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Choji Akimichi秋道チョウジAkimichi Chōji
Anime and Manga
|Voice actor(s) (English)||
Choji Akimichi (秋道チョウジ, Akimichi Chōji) is partners with Ino Yamanaka and Shikamaru Nara, under the command of Asuma Sarutobi. Shikamaru has been his best friend since before their time at the Ninja academy.
Choji Akimichi is a loyal and kind-hearted member of Asuma Sarutobi's Team 10, consisting of himself, Shikamaru Nara, and Ino Yamanaka who proves himself throughout the series to be a good friend and genuinely nice person. Choji, Shikamaru and Ino call themselves the "Ino-Shika-Cho Trio," just like their fathers before them.
As an Akimichi, Choji knows various secret jutsu that allow him to expand body parts to several times their normal size, the most common of which is the Multi-Size Technique. He uses this to perform his Human Bullet Tank attack, where he turns himself into a giant ball and attacks opponents by running them over, shouting "roll" repeatedly as he does. In the anime, Choji has mentioned that he trains on his own.
Choji is easily motivated by the prospect of food and becomes highly agitated when somebody calls him fat (he refers to himself as "big boned," "chubby," or "pleasingly plump"). However, he does not hide his love for food, wearing the kanji for "eat" on his shirt. His nigh-constant hunger is also a constant annoyance for his teammates, as sating himself often comes before other necessities such as stealth and teamwork. Choji's favorite foods are Korean barbeque, snacks and sweets, though he enjoys anything that is edible just as well. His favorite hobby is buying snacks and his favorite phrase is "Meat."
Creation and conception
"Chōji" means "butterfly (Chō-)" and "the second son (-ji)" added together. Butterflies are insects known to eat sweets. Chōji also manifests butterfly wings made of chakra after eating the third red pill during his fight against Jirobo. The names "Ino", "Shika" and "Cho" are also a pun on the "Ino-Shika-Cho" winning combination in Hanafuda.
Choji and Shikamaru
Choji has a longstanding friendship with Shikamaru Nara. The two have complete trust in each other, with Shikamaru being one of the few people to look past Choji's athletic deficiencies and see that he was good-hearted and recognized Choji's true strength. Because of this, Choji has unconditional faith in Shikamaru and, if necessary, would give his life for him.
When Choji was younger, he was often put down for not being good at a game called "Ninja," which appears to be a cross between tag and hide and seek, often using shuriken made out of cardboard. His peers were always berating him; telling him that any team that he is on is bound to lose. One day they simply refused to let him play at all. However, Shikamaru sticks up for him saying that the teams would be uneven if Choji doesn't join them. This gives Choji a little hope, although in the end they still refuse to let him play.
Choji and his father are later seen talking on the roof of a building, the former still upset over the way he was treated by the other children. His father tells him that one day he will meet someone that he can get along with and that eventually they will be the best of friends. Soon after, Shikamaru walks up the stairs and Choji recognizes him as the one who had defended him earlier. He asks Shikamaru why he isn't playing the game, to which Shikamaru responds that it was too troublesome. He then tells Choji that he likes to come up there to watch the clouds, and that Choji happens to be sitting in his spot. Choji moves over to give him room and Shikamaru proceeds to lie down, who tells Choji that he should watch the clouds with him. This delights Choji and he eagerly asks Shikamaru if he wants to eat some snacks that he has brought. Shikamaru takes him up on the offer, causing Choji to be overjoyed since someone is being so nice to him. From that day forth, the two became the best of friends. The two are seen talking with each other in Sasuke's flashbacks, with laid-back attitudes about life and ninja training in contrast to Sasuke's drive to surpass his brother.
Chunin Exam arc
During the second phase of the Chunin Exams, Choji is reluctant to join his team in helping Sakura Haruno fend off a team of Sound Genin, fearing for his own safety and continuously asking to run. When Zaku Abumi calls Choji "fatso", Choji proceeds to go berserk as he proclaims that he is just big-boned (in the Viz translation, Choji cries out that he's pleasantly plump) and yells that Konoha and the Sound ninja are now at war. Properly motivated, Choji is motivated to fight against the Sound Genin, but are unable to defeat them. His actions, however, buy time until Sasuke Uchiha awakens and forces them to retreat with the power of the curse seal.
In the preliminaries of the exam, Choji begins feeling hesitant about fighting, but Asuma convinces him to fight, promising to barbecue if he wins, and to intervene if he is in danger. In the last match of the preliminaries, Choji is matched against Dosu. At the start of the match, Ino yells to him that he's fat so that he'll be spurred into fighting. Using his Human Bullet Tank to charge at Dosu, Choji gets lodged in a wall as a result of Dosu dodging the attack. With Choji unable to fight back, Dosu sends a blast of sound into Choji's bulk, its effectiveness increased as a result of Choji's increased size, thus defeating Choji. As a reward to Choji for getting so far in the Chunin Exams, and as a bribe to help with Shikamaru's training, Asuma takes Choji to a buffet, but Choji eats too much and hurts his stomach, forcing him to spend some time in the hospital. He recovers in time to watch Shikamaru and Sasuke's matches, but is rendered unconscious by Kabuto's genjutsu, and is not awakened.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
Shortly after Shikamaru's promotion to Chunin, the team celebrates at Yakiniku Q. After a brief argument over the meat, Asuma tells Choji that he should eat less and train more. While Choji is briefly depressed, Shikamaru convinces him to be himself.
