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Cobra Kai Season 2 Gets Trailer, Release Date

Get ready for a battle of the dojos.

YouTube has dropped the trailer for the second season of Karate Kid spin-off series Cobra Kai, and it looks to give us exactly what last season's finale promised — the resurgence of the decades-old rivalry between Cobra Kai and Miyagi-do, with a vengeance. Also: the return of sinister sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove), whose involvement can only serve to throw gasoline on the bonfire that is the complicated relationship between Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio).

The first season of Cobra Kai, debuting in May of last year, was the first unmitigated hit for YouTube Premium, which saw the first episode rack up 55 million views. The series' fan base only continued to grow from there, as the buzz around it grew deafening and the positive critical notices poured in (season 1 stands at a sterling 100% on Rotten Tomatoes). Fans have been waiting impatiently for the second season ever since devouring the first batch of ten episodes, and if this trailer is any indication, it'll be well worth the wait.

First, a little background, with spoilers: Cobra Kai focuses on Johnny Lawrence, who as the star pupil of Kreese's Cobra Kai dojo had lost the All-Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament to Daniel LaRusso over 30 years prior (during the events of The Karate Kid). A broke, despondent drunk, Johnny's wounds are constantly and liberally salted by the fact of Daniel's success as the owner of a car dealership (and his seemingly ubiquitous, karate-themed TV ads). Johnny sees a chance to redeem himself after saving a young boy named Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) from a beating at the hands of bullies, and he opens a new chapter of the "Strike Hard, Strike First, No Mercy" Cobra Kai dojo, taking on Miguel as his first student.

Miguel eventually excels under Johnny's tutelage, but inevitably begins to display some of the traits — like arrogance, hard-headedness, and the tendency towards bullying — associated with the first iteration of Cobra Kai. Intrigue arises as Miguel begins to tentatively date Daniel's daughter Samanatha, and Johnny's estranged son Robby gets a job at Daniel's dealership, eventually forging a friendship with Daniel and beginning to learn the Miyagi-do way of karate. There is some tentative bonding between Johnny and Daniel, and we even get to hear Johnny's side of the story of The Karate Kid — but things come to a head at the 50th Anniversary All-Valley Karate Tournament, with Miguel defeating Robby to take home the trophy (and, like Johnny was told to do decades ago by Kreese, exploiting an injury to do so). The season concludes with Daniel resolving to officially establish the Miyagi-do dojo at his late mentor's old home, and a drunken Johnny — conflicted over how his methods have tarnished his star student — being paid a surprise visit by Kreese.

As the new trailer opens, we see Samantha and Robby training together at the Miyagi-do dojo, as Daniel's voiceover intones the school's simple philosophies: "Inner peace. Focus. Balance." The narration is then revealed to be a web video advertising Daniel's dojo, which Johnny (drunk as usual) is watching. "You can learn the secrets of Okinawan karate, true karate, by joining the Miyagi-do team," Daniel tells his viewers. "Because at Miyagi-do, it's not about the money, it's about the karate." The words ALL LESSONS FREE appear on the screen, and Johnny isn't too happy about this development.

We then see Johnny prowling the floor of his cleaned-up Cobra Kai dojo with his students standing at attention, as his voiceover expresses a familiar philosophy: "Defeat does not exist in this dojo." There's a brief confrontation between Johnny and Daniel, and then onto the soundtrack creeps a tune which will apparently serve as a theme for this season of Cobra Kai — a menacing, eerie cover of Bananarama's classic "Cruel Summer."

Then, we get shots of the Cobra Kai students continuing to develop ("Cobra Kai is about being badass!" one kid's narration insists), followed by Daniel imparting to his students a much different take on karate training. "It doesn't matter who anyone was before they stepped into this dojo," he tells them, "all that matters is that we are all Miyagi-do." Robby, Samantha, and a plethora of new faces are fully on board — but then, we see some kind of Cobra Kai training exercise in the woods, presided over by Kreese, who instructs a female student facing off against a male opponent to "finish him," in true Mortal Kombat-like fashion. She does, with no mercy.

We then get a series of shots showing us Daniel's students ramping up their training, intercut with Daniel's own victory over Johnny in 1984. "I know how to beat Cobra Kai," Daniel's narration says. "I did it 30 years ago, and I can do it again." As Johnny regards himself in a mirror and Daniel looks to a framed portrait of Mr. Miyagi for guidance, the spot makes sure we know that the two dojos are headed for a collision — and then, as is typical of this series, a bit of humor. Johnny instructs one of his students, who is apparently shooting a video promoting his dojo on her phone, "Just make sure the Cobra Kai snake comes in at the end, alright? I want it to really pop!"

As stellar as the first season of Cobra Kai was, season 2 improbably looks to be picking up even more steam. The series' signature blend of comedy, drama and action appears to be melding nicely, and it looks like we can expect Zabka's brilliantly conflicted (and often hilarious) lead performance to take on even more depth. Plus... Kreese is back, and Kove appears to have lost exactly none of the steely edge that made his performance in The Karate Kid so memorable.

Here's the official season 2 synopsis (via Collider): "Season 2 brings fans back into the action with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) after the shocking Season 1 cliffhanger featuring the return of John Kreese (Martin Kove). When a new rivalry between opposing dojos is born in the aftermath of Cobra Kai's controversial win at the All Valley Championships, Daniel realizes his next countermove is to open his own karate training school called Miyagi-Do, in honor of his mentor Mr. Miyagi. What was once a personal feud between Daniel and Johnny escalates beyond their differences to engulf their students, who as teenagers, are already challenged to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Which path will they follow — Cobra Kai or Miyagi-Do?"

That is the burning question. Perhaps we'll get some answers — but just as likely, even more questions — when the entirety of Cobra Kai season 2 drops on YouTube Premium on April 24.