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Frog Ninja

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Even Pokémon have got it down.
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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 epic 19th century poem-turned Kabuki show Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari and the influence it had.

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.

Compare: Cat Ninja


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Examples:

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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. 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 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.
  • The Pokémon anime 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 region.
  • 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.

    Card Games 
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Toei's 1966 movie The Magic Serpent is directly based on Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (See Literature), but with just a hint of Kaijus.
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    Literature 
  • As said above, the 19th century poem Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari 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, who studied Slug Magic, both to defeat the evil Snake Spirit Orochimaru and stop his plan to conquer all of Japan and eventually the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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 Kuragane Oogama (lit. Iron Toad). In the Rider Time: Shinobi miniseries, he fights against Yaminin and his Niji no Hebi clan of Ninjas.
  • 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:

    Video Games 
  • Ensemble Stars! has Shinobu Sengoku, who styles himself on a ninja. He also has an affinity towards frogs.
  • 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.
  • Senran Kagura: In some games, one of Asuka's Ninja Arts is to summon a huge toad to slam onto multiple enemies.

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