Team 7 (Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, Kakashi Hatake) | Team 8 (Hinata Hyuga) | Team 10 | Team Guy | The Legendary Sannin | Hokages | The Uchiha Clan | Other Leaf Village Members | Hidden Sand Village (Gaara) | Hidden Mist Village | Hidden Cloud Village | Hidden Stone Village | Hidden Sound Village (Orochimaru) | Akatsuki (Itachi Uchiha, Tobi, Pain/Nagato) | Madara Uchiha | Other Characters | Hebi/Taka | Tailed Beasts and Their Hosts | Otsutsuki Clan | Anime-Only Characters | Movie-Only Characters | Novel-Only Characters | Game-Only Characters | The New Era
Here be spoilers. Any thing that has not been aired on the free versionnote of Crunchyroll should be spoiler-tagged.
Team 10, also known as Team Asuma, is the sixteenth generation in the InoShikaCho Trio (いの しか ちょうトリオ, InoShikaCho Torio). As such, the three team members are good friends and have exceptional team work, although they tend to bicker from time to time. They were led by Asuma until his death in Part II. Kakashi led them temporarily after that to help them avenge Asuma's death.
Shikamaru was eventually promoted to jonin and became Naruto's advisor and right-hand man when he became Hokage, and married Temari and had a son named Shikadai. Ino married Sai after taking her father's duties for the Shinobi Union, and had a son named Inojin. Choji married Karui and had a daughter named Chocho.
All provide examples of:
- Adaptational Early Appearance: Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji appeared in episode 1 while Asuma appear in episode 1 of the anime, which takes place before the events of the Chunin Exams.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Ino has blonde hair, Shikamaru has black hair, and Choji has auburn hair.
- Break Out Character: Ino (the 'Sakura Type') was Sakura's rival and the leader of her group in the Chuunin Exams. Later Shikamaru (the 'Sasuke Type') actually passed the exams and lead the Sasuke Retrieval Mission, and got an arc devoted to his relationship with his master in Shippuden.
- Combination Attack: The various Ino-Shika-Cho formations require each member of Team 10 to use their respective clan Hiden techniques together.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Choji's the Fighter, using ninjutsu only to enhance his taijutsu. Ino is the Mage, using her Mind Body Switch jutsu to take control of her opponent. Shikamaru is the Thief, using his abilities to remain outside the fray and hinder his opponent's movements.
- Geodesic Cast: A loud guy and a quiet guy (relative to each other), a girl, and an adult in charge. All teams of the Konoha 12 mirror the template set by Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi, respectively. This extends to most groups in the entire Ninja World, not just Naruto's friends.
- Super Mode: Naruto gives all of the Konoha 12 (except the deceased Neji) his Animal Battle Aura via his Chakra Transfer technique and later he gives his peers even more power, allowing them to manifest his Badass Longcoat Battle Aura to deal the final blow to Obito.
- ¡Three Amigos!: All the teams of the Konoha 12 in the series follow this layout for some arbitrary reason or another.
- True Companions: All the teams of the Konoha 12, plus Team 7. Emphasized more in the fillers.
Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo (JP), Tom Gibis (EN), Jorge Saudinós (Spain), Javier Olguín (Latin-America), Jean-Pierre Denuit (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 34 (Manga), Naruto Episode 1 (Anime)
Member of Team 10. Naruto's resident snarky Teen Genius and the poster boy for Brilliant, but Lazy. The first the viewers see of Shikamaru is a person who complains about receiving any work at all. This, combined with the fact that his test scores were almost as low as Naruto's, cause others to initially think that he's a failure and a loser... a perception that Shikamaru doesn't mind in the least. It's only later that Asuma reveals that yes, Shikamaru is perhaps the smartest person in the world, having scored over 200 on an I.Q. test disguised as a game so it wouldn't bore him.
Though, like the rest of his clan, his primary jutsu is the ability to control or attack his enemies by extending his shadow, it's his intelligence that makes Shikamaru the first of the Konoha 11 to be promoted from Genin to Chunin. His fight with Temari impresses the Third Hokage even though he forfeited. His first task isn't an easy one, natch: it's to lead a team consisting of him, Naruto, Choji, Kiba, and Neji to go retrieve Sasuke.
While there, he engages Tayuya, a member of the Sound Four. He almost dies at her hands, but is saved by Temari. Later, after the mission is a failure, he considers quitting, but after some encouragement by his father, decides to stay the course. Through the filler arcs and his early actions in Part II, it's shown that he has decided to, if not step it up, then to at least shoulder some responsibility.
