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Film / The Karate Kid Part II

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"Daniel-san, never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose."
Daniel: Just forget about the honor garbage!
Miyagi: Have nothing to do with honor garbage. This have to do with village survival.
Daniel: This isn't three points and you're out! If you lose, I know what happens!

The second movie in The Karate Kid series, released in 1986.

Six months after the first film, Daniel has broken up with Ali and is being set up to move in with Mr. Miyagi as his mom moves up north. Miyagi receives a notice that his father is gravely ill and he decides to return to his home village in Okinawa. Daniel wants to support his friend and father-figure and goes with him, also hoping to learn more about Miyagi's history.

At the village many things have changed, and Daniel learns of an old feud between Miyagi and his old friend Sato that has not passed with time. (Miyagi left Okinawa so he would not have to fight to the death.) Daniel also begins a troublesome relationship with Sato's nephew Chozen, who is even more aggressive. Miyagi's father dies but that did not subside Sato's anger. Along the way, Daniel also begins a new romance with a local girl, Kumiko.

The Karate Kid: Part II contains examples of:

  • Alpha Strike: Chozen demonstrates that the crane kick leaves Daniel overstretched and off-balance.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Sato is, curiously enough, the main one in the film instead of Chozen.
  • Artistic License – History: A lot of people think that this movie claims the Miyagi family invented karate. What Mr. Miyagi actually says is that one of his ancestors went to China, and when he returned, he brought back "secret of Miyagi family karate". While this is basically the story of how it happened in real life, that process took centuries with many different people, which is why there are so many different schools of karate. At any rate, Cobra Kai retcons the story into being just an old Miyagi family legend.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: The "Drum Technique" is presented as an unbeatable maneuver, and the elite martial artist Chozen is helpless before it, but it seems to consist simply of windmilling hugely telegraphed haymakers. Amusingly this is in the same fight where Chosen effortlessly counters the Crane technique, which was also supposedly unblockable. The technique actually consists of a near simultaneous block-counterstrike, with the counterstrike being (somewhat) obscured by the block. Machio does telegraph it pretty badly though, due to his lack of much actual training.
  • Award-Bait Song: The theme song, Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love", was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also helped that it reached the Top 5 in various countries including the US and UK.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Chozen allows Daniel to follow through on the crane stance, but simply catches his foot and gives him an elbow to the back (a move reminiscent of Johnny's elbow to Daniel's knee in the first movie).
  • Book Ends: The film begins with a confrontation between Miyagi and Kreese, which ends with Miyagi threatening to mercilessly strike down the Cobra Kai sensei, but stops mid-way and comically honks his nose instead. The film ends with Daniel making a helpless Chozen choose between life and death; when Chozen chooses death, Daniel refuses his request and, following Miyagi's example, tweaks his nose.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Chozen has nothing going well for him once Daniel arrives in Okinawa.
    • Sato has this happen to him in a far more subtle way.
      1. For the past forty years, he's been fuming about how Mr. Miyagi disgraced him by fleeing from the Duel to the Death that Sato demanded.
      2. Once Miyagi returns, all of Sato's increasingly heavy-handed attempts to force Miyagi into the duel amount to nothing. It culminates with Miyagi saving Sato's life during a typhoon, demonstrating his superiority in the martial arts in the process (and, in turn, no doubt making Sato realize that he would have lost the duel that he wanted so badly).
      3. Sato is also forced to confront how he's effectively raised his nephew to be a monster. To his credit, by the end, he swallows his pride and makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Brick Break: The second film takes the most advantage of this trope with Mr. Miyagi coaching Daniel how to break through six sheets of ice, while Miyagi tops everyone by chopping a thick ceiling beam in two with one chop to rescue Sato pinned under it in a storm. At that point, it is likely that Sato realizes that if they had their duel, Miyagi would have been able to kill him with one full force punch.
