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First-Episode Resurrection

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Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly.

This trope happens when the work begins with the resurrection of a character. This can either happen in the form of a can (either good or evil) being opened by a supporting cast member or an extra, an Heroic Sacrifice where the sacrificed person died but came Back from the Dead with a newfound set of supernatural powers. Side effects of the resurrection may include immortality, Viral Transformation and Came Back Strong.

It's not unusual for the cast to be focused on the resurrected person and the Psychopomp that resurrected them.

Note that based on ancient archetypes about death and transformation; usually a hero has to go through his darkest hour to get a powerup, but in some series, they cut to this moment right away.

Compare Sacrificial Lamb, Death by Origin Story. See First-Episode Twist for when it is supposed to be a surprise. Can overlap with Dead to Begin With. Dead All Along is the spoileriffic form of the trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Beats! begins with Otonashi dying and arriving in the afterlife.
  • In Aposimz Etherow is killed by Yiyu of Rebedoa Empire and is revived by Titania in the first chapter.
  • Parodied in Ben-To. The first episode begins with the main character, Satou lying on the ground as the narration explains that this is the day he died. A minute into his Posthumous Narration however, his stomach grumbles and he stands up to get some food. It's at this point that the onlookers realise he isn't actually dead and call an ambulance.
  • Birdy the Mighty: It happened to Tsutomu Senkawa after the titular Space Cop accidentally killed him and merges with him to save his life... though depending on which version you watch, how far into the first episode he dies varies; in the OVA, he dies within the first few minutes while in Decode, he dies after the episode is halfway through.
  • The hero of Black God technically doesn't die, but since he lost an arm, the bleeding would have killed him if Kuro hadn't taken matters into her own hands.
  • Bleach somewhat changes the order around; Ichigo intentionally stabs himself with Rukia's Empathic Weapon to temporarily gain her Shinigami powers.
  • This happens in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, but it is a subversion both because Dokuro is the one who kills Sakura, and she kills him in almost every episode, sometimes more than once.
  • Buso Renkin: Kazuki Muto sacrifices his life to protect a girl he's never met when she is attacked by a monster. The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, happens to be an Action Girl who was just playing helpless to bait out the monster,and feels badly enough about his death that she uses an alchemical device known as a kakugane to resurrect him. With his new Magitek artificial heart Kazuki decides to help Tokiko protect his town from man-eating monster.
  • Chainsaw Man: In the beginning of the story Denji is assaulted and sliced in pieces by Zombie Devil's minions, but Came Back Strong when Pochita (Chainsaw Devil) merges himself with him.
  • Spoofed in Excel♡Saga, where Excel gets hit by a bus at the start of the first episode, and the Great Will of the Macrocosm has to resurrect her (after chastising Excel for getting killed in the first episode). Excel then gets killed (mostly by Lord Il Palazzo) and resurrected three more times before the episode is finished.
  • Shirou from Fate/stay night. Though he didn't actually die, he was taken for dead by both his attempted killer and the one who tried to revive him.
  • Gantz, every character dies before we meet them. When they all meet for the first time they go around the room giving names and method of death. This is established by the first episode's graphical death of Kurono and Kato, and their expository resurrection by Gantz. After that it becomes easy to assume every new character had died. Except for the subversion, Kishimoto. She wasn't shown to have died, and it turned out that she hadn't.
  • Genkaku Picasso starts off with our, uh, "hero" Hikari getting killed by a helicopter crash and resurrecting thanks to his only friend Chiaki (who did die) getting the gods to keep him alive in exchange for using his new powers to help others. Chiaki also comes back, but as more of a guardian angel than an all-living person.
  • The first episode of Gungrave ("Destroyer in the Dusk") shows Brandon Heat, freshly resurrected as Beyond the Grave, in action, and the rest of the series is an extended flashback of Heat's mortal life until it catches up with the first episode.
  • .hack//tasogare no udewa densetsu begins with Shugo dying and being given the eponymous Twilight Bracelet by Aura; note, though, that he died in a computer game, not the real world; it's more of a respawning than a resurrection, so it's a bit more believable.
  • In the first episode/chapter of the Happy World! manga and OVA, the main character's house burns down. Thus, he has to go to school in an unwashed uniform. He steps in a deep puddle, and trips, falling over and landing with his hand in a dog poo. Washing his hand at a public tap, the tap snaps off and sprays him in the face. Chucking the tap over his shoulder in frustration, it strikes a vicious dog on the head which then chases him down the road, though he manages to trick it into running into a tree. Unfortunately, he then runs into a telegraph pole himself (kicks it in the manga), and a part of it (the large, metal, corrugated cylinder part) falls off, the corner of it striking his head and killing him. It is at this point that the story's romantic lead, the angel Elle, appears, apologising profusely for being late, and resurrects the hero.
