Shikamaru nara is a character in the Naruto franchise; he 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.
Major Story Arcs
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 centre, the woods are a danger by themselves, plants and trees that have poison and then there was the other ninja’s as well. As team 10 that now consisted of Choji and Ino travelled 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 7 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. Shikamaru then decided to forfeit the match, saying that he had run dry on chakra, and didn't want to hit a girl.
Invasion of the Hidden Leaf Arc
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 were 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 ahead 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.
Sasuke Retrieval Arc
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 defence.
But as they moved they were 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.
Kazekage Rescue Arc
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 were 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.
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc
During the Fire Temple arc Shikamaru was kept back at Konoha using his strategic mind in the defence 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 dealt 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 consisted 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 him. 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 launched 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.