  • The Bully: Chozen is the nephew of a wealthy businessman and a premier karate student, but spends his time swindling the villagers and harassing the local girls.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Kreese calls Mr. Miyagi a slope after Miyagi told him to lay off Johnny. Mr. Miyagi doesn't take it well, immediately pulling Kreese off Johnny.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Mr. Miyagi points out that kneeling down to pick something off the floor puts one in a good position to inflict a Groin Attack against the opponent. This is Played for Laughs at first until Daniel uses the same trick against Chozen.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Hopefully that bellringer Daniel saves in the typhoon will pay him back in the future. Especially if, hypothetically speaking, he needs an ally at Doyona International who's willing to help him save his car dealership chain.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • The film opens with Miyagi teaching Daniel about a breathing technique to focus the mind and body to pound in nails in one hit. Mid-way through the movie Daniel is challenged to break the sheets of ice and Miyagi reminds him of the technique.
    • The reason why he needs the drum technique is illustrated when Chozen easily counters the Crane.
  • Cherry Tapping: Miyagi nose-honking Kreese at the beginning, then Daniel doing the same to Chozen at the end.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sato is a land baron who is willing to destroy the village to goad Miyagi into that fight of his. He already had a monopoly on the fishing industry (condemning the villagers to a life of poverty) when Miyagi arrived to see his father.
  • Crushing Handshake: Chozen's greeting when he first meets Daniel.
  • Cruel Mercy: Miyagi humiliates Kreese, later saying his life is punishment enough for him. At the end of the movie,
    Daniel: Live or die, man?
    Chozen: Die!
    Daniel: Wrong! (makes honking sound, squeezes Chozen's nose and pushes him out of the way)
  • Deadly Dodging: When Kreese attacks Mr. Miyagi at the start he never hits back, just dodging while Kreese punches through two car windows (definitely not Soft Glass).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miyagi gets off one of his best quips here:
    Daniel: "Hey, Mr. Miyagi, can you break logs like that?"
    Miyagi: "Don't know. Never been attacked by tree."
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • Sato is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy despite his age and the fact he's a Corrupt Corporate Executive who just happens to run a dojo still. He thinks he can kill Mr. Miyagi in a fight as he's been keeping up his skills for decades. The problem with this is it turns out Miyagi's family invented their style of karate. Miyagi studied karate even longer than Sato and it was only due to their friendship that Sato was taught at all. In the end, it is clear that for all his own skills, Sato was never his rival's equal.
    • Kreese tries to goad Miyagi into a fight in the opening scene, not realizing that the man is standing right next to a car with closed windows. Two punches and two dodges later, all Kreese has to show for it is a pair of bloody, broken hands.
    • Chozen tries to scam local farmers by using fake weights when weighing their produce, but he makes the mistake of using lighter weights rather than heavier, so it ends up looking like he's buying more produce than he is.
  • Duel to the Death: Sato has been building one up in his head for roughly thirty years. He plans to force Miyagi into the duel and avenge his dishonor from decades ago. It never happens.
  • Due to the Dead: Miyagi's reason to go to Okinawa is because his father is dying; he arrives in time to talk to him one last time. Sato is saddened too, and as a result, tells Miyagi he has three days to mourn before he demands his grudge be settled.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Cobra Kai kids try to help Johnny when Kreese chokes him.
    • While Sato's hatred for Miyagi is all-consuming and destructive, he still takes honor very seriously. When Miyagi's father dies, he lets him mourn him for three days before acting upon his vendetta as a show of respect for his master. When Daniel wins a bet that his nephew made with him, he forces Chozen to honor the deal and let Miyagi and Daniel keep their prize-money. When Miyagi saves his life by chopping a support-beam in half — a feat foreshadowed earlier with a log he practices chopping on — he realizes that this means that Miyagi had won the duel and lets go of his vendetta for good.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Discussed. Daniel questions why Miyagi didn't finish off Kreese even though he could have, to which Miyagi responds that being alive is a punishment worse than death for anyone incapable of forgiveness.
    Daniel: You could have killed him, couldn’t you?
    Miyagi: Hai.
    Daniel: Well, why didn’t you?
    Miyagi: Because Daniel-san, for man with no forgiveness in heart, life worse punishment than death.
  • Foreshadowing: The poster of Sato breaking a log. Miyagi breaks a wooden beam of similar size in one blow to save Sato from being pinned under it during the typhoon.
  • Guttural Growler: Sato sounds like he's filtering marbles.
  • Handshake Substitute: After bowing to each other at the end of a training session, Daniel and Miyagi give each other a dap greeting, showing that Daniel has rubbed off on Miyagi too.