  • Seras from Hellsing. She was being held hostage by a vampire priest, and Alucard asked if she was a virgin; when she said yes, he shot through her to hit the priest. As she was dying on the ground, he offered her a choice between death and becoming a vampire like him. Seras thought she was going to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the vampire priest. Alucard had a million ways he could have avoided killing her and taken out the priest, but just one that allowed him to sire a new vampire. Initially, Seras is very unhappy as a creature of the night, no one has any idea why Alucard bothered to turn her, and he won't give a straight answer; a significant through-line of the series is her coming to terms with her power and figuring out why on earth she caught his eye.
  • The first episode of High School D×D has Issei Hyoudou murdered by his (ex-)girlfriend, a Fallen Angel named Raynare, and then revived by Rias Gremory as one of her servant devils. The same later happens to Asia Argento, which can be considered one for the light novels.
  • The main character of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl dies after being hit by a spaceship, but is brought back to life as a girl instead of a boy.
  • Monako from Living Dead! comes back to life as an intelligently aware Flesh-Eating Zombie in the first chapter.
  • One of the first and most infamous examples was actually from a Magical Girl series, Magical Princess Minky Momo, and it was more of a First Episode Reincarnation, but still.
  • This is the basis for Hiro's servitude to Hime in Princess Resurrection. Hiro dies saving Hime, and she brings him back to life. The catch is that he has to be her servant forever, protecting her from all the dangers that come with the job. This makes him effectively immortal, being able to heal from any long as he gets regular blood donations from Hime. If he doesn't, he dies.
  • Penguindrum: Himari Takakura dies of her weak heart and is revived by a spirit that resides in her penguin hat. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Shindere Shoujo to Kodoku na Shinigami: Nishigami accidentally pushes Akira off a tall cliff in the first chapter. She is revived as an immortal being by the Snake God (at a steep price), mostly because she didn't want Nishigami to blame himself for her death.
  • The SoulTaker does this with a twist. The absolute *first* scene, prior to even the opening credits, has our hero Kyosuke Date killed by his mother in a church for seemingly no reason. The next scene involves a girl we have no knowledge of pulling up out of a coffin in the ground. It's later explained the trauma of "dying" awakened his powers as an alien. The actual Big Bad in the series, his little sister Runa, went through a similar experience but didn't understand it and freaked out, thinking their mother hated her.
  • Inverted in Tsukihime. Ordinary High-School Student kills a supernatural being, who then resurrects herself, and the series becomes centered on their adventures together.
  • UFO Princess Valkyrie sees protagonist Kazuto Tokino getting crushed by a landing UFO and resurrected by its pilot (who is, unsurprisingly, a Valkyrie Princess). Granted, we don't really get the whole story of it 'till episode 2, but it IS seen in a flashback near the end of the first episode.
  • After accidentally killing the main characters of Ultimate Girls, UFO Man sacrifices much of his power and energy to resurrect them, which has the side effect of shrinking his body.
  • UQ Holder! opens with the protagonist, Touta, being made immortal by another already-immortal character. Given that Immortality is a primary theme of the series, this isn't surprising.
  • At the end of the first episode of Valvrave the Liberator, Haruto accepts the Valvrave AI's contract to pilot the mecha. After stopping Dorssia's attack, he steps out of the machine, only to be brutally stabbed by L-Elf, and then shot a few times at point blank range for good measure. Haruto, due to having the AI's nanomachines inside of him by this point, simply gets up and bites L-Elf.
  • Yusuke from YuYu Hakusho dies in the first episode, but it takes an entire arc for him to come back to life with supernatural powers. You can tell the author loves this trope, considering that the series begins with the narration: "This is Yusuke Urameshi. He's fourteen years old. He's supposed to be the hero of this story, but unfortunately, he's dead." The original idea for this series was actually a punk ghost boy floating around and undergoing Character Development while trying to earn his life back. This apparently got boring, and the hooks for it as an extended process were cut short; Yusuke abruptly came back to life and the manga became a fighting series instead, turning some of the beginning into Broken Aesop stuff. Then it was going to be a series of short 'case' storylines, with hooks for that in the form of the spirit tools, which Yusuke was supposed to get more of as he could handle them. Then all was devoured by tournaments.
  • Sakura Minamoto of Zombieland Saga opens the series leaving her house on the way to an idol try out... and is promptly hit by a truck. She suddenly comes to in a spooky looking manor with five zombie girls awakening around her. After escaping and encountering a policeman, he panics and she sees in a nearby traffic mirror that she herself is now a zombie. Exemplified even further when the policeman shoots her in the chest and she hardly feels anything or see blood coming out of her body (though still doubles over).

