Shikamaru Nara (奈良シカマル, Nara Shikamaru) is a shinobi of Konohagakure, current head of the Nara clan, son of Shikaku Nara, father of Shikadai Nara, husband of Temari Nara, and was a member of “Team 10” under the orders of Asuma Sarutobi. Shikamaru is an expert in Shadow Paralysis jutsus and a member of the sixteenth generation of the trio Ino-Shika-Chō, alongside Ino Yamanaka and Choji Akimichi. Shikaku Nara currently offices as Hokage’s Chief Aide and personal advisor.
When he was a genin, Shikamaru Nara was the kind of unenthusiastic child who liked to watch clouds. He preferred not to get involved in “troublesome” activities, pretending to be busy to avoid responsibility. He also doesn’t like to fight, considering that, like most things this is also “problematic”. He is fully aware of this side of his personality. He has even named himself “the number one coward”.
However, when duty calls, Shikamaru has a strong moral compass and sense of commitment to his teammates. Even if, by his own testimony, he lacks courage, 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 innate leadership skills, he was the first genin of the Nine Novices to become a chūnin. The weight of the decisions he must make as a chūnin and therefore leader of the team caused Shikamaru to mature quickly. This was most evident after Asuma’s death. He vowed to protect and later mentor Asuma’s daughter, so that the child can grow up to be a “cool adult” like Asuma. His sense of duty and commitment to the future of his village also made Shikamaru reflect on his decision to enforce the recent decision of the 11 of Konoha to stop Sasuke Uchiha at any cost, even in the face of possible objections on behalf of the original members of Team 7. He also decides to be Naruto’s assistant, due to the fact that he never wants Naruto to suffer from the same loneliness he suffered during his childhood again.
Chōji Akimichi is Shikamaru’s best friend. He respects and trusts him. He says that if he had to fight Chōji in the Chūnin Exam he would quit. After he leaves Chōji to fight Jirōbō alone, Shikamaku tells the rest of the team that Chōji is stronger than anyone else on this team.
Shikamaru likes to play thinking games, games that older men normally play, such as Shōgi and Go (his teacher, Asuma, even said at one point “This boy is like an old man. He likes to do things slowly.”).
Shikamaru’s most distinctive character trait is that he considers most women bossy and “troublesome,” especially Temari, his mother, and Ino. He generally defines them as aggressive, demanding, and sometimes even scary. Considering his mother’s tyrannical personality, this is not very surprising. His father also has the same attitude, despite his marriage to Yoshino. When Shikamaru questioned his father about why he married a domineering woman, Shikaku replied that even the most difficult woman will show her soft side to the man she loves. However, Shikamaru is generally courteous to women, doing them favors and avoiding fights with them. He feels that men, like him, should be his protectors and not the other way around. Despite this last point, he fought only women exclusively during Part I of the manga, though because of circumstances that were mostly beyond his control. His nihilistic view of women also extends to marriage, as seen in his dream in Infinite Tsukuyomi, where Shikamaru dreams of seeing his parents and various other couples, like his sensei, noting that marriage is very problematic for himself. Ironically, he later ends up marrying Temari (a woman with a similar personality to his mother), who gives birth to his son, Shikadai.
He expressed a mature and modest special interest in marriage and raising a family. He hopes “to marry a normal girl who is not too ugly and not too pretty. Have two children, first a girl, then a boy. Retire after my daughter marries and my son becomes a successful ninja, and spend the rest of my life playing Shōgi or Go. Then die of old age before my wife.”
Shikamaru also showed a bit of his devious side. When he goes to bring food to Chōji while in the hospital during the Chūnin Exam, the nurse says that Chōji has indigestion and that he cannot eat. So, Shikamaru goes to Naruto’s room to give him the food. When Naruto tells Shikamaru for them to eat in front of Chōji to irritate him, Shikamaru states, “That’s so wrong…I’m on board.”
To further emphasize his personality, Shikamaru is regularly seen with a lazy or annoyed expression. He has shoulder-length black hair tied in a spiky ponytail and narrow brown eyes. Initially, he wore a simple pair of silver hoop earrings given to him by his father as a way of conveying his will to him. Upon becoming a chūnin, these were replaced with a pair of earrings that were given to him – and the other members of Team 10 – by Asuma Sarutobi. During Part I, his costume was quite simple, consisting of a green knitted shirt lined under a short-sleeved gray jacket with green edges, adorned on both sleeves and the back with a circle with a line running through it, his forehead protector was worn with a blue cloth being worn on his left arm, brown pants and blue sandals. After his promotion to chūnin, he also started wearing a vest over his equipment.
|Shikamaru kid in Part. I||Shikamaru Chunin outfit in Part. I|
12-13 years old
12-13 years old
Nara Outfit and Chunin Jacket
|Size: 150.8-152.1 cm||Size: 150.8-152.1 cm|
|Weight: 42-42.9 kg||Weight: 42-42.9 kg|
During Part II, he became noticeably taller. His hairstyle remains the same, but he changed his earrings from rings to nails. He has also undergone a makeover, and among the members of the Konoha 11, he is the only one to sport an outfit more mirroring to the standard of the shinobi of Konohagakure: he keeps his vest, along with a black long-sleeved shirt matching his pants and sandals, he also wears a green mesh armor lined at his wrists and ankles. The position of his bandana is the same as before, but only the metal part is visible, apparently sewn into the shirt itself. He is also equipped with a tantō of chūnin that is tied horizontally to the back of his vest through a brown belt. During the second part of the Akatsuki Suppression Mission, he wore a utility belt around his waist with pouches attached to it.
In The Last: Naruto the Movie, which takes place two years after the Fourth Ninja World War, the appearance, excluding Shikamaru’s height and a more mature facial structure, has not changed much. His ponytail is longer and much spikier. He wears a simpler chest vest, with only one pocket on the left side of it. The vest is forest green in color and is accompanied by cropped shoulder pads and a high collar. He also wears higher sandals that further cover his calves.
Years later, Shikamaru’s appearance becomes very similar to his father, including a short goatee on his chin, but without the facial scars.
|Shikamaru in Part.2 Naruto Shippuden||Shikamaru in The Last: Naruto the Movie||Shikamaru in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations|
15-17 years old
19 years old
|32-33 years old|
|Size: 170 cm||Size: 176 cm||Size: 176 cm|
|Weight: 53.4 kg||n/a||n/a|
Shikamaru was born into the Nara clan and is the son of Shikaku and Yoshino. He has a long-standing friendship with Chōji Akimichi. They met even before he joined the Ninja Academy, when others would ridicule Chōji for being fat. Because of Shikamaru’s kindness always shown to him, Chōji is unwavering in his loyalty to him, and willingly give his life for Shikamaru.
