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.
- 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 promptly 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 dawns on Retsudo that this has happened, so he lets go of the sword and steps out of sword range. After a number of beat panels, Itto finally collapses.
- In the Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X OVA, The Day of Σ, after X is impaled by Sigma's beam saber and given a Breaking Speech, he has a flashback to a talk with Dr. Light, finds some courage to keep fighting, and reacts for a brief moment, enough to pass through Sigma's saber and give him his signature scar (at least in this version). Sigma is poised to furiously retaliate, but then notices that X is now immobile (he kind of stabbed X right into his energy generator or something like that), so he retires, satisfied as he witnessed the unlimited 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.
- During Rock Lee's battle with Gaara, Gaara completely pummels Lee, crushing his left arm and leg in the process. 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 features the detached head of wolf goddess Moro wiggling across the ground and biting the arm off of her Arch-Enemy, Lady Eboshi.
- Happens quite often in Saint Seiya.
- In a fight against Harpy Valentine, Seiya gets completely KO'd by Valentine's ultimate atack, only to kick him to death while still "completely unconscious".
- In Episode G, while fighting a Titan, Leo Aiolia gets knocked out and still unconscious, fires off his Lightning Bolt to kill him, THEN wakes up.
- In the Soul Eater anime Maka is knocked unconscious 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.
- In 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, and Raoh orders that his rival be given an honorable burial.
- 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.
- Inuyasha: Inuyasha does this once, against Sesshomaru. After allowing himself to be stabbed through the stomach in order to retrieve the Tetsusaiga (for a given value of "allowed"), he quickly staggers and falls to one knee, bracing himself with his sword to keep from collapsing. Sesshomaru notices that Inuyasha's eyes have become unreflective, and that he has clearly passed out; however, as soon as Jaken steps towards him, his grip tightens on the Tetsusaiga and the ground in front of him explodes. Only after they leave does he allow himself to collapse in a pool of his own blood.
- Variation in A Certain Magical Index, when Accelerator continues fighting Amata Kihara even after his electrode-transmitter thing runs out of juice (cutting him off from his powers). Without that electrode's help, he is severely brain-damaged, lacking the cognitive function to even walk or speak, or even understand others' speech. He just hates Kihara that much and continues fighting, albeit ineffectively until he Awakens, that is.
- One Piece: After Luffy defeats him, Don Krieg takes this a step further by being able to go on a rant about how no one beats him. He's then completely knocked out by his second in command.
- Taken to silly levels (like everything else) in Ranma ½; the titular martial artist cannot be struck in his/her sleep, instinctively dodging and ducking attacks. OTOH, Akane tosses and turns in her sleep, pummeling anyone stupid enough to crawl into her bed. One author has noted that they'd probably share a bed quite comfortably.
- During the Carnival of Killers in Arachnid, cockroach-themed assassin Oki Megumi gets beaten down by Geji, but unconsciously runs and attacks at random to overcome her. Once she wakes up, she explains she was taught that as part of a Training from Hell by her master Kabutomushi, but the usual narration for this series makes it much more colorful by going into an analogy about how cockroaches have multiple brains.
- Mob from Mob Psycho 100 usually has a counter for the emotional stress that fuels his powers, ranging from 0% to 100%. Should he be knocked unconscious, his powers manifest seemingly as a will of their own, and their level is listed only as ???%, spelling a quick defeat for anyone unlucky enough to get a good hit in.
- Joe Yabuki in Tomorrow's Joe does this in his final fight against Jose Mendoza: By the last round Joe barely counts as conscious because of punch-drunk syndrome and yet he still keeps coming at Mendoza through pure instinct, causing the latter to have a breakdown. It doesn't end well for Jose.
- In Freezing, Satellizer manages to push beyond her limits to the edge of Novalizing and curbstomps her opponents Arnette all while unconscious.
- Played for Laughs in Attack on Titan when during a celebration (and the ensuing brawl over meat, a rare commodity), Conny chokes Sasha unconscious but she still keeps swinging at everyone within reach.
Mikasa: Conny, would you just knock her out already?
Conny: I'm trying! It's like her light shut down but she's still moving somehow!
- 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 — he seems ready to Go into the Light.
- Played for Laughs in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World when Scott's Camp Gay roommate Wallace falls asleep while telling him to break up with Knives, and manages to send a text gossiping to his sister about him cheating on her immediately after.
- Played for Laughs in Spider-Man: No Way Home. As Peter and Stephen Strange fight for the magic box containing the multiversal spell responsible for the majority of the film's events, the Sorcerer Supreme punches the webslinger's soul out of his body. Yet the body continually moves the box out of Strange's reach, giving Parker's soul enough time to become whole again.
- In the pirate novel A Buccaneer's Log, the protagonist Bert Debnam and his enemy Captain Dago engage in a wrestling match where each has a death grip on the other's throat. When Bert wakes up, his friends tell him they had just as much trouble releasing Bert from the dead Dago's grip as the other way around.
- In The Hobbit, the enchanted stream is supposed to knock out anyone who falls in. Bombur is an unlucky subject of this, but manages to fight it off long enough to grip a rope and cling to it so hard that even when he's asleep they can't pull the rope out of his hand.
- After suffering a mortal wound, Cú Chullain has himself tied him to a rock so he can keep fighting. Eventually he dies, but when an enemy soldier approaches him to check... Cú Chullain's arm drops and cuts off his hand.
- Mick Foley gave us this anecdote about Al Snow in one of his memoirs.
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."
- During Homestuck, in the Game Over timeline, Aranea, while attempting to doom the timeline for her crazy scheme, puts Jane (who was lightly mind-controlled by the Conderce) to sleep. Whether through sheer willpower or the Condesce using the mind-control tiara to keep her going, she tackles Aranea, while still asleep and snoring, and manages to keep her busy for quite a while as she tries fruitlessly to get out of her grip.
- Weak Hero: In the flashback to Ben's fight with Donald Na it's revealed that when Ben got back up to face Donald after having a bunch of construction materials fall on him Alex noticed that Ben was standing in a fighting stance on instinct and wasn't consciously aware of his surroundings. Luckily Don got a phone call and had to call the fight off before he could learn of and take advantage of the fact.
- Older Than Feudalism, as pankration champion Arrhichion's legendary victory in 564 BC has it. Arrhichion broke his opponent's ankle, forcing him to submit only to realize afterwards that Arrhichion was already dead. Making Arrhichion the only olympic athlete to win an award post-mortem.
- In 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.
- In the 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.
- Occasionally a Mixed Martial Arts match will end in a TKO and the losing fighter, still dazed and not understanding what's going on, will to attempt to grapple the referee as he breaks the two fighters apart.
- Judoka and wrestler Masahiko Kimura once lost consciousness while sparring, but his body still executed a throw on his opponent. He also recalled having an Out-of-Body Experience immediately after.