    Comic Books 

  • DC's 1990's series Artemis: Requiem had a non-standard version. Artemis had been dead and in the underworld for a while. But at the end of the first issue, she clawed her way out of hell and back to Earth in the process of rescuing her naïve, reckless, superhero sister, who had come to the underworld looking for her.
  • The first issue of Dead@17 opens with Nara Kilday being murdered. By the end of the first issue, she is back from the dead, just in time to save best friend Hazy from zombies.
  • Bernie offers resurrection to certain characters in Death Vigil in exchange for helping her fight against Eldritch Abominations from beyond reality. Both protagonists accept her offer.
    Clara: Yeah, no, you had me at you won't be dead!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Drax the Destroyer was raised from death by Cronos and Mentor in order to defeat Thanos. Possibly a subversion, in that almost nothing of Mr. Douglas's personality remains—Drax is a giant green humanoid with energy powers and about the same level of intelligence as that other giant green humanoid from Marvel. Drax began with all his memories and personality intact, unfortunately in helping the Avengers stop his daughter Moondragon from mentally enslaving a world she destroyed his mind resulting in his second resurrection having the Green Hulk level mind (she eventually sacrificed some of her mental powers in order to restore him to near-normal).
  • Ghost Rider 2099 marginally qualifies. Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane is dying while connected to the Net, and willing to "upload" his brain patterns as a device to delete information he doesn't want to be collected postmortem. Uber-AIs catch him instead and rebuild as a robotic anti-hero.
  • Immortal Hulk opens with a girl getting killed in a botched robbery. A disguised Bruce Banner rounds on the guy responsible, eyes flashing green... only to be killed before he can Hulk Out. That night the Hulk emerges and smashes his way out of the morgue.
  • The very first panels of Lazarus have main character Forever Carlyle being shot multiple times and killed. As the series is set at least 4 decades in the future and Forever is majorly bioenhanced, she promptly begins healing from her wounds, comes back, and kills her attackers. This turns out to be little more than an Establishing Character Moment, and then the story begins properly getting underway.
  • The Question experiences a non-supernatural version. In the first issue, the angry, two-fisted Ditko avenger is defeated by Lady Shiva, beaten with a pipe, shot in the head with an air gun and dumped in the river. Due to a Million to One Chance and the diving reflex, he survives, but the near-death experience changes his philosophical outlook.
  • Dusk in Slingers, although technically she died in the zero issue preview that came with Wizard Magazine.
  • Something like this happened with the second Supergirl, although in this case she was the unnatural character who got merged with a dying human.
  • In The DCU, this was the key trope in the origins for Deadman and The Spectre (at least before the latter was Retconned as something completely different).
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The first issue which presents the changes made to the Amazons' origins Post-Crisis shows the murder of a pregnant woman and then her and all the other Amazons' resurrection as they were reimagined as all, including Diana, being women killed by men who were then resurrected with new bodies made of clay by a group of Olympian goddesses.

    Fan Works 
  • Ma'at: In the first chapter, Daniel is killed in a car crash, so his soul can be Trapped in the Past after a Super Gender-Bender.
  • The second chapter of Mother: Cognitive Dissonance begins with Larice, a Starman who attempted to reason with Giegue only to be attacked and killed by him, booting back up.
  • The A New Chance Series starts out towards the end of Pokémon Heroes when Latios died saving the city of Alto Mare, but a soul-bonding technique with Ash and Latias revived him. The rest of the fic deals with Ash with the Eon Dragons during the rest of the Johto Saga.
  • Quicken: In the first episode, Emma died after a brutal fight against several thugs. However she triggered (in-universe speak for "gained powers due to a traumatic experience") right before dying, and her powers brought her back to life.

    Films — Animation 
  • Rise of the Guardians starts with Jack Frost apparently being born from the water of a frozen pond. Even though it isn't explained until late in the movie that he drowned/froze to death in that pond and was brought back to life (with powers!) by the moon, the opening scene still kind of makes it obvious that's what happened.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Eric Draven is already dead at the beginning of the film adaptation of The Crow. He is resurrected early in the film, although in the film's chronology he was dead for a year before being resurrected.
  • Jonah Hex's near-death experience at the hands of his archenemy gives him the power to talk to the dead.
  • Neo's death and subsequent resurrection by Trinity at the end of the first The Matrix movie is what triggers his The Chosen One powers for the following two movies. It was even foreshadowed earlier by the Oracle when she told him he was not The One and that it felt like he was waiting for something, "perhaps your next life".

