Niju is a vicious wolf and the main antagonist in the film Balto II. He plans to take over the wolf pack from the elderly leader Nava with the help of his supporters Nuk, Yak and Sumac.
In Balto II he is voiced by Mark Hamill who is also best known as the voice of The Joker in the DC Animated Universe.
Niju is impressively built, being the second largest (Nuk being larger due to his massive appetite) and almost certainly being the strongest member of the wolf pack which allowed him to intimidate and defeat other wolves, easily tackling and overpowering Aleu and throwing off Nava.
His fur was brown with a gray underbelly. His only markings were dark patches around his eyes. In the film, his whiskers were purposely made more noticeable. He also has large paws with his claws always bared and never retracted showing his vicious nature (though in The Wolf and the Hound his paws have shrunk and are now the size of a normal dog's)
In his first appearance he is a normal wolf but in his return in the Anthro Saga he wears a torn black T-shirt and torn knee length trousers with a gas gun slung over his shoulder. He is also much taller and much more imposing. During his times as a normal wolf, though Niju is still impressively built he is a lot more like a normal wolf in the sense that he is now slightly more masculine particularly around his front legs, and when Shere Khan is disguised as him in The Lioness and the Tiger his claws are drawn back which is enough for Balto to conclude that something about the wolf is not quite right. This is also the case when Scarface uses his form as a disguise.
The Wolf and the Hound:
Niju serves as the main antagonist in the story The Wolf and the Hound and over the years has changed. He is still as arrogant and aggressive but he is now as chauvanistic as Gaston and seeks to marry Aleu because she is the most beautiful wolf in the pack. Because Nava does not want to force Aleu to marry someone she doesn't want to she is put with three wolves for three days one for each day. At the end of the third day Nava's plan is a complete failure and Aleu runs away.
Niju goes after her still wanting her to be his. He finds her and "saves" her from Chief sparking off a brief vengeance session between Aleu and Copper but after Copper sees her again she tells him it was Niju who hurt Chief. Niju's jealousy sparks off a rivalry between him and Copper and he seeks to get rid of the competition by any means necessary. He eventually captures Copper and threatens Aleu unless Copper co-operates however Charlie saves them both. Seeing another rival Niju's jealousy boils inside him and he resorts to killing off his henchmen who fail him and decides "if you want something done do it yourself". He captures Aleu again and engages in a fight with Copper and later Charlie. In the ensuing fight Charlie is killed whilst Aleu fights Niju and eventually kills him.
While not having as major a role in the abandoned story The Puppy and the Peacock as he did in The Wolf and the Hound Niju does have a role in this story. In this story, he attacks Angel before being killed by Lord Shen. However, Niju is not dead as he still exists as a ghost which is just malevolent as Shere Khan who would later adapt his form as a disguise. As a ghost, Niju's personality partly is from Azal and so is his voice.
Nightmare of Nome:
Like The Lioness and the Tiger, Niju makes an appearance in the horror story Nightmare of Nome but it is not the real Niju; it is actually another villain using his form. He first appears in a nightmare of Jenna's savaging Balto to death (though she believes the dog savaging the wolfdog to death to be Steele), the husky tries to save Balto from the wolf's fury but she is too late and Balto dies. When she tries to attack NIju however, she actually comes across the true form of Niju: The Nightmare Fox.
While Niju never appears in the monster series Defenders of Earth, he is partially the inspiration for the eventual primary antagonist of the series Nelarth especially down to the fact that both are both rivals of a supposedly greater being; in Niju's case, this is Nava and for Nelarth, this is Venia. However there are a number of differences between the pair because Nelarth is far more powerful than Niju and in addition, Venia is not the primary dragon protagonist of Defenders of Earth; Firroth is.
In addition, Nelarth and Venia eventually go to war in the Defenders finale The Ultimate Battle which brings back Firroth's allies and enemies alike, unlike its spin off The Mammal Wars where its finale Survival brings back only three of Seslinian's allies and enemies; his allies being Ostesooks, Bastamander and Zebiccoon and his enemies being Streavooksea, Keeceleon and Jomnune.
The Anthro Saga:
In the Anthro Saga, Niju is a soldier in the Tyannian Army and is also one of the more violent animals in his unit. In this case, he serves in a regiment of 2,000 wolves and because he was the second largest wolf in the pack, he is now the tallest in his regiment standing at over 6 feet 2 inches tall. His militancy also expresses in his driving as he is extremely aggressive in his driving, to such an extent he becomes a driver for the Junta because he can get troops quicker even if troops are scared of him.
Some describe Niju also as a maimer because of his aggressive nature as he always lashes out at others either with his bare hands or his gun but he is also known as a subduer because of his gun which actually sprays C20 gas like a fire extinguisher and the fact he fires it to subdue prisoners. His regiment has conventional weaponry such as rifles, machine guns and carbines but it also has unusual weapons, for example: One wolf has a flamethrower whilst another also has a gas gun which works like a Bunsen burner without a safety flame, igniting a blue gas flame when the trigger is pulled.
Unlike The Wolf and the Hound where Niju loved Aleu he hates her and hates Copper even more but despite his militancy he keeps this hatred to a minimum. Though often seen with Steele, he is also seen commonly with Belladonna and though he and Steele are friends with each other, towards the end of the dictatorship Niju lashes out at him when Steele tries to commit suicide by gunshot leaving Steele with a bloody face. Eventually his militancy is what leads to his downfall and he is captured.
Trial of the Saluki:
Niju plays a small part in the story Trial of the Saluki. In the story he is facing a trial of war crimes for his role in the Animalian Junta. He participates in a fight with the story's protagonist Brainy Barker and engages in a knife fight with her. When he puts her out of action he nearly defeats her until she stabs him in the shoulder, chest and back. He is then taken to his cell escorted by medical staff claiming Brainy started the fight and afterwards he is left alone.
The next day his trial is finished but he does not go to receive his sentence and when the guard enters his room Niju is found lying on his bed with a pool of blood round his body making an outline of his body. It is then confirmed that Niju has died of his injuries. His body is then taken outside and burned.
- The Wolf and the Hound
- Trial of the Saluki