He is a teenage hyena who lives in the Outlands and the leader of a hyena clan that is descended from Scar's Hyena Clan. He is the arch-enemy of Kion, the Leader of the Lion Guard and the younger cub of Simba and Nala.
Janja is an arrogant, selfish and greedy hyena who eats more than his fair share, and who has no regard for the Circle of Life. His unabated hunger has made him ruthless and willing to go to extreme measures to satisfy it. He is also shown to be undeniably intelligent. He correctly fears the Roar of the Elders due to knowing how Scar used it to destroy the old Lion Guard. He also understands that there is no such thing as a free meal, and hunts for his food (like all hyenas do). He is also shown to have a dislike for the jackals. He can also sometimes be quite cowardly.
Janja is an ashen gray hyena beefy with a lighter underbelly, black spiky mane, darker spots, and a black tail with a gray underbelly.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Janja is revealed to have leadership prowess that rivals Kion's. Compare to his closest friends; Janja is close to being the most intelligent of the hyena 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 Lands; such as attacking at night before the Lion Guard was official, getting Kiara as a 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. The reason why he is close to being the most intelligent of his clan is because Nne and Tano have proven to be more intelligent.
- Expert Combatant: As the leader of his hyena clan, Janja is a capable fighter. He is able to hold his own against enemies that are his size; such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri.
- Animal Strength: Janja possesses great physical strength, as he was able to hold down his enemies that are his size; such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri and raised Cheezi and Chungu and launch long distance.
- Animal Stamina: Janja's stamina is high, as he is able to hunt with his pack to take out many preys as he could.
- Animal Endurance: Janja is able to endure attacks from Beshte's brute strength and Kion's roar.
Role in the series
Janja orders his clan members Cheezi and Chungu to capture a honey badger called Bunga (who had entered the Outlands to get his Baobab fruit back) so he can have him for lunch. However, Kion is able to save his friend by unknowingly using The Roar of the Elders which causes Chungu to drop Bunga who then gets to safety.
Later, Janja is informed by his vulture major-domo Mzingo that Kion is forming a Lion Guard to protect The Circle of Life. Seeing that this Lion Guard could be a threat to him and his clan, Janja declares that the clan will strike the Pride Lands that night and sings "Tonight We Strike".
Janja and his clan attack the Pride Lands and cause a gazelle stampede, which Kion's older sister Kiara gets caught in. Luckily, Kion and his Lion Guard (Bunga, Beshte, Fuli and Ono) come to Kiara's rescue by chasing the hyenas away and getting the gazelles to go in another direction before Kion confronts Janja and uses the Roar of the Elders to send him and his clan back to the Outlands, but Janja swears vengeance on Kion and the Lion Guard.
Set after the film, Janja and his clan continue terrorizing the animals of the Pride Lands, but only to be stopped by Kion and his Lion Guard.
In "Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots", Janja, Cheezi and Chungu Chase a herd of oryx until the guard arrives. Janja immediately orders his two minions to return to Outlands while Kion pursues them to the border. Later Janja meets another Hyena named Jasiri to whom he had said never to come to his territory. His Clan comes back and encircles the young Hyena who manages to put down the clan except Janja who the bowl on the ground. It seems to be about to finish but Kion arrives and saves Jasiri. Janja and his clan end up circling them until Kion uses the Roar, Janja finds himself under his minions and at the sight of Kion in front of him he decides to leave.
When Janja learns that Kiara is temporarily Queen of Pridelands in "Can't Wait to be Queen", he decides to take advantage of Kiara's inexperienceto send Mzingo to make believe that he wants to make peace with Pridelands to attract Kiara on Outlands. Kiara arrives on his territory, Janja shows up and tells him that he is very happy that she has come to speak. But Kiara begins to be wary when she sees the other hyenas hiding in the shadows and then decides to retrace the path but is surrounded. Janja plate Kiara on the ground until the Guard came to save her. Janja prefers to escape rather than confront them with her clan.
