alcoholic who works odd jobs and has no contact with his son.

But in the first 10 minutes or so (from the first episode) we get to see him kick the living crap out of small-town bullies. And I feel that it was a great introduction to the character. Seems small and insignificant, but it’s really not. However, what follows next is a true sign of great writing. What we later witness is a character with empathy, compassion and lots of love to give. Oh and an allergy to the PC culture.

Cobra Kai Photoshoot GIF by NETFLIX

Johnny And Daniel: Yin And Yang Of The Series

Oh, how the tables have turned. Johnny and Daniel couldn’t be more opposite characters, but that difference goes beyond their karate rivalry. Moreover, their lives are different, their teaching philosophies and everything in between. But what’s done with the character of Johnny in the TV series is close to a true masterpiece.

First things first. Johnny is technically illiterate. Doesn’t own a computer (heck doesn’t know what Apple is), doesn’t own a smartphone either. And up until the TV series, he didn’t even know what Facebook is. Yes, he’s basically a caveman living in 21st century. But that’s all fine and well. What I love the most about Johnny is his BS detector. And his child-like nostalgia, but that’s a topic for a different post.

NO PC Pandering For Johnny!

Sure the simple nature of his character (in terms of technology, life and pretty much everything else) is a great source for comedic relief. But you know what else is a great source of comedy? Johnny’s intolerance of Political Correctness. There are no gender-neutral classes in his dojo, use of pronounces and other woke stuff. No, he’s politically incorrect and proud of it. So everyone can just deal with it. Oh, and he’s making fun of people who are. 

I.E. The new generations that he takes under his wing in his dojo. Which is awesome. However, the show also teaches us that it’s OK to laugh at yourself. And not to take ourselves so seriously. Look, I get it. He was the bully in his days. And now that he’s in his 50’s and a barely functional human being… he found a way to work around it. To come out on the other side. With grit and humor at his own expense. Without being too annoying about it, because he hates annoying people. Gosh I love this character. Here’s a good example of that:

Eli: “My doctor thinks I might be on the spectrum”

Johnny: “I don’t know what that is but get off it pronto”

Get it? He’s savage and I love it. It’s so refreshing to see a character like this in today’s PC culture. A man that’s so stuck in the 80’s both mentally and spiritually is borderline insane. A character so PC intolerant that will make John Cleese (another opponent of PC) seem like a snowflake. So, yeah. Johnny is my favorite character. But if you’d like a post about his arch-nemesis Daniel LaRuso, do let us know. We at IndieGala are happy to oblige.

Are You A Fan Of Cobra Kai?

Who’s your favorite Cobra Kai character? Are you a fan of Johnny as I am? Let us know in the comment section. What’s your favorite thing about Johnny? And of course… Are you enjoying the video game? We’d also love to know that. Don’t be shy. Hit that comment section.

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