|“Look on the bright side. At least all your jobs just became permanent.”|
|— Zugu to Karlof, after Lloyd was defeated by Chen in "The Forgotten Element"|
Zugu was one of Master Chen's two generals, who oversaw the production of the goods in the Noodle Factory. Zugu was extremely strong, often playing the drums during the Tournament of Elements while managing the Elemental Masters as they were put to work in the Noodle Factory. After they escaped and rallied against Chen, Zugu helped to complete the spell that transformed him and his allies into fake Anacondrai.
Zugu and Chen's army attacked Ninjago, later fighting their foes at the Corridor of Elders. When Garmadon sacrificed himself, the original Anacondrai generals banished Zugu and the cultists to the Cursed Realm. Later, Nya drowned the Preeminent, the physical manifestation of the Cursed Realm. With the realm destroyed, Zugu died and his spirit went to the Departed Realm. Some time after his demise, a statue of Zugu's Anacondrai form was placed in the Ninjago Museum of History.
On the Day of the Departed, Cole accidentally opened the Departed Realm, and the spirits of the Ninjas' old enemies escaped and possessed their statues. Chen allied with Zugu and Eyezor and confronted Kai and Nya, who fled on their Raider Cycles. During the chase, Zugu's Condrai Crusher ran under a tree branch, destroying his statue and sending his spirit back to the Departed Realm.
Zugu was originally a sumo wrestler but was recruited by Master Chen to be one of his generals. At one point, he suggested to Master Chen to hold Sushi Sundays to raise morale, but Chen ignored the idea.
The Tournament of Elements
When the Elemental Masters arrived on Chen's Island for the Tournament of Elements, they were shown into the palace where Zugu stood beside a large gong. He rang it upon Chen's cue to reveal the brackets and stood around for the rest of the opening ceremony.
Following the first round wherein Karlof was eliminated from the Tournament, Zugu took his card from the brackets and destroyed it with his fist as Chen reminded the remaining contestants not to break any of the rules.
That night, Zugu and Eyezor dragged the defeated Master of Metal into the Anacondrai Temple where Chen used the Staff of Elements to remove his power. The two then dragged Karlof to the Noodle Factory where he was forced to operate one of the machines.
During the first three rounds of the Tournament occurring the next day, Zugu played a large drum as Chen announced the competitors.
While Jay and Cole fought each other, Zugu and Clouse journeyed to the prison cells to check up on Zane, only to find him attempting to escape. Clouse quickly stunned the Titanium Nindroid and ordered Zugu to tie him up with chains thick enough that he would be unable to cut through.
Zugu played drums during Skylor and Jacob's battle. After the Master of Sound was defeated, Zugu accompanied Clouse to the dungeon where they brought the defeated Cole to work in the Noodle Factory and the former sumo wrestler returned to overseeing the production of the noodles, making sure that Cole didn't eat anything. Eventually, Zugu decided to take a break, though they encountered Clouse and the two returned to the Factory to find Jacob attempting to escape. Clouse then ordered Zugu to feed the Master of Sound to his pet snake as a warning to the prisoners.
At the end of the shift, Zugu dragged the prisoners back to their cells, though was briefly stopped by Karlof when he was "tying his shoe."
After Cole managed to find Zane he decided to break the two of them out, he wrote a message to tell his friends of this news before putting into a fortune cookie. A hungry Zugu was about to eat the cookie but was prevented from doing so allowing it to make to the banquet Chen had prepared. Later on, Cole decided to put his escape plan into action by causing disruption which caused Zugu to take him back to his cell where Cole secretly stole Zugu's keys from him to sneak out with Zane. Zugu would notice this theft and put the prisoners back in their cells while Clouse's pet Serpent went after the two Ninja but is unsuccessful in capturing. This caused Zugu to believe they slipped through their grasp.
While overseeing the factory, Zugu was approached by a cultist who noted there was still no sign of Cole or Zane. In response, Zugu ordered a search of the labyrinth and to lock the factory down.
Zugu returned to the factory only to find it filled with smoke. He demanded to know what was going on, but was soon ushered away by another guard. He later discovered Karlof and a disguised Cole working on the broken noodle machine and allowed them to continue their repair efforts. Zugu then announced that it was time for the worker's three-and-a-half-minute daily meal break as the guards presented them with scraps from the floor. Later he and the other guards were briefly distracted as Gravis had poured tiny ball bearings on the balcony, causing them to trip.
Zugu soon noticed that Neuro was no longer working and ordered him to return to work. Neuro instead began talking to him about his fear that the guards did not respect him and how the sumo wrestler missed his mother. Angered at the latter topic, Zugu ordered him back to work.
Zugu was present at the ceremony where Chen stole Kai, Jay, Shade, Paleman, Neuro, and Turner's powers, then sent them to the Factory to work. While there, he ordered Karlof to hurry with the noodle machine.