Shikamaru's best friend is his teammate Choji, although he also becomes extremely close to Naruto as the series progresses. Through this friendship, he helps Naruto to recover from a minor Heroic BSoD following Jiraya's death, announcing that he's going to take on Kurenai's kid as his apprentice.
In Part II, he shows up in the first episode (with Temari, no less). He later becomes an Ascended Extra and stars in his own arc. He first joins the newly-formed Niju Shotai (Akatsuki Hunters) with Asuma. There, he's forced to watch as Hidan, a member of Akatsuki, kills his sensei. This provokes him to chase down, engage Hidan and defeat him with surprising little efforts. After he returns, he decides that he's going to become a harder worker to honor Asuma's memory. He also was recruited by Tsunade to decode Jiraiya's final communication to the village. Later, he became acting general in Gaara's place of the Fourth Division with his friend Choji and Temari serving under him. Following the tragic death of his father, Shikamaru takes over as the brains of the Shinobi Alliance and resolves to become Naruto's adviser when he becomes Hokage.
Two years after the war, Shikamaru was assigned as leader of the team to rescue Hinata's kidnapped sister and, thanks to his expertise, ultimately helps save the world. Later he becomes adviser to the new Hokage Naruto, just as he wanted, as well as going on to marry Temari of the Sand Village; together they have one son, Shikadai Nara.
- Action Survivor: Unlike the "born great" Sasuke or Kakashi , he has no motivation and is an average ninja (compared to the ridiculously overpowered main characters and bad guys). However, he has a genius level intellect, and when duty calls, he can use that intellect to defeat much stronger opponents. Significantly, he was one of the first characters in the series to defeat an Akatsuki member, and the first to defeat one in a one-on-one fight. With a hole in the ground and some string. Not to mention, this opponent was apparently immortal.
- Always Second Best: Shikamaru has yet to beat his father at shogi.
- Amazon Chaser: Much as he might like to deny it. Like his dad, he has a penchant for fierce women and fell for the tough, no-nonsense Temari.
- Animal Motifs: Deer.
- Ascended Extra: He's basically become a semi-main character and, besides Hinata, is the most developed of the Konoha 12 outside of Team 7. Later plays an important supporting role in the final movie.
- Babies Ever After: He and Temari married and had a son named Shikadai at the end of the series.
- Badass Beard: Grows a nifty beard by the epilogue, one that closely resembles his father's.
- Badass Bookworm: A particular type (see Book Dumb and Brilliant, but Lazy).
- Batman Gambit: Loves using these in his strategies. For example using Hidan's sadism against him. When he fights Hidan one on one, Hidan could just kill Shikamaru with spikes, but since Hidan is a sadist who is obsessed with his religion, he still used his curse jutsu that made his allies vulnerable.
- Big Brother Mentor: Starting with the Sasuke Recovery Mission arc at the end of Part I, Shikamaru has taken the role as acting as the foil and giving advice to Naruto. This came to its peak when Shikamaru managed to shake Naruto out of his depression over Jiraiya's death. He also does the same with his best friend Choji, whom he has been encouraging ever since they were children.
- Book Dumb: Has never shown any interest in cerebral pursuits, preferring to take a nap, despite his high intelligence.
- Brains and Brawn: With Choji. He's the Brains who thinks up the complicated strategies.
- Brainy Brunette: He's got dark hair and is generally a tactician who uses clever strategies rather than a direct fighter.
- Breakout Character: He became unexpectedly popular and thus his role became more and more prominent as the series went on. This is taken Up to Eleven in the Fourth Shinobi World War Arc where he's placed as commander of the fourth division as Gaara's proxy. One anime's omake lampshades this with Shikamaru suggesting that the series be renamed ''Shikamaru Shippuden'' with Temari as his co-star.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: An excellent example, to the point that he's the former Trope Namer. The "lazy" part is dropped after Asuma's death.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Shikamaru is a genius strategist who is so lazy he'd rather hide his smarts than do paperwork.
- Casting a Shadow: Combined with Shadow Pin, he uses shadows to great effect, so much so that he is capable of both strangling and stabbing people with them.
- Catch Phrase: "Mendokuse." note ("What a drag." in the English dub.)
- Character Development:
- When he first debut, Shikamaru had absolutely no ambitions out of life. He simply wanted a simple life and an average-looking wife. Now, he seems committed to the idea of becoming Naruto's adviser if he becomes Hokage.
- He dropped his sexist views of women after his fight with Tayuya, which included being saved by Temari.
