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(this is actually true Asuma mentions this in both anime and manga)
(Sasuke Retrieval Arc)
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Because of his performance during the Chūnin Exam finals, Shikamaru was promoted to the rank of chūnin. Shikamaru was given his first assignment of forming and leading the [[Sasuke Retrieval Team]] to stop Sasuke from defecting from the village. Because Konoha suffered heavy casualties during the failed invasion by [[Sunagakure]], Shikamaru was forced to limit the members of his team to genin. He immediately recruited [[Naruto]] and [[Chōji]], and then added [[Neji]] and [[Kiba]] to the team. Upon setting out, Shikamaru formulated a plan on how to approach Sasuke's escorts, the [[Sound Four]]. Their presence was detected, and they were trapped by [[Jirōbō]]. However, Shikamaru was able to find a way to escape. He was ultimately forced to leave Chōji behind to fight Jirōbō, but had no concerns that Chōji would lose, and marked the team's path so that Chōji could follow them.
 
Because of his performance during the Chūnin Exam finals, Shikamaru was promoted to the rank of chūnin. Shikamaru was given his first assignment of forming and leading the [[Sasuke Retrieval Team]] to stop Sasuke from defecting from the village. Because Konoha suffered heavy casualties during the failed invasion by [[Sunagakure]], Shikamaru was forced to limit the members of his team to genin. He immediately recruited [[Naruto]] and [[Chōji]], and then added [[Neji]] and [[Kiba]] to the team. Upon setting out, Shikamaru formulated a plan on how to approach Sasuke's escorts, the [[Sound Four]]. Their presence was detected, and they were trapped by [[Jirōbō]]. However, Shikamaru was able to find a way to escape. He was ultimately forced to leave Chōji behind to fight Jirōbō, but had no concerns that Chōji would lose, and marked the team's path so that Chōji could follow them.
   
The team continued to break apart, one member of the Retrieval Team engaging one member of the Sound Four. To give Naruto a chance to go after Sasuke, Shikamaru fought [[Tayuya]]. Tayuya summoned [[Doki|three demons]], that she controlled with her flute and easily gained the upperhand against Shikamaru. Counting his remaining weapons, Shikamaru devised an elaborate plan. He threw eight kunai at Tayuya to see what finger movements she would use to protect herself with. Being unable to read her music he eventually took control of the three with his shadow, telling her how he found shogi fun because he can take over his opponent's pieces. Shikamaru then attacked with the three demons prompting Tayuya to remove the demons but she was still caught by his shadow. By activating the second stage of her [[Sound Four's Cursed Seals#Tayuya|cursed seal]], Tayuya was able to resist Shikamaru's shadow.
+
The team continued to break apart, one member of the Retrieval Team engaging one member of the Sound Four. To give Naruto a chance to go after Sasuke, Shikamaru fought [[Tayuya]]. Tayuya summoned [[Doki|three demons]], that she controlled with her flute and easily gained the upperhand against Shikamaru. Counting his remaining weapons, Shikamaru devised an elaborate plan. He threw eight kunai at Tayuya to see what finger movements she would use to protect herself with. Being unable to read her music he eventually took control of the three with his shadow, telling her how he found shogi fun because he could take over his opponent's pieces. Shikamaru then attacked with the three demons prompting Tayuya to remove the demons but she was still caught by his shadow. By activating the second stage of her [[Sound Four's Cursed Seals#Tayuya|cursed seal]], Tayuya was able to resist Shikamaru's shadow.
   
 
[[File:Shikamaru Tayuya.jpg|thumb|Shikamaru struggling with Tayuya.]]
 
[[File:Shikamaru Tayuya.jpg|thumb|Shikamaru struggling with Tayuya.]]
 
Picking up a [[kunai]] that had missed her earlier she tried to slit his throat but was suddenly punched in the gut and caught by his shadow again, revealing that he only pretended to fall prey to her [[Demon Flute: Phantom Sound Chains|genjutsu]], as he had used his shadow to break his finger to escape it. Shikamaru then explained about his plan and how he missed with that kunai on purpose to get her close while he then prepared his [[Shadow Neck Bind Technique]]. As he was about to run out of chakra, he was saved by Temari. After Shikamaru gave her a tactical update she blew away her sound based [[genjutsu]] with her wind and then used a [[Kamatari|summon]] to finish her off.
 
Picking up a [[kunai]] that had missed her earlier she tried to slit his throat but was suddenly punched in the gut and caught by his shadow again, revealing that he only pretended to fall prey to her [[Demon Flute: Phantom Sound Chains|genjutsu]], as he had used his shadow to break his finger to escape it. Shikamaru then explained about his plan and how he missed with that kunai on purpose to get her close while he then prepared his [[Shadow Neck Bind Technique]]. As he was about to run out of chakra, he was saved by Temari. After Shikamaru gave her a tactical update she blew away her sound based [[genjutsu]] with her wind and then used a [[Kamatari|summon]] to finish her off.
   
