Follow TV Tropes


Fighting Panda

Go To

"To ask why we fight... is to ask why the leaves fall. It is in their nature. Perhaps, there is a better question. Why do we fight? To protect Home, and Family... To preserve Balance, and bring Harmony. For my kind, the true question is: What is worth fighting for?"
Chen Stormstout, Warcraft

Pandas know kung fu.

Pandas are strongly associated with their native China, and since All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu and All Asians Know Martial Arts, pandas will invariably be skilled in the martial arts. Despite their big size, they will be portrayed as forces to be reckoned with. This trope exists despite, or because of, real-life giant pandas stereotyped as generally being lazy lumps of bamboo-eating cuteness.

Sometimes, the Fighting Panda is a red panda, a similarly bamboo eating carnivoran note  similarly native to China.

A specific type of Bears Are Bad News. Subverts the usual stereotype of pandas as lazy or slow and not nimble animals. Also a subtrope of Animal Occupation Stereotypes.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Beastars: Gouhin, a gruff Back Alley psychologist panda who advises Legosi on his feelings for Haru. Unlike the carnivorous Legosi, who fights based on his wolf instincts, the herbivorous Gouhin is legitimately a good physical fighter, being able to take out imposing lions with ease.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Panda is a large bipedal panda-looking creature (he insists several times he isn't really a panda) who is just as capable of kicking ass as the human jujutsu sorcerers, and unlike most of them, his size and bulk lends itself to a close-combat fighting style. He's actually a sentient Cursed Corpse, meaning Principal Yaga deliberately chose to make his prize fighter in the shape of a panda.
  • May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist is a princess of Xing, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of China, and is suitably trained in martial arts. Her Head Pet, runt panda Xiao May, seems to know quite a bit too in imitation of her, although Shao May mostly runs on Rule of Cute and has no direct impact on the plot.
  • Killing Bites: Brute Panda is a panda theriantrope who participates in the last tournament. Compared to other Brutes, he looks mostly the same as a normal panda, only larger and strictly bipedal, emphasized by him not wearing any clothes. Apart from his Acrofatic fighting style, he makes use of the panda's cuteness to gain the audience's support. And when his transformation is undone, turns out "he" was a Chinese girl all along.
  • Ranma ½: Played With. Underneath the inanity, hedonism, and laziness, Ranma's father Genma is also a proficient martial artist. Genma is cursed to occasionally turn into a panda, but this form emphasizes the former more than the latter.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Chinese duelist Vivian Wong has a monster called Gyaku-Gire Panda, which uses martial arts kicks and deals piercing damage against monsters in defense mode.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • Played with in regard to Po the panda. Despite being the protagonist and the franchise's title being Kung Fu Panda, Po starts the first film with no martial arts training at all, and spends much of it as the least competent martial artist among the other animals. However, he does eventually grow into the position of The Chosen One, and is a good martial artist for the rest of the franchise.
    • Po's teacher and master of the Jade Palace, Shifu, also plays with the trope, due to being a panda as well. A red panda, to be exact.
  • The protagonist Pancada from The Little Panda Fighter, clearly inspired by Kung Fu Panda, plays with this trope by doing boxing rather than Kung-Fu Fighting. And not really wanting to do that either.
  • Chop Kick Panda, another Kung Fu Panda Mockbuster.
  • In Turning Red, Sun Yee is implied to have been this given that she is said to been able to fend off bandits and protect her village using her giant red panda form.

  • In the Ninja Sex Party song and music video "Mansion Party", Danny has two battle-pandas fighting in Gladiator Games for the amusement of his guests.
    Danny: You've really got to agitate the pandas to get them engaged in combat. They're very docile by nature. ...I laced their bamboo.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Gyaku-Gire Panda is a beast-type monster with the appearance of a vicious and angry panda. Its special effect grants it 500 attack points for every monster on the opponent's field. It appeared in the anime as one of the monster used by model, actress and martial artist Vivian Wong.

    Video Games 
  • Facebook-only game Pandas Fighting is a half-fighting game half-Clash of Clans game about pandas fighting between each other and against monstrous bosses, using not just martial arts, but different weapons to win.
  • Jurassic World Alive features Ailurarctos, an extinct genus of Panda as one of the roster's epics. Downplayed in that it shares the same animations as the other bears in the game and the closest thing it has to a martial arts move is it simply pushing its paws forward and roaring similar to a martial artist yelling whist attacking.
  • Pokémon: Pancham and its evolution Pangoro, introduced in Pokémon X and Y, are Fighting-Type Pokemon that resemble panda bears.
  • Sly Cooper: Panda King, one of the Fiendish Five, is a Chinese pyrotechnics who invented his own style, Flame-Fu, incorporating his fireworks when he fights Sly.
  • Tanuki Justice have you playing as a pair of tanuki ninja, and a panda ninja serving as a Mirror Match boss late in the game.
  • Panda from the Tekken series is a giant panda that's Li Xiaoyu's pet mascot and is also the Distaff Counterpart of Kuma (a grizzly bear and Heihachi's mascot). Having martial artists as their owners, both bears can fight any opponent, having the "style" of Kuma Shinken made by Heihachi, who also taught Panda to be Xiaoyu's bodyguard.
  • Wakfu's Pandawa race/class are martial arts pandas with most of their attacks revolving around the use of bamboo milk.
  • Warcraft and World of Warcraft: The Pandarens are an entire race of humanoid Pandas who can kick as much ass as the other races. Those who are Monks know kung fu.

    Western Animation 
  • Peter the Panda from Phineas and Ferb uses moves for fighting that resemble some sort of martial arts.
  • In Skunk Fu!, Skunk's teacher in the 80 year old kung fu master Panda.
  • We Bare Bears: Subverted. Panda is by far the most cowardly and clumsy of the three bear bros, while his little brother Ice Bear, a polar bear, is the one who does karate.
  • Wild Kratts: In the panda episode (season 4), it's mentioned that pandas have an extra thumb which they use to handle bamboo more effectively. Chris and Martin's panda creature powers give them boosted strength and dexterity, which they demonstrate by wielding bamboo stalks like bo staffs.
  • Yin Yang Yo!: Yin and Yang's martial arts teacher is the grumpy and lazy but wise and experienced panda Master Yo.