Janja is the leader of a teenage clan of Hyenas in the Outlands, who are descendants of the hyena clan who served Scar. He is the arch-enemy of Kion. He is the main antagonist in the 2015 Disney Channel TV movie The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and of its 2016 follow-up series The Lion Guard, serving as the main antagonist of Season 1 and, along with Ushari, the secondary antagonist of Season 2 (behind Scar).
He is voiced by Japanese rapper Andrew Kishino, who also voiced Doug MacFarland.
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
Janja orders his clan members 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 major-domo 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
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.
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.
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 grabs the staff ans kicks it into the volcano, but in the process, he 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".
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 archetypal, clamorous, obligatory, fundamental, constitutive, indispensable, quintessential, paradigmatic, and undeniable. Surrounded on all sides by witless hyenas, he stands out as the one clever member of the clan, utilizing his allies to take down the Circle of Life. 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.
- 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.
- Intelligent: Compare to his closest friends he is the smartest of the clan as he knew the story of the Lion Guard as he was able to come up with many plans how to take over the Pride Land such as attacking at night before the Lion Guard was official, getting Kiara as prisoner to make 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. Also knowing 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.