  • Happy Ending Override: The first film ended with Daniel getting the girl. In this film, she dumps him for a jock. She also chooses Prom Night, if Daniel's outfit is any indication, to break up with him. As the cherry on the sundae, she wrecks his sweet yellow car, too. (Cobra Kai, several decades later both in-universe and in real-time, reveals that Daniel's account was somewhat unreliable).
  • Hate Sink: Between antagonizing Daniel for little to no reason (mainly because Daniel is Miyagi's student, seemingly), cheating villagers out of their money (which they don't have much of to begin with), and threatening to kill Kumiko out of spite, it's safe to assume Chozen's the most villainous of the Karate Kid antagonists. He's so vile that even Sato is ultimately disgusted by his actions. He could very well make Kreese, who is known for being unmerciful, look like a saint in comparison.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sato, after Miyagi and Daniel rescue him from a destroyed shrine during the typhoon. He orders Chozen to do the same thing, and Chozen refuses.
  • Heel Realization: Sato has one of these during the typhoon when his nephew won't help search for a missing child in a storm when Miyagi's Western pupil will.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: Sato is trapped under a long piece of wood during a storm, and when Miyagi walks over, Sato thinks the idea is to finish him off while he is trapped, only to find out that Miyagi just wanted to free Sato from the rubble.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sato could be the trope image as he is still clinging to a 30-year-old grudge. Somewhat Justified as his fiancée chose to remain unmarried even when the hypotenuse ran away. The fact Miyagi and he are both into their elder years also makes it somewhat ridiculous.
  • I Have No Son!: Sato to Chozen after Chozen refuses to help Daniel rescue Yuna during the typhoon.
    Sato (to Chozen while holding Yuna): "Now, to you, I AM dead!"
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Nobu McCarthy played Pat Morita's fiancée Momo in Happy Days.
    • Pat Morita and Danny Kamekona played police officer partners on an episode of Sanford and Son about ten years before this was filmed.
  • Ironic Echo: In the opening scene after Miyagi takes down Kreese without actually attacking him, he repeats back his own creed that Kreese imbues in his dojo.
    Miyagi: (Miyagi has Kreese at his mercy) Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here. Man face you, he is enemy. Enemy deserve no mercy. HIIIIIIYAAAAAAH!!! (rears back his hand and goes into a chop, but suddenly stops short of Kreese's terrified face) Honk! (Pinches Kreese's nose before dropping him)
  • Large Ham: Sato doesn't merely chew the scenery; he devours it in great gulps.
    "Your fear make air STINK!!"
    • Danny Kamekona seems to be having the time of his life playing Sato. In fact, he shouts EVERY SINGLE LINE he has until after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: As if being the bullying sensei for Cobra Kai wasn't villainous enough, Kreese chokes Johnny for losing the tournament... until Miyagi intervenes. In the ensuing fight, Kreese wrecks both his hands and is humiliated in the parking lot before countless witnesses, all without Miyagi throwing a single strike.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Sato means "sugar". Sato is anything but sweet prior to his Heel–Face Turn, but afterwards, he seems like a big teddy bear, which is probably closer to what he was like as a younger man.
  • Medal of Dishonor: A zig-zagged trope but given the fact his wife and child died in the Japanese internment camps in California, Daniel's attempt to make a display for Miyagi's Medal of Honor clearly makes the WW2 veteran uncomfortable. As we saw in the first film, he has profoundly mixed feelings about his wartime service.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Downplayed. Daniel (an Italian-American) romances Kumiko (an Okinawan), but they're both roughly the same social level, and since the only other male there seems to be Chozen, well...
  • Mr. Fanservice: Say what you will about Chozen's character — and there's plenty — but he's definitely eye-catching when he takes off his shirt and throws it to Kumiko.
  • Neutral Female: Kumiko attempts to subvert it by trying to pull Chozen away from Daniel during their last fight. It doesn't work, but the effort is appreciated.
  • Never My Fault: Chozen blames Daniel for dishonoring him. Never mind that Daniel 1) accidentally revealed that he was cheating the villagers, 2) fairly won a bet that Chozen forced him into, and 3) helped save some of the villagers from the typhoon while Chozen was doing nothing.
  • No-Sell:
    • When Miyagi confronts Chozen and his cohorts as they're trashing his home (on Sato's orders), Chozen actually gets a shot in on Miyagi — hitting him across the back with a spear while Miyagi is getting Daniel out of the way. Chozen does deserve some props for being the only Karate Kid villain to land a hit on Miyagi... but Miyagi barely flinches.
    • Daniel tries the Crane kick on Chozen, but it fails miserably. Daniel should have realized there are no tournament rules.
  • Not a Game: Miyagi warns Daniel that his final battle with Chozen is a life-and-death situation.
    "Daniel-san, this not tournament. This for real."
