Shikamaru Nara is a lazy but brilliant ninja of the Hidden Leaf Village and a member of Team 10 as their strategist. He uses a family ninja technique that can control shadows.
Shikamaru is a considered a strategic genius, through out Naruto we have seen Shikamaru grow as a person and as a ninja. Shikamaru inspires people round him and has had a close friendship with Choji Akimichi, The two met when Choji wanted to play a game of catch with Shikamaru and a group of children, the other children mocked Choji for his weight and Choji left. Shortly after Shikamaru left the group telling them he no longer wanted to play with them, Shikamaru lays on a bench next to Choji and tells him how this is his thinking bench and would Choji like to join him looking at the clouds. Shikamaru has always seen Choji strength and been kind to his friend and Choji has shown the same respect and friendship to Shikamaru.
Things did not start well for Shikamaru in the finishing dead last with Choji, Kiba Inuzuka and Naruto. Shikamaru did not enjoy the class room and spent most of his time sleeping in the court yard, The idea of work in anyway put Shikamaru to sleep very fast most often commenting on how much of a drag things where. It often frustrated Iruka who knew the potential of all four of these young Ninja’s where great if they could just keep their minds on the task at hand.
Not much is heard or seen about Shikamaru in the early arc’s of Naruto as it focus on Team 7, It is not until the start of the Chunin exams that we meet team 10 again. They are sent into Training Area 44, also known as the Forest of Death, and have to find their way to a large building at the center, the woods are a danger by themselves, plants and tree’s that have poison and then their was the other ninja’s as well. As team 10 that now consisted of Choji and Ino traveled into the woods they came across Sakura of team seven under attack from a Sound Genin.
At first Shikamaru wanted nothing to do with the fight, thinking it to be to much effort, but Ino dived into the fight and so Shikamaru with Choji joined the fight. Following their training the three members made their battle formation and attacked, They worked off each other as Shikamaru immobilized the Sound Genin so that Ino could use the mind body switch technique hoping that this would prevent the Genin’s team mates from attacking them.
Shikamaru ordered Ino to return to her body as she did Sasuke of team seven who Sakura was trying to protect awoke with his curse mark taking control. Shikamaru saw the danger as Sasuke began his attack and suggested to Choji and Ino to retreat with him. After they passed the first test team 10 went onto the next round which turned out to be a battle against the other young Ninja’s. Shikamaru would have to fight Kin of the Village Hidden in the Sound, who he had earlier faced during the first exam.
The battle raged on and Kin soon had Shikamaru on the ropes or so she thought, Shikamaru was using her own powers against her. Kin used bells to make the sounds that she needed each bell was attacked to a fine string. Shikamaru had allowed her to use her attack so he could sneak his shadow under the strings and captured her in his Shadow Imitation Technique, removing a shuriken from his pouch forced kin to do the same thing. Kin pointed out that if he threw it that due to his technique so would she and then they both would die. Shikamaru threw the shuriken and then ducked. As he did so did Kin but Shikamaru had planned ahead and during the whole time had been moving her closer to the wall so when she ducked she knocked herself out giving Shikamaru the win.
The final exam was another battle between the winners of the last round, Shikamaru was matched up with Temari of the Sand. As the battle drew on it seemed as if Shikamaru was failing at every strategy he was making. Temari noted how she thought this was a ploy to prolong the battle so he could use the sun when it set to give him a wider range on his shadows. Then in a shock twist, Shikamaru captured Temari, it turned out the whole battle was about manipulating her into position so she would be standing in front of a dug out tunnel that Naruto had made in an earlier battle.He caught her with his shadow hold from behind, when she had been focusing on all of his frontal attacks and distractions. Shikamauru then decided to forfeit the match, saying that he had run dry on chakra, and didn't want to hit a girl.
During the final battle between Sasuke and Gaara all hell broke lose as Konoha was attacked 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 Shikamaru pretending to sleep and told him to help in pursuing Sasuke who had chased after a fleeing Gaara. As they chased after Sasuke they where told by one of the ninja dogs that Kakashi had given them that eight sound ninja’s were on their trail. Shikamaru told them to go a head and follow Sasuke and he would deal with the sound ninja.