Once he entered the Academy, Shikamaru and Chōji were among the rebellious students in their class, along with Kiba Inuzuka and Naruto Uzumaki, spending their day pursuing what they considered to be the most interesting hobbies. In Shikamaru’s case, he would spend the entire day sleeping, for Shikamaru, even much the effort of putting pen to paper was just too much effort for him to put into it unless he had to do it. Iruka Umino, his instructor, would give them all the punishment.
In the anime, Shikamaru, along with Chōji and Ino Yamanaka went looking for the kunai that Chōji lost. During their search, they encounter a mysterious boy named Yota. They soon discover that Yota has the ability to manipulate time, especially through his emotional state. Fearing how the village would respond to a stranger, considering how much turmoil it had with the other nations, Shikamaru and the others decided to hide Yota’s existence by giving him shelter in a tree house and regularly bringing him food.
Chūnin Exams arc
Team 10 is enrolled in the Chūnin Exams. Shikamaru realizes that he will have a hard time in these exams. In the first phase, Ino Yamanaka enters Sakura’s body to copy the answers of that exam and then pass them to her classmates: Shikamaru and Chōji, and then they finally pass to the second phase. During the second phase of the Chūnin Exam, Team 10 encountered Sakura being attacked by some genin of Oto. Although he said he didn’t want to get involved, Shikamaru was dragged along once when Chōji and Ino got into the fight. The team then began the Ino-Shika-Chō battle formation, where Shikamaru immobilized Dosu Kinuta. Soon after, Sasuke Uchiha awakened, activating his newly received juin. As Sasuke was prepared to attack the genin of Oto, Shikamaru told Ino and Chōji to retreat from the battlefield, where the three hid behind some bushes. At the end of the second exam, they move on to the preliminary battles.
In their preliminary battle, Shikamaru fought against Kin Tsuchi. He defeated Kin through her shadows hidden under the lines she used to control her bells, which she did not realize. Shikamaru then took a shuriken from his bag, and so did Kin, caught in the Shadow Imitation Technique. Because of Kin’s closer proximity to the arena wall, she hit her head on the wall, falling unconscious, while Shikamaru takes the victory of the fight.
The day before the final round Chōji overheard Naruto and Guy talking about the “legacy of the Fourth Hokage”. Chōji then told Shikamaru and Ino about it. Later, Naruto and Sakura met with Team 10 in the lobby. They eventually teamed up with Sakura and Naruto to find the “Legacy of the Fourth Hokage”. Through his adventures, Shikamaru showed his intellect by solving various puzzles and ending up saving others several times. In the end, he decided to give the “Legacy of the Fourth Hokage” to Naruto realizing that as long as someone from Konohagakure will be fine. However, they realized that this mission was all composed by Guy and partially by Kakashi as a kind of extra special training.
In the final round, Shikamaru was pitted against Temari, where it initially looked like he was just pointlessly creating strategy after strategy. Temari realized that he was just buying time until the sun went down, furthering the range of his shadow. He was actually manipulating her into a position in front of the exit of a tunnel that was dug by Naruto during a previous fight, where he could ensure that she would be caught by his shadow from behind. However, after Temari is actually caught in his shadow, Shikamaru decided to give up the match, guaranteeing victory for Temari, claiming to have spent too much chakra to pursue any additional matches. In addition, he said that he did not like to hurt or beat women. Despite losing, Shikamaru’s brilliant strategy impressed everyone, including the Hokage.
When the invasion into Konoha began, Shikamaru was able to dispel the genjutsu that swept through the stadium, although he pretended to be asleep to avoid taking part in the battle. Sakura realized this and forced him to help in the search for Sasuke. As they pursued Sasuke, they discovered that nine Otogakure ninjas were chasing them, and Shikamaru chose to stay behind so that he could lose them, while the others continued to follow Sasuke. Using a clever strategy, he was able to intercept eight with his shadow. However, the ninth ninja was hiding among the trees, protecting the captured eight from Shikamaru’s attacks. Despite discovering the ninth’s hiding place, he could not fight the last ninja of Oto, having lost too much chakra after his previous battle with Temari. Asuma arrived in time to save him, and defeated all nine ninja of Oto by himself.
Sasuke’s Recovery Mission
Because of his performance during the Chūnin Exam finals, Shikamaru was the genin promoted to the rank of chūnin. Shikamaru was given the mission to form and lead the rescue team to stop Sasuke and bring him back to Konoha. Because Konoha suffered heavy casualties during the failed invasion of Sunagakure, Shikamaru was forced to limit his team members to genin. He immediately recruited Naruto and Chōji, and then added Neji and Kiba to the team. After formation, Shikamaru formulated a plan on how to approach Sasuke’s escorts, the Sound Quartet. Their presence was detected, and they were trapped by Jirōbō. However, Shikamaru was able to find a way to escape. He was finally forced to leave Chōji behind to fight Jirōbō, but he did not have the concern that Chōji would lose, and marked the team’s path so that Chōji could follow them.
The team continued to split up, a member of Team Shikamaru to fight a member of the Sound Quartet. To give Naruto the chance to go after Sasuke, Shikamaru fought Tayuya. Tayuya summoned three demons, Doki, which she controlled with her flute and easily gained the upper hand against Shikamaru. Counting his remaining weapons, Shikamaru developed an elaborate plan. He threw eight kunai at Tayuya to watch the movement of her fingers as she played the flute to protect herself. Being unable to read her music, he finally took control of the three with his shadow, telling her how he found shogi fun because he could have control over his opponent’s pieces. Shikamaru then attacked Tayuya with the three demons leading her to remove the demons, but she was still trapped by her shadow. By activating the second stage of her curse seal, Tayuya was able to resist Shikamaru’s shadow.
Tayuya put Shikamaru in a very powerful genjutsu. Catching a kunai thrown earlier, Tayuya tried to slit Shikamaru’s throat, but suddenly took a punch to the stomach and was trapped by her shadow again, revealing that he had only pretended to be a victim of her genjutsu, as he had used his shadow to break his finger to escape her. Shikamaru then explained about his plan and how he missed the target of the kunai for the purpose of getting her close to him, while he was preparing his Shadow Strangulation Technique. Just as he was about to run out of chakra, he was saved by Temari. After Shikamaru told him about Tayuya’s abilities, Temari used his summoning to clear the entire forest and crush Tayuya under some trees.
