Janja is the leader of a clan of hyenas and a major antagonist in The Lion Guard and The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar.
Janja is a cruel, greedy hyena who has no interest in protecting the Circle of Life. He is shown to care only for himself, always ordering others around to do his work for him. He cares only about getting food for himself and couldn't care less if the rest of his clan eats or starves. Janja frequently refers to the other members of his clan as "fur-brains", showing that he does not respect them. He insults and mocks them frequently, but does not like being laughed at himself. He is ruthless and determined to eat as much food as he can.
He is a devious planner who is always hatching new plots to defeat the Lion Guard or take over the Pride Lands. Janja is notably the only hyena in his clan who uses cunning to obtain what he wants. True to his name, he is very crafty and sly, though he sometimes has difficulty grasping simple concepts. However, his plots have yet to entirely succeed due to the interference of the Guard and overlooked details. Janja also has a sense of humor and a fondness of witticism; he will occasionally make jokes and clever remarks. He is also somewhat of a coward, only choosing to fight when his clan have an advantage in numbers.
Despite his ferocity and sharp intellect, Janja is something of a sore loser in the face of defeat. Protective of his territory, he does not tolerate intruders and will attack those who invade his land. He hates the Lion Guard.
Janja is a smoky gray spotted hyena with a grayish-beige underbelly. He has large ears that curve to a sharp point, with his left ear bearing a visible notch. His nose, paws, and the upper side of his tail are black. The underside of his tail, as well as his muzzle, are gray. He also has dark gray spots across his back and a ridge of black fur running along his head and upper neck that juts back in sharp spikes. Janja's eyes are black, with thick eyebrows and a ring of darker gray fur around them.
Janja and his clan are starving in the Outlands. Cheezi notices a baobab fruit nearby and wants to eat it, but Janja is disgusted at the idea, and instead starts to chomp at a passing butterfly. He fails to catch it, and the other hyenas start to laugh as it lands on his ear. Janja snaps at them for this, though soon notices Bunga looking for his ball. Flicking the bone away, he orders Chungu and Cheezi to bring the honey badger over to him for his lunch.
Later, Mzingo hears of the new Lion Guard being formed and immediately alerts Janja, who shows great concern over this news as he remembers what the original Lion Guard stood for. He then comes up with a plan (after a brief interruption as he attempts to eat a nearby caterpillar) - to get rid of as many animals as they can to stop the new Lion Guard from being created. He leads his clan in the singing of the song Tonight We Strike to explain his plan to them.
At sunset, Janja and the rest of his clan then start an attack on the gazelles in their grazing spot, to which Kion is alerted to. Janja then fights the Lion Guard and sustains an injury, though eventually he comes face to face with Kion himself. After taunting the lion cub, Kion lets loose the Roar of the Elders, and he and the other hyenas scatter back to the Outlands.