Temari accompanied him back to [[Konoha]], where they learned that Sasuke has escaped, and that everyone on the team suffered injuries despite being helped by Temari's two siblings, [[Gaara]] and [[Kankurō]]. Shikamaru's initial reaction to the failed mission was to quit being a ninja altogether, but his father scolded him for being such a coward, explaining that his friends would then only be led by some other ninja. If they were to die under that ninja's command, Shikamaru would feel worse for not having been there to try and save them. When he was informed that everyone on the team would make a full recovery, Shikamaru cried out of joy and relief, and resolved to do better next time.
+
Temari accompanied him back to [[Konoha]], where they learned that Sasuke had escaped, and that everyone on the team suffered injuries despite being helped by Temari's two siblings, [[Gaara]] and [[Kankurō]]. Shikamaru's initial reaction to the failed mission was to quit being a ninja altogether, but his father scolded him for being such a coward, explaining that his friends would then only be led by some other ninja. If they were to die under that ninja's command, Shikamaru would feel worse for not having been there to try and save them. When he was informed that everyone on the team would make a full recovery, Shikamaru cried out of joy and relief, and resolved to do better next time.
   
 
He later saw the Suna Siblings off and, in the anime, was appointed as an Academy instructor.
 
He later saw the Suna Siblings off and, in the anime, was appointed as an Academy instructor.

Revision as of 04:19, August 7, 2010

editShikamaru Nara Camera font awesome Browse icon[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Shikamaru Part I

Shikamaru Nara

Shikamaru Part III

奈良シカマル Nara Shikamaru
Debut
Manga Volume #4, Naruto Chapter #34
Anime Naruto Episode #1
Novel Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
Movie Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Game Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō
OVA Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie
Voice Actors
Japanese
English
Personal
Birthdate Astrological Sign Virgo September 22
Sex Gender Male Male
Age
  • Part I: 12–13
  • Part II: 15–17
Height
  • Part I: 150.8 cm
    1.508 m
    4.948 ft
    59.37 in
    152.1 cm
    1.521 m
    4.99 ft
    59.882 in
  • Part II: 170 cm
    1.7 m
    5.577 ft
    66.929 in
  • Blank Period: 176 cm
    1.76 m
    5.774 ft
    69.291 in
Weight
  • Part I: 42 kg
    92.594 lb
    42.9 kg
    94.578 lb
  • Part II: 53.4 kg
    117.727 lb
Blood type AB
Occupation
  • Head of the Nara Clan
Affiliation
Team
Clan
Rank
Ninja Rank
Ninja Registration 012611
Academy Grad. Age 12
Chūnin Prom. Age 12
Family
Nature Type
Jutsu

Tools

Shikamaru Nara (奈良シカマル, Nara Shikamaru) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. He is a chūnin-level shinobi of Konohagakure, and is a member of the Nara clan, as well as a member of the chūnin team, Team Asuma, which was formerly led by Asuma Sarutobi. Along with his team-mates, Chōji Akimichi and Ino Yamanaka, he is a member of the new generation of Ino-Shika-Chō, just like their fathers before them.

Background

File:Shikamaru24.jpg

Shikamaru has a long-standing friendship with Chōji Akimichi. They met even before joining the Ninja Academy. When others ridiculed Chōji for his weight, Shikamaru instead chose to recognize his strength and worth as a person. Because of the kindness Shikamaru has always shown him, Chōji is unquestioningly loyal to him, and will gladly give his life for Shikamaru.

Once they entered the Academy, Shikamaru and Chōji were, among their classes' dead-lasts, along with Kiba Inuzuka and Naruto Uzumaki, spending their day pursuing more interesting pastimes. In Shikamaru's case, he would spend all day sleeping; to Shikamaru, even the very effort of putting pen-to-paper was just too much effort for him to put into it unless he had to. Iruka Umino, their instructor, would give them all the same condemnation.

Personality

As a genin, Shikamaru Nara was the sort of unenthusiastic kid who liked to watch clouds. He preferred not to get involved in "troublesome" activities, pretending to be busy to avoid responsibility. He is fully aware of this side of his personality. He even named himself "the number one at running away" or "the number one coward". In fact, his most commonly used phrase is "how troublesome" in the Japanese version, and "what a drag" in the English version.

However, when duty calls, Shikamaru has a strong moral compass and sense of commitment to his comrades. Even though, by his own testimony, he lacks bravery, he will sacrifice himself and face almost certain death, for the sake of his friends and/or villagers without a second thought. Because of his raw leadership skill, he was the first genin from the Rookie Nine to become a chūnin. The weight of the decisions he must make as a chūnin and, thus, team leader have caused Shikamaru to mature rapidly. This was most evident after the death of Asuma. He vowed to protect and later mentor Asuma's unborn child, so that he could grow up to be a "cool adult" like Asuma. Shikamaru's sense of duty and commitment to the future of his village is also reflected in his willingness to enforce Konoha 11's recent decision to stop Sasuke at all costs, even in the face of potential objections on behalf of the original members of Team 7.

