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Villain Overview
Outlanders, all rise and follow me! The Pridelands will never know what bit em'!
~ Janja to his followers.

Janja is the main antagonist of the 2015 Disney Channel TV film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, and in its 2016 follow-up series The Lion Guard, serving as the main antagonist of the first season and the secondary antagonist (behind Scar) of the second season, both of which are based on the 1994 film The Lion King. He is the head of a teenage clan of Hyenas in the Outlands, who are descendants of the hyena clan who served Scar. Janja is also the arch-nemesis of Kion, the protagonist of the series.

He was voiced by the Japanese-Canadian rapper, Andrew Kishino, who also played Doug MacFarland and Shang Tsung.

Biography

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Janja orders his clan members named Cheezi and Chungu to capture a honey badger named Bunga (who had entered the Outlands to get his Baobab fruit back) so he may have him for lunch, but luckily, Prince of the Pride Lands Kion is able to save his friend by unknowingly using The Roar of the Elders (which when used, causes the lions of the Pride Lands past to roar with him) which gives Bunga time to escape Cheezi and Chungu.

Later, Janja is informed by his vulture ally Mzingo that Kion is setting up a Lion Guard to protect The Pride Lands. After hearing this, Janja tells his clan that the Lion Guard were legendary and were the most powerful team of lions in the Pride Lands until the previous leader Scar destroyed them (after they refused to help him overthrow his older brother Mufasa). Janja then tells his clan that they will strike the Pride Lands that night before the new Lion Guard is formed by singing "Tonight We Strike".

Janja, Mzingo and the rest of the clan attack the Pride Lands and cause an antelope stampede, scoring several antelope that would've been plenty for them to eat, but aims to kill the rest of the herd. During the chaos, Kion's older sister Kiara gets trapped in the stampede. Luckily, Kion and the Lion Guard are able to lead the antelope away from Kiara and get her to safety.

Kion then uses the Roar of the Elders to drive the hyenas out of the Pride Lands back to the Outlands, but not before Janja swears vengeance.

The Lion Guard

Season 1

Never Judge a Hyena by Its Spots

Janja along with Cheezi and Chungu are seen attacking an oryx herd, before The Lion Guard show up. Kion orders the rest of The Lion Guard to calm the herd down while he deals with the hyenas. However, during the pursuit, Kion falls into a river and is swept into The Outlands when a log snaps under his feet.

Later, near the end of the episode, Janja and his clan confront a female hyena named Jasiri (who according to their communications, has encountered the clan before) who entered Janja's territory to help Kion get out of The Outlands. Although Jasiri is able to easily fight off Cheezi and Chungu, Janja is able to pin her to the ground. But before he could kill her, Kion comes back and rescues her by using The Roar of the Elders to frighten Janja and his clan away.

Can't Wait to be Queen

Janja is informed by Mzingo that Kiara has been left in charge of The Pride Lands by Simba and is squabbling with Kion. This gives Janja an idea, so he tells Mzingo to give a message to Kiara.

The message Janja has Mzingo tell Kiara is that he wants a peace offering and asks her to meet Janja at Broken Rock, which is neutral territory between The Pride Lands and The Outlands.

Kiara decides to meet Janja and goes to Broken Rock, but senses that something is wrong. Just then, Janja, Chungu, Cheezi and the rest of the clan approach her where Janja declares that with Kiara in his grasp, Simba will have no choice but to hand The Pride Lands over to him. The clan circle around Kiara and a couple leap at her. Kiara's agility secures her victory, but this is short lived when Janja pins her down. But before he can attack, Kion shows up, but this doesn't bug Janja as his clan is up 6-2. Just then, the rest of The Lion Guard arrive and join Kion and Kiara, marking the numbers as equal, which causes Janja and his clan to flee.

Eye of the Beholder

Janja and his minions start a stampede in a wildebeest herd, but are chased back into the Outlands by Kion and The Lion Guard, but during the process, Ono gets sand in his eye, temporary losing sight in that eye.

Later, Janja overhears Mzingo and his flock talk about Ono's poor vision and plans with Cheezi and Chungu singing "Outta the Way", that they will trick The Lion Guard while Ono is out of commission.

After spotting Janja overlooking a zebra herd, The Lion Guard (sans Ono) go out to investigate. They go into a canyon, where they're trapped by Janja, Cheezi and Chungu, who go to attack the zebras.

Luckily, Ono, despite his injury, shows up and is ordered by Kion to move the zebras while he uses The Roar of the Elders to blast the rocks trapping them. With The Lion Guard back in action, Janja and his minions flee.