  • Digitesque: The first novel starts with Isavel waking up in a mass grave. She remembers being killed quite distinctly, and understandably panics. She soon decides that the gods must have saved her for a reason, and most of her early actions revolve around desperately trying to guess what that reason is.
  • Dungeon Engineer: The first chapter, "Explosive Beginnings", has Ike die to an exploive decompression in space and wake up as a magical stone called a Dungeon Core, a.k.a the A Dungeon Is You trope.
  • In Gardens of the Moon, the first book in Malazan Book of the Fallen, one of the first things Ganoes Paran manages to do is get himself knifed in an alley by a god in disguise. After no less than five gods show up to bicker over his corpse, Oponn points out that as he was killed by a god, any god can resurrect him. This, of course, backfires almost immediately, as Ganoes is the closest thing the series has to a Hero.
  • Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi opens with the protagonist Wei Wuxian's resurrection, 13 years after his demise. He's brought back to life into the body of Mo Xuanyu, who summoned him via the Sacrificial Ritual to get revenge on his abusive family.
  • Horus Heresy, having Perpetuals - people gifted with Resurrective Immortality - begins with this sometimes:
    • Vulkan's arc starts with him dying and turning out to be a Perpetual. Ever since this first death, he keeps on dying and coming back to life, getting progressively more insane in the process.
    • Oll Parsson tries his best to be regular Citizen Joe until orbital bombardment falls on his head, forcing him to resurrect - apparently, for the first time in his thirty-millenniums-old life. His death enables psychic John Grammaticus to contact him, setting him on his merry way towards Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The Husky and His White Cat Shizun: Erha He Ta De Bai Mao Shizun: The novel opens with the despotic emperor who's taken over the entire cultivation world killing himself, only to be revived in the body of his 15 year-old self in the past.
  • Lamb begins with Biff being raised from the grave to write his own version of the Gospel.
  • Kate Griffin's fantasy novel A Madness of Angels, or, The Resurrection of Matthew Swift begins with its protagonist mysteriously waking up after having been dead for two years.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard begins with Magnus fighting the fire giant Surtr, and dying. Because he died in battle, with a weapon in his hand, he's claimed by the valkyries and taken to the Hotel Valhalla as an einherji, where he learns about his new powers, which include immortality within the hotel itself. Subverted in that he's still dead, and even visits his dead body to confirm that he is. It's about as creepy as you'd expect it to be.
  • A Piece in the Game of Gods: The first chapter has the protagonist dead and is resurrected in a few sentences, because he's respawning in a game, but then in the second chapter, out of forty-five, he dies again for real, and is resurrected in the third chapter, getting superpowers due to a Super Gender-Bender.
  • Sandman Slim. While he wasn't technically dead, the series kicks off with missing-presumed-dead James Stark crawling out of a cemetery after being in hell a good eleven years.
  • The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong: The first chapter begins with fervent anti-fan Shen Yuan cursing the poorly written web novel Proud Immortal Demon Way with his last breath. He then wakes up as a character of said novel, tasked by the System to improve the events of the story.
  • In Red Rising, Darrow is executed near the beginning of the story. He wakes up later to discover the Sons of Ares drugged him so he could be resuscitated despite seeming dead to the executioners, and agrees to work with the Sons of Ares to infiltrate Gold society.
  • There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns: The first chapter has pre-naming-Delta dead somehow before she wakes up as a magical stone called a Dungeon Core, a.k.a the A Dungeon Is You trope, and then names herself "Delta".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Coulson is revealed to have been resurrected in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. The circumstances of his resurrection are a mystery even to him early on.
  • Trance Gemini dies in the pilot of Andromeda, and comes back with no problem. No one can even figure out how it happened.
  • Subverted in the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jesse, Xander's other bestest ever friend is captured, killed and turned into a vampire, setting him up as something of a recurring villain character. But then he is (somewhat accidentally) staked by Xander before the end of the opening two parter. He's promptly never mentioned again. Sorry, Jesse.
  • The series Dead Like Me begins with the main protagonist's death by the way of a toilet seat from the space station Mir concluding its orbital re-entry right on her head. She is brought back as a reaper; her replacement body can't re-die, or age, and seems to have abnormally fast healing, but it exhibits all other properties of a normal human being.
    • Subverted in the film where the other Reapers try to take down a corrupt head Reaper who is playing with fate. They discover that he is incredibly hard to subdue, even when beaten, burned and drowned for several hours. Eventually they manage to cut him up, cremate him to ash and have the ashes scattered into space so he can't regenerate.
  • Doctor Who and Torchwood: Except for the fact that he dies and is resurrected in the last episode of a season, Captain Jack Harkness fits this trope perfectly. His resurrection makes him immortal, which is a plot point in almost every subsequent Doctor Who episode he appears in, and several times a season in Torchwood.
    • Of course, though his resurrection was at the end of a series, the fact that he's immortal isn't revealed until the première of Torchwood, when he's shot in the head... and gets back up a few seconds later.
    • Given that it was a failed pilot for a series that would have involved the Doctor, Grace, and Chang Lee, the fact that all three characters die and are resurrected during the course of the TV Movie brings this trope into play. (The count rises to four if you include the executed Master returning as a paramedic-possessing acid-spitting ecto-snake.)
  • The entire premise of Glitch is about a few people coming Back from the Dead, so naturally this trope applies.
  • The first episode of Heroes shows that Claire is very resilient, being able to quickly heal from rather traumatic injuries. She finally gets killed due to having a tree branch jammed in her head, only to wake up on the autopsy table after the branch is removed. She reacts about how you'd expect her to.
    • Claire's a special case. She's got a Healing Factor she'd discovered pre-series as well as a masochistic streak a mile long. We first meet her jumping off of an oil tower over and over and painfully shoving her bones back into place while her friend videotapes it.