- Character Tics: Tends to slump his shoulders when he finds something "troublesome".
- The Chessmaster: Both literally and allegorically. Shikamaru's only passions are playing shōgi with his teacher (there are several scenes of his games with Azuma) and lazing about. He's also the second most cunning strategist in the Leaf village (beaten only by his father) and his battle with Temari in the Chuunin exam makes a lot of references to his anticipating her moves and using misdirection to lead her into a trap. He was the only one to get promoted in the entire exam group despite forfeiting his match.
- Chess Motifs: Shikamaru and Asuma of use shōgi in place of chess. Shikamaru is a Knight because its unusual movement mirrors his Weak, but Skilled nature and strategic mind.
- Chick Magnet: An interesting case of this, considering how many of his major opponents have been female, and how many admirers he seems to have in real life.
- Combat Tentacles: His Shadow Stitching technique which makes his shadow emerge from the ground as these.
- The Consigliere: As Naruto's chief adviser.
- Cool Old Guy: In Part II, he states his new goal is life is to become a 'super cool grown up' as a role model for the next generation, like Asuma was for him.
- Crazy-Prepared: To Batman levels. He planned the entire fight with Kakuzu and Hidan before it happened and setup a hole to bury Hidan days in advance.
- The Cynic: Shikamaru gained a cynical side towards his views on women because of his mother's Almighty Mom personality. He gets over it by the end of Part I.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His clan specializes in shadow-like jutsus, but Shikamaru is one of the good guys.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has an extremely dry and sarcastic sense of humor.
- Declaration of Protection: Shikamaru looked after Kurenai when she was pregnant. He visited her everyday in the hospital and later defeated one of Animal Pain's summons to protect her.
- Dismotivation: Shikamaru has zero motivation into being a ninja. Later, he snaps out of it.
- Earned Stripes: The first of the group to make Chuunin. He wears the flak jacket as a kid in the Sasuke Retrieval arc when it has only been seen on adults so far in the series.
- Four-Star Badass: He's the co-general (the other is Gaara) of Division 4.
- Gambit Roulette: He would rather make long term plans than consider if they would actually work, such as his battle with Temari where he claimed that he planned out the next 10 moves in advance, having considered over a hundred different strategies despite knowing he didn't have enough chakra.
- Generation Xerox:
- Like the other members of his team, he shares many similarities to his father Shikaku in looks, dress and ability, in addition to the fact that both he and his father are/were part of an Ino-Shika-Cho trio, a dynamic that goes back 16 generations.
- He's also one to Tobirama. Both are fiercely intelligent, calm and have a snarky side. This is reinforced with him declaring he'll be Naruto's right-hand man after the war, just like how Tobirama was to his brother.
- Guile Hero: Shikamaru is widely considered the greatest strategist in Konoha. His accomplishments include out-gambitting a pair of Akatsuki members (extremely dangerous S-Rank criminals, one of whom battled the First Hokage himself), beating his mentor Asuma at Shogi (a Japanese equivalent to chess), and being named the first chunin of his age group, due to his remarkable tactics in his fight against Temari.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Until the Tayuya-Temari incident during the Sasuke Recovery Mission arc.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He even named himself "the number one at running away" or "the number one coward".
- He's Back: After Asuma's death.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Chouji.
- Hidden Depths:
"...marry a regular girl who isn't too ugly and not too pretty. Have two children, first a girl, then a boy. Retire after my daughter is married 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."
- His surprisingly high intelligence adds more depth to him, given that he was portrayed as being lazy. Ironically, even he wasn't aware of it until after being tested.
- He has expressed a notably mature and modest interest in marriage and raising a family. He hopes to:
- Idiot Hero: In the alternate universe of the Filler movie Road To Ninja.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Not so much wanting to be a non-ninja, but rather just a normal ninja.
- Improbably High I.Q.: It's said to be over 200.
- Informed Ability: 200+ IQ is hard to establish, and a lot of the feats that are attributed to this intelligence are themselves informed, such as the idea that he had considered several dozen different scenarios for his fight with Temari, which he forfeited, claiming his chakra was at its limits. Even the method used to measure his IQ was incredibly suspect. IQ tests are dodgy to begin with, and the one Asuma (a potentially biased second party) somehow altered the test so that it would work as a board game without corrupting the results.
- Insufferable Genius: Averted. Unlike Sasuke or (initially) Neji, Shikamaru doesn't brag about how smart he is.
