Captain Ginyu is the leading member of an elite mercenary platoon, the eponymous Ginyu Force. He and his comrades are commissioned after Frieza learns that Vegeta is searching for the seven Dragon Balls on Namek, and that the Saiyan's strength is growing rapidly, quickly surpassing Frieza's personal henchmen, Dodoria and Zarbon.The force spends five days traveling the stars en route to Namek, and upon reaching the planet, Frieza dispatches the team to capture Vegeta, kill his two companions(Krillin and Gohan) and recover the Dragon Balls which have since been stolen by Vegeta. Efficient as they are, the Ginyu Force does not take long to track down their targets and locate all seven Dragon Balls. Initially, Captain Ginyu intends to slay Vegeta himself, but when his subordinates complain that they haven't had the opportunity to fight, Ginyu concedes, allowing them to deal with Vegeta and the others while he returns the Dragon Balls to Frieza.
Captain Ginyu transfers the Dragon Balls back to Frieza, but the two almost instantly discover that they can't activate the artifacts to summon its Eternal Dragon. Remembering one of his previous Namek victims whose last words told of how Frieza could never make a wish even with the seven Dragon Balls gathered, Frieza deduces that there must be a secret Namek language custom used to activate them. The tyrant uses his scouter to investigate the vicinity for Nameks, finding some in an area that his forces left untouched. Captain Ginyu volunteers to force the secret out of them, but Frieza declines in favor of handling the task himself. In the meantime, Captain Ginyu is assigned to watch over the seven Dragon Balls.
Captain Ginyu is ultimately the only member of the Ginyu Force not to be killed by Vegeta. Though Vegeta has the opportunity to finish the captain off after Ginyu switches bodies with the frog, Vegeta opts not to kill him so as not to get "toad guts" all over his "nice clean boots."
It is unknown why Captain Ginyu never chose to switch bodies with someone of even greater strength, such as Frieza. However, since he was unable to access the totality of Goku's powers, it can be assumed that he never chooses in fear of not being able to control the newly gained body.
In Dragon Ball Z, Ginyu continues making subsequent fillerappearances as a frog. Here, he is discovered by Bulma and kept as her companion. After realizing that thefrog understands human dialect, Bulma creates a device used to translate his croaking into speech, which Ginyu in turn uses to betray Bulma with his regained ability to pronounce the Body Change technique. Seizing Bulma's body, Ginyu uses Bulma's airski to visit the site of Frieza and Goku's showdown, also attended by Piccolo, Krillin and Gohan; Bulma takes hold of the airski, and despite Ginyu's attempt to lose the frog, Bulma is able to reach her oblivious friends. Captain Ginyu wages an attack on the trio, before deciding to switch bodies with the most powerful of the three, Piccolo. Gohan comes to realize that the frog is in actuality Bulma, which leads him to throw Bulma in the path of the wave, reverting Ginyu to the shell of a frog once again, and restoring Bulma to her human body.
After a wish made to Porunga, the Eternal Dragon of Namek, Ginyu is later transported to Earth with all living beings on Namek except Goku and Frieza. Afterwards, Ginyu goes on to live among the frogs surrounding Capsule Corporation. It is never revealed what becomes of the frog whose soul is within Ginyu's shell, save for one scene where he hops around the Earth forest where Porunga evacuates the people of Namek to. Ginyu makes infrequent appearances in later episodes as a frog, such as outside a window at Goku's house during Gohan's 11th birthday, or when he is picked up by a Great Saiyaman-disguised Gohan, after an attempt by Sharpner to unmask him.
Ginyu is ultimately killed when Kid Buudestroys the Earth. He makes his finalappearance in Dragon Ball Z in Hell, after having apparently been reunited with his body, where he watches the fight between Goku and Kid Buu through a crystal ball along with Ogres and fellow Dragon Ball villains. It is also presumed that the frog trapped in Ginyu's body is back in his own body and was wished back to Earth in his original body along with all the good people of Earth.