The Kupatana Celebration

Janja and his clan make a small appearance in this episode when they go after a jackal pup named Dogo. But when Kion and The Lion Guard come to Dogo's rescue, Janja learns that The Pride Lands is celebrating Kupatana and allows them to take Dogo, before departing with his clan.

Fuli's New Family

Janja is being groomed by Chungu just before Cheezi shows up and lets him know about Bunga being in the Outlands. Janja and his clan surround Bunga and prepare to attack him, but are stopped by Fuli. Using a piece of broken rock, Bunga and Fuli float downstream in lava whilst being pursued by the hyenas.

Luckily, Kion, Beshte and Ono show up and stop the hyenas, leaving Janja, Cheezi and Chungu trapped on a burning log with no food.

Follow That Hippo!

Janja sneaks into the Pride Lands with Cheezi and Chungu. Upon seeing Ono flying above, the trio hide in until he's gone. Chungu loudly compliments Cheezi, but Janja warns them that Ono may hear them.

Later, the trio hear a young elephant named Mtoto and his friends Shauku, Kwato, Kambuni and Gumba chase hyraxes and shout Janja's name. The trio follow the group with Chungu wondering if they are chasing the kids, actually with Janja telling him that they are playing pretend, but it is about to get real. Janja, Cheezi and Chungu reveal themselves to the young animals and pursue them. Janja goes after Mtoto, who evades him by causing Janja to crash into a boulder. Cheezi and Chungu (having failed to catch the others) approach Janja who decides to go after Mtoto as he is the slowest.

Janja, Cheezi and Chungu corner Mtoto near a river, but Beshte jumps out of the water and gives Mtoto (who can't swim) a ride on his back down the river, with the hyenas in pursuit. Janja and Cheezi wait for the two of them to pass beneath them, but Mtoto Ducks, causing the two hyenas to knock into each other. After Kion and the rest of the Guard show up, Janja, Cheezi and Chungu are knocked into the river and are chased away by crocodiles.

The Call of the Drongo

Janja, Cheezi and Chungu are seen pursing a herd of impalas with Janja calling out they only want to invite them to dinner with the impalas as main course in the first place. The Lion Guard show up with Beshte standing in front of the hyenas, causing them to crash. Janja silences Chungu when he attempts to tell the Guard the joke Janja was saying. Then, Kion orders the trio to depart.

Then, the trio hear Janja telling somebody they look tasty and he's going to eat them. Cheezi and Chungu think Janja was saying it, but Janja says that he did not say anything. He discovers a drongo bird named Tamaa impersonating him to scare a mouse. Cheezi manages to grab Tamaa and Janja says that they may not eat him if he helps them in his new plan.

Janja instructs Tamaa to impersonate Kion, but Tamaa at first protests (as he met Kion earlier and was warned not to use his voice for his own benefit), but agrees after Janja threatens him. After Tamaa uses Kion's voice to lure the impalas to the Outlands, the hyenas go after and Janja declares that dinner is being delivered. Tamaa asks if he can go now, but Janja declines, as Tamaa may still be useful to him. After he, Cheezi and Chungu lead the impalas to a dead end, Janja is pleased at how easy his plan worked and says that the hyenas are never going to let Tamaa go and beings to stalk the impalas.

However, Janja hears the voices of the Guard, saying that they're surrounded and that they should leave and let the impalas go. At first, Janja is terrified, but notices that Cheezi doesn't have Tamaa. He finds Tamaa and says that the Guard is not there, before being pinned down by Kion. Janja tries to convince Kion that he, Cheezi and Chungu were trying to help the impalas, but this fails and he, Cheezi and Chungu flee.

Paintings and Predictions

Janja's clan has snuck into the Pride Lands, this time to take down a herd of zebras. Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu watch from a hidden location as Ono leads the zebra herd to a safe grazing spot in the Pride Lands once more. Cheezi and Chungu ask Janja what they're going to do, and Janja replies that after Ono leaves, they will spook the zebras and then they will be theirs for the taking. Then, they proceed to the song Panic and Run.

After trailing Ono to the grazing ground, Cheezi and Chungu begin to grow impatient. Janja tells them to wait until he says go, but after much confusion, Chungu darts out from behind the rock to chase the zebras and Cheezi follows him at last. Not wanting to be left by himself, Janja follows after them. Ono spots the hyenas and rushes back to tell the Guard.

When the Lion Guard shows up, Kion tells the members to chase Cheezi and Chungu and leave Janja to him. Kion pursues Janja as he chases a zebra. Kion climbs up on a tree to get a better view on how to defeat Janja, when suddenly Bunga tackles him, making him fall off the tree directly on top of Janja. Meanwhile, the rest of the Guard has managed to stop Cheezi and Chungu who are ready to retreat right now. Janja agrees, and the hyenas scamper away.