It was not long before they found him. However Shikamaru had set up traps and this allowed him to capture the eight ninja that came to attack him, Then the tables turned as a ninth ninja who had remained hidden arrived stopping all of Shikamaru attacks from hitting the other sound ninja’s. Shikamaru had prepared for this but was still weak from his battle with Termari and his Shadow technique soon faded. Just as it looked over for the young Ninja, Asuma, Shikamaru teacher and leader of team 10 arrived in time to save him.
Due to his show of skill and awareness during the exams, Shikamaru was made a Chunin by the Hokage. As he knew team seven and who they would be trying to save Shikamaru was order on his first assignment of leading and building a team to retrieve Sasuke and joining Orochimaru. Shikamaru set about building his team, he was only allowed to use Genin due to the attack on Konoha, Shikamaru first enlisted Naruto and Choji and then Later Neji and Kiba. As they set out Shikamaura had already planned an attack placing Neji at the front knowing his abilities would pick up any traps laid for them and followed by Choji Naruto, himself and then Kiba at the back making the perfect plan for attack and defense.
But as they moved they where trapped by Jirobo one of Orochimaru’s four men who had taken Sasuke , Sitting down and watching Naruto and Neji striking at the rock formation they where now trapped in Shikamaru formulated a plan of escape, as Naruto struck at one point the others would strike at the weak point that would be on the other side of the trap. When they escaped Choji decided to stay behind and face Jirobo on his own knowing the others would be escaping. Shikamaru told Choji that he better catch up and left with his now only three team mates as they went Shikamaru marked their path so that Choji could follow. As they met each new threat the team broke down one by one to face Orochimaru’s men one on one allowing the team to catch up to Sasuke.
Shikamaru told Naruto to go ahead and as he was one of the only people that could get to Sasuke and stop him. This left Shikamaru to face Tayuya a female ninja who used a flute to make genjitsu and confuse her enemies, as the battle progressed and Shikamaru began to get the up hand, Tayuya summoned three demons to her side, the demons where controlled by her flute and Shikamaru allowed them to attack him to start with, this was a ploy to allow Shikamaru to pick up on what notes created what movements and then he took control of the three with his Shadows control and turned them back on their master who was forced to set them send them from where they came.
Her only weapon was her flute and she began casting genjutsu and Shikamaru found himself having to come up with a new plan of attack, Throwing a kunai he missed and then fell under the Genjutsu. Thinking she had won she removed the Kunai that was now stuck in the tree behind her and began to move to slit his throat when she got close enough Shikamaru lunched his attack. He had been pretending to be caught under genjutsu so that she would move into range for his attack.
She had no choice but to use her cursed seal to break free of the attack Shikamaru could feel his chakra fading and knew the battle would be over. Just as he gave up hope a blast of wind broke the air and there stood Temari. As she landed in front of him Shikamaru gave a tactical update and with this information she made quick work of Tayuya.
The two of them made their way back to Konoha and discovered that Sasuke had escaped and everyone on the team was greatly injured. Questing everything he had done Shikamaru went to leave Konoha but was met by his father who called him a coward, He said that if he was not there to lead them then some other ninja would have to and he would always question if one of them died could he have stopped it if he was leading. As news arrived telling them that everyone was going to be okay Shikamaru broke down in tears and swore he would do better next time. After he had the news he said good bye to the people of the sand village who had come to help and mentioned how annoying women where when he turned his back to Temari.
Two years later we meet Shikamaru when Naruto runs into him and Temari. Naruto is shocked to find them with each other and asks if they were a couple. The two of them deny it and said that they where working on a plan for their students in the next Chunin exams. Naruto goes to find Sasuke and Shikamaru is unable to aid him due to his responsibilities in training the new students. Later a new Ninja appears and Naruto along with Shikamaru and Choji join in trying to question the stranger, he quickly makes his escape and it is later discovered that the Ninja was Sai the newest member of Team 7.