  • Thelma in HEX is killed at the end of the first episode, then brought back at the end as a ghost. A ghost who, it transpires, can eat and manipulate physical objects, but is invisible and intangible to the living. She can go into their dreams, though...
  • Sort-of in iZombie. Liv narrates her rising medical career and dreamy engagement until she goes to a boat party, which turns into a zombie outbreak. We then see her unzip a body bag and sit up, all pale and white-haired. Since she's no longer alive, it's not technically a resurrection, but it can still apply.
  • This is the entire reason why the show's called Kamen Rider Ghost. The hero is killed in the first episode and he is handed a Transformation Trinket to allow him to fight ghosts as a ghost.
  • From the opening narration to the first episode of Lexx:
    Kai: The Time Prophet predicted that I would be the one to destroy the Divine Order and the League of 20,000 Planets. Someday, that will happen — but not today. As today is my day of death. The day our story begins.
  • The main character in Now and Again starts as John Goodman - until he gets hit by a train and has his brain placed in an artificial body. Too bad his family doesn't recognize him now.
  • The title character in Painkiller Jane dies in the first episode. She then comes back to life, revealing a super-healing ability.
    • Apparently, a simple injection of some drug is enough to turn you into a generation two neuro.
  • Chuck in Pushing Daisies, though her new life doesn't come with immortality or cool powers.
    • On the contrary, it's heavily implied that she is immortal. Digby, Ned's golden retriever, is past twenty and as spry as a puppy. This probably applies to Chuck too.
      • Word of God confirms that Chuck will not age. No word on death by other causes.
      • Ned thinks she can die again: in the second season premiere, he says that just because he brought her back once doesn't mean she can't die from other things, and that there's a reason he doesn't let Digby play in traffic.
      • It all becomes rather horrifying when you think of all the frogs Ned's brought back to life. Not to mention the swarms of immortal bees...
  • Les Revenants features five of them in the pilot. Actually there are even more. It turns out that dozens resurrected in the same episode though they remained in hiding for the entirety of the first season. The five others didn't find the rest of the group in time.
  • Liz in Roswell gets shot dead in the first episode and is healed by alien-disguised-as-shy-high-school-student Max. The (useful) powers that come along with it don't show up until the third season, though.
  • Same thing happens in Roswell, New Mexico, a separate adaptation of the same source material. No sign of powers for Liz beyond a brief psychic bond with Max, though. Yet.
  • Star Trek: Discovery: In the first episode in which Gray Tal is introduced, he's seen in flashbacks being killed in an asteroid collision and his symbiont being joined with Adira. This begins a multi-episode arc of his emergence as a separate consciousness inside Adira (which is not how joined Trills usually work) and eventually leads to his being transferred to a separate cyborg body.
  • Pretty much everyone who has ever combined with an Ultra hero did so in this manner back in the Showa series, though it's less common in the Heisei series.
    • Probably the most famous example within the franchise is Shin Hayata, who lost his life when he accidentally collided with Ultraman in mid-air, prompting the latter to merge their lives together, allowing Hayata to transform into Ultraman.
    • Subverted in the first chronological episode of Ultraseven. Agent 340 witnesses a mountain climber named Jiro Satsuma nearly falling to his death and saves his life but doesn't merge life forces with him, instead modelling his human identity's appearance on Earth after Satsuma.
    • The follow-up installments Return of Ultraman, Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Taro follows this trope entirely straight, much like the original Ultraman. The Ultra's hosts are normal human (humans, for Ace) civilians who sacrificed their lives to save children during kaiju attacks, just as the Ultra of the show arrived on Earth looking for a suitable host. Deciding the recently-deceased human hero is "worthy" of their powers, they then merged with the humans bringing them back from the dead.
    • A unusual variant for the franchise occurs in Ultraman Tiga, when Daigo Madoka gets shot down while attempting to protect the ancient statue of Ultraman Tiga. Due to Tiga being the ancient ancestor of Daigo, they end up merging into a single identity, which simultaneously revives Daigo and allows him to transform into the restored Tiga.
    • Ultraman Geed has a second-episode resurrection, with Leito Igaguri being killed in a car accident and revived by the recently-arrived Ultraman Zero.
    • Similarly to Tiga Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga has the protagonist, Kengo Manaka, use his own body as a shield to protect Ultraman Trigger's statue from Carmeara's assaults almost getting himself killed before both merge and the Giant of Light is resurrected.
  • Brazilian telenovela Um Anjo Caiu do Céu has its protagonist João killed by Neo-Nazis for photographing them only to be temporarily revived by divine intervention for the purpose of fixing the Big, Screwed-Up Family he left behind.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd and 3.5 Editions: This is a prerequisite for certain Prestige Classes. One, the Risen Martyr, stands out for requiring the character to be raised by divine intervention, rather than by any of the quick-and-easy resurrection options available to Player Characters.
  • Exalted:
    • The Abyssal Exalted flirt with this trope. While no actual resurrection occurs, they are brought back to vitality from the brink of death by virtue of Exaltation, without which they would succumb. It is possible for a character to play a prologue for their Exaltation scene, and all Abyssal prologues inevitably involve this.
    • The Liminal Exalted subvert this. Probably the most common way for a Liminal to be created is for someone to try resurrecting the dead, drawing the attention of the 'dark mother', an ancient Underworld entity, who Exalts the corpse as a Liminal. Thing is, while it looks like a resurrection, a Liminal is actually an entirely new person, perhaps with some lingering memories from the original.
  • Geist: The Sin-Eaters: Sin-Eaters are touched by weirdness in their early life (ranging from sensing the supernatural to knowing when someone's about to die), but it's not until they die that they come into power, as they end up at the front gates of the Underworld and a geist offers to bring them back to life... if they get to tag along in their body, that is.
  • The Old World of Darkness:
    • Mummy: The Resurrection: Mummies have to die before becoming immortal and gaining their powers.
    • Demon: The Fallen: Demons don't always have to enter the world in this way (so long as the soul is basically withered and/or absent, the body is fair game for a Demon to take over), but this is one of the common ways it happens.