The Mbali Fields Migration

Janja, Cheezi and Chungu heard the braying of a newborn zebra (who was born to the zebras's leader Muhimu) and see a small herd of them with Muhimu's gazelle friend Swala (as they along with the other zebras and gazelles were being led through the Outlands to Mbali Fields by The Lion Guard) being guarded by Kion and Bunga.

When Cheezi points out Kion and Bunga's presence, Janja replies that the two of them will protect the baby, leaving the others unprotected. When the hyenas approach the zebras, Kion tells them that they will have to get through him and Bunga first, to which Janja says it will be their pleasure, before launching an attack. Whilst Kion and Bunga deal with Cheezi and Chungu, Janja goes for the zebras, but is kicked in the face by Muhimu's son. After this, Kion orders the hyenas to leave to which they do with Janja saying that he doesn't like zebras anyway.

Never Roar Again

When Janja and his clan invade the Pride Lands, the Lion Guard drives them back into the Outlands. However, once the Lion Guard departs, Janja leads his clan back into the kingdom, and the Lion Guard rushes back to stop them. Before the team can reach the hyenas, the clan runs into Kion's mother, Queen Nala, who orders Janja to go back to his territory.

Instead of heeding Nala's warning, Janja surrounds her with his cronies and orders an attack. Just then, Kion shows up and, seeing his mother in danger, uses the Roar of the Elders in a rage. The blast is the most powerful thing that it knocks the hyenas back into the Outlands.

Janja's New Crew

As the Lion Guard patrols the Pride Lands, Janja watches from afar, waiting for them to depart so that he can attack a herd of wildebeests with Cheezi, Chungu and fellow clan members Nne and Tano. Once the Lion Guard is disappeared, Janja attempts an attack, but he ends up slipping on mud and landing straight in the Lion Guard's paws. Although Janja tries to cover up his plot, Cheezi and Chungu reveal that they have been planning to attack the wildebeests, and Kion exiles the hyenas with the Roar of the Elders.

Once back home in the Outlands, Janja accuses all his failed plans on Cheezi and Chungu. In a fury, he fires them and hires Nne and Tano in their place. Then, he orders his new henchmen to drive Cheezi and Chungu out of the Outlands, which they proceed to do without delay.

With his new seconds-in-commands listening, Janja attempts to explain that he makes all the plans for the clan, but Nne and Tano interrupt, declaring that they already have a plan. Janja pays attention in confusion as the two of them explain their plot: they will bait the Lion Guard with a herd of stampeding antelope and then switch direction to attack a herd of oryxes. Surprised with the ingeniousness of the plan, Janja agrees.

The plan goes underway, and the Lion Guard takes the bait. Janja nearly gives the hyenas away until Nne and Tano pull him into hiding. Once the Guard is vanished into thin air, the hyenas begin to go after a herd of oryxes, but in the midst of the chase, Nne and Tano double-cross Janja, forcing him off the edge of a cliff. Janja lands safely on a ledge, but he finds himself trapped against the side of the cliff.

As Nne and Tano run off without him, Janja cries out for them, attracting the attention of the Lion Guard and his former minions, Cheezi and Chungu. The Lion Guard questions Janja on Nne and Tano's plan, and Janja explains what they have been intending to do. While the Lion Guard races off in pursuit of Nne and Tano, Cheezi and Chungu leap down the cliff to give Janja company.

Meanwhile, the Lion Guard defeats Nne and Tano, with Kion using the Roar of the Elders to keep them from harming the oryxes. From his place on the cliff, Janja comments that this is the first time he has ever liked hearing the sound of Kion's Roar. No sooner has he spoken when the Roar causes the ledge to break, taking Janja and his minions with it.

The three land safely on the ground, and Janja sets off to the Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu glare after him wistfully until he demands to know if they are coming with him or not. Delighted, the two of them tear after him, and the three return to the Outlands, once more a united crew.

Ono's Idol

Janja, Cheezi and Chungu are spotted by Ono (who was flying above with his hero Hadithi) approaching a herd of klipspringers trapped at a cliff edge. Ono tries to use a move called the Hadithi Spin to defeat the hyenas, but ends getting pinned to the ground by rocks. Janja encourages Cheezi and Chungu to deal with Ono while he deals with the klipspringers.

