Ninja Dragonets (Japanese: 舌魚 Shitasakan) are an exclusively domesticated all-female species that look like cartoony mandarin dragonets with Greninja parts.
They have the body proportions of Bubbles and Finny from Splash and Bubbles and look similar to them, such as cartoonishly large eyes and a short puppy-like snout, except with a Greninja tongue, arms, and ears, plus the ability to use Mucus and/or Water Shurikens. Some of them have the ability to control shadows, but some cannot. This appears to be a recessive trait, which is why Finny doesn't have it while her mom does. They come in all sorts of bright colors, such as pink, green, and blue. However, this is due to selective breeding by humans; the wild type coloration is bright blue.
It was mentioned in Feral Hybrids on the Loose! that Ninja Dragonets are only found as a captive/domestic species and are not found in the wild. Even Bubbles, one of the few who isn't owned by anybody, is technically feral rather than wild. In this episode, the Ultra Guardians captured and rehomed 10 abandoned Ninja Dragonets who were wreaking havoc on Hano Beach.
All Ninja Dragonets can use every Pokémon Move, unless they have a genetic trait that replaces their water with mucus, as some have. Otherwise, they can use all moves. They can also transform into any Pokémon. They look exactly like that Pokémon, but cannot change their voice.
In appearance, a typical Ninja Dragonet will have a solid colored body, often with stripes or spots, and a lighter colored face. Their pelvic fins (the large fins on the front of their body) are often, but not always, two-toned with spots. Rarely, they will have a small gem in their foreheads that reflects light and glows in the dark. The purpose of this gem is unknown, but is believed to be genetic. Very often, they will be born with pastel colored skin like baby blue or pale pink that will usually turn somewhat darker as they age. This is equivalent to a person being born with blonde hair that turns brown as they age.
In their Hybrid State, Ninja Dragonets will have a large (relative to their body size) Greninja tongue that is the same color as the inside of its mouth wrapped around its neck and extending behind its head, covering its mouth.
They have two large white spots above each eye. Its pelvic fins will be replaced with two Greninja arms matching the color of their pelvic fins with three-fingered webbed hands and its pectoral fins are gone. Each arm has a large white bubble in the middle. On their head, they have Greninja ears with blue-colored lines in between them. On their sides, Ninja Dragonets have a green or blue shuriken made of water or mucus. Right next to these shurikens are a small blade made of mucus or water called a katana that can be used for defense. Both shurikens and katanas can be produced by the dragonet at will.
Differences from Greninja
- If posessed by the Ninja Dragonet, Protean changes their physical appearance and secondary typing, not just the typing.
- Battle Bond can be obtained as a Hidden Ability, not an event Ability, and ones posessing this ability can breed as normal. Their event Ability instead is Cute Charm.
- Their tongue, ears, and arms are much smaller to fit Ninja Dragonets' small size. These also come in different colors depending on what color they are normally.
- Greninja has a gender ratio of 7 males to 1 female. Ninja Dragonets are exclusively female.
- The white patches above Greninja's eyes are instead small ovals in Ninja Dragonets.
- In their Battle Bond form (if they have the hidden ability), the Ninja Dragonet will have her skin darken instead of lighten. This is caused by increased blood flow.
Unlike their wild ancestor the mandarin dragonet, which is carnivorous, the Hybrid Pokémon is entirely herbivorous. Their diet consists of fruits, Berries, seeds, nuts, and roots. This is the one of the reasons they can't survive on their own, as these foods aren't found in the ocean. Eating meat can make them very sick. The diet change was due to domestication as real-life mandarin dragonets are extremely picky, so Ninja Dragonets became herbivores so humans can easily feed them.
Ninja Dragonets also have a special enzyme in their stomach that allows them to break down and absorb the starch from roots straight from the ground, without having to be cooked by humans. Baby Ninja Dragonets drink their mother's milk like mammals do, although they are not classified as one.
Commercial Ninja Dragonet food is generally sold as a mixture of grains and dried vegetables such as oats, rice, carrots, and spinach, but they also need fresh produce daily. Kibble and treats made specifically for Ninja Dragonets is available as well.
They are genetically and anatomically fish and are classified as such. They are considered to be Pokémon, despite having a regular animal ancestor, due to the Pokémon genes being much more dominant. While they have some mammalian characteristics such as live birth and lactation, these evolved completely independently from mammals.