Temari accompanied him back to Konoha, where they discovered that Sasuke had escaped, and that everyone on the team had suffered injuries, despite being helped by Temari’s brothers, Gaara and Kankurō. Shikamaru’s initial reaction to the mission was not to stop being a ninja altogether, but his father scolded him for being such a coward, explaining that his friends then being taken by some other ninja. If they were going to die at the command of which ninja, Shikamaru felt worse for not having been there to try to save them. When he was informed that everyone on the team was going to make a full recovery, Shikamaru cried with joy and relief, and resolved to do better next time.
In Naruto’s Footsteps: The Friends’ Paths
In the anime, about two years after Naruto left the village to train with Jiraiya, Tsunade contacted Gaara as the newly appointed Kazekage, asking him to gather in Konoha. When Gaara arrived with his brothers, Shikamaru was assigned to greet and lead them to the meeting. At the meeting, which Shikamaru joined, it was discussed for Konoha to host the start of the Chūnin Exams to help restore the village’s reputation after Orochimaru’s attack in the previous exams ruined the village. Hoping to gain the approval of other villages, Tsunade asked Sunagakure to co-sponsor this event. The sand brothers observed that Tsunade had a second intention in this idea. After Tsunade revealed her hopes of luring the Akatsuki with this event, Gaara agreed to the plan. After the nature of the impromptu exams were decided upon, Shikamaru helped the Sand Brothers as they left the village, with Temari once again teasing the former crying Shikamaru.
Later, as Team Asuma began discussing their joining of the exams, it was begun to be noted that Shikamaru already a chūnin and therefore unacceptable to participate, he left the rest of the team small. Ino came up with the idea of having Sakura fill in at the exams. Shikamaru would then be chosen as the supervisor and designer for the first phase of the exams. He had each team be separated and situated in different rooms. Once done, he explained that the first exam entailed that each team had to answer one of three questions with their combined score equal to 100, testing their teamwork. After examining the exams through monitors and time running out, he announced to everyone a bonus question asking teammates to sacrifice one of the team as a decoy and stating that the person chosen would be eliminated. This was a ploy by Shikamaru to test loyalty, since the correct answer was that no team member should be sacrificed, so those who didn’t answer the question passed. Later, he congratulated the participants who passed the first round, leaving the rest to Temari, who is in charge of the second round held in her hometown.
The exams are forced to be cancelled during the second round and the Kazekage consults Shikamaru on what to do. It is decided that the performance reports of all the remaining participants will be sent to their respective villages to decide who will be promoted to Chūnin. Shikamaru then helps Tsunade choose who to promote.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Two and a half years later, at the beginning of Naruto Shippūden, Naruto saw Shikamaru and Temari soon after returning to Konoha. Naruto initially thought that Shikamaru and Temari were a couple, though they both denied it, explaining that they were working on planning for the upcoming Chūnin Exam. This afternoon prevented him from helping with Naruto’s first attempt to search for Sasuke, but he was able to help during Naruto’s brief fight with Sai.
Twelve Ninja Guardians
In the anime, when Konoha was invaded by Furido and his team, Tsunade put Shikamaru in charge of Konoha’s defense. He was frustrated that his friends were fighting on the ground, while he was in the back line. Shikamaru stated that a strategist must take his troops from the front line, and not be afraid to take risks. After meeting Ino, Shikamaru led the counterattack against the undead, ordering a plan of attack that took out the enemy. Later, Shikamaru used his Shadow Imitation Technique to arrest Sora.
Akatsuki’s Suppression Mission
Shikamaru was revealed to be a member of the Twenty Squads, where he was joined with Asuma, Izumo Kamizuki, Kotetsu Hagane and in an effort to track down and eliminate any and all members of the Akatsuki. Eventually, the team found one of these members: Hidan, and, this was contained by Shikamaru’s shadow, leaving the rest of the team were able to coordinate a finishing attack on Hidan. When it was revealed that it had done little to stop Hidan, Hidan’s partner,Kakuzu, appeared, forcing Shikamaru to release Hidan.
Asuma fought with Hidan, and Hidan began a ritual that caused damage to himself and afflicted Asuma as well. Due to Hidan’s apparent immortality, Hidan was able to use this to his advantage, giving himself injuries by easily barely affecting Asuma with debilitating blows himself. To help Asuma, Shikamaru captured Hidan with his shadow, once again, and approved his meditative analysis of all of Hidan’s actions and words up to the point. He quickly realized that the “ritual”, created when Hidan consumed Asuma’s blood, could only be maintained by Hidan within the blood seal he had already drawn on the ground, so Shikamaru pulled Hidan out of the seal. With damage to Hidan not harming Asuma, Shikamaru tied Hidan up with his Shadow Stitching Technique, allowing Asuma to decapitate the Akatsuki member.
However, even this was not enough to defeat Hidan. After Kakuzu reattached his partner’s head, he joined the fight and fought with Izumo and Kotetsu, while Hidan managed to bind his curse with Asuma again, going back to the blood seal. Shikamaru rushed to his sensei’s aid, just as Hidan delivered a sharp blow to his body with his spear, delivering the final blow to Asuma. Chōji and Ino arrive to help them, and Hidan and Kakuzu are forced to flee. Ino tried to heal Asuma, but there was nothing she could do, and the students were only able to hear Asuma’s last words. To Shikamaru, Asuma said that he had great potential, perhaps enough to one day become Hokage. After Asuma died, Shikamaru began to smoke his last cigarette, blaming his smoke for his tears.
Shikamaru does not attend Asuma’s funeral, instead he makes a plan to defeat the Akatsuki duo. This was brought out considerably in the anime, where his father made an attempt to console him with a game of shogi, though Shikamaru could only blame himself and was very invested in revenge. When he finished his preparations, he set off with Ino and Chōji. They were stopped by Tsunade, who insisted that they be a team of four. Kakashi appeared, and offered to help, so Shikamaru quickly modified the plan to accommodate his presence.
Upon finding Hidan and Kakuzu, Shikamaru used Asuma’s knives, combined with his shadow, to contain the Akatsuki members by fixing their shadows. With the two unable to fight, Shikamaru prepared to pin them both down with his Shadow Imitation technique to leave him more of an advantage, though Kakuzu was able to escape before Shikamaru could trick him. With Hidan under his control, Shikamaru used him to attack Kakuzu, forcing Kakuzu into a corner where Kakashi attacked with his Lightning Cut. This destroyed only one of Kakuzu’s four hearts, and, surprised at the 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 trapped Hidan with his shadow, and led him away.