Shikamaru loves to play thinking games that older men are usually into, such as shogi and go (His teacher, Asuma, even said at one point "That kid is like an old man. He likes to take things slowly"). He is a brilliant strategist. The Hokage often seeks his advice on defense strategies.[8] Although his former sensei, Asuma Sarutobi, often played against Shikamaru, Asuma had never actually managed to beat him. Asuma became suspicious upon realizing that Shikamaru was so good at board games, despite his abysmal grades. As a result, Asuma administered an IQ test disguised as a game to Shikamaru, which revealed that Shikamaru was beyond a genius, with an IQ of over 200. Sakura once states Shikamaru as being the smartest person in the Land of Fire.[9] During the Chūnin Exams, even the daimyo was impressed by his intelligence and offered him a position as his personal guard.

Shikamaru's most distinctive character trait is that he considers most women bossy and "troublesome", particularly Temari, his mother, and Ino. He usually defines them as aggressive, demanding, and sometimes even scary. Given his mother's tyrannical personality, this isn't too surprising. However, his father shares the exact same attitude, even though he married Yoshino in the first place. When Shikamaru questioned his father about why he would marry such a domineering woman, his father responded that even the toughest woman will show her gentle side to the man she loves.[10] Nevertheless, Shikamaru is generally courteous to women, doing them favors and avoiding fights with them. He feels that men, like him, should be the ones protecting them and not the other way around. Despite the latter point, he exclusively fought against women during Part I of the manga, albeit because of circumstances that were mostly out of his control.

He has expressed a notably mature interest in marriage and raising a family. He hopes to "marry a regular girl who isn't too ugly and not too pretty. Have two children, first a girl, then a boy. Retire after my daughter is married and my son becomes a successful ninja, and spend the rest of my life playing shogi or go. Then die of old age before my wife."[11]

Shikamaru has also shown a little devious side. When he gets food for Chōji while he's in the hospital during the Chūnin Exams, the nurse tells him that Chōji has indigestion and that he can't have food. So, Shikamaru goes to Naruto's room to give him the food. When Naruto tells Shikamaru he wants to eat it in front of Chōji to annoy him Shikamaru states "evil... I like it."

Appearance

To further emphasize his personality, Shikamaru is regularly seen with a lazy or irritated expression. He has fairly long jet black hair tied in a spiky ponytail, narrow brown eyes, and wears ring earrings. During Part I, his attire was rather plain, wearing a fishnet undershirt and a short jacket with his forehead protector worn around his left arm and gray pants. During Part II, he has grown noticeably taller. He has also undergone a costume change, sporting a different undershirt and pants, and changing his earrings from rings to studs, though the placement of his headband is the same place. Since Part II, Shikamaru has been equipped with a chūnin's tantō, which he used to try and decapitate Hidan with in the 'Hidan and Kakuzu' arc. Shikamaru first started wearing a flak jacket when he became a chūnin. In Part II, his flak jacket becomes darker.

Abilities

File:Shikamaru Thinking.JPG

Shikamaru does not like fighting, deeming it, as he does most things, "troublesome". His intelligence lends him some help in this regard, such that he is fairly successful at avoiding injuries when he is unable to avoid a battle. Shikamaru's intelligence has earned praise from a number of characters, including the highly experienced Kakashi and Kakuzu. Even the Third Hokage found his abilities to be amazing. By putting his fingers together to create a circle and closing his eyes so he can concentrate, he can quickly think ten moves ahead of his opponent with over a hundred strategies ready to be used, but his real skill is choosing the best one. When he does this, he considers everything that has taken place in the battle up to that point, even discerning how an opponent's techniques work. His teacher, Asuma Sarutobi said that he has the ability to become a Hokage, but he also said that he will be too lazy to want to be Hokage.

In the anime, Shikamaru is revealed to have been offered a position as one of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, though he refused it (despite Asuma's effort of convincing him to take it as a means to widen his perspective) in order to better protect Konohagakure.

Shadow Techniques

File:Shadow Imitation Technique.JPG

Shikamaru's primary supporting move is the Shadow Imitation Technique. Later, he learned the Shadow Neck Bind Technique, which allows him to physically harm his opponent by means of a shadow hand. After the timeskip, Shikamaru also learned the Shadow Sewing Technique. This gives him more of an offensive techniques, as his shadow can now act almost as tentacles, leaping and twisting out of the air to attack multiple targets. He also shows the ability to simultaneously use all of his techniques in astonishing co-ordination.