They are classified as Water-types due to being aquatic fish and also as Dark-types due to them being able to use Dark-type attacks very effectively and that they have a fairly large amount of negative energy flowing through them at all times. The Dark-typing was inherited from their Greninja ancestor.
History of domestication
Ninja Dragonets are believed to have been domesticated about 1000 years ago in Sinnoh, probably around Route 230 and the Battle Zone. While they are originally native to this area, they are now found worldwide as pets.
The first Ninja Dragonet was conceived by accident, when a regular female mandarin dragonet mated with a male Greninja belonging to a Breeder. Instead of being just one of the parents, like in most cases, the offspring were a chimera of the two. The Breeder found this interesting and this specimen was mated with other fish Pokémon. Her offspring had the same unusual appearance, thus becoming the ancestors of all modern Ninja Dragonets.
Over generations of selective breeding, Ninja Dragonets have been bred to be far calmer and friendlier around humans to avoid putting others in danger. They rarely if ever go feral due to their need for human contact and care, but even the meanest ones can be very easily tamed due to their domesticated origin.
In the present time, about 3 years ago, Bubbles was born to a Ninja Dragonet mother and an unknown father in Reeftown. Unlike other Ninja Dragonets, she did not appear to be a Hybrid, but still had Greninja DNA inside of her, which was not expressed. The scientists who turned her into a Hybrid did so by making her body express the genes to make the Greninja parts appear. As she is descended from these domesticated Ninja Dragonets, she is not "wild" in the sense of having no domesticated ancestors and is properly described as feral.
Ninja Dragonets are normally calm and peaceful around people, like all domesticated species. Feral ones can be more vicious, but are very easily tamed. They enjoy being petted by people and are usually kept as pets.
Bubbles is a major exception to this, as she developed extremely aggressive behavior and a short temper. She is normally friendly like other Ninja Dragonets, but when provoked, she can easily get out of control and endanger others.
Ninja Dragonets have the ability to tell when another Ninja Dragonet is nearby. This is useful for mothers and young who have gotten separated and lost. They also have the ability to let out a cry for help that summons several others of their species from nearby areas.
Unlike almost every other species of Pokémon, they are all given names like pets in the real world, instead of being called "Ninja Dragonet." Bubbles is the one exception to this, since she prefers to be called Dragonet.
Feral (living in the wild) Ninja Dragonets live in small family groups of 5 to 10 individuals, made up of a dominant female, subordinate females, and their young. They socialize together and eat during breaks between traveling. As the babies are completely helpless for a while after birth, mothers with young usually carry them on their backs while the group is traveling.
Trainers should always have a saltwater fishtank for their Ninja Dragonet to relax and swim in whenever she pleases. In fact, shelters will not adopt out Ninja Dragonets to trainers without a fishtank. They should be provided with plenty of toys at all times, such as bouncy balls, chew toys, and plushies made specifically for Ninja Dragonets. If it is denied the opportunity to play, it will become bored, depressed, and possibly become violent. Signs of a bored Ninja Dragonet include chewing on their blades or shurikens, constantly licking themselves, and sleeping more than usual. 4-5 hours of play each day is usually sufficient.
Ideally, a Trainer feeds their Ninja Dragonet two or three times a day. In the fishtank, specially made kibble or grains like cooked oats and rice can be dropped into the water in small handfuls, along with diced fruit/vegetables. When they're outside their tank, they should be fed with kibble, roots, or grains from a bowl (they are very messy when eating), but fruits or vegetables like carrots and apples should also be provided daily. Never let your Ninja Dragonet eat human junk food like potato chips, most desserts, white bread, candy, or pretzels. It will make them fat and give them heartburn. If your Ninja Dragonet is nagging you for sweets or savory snacks, give her fruit/berries (not strawberries - they are poisonous to them), a teeny bit of Combee honey, or a PLAIN (with absolutely no Moomoo butter or cheese) baked potato.
Trainers also need to make sure they play with and pet their Ninja Dragonet several times a day. Without adequate human contact and attention, they will go insane and become depressed and lonely. This need for human contact is embedded into their genetics as a result of domestication. Ninja Dragonets are some of the most attention-demanding Pokémon species due to this.