  • Not My Driver: A car is waiting for Mr. Miyagi and Daniel when they arrive in Okinawa. When Miyagi asks the driver why they're heading away from the village where he wants to go, the driver and his friend reply "Some things have changed since you were last here, Miyagi-san..." "...and some things have not, eh?" Mr. Miyagi and Daniel soon learn what this means when they reach their real destination: a warehouse where Mr. Sato and his nephew Chozen confront them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: We find out Mr. Miyagi made a rather epic foul-up in his youth when he publicly announced his love for Yukie, alienated his best friend (who was Yukie's betrothed) to murderous rage, then skipped out to avoid killing him. Miyagi thinks leaving was the best option but it left Sato with a permanent chip on his shoulder that is still burning him, broke Miyagi's father's heart, and Yukie revealed she never married because she was in love with him and him alone. Pat Morita's acting is subtle throughout but does an excellent job of how wrong things have gone is breaking through Miyagi's The Stoic attitude.
    • After Sato's Heel–Face Turn, we also get the realization he's not only raised Chozen to be a complete monster but casting him out has only made him someone with nothing to lose. He begs Chozen not to go down the same road as him, but Chozen's already snapped.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Miyagi running away from his Duel to the Death with Sato. He didn't want to risk killing the man who was like a brother to him, and also assumed that Sato and Yukie would marry (as their families had planned) if he was no longer around. But as noted above, Yukie refused to go through with the marriage, and this caused Sato to become consumed by jealousy and bitterness.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Kreese has an epic one when it seems Miyagi is about to kill him.
    • Chozen also has one when Daniel is able to win the ice-breaking bet. You can hear him say "Chikuzo"!!!
  • Poor Communication Kills: Miyagi lived in America for several decades without ever learning that Yukie never married Sato. Yukie, on her part, didn't contact him out of respect for his silence. By the time they reconnect they are at least sixty years old.
  • Post-Game Retaliation: John Kreese does this to his losing students after they were beaten by Daniel in the first movie. He yells at them and gets physical until Mr. Miyagi intervenes. It doesn't go well for Kreese.
  • Redemption Rejection: Chozen flatly refuses Sato's plea for him to let go of his grudge:
    Sato: "Chozen! Don't do this. I was wrong... hate is wrong. It's over!"
    Chozen: "I cannot hear you, uncle. I am dead to you, remember?"
  • Rejecting the Consolation Prize: Returning adversary Johnny Lawrence ended up pleased with his second place trophy, but Sensei Kreese wasn't, leading to him both smashing the trophy and attacking Johnny for his failure. Fortunately, Mr. Miyagi managed to put him in his place.
  • Revenge Myopia: Chozen blames Daniel for "dishonoring" him — by doing such things as revealing that he was using false weights in his dealings with the villagers. Daniel lampshades this:
    "He cheats people and I'm insulting his honor?"
    • Sato has something of this himself with a little more justification. Mr. Miyagi publicly announced he was going to marry Sato's fiancée and then skipped out on their duel. Sato continues carrying this grudge for decades thereafter, assuming it's because Mr. Miyagi hated him and was a coward. He neglects the fact Miyagi knew he was the better fighter and didn't want to kill Sato.
  • Save the Villain: Twice over for Miyagi. In the opening scene, he stops Kreese from strangling Johnny, the original film's main villain. Then during the typhoon, he rescues Sato from being pinned under a heavy wooden beam.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Kreese's attitude at the start of the film, much to the woe of Johnny and (ultimately) Kreese himself.
  • Sequel Escalation: This movie sees Daniel travel with Miyagi to his hometown in Okinawa and tussle with a gang of thugs even more dangerous than the Cobra Kai. While Daniel faced Johnny at the All-Valley tournament as a matter of honor and respect, Chozen challenges him to a fight to the death in the climax here.
    "Daniel-san, this not tournament, this for real!"
  • The So-Called Coward: The main plot when Sato, who dismissed Miyagi as a coward for years, finally sees him and Daniel in action during a typhoon and realizes to his astonishment how powerful and fearless they really are when necessary. As a result, he insists on helping them and makes amends the next morning, bringing a crew in to help rebuild and giving the village back to its residents.
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: After conducting a private tea ceremony, Kumiko unpins her (very) long hair before leaning in to kiss Daniel.
  • Soft Glass: Averted, Kreese's attempts to punch Miyagi only result in him breaking two car windows. When he pulls his fists back, his knuckles are cut up something fierce.
