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Naruto: 10 Questions About Shikamaru, Answered

Shikamaru Nara In Naruto

Originally an Academy student alongside Naruto Uzumaki, Shikamaru trained under Asuma Sarutobi as part of Team 10, and became the first of his generation to become a chunin level shinobi. His intelligence allowed him to adapt well to many situations, and his friends often looked to him as a leader. Fans watched him grow from a lazy genius to the advisor to the Hokage over the years, but they might still have some questions.

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10 When Did Shikamaru First Appear

Like many of Naruto’s Academy classmates, just where Shikamaru first appeared depends on whether you’re interested in the manga or the anime. 

In the case of the anime, Shikamaru appeared in the very first episode as it centered on Naruto and his classmates taking graduation exams. That was not how the manga played out. In the manga, focus was squarely on Naruto and his new team at the beginning of the story. Shikamaru didn’t officially appear until volume four. Specifically, he made his appearance as the Chunin Exams began in chapter 34, called “Intruders?!”

9 Was It Always The Plan To Make Him A Genius?

Shikamaru With The Naruto Genin Before The Chunin Exams

In a 2014 interview for Fuji Television, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto gave a little bit of background on the characters he brought to life. In the case of Shikamaru, Kishimoto created the character specifically to pass the Chunin Exams. He was meant to be the only character promoted to chunin in Naruto’s generation.

Kishimoto especially wanted Shikamaru’s intelligence, not his power, to be what gave him an edge in the exams. The storyline ended up being interrupted with the addition of Orochimaru, but the idea held. So, yes, Shikamaru was always meant to be a genius.

8 Just How Smart Is He

Shikamaru As An Adult In Boruto

There’s a lot of talk about Shikamaru being a great strategist; that’s why he’s often placed in charge of his friend’s missions in the anime. He’s not simply good at planning out strategy though. Shikamaru is also good at thinking several moves ahead in life, as he would in a game.

When Asuma first became his sensei in the manga, he began testing Shikamau’s intelligence through different puzzle and logic games. Asuma discovered that Shikamaru likely had an I.Q. of over 200 - something unheard of. By the time the Boruto series rolled around, he was considered the smartest person in Konohagakure by everyone in town.

7 When Did Shikamaru And Naruto Become Friends

It’s not entirely clear when Shikamaru and Naruto actually started to get along. It really depends on whether or not a fan considers the filler episodes of the anime part of the canon.

In the manga, Shikamaru didn’t truly become a friend of Naruto until the Fourth Shinobi World War. They had been classmates and teammates prior, but it was during the war that Shikamaru became inspired by Naruto and vowed to stay by his side to make sure he became a great Hokage.

In the anime, Shikamaru actually hung out with Naruto when they first started at the Ninja Academy. In flashbacks, Naruto, Choji, Shikamaru, and Kiba were all friends at a young age but gradually went their separate ways.

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6 What Does His Name Mean

Shikamaru And Temari In Shikamaru Hiden

Like many of the names in the Naruto universe, the name Shikamaru Nara has a deeper meaning. Both Japanese names hold significance when it comes to a specific animal.

Shikamaru translates to “as a deer” with the prefix “Shika” literally meaning deer. It’s the first part of the names of all of the men in Shikamaru’s family. The clan name Nara also references deer. Nara was the capital city of Japan in the eighth century, and it’s known for tame deer.

In Naruto, the Nara clan has a special bond with, you guessed it, deer, in the forest that surrounds their family property.

5 How Many Naruto Movies Did Shikamaru Appear In

Shikamaru Leads The Hanabi Rescue Mission In The Last Naruto The Movie

In The Stone of Gelel, Shikamaru was one of the members of Naruto’s team sent on a mission. The Will Of Fire saw all of Naruto’s generation involved in the main storyline. In The Last: Naruto The Movie, Shikamaru was the team leader sent out to retrieve Hanabi and stop Toneri.

4 Why Are His Earrings So Important

Choji Ino Shikamau Asuma Team 10 Naruto

In the early days of the Naruto franchise, Shikamaru was always depicted with small hoop earrings on. That changed to small studs later in the series. The change wasn’t random, but instead part of a rite of passage.

Shikamaru’s team with Ino and Choji was part of a family tradition. Their three shinobi clans had long been allies, and had also long been trained under a member of the Sarutobi clan Their sensei, Asuma, gave the three of them new earrings as a ceremonial measure. It was an acknowledgment that the three of them were no longer children and had graduated to fully capable ninjas.

RELATED: Naruto: 10 Questions About Sasuke, Answered

3 What Is His Star Sign

Shikamaru And Temari In Boruto

Though there are a lot of different types of zodiac charts in the world, we don’t know what year Shikamaru was born, so we can’t address some of them. We do know the day. Born on September 22, Shikamaru is a Virgo when it comes to western astrology.

It’s actually a very fitting sign for Shikamaru. Virgos tend to be critical thinkers, great analysts, and show loyalty. Funnily enough, Shikamaru also seems to attract other Virgos. His eventual wife Temari is also a Virgo. So is his teammate Ino, though she could also be a libra since she was born on the day the signs change.

2 How Many Missions Did He Complete

Shikamaru Protects Kurenai In Naruto Shippuden

Databooks released during the run of the Naruto series revealed a lot of interesting stats about the characters. For example, they revealed that Shikamaru loved kelp, but hated boiled eggs. They also revealed his official mission stats.

Over the course of the series, Shikamaru officially completed 39 missions. That included eight D-rank, three C-rank, nine B-rank, and 19 A-rank missions. The D-rank missions were those deemed easiest for new shinobi Academy graduates, while the difficulty level increased the closer you got to the first letter of the alphabet.

Interestingly, Shikamaru never completed the most difficult of all, the S-rank mission during the run. As an adult in the Boruto franchise, he likely has by now, but the databooks strictly reflect the character’s time in the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden years.

1 What Did Shikamaru See In The Infinite Tsukuyomi

Shikamaru In The Infinite Tsukuyomi In Naruto Shippuden

During the events of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Madara Uchiha planned to place the world in the ultimate genjutsu. The Infinite Tsukuyomi caused everyone to hallucinate their ideal world. The only ones not caught in it were Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura. 

Shikamaru’s world was an interesting one because it called back to the important relationships in his life. He observed his mother and father together, as well as his sensei Asuma with his wife Kurenai. Shikamaru commented that he would never marry, and Temari, there with him, agreed. Despite Shikamaru’s denial, he ended up marrying and starting a family with Temari a few years later. His hallucination demonstrated how the mindset of a character could change.

NEXT: Naruto: 10 Questions About Sakura, Answered

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