|This is the article on the anime adaptation. For the novel, head to Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness.|
Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness (シカマル秘伝 闇の黙に浮ぶ雲, Shikamaru Hiden — Yami no Shijima ni Ukabu Kumo) is an arc of the Naruto: Shippūden anime. It covers episodes 489 to 493. This arc is an anime adaptation of the Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness novel from the Naruto Hiden series that focuses on Shikamaru's life after the Fourth Shinobi World War. In the anime, it takes place after the Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise arc and is followed by the Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding arc.
Shikamaru has been busy helping the Sixth Hokage with paperwork since the war but he is bored with his desk job and insists he is doing the work until Naruto becomes Hokage. After work, Shikamaru plays shōgi with Ōnoki, whom he easily defeats, and goes to the forest to train. At a Shinobi Union meeting in the Land of Iron, the village ambassadors each discuss the decline of shinobi assistance and Shikamaru simply replies the matter is being investigated, but Temari suspects he is hiding something and his refusal to answer her questions causes her to slap him in anger. After returning to Konohagakure, Shikamaru and Kakashi discuss their suspicions of the leader of the Land of Silence, Gengo recruiting missing-nin and how Konoha has been silently investigating. However, Sai's team has been killed and they are concerned for Sai's well-being. Kakashi asks Shikamaru to go to the Land of Silence to capture or assassinate Gengo, with the company of two Anbu, Hinoko and Rō, as teammates. Shikamaru visits the graves of his father and Asuma, where he is greeted by Kurenai and Mirai, who have come to visit Asuma's grave. He later meets with Ino and Chōji for dinner and the three discuss how much their lives have changed since their genin days. The next morning, he leaves to meet his comrades at the village gates, Shikamaru runs into Naruto, who is on his way to eat ramen for breakfast, and advises him to stay the way he is because he will become Hokage one day.
Once they arrive in the Land of Silence, Shikamaru decides that disguising themselves will help them get past the checkpoint of the village, Tobari. However, Hinoko believes killing the shinobi is easier and uses her Chakra Needle to kill two who were tailing them. They track Sai's last known location, which is an inn near the checkpoint. Shikamaru plays shōgi with a villager to gain information on Gengo and the man's remarks about shinobi being disposable tools for citizens angers Hinoko, who fears shinobi will be eradicated during peaceful times. Hinoko desires to prove her worth and the inn is suddenly being raided by shinobi, Hinoko's earlier killing of their partners exposing them. Shikamaru, Hinoko and Rō are saved by a busboy named Komori who claims to hate Tobari. Hinoko contemplates defecting Konoha to prove herself, which strains her from Shikamaru and Rō, who warn her about the consequences of betraying her village. Later that night, Hinoko goes to the checkpoint and asks to join the Land of Silence. The guards doubt her trustworthiness but Komori reveals himself to be a follower of Tobari and he had spied on her to see her abilities for himself, and wants her to prove her loyalty. Hinoko easily defeats two guards before Shikamaru and Rō arrive to stop her. Shikamaru abruptly accuses Rō of betraying him as well but both are seemingly killed by Hinoko. Satisfied, Komori takes her into the village but she knocks him out and returns to let in Shikamaru and Rō, who had been placed under a temporary death state as part of a plan to gain entry.
Shikamaru wakes up from nightmares of the death of Asuma and the times his comrades were injured. Rō asks him about the nightmares. Shikamaru notices the lack of wind in Tobari. Hinoko feigns being killed by her own jutsu during initiation, and is taken to a room full of corpses. Shikamaru shows Rō the little intel they have on Gengo, a single blurry photo. Hinoko reunites with Rō and Shikamaru, informing them about how no one seems to know anything about Gengo or the Fushū Castle. The three go around Tobari gathering information, seeing people from all over, learning Gengo arrived ten years prior, and that Tobari is better now than it was then. They spot a former Konoha Anbu, Minoichi, who went missing in the last war, after killing his unit. The three corner Minoichi and interrogate him, learning more of Gengo's ideology. Minoichi recognises Rō and puts him in a choke hold, hinting at his past, but Hinoko incapacitates him with her chakra needle. Rō wakes up after having nightmares about his past as a genin, when he survived the slaughter of his unit by burying himself in the corpses of his comrades and suppressing his chakra to appear dead. That night, Gengo appears for a public speech. Shikamaru wants to move closer to the stage so his jutsu can reach him, and Hinoko goes to a tower where she has a clear view of the entire crowd. During his speech, Gengo reveals a restrained Sai, and the crowd asks for his death. Gengo's words begin to affect the three of them. Shikamaru and Rō create a diversion with explosive tags, and Shikamaru tries saving Sai, but he retaliates, having been entranced by Gengo. Gengo's words affected Rō and Hinoko, who are restrained. Gengo tries converting Shikamaru after Sai binds him, but Shikamaru begins strangling himself with his shadow.