Shikamaru also inherited Asuma's trench knives after his teacher was killed. He learned to add his shadow to the knives, and created the Shadow Imitation Shuriken Technique. This allows him to "pin" his shadow on an opponent, without the need of the Shadow Imitation Technique, giving him far greater range, flexibility, and the ability to move. When Shikamaru finally had Hidan cornered, he demonstrated the Shadow Endgame Technique. This technique is essentially a shadow summoning, where various tentacles quickly surround an opponent. The second part allows the user to split apart the tentacles, grabbing multiple objects to bind to the trapped victim. This is very effective when used in conjunction with exploding tags, or perhaps other weapons.

Stats

Databook Ninjutsu Taijutsu Genjutsu Intelligence Strength Speed Stamina Hand seals Total
First 2.5 1.5 2.5 5 1.5 2 1.5 2.5 19
Second 3 1.5 3 5 2 2.5 2 2.5 21.5
Third 3.5 2 3 5 2 2.5 3 3 24

Part I

Chūnin Exam Arc

File:Suzu Senbon.jpg

During the second phase of the Chūnin Exams, Team 10 stumbled across Sakura being attacked by some Oto genin. Although he said he didn't want to get involved, Shikamaru dragged Chōji along once Ino joined the fray. The team then initiated the Ino-Shika-Chō battle formation, Shikamaru immobilizing Dosu Kinuta. Soon after, Sasuke Uchiha awakened, his newly received Cursed Seal activated. As Sasuke prepared to attack the Oto genin, Shikamaru told Ino and Chōji to join him in abandoning their roles in the battle as Sasuke's onslaught ensued.

In his preliminary battle, Shikamaru fought against Kin. He defeated Kin by sneaking his shadow under the thin strings she was using to control her bells; she did not notice that a string that thin and that far from the floor could even make a shadow. Shikamaru then took a shuriken from his pouch, with Kin, caught in his Shadow Imitation Technique, doing the same thing. Because of Kin's increased proximity to the wall of the arena, she knocked herself unconscious as Shikamaru ducked under her projectile.

One day before the final round Chōji over heard Guy and Naruto talking about the "Fourth Hokage's legacy". Chōji then told Shikamaru and Ino about this. Later Naruto and Sakura met with Team 10 at the entrance. They ended up teaming up with Sakura and Naruto to find the "Fourth Hokage's Legacy". Through out their adventure Shikamaru showed his intellect solving multiple puzzles and ending up saving the other four multiple times. In the end he decided to give the "Fourth Hokage's Legacy" to Naruto realizing that as long that someone from the Leaf Village gets it it will be ok. However, they realized that this whole mission was made up by Guy and, partially, by Kakashi as a sort of extra special training.

In the final round, Shikamaru was matched against Temari, where it initially seemed as if he was just pointlessly attempting strategy after strategy. Temari assumed that he was simply buying time for the sun to set, furthering the range of his shadow. He was in fact manipulating her into a position in front of the exit to a tunnel which was dug out by Naruto during an earlier match, where he could guarantee that she was caught by his shadow from behind. However, after Temari was actually caught in his shadow imitation, he then simply forfeited the match, claiming to have spent too much chakra to proceed with any additional matches. Moreover, he said he did not like to hurt or hit women. Despite having forfeited, Shikamaru's brilliant strategy impressed everyone, including the Hokage.

Invasion of Konoha Arc

When the invasion of Konoha began, Shikamaru was able to dispel the genjutsu that swept through the stadium, though he pretended to be asleep to avoid taking part in the battle. Sakura noticed this and forced him to help in pursuing Sasuke. As they pursued Sasuke, they discovered that eight Oto ninja were following them, and Shikamaru chose to stay behind so he could stall them while the others continued to follow Sasuke. Using a clever strategy, he was able to trap all eight with his shadow. However, a ninth Oto ninja hid in the trees, protecting the captured eight against Shikamaru's attacks. Despite correctly predicting the presence of the ninth ninja, he could not fight off the Oto ninja, after being drained from his earlier match against Temari. Asuma arrived in time to save him, and defeated all nine Oto ninja single-handedly.

Sasuke Retrieval Arc

File:-Sound vs. Leaf-.JPG

Because of his performance during the Chūnin Exam finals, Shikamaru was promoted to the rank of chūnin. Shikamaru was given his first assignment of forming and leading the Sasuke Retrieval Team to stop Sasuke from defecting from the village. Because Konoha suffered heavy casualties during the failed invasion by Sunagakure, Shikamaru was forced to limit the members of his team to genin. He immediately recruited Naruto and Chōji, and then added Neji and Kiba to the team. Upon setting out, Shikamaru formulated a plan on how to approach Sasuke's escorts, the Sound Four. Their presence was detected, and they were trapped by Jirōbō. However, Shikamaru was able to find a way to escape. He was ultimately forced to leave Chōji behind to fight Jirōbō, but had no concerns that Chōji would lose, and marked the team's path so that Chōji could follow them.