Once far enough away, he covered the area with explosive papers to the immortal corner. The time limit for his Shadow Imitation Technique then changed, so Hidan was able to attack him, taking some of Shikamaru’s blood and starting his ritual. Hidan quickly stabbed himself in the heart, causing Shikamaru to be apparently dead. Shikamaru, however, was alive and well, the blood that Hidan ingested was Kakuzu’s, which Kakashi had taken earlier when using Lightning Cut on that one. In effect, Hidan stabbed Kakuzu’s heart. As Hidan attempted to attack Shikamaru, Shikamaru used his Shadow Pull Technique to cover Hidan with the explosive tarjas in the area. With Hidan tied in place, Shikamaru activated a mark he had prepared for the battle, causing the ground under Hidan to collapse and make a hole. Hidan cursed at saying once he will be free, he would kill him, but Shikamaru explained that the forest was the property of the Nara clan, only members of the clan were allowed in or out of the forest, thus ensuring that Hidan will never be found while one of his clan’s deer is here, while Rikumaru watches. After lighting a cigarette, in the anime, for Asuma’s spirit, Shikamaru lit an explosive paper on Hidan, triggering all the other seals, exploding at once.
Hidan fell into the hole with his body limbs completely shattered and, he swears revenge against Shikamaru. The hole is closed by several stones. With the battle won, Shikamaru regroups with his team escorted by Rikumaru, Kakuzu having also been defeated by Naruto, and they returned home. Upon his return, Shikamaru declared to Kurenai that it is now his ambition to protect and train the next generation of ninja.
Shikamaru was tasked with deciphering the message left by Jiraiya, before his death, about Pain. When informed by Shiho that the Konoha Cryptogram Squad could not break the code without some sort of key, Shikamaru went to Naruto for help. Using his own experiences with Asuma’s death, he helped him get over Jiraiya’s death, pointing out that they would one day both students, and also go into big fights to protect them, just like Asuma and Jiraiya. Revitalized, Naruto helped decipher the code that revealed the message, “The real one is not among them.” Shikamaru set out to figure out what that meant, but was interrupted by Pain’s invasion of Konoha.
In the anime, Shikamaru immediately goes to check on Kurenai, arriving in time to kill the nearby Giant Centipede. He then helped Kurenai go through an underground passage to evacuate from the place of danger. After the destruction of the village, he and his father were shown to have survived, although Shikamaru broke the when he shielded Shiho from harm. They regrouped with Ino and her father, and gathered all their information about Pain to try to discover his secret. They found out that Pain had a main body that must be nearby, so Inoichi, Shikaku, and an ANBU went looking for him. Because his leg made it difficult to move, Shikamaru stayed behind, later joining in the celebration of Naruto’s victory over Pain.
Five Kage Summit
When news of Sasuke’s recent dealings with Akatsuki reaches Konoha, Team 10, Team 8, and Team Guy decide that they should personally kill Sasuke before he engulfs Konoha in war. Shikamaru decides to volunteer to inform the members of Team Kakashi, on behalf of the group, of their decision. Sakura reluctantly agrees with him. Because Naruto is in the Iron Country, Sakura offers to tell him about the decision instead of Shikamaru. When Naruto returns to Konoha he meets with Shikamaru and the others to tell them that he understands their reasons, but asks that only he himself fight Sasuke alone.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
Shikamaru and his father attend a war council to discuss the village’s preparations for the upcoming Fourth Ninja World War. Although Shikaku believed that his young son is too inexperienced to be there, Shikamaru decided to use his brain that he had to memorize everything during the meeting.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
When the war begins, Shikamaru is placed in Division 4, along with Chōji and Temari. Although Gaara is technically the commander, Temari says that Shikamaru is like Gaara’s second in command, he is effectively in charge. Shikamaru, Chōji, and other members of their division are subsequently sent to provide support for Division 1. They meet up with Ino – sent to help as well – and they team up to help Darui in the fight against Kinkaku. Shikamaru restrains Kinkaku with his shadow, but only long enough for Ino to use the Body Mind Exchange Technique on Kinkaku, who is captured into Kohaku no Jōhei. Ino-Shika-Chō engage with the revived Kakuzu. As they prepare to face him again, he points out that he is not the ninja just to have been revived: Asuma has also been revived and is on the battlefield as well.
Since they were Asuma’s students and thus experts in his fighting style, Shikaku leaves Ino-Shika-Chō to fight Asuma. Shikamaru goes after Asuma with his shadow to create an opening for Chōji to attack him, but Chōji is reluctant to attack his teacher. As Chōji struggles to find his resolve, Shikamaru tries to hit Asuma with his Shuriken Imitation Technique by Shadow. Asuma blocks with a kunai and goes after Chōji, forcing Ino to transfer her consciousness to Chōji’s body and fight for him. Shikamaru tends to Ino’s unconscious body, using her shadow to make defensive actions against the white Zetsu. With encouragement from Shikamaru, Ino, and even Asuma, Chōji finds the will to fight. Shikamaru again uses his shadow to create an opening, allowing Chōji to hurl Asuma into a cliff wall. Shikamaru traps Asuma in that wall. Defeated, Asuma happily says that they were with the Ino-Shikika-Chō formation finally done. Next, Asuma is sealed in.
The battle continues into the night and Shikamaru assists Chōji against the rest of the revived ninja. Before they can claim victory, Tobi appears on the battlefield with the Outer Path Demon Statue. While the statue wreaks havoc, Tobi goes after Kohaku no Jōhei and the Benihisago. Remembering the information given to him by Temari about the statue and the tailed beasts, Shikamaru deduces that Tobi plans to use the Kyūbi chakra of the Gold and Silver Brothers. Tobi calls Shikamaru a worthy opponent for figuring out what he had planned and makes the Statue attack him. He is saved by Chjōi while Tobi escapes with the vessel. After this attack disappears, Shikamaru is seen making battle plans with the rest of his team and Tenten.
The next day, in order to fight the chaos that White Zetsu’s army made, Shikamaru created circles around the ninjas, not giving anyone permission to leave or enter the other until Naruto arrived. When Ino asks him if they couldn’t just ask questions to find out people’s identities, but Shikamaru says that he has a high chance that the enemy will just find the right answer. He celebrates Naruto’s arrival, and then when Dan mistakes Naruto for Nawaki, Shikamaru says that he was his bravest friend whose dream was to become Hokage, and that now he sees that dream is possible.