During Kion attempted to calm a herd of wildebeest in "Eye of the Beholder" Janja sneaks up with him. When Ono locates it Janja jumps on Kion and reaches pins on the ground. Kion takes the advantage briefly but Janja takes over, Kion uses her hind legs to project Janja into the air or hit her a wildebeest who throws it away, he announces to Cheezi and Chungu that they are retreating and the three hyena returns in Outlands.
To his lair he listens to the conversations of the vultures and learns that Ono has lost his sight and this gives him an idea. Janja with Cheezi and Chungu returns to Pridelands in the goal to trap the guard. His plan succeeded, the guard is trapped by landslides that it provoked. The hyenas then head towards the flock of Zebra to devour them but after the zebra began to run this allows Kion to use the roar without hurting them. After the guard is freed and this directs on the hyenas Janja returns to Outlands.
In "The Kupatana Celebration", Janja and his clan hunts a small Jackal through the Outlands until the jackal is trapped by a dead end. Janja expresses his deep hatred for the jackals and also that he had chased the little jackal from his territory yesterday but that he had nevertheless returned, Janja then said that he will give him a good lesson. The jackal smiles and Janja Kicks him but Kion arrives from above and pin the leader of the hyenas on the ground, Janja asks him what he does on Outlands, Kion tells him he wants him to let the jackal go and Bunga announces that it is Kupatana. Janja then laughs and tells Kion he can take the jackal. Kion confused departs from him and announces to his clan that they leave and that the guard renders them a great service. Janja and his band are doing it and wishes a merry Kupatana to Kion and his friends.
In "Fuli's New Family", Janja is warned by Cheezi of the presence of Bunga who wanted to throw himself into a Volcano to show that he is immune. But before even succeeding in crunching him Fuli arrives and saves Bunga.
Janja and his clan chase the cheetah and the honey badger which end up blocking on a trunk floating on lava. Janja, Cheezi and Chungu jumps on the trunk and tries to catch them but the Lion Guard arrives and allows Fuli and Bunga to return to the shore causing the trunk to lean down burning the buttocks of the three hyena. Cheezi and Chungu smell the grilling meat but Janja tells them that it is they who burns causing both Hyena to get on Janja's back, Janja then told them angrily to go down immediately.
Janja sneaks into the Pride Lands in "Follow That Hippo!", only to be spotted Ono and warned his two minions to hide until the bird went away. A bit later, the trio chasing young children who played to lion guard. Janja manages to catch a small elephant named Mtoto at the water's edge but Beshte manages to save the little elephant and carry it on his back and enters in the water. The Trio continues to pursue them on the ground until Whether they are pushed into the water by Bunga and Fuli and are chased away by crocodiles.
In "Call of the Drongo", the trio pursues a herd of Antilopes until they hit Beshte. Janja tries to deny without success, Kion tells the three hyenas to leave what they are doing. After flying some put out of guard, Cheezi and Chungu hear the voice of Janja tell them that he will eat them but the true Janja informs that it was someone else who had said that and that his came from a bush, he approaches and discovers a Drongo named Tamaa who try to scare an animal to steal its food, Janja then orders Cheezi to catch the bird, so that it can be used for its new plan.
Arriving behind a plain of antelopes Janja orders Tamaa to imitate Kion's voice to attract the antelopes on his territory in the Outlands, Tamaa deny to have the ability to imitate the voice of Kion, Janja threatens to eat it if he does not do what he says. After the antelopes entered the Outlands, Janja decide to keep Tamaa because it could be very useful later. While the hyenas are about to attack the antelopes they hear the voices of the Lion Guard, hey begin to be afraid until Janja realize that Cheezi has let Tamaa go away, he then stuck the Drongo in a corner. But the real Lion Guard arrives in time and Kion pin Janja on the ground. Janja tries to make him believe that he only wanted to help the antelopes but Kion is not fooled and he, Cheezi and Chungu flee.
Janja with Cheezi and Chungu has once again sneakck into the Pride Lands in "Paintings and Predictions", 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. Cheezi and Chungu ask Janja what they are going to do, and Janja replies that after Ono leaves, they will spook the zebras and then they will be theirs for the taking. When the Lion Guard arrives, Kion tells the members to go after Cheezi and Chungu and leave Janja to him. At this moment, Janja pursues an zebra that has lost its way to the herd and is about to have it, Kion and Bunga accidentally falls on it. Janja confused their request from where they went out. At this moment the rest of the Guard has managed to stop Cheezi and Chungu who are now ready to retreat. Janja agrees, and the hyenas scamper away.