The team continued to break apart, one member of the Retrieval Team engaging one member of the Sound Four. To give Naruto a chance to go after Sasuke, Shikamaru fought Tayuya. Tayuya summoned three demons, that she controlled with her flute and easily gained the upperhand against Shikamaru. Counting his remaining weapons, Shikamaru devised an elaborate plan. He threw eight kunai at Tayuya to see what finger movements she would use to protect herself with. Being unable to read her music he eventually took control of the three with his shadow, telling her how he found shogi fun because he could take over his opponent's pieces. Shikamaru then attacked with the three demons prompting Tayuya to remove the demons but she was still caught by his shadow. By activating the second stage of her cursed seal, Tayuya was able to resist Shikamaru's shadow.

File:Shikamaru Tayuya.jpg

Picking up a kunai that had missed her earlier she tried to slit his throat but was suddenly punched in the gut and caught by his shadow again, revealing that he only pretended to fall prey to her genjutsu, as he had used his shadow to break his finger to escape it. Shikamaru then explained about his plan and how he missed with that kunai on purpose to get her close while he then prepared his Shadow Neck Bind Technique. As he was about to run out of chakra, he was saved by Temari. After Shikamaru gave her a tactical update she blew away her sound based genjutsu with her wind and then used a summon to finish her off.

Temari accompanied him back to Konoha, where they learned that Sasuke had escaped, and that everyone on the team suffered injuries despite being helped by Temari's two siblings, Gaara and Kankurō. Shikamaru's initial reaction to the failed mission was to quit being a ninja altogether, but his father scolded him for being such a coward, explaining that his friends would then only be led by some other ninja. If they were to die under that ninja's command, Shikamaru would feel worse for not having been there to try and save them. When he was informed that everyone on the team would make a full recovery, Shikamaru cried out of joy and relief, and resolved to do better next time.

He later saw the Suna Siblings off and, in the anime, was appointed as an Academy instructor.

Pre-Shippūden filler arcs

Shikamaru did not make as many appearances as his team-mates during the anime's arcs, being preoccupied with his Academy duties. He assisted with missions around the village, but did not play a major role until the Trap Master Arc. Shikamaru was assigned to lead the other primary genin in the investigation of a man named Gennō. Gennō had stolen blueprints that could be used to plan a potentially devastating attack during Konoha's period of reconstruction. Shikamaru proved to be a shrewd detective, quickly catching onto seemingly minor clues and predicting the enemy's plans. He also proved more comfortable in his role as leader, though not without complaining to Tsunade first about having to do anything at all. In the end, he led his team to victory and beat Gennō at his own game, leading to the old man's death.

He appeared with Chōji and Ino when they helped Naruto to pursue Mizuki and dealt with the Legendary Stupid Brothers. They performed their version of the Ino-Shika-Chō pattern to hold the brothers. They were able to stall them until Tsunade appeared and defeated the two brothers.

He appeared again when Gaara was challenged by the Four Celestial Symbols Men, a group of ninja wielding strange and powerful weapons. When they kidnapped one of Gaara's students, Shikamaru led the Konoha 11 (minus Tenten) to provide assistance, and repay their debt from the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. Along with Ino, Shikamaru rescued Temari from Kujaku, another wind-user. After the mission, he sees the Sand Siblings depart from Konoha, including Matsuri, pondering, "another Naruto-fan, huh."

Part II

File:Shikamaru Nara Part 2.png

Two and a half years later, at the start of Part II, Naruto ran into Shikamaru and Temari soon after returning to the village. Naruto believed Shikamaru and Temari were a couple, although both denied this, explaining that they were working on planning for the next Chūnin Exam. This later prevented him from helping with Naruto's first attempt to look for Sasuke, but he was able to help during Naruto's brief scuffle with Sai.

Twelve Guardian Ninja Arc

In the anime, when Konoha was invaded by Furido and his team, Tsunade put Shikamaru in charge of Konoha's defense. He grew frustrated that his friends were fighting on the ground while he was on the back lines. Shikamaru stated that a strategist must lead his troops from the front line, and not be afraid to take risks. After getting Ino, Shikamaru led the counter-attack against the undead, ordering an attack plan which drove the enemy back. Later, Shikamaru used his Shadow Imitation Technique to bind Sora.

Hidan and Kakuzu Arc

Shikamaru was revealed to be a member of the Nijū Shōtai, where he was teamed up with Asuma, Izumo Kamizuki, and Kotetsu Hagane in an effort to track down and eliminate any and all members of Akatsuki. Eventually, the team found one such member: Hidan, and, as Shikamaru restrained Hidan with his Shadow Imitation Technique, the rest of the team were able to co-ordinate a finishing attack on Hidan. When it was revealed that had done little to stop Hidan, Hidan's partner, Kakuzu, appeared, forcing Shikamaru to release Hidan.