When the Alliance is informed by Q.G that, Naruto and B were handling the masked Madara well, Shikamaru, along with the rest of the 11 from Konoha keeps heading towards Naruto. As he runs, he tells Chōji that he would expect nothing less from Naruto to overdo things on the battlefield and because of his temper, he was not one to think calmly through a plan, so Naruto should wait for him.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Upon arriving at the battlefield, Shikamaru noted that with the Mist Concealment Technique and the Insect Jamming Technique working together, it would make it harder for the opposition to sense them. He later relayed that the rest of his division had arrived before standing alongside all the other members of the Allied Forces to face their opposition. When it was later proven that his efforts had been futile, as the Ten-Tails emerged fully matured from the hole it had been trapped in and began firing off various attacks, a visibly saddened Shikamaru heard what would be his father’s final battle strategy for the Alliance, as a Ball of the Tailed Beast had been thrown against the Q.G. He thanks his father for everything, telepathically, and accepts the role of master strategist in his father’s stead. Chōji tries to comfort Shikamaru, but Shikamaru reminds Chōji and Ino that they are still in the middle of the battle and that they don’t have time to grieve. Later, he learns of Neji’s death.
After Kurama has accumulated enough chakra, Naruto sends a clone from the shadows to give Kurama’s chakra to Shikamaru, Ino and Chōji, as well as the rest of the Allied Forces shinobi. As Kurama’s chakra began to surround him, he begins the strategy that his father had passed on to them. With Chōji Akimichi and several others stopping the beast’s tails, Ino takes control of Obito Uchiha, once again deflecting a fatal attack off course. Working with several other members of her own clan, they and Shikamaru immobilize the beast and signal for Ino to release her technique, now that they had rendered the Ten-Tails immobile.
With the situation on the battlefield becoming dire when Ten-Caudas creates an even larger Tailed Beast Ball, Shikamaru formulates a strategy and asks Ino to contact him with Kitsuchi. Once connected, he asks Kitsuchi to teach the entire Alliance the seals used to perform the simplest ground defense. Explaining that they will try to fight quality with quantity in an attempt to deflect the attack, Shikamaru then asks Ino to connect him with the rest of the Alliance, where he conveys the hand seals to be used in his plan. Their valiant efforts, as well as Killer B’s attempt to deflect the direction of the attack, however, are not enough to stop the attack. The Alliance is saved, however, with the arrival of the Fourth Hokage on the battlefield.
With Sasuke’s subsequent appearance, Shikamaru, along with Chōji, warn Ino to be cautious when approaching him, as he is still a dangerous criminal. He scolds Sasuke, completing Shino’s statement that he simply cannot be forgiven after all he has done. Shikamaru and the rest of his classmates are then shocked after Sasuke declares that he will become Hokage. He then comments on the reunion of the Kakashi Team, saying that he doesn’t want to trust Sasuke, but they have a war to worry about. He then leaves to face Jūbi with his friends. Ino then tells her own team to work together to execute the E Formation. While Chōji uses his Multiple Size Technique, and Shikamaru uses his Shadow Capture Technique on him, Ino uses her sensory abilities to track all the clones in the surrounding area, before putting her own sensing perception into Shikamaru’s mind. With Ino acting as the mind, Shikamaru as the body, and Chōji as the yo-yo, the trio perform the Human Bullet Yo-yo, destroying all the surrounding clones. As Chōji prepares to double in size to strengthen his attack, Shikamaru says that the team has much more to show for it, with Ino then scolding him for his sudden competitiveness with the other teams. He then watches Naruto and Sasuke attack Ten-Caudas, quietly applauding them. His mood, however, changes severely and he becomes very contemplative after apparently hearing Sai’s question about Sasuke’s motives, though he tells Ino, when she asks what was bothering him, that it’s nothing.
Later, when the shinobi begin to lose morale upon seeing the titans in the clash on the battlefield, Shikamaru asks Ino to connect him with the entire Alliance once again, where he says that no matter how small they are, they can exploit an opening presented with their combined power. Later, after Obito launches another attack, Shikamaru forces himself to remain calm as he analyzes the situation and creates a strategy to counter the attack. With no ideas to find a way to counter this attack, Shikamaru and the others soon find themselves wrapped in version 1 of the chakra cloak again. Believing that Naruto had intended to protect them with the cloak again, Shikamaru subsequently finds himself on the outside of the barrier, escaping the near-fatal attack thanks to the actions of Naruto and Minato.
Ready to begin the final phase of his plan, Obito unleashes the true form of the Jūbi, the original source of all chakra known as the Shinju. The huge tree begins to release countless branches, attacking all living targets to absorb its chakra, killing the victim in the process. Being one of the few survivors of the attack, but having almost all of his chakra drained, Shikamaru collapses into Chōji’s arms. Drifting in and out of consciousness, the young man apologizes to his parents for his failings. Shortly after, when Hashirama asks Ino to telepathically connect everyone to inform them of what his original had discovered about the Moon Eye Plan and the Shinju, Naruto, in his senjutsu-enhanced Bijū Mōdo connects with Ino’s telepathy and causes his emotions and personal memories to be transmitted to everyone. Still weak but conscious, Shikamaru sympathizes with Naruto over the loss of Asuma.
When Naruto and Sasuke team up to attack Obito, the residual chakra still inside Shikamaru expands and begins to aid in his healing. Although Sakura believes that Naruto is dividing his attention between combat and healing, Ino explains that it is actually Naruto’s chakra acting out of his subconscious of its own accord. Recalling his time with Naruto, Shikamaru gains strength from his belief in him and the difficulties Naruto had faced. Shikamaru decides to stay by Naruto’s side as his advisor when he becomes Hokage, believing that he needs someone intelligent around him, similar to the role Tobirama had taken with his brother Hashirama. This way, Naruto would never be alone again. Recovering enough to sit up, Tsunade appears on the battlefield soon after and speeds his recovery with her abilities.
Birth of the Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki
Later, alongside their companions when Naruto calls them, Shikamaru and the others are shocked when they are enveloped by the mantle of Naruto’s Bijū Mōdo. Using the Rasengan formed on Kurama’s tails, Shikamaru and the others are able to break through Obito’s defenses, giving Naruto and Sasuke the opportunity to be able to land a fatal blow. He and his other comrades later watch Naruto wrest control of the Bijū chakra from Obito in order to stop Shinju’s bloom. Shikamaru once again uses the telepathic link to rally their forces and tells them that no matter how small they are, their combined efforts will help greatly in the long run.