Shikamaru struggles against Sai's ink beasts. Shikamaru wakes up, shackled in a cell, and thinks shōgi movements to pass the time. Sai arrives with food, and compliments him for resisting so long. Shikamaru asks for his lighter, and Sai says it'll be returned once Shikamaru follows Gengo. The two discuss Sai's current condition, and why Shikamaru came instead of someone from Team 7. A while later, Rō is tossed in a cell near Shikamaru, who asks if he is ok, and if Hinoko is with him. Gengo uses his jutsu on Hinoko. Shikamaru is taken to tall with Gengo, who has looked him up. Gengo tells Shikamaru how he perceives the current shinobi world, and how peace as it exists is forced by the great nations. Gengo shows him a flower that grows in the Land of Silence, that dies if taken out of its environment, and compares it to shinobi, who stop developing their skills in times of peace. Shikamaru notices that the flowers' scent stirs up unpleasant memories, which Gengo uses to turn shinobi to his side. Shikamaru asks for Rō and Hinoko, which are revealed to be the guards that brought him to the flowers, having been converted by Gengo. Shikamaru escapes the room. Shikamaru returns to Gengo's room, and fights Rō and Hinoko. He has Hinoko attack him with her chakra needles, and positions himself so they hit his ears, impairing his hearing so Gengo's voice can't affect him. Shikamaru almost reaches Gengo, but is stopped by Sai's ink lion. Gengo escapes, and Shikamaru is hit with a chakra needle on his head. Ino and Chōji arrive to save him, though Shikamaru believes he is dreaming. Shikamaru is convinced that he isn't dreaming when Temari slaps him for lying to her in the Shinobi Union meeting. Ino and Chōji prepare to fight Rō and Hinoko. Temari tosses him Asuma's chakra blades, which Shikamaru uses to open up the way to Gengo.
Shikamaru pursues Gengo through the Fushū Castle. Ino, Chōji, and Temari fight Sai, Rō, and Hinoko, Gengo's hold over them weakening as the fight drags on. Gengo lures Shikamaru in a dark room, both so he can't use his shadows and for his hearing to become more sensitive, and more vulnerable to Gengo's jutsu. Gengo tells Shikamaru about his past with Zabuza, and how it shaped his ideology. Ino enters Sai's mind to break Gengo's hold on him. He asks about Shikamaru, and tells them that they have to warn Shikamaru not to turn around when Gengo is trying to convert him. Gengo tells Shikamaru he had his followers infiltrate the hidden villages, and with a signal he can make them cause incidents all over. Gengo's jutsu manifests the darkness in Shikamaru, but thinking of Naruto, Shikamaru isn't affected by it, to Gengo's surprise. Shikamaru surmises Gengo's comrades are all dead, having been used by him. Temari and the others reach their location, and Shikamaru calls on Rō and Hinoko to finish their mission. Hinoko uses her chakra needles to open holes in the walls to let sunlight in. Gengo summons a great sword, and tries cutting Shikamaru down with it. Shikamaru manages to pin him down, allowing Hinoko to hit his tongue with her chakra needle, rendering his jutsu useless. Konoha Anbu arrive to take Gengo into custody. Shikamaru asks Temari to a date, as does Sai to Ino.
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|489||"The State of Affairs"||12 January 2017||11 June 2019|
|490||"Dark Clouds"||19 January 2017||11 June 2019|
|491||"Recklessness"||26 January 2017||11 June 2019|
|492||"Cloud of Suspicion"||2 February 2017||11 June 2019|
|493||"Dawn"||9 February 2017||11 June 2019|