As Asuma battled Hidan, Hidan began a ritual that caused all damage done to himself to be inflicted on Asuma as well. Because of Hidan's apparent immortality, Hidan was able to use this to his advantage, giving himself injuries to easily harm Asuma while not being affected by the debilitating blows himself. To help Asuma, Shikamaru captured Hidan with his shadow once again, and adopted his meditative analysis of all of Hidan's actions and words up to that point. He quickly realized that the "link", created when Hidan consumed Asuma's blood, could only be maintained by Hidan remaining within the blood seal that he had earlier drawn on the ground, so Shikamaru pulled him out of it. With damage done to Hidan no longer harming Asuma, Shikamaru tied Hidan down with his Shadow Sewing Technique, allowing Asuma to decapitate the Akatsuki member.

However, even this was not sufficient enough to kill Hidan. After Kakuzu reattached his partner's head, he joined the fight and pinned down Izumo and Kotetsu, while Hidan managed to bind Asuma to his curse jutsu again by stepping back into the blood seal. Shikamaru rushed to the aid of his sensei just as Hidan impaled himself with his pike, delivering the final blow to Asuma. Chōji and Ino arrived as back-up, and Hidan and Kakuzu were driven off. Ino tried to heal Asuma, but there was nothing she could do, and the students were only able to listen to Asuma's final words. To Shikamaru, Asuma said that he had great potential, perhaps enough to one day become Hokage. After Asuma died, Shikamaru began smoking his last cigarette, blaming its smoke for his tears.

File:Shikamaru by Asuma's grave.jpg

Shikamaru did not attend Asuma's funeral, instead coming up with a plan to defeat the Akatsuki duo. This was drawn out considerably in the anime, where his father made an attempt to comfort him with a game of Shogi, though Shikamaru could only blame himself and was too invested in revenge. When he finished his preparations, he set out with Ino and Chōji. They were stopped by Tsunade, who insisted that they stick to the usual four-man team. Kakashi appeared, and volunteered to help, so Shikamaru quickly modified the plan to accommodate for his presence.

Upon finding Hidan and Kakuzu, Shikamaru used Asuma's trench knives, swelling with his shadow, to restrain the Akatsuki members by pinning their shadows. With the two unable to fight back, Shikamaru prepared to trap the two with his Shadow Imitation Technique to allow him more of an advantage, though Kakuzu was able to escape before Shikamaru could ensnare him. With Hidan under his control, Shikamaru used Hidan to attack Kakuzu, forcing him into a corner where Kakashi attacked him with his Lightning Cutter. This destroyed only one of Kakuzu's four extra hearts, and, surprised by this turn of events, Kakashi and Team 10 regrouped. After being left on the defensive for a while, Shikamaru concluded that they must separate Hidan and Kakuzu if they were to win. To this end, Shikamaru again caught Hidan with his shadow, and led him away.

Once far enough, he covered the area in exploding tags to corner the immortal. The time limit on his Shadow Imitation then ran out, so Hidan was able to attack him, get some blood, and initiate his ritual. Hidan quickly stabbed himself in the heart, causing an apparently dead Shikamaru to keel over. Shikamaru was, however, alive and well; the blood had been Kakuzu's, Kakashi having taken a sample when he earlier used Lightning Cutter. In effect, Hidan stabbed Kakuzu in the heart. With Hidan oblivious, Shikamaru tried to decapitate him with a short sword. The cut was too shallow to sever the immortal's head, prompting Shikamaru to capture him in a Shadow Imitation instead - albeit a much weaker one at this point, with his chakra running low.

As Hidan tried to attack Shikamaru, Shikamaru used his Shadow Endgame Technique to cover Hidan with the exploding tags in the area. With Hidan tied in place, Shikamaru activated a mark he had prepared before the battle, causing the ground beneath Hidan to collapse into a pit. Shikamaru explained that the surrounding forest was the property of the Nara clan; only they were allowed to enter or leave the forest, thus ensuring that Hidan's remains would never be found. After lighting a cigarette, in anime, Asuma's lighter, Shikamaru flicked it at Hidan, setting off all of the exploding tags at once.[12] Hidan's remains fell into the pit and, as he swore vengeance against Shikamaru, Shikamaru forced a cave-in. The battle won, he regrouped with his team, Kakuzu having also been defeated, and returned home. When he got back, Shikamaru stated to Kurenai that it is now his ambition to protect and train the next generation of ninja.

Invasion of Pain Arc

File:Shikamaru-Decoding.png

Shikamaru was left in charge of deciphering Jiraiya's dying message about Pain. When informed by Shiho that the Konoha Cryptology Squad couldn't break the code without some sort of key, Shikamaru approached Naruto for help. Using his own experiences with Asuma's death, he helped him to get over Jiraiya's death, pointing out that they would someday both have students, and would go to great lengths to protect them, just like Asuma and Jiraiya. Revitalized, Naruto helped to decipher the message as "The real one is not among them." Shikamaru was then left with to try and figure out what this meant, but was interrupted by Pain's invasion of Konoha.

