Ah, this will do. It's just you, and me. TIME TO RAISE SOME HELL! Now that I think of it, the last time we fought like this, you were still my pupil. You were wild, unfocused, and had the eyes of a beast! Even then, I knew you would become the opponent I've been waiting for! I HOPE YOU DON'T DISAPPOINT!A trope for the inevitable rematch on The Hero page. A villain can't get rid of the hero until the hero wins. Nobody likes a Downer Ending where The Bad Guy Wins, but except in the case of the Invincible Hero, the hero of the story won't win every little battle along the way. A common tactic is to make the hero their own worf in The Worf Effect at the very beginning, then have him come back stronger and win. The lost battle at the beginning and the won one at the end, in this trope, are always against the same major adversary, usually either The Big Bad or The Rival.
— Augus, Asura's Wrath, pre battle speech before the boss fight against him.
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Anime And Manga
- Ichigo Kurosaki vs Byakuya Kuchiki is a classic case; Ichigo fought him three times. The first time was a Curb-Stomp Battle combined with a Single-Stroke Battle. The second was a draw and the final one ended in Ichigo's victory because of Bankai.
- Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez has a similar pattern. The first was a Curb-Stomp Battle, with Grimmjow literally pummeling Ichigo in the face as the highlight; Ichigo's Hollow tried to intervene and Tosen stopped Grimmjow from continuing. The second had Ichigo with the upper hand due to his Super Mode, but when its time limit is reached, Grimmjow proceeded to eradicate Ichigo. Their final fight ended with Ichigo battling Grimmjow in a back and forth duel before the latter finally falls (although Ichigo was so worn out that he couldn't handle his next opponent that well).
- Ulquiorra Cifer - who, being Espada #4, pulls Worf Effect out on some of the other Espada. Who were, until that point, enduring Worf Effect from the heroes. That's right; he Worfs people who Worf the heroes. He faces Ichigo once, and of course, it was a Curb-Stomp Battle (although he had some trouble in the beginning due to Ichigo using an enormous Getsuga Tensho at him). In the second... no, it still was a Curb-Stomp Battle, leaving Ulquiorra seriously at a loss as to why Ichigo persists in fighting. Both times, Ulquiorra succeeds in (temporarily) killing Ichigo, but in the second time, Ulquiorra gets taken out by a COMBINATION of Eleventh Hour Superpower and Super-Powered Evil Side.
- Sensui in YuYu Hakusho.
- Yusuke vs Gouki.
- One Piece:
- Luffy vs Crocodile.
- As well as against Shiki in 10th movie One Piece Film: Strong World.
- And against Rob Lucci.
- Fist of the North Star has Kenshiro vs Souther and Kenshiro vs Raoh.
- Averted in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, when Mophead challenges Kenichi to a rematch. When he wins, instead of sticking around for the rematch, he takes off so he can always remain stronger.
- Nanoha vs Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The entire first season was Nanoha getting rematch after rematch against Fate until Nanoha finally grew strong enough to win and befriend her.
- Maka and Soul get to fight Crona second time in Soul Eater. Maka disobeyed Stein's orders specifically to get this revenge match.
- Also happens with Black*Star and Mifune. Although Black*Star wins the first match, Mifune destroyed him in their second fight which Black*Star could never forgive, thus resulting in their final match to settle the score.
- Natsu attempts this is Fairy Tail after a defeat by one of the mooks-with one hand tied behind his back just to prove that the last loss was just good luck on his opponent's part. However, he's convinced to go after the big bad instead.
- Common in Fullmetal Alchemist, especially with the homunculi, due to the fact that they aren't allowed to kill “sacrifices.” Subverted in the first anime when Ed loses against Envy, though Ed was fighting with one hand tied behind his back since he was avoiding the use of alchemy near Al.
- Yugi's first duel with Pegasus end in Pegasus' victory, although Yugi was an instant away from victory when the timer ran out. This kicks off the Duelist Kingdom story arc, which end in a rematch, where Yugi is victorious.
- Yami Yugi gets curb-stomped by Rafael the first time, then wins the rematch after a long and arduous duel.
- Happens in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Juudai vs. Edo. Juudai won their first duel, Edo comes back a while later and tromps him into the ground. Juudai takes off to Neo-Space, returns with the Neo-Spacians, and teaches Edo some lessons.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Inverted, where it is the villain (Vegeta) who wants a rematch with hero Goku. When the rematch occurs, it's postponed indefinitely due to Buu's revival.
- Goku vs. Tao Pai Pai in the original. He nearly kills Goku. The boy then climbs up Korin's Tower to train for a rematch.
- The same with King Piccolo, who easily curbstomped Goku in their first fight to the point he was believed dead. Goku went back to Karin's Tower, got his hidden powers unlocked, and went to challenge Piccolo to one final match.
- Inverted in Psyren where a villain (Dholaki) gets a rematch with the hero who nearly killed him the last time they fought (Ageha). Dholaki wins thanks to a Deadly Upgrade and would have killed Ageha if not for an unexpected Big Damn Heroes.