As Janja closes in on the klipspringers, Kion and Bunga arrive and block his only escape, but Janja tells them that he would rather eat the klipspringers anyway. Just then, Kion orders Beshte to push over a rock for the klipspringers to escape. As the Guard leads the herd to safety, one of the klipspringers slips, but is able to escape as Ono and Hadithi (whom Janja has heard of) distract the hyenas by looping around them. The hyenas become dizzy and fall into water below and Janja gets mad at Cheezi and Chungu for not knowing who Hadithi is and for being excited that they were beaten by a legend.

Season 2

The Traveling Baboon Show

Janja discovers Mwevi and Mwizi in his den, trying to steal food from him. He chases them out, only to find Cheezi and Chungu getting entertained by their leader, Uroho. He orders them to catch it, but the two hyenas are too amused by his jokes. After Janja reminds them that he's food, they soon comply, and the six wind up in a large open space. Despite his best attempts, Janja is unable to capture any of the baboons, and his cohorts end up dizzy.

But when Uroho guides his friends into a dead end cave, Janja, Cheezi and Chungu seal them in. Before they can attack, the Lion Guard arrive, demanding that they step away from them. Janja protests, explaining how he caught them stealing food from the den, but the Guard attack regardless. The hyenas tries to fight back but are quickly defeated. Janja then retreats, warning the baboons to stay out of his den in the future.

The Rise of Scar

Janja and his clan attack a herd of elephants, but are defeated by the Lion Guard. Later back in the Outlands, the hyenas spot a cobra named Ushari and try to eat him, but he is able to convince them not to by telling about Kion getting advice from Mufasa's spirit and how it could be possible to summon Scar.

After discovering that the evil lions of the past can be summoned by using the Roar of the Elders and a Bakora Staff, Janja and Ushari decide to summon Scar's spirit. Knowing that Kion's Roar is most powerful when his loved ones are threatened (having previously seen it happen when they threatened Nala), Janja's clan kidnap Kiara and steal the Bakora Staff of Rafiki's apprentice Makini.

The Lion Guard are able to get to the clan's volcanic lair and rescue Kiara, but Janja warns Kion that he and his clan will keep coming back to harm his family. This statement causes Kion to use the Roar of the Elders in anger, causing the lair's volcano to erupt. After the Lion Guard return to the Pride Lands, Ushari tries to use the Bakora Staff to summon Scar, but to no avail. Angered, Janja kicks the staff into the volcano, but in the process, is able to summon Scar.

Let Sleeping Crocs Lie

Janja is present as Kiburi's float joins Scar's side, welcoming the crocodiles to the Outlands. He then joins in as Scar sings "I Have a Plan".

Personality

Like his hyena ancestors before him, Janja is the greedy, selfish, eccentric, temperamental, and traitorous leader with no regard for the Circle of Life. His unabated hunger drives him to extreme measures, as he is willing to stand against Simba and the Lion Guard, and his ruthless nature shines through in even everyday interactions.

Janja is unforgiving and heartless to his minions and mercilessly mocks them in front of the clan, refusing to believe their excuses and stories. This is likely because his minions are not his friends; they are simply a means to an end, for Janja is crafty and manipulative, so he uses his clan mates to do his dirty work for him.

Janja's intelligence is undeniable. He is a manipulative and devious planner who is always hatching new plots to defeat the Lion Guard or take over the Pride Lands. Janja is notably the only hyena in his clan who uses cunning to obtain what he wants. True to his name, he is very crafty and sly, utilizing his allies in his nefarious schemes. Under Janja's guidance, the hyenas prove a great threat, especially since they are often swayed to his side through his natural charisma and cunning. Janja will ensure that the clan's goals always align with his own.

Janja is also proved to be ambitious: Hyenas are matriarchy, meaning they are led by females and males are of lesser statuses (in real life hyenas). By going against this and desiring to be leader of his own clan despite being a male, unusual for his kinds.

Despite his burning ambitions and sharp intellect, Janja is also somewhat of a coward, usually only choosing to fight when the odds are in his favor, and he is known to promptly turn tail and run when faced with a fair fight.

Abilities

  • Alpha: Janja is revealed to have leadership prowess that rivals Kion.
  • Strength and Combat: Janja is also strong see more strong as Kion as he was able to hold down his enemies that his size such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri.
  • High-level Intellect: Janja is highly intelligent and cunning. Surrounded on all sides by witless henchmen, he stands out as the one clever member of his clan, as he knew the story of the Lion Guard and was able to come up with many schemes to take over the Pride Land; such as attacking at night before the Lion Guard was official, getting Kiara as prisoner to deal with Simba, using herd of animals to make Lion Guard unable to see and trapping the Lion Guard by using boulders to block the path when Ono was not able to see. He also knew that vultures have come information when having meetings that he can use against the Lion Guard proven by Ono unable to see.
  • Endurance and Stamina: His stamina is high as he able to hunt down with his pack to take out many prey as he could, able to endure the attack of the Beshte brute strength and Kion roar as still run off.