In the anime, Shikamaru immediately went to check on Kurenai's condition and ended up protecting her from a Giant Centipede. After killing the summon, with his shadow and explosive tags, he helped Kurenai to the underground passage to evacuate.[13] After the village's destruction, Shikamaru and his father were shown to have survived. He received a broken leg when he used his body to shield Shiho from harm.[14] They regrouped with Ino and her father, and pooled their knowledge of Pain to try and figure out his secret. They discovered that Pain had a main body that must be nearby, so Inoichi and Shikaku, went looking for it. Because his leg made it difficult to move, Shikamaru stayed behind, later joining in on the celebration of Naruto's defeat of Pain.

Five Kage Summit Arc

Shikamaru went to find Team 7 after his team, Team 8, and Team Guy, have decided that Sasuke must be handled by Konoha to avoid a war with Kumogakure. He asked for Sakura's permission, but told her they'll do it either way and if Ino, Naruto, or her were hurt or killed they would want revenge continuing a cycle of violence that will never be broken. Neji explained not to make the same mistake he did as a chūnin before. He asked to speak to Naruto, but is told he's in the Land of Iron. Sakura told him that she will be the one to speak with Naruto. Along with the rest of the Konoha 11, Shikamaru is prepared to kill Sasuke.

Confining the Jinchūriki Arc

Shikamaru is seen with the rest of the Konoha 11 and is skeptical about Naruto's decision on dealing with Sasuke. Shikamaru is present with his father during the meeting the village held as they prepared for war.

Movies

Legend of Stone of Gelel

Shikamaru was part of a team with Sakura and Naruto, all of them being sent to retrieve a lost pet ferret and take it to a village where its owners could pick it up. Arriving to find the village in ruins, they then engaged the knight Temujin and his allies, who wielded the powers of the Stone of Gelel. Shikamaru and Sakura were separated from Naruto during the fight, but rejoined him after further engagements with the enemy forces. Shikamaru deduced a number of facts regarding the Stones of Gelel, before becoming involved in the final battle to prevent their falling into the wrong hands. He fought Kamina, who could transform into a large bat-like creature, by crafting a web of exploding tags and pieces of paper made to look like exploding tags to entrap her, allowing Kankurō to finish her off with his puppets. He also saved many people from Haido's castle, and appeared in the bonus ending credits.

Naruto: Shippūden the Movie

After the legendary demon Mōryō escaped its imprisonment, Shikamaru became one of the ninja to hold off the demon's army from attacking the world. At the end of the movie, he was one of the ninja holding back the stone army from interfering with Naruto's battle against Mōryō.

Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds

When the Sky Ninja attacked Konoha, Shikamaru fought to the best of his abilities to stop them. Later, he was teamed with Kakashi, Shino, and Sai to destroy the enemy's ship fleet. Using what he already learned from the enemies' attack patterns, he was able to deduce the enemies' location. There, he worked out a plan with Kakashi to take down the fleet. At the end of the movie, he watched with mild interest as the enemies' mother ship crashed into the ocean.

Naruto Shippūden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire

Shikamaru was visiting Asuma's grave remembering Asuma's last words. After his visit, he came across Kakashi and asked him if he has also someone to visit. Kakashi then said something to Shikamaru. When Kakashi was controlled by Hiruko and was leaving the village, he stopped Naruto who was trying to chase after Kakashi. When Tsunade told the teams to spread the news of Kakashi and Konoha parting ways, Shikamaru was called by Tsunade to stay. He then told Tsunade about Kakashi sacrificing for the village was the main reason for him to leave the village, which Tsunade responded by saying he was as sharp as always. When Naruto and Sakura was trying to go after Kakashi, he led the team who would bring the two of them back to Konoha. When he was almost to reach Naruto, San released his explosive feathers and Sai came to help Naruto and Sakura. Shikamaru, along with Chōji and Ino, almost defeated San when he summoned Ichi and Ni to do the Chimera Technique. Shortly after, the rest of the team came and restrained the beast, allowing Shikamaru to chase after Naruto. After having a brief conversation with Gaara, he was able to chase Naruto. He tried to stop Naruto and threatened to kill him just to protect the children of Konoha, who are the hope of the future. After Naruto explained his side, Shikamaru saw Asuma in him and eventually allowed Naruto to go after Kakashi, because that is his Will of Fire.

Creation and conception

The trio of "Ino-Shika-Chō" is a hand that can be played in the card game Hanafuda, "ino" means "boar," "shika" is "deer" (Shikamaru's family raises deer, and his last name, Nara, is the name of a city in Japan that is famous for its group of free-roaming deer), and "chō" is "butterfly."