- Duel Masters has an unusual take on it. First time Shrodu fights the Dark is Evil rival, he gets curbstomped and said rival breaks his spirit was some psychology and pseudo magic skills. With the help of his friends and mentor, Shrodu recovers and improves, and fights him again, doing a whole lot better, but still losing. However when said rival tries his mind shot again the camera shows Shrodu looking at the ground, seemingly in depression, only to spring up laughing, congratulating his opponent on a fine match, showing his progression as a duelist. The 3rd time he actually manages to win, after a long and difficult fight.
- Naruto: Naruto's first battle with Sasuke at the Valley of the End ends with both of them colliding their attacks and Sasuke knocking Naruto unconscious and escaping. Fast forward to the end of Part II, they meet again at the same place for the rematch. This time, their attacks end up destroying Sasuke's left arm and Naruto's right arm. It's technically a draw, but Sasuke concedes victory to Naruto.
- After suffering a painful and miserable defeat in the original timeline, Iwatobi gets to finally meet his sworn enemy the female Hybrid Human again through time travel and unleash his 30 years worth of rage on her upon their encounter. The scene is simply awesome and Iwatobi kicked her ass upon his rematch.
- A Growing Affection: The first time Naruto fought shinobi!Reaper, she defeated him quite thoroughly. Then he got a weapon to match hers, and learned a technique to overcome her trump card move, and won the rematch.
- Luke vs. Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode VI.
- Anakin vs. Count Dooku in Episode III.
- Happens in all Spider-Man Trilogy films (though two don't have the hero defeated: Spidey wins the first over Green Goblin, and Sandman escapes the fight).
- The X-Men films have Storm/Callisto in X-Men: The Last Stand, and Wolverine/Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- Wong Fei-Hung vs Yan Ti San in Drunken Master.
- In My Bodyguard, Moody bullies Clifford Peach with impunity... until to his own surprise Clifford gets his climactic Heroic Rematch at the end.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott replays the confrontation and battle with Gideon Graves after being brought back via extra life.
- Happens twice in the Rocky series. In the first, Rocky goes the distance but loses to Apollo Creed, leading to a rematch in the sequel that Rocky wins. In Rocky III', Rocky's newfound cockiness leads to newcomer Clubber Lang beating him; the rest of the movie consists of Rocky getting his head back into the game to win the rematch.
- After being broken and thrown into The Pit, The Dark Knight Rises up to take Gotham back from Bane.
- In Fast and Furious 6, we have a rematch between Riley and Letty. Due to Riley turning out to be The Mole and Letty pulling a Heel–Face Turn, Letty goes two for two.
- Legacy of the Dragokin: Lydia does a lot better in her second fight against Abyss.
- In the Warrior Cats spinoff Ravenpaw's Path, Ravenpaw faces off against Willie in Shattered Peace and gets completely crushed. They fight again in The Heart of a Warrior, and this time it is Ravenpaw who is victorious.
Live Action TV
- Chrono Trigger: As part of the main storyline you face the final boss Lavos at the Ocean Palace well before the actual end of the game, at which point it outright kills Crono, though you can undo his death. Only later can you face Lavos for real and win. To make sure you lose like you're supposed to, Lavos is stronger here than at any other point in the game, though still defeatable.
- Numerous examples in the Final Fantasy series:
- Villainous example: Final Fantasy I's final boss is the first one.
- Final Fantasy V has the heroes confront Exdeath in his castle after only barely surviving the previous encounter due to Galuf's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Final Fantasy VI has the team face Kefka at the end, who during their last meeting destroyed the world, destroyed their airship, and scattered the party.
- Final Fantasy IX: Double subverted in the rematch with Trance Kuja, which, after an epic boss fight, ends exactly the same way as the first fight. The third fight does not.
- Final Fantasy X has the rematch with Sin after the spectacularly failed attempt to stop it en route to Kilika. Counts for the Al Bhed as well in the final fight, after their machina failed during Operation: Mi'hen.
- Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, you're forced to lose to Gades as soon as you land a hit on his core. After you've gained some companions and levels, you rematch him in an epic battle.
- Gades loves this trope. In every main game, he will beat you up badly when you first meet him (unless you grind) then you have to defeat him at the very end of the game, if not any time before the other big bads shows up.
- Agarest Senki, the Black Knight kills Leonhardt, but the man's saved by making a pact with a devil girl. The Black Knight ends up as a Disc One Final Boss.
- Mario vs Bowser in the original Paper Mario. Mario loses the first fight with Bowser and his Star Rod granted invincibility right at the start, then returns seven chapters later, beats Bowser and saves the world. Possibly also in some other games like Super Mario Galaxy, although Mario technically only attempts to initially stop Bowser before he's sent flying.
- You against the Lagiacrus in Monster Hunter Tri, after swimming away from it in pure terror (or attempting to kill it and failing miserably), then repelling it, then finally a full-length showdown.
- The fight between Raiden and Jetstream Sam in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
- Repeatedly in Avatar: The Last Airbender, most especially the failed invasions at the end of each season.