While Ninja Dragonets are very kind and friendly and will not intentionally cause harm unless provoked, they have a sharp blade that can be used to stab or slash enemies and can land a person in the hospital with possibly life-threatening wounds. Their ability to use any move can lead to life-threatening burns, frostbite, cuts, electric shocks, and other injuries if the Ninja Dragonet in question is especially ticked off. Mother Ninja Dragonets with young are particularly dangerous and should never be approached carelessly.
Dedomestication: feral Ninja Dragonets
A feral population of Ninja Dragonets is found on the island in the middle of Route 230 in Sinnoh. They were left there as prey for Piplup and other water Pokémon and will thus fill the ecological role of their wild ancestors.
This population is the only known population of feral Ninja Dragonets in the Pokémon world, as they usually cannot survive on their own.
In Reeftown, outside of the Pokémon world, there is a large population of feral Ninja Dragonets who steal food from people above the surface and invade their houses, leading to programs to send them back to the Pokémon world to be rehomed.
Dominant and recessive traits
- Shadows or no shadows: The ability to control shadows is recessive, while the inability to is dominant.
- Pink or green skin: Green skin is dominant, while pink skin is recessive.
- Red or green eyes: Green eyes are dominant and red eyes are recessive.
- Mucus or water: Both the ability to control mucus and the ability to control water are dominant. A heterozygous will have the ability to control both. Finny is an example.
- Microchipping: As a domesticated species, all Ninja Dragonets are required to have a microchip under their skin. Even Bubbles (Dragonet) has one, as she was given one by the scientists.
- Wandering: Trainers are not supposed to allow their Ninja Dragonets to roam unsupervised, as they are incapable of surviving on their own and can cause trouble by scaring people or stabbing them.
Ninja Dragonets are always female. They are incapable of interbreeding with their wild ancestor due to the size difference and the fact they're now Pokémon even though they're half animal. Due to being fish, they can sucessfully mate with most fish Pokémon, and thus are classified in the Water 2 egg group.
However, they also seem to be able to mate on land with small mammalian Pokémon of a similar size such as Togetic or Plusle, giving them a place in the Fairy egg group. If the offspring of mating with a Fairy egg group Pokémon is the other parent's species, which is usually not the case anyways, an Egg will always be produced because Ninja Dragonets are not designed to carry and give birth to Pokémon who are not fish. There has been one recorded case where a Ninja Dragonet went into labor and tried to give birth to a Togepi, but it simply could not pass through due to its shape and unfortunately died.
Ninja Dragonets always give live birth, unlike other Pokémon, and never lay eggs unless the offspring is a different species. In the wild, they would retreat to dark places, such as caves, to reproduce. However, since all of them live in capitivity, Breeders imitate this by darkening the room to replicate what they would do in the wild. They give birth fairly quickly, usually in the dark to avoid predators.
Like egg-laying Pokémon, they usually have one baby at a time, but occasionally will have twins or more. They are very protective of their offspring and will always be on alert to stab any possible threats to their young.
Before giving birth, the mother will usually seek out a quiet, soft, dark place such as a pile of blankets or under beds. She will then have the baby and keep it hidden in her chosen spot, nursing them with milk she produces. If the baby has not come out within 20 minutes of her starting to push, or she has been in labor for more than 3 hours with no progress, call a veterinarian immediately. Should she appear agitated or upset, DO NOT attempt to deliver the baby yourself unless you have the required training. Carelessly poking and prodding a distressed Ninja Dragonet who is struggling to give birth may result in serious stab wounds.
Care of babies
If all goes well, after two months, the mother will give birth to one tiny, helpless baby. They are completely helpless at birth, so the mother must nurse them every two to three hours. They have an extremely bizarre and misunderstood ability to actually nurse their babies as a cat or dog would, complete with heavy whipping cream-like milk, milk glands, and eight fully functional teats despite being fish. This trait is evolved independently during the domestication process and was brought on by human selective breeding, though exact way their lactation evolved has yet to be understood.
They form very strong bonds with their babies and sleep next to them at night so they feel safe. Most of the time, their babies feel scared without their mother and become very stressed if taken away. Mothers and young remain close for life, long after they're grown up. Ninja Dragonets like to be in places such as blankets and pillows with their babies.
It is a very unwise and extremely dangerous idea to approach a mother Ninja Dragonet with young who doesn't know you. If she sufficiently trusts you, she may allow you to pet or touch her babies at her discretion. However, if the Ninja Dragonet sees you as a threat to her babies, she will attack. Make sure to stay at least 2 meters away from a nursing Ninja Dragonet at all times unless she gives you permission.
