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So two guys are fighting, and one clearly has the upper hand. He beats the living daylights out of the other guy, but he just won't go down. After one particularly nasty hit, he finally falls. And yet, moments later, he's standing back up again, ready to fight. But suddenly, the fighter realizes something.
His enemy is already unconscious, but is still fighting.
This is when a Determinator goes to the extreme; even once he's been knocked out, he still won't give up. Whether it's grabbing onto an enemy's ankle in their last moments of consciousness, or standing up to fight while knocked out, this goes to show that a character will never, ever give up, even when he can't fight anymore.
Can be used with both heroes and villains; in the case of the latter, the hero will probably consider them a Worthy Opponent.
Compare Attack! Attack! Attack!, where all a character can think of is to keep attacking.
Anime & Manga
- Subverted in D.Gray-man when Krory fights Jasdevi. He has been trapped in an Iron Maiden, is unconscious if not nearly dead, and has lost the fight no matter how you look at it. The twist? His own blood independently comes out of his body and takes a human shape to continue the fight.
- Fairy Tail: Natsu at one point fights with Gray while sleeping. Characters around them promply lampshade it.
- Occurs often in Hajime no Ippo when a fighter — most notably Ippo and Sendo — will continue to box through muscle memory even after he's been knocked unconscious.
- Slightly unclear case: in the Lone Wolf and Cub manga, Itto dies standing up while wrestling with Retsudo for a sword in the midst of their Duel to the Death. It gradually dawn on Retsudo that this has happened, so he lets go of the sword and steps of sword range. After a number of beat panels, Itto finally collapses.
- On the Megaman Maverick Hunter X OVA X gets impaled with a light saber and given a Hannibal Lecture, he has a flashback, finds some courage to keep fighting , and reacts for a brief moment, enough to pass through Sigma's Saber and cause him his signature Scar(at least on this version), when Sigma reacts and was going to attack, notices X is now immobile (he kind of stabbed him right into his energy generator or something like that) so he retires, satisfied as he witnessed the Hidden Potential Dr. Cain talked about
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Subaru demonstrates the ability to fight even while knocked unconscious. However, this has less to do with her determination and more with her AI-equipped magical Device seamlessly taking control of her body while she is out cold.
- In Naruto, during Rock Lee's battle with Gaara, Gaara completely pummels Lee. Right before he goes in to make the killing move, Lee's master, Guy, jumps in to save him. However, Lee stands back up, ready to fight once more. When Guy looks into his eyes, though, he realizes that his pupil has lost consciousness, still wanting to fight even after it's over.
- In the Raiga filler arc, Lee is able to fight against Raiga while unconscious through muscle memory.
- Princess Mononoke featured the detached head of wolf goddess Moro wiggling across the ground and biting the arm off of her Arch Enemy, Lady Eboshi.
- In the Soul Eater anime Maka is knocked unconcious and begins using her previously unknown weapon bloodline abilities to attack in the final battle against the Big Bad. He realises she's even more dangerous in this state and and wakes her up forcing her to invoke The Power of Friendship instead.
- Street Fighter II: V, During the final segment of a cage match between Ken and Vega, Ken uses his shoryuken to send Vega flying into the chandelier above, knocking him unconscious. Vega briefly regains consciousness, long enough to take aim at Ken, and lets gravity do the rest as he passes out; which leads to the following monologue:
Ken: *looks on in amazement, thinking* "You're unbelievable, Vega. Unconscious, yet still you come after me."
- Happens sometimes in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. It happened to Kenichi during his final epic battle against Shou Kanou on the "D of D tournament". While he was fighting unconscious, the lack of moral inhibitions made Kenichi actually noticeably stronger, which amused his Evil Counterpart opponent.
- Juza in Fist of the North Star gets back up on his feet after Raoh kills him, and his corpse refuses to fall down. It actually takes Raoh some time to realize his opponent is already dead.
- During his final battle with Shishio, Kenshin is knocked down but gets back on his feet, and is shown with Blank White Eyes to emphasize how he's really unconscious. One of the observers comments how this shows how determined Kenshin is.
- In The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya's arm seems to block Count Rugen's coups de grace independently. At that moment, "conscious" wouldn't fairly describe Inigo, who seems ready to Go Into the Light.
On one memorable occasion, however, Al sold four chairshots as if he were Superman taking a Lex Luthor punch to the solar plexus. Bam. The Road Dogg nailed Al with a chair, and down he went. Amazingly, Al was up within seconds and he was laughing. Bam--another shot, another fall, another laugh. Then another, then another. The boys in the back were irate. When Al came back, I was the first to ask him about his new superhuman powers. Amazingly, Al pleaded innocent. "I don't remember a thing after the first one," He said with a slight slur in his words. "I was knocked out."
- Played similarly in the end of Heaven's Feel scenario of Fate Stay Night. Shirou overuses Archer's arm, which turns his body into swords and destroys his mind, and in the end he is able to stay up and destroy Angra Mainyu only through sheer determination.
- A rather horrifying real life case was the boxing match between Vince Pettway and Simon Brown. Brown was knocked out with a nasty left hook, collapsed to ground, and while lying flat on his back his arm continued making punching motions into the air. Link for the curious.
- Similar but less dramatic was a bout with Jimmy Thunder and Crawford Grimsley. Grimsley was KO'd with literally the first punch of the fight, and medical personnel rushed to the ring to help him. A semi-conscious Grimsley had to be restrained from punching at the medical people attending him while still on the canvas. Link