Masashi Kishimoto commented during an interview that he likes Shikamaru because he is "dry," so he does not show off his ability. In the 2008 databook, Kishimoto also said if he were a girl, out of all the male characters, he would date Shikamaru.

Trivia

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  • In the omake at the end of Shippūden episode 75, Shikamaru told Asuma that Naruto: Shippūden would now be called Shikamaru: Shippūden after rejecting his idea of renaming it Asuma: Shippūden. The logo appeared with the title, and two silhouettes appeared facing each other: that of Shikamaru and the other one of Temari.
  • Shikamaru is a playable character in the Naruto Clash of Ninja video games. He appears in 5 out of the 7 games, he made a cameo in Naruto: Shippūden The Movie.
  • Shikamaru ranked as high as the 4th most popular character in Naruto, according to the third Naruto character popularity poll. He ranked 5th in the next poll. He was 10th in the sixth and last poll.
  • Other than Naruto, Shikamaru is the only one of the Konoha 11 who did not move up in rank during the timeskip, though he was already a chūnin before the time skip.
  • After Asuma's death, Shikamaru temporarily took up Asuma's habit of smoking. The cigarettes were removed from the English manga and the anime, the smoke instead being shown to come from Asuma's lighter.
  • In the Naruto Databook:
    • Shikamaru's hobbies are taking naps and playing shogi against formidable opponents.
    • Shikamaru desires to fight no one, and always tries to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.
    • Shikamaru's favourite foods are mackerel and kelp, his least favorite are boiled eggs.
    • Shikamaru has completed 39 official missions in total: 8 D-rank, 3 C-rank, 9 B-rank, 19 A-rank, 0 S-rank.
    • Shikamaru's most used phrase is "How troublesome" (面倒くせい, mendōkusei, English TV: What a Drag).
  • During Part I, Shikamaru seemed to be frequently matched up with female characters to fight. In the Chūnin Exams he fought Kin Tsuchi and Temari, in the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, he fought Tayuya, and in the Ultimate Weapon Arc, he fought Kujaku. In the second Naruto movie, he fought Kamina, as well. This could be a reference to Shikamaru's view on women.

Quotes

See also: What a drag and How troublesome

  • (To Ino) "What a drag ... I say a single thing against Sasuke, and I have to get that evil look from her eyes."
  • "Sometimes I wish I was just a cloud, floating along."
  • (About Sasuke) "I never really liked Sasuke, but all the same, he's a member of the Hidden Leaf village he's a comrade and I'll put my life on the line to help him, that's the way of our village; I know I usually seem like a pretty lazy guy but not today because now I'm responsible for your lives too."
  • (To Tayuya) "How many times do I have to tell you? The first move is always a feint."
  • "You would think just this once, when it was life or death, I could pull through."
  • (To himself) "Ughh. Great. What's the point in setting the alarm if I'm going to wake up before it goes off? What a total waste. Now I've gotta shut it off but I don't feel like moving. But if I don't shut it off it will just keep ringing and ringing. Sigh. It makes me tired just thinking about the whole thing. Some mornings are such a drag..."
  • (To Hidan) "See, you and I have different beliefs. I believe in the Will of Fire."
  • (To Hidan) "That pathetic Lord Jashin or whatever isn't your God anymore. I am. The only one bringing down vengeance is me."
  • (To Kurenai) "When you have that kid, I'll have to protect it. So I've gotta grow up to be a cool adult too!"
  • (About women, to his father) "C'mon. You know what they're like. You can never figure them out. You never know where you could stand with them. The smallest things could put you in their bad side. Always playing little mind games with you. Trying to make you do what they want. They're just a big pain basically."[15]
  • (About women, to his father) "If women made you a better person, I wouldn't want to know what were you like before."
  • (About Temari) "Subtle as a rhino...she might even be scarier than my mom.."
  • (To Naruto) "My master entrusted me with a lot, from big things to little things. Its the same for you an unlimited number of things, don't you think its about time for us, to be the ones who entrust not the entrusted, its a pain in the ass but I can't say that; Someday you'll be the one to treat others to ramen and you'll be called Master Naruto, we can't stay kids forever, like Asuma and Jiraiya I wanna be as cool as them."

References

  1. First Databook, pages 84-87
  2. Second Databook, pages 116-120
  3. Shō no Sho, page 8
  4. Third Databook, pages 122-126
  5. Fourth Databook, pages 131-132
  6. Retsu no Sho, page 29
  7. Zai no Sho, page 32
  8. Naruto: Shippūden Episode 66
  9. Naruto: Shippūden Episode 87
  10. Naruto chapter 182, page 09
  11. Naruto chapter 119, page 07
  12. Naruto chapter 338, pages 14-17
  13. Naruto: Shippūden Episode 158
  14. Naruto: Shippūden Episode 163
  15. Naruto Episode 98
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