Quotes

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

What do you take me for, a vegetarian?
~ Janja to Cheezi and Chungu when they suggest the hyenas eat a baobab fruit
Stuff it fur-brains.
~ Janja
Mzingo, What are you doing this far into the Outlands? Looking for leftovers?
~ Janja to Mzingo
Simba's cub Kion managed to cancel our lunch plans.
~ Janja
Don't you know the stories, The Lion Guard was legendary. The most powerful team of lions in the Pride Lands.
~ Janja about The Lion Guard
Outlanders, arise and follow me. The Pride Lands will never know what bit them!
~ Janja to his clan
You win today, Kion. Next time won't be so easy.
~ Janja after his clan are defeated by The Lion Guard

The Lion Guard

Well if it isn't Jasiri. Thought I told you to stay off our turf.
~ Janja to Jasiri
Dunno why you're in the Outlands helpin a hyena Kion, but it's the last thing you're gonna do.
~ Janja mocking Kion helping Jasiri
Be a shame if their family squabbles led to chaos in the Pride Lands.
~ Janja taunting the problems of Kion and Kiara
Too bad you're out here all on your own.
~ Janja to Kiara
Gotcha now, lion cub!
~ Janja about of attacking Kion from behind
I've had enough!
~ Janja after having been knocked down by a wildebeest
Oh, you jackals are so annoying!
~ Janja expressing that he hated the jackals
We just chased ya out of our den yesterday. And now you're back? Guess I need to make an example of ya!
~ Janja about to attacking the little jackal before being stopped by Kion
What're you doing in the Outlands, anyway?
~ Janja asks Kion what he's doing on Outlands
Okay, Kion, you want the jackal? He's all yours.
~ Janja agrees to leave Dogo
Merry Kupatana!
~ Janja happy that the guard got rid of Dogo
There ain't no new plan! You're not in the crew anymore! Get out of the Outlands! You two, I'm giving you a promotion.
~ Janja fired Cheezi & Chungu and replaced by Nne & Tano
All right, you twos, listen up. Now that you're my seconds-in-command, you gotta learn the rules. Rule number one, I am the smartest hyena around! Rule number three...
~ Janja explains the rules to his new henchmens
Uh-huh. Uh, well, good plan. Yeah! Finally. Hyenas who got smarts like me. Those other fur-brains never knew what they were doing.
~ Janja congratulating the new henchmens
I thought it couldn't get any worse
~ Janja as he is stuck on a cliff and watched by the Guard
Yeah. And since when do we take orders from the Lion Guard
~ Janja says he does not care what the Lion guard says
Relax. She ain't so tough. Out here all alone. Outnumbered.
~ Janja on the verge of attacking Nala

Trivia

  • Janja is male and leader of his clan, but in real life, hyenas are led by females.
  • Janja and his clan are descendants of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed's clan.
  • It is possible that Janja was inspired by Banagi, a hyena who was an antagonist in the early drafts of The Lion King, who like Janja was male and led his clan.
  • Janja is also the main antagonist of the TV show because he had most appearences in the episodes than any other villain.
  • Judging by personality, Janja can be asumed to be The Lion Guard's equivalent of Shenzi.
    • Both are the leaders of their clans
    • Both are accompanied by two other members of their species (Cheezi and Chungu for Janja and Banzai and Ed for Shenzi).
  • Janja and the other hyenas believe that Scar died in the great fire years ago after Simba defeated him, unaware of the fact that their ancestors, Shenzi's hyena clan, killed Scar in revenge for his betrayal and broken promises.

Songs sung by Janja

  • "Tonight We Strike"
  • "Outta the Way"
  • "Panic and Run"
  • "Bring Back a Legend"
           The Lion King Villains

Movies
The Lion King: Scar | Hyena Clan (Shenzi, Banzai & Ed)
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Zira | Outsiders (Nuka & Vitani)

Television
Timon & Pumbaa: Quint | Mel | Pimon and Tumbaa | Ralph & Eddie | El Toro | Claudius | Native Chief | The Three Natives | Cheetayta & Cheetahto
The Lion Guard: Janja | Janja's Clan (Mzingo, Cheezi & Chungu, Nne & Tano & Ushari) | Makuu | Kiburi | Reirei | Goigoi | Dogo | Mapigano | Makucha

Books
One-Eye | Chewa | Growler | Joka | Kesho