In "The Mbali Fields Migration", The moaning of a small zebra that was part of a herd of zebra and antelopes that had to cross the Outlands to join the Mbali fields attracts the attention of Janja, Cheezi and Chungu. The trio rush to the herd before confronting Kion and Bunga. Janja and Kion clash until Kion is overthrown by Chungu. Janja breaks through the line of zebras until he is kicked in the face by Muhimu's foal, after which he backs off, racing away with Cheezi and Chungu. As he flees, Janja declares that he's never liked zebra anyway.
In "Janja's New Crew", Janja and his clan are preparing to invade PrideLands again, but Janja slips on the mud and hits Beshte. Though Janja tries to cover up his plot, Cheezi and Chungu reveal that they had been planning to attack the wildebeests, and Kion use the Roar to send them back to Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu land on Janja who then throw them angrily, he tells them that if his plans always fail it's because of them and he then decides not only to fired them but also banish them from Outlands and replace them with two other hyenas named Nne and Tano.
Later, Janja discusses with his two new second in command a new plan but to his surprise they already have one. Their plan is to make believe that they will attack a herd of antelopes so that the guard goes on a false trail so that they can attack the oryx, Janja is very surprised but 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 gone, the hyenas begin to chase a herd of oryxes, but in the midst of the chase, Nne and Tano betray 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.
Janja yells angrily for their treason this draws guard and Cheezi and Chungu. Kion asks Janja what he is doing there and Janja tells him that Nne and Tano are betrayed and that they will attack the Oryx. Then the guard leaves to stop them and Chezi and Chungu decide to stay with Janja to its great dissatisfaction. After Kion is used the Roar to defeat Nne and Tano, Janja says this is the first time he is happy to hear the Roar, no sooner has he spoken when the Roar causes the ledge to break, taking Janja, Cheezi and Chungu with it. The three land safely on the ground, and Janja sets off to the Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu stare after him wistfully until he demands to know if they are coming with him. Delighted, the two tear after him, and once more a united crew, the three hyenas return to the Outlands.
In "Never Roar Again", Janja's clan flee he Guard and return to the Outlands, Janja announces to Kion that they have returned and that it is finished. But once the Guard is gone, Janja returns to the Pride Lands and the rest of the clan follow him.
They later cross Nala who asks Janja why he is not in Outlands. Janja claims that the clan did not know they were in the Pride Lands. Nala then warns him to return to his territory but Janja refuses and tries to kill Nala who retreats and is surrounded by the clan. Kion arrives and when he sees his mother encircled by the hyenas he enters a great anger and uses a powerful Roar of the Elders to send the hyenas to back to the Outlands.
In Ono's Idol, Janja, Cheezi and Chungu attempt to attack a herd of klipsingers who are trapped at the edge of a cliff. Luckily the trio are defeated by Ono, his hero Hadithi and the rest of the Guard.
- Janja is shown to be the leader of his clan, but in real life, hyenas are led by females (like Shenzi was in The Lion King).
- As there are no females in his pack, it is likely he became the de facto leader due to the lack of options.
- It has been revealed that Janja and his clan are descendants of Shenzi, Banzai and Ed's clan, but it is not revealed what exactly happened to them after they killed Scar.
- Janja greatly resembles Banzai, especially with his thick bushy eyebrows.
- It could be possible that Janja is based on Banagi, a hyena who was set to be an antagonist in the early drafts of The Lion King. Like Janja, Banagi was a hyena who was the leader of his clan despite being male.
- Judging by personality, it's assumed that Janja is the Lion Guard's equivalent of Shenzi.
- Due to their interactions, it can be safely assumed that Jasiri and Janja have encountered each other before.
- It is highly likely that Janja was born during Scar's reign.
- It is unknown why he does not live in the Elephant Graveyard.
- Though they are aware of each other, Simba is the only Pridelander lion whom Janja hasn't interacted with so far.