All Ninja Dragonets, with the exception of shadows and water or mucus, have these abilities.
- Shadow control and shadow transformation (some). In the shadows, their eyes will glow. What color their eyes glow depends on what color their eyes are. Ninja Dragonets who cannot use shadows do not have glowing eyes. The dragonet has no control over their eyes glowing like this.
- Transforming: They can transform into anything/anyone, except that they can’t change their voice.
- Detecting another Ninja Dragonet nearby and summoning them for help.
- Appearing as a normal mandarin dragonet (normal form) or Hybrid (appearing with Greninja parts).
- Learning all Pokémon moves.
- Blades made of mucus and/or water.
- Shuriken made of mucus and/or water.
- Closing gills to breathe through their skin on land and reopening them to breathe underwater.
- Fantasy shift, which is becoming a shadow to go inside somebody's mind and mess with them. (Only ones who can control shadows can do this.)
- Strawberries: Strawberries are highly toxic to Ninja Dragonets and can cause vomiting and kidney damage if eaten. This also applies to Rawst Berries.
- Normal-types: For Ninja Dragonets who can control shadows, Normal-types can force them back to normal while they are in shadow form and are also immune to the effects of their shadows. They can also see through them. They are not weak to Normal-type attacks, though.
- Survival: As a domesticated species, they are completely incapable of surviving on their own and will probably be taken by predators or starve if abandoned.
- Freshwater: While they prefer saltwater, due to them being part Greninja, they can tolerate and survive in freshwater if necessary. It will not kill them, but make them tired and fatigued.
- While they can transform into humans, they often get the skin color wrong and sometimes end up retaining their actual skin color, such as Enbaki Harumi still having green skin and Donatsu Stella still having pink skin. This was played for laughs in Transformation Messups, when Yuki transformed into Elizabeth while still having black, purple, and green striped skin.
- Becoming a shadow actually only leaves them invulnerable for one turn in battle, after which the opponent, regardless of type, can touch them and use attacks as if they didn't have the shadows. Even outside of battle, they can still be touched by reaching into the shadows.
- They can use every move (with the exception of mucus or water for some of them), but still can only have 4 moves at a time in the games and still have to learn them like any other Pokémon. Kicking moves can't be used normally for obvious reasons and can only be used when transformed into a species with legs.
- Since Ninja Dragonets are descended from the mandarin dragonet, they are technically a type (subspecies) of mandarin dragonet. They are considered the same species, but they can no longer interbreed.
- Due to an extremely rare spontaneous mutation occuring in the very first Ninja Dragonet, they all have several unusual abilities such as having the ability to use shadows (for some of them), transforming, learning all Pokémon moves, and detecting another Ninja Dragonet nearby.
- Although only Ninja Dragonets with a recessive allele can control shadows, all Ninja Dragonets, even those who can't control shadows, can use moves such as Shadow Sneak.
- Another spontaneous mutation in the first Ninja Dragonet has rendered all Ninja Dragonets female.
- Traditionally, Ninja Dragonets are named after desserts or other sweet foods/things, such as flowers, fruits, and candy.
- Pink Ninja Dragonets are rare. While it is common for them to be partly pink or have pink stripes or spots, being entirely pink is unusual.
- So far, no Ninja Dragonet has appeared who has red as her primary color. Valentine does have a red tail and a few red stripes, but white is her main color and red is her sub color.
- For some reason, Dragonet was born with 3 of the species' abilities at once (except for Cute Charm). It is unknown why this is the case in-universe, but this is a notable habit of the original creator.
- Ninja Dragonets' hearing is as acute as a real-life dog's, enough that they can clearly hear somebody's heartbeat across the room.
Ninja Dragonet is based on a mandarin dragonet with the tongue, ears/horns, and arms of a Greninja, with their body proportions and shape being modeled specifically after Bubbles from Splash and Bubbles. Their behavior and status as an entirely domesticated species is reminiscent of dogs and cats.
Ninja Dragonet derives from ninja, being the species name of Greninja (one of their ancestors) and dragonet, a group of fish that includes the mandarin dragonet.
Shitasakan is a combination of shita, Japanese for tongue, and sakan, meaning fish, referring to the fact they are a fish with a long tongue.