  • So Last Season: Daniel attempts to use the Crane Kick that won him the 1984 All-Valley Tournament against Chozen, but it fails as Chozen catches his foot and throws him off.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: At the beginning, Miyagi spared Kreese's life after squashing him in an act of self-defense.
    Daniel: You could have killed him, couldn't you?
    Mr. Miyagi: Hai.
    Daniel: Well, why didn't you?
    Mr. Miyagi: Because Daniel, for man with no forgiveness in heart, life even worse punishment than death.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Daniel finds out that the Crane Kick from the first movie is easily avoided and just leaves you off-balance and exposed against an opponent who isn't freaked out by how ridiculous it is. That, and there are no tournament rules.
    • The whole fight between Daniel and Chozen in general. It is neither flashy nor requires a lot of fancy flips or gravity-defying martial arts, it's just one brutal fight for survival. To drive home how intense the fight was, there's hardly any background music.
    • Saving people in the middle of a storm comes at a great cost. The heroes had to be very fast, and eventually Daniel is the only one strong enough to keep going (Mr. Miyagi is in his 60's, after all). And when Daniel goes back for the bell-ringer, he succumbs to hypothermia the moment his adrenaline wears out. Sato has to race out to rescue the child, who Daniel is no longer strong enough to carry.
    • Had Kreese taken his students’ loss more maturely, maybe we wouldn't have had to wait 33 years for Cobra Kai to return.
    • When Kreese accidentally punches through two car windows while trying to fight Mr. Miyagi, Soft Glass is not in play. He winds up slicing up his hands badly and is covered in blood. 33 years later, he still has the scars.
    • While trying to find Tomi Village, Daniel and Miyagi discover most of the surrounding area has been turned into a military base.
  • Translation Convention: Made unnecessary in a clever way. Mr. Miyagi's village has had a United States Air Force Base constructed literally next door. As such, the area has a large English-speaking population. Daniel doesn't speak a word of Japanese and some characters like Yukie have difficulty with English, but only Miyagi's father doesn't speak any English at all.
    • Even so, the Okinawan characters speak English far more than would be likely, including in scenes where no American is present.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When Miyagi breaks a beam trapping Sato with one chop to free him, Sato surely realizes that this "coward" actually totally outclasses him in karate.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ali, who ends up going on to dump Daniel for a college jock. The truth turns out to be a little more complicated.
  • Visual Pun: An unintentional example. When Kumiko throws mud at Chozen after he assaulted Daniel, he smiles, takes off his white shirt, and throws it to her. "You keep for your collection." He gave her the shirt off his back.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Throughout most of the film, Sato speaks in a deep, gruff voice. He lets go of his anger after the typhoon hits, and shifts back to what is presumably his real, noticeably softer and lighter voice. The only time he uses his old voice after this is when chastising Chozen.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Mr. Miyagi and Sato were best friends growing up, until Miyagi fell in love with Yukie ("Yu-kee-eh"), who was arranged to marry Sato. One day Miyagi announced in front of the whole town that he wanted to marry Yukie. Sato, who felt as though he had been insulted, challenged Miyagi to a fight to the death. Miyagi fled to America rather than fight his best friend, and Sato held a grudge for decades.
  • Well-Trained, but Inexperienced: Although Daniel is a well-trained martial artist by the end of the first film, his time in Okinawa shows he's unprepared to deal with other karate practitioners outside the rules and regulations of the tournament. It shows especially in his final fight with Chozen, where using his tournament moves gets him thoroughly beaten until he improvises.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Chozen (of course) knocks Kumiko out cold in the final fight with Daniel.
    • Well, he has already threatened to MURDER her in front of the whole village...
  • Written-In Absence:
    • Elisabeth Shue was unable to reprise her role, as she was studying at Harvard, so it's explained that Daniel and Ali broke up.
    • Randee Heller (Daniel's mother) asked for too much money to be in Part II, so her character was written as having taken a job in Fresno.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Miyagi openly makes one when he agrees to fight Sato on the condition that Sato gives the village land to the village no matter who wins.

♫ I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you're dreaming of
We'll live forever, knowing together
That we did it all for the glory of love. ♫


Video Example(s):


Chozen blocks the Crane Kick

In The Karate Kid, Daniel defeats Johnny with the Crane Kick. In The Karate Kid Part II, he faces a more formidable opponent in Chozen, who easily blocks it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / SoLastSeason

Media sources: