Chozen Became The Mr. Miyagi Cobra Kai Always Needed
Warning: SPOILERS for Cobra Kai Season 5Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) became the closest thing Cobra Kai has to Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki « Pat » Morita) in season 5, and it’s turned out to be Chozen’s best destiny. Chozen fought side-by-side with his ‘karate cousin,’ Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), to stop Terry Silver’s (Thomas Ian Griffith) global expansion plan for Cobra Kai. Along the way, Chozen filled the hole in Cobra Kai that’s been there all along because the late Mr. Miyagi can only be part of Cobra Kai in spirit.
Now older and wiser compared to his arrogant youth in The Karate Kid Part II, Chozen assumed Mr. Miyagi’s role as Daniel-san’s friend and calming influence in Cobra Kai season 5. LaRusso lacked that force for balance in his life after Mr. Miyagi died, and this is why Daniel-san sometimes went overboard when he feuded with Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Terry Silver throughout Cobra Kai. But Chozen ended up being the fountain of sage advice LaRusso needed, although Toguchi sometimes misread situations and went a little crazy himself, like when he beat up Mike Barnes’ (Sean Kanan) employees. Chozen was not only a stalwart friend to Daniel, but he became sensei to Miyagi-Do’s students, and he became buddies with Johnny and Barnes. Chozen is also probably the best fighter Cobra Kai has seen since Mr. Miyagi himself, and that Okinawan spirit is alive and well through Chozen.
Without Chozen by his side, Daniel would have gone off the deep end in Cobra Kai season 5. Throughout Cobra Kai, LaRusso tried to embody the teachings of Mr. Miyagi and pass them onto his students, but he found it difficult to maintain that balance against his enemies. Chozen was what Daniel needed all along: a combination of best friend, brother, occasional mentor, and tag team partner. Teenage Daniel-san was always reverential towards Mr. Miyagi, but Chozen proved to be the karate counterpart the adult LaRusso was missing.
Chozen also understood Daniel-san in ways others didn’t. They are both students of Miyagi-Do and its teachings, but Toguchi has also fought LaRusso and knows his core of goodness, selflessness, and heroism. Further, Chozen saw things that Daniel sometimes forgets, like how his family is where he draws his strengths from. It’s safe to say Daniel could not have defeated Terry Silver without Chozen’s invaluable help in Cobra Kai season 5.
Daniel asked Chozen to come to America to help him stop Terry Silver in Cobra Kai season 5, but will Toguchi stick around for season 6? Cobra Kai tends to pick up where the last season left off, so Chozen will probably need some time to heal and recuperate from his swordfight wounds inflicted by Silver. But Chozen expressed his desire to return to Okinawa and pursue his unrequited love of Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita). With Silver now facing legal charges for his criminal acts, it seems like Cobra Kai has been defeated, and it might mean Chozen will go back home after a job well done.
However, Chozen was one of the brightest lights of Cobra Kai season 5, and it would be a huge loss if he doesn’t return for season 6. Sensei Toguchi would likely also be needed to prepare Miyagi-Do’s students for the international Sekai Taikai tournament. And there’s no way Cobra Kai fans wouldn’t want to see Chozen get together with Kumiko in Cobra Kai season 6. Further, a Chozen and Kumiko romance would be the next generation of Mr. Miyagi’s love story with Yukie (Nobu McCarthy), which would turn Chozen into Cobra Kai’s Mr. Miyagi even more.
Cobra Kai Seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix.