Toads (蝦蟇, Gama) are the most recurring summons to be seen in the series due to some of the main characters: Naruto Uzumaki, Jiraiya, and Minato Namikaze being able to summon them. They reside on Mount Myōboku.
Toads possess a wide range of abilities, being able to spit water or oil from their mouths as well as utilising things ranging from their own tongues and weapons in battle. What is most unusual is that they are one of the few species able to do ninjutsu, and one of the few animals thus far capable of hand signs. Toads are also familiar with senjutsu, making them (along with their contractor) very powerful when invoked on the battlefield.
They vary greatly in size; ranging from giant summons such as Gamabunta, Gamaken and Gamahiro that tower over trees and can dwarf large rock formations, while others such as Gamakichi and Gamatatsu, were small enough in Part I to ride on a man's head. The two have got much bigger since their last appearances, Naruto now being capable of standing on their backs. The toads have also shown unique personalities; Gamatatsu has a fixation for snacks and Gamakichi enjoys watching battles from safe distances. Their father, Gamabunta, speaks like a yakuza gangster, who won't work with anyone he doesn't respect. Despite this, he is fiercely protective of his children and Naruto, and will fight for their safety regardless of his respect for the summoner (or, more likely, whether or not Jiraiya was on his good side). Gamaken, who was introduced in Part II, spends the bulk of his appearances commenting on how weak and clumsy he is.
The toad elders seem to hold high positions in toad society; the Great Toad Sage, an ageing and somewhat senile toad, hands down wisdom and predictions to the younger generations and is highly respected for his track record of always being right. Getting to meet with him is considered a great honour. A married toad couple, Shima and Fukasaku, assist the Great Sage in his work. They also seem to be particularly powerful, as Jiraiya summoned them to help him during a battle with Pain. Jiraiya spoke to both of them very respectfully, whereas with most other toads he treated as his equals. Although Shima and Fukasaku constantly bicker over such things as dinner and Jiraiya's immaturity, their combined efforts were enough to defeat three of Pain's bodies.
Mount Myōboku's population also includes unique species of toads and other toad-like amphibians; two such examples are "Scroll Toads", (such as Gerotora) a rare species that will reside within the body of their contractor, guarding closely whatever secret is written on their scroll-abdomen until their contractor dies. The "Gourd Toad" is identified by their gourd-shaped bodies and have a stomach space that is far larger than the toad itself as a feature. Another example of Mount Myōboku's diverse populi is the amphibian, possibly also a toad, that served as Fukasaku's perch when he came to Konohagakure to bring them the news of Jiraiya's death.
- Unnamed Tadpole
Special Types of Toads
- "Great, fire-breathing Toad"
- "Gourd Toad" (瓢箪蝦蟇, Hyōtan Gama)
- "Shop Toad" (見世蝦蟇, Mise Gama)
- "Diving Toad" (潜り蝦蟇, Moguri Gama)
- "Scroll Toad" (巻物蝦蟇, Makimono Gama)
- "Messenger Toad"
- "Tracker Toad"
The toad summoning contract has been signed by at least six people. Only three of these six have been seen in the series:
- Jiraiya (Deceased)
The most frequent summoner of the toads, Jiraiya's techniques mainly consisted of toad-based abilities. Jiraiya's nickname was even The Toad Sage (蝦蟇仙人, Gama Sennin). The toads had a cordial and mutually respectful relationship with him.
- Minato Namikaze (Deceased)
Not much is known about Minato's relationship with the toads but apparently he was well-respected among them. His only known summons were Gamabunta and Gerotora. He called the former to help him fight the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox and entrusted the latter with holding the key to the seal on Naruto's stomach.
The latest known summoner of toads, Naruto didn't usually summon them unless he needed to fight larger and or very strong opponents. However, upon Jiraiya's death, Naruto became more proactive with them, even going to Mount Myōboku to learn senjutsu. Naruto is highly respected among them as their leader foretold him as the Child of the Prophecy (予言の子, Yogen no Ko).
Other Known Toads
- When Jiraiya went to visit Naruto in the hospital after his battle with Sasuke Uchiha, Jiraiya rode atop a giant toad comparable in size to Bun, Ken and Hiro.
- After news of Kōsuke's death reached Fukasaku, he sent a toad to tell Shima to summon them to Konoha.
- In chapter 429, several toads are listed on the scroll which monitors the inhabitants of Mount Myōboku. These were:
- Masashi Kishimoto has stated that there are a number of different types of toads; the toad that appeared on the cover of volume 13 of the manga he stated to be a Shaolin Kung Fu master. He hopes to be able to draw many of these toads for the duration of the series.
- The kanji character for 'Oil' (油, Abura) is identified as the symbol of the ninja-toads of Mount Myōboku; a possible allusion for the toad's signature ability: the Toad Oil Bullet technique. This character was first seen in the series on the customised forehead protector of Jiraiya, who was famously known as the "Toad Sage" (蝦蟇仙人, Gama Sennin), after having made a pact with the ninja-toads and signed a summoning contract with them. This very same kanji character was also later seen on a necklace worn around the neck of the Great Toad Sage, a highly respected prophet and the oldest known living Toad on Mount Myōboku.
- In the anime, Sakura Haruno is shown to be terrified of the toads; however, she can still work with them.
- Naruto owns a toad-shaped wallet by the name of Gama-chan.
- Kishimoto originally was going to make them the same size as the human characters but didn't in the end.
- In the English dub, most of the male toads are voiced by Dave Wittenberg.