Despite being successful in stopping Obito, Shikamaru and the rest of the Alliance soon discover the fact that Madara was able to revive himself. Before they can even deal with Madara, the Alliance is confronted by Tobi who attacks them with his huge animated statue. After Hiruzen skillfully defends the Alliance, Shikamaru notes that the Alliance is starting to run out of chakra, with Hiruzen being the only one able to deal with the enemy. Later, he sees several meteorites, once again falling to the ground near him. He notices that not only Naruto’s chakra was gone, but Shinju’s as well. His feeling of ill omen is realized after they all fall victim to Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki strikes
Inside the genjutsu, Shikamaru dreams that his sensei and father are still alive with their respective wives, watching along with Temari the different possibilities in marriage and tells himself that he should not worry about it. Ultimately, Shikamaru and the rest of the world are freed from the genjutsu by Naruto and Sasuke after the war ends. Some time later, Shikamaru is promoted to the rank of jōnin.
Kakashi Hiden: The Lightning Under the Freezing Sky
A year after the end of the war, Shikamaru is placed in charge of the Blood Prison as part of Konoha’s obligation to provide security. When the Ryūha Armament Alliance kidnap Tobishachimaru to rescue their leader, Garyō, from the Blood Prison, Tsunade contacts Shikamaru to discuss their options. They decide not to give in to the demands of the Armament Alliance and send reinforcements to the Blood Prison to prevent a potential prison break.
As the Tobishachimaru approaches the Blood Prison, the Armament Alliance expels its passengers into the prison, each of whom are strapped down with Blue Fire Gunpowder that detonates when they make contact with dry land. Shikamaru instructs the Konoha forces to rescue the passengers before they are blown up and then have them recapture the prisoners who escaped through the damaged outer walls. Shikamaru goes after Garyō, planning to capture him using his Shadow Imitation Technique, but finds that Ino has already caught him using her Body Mind Switching Technique. They return to the Blood Prison and watch Tobishachimaru fall nearby. Tsunade decides that Kahyō, the most senior member of the Armament Alliance, be executed for her failed attempt to escape from the prison. Kakashi Hatake suggests that she become the new prison warden instead, thus freeing Konoha from its security obligations. Shikamaru sees merit in the idea and Tsunade approves on the condition that Kakashi becomes the sixth Hokage. Everyone agrees.
Shikamaru Hiden: The Cloud Hovering in the Silence of Darkness
After the Fourth Shinobi World War ends, Shikamaru becomes the coordinating head of the Shinobi Union, successor to the Allied Forces. Two years after the war, the Shinobi Union has created an unprecedented peace, largely due to Shikamaru’s tireless work. The amount of work he has been doing actually bothers Shikamaru, as he has fallen far short of his dream of spending his days doing nothing but watching the clouds. After he decides he doesn’t want any more responsibility, he notices one of Sai’s ink birds delivering a message to Kakashi and immediately goes to Kakashi’s office to read the message. They are both bothered by Sai’s report, which warns about Gengo, the charismatic leader of the Land of Silence and his report that says that Anbu team sent to the local side has completely disappeared. What is most disturbing is that Sai does not deliver this message in person and that his words suggest that he is impressed with Gengo.
It is clear to Kakashi that Gengo is a great threat to the peace of the Shinobi Union and that in order to protect the Union, Gengo must be assassinated. Shikamaru does not hesitate to offer himself for the job, mainly so that he can try to find Sai. He will need help on the mission, but finds himself in trouble asking his friends for help: he doesn’t want to talk to Temari about it, preferring to keep her in Konoha; he doesn’t want to involve Chōji or Ino because it’s a dirty mission; he doesn’t want to ask Naruto to help him because he doesn’t want Naruto to lose his faith in him. Kakashi assigns two Anbu, Rō and Soku, to help Shikamaru and they leave Konoha secretly, traveling to the Land of Silence after three days of non-stop travel. They infiltrate the capital and begin interrogating the Enlightened Ones, the followers of Gengo, whom everyone reveres him and believes he will revolutionize the world.
Shikamaru, Soku, and Rō disguise themselves as the Enlightened Ones and attend a rally where Gengo gives a speech to an ecstatic crowd. When they move into position to assassinate Gengo, their presence is inexplicably discovered. Shikamaru tries to capture Gengo with his shadow, but his shadow refuses to be used against Gengo. Sai, now an Enlightened One, comes to Gengo’s aid and captures Shikamaru and the others. Shikamaru is imprisoned and forced to endure the torture sounds of Rō and Soku and an occasional small talk from Gengo. After ten days they are brought before Gengo, who invites Shikamaru to be his right-hand man. When Shikamaru refuses, Gengo notes how the world is biased against shinobi: only shinobi can use ninjutsu, yet it is the normal people who make up the majority of the population; it is normal people who rule, but it is the shinobi who die in the wars that these same normal people start.
Gengo believes that the world is unfair to the shinobi, causing Rō and Soku to agree with him. Shikamaru also comes to regard his words as convincing and begins to doubt the work he has done to protect the current shinobi system. However, he cannot agree to this, with a small place in his heart clinging to the question of why he should be subordinate to Gengo. Gengo invites Shikamaru to kill him if he truly believes it is the right thing to do. Shikamaru begins to suspect that Gengo is using some kind of genjutsu, but gives up on understanding this and prepares to join hands with Gengo. Before he can, a gust of wind suddenly lifts him into the air and then drops him to the ground. Shikamaru sees that it is Temari’s doing, and from her appearance and her words, Gengo’s influence over him disappears. He realizes that Gengo’s words are laced with genjutsu, and that now that he knows this, it means that they no longer have dominion over him. Although he can’t really refute anything Gengo said, Shikamaru states that the shinobi system has Naruto and Temari, and that is reason enough for him to defend him.
Gengo attacks, exchanging blows and words with Shikamaru. Shikamaru decides that instead of following the banal life he used to want, he would rather dedicate himself to creating a world of peace, where it doesn’t matter if a person is a shinobi or not. Shikamaru overpowers Gengo, but Sai forces him to let Gengo escape. Temari fights Sai so that Shikamaru can go after Gengo. He follows him into a room too dark to use his shadow, forcing him to rely on his other senses to dodge and disarm him. When Rō and Soku – freed from Gengo’s genjutsu – accompany him and open a door to provide some light, they team up against Gengo: Shikamaru distracts Gengo with shadow clones, while Rō hides his chakra, which allows him to maneuver behind Gengo. He restrains Gengo with his shadow and Soku uses a Chakra Needle on his tongue, robbing him of his ability to speak. Gengo’s influence over the Illuminati disappears and he is taken into custody.