Zugu soon learned from another guard that Chen had ordered noodles for the big ceremony that night and went over to where Karlof and Jay were fixing the noodle machine. Karlof noted that the machine was not yet ready, but Zugu ignored his pleas and grabbed the sheet covering the machine. To his astonishment, the noodle machine was not there and instead, was a large Roto Jet. Before Zugu realized what was going on, he was surprised to find Cole had taken control of the jet and the Elemental Masters had blasted their way out of the factory.
Zugu later managed to get into the ceremony hall and his comrades in fighting the Elemental Masters but would retreat with Chen and select few once the Masters regain their elements and overpower the Cultists.
Zugu and Eyezor repaired the one Blade-Copter they could get their hands on, though they attempted to capture Skylor when she escaped their hideout. The two generals pursued in Condrai Crushers but crashed when they rammed into one driven by Kai. They were soon captured by Nya and Cole being taken back to the docks were they were tied up with the other Cultists. When the Cultists, along with Zugu, were transformed into Anacondrai, however, they were able to break free of their bonds and leave the island in the other Blade-Copters to head to Ninjago.
The Anacondrai Cultists returned to Ninjago but the spell was slowly wearing off, preventing the from going through the invasion. After Chen discovered that the spell needed the essence of a true Anacondrai, Kapau and Chope set out to find one while Zugu alerted Chen the Ninja and their allies have returned Ninjago, much to the latter's annoyance. Chen then decided to put his other plan to use, which Zugu question only for Chen to throw the spell book at him and tell him to get ready for his plan. After Kapau and Chope returned with Pythor, Chen ordered him run to sweat out the essence, though he refused until Zugu brought a swamp rat, which forced him to comply. Chen stated now that one thing was dealt with the next part of his plan was put into action which was spreading fear and it involved sending out twenty noodle trucks to various locations.
Much later, Zugu alerted Chen that the Roto Jets were ready and the Cultists set out while leaving Pythor to be rat food. Zugu later took part in Chen's invasion of Ninjago now the Ninja and their allies were separated into various areas.
Zugu was present when Chen arrived in the Roto Jet at the conquered Jamanakai Village. When a child threw a ball at Chen, Zugu defended his master by throwing a large rock at the kid, prompting him to flee.
As the Anacondrai army traveled through Echo Canyons, Zugu helped Eyezor, Chope, and Kapau carry the Roto Jet. When they were ambushed at the Corridor of Elders by the Ninja and their allies, Zugu took part in the ensuring battle.
When Garmadon released the spirits of the Anacondrai Generals from the Cursed Realm, Zugu's soul was cursed by them and taken to the Curse Realm as punishment for his impersonation.
While he is not seen nor mentioned in the episode, Zugu was present in the Cursed Realm, which is revealed to be the stomach of The Preeminent. When Morro and his army of ghosts free The Preeminent, they attack Stiix and its civilians. Eventually, the Preeminent heads out into the Endless Sea but is knocked over by a massive tidal wave created by Nya, killing the beast. As a result, the Cursed Realm is destroyed and all its inhabitants are killed, including Zugu.
Without the Cursed Realm to go back to, Zugu's lost soul eventually made its way to the Departed Realm instead.
Needing souls to distract the Ninja, Yang tricked Cole into using the Yin Blade to tear open and catalyze an exit from the Departed Realm, allowing multiple souls, including Zugu's, to escape the realm and seek refuge in statues modeled after their original bodies at the Ninjago Museum of History. Brought back to life in a new form, Zugu, alongside Eyezor, was quickly rounded up by a similarly-revived Chen to assist him in killing Kai and Nya with one of the Departed Blades, thus allowing him to take their places amongst the living.
Still loyal to Chen and likewise desiring vengeance, Zugu and his fellow lieutenant Eyezor seized inactive Condrai Crushers put on display and, following Chen, ambushed Kai and Nya at Ignacia. Forcing the siblings to flee on their Raider Bikes, Zugu chased after the two alongside Eyezor, using the blades on his Crusher to overturn Kai's bike and cause him to crash within range of Chen's mech.
However, Kai was rescued by Nya on her bike, forcing Zugu to continue his pursuit. Attempting to destroy Nya's bike as well, Zugu's attacks were fended off by Kai. In the midst of the frantic chase, Zugu followed the two, but unwary of the branch of a nearby tree, slammed into it and was knocked off of his Condrai Crusher. His mannequin body too fragile to sustain the damage, it shattered, releasing Zugu's soul back to the Departed Realm and killing him.
A former Sumo wrestler, Zugu rose up through the ranks of Master Chen's secret army to become one of its two acting generals. His size and strength make him almost impossible to budge – but when he chooses to move, few things in Ninjago can stop him.
- His minifigure depicts him with a unibrow, yet he lacks one in the TV series.
- As an Anacondrai, Zugu has only one tooth.
- In Shadow of Ronin, he is referred to as "Zumo" while the credits of the TV series list him as "Sumo Zumo" (he is still referred to as Zugu in the TV Show, though). These were his prototype names during development. Before he joined Chen, he was a Sumo Wrestler, hence the name "Sumo Zumo".
- Zugu is a Maltese word, meaning marrowbone.