Cobra Kai begins its story with a heavy focus on Johnny Lawrence, allowing the audience to see just where he ended up thirty years after the events of his competition against Daniel Lawrence. Over the course of four seasons, though, the story has become even more about the new generation of Cobra Kai students and how the rivalry between two different types of martial arts students persists.
The series has also examined how bullying becomes pervasive thanks to the influence of a handful of people. It’s given the audience insight into just how some of the villains of the Karate Kid franchise became who they are. There are a lot of new characters who have the potential to really drive the story outside of Johnny and Daniel.
10 Sam Has The Potential To Bridge The Gap Between Dojos
Though several characters in the fourth season studied Miyagi-do and Cobra Kai style martial arts, Sam is the only one to truly embrace both styles. She uses Miyagi-do to fight aggressively, the opposite of what she’s taught to do, and she uses what she knows of Cobra Kai to counter moves from other fighters.
Sam still has a long way to go, as there’s a part of her that is still scared of Tory and the circumstances of their fights. As someone who is able to study under her father and under Johnny Lawrence, though, she’s someone who appears to be the most open to trying to find common ground.
9 Tory Is On A Hard Path Of Learning
Tory often appears to be the most fearless person in Cobra Kai, but she’s actually terrified of losing her family. That’s part of what makes her approach life so aggressively. She might have initially appeared as a one-night antagonist for Sam, but that’s begun to change in the fourth season, and she’s got a lot of potential for future storylines in the series.
Tory is the only one who knows that Terry Silver bribed one of the judges a the All Valley Tournament so she could win. That might give her some leverage over the new leader in the dojo. It also might make her turn away from Cobra Kai altogether. She’s already made the steps to get help from Amanda LaRusso before. This storyline gives her the potential for real change.
8 Chozen Could Be A Great Teacher
Fans of the original movies have had a lot of fun seeing the returns of so many characters from the franchise. Chozen, Daniel’s former adversary for a potential fight to the death, returned a changed man. He’s calm, more balanced, and ready to teach Daniel the lessons he’s learned.
That’s why it’s so great that Daniel recruits him to teach karate at the end of the fourth season. Chozen is a great example of how antagonists in the series can change. His presence in the narrative might lead to more switching of sides amongst the teenagers on either side of the rivalry, and it might lead to Johnny and Daniel having an even better understanding of one another.
7 Devon Is A Determined Student
Brought in when Eagle Fang Karate needs more female students, Devon is a fast learner and an incredibly determined person. The audience hasn’t really had the chance to get to know her beyond how intense she is just yet, but she has the potential to be one of Johnny’s greatest students.
She doesn’t hesitate to follow his lessons, and she does very well at the All Valley tournament, considering she’s only been learning karate for a few months. With her analytical mind and attention to detail, she also has the potential to help Johnny create more focused lessons, giving him a better chance at actually maintaining a level of excellence amongst his students.
6 Kenny Is Cobra Kai’s Newest Bully
Introduced in Season 4, Kenny is one of the youngest students in Cobra Kai. Kenny also starts off as one of the weakest, only turning to Cobra Kai because he wants Robby to teach him how to stand up to his bullies. Kenny gains a lot of skills and self-confidence thanks to Robby’s faith in him, and he becomes the very person he’s so scared of.
He’s not unlike Hawk in his journey in the show so far, which is why he’s got great story potential going forward. It’s clear that his rivalry with Anthony LaRusso is going to be a driving force in the future of the show, but whether he’ll learn from his experiences like Hawk remains to be seen.
5 Robby Needs To Put The Past Behind Him
Robby has been placed at the center of so many stories in the series already, but his character seems to always move backwards instead of forwards. He gets a hand up from the LaRusso family, only to run when he gets in trouble. He joins Cobra Kai to assist in teaching classes, only to find himself caught in the middle of their bullying tactics when he wants nothing to do with them.
Robby always seems to be making strides to become happier or more well adjusted before his anger with his father gets right back in his head and in the way. At some point, the show needs to allow his story to move forward and for him to get closure with Johnny or have a relationship with him again.
4 Demetri Is Already The Most Improved Fighter
When Demetri begins the series, he and his best friend Eli are mercilessly bullied by the more popular kids in school, and it only gets worse when they befriend Miguel. While Eli and Miguel join Cobra Kai, Demetri doesn’t like Johnny’s harsh style at the time. He’s adamant that he doesn’t want to be violent and doesn’t want to be injured.
Eventually, his studying Miyagi-do with the LaRusso’s helps him gain more confidence and skill — without the personality change that Eli undergoes as Hawk. Demetri has been able to remain authentically himself while learning to stand up for himself, and that gives him the potential to become a leader in the coming seasons of the series. He’s already seen what bullying and the rivalry does to those he cares about.
3 Moon Hasn’t Had Her Own Storyline Yet
Moon is a great supporting character in the series. Initially one of Sam’s new popular friends, then Eli’s love interest, she’s also approached by Miguel about joining Eagle Fang Karate, but she turns him down. Moon doesn’t have an interest in the violence or the competition, but she supports her friends who want to take the lessons.
Moon is a pacifist and easily one of the most emotionally intelligent and mature characters in Cobra Kai. She’s also been underutilized so far, only there to support or reject others. There’s a lot of potential for a character to engage in storylines who isn’t actually involved in karate. After all, Amanda LaRusso is able to, so Moon should be able to as well.
2 Aisha Could Return With Wisdom For Everyone
After the big school fight that ends Season 2, Aisha’s family moves away. The character is much more mature and has learned a lot from her experiences when Sam seeks her out for advice in a surprising return.
As the first female student of Cobra Kai, one of the most aggressive original fighters, and the one person who seems to have given up karate completely, there’s a lot of potential for other characters to learn from Aisha. She uses some of the lessons she’s picked up from Cobra Kai in her real-life without starting fights. She could be a great character to see return.
1 Anthony Is Clearly In The Middle Of The Next Big Rivalry
Anthony giving in to the group mentality of his friends and bullying Kenny when they have a crush on the same girl is what sends Kenny right into the safety net of Cobra Kai. Anthony’s actions make Kenny susceptible to Kreese and Silver’s bullying influence.
So far, Anthony hasn’t been involved in the karate his father and sister love, but as an outsider being bullied by a member of Cobra Kai now, he’s undoubtedly going to end up in the thick of the rivalry between dojos. It’ll be interesting to see if he turns to karate for help like so many other characters have.