In the aftermath, Shikamaru is confronted by Naruto, who is upset that Shikamaru decided to put himself in danger without warning him. Shikamaru promises not to hide anything from Naruto ever again. Gengo is handed over to Gaara, the Kazekage, who led the reinforcements responsible for saving him. Although Gaara claims that he only did this because of how important Shikamaru is to the Shinobi Union, he points out that he could not have done it without Temari’s insistence. After the Kazekage leaves along with the other shinobi of Suna, Shikamaru asks Temari to wait so that he can ask her out on a date. She replies with, “How troublesome.” After Shikamaru returns to Konoha he is given a week off by Kakashi, but he no longer finds the distinction between work and relaxation as troubling as he used to. Kakashi gives him a mission when he returns to work that, while important, can be done by almost anyone. For this reason, Shikamaru refuses the mission, as his meeting with Temari is the next day.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Two years after the end of the war, Shikamaru is deployed in a squad with Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Hinata to rescue Hanabi Hyūga, who has been kidnapped by Toneri Ōtsutsuki. He is given a special watch that shows the countdown at which the moon will destroy the Earth.
They end up being caught in a trap by Toneri, but manage to get out of it thanks to Sakura. After Hinata voluntarily goes with Toneri to save Hanabi, Shikamaru and Sai travel to the artificial sun and discover the entrance to Toneri’s palace via his puppets. After Naruto regains consciousness after three days from his fight with Toneri, Shikamaru tells him that he must not give up on Hinata, stating that he doesn’t care what happened between them, but that he is a shinobi and is entitled to his cause. He then takes him to Sakura, revealing that she used almost all of her chakra to save him.
After his conversation with Sakura, Shikamaru takes them to Toneri’s palace to rescue Hinata and Hanabi. Sakura and Sai leave to rescue Hanabi while Shikamaru confronts Toneri’s puppets. After Naruto and Hinata destroy Hamura’s Tenseigan, Shikamaru watches the clock not stop, being captured in an attack by Toneri, revealing that he has activated his Tenseigan Chakra Mode. After Naruto defeats Toneri, the team heads home, with Shikamaru last seen at Naruto and Hinata’s home during their wedding alongside Temari.
Konoha Hiden: A Perfect Day to Get Married
While trying to think about what to give Naruto and Hinata as a gift, Shikamaru meets with Chōji and the two have lunch at Yakiniku Q. Chōji reveals that he intends to present Naruto and Hinata with a complimentary meal at a nice restaurant. Shikamaru is impressed with Chōji’s gift, however, he mentions that it is a meal for three and that Chōji intends to accompany them; sitting at a separate table so as not to be rude. Shikamaru considers gifting them money, but decides that would be too reckless. He finally decides to pay for a romantic honeymoon trip.
Shikamaru is happy with his decision, but needs the inclusion of a woman to help him plan something suitable. As he walks around Konoha after lunch he thinks about asking Ino Yamanaka for help, but comes across Temari instead. Although Temari is indeed a woman, Shikamaru does not believe that she has the right personality to advise him on this matter. Chōji, however, forces him to invite her anyway, but the way he puts it to Temari, she believes that he is asking her to help him plan his own honeymoon. Temari is embarrassed and Shikamaru, not realizing the confusion, believes he is offending her. Chōji excuses himself from the scene due to hunger issues and Shikamaru tries to do the same, but Temari stops him and agrees to take a tour of the Konoha Hot Springs district with him.
As night falls, Shikamaru and Temari walk in the soft illumination of the hot springs. Temari remains quiet and weird the whole time, so Shikamaru suggests they visit a store so the trip won’t be wasted. Temari points out some shooting booths where numerous couples are trying to win prizes. Shikamaru ends up winning two small trinkets in his determination to figure out the trick of the booths, which he hands to Temari. He then takes her to an inn, hoping that she can tell him if Hinata will like it. Temari suspects that he has other intentions and declines, believing that she will not turn him down if they go inside. Shikamaru puts his hands on her face, worrying that she is sick because of the redness on her face, causing her to run away. He chases after her, desperately needing her (opinion). When she stops, he assures her how important she is to him, explaining that he, as a man, cannot rate the inn’s services to women. Temari is confused once again, and Shikamaru is confused by her confusion. He repeats that he wants to give Naruto and Hinata a nice honeymoon, and now that he says that, he realizes what Temari thought he meant earlier. Temari gets comfortable and Shikamaru smiles at the misunderstanding. Shikamaru later attends Naruto and Hinata’s wedding alongside Temari.
Gaara Hiden: The Illusion in the Sandstorm
Shikamaru and Temari decide to get married, which becomes a political issue in Sunagakure and also creates a problem: how Gaara should get married first. When Gaara meets the woman he is willing to marry, Hakuto, Shikamaru secretly watches their meeting. When several nukenin attack the meeting, Shikamaru saves Temari from being killed by an enemy puppeteer.
After the attack is fought off, Gaara asks Shikamaru, through Temari, to meet him at the border between the Wind Country and the Fire Country. There, Gaara along with Hakuto and his lover, Shigezane, meet with Shikamaru so that they can escape and settle in Konoha under new identities; in order to make sure that they will not be disturbed in their new lives, Shikamaru will file a report corroborating Gaara’s story that they were killed in the desert. Before Shikamaru leaves with Hakuto and Shigezane for Konoha, he smiles as he sees Gaara with Hakuto’s sister, Shijima.
Sasuke Shinden: Book of Dawn
When enemy ninjas infiltrate Konoha, Shikamaru is part of a task force responsible for finding and capturing the intruders.
Years later, Shikamaru marries Temari and has a son named Shikadai, growing up near his wife’s brothers as well. He also joins with his team to train their respective sons to become the next generation of the Ino-Shika-Chō trio. Later, when Naruto is chosen to become the seventh Hokage, Shikamaru helps prepare for the induction ceremony. To his and Kakashi’s amazement, Naruto does not show up at the appointed time. Unable to wait any longer, they send Konohamaru Sarutobi to fill his place, disguising himself as Naruto. When Naruto becomes the Seventh Hokage, Shikamaru finally realizes his desire to become Naruto’s advisor and personal guard, which also results in him having a harder time helping with his son’s training.
Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring
Shikamaru is seen being accompanied by his son as he stops Boruto from interrupting the Seventh Hokage from his duties.