- It's All My Fault:
- Shikamaru says this at the end of the Sasuke Retrival mission that very nearly got two of his friends killed. Neither his boss nor his father deny that it is, but urge him to instead think of the failure as motivation to do better the next time, rather than run away from responsibility and risk entrusting his friends to someone who might not bring them back alive.
- In the anime, he repeatedly says this just before Asuma dies, as it flashes back to a strategy meeting held before the battle.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Particularly when saying moping won't help anything.
- He's right on how Naruto moping about Jiraiya's death won't solve anything and he has to go on and try to do what his teacher entrusted him to do.
- When his and Ino's father were killed, he orders Choji to not try to comfort either him or Ino. It was cold, but necessary since they were in a war and had to focus. And not let their deaths be in vain.
- In The Last, while his words may have been harsh, Shikamaru was right in calling out Naruto for moping about Hinata's "rejection" instead of trying to save her, Hanabi, and the world from Toneri.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not as apathetic as he seems. Shikamaru has a strong moral compass and sense of commitment towards his comrades. Even though, by his own testimony, he lacks bravery, he will sacrifice himself and face almost certain death, for the sake of his friends and/or villagers without a second thought. He's actually very sophisticated, even if he might be overly lazy.
- Knife Nut: Takes Asuma's Chakra Blades after his death and uses them for his Shadow Pin move. He also has a tanto he attempted to behead Hidan with.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: After finally catching Temari in his Shadow Possession Jutsu, he immediately forfeits the match. He admits that it took so long to finally catch her that he exhausted almost all of his chakra to the point where he couldn't really do anything meaningful by that point. This is actually one of the traits that earns him the Chuunin rank, since a wise ninja needs to know when to call for a retreat in a serious situation.
- The Leader: After becoming the first to be promoted to Chuunin, he becomes the unofficial leader of the Konoha 12, internal leader of Team 10, and leader of the Sasuke Retrieval Squad (which was the best available Konoha 12 members anyway). Shikamaru is a combination of the Mastermind and Levelheaded types and is noted for having exceptional skills at battle strategy and giving orders. Like Naruto he's also considered in the run for Hokage, however he just sees himself as one of Naruto's advisers when the latter becomes Hokage.
- Like Brother and Sister: Because of the close relationship between their clans, he's essentially Choji and Ino's brother.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Not to the same extent as Hinata, but Shikamaru has been a help to Naruto at multiple points. He was the one to snap Naruto out of his funk when Jiraiya died, and his goal in life became advising Naruto once the latter became Hokage.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: When we finally get to see him with his hair down.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: Has one in Shikamaru Hiden, where he realises that he actually loves and wants to protect Temari. It's what helps him resist Gengo's charm and find the strength to fight against him.
- Meaningful Name: All three members of Team 10 are named after the hanafuda card trick ino-shika-chou (boar-deer-butterfly). Shikamaru means "deer child," Nara is a city known for its deer park, and Shikamaru's family raises deer for their antlers.
- Mr. Fanservice: Like Kiba, Neji, Naruto, and Sasuke, he has a dedicated female fanbase.
- Mundane Made Awesome: His creative use of his shadow justsu is this. Nearly everything gives off shadows, from explosions to the bombs that make them, tree branches... if his shadow can't reach you, he'll make a way for it to reach you.
- Nerves of Steel: Has shown them a number of times. During the war, when Kinkaku launches an attack against him, he doesn't move and lets the attack come within inches of killing him without even blinking. He apparently was waiting for Ino to use her mind transfer jutsu.
- Not So Stoic: Shikamaru is one of the hardest people to shake up, unless it involves the people he loves.
- Number Two: Becomes Naruto's chief adviser after the latter becomes Hokage.
- Oblivious to Love: Clueless that Shiho has a huge crush on him or that Temari may like him. He's almost as oblivious as Naruto when it comes to his own feelings. Shikamaru Hiden shows that he had to have his ass saved by Temari again in order to realize he was in love with her, even though he dreamt they were a couple during the Infintite Tsukuyomi.
- Odd Friendship: With Naruto. On the surface, they seem to have nothing in common, with Naruto being the Hot-Blooded Idiot Hero and Shikamaru being the Smart Guy yet Brilliant, but Lazy, but they have an strong friendship that is one of Naruto's few normal ones. Bonus points for the fact that even in their Academy days, although Naruto didn't consider him one of his True Companions back then, Shikamaru was one of the few people in their age group (the others being Kiba and Choji) whom Naruto seemed to get along with well enough to actually spend time in his company (although that was mainly shown in filler, so how much of it was actually canon is unknown). Not quite friendship then (more like friendly acquaintance), but it forms a basis for one when the series began and they (along with the rest of the Konoha 11) gradually become Fire-Forged Friends.