    Video Games 
  • Altered Beast (1988) begins with Zeus resurrecting your hero(es) to rescue his daughter. "Wise from your gwave!"
  • Subject Delta, the hero of BioShock 2, dies in the opening cutscene. He then wakes up in a Vita-Chamber, the game's in-universe resurrection device.
  • In Blood (1997), Caleb literally begins the game getting out of his grave.
    Caleb: I live... Again!
  • The opening of Dark Souls III has your player character rising from his/her grave as an Unkindled Undead.
  • The tutorial of Demon's Souls ends with your death.
  • Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is beaten (almost) to death at the end of the tutorial, but his boss intervenes by taking some liberties with his employment contract, and he's reborn as a badass cyborg.
  • At the beginning of The Elder Scrolls Online, the Vestige wakes up in Coldharbour, the plane of Daedric Prince of Domination, Molag Bal, and a loose equivalent of hell, having been sacrificed by cultists of Molag Bal for the Big Bad's evil scheme. The tutorial is escaping from Coldharbour back into Tamriel, sans your soul. Retrieval of your soul drives the main quest line, and lacking a soul provides certain benefits, such as being able to revive at the nearest wayshrine with only a few extra dents in your armor, or being immune to magic that affects/controls/steals the soul of its target, like the sort of magic commonly used by necromancers and the like.
  • Fallout: New Vegas begins with a cutscene of the The Courier getting shot in the head. Whether it's played purely straight or lightly downplayed depends on whether the character actually died and was revived immediately afterwards by a quick acting doctor and potentially advanced future medical technology, or if the character was rescued from the brink of death by that doctor after sustaining injuries that should have been immediately fatal. Either way, other characters and the narrative will occasionally note how the Courier "rose from the grave."
  • The captain is killed from a hydra attack in the beginning prologue of Granblue Fantasy, causing Lyria to create a life link with him, saving his life and giving him the power to summon Primal Beasts.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the Fateless One starts the game dead, but is resurrected by a machine created by a gnome to bring someone back from the dead.
  • Both Kain and Raziel, the two main protagonists of the Legacy of Kain series, started their respective games in this manner. In both cases their resurrections are Faustian bargains with the beings that arrange for their returns - and they're both all too aware of it. And in Raziel's case, he didn't even ask for the resurrection, and was more or less strong-armed into accepting it.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild begins with Link awakening in a secluded room called the Shrine of Resurrection with no memory or knowledge of where he is, and he spends the rest of the game piecing together what happened that led to him being there.
  • The opening of Mad Rat Dead involves Mad Rat dying via dissection, but the tutorial sees him resurrected by the Rat God. However, this is subverted because she never truly resurrects him, she just made him aware of his time powers.
  • Shepard dies in a cutscene at the start of Mass Effect 2, and is reconstructed right after the opening logo.
  • In the first scene of Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, the kingly title character is usurped and killed by the Big Bad, and his queen is abducted. Fortunately for him, The Grim Reaper intends to make use of his talents.
  • MediEvil- Fortesque, the fake hero of Gallowmere, is revived as a skeleton and the only one of the undead to retain its independence from the Big Bad. The games plot is all about defeating the evil necromancer while proving Fortesque a hero at the same time.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: Lan's twin brother Hub died from a terminal illness when they were infants. Their father, a computer scientist, uses Brain Uploading to resurrect Hub as a NetNavi, MegaMan.EXE.
  • Mega Man Zero: Keiji Inafune originally planned to have this happen to Zero; he would be resurrected by a Cyber-Elf at the start of Mega Man Zero, a century after being Killed Off for Real at the end of Mega Man X5. This got reworked into a double subversion to compensate for Zero being retconned Back from the Dead in Mega Man X6. Zero is now hibernating in stasis at the beginning of Zero 1, not dead. But that distinction isn't made relevant until later in the game, so Zero's revival proceeds unchanged as a full resurrection from death.
  • The titular character of Abe's Oddysee is killed in a cutscene after the first two levels, just as Big Face shows up to conveniently bring him back to life.
  • The main character of the original Onimusha: Warlords, Samanosuke Akechi, starts out the game as an ordinary samurai... then he gets (apparently) killed by a demon, and is resurrected by the Clan Ogres, granted superhuman powers, and proceeds to clean house, Resident Evil-style.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has Ori expire at the end of the prologue, but being the protagonist, he is revived on the spot thanks to the Spirit Tree's remaining magic.
  • Planescape: Torment plays with this; The Nameless One wakes up in a morgue, but that is not the first time you died, not by a long shot.
  • Pocket Card Jockey begins when the protagonist is offered a new horse that proceeds to buck and kick them, leading them to be trampled by more horses. Fortunately, an angel offers to revive them and provide them with the central plot mechanic of linking the horse's performance to the player's skill at Golf Solitaire.
  • The first chronological mission of [PROTOTYPE] has Alex Mercer waking up during his autopsy and escaping the Gentek research facility. Subverted in that the real Alex Mercer died but the virus he was carrying reconstructed his body, giving him Lovecraftian Superpowers and erasing the memories of his previous life.
  • You're killed soon after completing the Justified Tutorial in Rune, only to be resurrected by Odin.
  • Shadow of Destiny: you die THREE SECONDS in and are sent back to life. Very plot-relevant since the game is about dying, reviving and then having to travel to the past in order to avoid the root cause of your death. Over and over again.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has the protagonist Nanashi killed in an Hopeless Boss Fight with a major demon not long after the game starts. He is revived afterwards by Dagda, and will be every time a game over happens, but in turn he must serve as the "Godslayer" and human puppet to Dagda.
  • In the MMORPG Skyforge you begin the game arriving at a big city, where in a flashback you tell a god the story of how you died, and then revived, discovering yourself to be an Immortal. It's the way In-Universe of how all immortals find out about their powers.
  • The protagonist of the flash game series Sonny died prior to the start of the first game (of what is unknown since Sonny doesn't remember any part of his life prior to death, including his name). In his new life, he is a zombie with extraordinary powers.
  • If you play as a Forsaken in World of Warcraft, the storyline starts with your death and resurrection in the crypts of Brill.
    • As of Cataclysm, the Forsaken story now begins as a long-dead corpse being reanimated by a Val'kyr.
    • The beginning moments of a new Death Knight character are similar, except you wake up in Acherus in front of the Lich King prior to your Heel–Face Turn.
    • The Demon Hunter starting zone gives you the option of sacrificing yourself or an NPC to power a portal. If you choose to sacrifice yourself you get resurrected shortly after, being given an explanation of how you have the immortal soul of a Demon, like Illidan.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 involves Rex being killed by Jin during the first chapter after accidentally touching the Aegis sword. Pyra revives Rex using part of her core crystal and makes him her Driver.

