Do We Have This One?
So, our hero has done it. He has reached the Final Battle with the Omnicidal Maniac or the original, supreme evil of all universes and he has it by the short hairs. At long last, the threat will end and peace will reign supreme. But wait, after mustering all his strength and then some (nevermind that despite the fact he can barely stand; he can still kick ass) our hero finds he is one point of Life Energy short of unleashing a sufficiently deadly Ki Superweapon to finish Big Bad off down to his last cell! "No-oo-ooo!!" What's the Ultimate Warrior to do? Pack up and go home? Not an option! The world as we know it depends on the final defeat of the ultimate threat to all of existence! Luckily, our Magnetic Hero has amassed a ragtag band of frenemies willing to lay down their lives to achieve the ultimate goal. Or, other people or creatures on the planet forget they're actually apathetic and decide they don't want to lay down and die just yet. As a last ditch effort to avert the Apocalypse, our hero's friends (or the inhabitants of the world) donate their own Life Energy to the cause, thus enabling the final attack to succeed (bonus points if one of the hero's Five Man Band makes the ultimate sacrifice). In a few instances, the hero is set to fail until The Cavalry arrives Just In Time for a last second Ki Donation. However, the trope need not be so melodramatic. In some cases, Ki may be donated under less dire circumstances. The fate of the universe may not hang in the balance. The hero may just need a helping hand or a little push to pull off some trick. We all need a little help from our friends, now and again. Though, another dire circumstance under which a Ki Donation might be made is to save a dying character by Throwing The Ki Lifesaver. That is to say, a major character is near death (usually due to a Heroic Sacrifice that used up nearly all of his Life Energy) and requires a donation from one or more others in order to survive. Often this will be done through a specific intermediary such as a mystical Combat Medic or Kung Fu Wizard. In nearly all cases the Ki must be given voluntarily, either by the hero calling for it or by others donating it. In general, the Life Energy is treated as a liquid asset. This trope is related to Cast From Hit Points and is often either a substitute for or in addition to it, if it ends up being insufficient to deal with Big Bad. It may precipitate, accompany or stand in for a Heroic Second Wind.
ExamplesAnime and Manga