During the Fire Temple arc Shikamaru was kept back at Konoha using his strategic mind in the defense around Kohona. The town was attacked by Furido and a team of rouge Ninja who each held great powers, During the attack all the dead during the Sand and Sound Invasion and including the dead of the towns Furido had attacked all came to life and attacked the village. Shikamaru was ordered to lead the counter attack and using everyone’s combined strengths was able to push the enemy line back as the other groups delt with the four ninja’s, Later Shikamaru was able to bind the three tales beast back using his Shadow Imitation and bind it back within Sora one of the fire temples young students who had become a friend of Naruto’s the two would later do battle and it would only be Naruto that was able to bring him back from the madness.
All this time Shikamaru had been working as a member of Niju Shotai, A team of ninja made by the hokage to track down and kill members of the Akatsuki. The team conisted of four people: Asuma who was Shikamaru's teacher, Izumo Kamizuki a well trained Junin and finally Kotetsu Hagane another of Konoha top Ninja's. During one of their mission they had managed to track two of the Akatsuki members named, Hidan and Kakuzu who were dropping of a bounty they had taken from the fire temple (one of the dead priest's). As Hidan waited outside for his partner to do his business with the bounty collectors Nijy Shotai came across hims. Shikamaru used his Shadow Technique to capture and restrain Hidan and the rest of the team set about finishing him off, It turns out that Hidan is actually an immortal and their attacks had done nothing to harm him, But he was still trapped within the Shadow technique, Then Kakuzu appeared and lunched an attack that broke off Shikamaru trap. As the battle raged on Asuma found himself facing Hidan and soon had the upper hand until Hinda cut Asuma along the arm and used his blood to start a ritual, as the ritual took place all the damage done to Hinda was now being done to Asuma, as Hidan was immortal the damage had no effect on him and it looked as if Asuma was done for when Hinda went to stab himself in the stomach and thus killing Asuma until Shikamaru trapped him again and made him walk out of his ritual circle breaking the hold he had on Asuma.
Asuma powered his blades with wind and charged the immortal believing that cutting of his head would finally kill him, Asuma succeeded in the blow and as Hidan's head landed on the floor he began to laugh, even this had not killed him. Kakuzu once again jumped in and broke of the battle, reattaching Hidan's head with some of his own sewing thread and joined the fight facing Izumo and Kotetsu, this allowed Hidan to step back into the ritual cricle, Shikamaru rushed to help his master but his chakra was to depleted and while he was running Hidan made the final blow impaling himself and killing Asuma. Just then Choji and Ino arrived into battle and Kakuzu and Hidan made their escape leaving the death of Asuma in their wake. As Asuma died he told Shikamaru that one day he may be Hokage and that some times a night must be sacrificed to protect the king. Shikamaru took Asuma's last cigarette and began to smoke it flicking the lighter cap back and forth and said it was the smoke that had brought tears to his eyes.
The whole village could where mourning the fact of Asuma's death and all but one attended his funeral. Shikarmaru was busy coming up with a plan for revenge, when he was finished with his plans and had collected what he needed, he met up with Choji and Ino from team ten, they all had a strong connection to Asuma and wished to help their old team mate. But before they could leave the Hokage appeared and said that they where not ready, this type of mission would need a four man group and then from nowhere Kakashi appeared and offered his help. Shikamaru changed his plan so that he could use Kakashi. It did not take long for them to find Hidan and Kakuzu again. So his plan started using the two knives that Asuma had used he pinned the shadows of the Akatsuki memebers, then he went on to use his Shadow Technique once again to give him complete control over the two of them, but before he could finish Kakuzu escaped. But Shikamaru had compelte control of Hidan and now attacked Kakuzu with his own team mate, but it was all a ploy to corner the faster moving Kakuzu and allow Kakashi to sneak up behind him and attack him with Chordi. They thought they had won, but in fact Kakashi had only destroyed on of Kauzu hearts. Kakashi and Team ten where forced to come up with a new plan of attack. Now that they where the one's on the defence, they had to split them up once again catching Hidan Shikamaru lead him away from Kauzu as Kakashi , Ino and Choji faced off against Kauzu.