Later, as the Academy graduations are approaching, Shikamaru insists that he will handle the production for the forehead protectors. The conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Sasuke’s falcon with a message. Upon learning from the message that a young boy wielding the Sharingan has attacked Sasuke and Kakashi theorizing that it may be another experiment by Orochimaru, Naruto decides to meet with Sasuke in person. Although Shikamaru expresses his concerns of having the Hokage leave the village so close to graduations, he agrees that they should deal with this issue quickly.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Naruto’s already heavy workload is further complicated by the approaching Chūnin Exams. Sensing the difficulties this is causing Naruto’s personal life, Shikamaru volunteers to complete some of his work for him so that Naruto can spend more time with his family. Shikamaru designs the first round of the exams and keeps Naruto informed about how Boruto is doing. When both Boruto and Shikadai advance to the final rounds, Shikamaru sets up a competition with Naruto about which of his sons will win if they end up fighting each other. Boruto and Shikadai do indeed fight each other and Boruto is initially declared the winner, but Naruto catches Boruto for cheating and forces him to be disqualified.
The finals are interrupted by Kinshiki and Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki, who attack Naruto and destroy much of the stadium where the finals are being held. Shikamaru tries to contain them both with his shadow, but Momoshiki absorbs it and Shikamaru is forced to retreat. Naruto is captured and Sasuke organizes a rescue team consisting of himself, Boruto and the other five Kage. Shikamaru watches them as they travel to an alternate dimension, noticing that Katasuke and Kōsuke are following behind them. Naruto is saved and life in Konoha returns to normal; in the novelization of the film, Shikamaru is tasked with organizing another Chūnin Exam.
Shikamaru is a highly capable shinobi, evidenced by the fact that he is the first of his peers to be promoted to the rank of chūnin, as well as being the Representative Commander of the Fourth Division. Shikamaru has also defeated Hidan, a powerful Akatsuki member, single-handedly. In the anime, it was revealed that he was invited to become one of the Twelve Ninja Guardians, but refused in order to stay in Konoha and protect it. According to Temari, Shikamaru could easily become a jōnin if he wasn’t so lazy. This was finally proven correct as two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Shikamaru was promoted to such a position, being further proof of his abilities and also managed to easily defeat dozens of Toneri Ōtsutsuki’s puppets. Years after the end of the war, Shikamaru became the assistant and right-hand man to the Seventh Hokage, further showing his abilities.
Nara Clan techniques
Shikamaru’s primary battle tactics involve using his clan’s secret techniques with shadow manipulation. His signature move is the Shadow Imitation Technique, which, by connecting his shadow to that of a target, forces him to mimic his movements; being effective even when he is incapacitated. In the anime, even as a child who had just started at the Academy, he was already proficient enough in this technique to subdue three Anbu, and was considered a prodigy by Ino (though he was too inexperienced to consider its weakness.) Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Shikamaru became able to use this technique to manipulate a target’s movements while standing still. As an adult, Shikamaru is able to immobilize a target with the technique without using hand seals or moving. Shikamaru is also able to make use of more advanced variations of the technique to directly combat enemies using shadow hands and needling. Similarly, Shikamaru can also use his shadow techniques to pick up and throw objects such as explosive papers, and attach them to a trapped opponent. He can also use the Shadow Capture Technique, which, proportional to the amount of chakra used, is strong enough to grab and manipulate massive objects, and is even able to lift them in the air. In battle, he is able to simultaneously use all these techniques with amazing coordination.
Shikamaru later inherited the Chakra Blades from Asuma after his death. After much training, he learned to flow chakra into them and use them in conjunction with his clan’s abilities. Using this skill in conjunction with his techniques, he developed the Shadow Shuriken Imitation Technique. This allows him to “nail” his opponent’s shadow to the ground without having to connect his own shadow, giving him much greater range, flexibility and freedom of movement.
Using his technique on his teammates, Shikamaru can effectively protect them from their own blind spots or personal weakness caused by his own techniques, such as Ino’s unconscious body after she uses the Body Mind Switching Technique.
Shikamaru has shown some skill with Earth Style nature transformation, after being able to create earth walls after learning hand seals from Kitsuchi. Similarly, Shikamaru also has skill with Fire and Yin Style.
Shikamaru’s greatest characteristic despite his teenage age and his low grades at the Academy (due mostly to his laziness) is his mental capacity; great enough to be smarter than an entire squadron of Oto ninjas of chūnin level or higher, as such, he was the first person of his generation to be promoted to chūnin due to his knowledge of his own strengths and weaknesses compared to the rest of his teammates. His intellect won praise from notable shinobi such as Kakashi Hatake, who is also considered a genius, and Tobi, who openly lamented that it was a shame that Shikamaru was an enemy of his having such a feat. His longtime friend and seemingly best, Chōji, stated that while Sasuke and Neji have renown as geniuses, they do not compare to Shikamaru’s intellect. Well known for his strategic and tactical skills, he is most commonly seen winning in games that require a methodical approach such as shōgi, never having lost to Asuma. Realizing his potential, Asuma tested Shikamaru (disguising it as a game to keep Shikamaru focused) and discovered that the young Nara member is an amazing genius, with an IQ of over 200. In the anime, Sakura Haruno stated that Shikamaru is the smartest person in the Fire Country.
Starting from his naturally calm nature and rare loss of composure, Shikamaru is surprisingly astute for his age, being well aware of his surroundings and is able to see through most illusions and that he can make precise choices during intense moments. From these characteristics, Shikamaru can easily focus on all acquired data quickly and effectively, analyzing the situation to discern how to handle it, anticipating enemy actions, and forming effective plans quickly. Once fully focused (seen from his habit of closing his eyes and making positions with his fingers), he can quickly think ten moves ahead of his opponent and devise over a hundred strategies, choosing the best of them. Likewise, he is highly adaptable, regularly being able to think for his opponents, manipulating them into a pre-formed trap with various distractions. Shikamaru is very talented, being able to easily adjust or change his plan and use the most random tools to his advantage to minimize injury to himself or his allies, if not avoid a direct fight altogether.
Because of his intelligence, Asuma believes that Shikamaru could become a Hokage if he wasn’t so lazy. He is, however, given responsibilities, such as helping the Fifth Hokage formulate defensive strategies, and was chosen to become the Representative Commander of the Fourth Division during the Fourth Shinobi World War. During his fight with Temari, he stated that his chakra reserves do not match his ability to think of the amounts of moves he can think of against an opponent.
Even when he was still a genin, Shikamaru was among the few shinobi who detected and dispelled Kabuto’s sleep-inducing genjutsu. In Part II of the anime, he was seen being able to summon scroll objects to his advantage. At one point, Shikamaru began wielding a tantō, and appears to be proficient at fencing, as seen when he attacked Hidan, leaving a cut on the side of his target’s neck.