Profile and StatsEdit
Name: Shikamaru Nara
Classification: Human, Ninja, Chunin
Shikamaru is a fairy tall, slim young man with shoulder-length black hair tied in a spiky ponytail, narrow brown eyes and a typical expression suggesting he is either bored or irritated. He also wears a pair of stud earrings given by Asuma Sarutobi, which acts as a symbol of Team Asuma.
Shikamaru wears the standard Konohagakure flak jacket, a black long-sleeved shirt paired with matching pants and sandals, and green lined mesh armor on his wrists and ankles. The placement of his forehead protector can be seen on his left arm, but only the metal part is visible, seemingly sewn onto the shirt itself. He is sometimes equipped with a chūnin's tantō, horizontally strapped onto the back of his jacket via a brown strap and a light-brown utility belt for special occasions.
Shikamaru is naturally a lazy and unenthusiastic person and his inclination is to do as little work as possible. As an Academy student and even during his early career as a genin, Shikamaru is able to get away with this, spending his days sleeping, watching the clouds, or playing games of shōgi and Go. His goal is to live unremarkably, free of anything of noticeably good or bad, and then to die just as unremarkably as he lived. When he is faced with the potential for conflict or commitment, he responds first by saying, "How troublesome (What a Drag)," and then by trying to find some way out of it, either by pretending to be indisposed or even outright saying that he doesn't want to do whatever it is.
Although Shikamaru describes himself as "the number one coward", he has a strong moral compass and dedication to his friends. It is these qualities that earned Choji Akimichi's friendship, as Shikamaru was one of the first people to look past his weight and find value in who he naturally was. It is also these qualities that force Shikamaru to move away from his lazy pursuits, as he finds himself volunteering to do work or to sacrifice himself if it will in some way benefit his allies. Such selflessness, once displayed during the Konoha Crush incident, exacerbates his "troublesome" situations: he is given the responsibility of leading his friends into battle, for which reason he does everything that he can to keep them safe, for which reason he is given even more responsibility over even more of his friends, and so on. He still clings to his lazy origins as much as he can; even if he can't spend his entire day being idle, he at least avoids having long-term goals or confessing any particular pleasure in the duties he's assigned.
Shikamaru undergoes a rapid maturity after the death of his teacher, Asuma Sarutobi, whose loss forces Shikamaru to recognise that the world is not safe that he cannot be kept protected from it forever. After avenging Asuma, Shikamaru takes it upon himself to do all that he can to make things better for future Konoha generations, especially Asuma's then-unborn daughter, Mirai; such is the Will of Fire. He may still balk at the prospect of the work he must do, but he no longer runs from it, even going so far as to argue in favour of difficult choices if it will guarantee his friends' and village's survival.
One of the more "troublesome" things that runs throughout Shikamaru's life are the women he knows: his mother, Yoshino, his teammate, Ino Yamanaka, and his frequent companion, Temari. He describes each of them as aggressive, demanding, and sometimes even scary. Shikamaru tries to treat women delicately, being non-confrontational or at least polite to them and never asking anything of them that he believes he can do himself. During Part I, he generally believes he can do anything himself, and as such is mortified if and when a woman needs to assist him in any way; his frustrations are similar when he repeatedly finds himself facing female opponents. Because his father, Shikaku, has similar views and experiences with women, Shikamaru asks him for help in understanding them. Shikaku explains that men destroy themselves without a woman's influence and that women, despite how they may act, are kind to the men they love.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Genius Intellect: Shikamaru's greatest trait despite his adolescent age and low grades in the Academy (mainly due to his laziness) is his mental capacities; great enough to outsmart an entire squadron of Oto-nin of chūnin-level or above. As such, he was the first person of his generation to be promoted to chūnin on his very first Chūnin Exam due to knowing his own strengths and weaknesses compared to the rest of his peers. His intellect has earned praise from noteworthy shinobi like Kakashi Hatake, who is also considered a genius, and Tobi, who openly expressed regret that Shikamaru had to be an enemy with such prowess. Choji stated that even geniuses like Sasuke and Neji pale in comparison to Shikamaru's intellect. Well-noted for his strategic and tactical skills, he is most commonly seen winning in games requiring a methodical approach like shōgi, having never lost to Asuma. Realizing his potential, Asuma tested Shikamaru (disguising it as games to keep Shikamaru focused) to discover the young Nara member is an astonishing genius with an IQ of over 200. Sakura Haruno once stated that Shikamaru was the smartest person in the Land of Fire.
