Movie Reviews

No, Cobra Kai Didn’t Nerf Miguel

Miguel Diaz seemed weaker in later Cobra Kai seasons compared to seasons 1 and 2, but the show didn’t really nerf Miguel. The new “karate kid” of the Cobra Kai generation, Miguel followed Daniel LaRusso’s footsteps by going from the underdog to the All Valley champion under the tutorship of a unique sensei. Johnny training Miguel set the tone for Cobra Kai, yet Miguel now appears to be past his prime as a fighter.

Between the school fight and Miguel quitting the All Valley, it hasn’t been a great time for Cobra Kai’s first All Valley champion. Miguel was not even the one to fight for the “Miyagi-Fang” dojo in Cobra Kai‘s Sekai Taikai qualifiers, which only added to the perception that Cobra Kai had nerfed Miguel. However, Cobra Kai season 5, episode 1, confirmed why Miguel hasn’t been the same in the last couple of seasons.

Related: How Cobra Kai Season 6 Can Have Hilary Swank’s Julie Pierce

As Miguel told Sam at the beginning of Cobra Kai season 5, although not in a very thoughtful way, there were more important things than karate going on in his life. Ever since Miguel recovered from his injury in season 3, Johnny’s first student has been struggling to find his purpose and set his priorities. Miguel’s relationships had also become very complicated, as he broke up with Tory and still had feelings for Sam. In addition, Miguel tried to see Johnny as a father figure, only to have his heart broken, after being referred to as “Robby” by a drunk Johnny Lawrence.

By the time Miguel entered the All Valley Tournament in Cobra Kai season 4, the character just could not be entirely focused on the competition. That is not to mention the physical aspect of it, as Miguel was in a coma risking not walking again not too long ago. Still, more than potential injuries, what was truly holding Miguel back were his personal life struggles. Miguel was not nerfed; it’s just that his most important storylines have not been about karate in the past two seasons. Miguel had to find his father to realize that the family he needed was already there, and that Johnny did see him like a son.

Cobra Kai season 3 was about Miguel’s recovery, season 4 was about Miguel questioning the mystery of his father’s identity, and season 5 was about Miguel coming to terms with his past and future. With Miguel back home, he and Sam have repaired their relationship, and the Sekai Taikai awaits the “Miyagi-Fang” dojo. In other words, Cobra Kai season 6 is the perfect opportunity to show Miguel at his best again. There is nothing holding Miguel back anymore — no personal problems or unresolved storylines. With that, Cobra Kai can focus on Miguel as a fighter again for season 6.

That is not to say Cobra Kai season 6 should ignore Miguel’s character development, but quite the contrary. The reason why Miguel can be the best possible version of himself as a fighter in season 6 is that all his past struggles are now behind him. Even the long-running Miguel vs. Robby rivalry in Cobra Kai is no more, meaning that Miguel can now focus entirely on karate ahead of the Sekai Taikai. Given that Miguel is arguably Cobra Kai’s main character, it would be interesting if Miguel won the Sekai Taikai. That would make the show go full circle, as it all started with Johnny training Miguel for the All Valley.

More: Can Daniel & Johnny’s Dojo Really Win A World Tournament?

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