  • The webcomic antiHEROES features the death of a character in the first strip and the beginning of her new unlife as a vampire in the second.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name uses this trope in a slightly nonstandard way: the eponymous Hanna helps Conrad come back from the dead as a vampire in the first chapter, which is also Conrad's first appearance. He remains a supporting character and Non-Action Guy.
  • Kagerou: Kano finds himself transported into a strange other world, then promptly gets himself killed because he doesn't understand the local magic. Then a member of the supporting cast raises him from the dead He doesn't turn into anything supernatural as a result, though, just gets put back the way he was. Also this technically happens in the second chapter.
  • Cherri (at the time going by her human name Charlotte) starts the comic School Bites like this, arising as an undead after being fed upon by a vampire.
  • The first chapter of Slightly Damned begins with the protagonist Rhea being murdered by an unknown assassin and being sentenced to The Ring of the Slightly Damned, a part of the afterlife on the edge of Hell where people who failed to qualify for Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory are sent. The first chapter ends with her escaping back to the world of the living and bringing Buwaro, the innocent demon child who was assigned to punish her for her sins with her. In between the beginning and end of the first chapter, she also gets killed and revived a few times while in the afterlife since mortal souls who die again while already dead come back the next morning. She doesn't find out why or by whom she was murdered until several chapters after her resurrection.
  • Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki begins with the protagonist having a gem roughly the size of a fist shot directly into his chest, along with an accompanying huge spurt of blood and shocked expression. He's reborn instantly as a valkyrie, but it seems a safe bet that this killed him. Which explains rather nicely why Hermod isn't strong enough to reverse the process.
  • In chapter 1 of StarWarriors a fox kit named Ezmeralda is killed by hunters, while providing a diversion to let her family escape. Then the goddess of the stars asks her to leave the cycle of reincarnation and become a Starwarrior defending the cosmos from Dark Matter.
  • In the opening of ‘’Suicide Noun’’, the main character Ethan kills himself, though its not revealed until chapter 2 that he was resurrected.
  • In the prologue of Wingless, the protagonist is decapitated by a booby trap and then resurrected by an unknown, but presumed evil, entity.