- Master Strategist and Tactician: Well-noted for his strategic and tactical skills, he is most commonly seen winning in games requiring a methodical approach like shogi, having never lost to Asuma. Stemming from his naturally calm nature and rare loss of composure, Shikamaru is surprisingly astute for his age, well-aware of his surroundings and able to see through most deceptions and from that can make accurate choices during intense moments. From these traits, Shikamaru can easily focus on all data acquired to quickly and effectively analyze the situation to discern how handle it, anticipate enemy actions, and quickly form effective plans. Once completely focused (seen from his habit of closing his eyes and cupping his fingers) he can quickly think ten moves ahead of his opponent and devise over a hundred strategies plus chose the best one from them. Likewise, he is highly adaptable, regularly able to out-think his opponents, even manipulate them into a pre-set trap with various misdirections. Shikamaru is very resourceful, able to easily adjust or switch his plan and use the most random of tools to his advantage to minimize injuries to himself or allies if not avoid a direct fight completely.
Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Even though it is not his preferred fighting style, Shikamaru is a capable close-range combatant and most often uses it as a method to employ the use of his shadow, seen when he attacked Hidan with a punch that came as such a shock to the latter that he could not evade Shikamaru's secondary, shadow attack.
Enhanced Speed and Reflexes: Shikamaru is quick and agile, able to dodge when he senses an attack coming when others aren't looking, as well as keep up with even jōnin-level shinobi.
High Chakra Power: As a member of the Nara Clan and an experience ninja, Shikamaru boasts a high level of chakra energy.
Ninja Arts ProwessEdit
Kenjutsu Practitioner: Shikamaru is shown to be skilled in kenjutsu. At one point, Shikamaru started carrying a tantō, and appears to be competent in swordplay as seen when he attacked Hidan, leaving a gash in the side of his target's neck.
Nara Clan Techniques: Shikamaru's primary battle tactics involves using his clan's secret techniques of shadow manipulation. His signature move is the Shadow Possession Jutsu. Even while child who just started in the Academy, he was already proficient enough in this technique to subdue three Anbu, a considered a prodigy by Ino (although he was noted too inexperienced to consider its weakness). Later, he learned the various more advanced techniques including to physically harm enemies by means of shadow hands and tendrils. Similarly, he can use his shadow to pick up and throw objects like explosive tags, and attach them to a trapped opponent. He can also use the shadows, which, proportionate to the amount of chakra used, is strong enough to grab and manipulate massive objects, capable of even lifting them in the air. After Asuma's death, Shikamaru inherited his master's Chakra Blades, learning how to flow his chakra into them and use them in tandem with his clan's abilities. This allows him to "pin" his opponent's shadow to the ground, without connecting his own shadow, giving him greater range, flexibility, and freedom of movement.
- Shadow Possession Jutsu: Known as the Nara Clan's signature technique, it allows Shikamaru to extend his shadow. Once it comes into contact with the opponent's shadow they are forced to imitate Shikamaru's movements. Can work on multiple targets. However, this technique can only work for a limited amount of time.
- Shadow Possession Shuriken Jutsu: Taking advantage of Asuma's chakra knives, Shikamaru will store his shadow chakra in the blades. He will target his opponent's shadow with the knives and can "capture" them similar to Shadow Possession Jutsu.
- Shadow Stitching Jutsu: Shikamaru creates multiple shadow tendrils that are no longer bound to the ground like his other techniques. The tendrils have a piercing effect and can be used to restrain an opponent and even pick up objects and throw objects.
- Shadow Strangle Jutsu: Shikamaru's extended shadow takes the shape of a hand and can restrain the opponent or snap their neck. It is possible for stronger opponents to overpower this technique.
- Shadow Grab Jutsu: Using his shadows that are strong enough to grab and manipulate massive objects, capable of even lifting them in the air.
- Shadow Pull Jutsu: Using materialised shadows, but compared to the Shadow Stitching Jutsu from the same line, this technique places emphasis on the minute control of the shadow's movements. It is accurate enough to even make the tentacles go through tiny holes. Basically, this technique takes the user's own shadow and transforms and stretches it into countless thin tentacles, which are then used to grab objects and pull them in. Also, one can skilfully make use of the tentacle-shaped shadow tendrils by using them to lift up and throw weapons like kunai and such. This technique has many possible applications and uses. There are no hand seals used for this technique, but the hand movements resemble that of Gaara's Sand Coffin.