Leading him into the near by forest where Shikamaru had set up exploding scrolls preventing the Hidan from escaping. As they reached their destination Shikamaru's chakra ran out and Hidan went on the attack quickly cutting Shikamaru and starting his ritual, now seeing how smart Shikamaru was took no chances and stabbed himself in the heart, Shikamaru feel to the ground clutching his chest. But this once again was a trick, when Kakashi had struck Kauzu with Chordi he had taken a small amount of blood as ordered and given it to Shikamaru as part of his plan, Knowing that his Shadow Technquie was going to fail, Shikamaru had kept the blood and as Hidan went to strike threw the blood onto his weapon and then cut himself, So Hidan had actually stabbed Kakuzu in the heart and not Shikamaru, Hidan still had no idea that this had happened and as he came in close Shikamaru sprang into action and tried to chop of Hidans head with one cut, but it was not deep enough. Having no choice but to use his shadow technique again. But this time it was much weaker and Hindan forced himself to attack Shikamaru who pulled out his trump card his end game technique that used all the exploding scrolls he had placed around to tied Hidan above the ground. Now with Hidan capture Shikamaru went to the floor below Hidan and activated a seal he had placed upon the ground before the battle and the ground beneath Hindan dissappeared to reveal a pit. Shikamaru had planned this all along, this was to be the outcome no matter what had happened each move and step had lead to this moment. Shikamaru then told Hidan about the forest they where in it belonged to the Nara clan and only his clan where allowed to enter and leave it was protected not just by his clan but the actually forest itself, no one would retrive his remains this would be his final resting place. Placing one of Asuma's cigarettes in his mouth he let it with Asuma's lighter and then threw it making all the scrolls exploded at once and Hidan's body parts fell into the hole. Hidans head lay at the top swearing revenge and Shikamaura caused a cave in and walked away.
Once back with the team he found Naruto was with them and he had delivered that last blow that killed Kakuzu, now with this behind them they returned to the village. Where Shikamaru finally visited Asuma's grave leaving the lighter with his old master.
After the death of Jiraiya Naruto's master Shikamaru was ordered to help decipher his last message to them, Unable to break it he went to help Naruto get over the loss of his master explaining that one day the two of them will have students and they would do everything in their power to protect their young aids, moving on Naruto helped Shikamaru break the code which read as "The Real One Is Not There". Now it was up to Shikamaru to figure out what Jiraiya had meant by this cryptic message. But before he could find the answer Konoha was attacked by Pein. Choji himself and Kakashi where among the first to enter the battle.
They where soon defeated and kakashi was killed. Shikamaru and his father came across Ino and her father and tried to work out what peins powers where. They figured out Peins real body must be near by so Inoichi, Shikaku and Ino wnet on to find him, Shikamaru had a broken leg and could not help even when Naruto was fighting Pein one on one, Shikamaru wanted to help but was told he would just get in the way. In the end Naruto won and Shikamaru was among the people who welcomed the hero home.
After the battle Saskue is declared a enemy of Konoha by Donzo who is now the new hokage. After meeting with the rest of the teams Shikamaru hunts for team seven unawre that Naruto has already left to talk to the leader of Kumogkure. So he finds Sakura and ask if she will give him permission to hunt down Saskue and that he wishes to speak to Naruto about it. Sakura tells him that she will go instead to tell Naruto and she heads of to the land of iron.
Shikamaru has an IQ of over 200, beyond that of a genius. Asuma has never beat him in shogi. During his fight with a sand ninja, he realised that it was impossible to defeat her although he had thought of over 100 of strategies. Shikamaru is a good planner and is able to devise brilliant strategies to defeat his enemies. Whenever Shikamaru is thinking on a plan he sets himself up in a unique position.
"Shadow Imitation" is when he extends his shadow to connect to his opponent's shadow. By doing this, he can force their bodies to mirror his movements. "Shadow Neck Bind" where after using his Shadow Imitation, he can cause a hand-shaped shadow to reach up the opponent's body and choke them to death. The nearer the user is to his opponent,the stronger the grip .However, those with great strength like tayuya is able to resist and force the shadow hand off. "Shadow Sewing" where he extends tendrils from his shadow that can bind or stab his opponents. He can also use these to snare items and throw them at his opponents.
He'd gain Asuma's special trench-knives which take on their user's attributes, allowing him to immobilize his opponents by stabbing their shadows.
There are limits to his techniques, however. The range is limited and lasts only 5 minutes, and those with enough chakra or enough strength can resist it. He also cannot use his techniques if it's too dark because he requires shadows.
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An OVA before the movie Blood Prison
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