    Web Animation 
  • More like Eighth Episode Resurrection, but Church's death in the first season of Red vs. Blue kicks off the entire plot by revealing, if those around him had paid any attention, that he's actually an AI, and more directly by being the catalyst that led to Tex coming to Blood Gulch. It also gives him the only remotely useful ability he has (aside from taking responsibility when Tucker doesn't want to, which is always), the ability to possess people.

    Web Original 
  • The first Carmilla story of the Whateley Universe begins with famed horror writer Michael Waite dying of cancer. And then waking up in the morgue and completing a horrific transformation into something which may not be human at all. Carmilla then has to deal with supervillains, eldritch abominations, and the fact that Michael Waite's best-selling horror fiction Incongruity is not fiction.
  • The "Dying to wake up in another world with superpowers" start of most isekai manga and light novels has become such a cliché that several memes have sprung up from it. Because many of these situations involve getting run over by a truck, "Truck-kun" has become a minor Memetic Badass as being the instrument chosen to deliver ordinary antisocial high-school students/salarymen to whatever fantasy word needs them (and even a manga starring the driver of such a truck).

    Web Videos 
  • It only takes poor Carrow two episodes in JourneyQuest to get shot full of arrows and then be incompetently raised from the dead by Perf. Unfortunately for Carrow, the God of light and purity doesn't exactly like zombies...

    Western Animation 
  • When we first meet Cubix from Cubix: Robots for Everyone, he's the mysterious trophy sitting around the Botties' Pit that no-one has ever been able to fix. New kid Connor decides to fix him for his initiation, despite the fact that no-one expects him to succeed.
  • The first Comedy Central episode of Futurama starts with every main character except Fry and the Professor dying when the Planet Express Ship and the Nimbus (Zapp Brannigan's ship) explode, and the episode opens with the Professor resurrecting them, with complications leading to Leela being resurrected in a comatose. Actually, it was Leela who survived the explosion instead of Fry. Fry was rendered somewhat deader than the rest, and when it looked like he was gone for good Leela made a robot duplicate of him out of grief, who shorted out and accidentally killed Leela, which also wiped their short term memories.
  • The eponymous hero of Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet does this in the first episode — twice. Granted, the first time left him under the control of a malevolent alien force bent on destroying the Earth, but still. And it was the second time (via an electrical accident) that rebooted his human side.
  • Optimus Prime in Transformers: Animated. He managed to cut the Prime Death a new record by dying in the third episode (the three part Pilot, so it still counts) and being resurrected a mere 75 seconds later. That's gonna be hard to beat...
    Optimus: So this is what it feels like... to be a hero...


Video Example(s):


Zombieland Saga [Sakura's Death & Resurrection]

Edited clips from Zombieland Saga, Ep 01 (Duh =P). Lead protagonist Sakura Minamoto is setting off for a idol tryout to follow her dreams... and promptly gets hit by a truck before the title even drops. But don't worry, she's okay... mostly.

How well does it match the trope?

4.73 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / FirstEpisodeResurrection

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