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Frog Ninja

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Even Pokémon have got it down.

Aside from turtles, what animal would you associate with a ninja? A cat? A wolf? A dragon? A... frog? Odd choice, but okay.

Ever since the 19th century, ninjas and frogs (or toads) have been synonymous with each other over in Japan, in part due to the influence of the epic poem-turned-Kabuki show Jiraiya Gouketsu Monogatari ("The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya").

This ninja is almost invariably a good guy, and exhibits some kind of amazing, or even supernatural abilities, such as summoning a giant frog, turning into one themselves, or even just being a frog already. Optional is to include an arch-enemy with snake powers.

While it would seem rather outlandish for a stealth-based profession to give itself frog motifs, literary influence or not, frogs are stealthier and quicker than most give them credit for. Consider that the fact that frogs can catch flies — which perceive time four times slower than humans — is a testament not only to their speed, but also their patience. Also, frogs, especially aquatic ones that frequent water, are stalking predators that are able to sneak up on their prey. Their legs give them immense jumping power that allow them to pounce on their prey and back almost instantly. So, the prospect of a frog ninja must not sound so implausible to you now, huh?

Compare Cat Ninja. Sometimes associated with Frog Men. Subtrope of Animal Occupation Stereotypes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Log Horizon: Leonardo is an Assassin-class player who dresses like a frog, emulating the hero from his favorite cartoon (described as a ninja who dual-wields katanas, loves pizza and yells "Cowabunga!"). This is mostly Writing Around Trademarks, but it also makes sense in the context of the trope.
  • Naruto: There is an entire hidden village of frogs trained in mystical and ninja techniques. They become prominent in the series for two specific pupils:
    • Jiraiya, who trained among said frogs, is able to summon a giant toad, can partially transform himself into one, and has a snake-themed enemy. Most importantly, he is an Expy of the Trope Maker himself.
    • Naruto himself is tutored by Jiraiya, learning to summon frogs from the get-go and later trains under Gamabunta to learn a lot of the same jutsus that Jiraiya used.
  • Pokémon: The Series takes the aesthetic with Greninja in particular a step further by including a seldom-used TCG ability called Battle Bond, which—for lack of better description—combines Greninja's aura with that of its trainer. In this case, Ash. It's an ability that takes a while for them to perfect, but it helps Ash get his final badge and make it to the Final of the Lumiose Conference, going further than he'd ever gone in any prior region. Ash-Greninja, as the form has come to be known, provides the page image, and Ash's Greninja even got ported into the main game series as of Pokémon Sun and Moon, right down to the Battle Bond ability allowing access to that specific Super Mode.
  • Sgt. Frog: Lance Corporal Dororo is a frog alien who lived alongside Ninja for an extended period. Compared to his more anti-heroic (or borderline villainous) companions, he has more of a moral compass.
  • Tamagotchi features Gamanosuke, a giant toad who works as the training partner of Gozarutchi the ninja.

    Card Games 
  • Hearthstone has the card Finja, the Flying Star, a frog-like murloc wielding katana-nosed swordfish, said to be the deadliest assassin in Gadgetzan.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The anime-exclusive card "Illusion Ninjitsu Art of Hazy Toad" depicts a ninja being overshadowed by a giant golden toad. It grants a "Ninja" monster you control 1000 ATK during your opponent's Battle Phase.
    • Another anime-exclusive Illegal Summon depicts the Trope Maker Jiraiya himself riding a toad. The effect allows each player to Special Summon a level 4 or lower monster from their decks, referencing Jiraiya's ability to summon a toad.

    Fan Works 
  • The Myth of Link & Zelda: Breath of the Wild adapts events from the namesake game, as well as some elements from Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. One of these elements is the Sheikah's Ninja nature, and their affinity for frogs with their frog statues, but this story takes it a step further. The Golden Goddesses created three animal spirits, the Wolf for Link, the Owl for Zelda, and the Boar for Ganondorf, to wield against Demise's curse, which ended up possessing the Boar and Ganondorf for its own purposes. After the Great Calamity 100 years ago, Hylia decided to create a spirit animal for the Sheikah, the Frog. She specifically made it in the form of a frog because of its nature as the spirit animal of the Sheikah.

    Films — Animation 
  • Le Frog's henchfrogs in Flushed Away are all black-clad stealthy martial artists, but differ from the standard version by being villains, and French.