When Sasuke Uchiha abandons Konoha, Shikamaru asks Choji to join the Sasuke Retrieval Squad, to which Choji refuses. Determined to have Choji come with them, Shikamaru and Naruto Uzumaki eat some of Choji's favorite snacks in front of his house. When they get to the last chip, Choji burst through the front door to eat it, saying that the last chip is always the best. Having fallen for Shikamaru's trick, Choji joins the team to retrieve Sasuke.
At the start of the mission, Choji takes on the Sound Four member Jirobo. Jirobo initially proves to be too strong for Choji to beat, forcing Chōji to use the Akimichi clan's special Three Colored Pills (三色の丸薬, Sanshoku no Ganyaku). The pills, colored green (spinach), yellow (curry), and red (pepper), give the user increasingly large boosts of chakra at the cost of health, with the red pill said to be fatal to the consumer. After consuming the red pill, Choji's physical appearance changes dramatically from the rapid conversion of fat into chakra. This increases his strength a hundredfold, in addition to sprouting a pair of butterfly-shaped wings made of pure chakra, greatly increasing the chakra at his disposal.
During Choji's battle with Jirobo, Jirobo constantly mocks Shikamaru as well as Choji, calling Shikamaru a selfish and uncaring leader, and frequently referring to Choji as "trash." Jirobo near-constantly also calls Choji fat, and says that Shikamaru and the others had been looking for an excuse to leave Choji behind. He also eats the last chip of Choji's bag, making Choji very angry. These factors, especially Jirobo's remarks about Shikamaru, cause Choji to consume the red pill. Choji knocks Jirobo down and, after saying that he cannot forgive anyone who insults Shikamaru, sends all his chakra into his fist and delivers a killing punch to Jirobo.
After defeating Jirobo, Choji manages to keep himself going for a short while, due to the friendship of his teammates, who had faith that he would defeat Jirobo and had etched directions onto tree trunks so that he could catch up. When Choji finally collapses, the Nara clan's medical guide and Tsunade's medical expertise allow Choji to evade death and make a full recovery.
Anime filler arcs
Choji appears for a few of the anime's filler arcs, one of which is to help rescue the daughter of the Ichiraku Ramen Bar owner. To save the daughter, Choji and his teammates are forced to create the perfect ramen, to which Choji assists by tasting the noodles and improving their quality when they don't meet his approval. During the course of another arc, Choji is teamed with Naruto in fighting a water user, and the two are frequently able save the life of the other. After Hinata defeats the second of the three ninjas, and is badly injured in the process, Naruto sends her away with Choji. The two are captured, but Shizune, Shikamaru and several ninjas save them. Choji makes a number of cameos in other arcs, often aiding his fellow Genin in accomplishing missions.
Choji makes his Part II debut sporting a red top with armor on his torso, arms, and upper legs similar to his father. On the front of his chest armor is the obligatory kanji for "eat". His hair has grown longer, and he now looks less obese and more muscular, just like what he himself always claimed: big-boned. Like most of the rookie nine, he has reached the Chunin rank. Choji has also improved his skills during the timeskip, and is now able to enlarge various parts of his body without much concentration. His reaction time has also increased, being able to immediately prevent an attack by Sai from harming Shikamaru or Naruto.
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc
Choji arrives with Ino as backup for Shikamaru and Asuma in their fight with Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu. As the Akatsuki pair flees due to their arrival, Choji prepares to take the fatally injured Asuma back to Konoha for treatment. Asuma, however, knows that he won't make it back to Konoha, and gives some parting words to his team. To Choji, Asuma says that he is a kind hearted boy who thinks about his friends, and therefore, may be a stronger ninja than anyone else and to simply believe in himself. Asuma also tells Choji to diet a bit more, and Choji says that while it is difficult, he will try. After smoking one last cigarette, Asuma dies, leaving Choji, Shikamaru, and Ino to set out in an attempt to avenge him.
When the remaining members of Team 10 find Hidan and Kakuzu, Choji attacks the two with his Spiked Human Bullet Tank, its effectiveness increased with his new ability to grow and sharpen his hair. Later, when Kakuzu's masks charge at Choji and his team, Choji couples his Multi-Size Technique with Mega Palm Thrust to crush the masks and keep them at bay. His attempt is unsuccessful, and Kakuzu is able to pin him down. Later, after Naruto arrives and defeats Kakuzu, Choji returns to Konoha with the rest of his team, noting that Naruto's defeating Kakuzu made him "cool," even if not as much so as Shikamaru.