  • Jiraiya Gouketsu Monogatari, a 19th century poem, is unmistakably the Trope Maker. The titular Jiraiya (formerly Ogata Hiroyuki) was a deposed prince who learned ninjitsu and Yamabushi magic under the frog sage Senso Dojin alongside his love Tsunade (a student of Slug Magic), both to defeat his student-turned-snake-sorcerer Orochimaru and stop his plan to conquer all of Japan and eventually the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: One of the Future Riders is Rentaro Kagura: Kamen Rider Shinobi, who gains his armor from a giant robot frog called Kurogane Oogama (lit. Iron Toad). In the Rider Time: Shinobi miniseries, he fights against Yaminin and his Niji no Hebi clan of Ninjas. This goes doubly for his teacher: Master Gamano. Beyond his name being a punnote , he's a far more capable ninja than his pupil, and is able to turn into a wall scroll of a frog. Jury's out on whether or not he's a good guy, though.
    • In Kamen Rider Geats, Kamen Rider Tycoon has a ninja motif, and he's tied to frogs through his backer Kekera: Kekera presents himself as a statue of a frog wearing a business suit, and when he transforms into a Kamen Rider himself, he takes the form of a giant cyber-frog. A web special even has him team up with the aforementioned Shinobi.
  • Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya: The titular hero of the series. While he doesn't possess any magical abilities, his helmet features a frog motif and he's the descendant of a frog-like alien.
  • Super Sentai has incorporated frogs into some of its ninja-themed series. Some of this gets brought into its adaptation Power Rangers, but downplayed since this trope isn't as well-known in America:
    • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: Ninja Black is named Jiraiya (And a descendant of the original Jiraiya) and pilots frog-themed mecha, two frog-faced humanoid mechs followed by an actual frog-shaped one. For bonus points, when performing its special attacks, he stands atop the frog akin to how the literary Jiraiya is often portrayed in artworks.
    • Likewise, his counterpart Adam's ninja spirit animal in Season 3 of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (and before that, the non-canon Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie) is that of a frog. He also pilots the Frog Ninjazord. He's not quite happy about this initially in the movie, and rather than try to explain the ninja connection it's justified with Bewitched Amphibians instead.
      Dulcea: What's wrong, Adam?
      Adam: [embarrassed] I'm a frog.
      Dulcea: Yes, the one who will become a handsome prince with a kiss.
    • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: As Jakanja are an order of evil ninjas with Animal Motifs, one of their generals (Chuuzubo) is naturally frog-themed. (His American counterpart Choobo in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, however, ignores the animal themes completely — the only froglike thing about Choobo that the local audience would recognize is green skin.) One of Sargain/Zurgane's underlings, Water Absorbing Ninja Gamajakushi/Amphibidor, however, is more overtly frog-themed.
    • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: The main gun sidearm of the core Ninningers, the Gama Gama Juunote  is a golden gun in the shape of a frog. Its finisher is a beam in the form of its tongue. These also serves as their alarm system to warn them of active Youkai. These are carried over into Power Rangers Ninja Steel, but with their frogginess downplayed — they're simply called "Ninja Blasters", and the toy version was given a complete overhaul to look less like a frog (while still reasonably resembling the original design in the Ninninger Stock Footage).

    Video Games 
  • In Armory & Machine, one of the enemies in the Cliffs is the Ninja Frog. They usually perform several fake-out moves before throwing a deadly powerful shuriken.
  • Ensemble Stars! has Shinobu Sengoku, who styles himself on a ninja. He also has an affinity towards frogs.
  • Summoning a giant fire-breathing toad is a skill of the Ninja class in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fully embraces the Ninja nature of the Sheikah of previous games by reinterpreting their home of Kakariko Village from a typical fantasy village into a proper feudal Japanese style village. Frog statues are frequently found all over the village, revered by the people. Their archenemies, the Yiga Clan, who serve Ganon, also have frog statues found in their base.
  • Jazz Amun from Jitsu Squad is a Warrior Monk turned into a frog, with plenty of ninja-like fighting skills allowing him to kick ass with extreme expertise.
  • Mega Man:
  • Persona 4 has Yosuke's initial Persona, the "disco ninja frog" Jiraiya.
  • Pokémon X and Y: The fully evolved form of the Water-Type Starter Pokémon Froakie is the Water/Dark-Type Greninja. It wears its ninja influences on its sleeve with high attack and speed, a tongue which mimics a scarf and fashioning throwing stars out of water.
    • When introduced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Greninja was granted several more ninja-like abilities. Along with the aforementioned Water Shuriken attack, it also gained a few moves in the form of water katanas (changed to water kunai as of Ultimate), and a Ninja Log counter-attack in the form of Substitute (which sometimes manifests as an actual log).
    • While not an example of this trope, it is interesting to note that one of the other notable ninja-themed Pokémon, Accelgor, is a slug. The Trope Maker's wife, Tsunade, was also a ninja that trained in slug-themed magic, just as her husband's proficiency was toad magic. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that these are the only two Pokémon that can learn Greninja's Signature Move, Water Shuriken.
  • Senran Kagura: In some games, one of Asuka's Ninja Arts is to summon a huge toad to slam onto multiple enemies.
  • Tales of Phantasia: Suzu can summon Jiraiya in her signature Mystic Arte. In remakes of the original game the arte has two versions, a normal, and a "failure" one. In the latter the summon fails, and instead changes Suzu into a frog costume.
  • In Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, Answer's Dust move has him summon a large frog to knock the opponent upwards with its tongue. It also appears in one of his victory animations, where it eats the fallen enemy, only to spit them back out in disgust.
  • Nioh has you face the Giant Toad, a big toad-man wielding both a spear and a massive clay Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe, in the Iga compound. While he may not seem like a typical ninja at first glance, he was the leader of the Iga ninja clan in life, is Hattori Hanzo's father, and is a more formidable warrior now than ever.
  • Yokai Hunter Shintaro has a villainous example with the Ōgama ninja (a frog-based yokai) serving as one of the bosses. It leaps all over the place In a Single Bound spamming his flung projectiles in your direction, and can use a Doppelgänger Attack to split himself in two and attack you from both sides.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Giant Toad

The Giant Toad is a toad-youkai wielding a sickle-spear.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / FrogNinja

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