- Official Couple: With Temari.
- Opposites Attract: With Temari. He's lazy, calm, and prone to doubting himself; she's an aggressive Action Girl.
- Papa Wolf: When Amado had Shikamaru's son, Shikadai, hostage with a bomb strapped to his neck, Shikamaru was furious and was almost ready to pounce on the man for any slight mishap if Naruto didn't calm him down. Even Naruto noted how it was so unlike Shikamaru to lose his cool like that.
- Platonic Life-Partners: He and Choji are this with Ino. Their clans usually go together and the three have become close friends but there's nothing romantic to their relationship, even as adults in the Distant Finale. Ironically their children argue a lot.
- Photographic Memory: Shikamaru is implied to have this, considering he memorized Tayuya's finger patterns when she uses her flute for her jutsus.
- Plot-Driven Breakdown: His Shadow Possession jutsu seems to get weaker each time he uses it in succession during a fight, regardless of how much chakra he has at the moment. During Shikamaru's fight with Hidan, the latter directly notes this even as he struggles to escape it for the third time.
- Poisonous Friend: Shikamaru Hiden shows that he believes it's his duty to become this for Naruto. Subverted in that it's more to do with pragmatism rather than what's typical of this trope as he still maintains a strong sense of morals.The more the light shines, the darker the shadows grow. But as long as there was someone to take on the burden of those shadows, it would be fine. Shikamaru thought that it was his duty to be that "someone".
- Putting On My Thinking Cap: Squatting down, closing his eyes, and holding his outstretched fingers and thumbs in a circle at about stomach level.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the very calm and laid-back Blue compared to his more dynamic teammates' Reds.
- Rescue Romance: It took Temari saving Shikamaru again in Shikamaru Hiden to have him realize his feelings for her.
- Running Gag: During Part I, any time he fought one on one, his opponent was female.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Both Ino and Temari invoke this trope when they are around him.
- Shadow Pin: He can use the various Nara clan Hiden techniques, which can be used to restrain someone or to control an enemy's movement. He develops the traditional version after getting Asuma's Charka Blades.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Regarding Temari. Unsurprisingly, they marry.
- Shipper on Deck: He gives a tender smile along with Sai and Sakura when Naruto and Hinata have a loving moment in The Last.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Shikamaru doesn't show any romantic interest in any girl, except Temari, who he marries and has a son with.
- The Smart Guy: One of the smartest characters in the series. His I.Q. is over 200 and he becomes one of the strategists in the Fourth Shinobi World War.
- Smart People Play Chess: Well Shogi (the Japanese equivalent) anyway.
- Smoking Is Cool: Shikamaru took up the habit after Asuma's death.
- The So-Called Coward: Shikamaru even calls himself a "coward". On the contrary, he's one of the bravest of his peers and has mastered being someone with Nerves of Steel.
- Squishy Wizard: Shikamaru is lacking in any physical combat ability and will only resort to close ranged combat as a feint or last resort.
- The Stoic: One of the hardest to crack or rile up.
- The Strategist: He claims to be able to think of over 100 battle plans in a few minutes and predict their outcomes.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Shikamaru and his father are almost identical and Shikamaru's son follows suit.
- Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Shikamaru has an IQ of 200 and fights with deep tactics, utilizing his Shadow Pin technique to take control of his opponent's body, and his techniques are used more for submission or incapacitation rather than doing heavy damage. Temari is a girl of strong personality and fights by blowing massive cutting winds at her opponents to overwhelm them.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: In spite of his snarky, apathetic demeanor, he strongly cares for his friends.
- Take Up My Sword:
- Shikamaru inherits Asuma's chakra blade as well as his Will of Fire; his spiritual philosophy. He promises to look after and train up his teacher's unborn child as well.
- Additionally, for a short while Shikamaru also took up Asuma's habit of smoking and even finished off Hidan with one of his cigarettes. If you're reading the English manga or watching the anime this is accomplished instead with Asuma's lighter, which he still has.
- Later on, he also takes up on his dad's position as the Chief Strategist for the Alliance.
- Teen Genius: His I.Q. is over 200. Note that in the real world, only one person has ever been verified to have an IQ over 200.
- Thinking Tic: Closing his eyes and cupping his fingers allows him to come up with brilliant strategies.
- Took a Level in Badass: Eventually stops trying to find a way out of being a ninja and starts to actively participate as one to protect his village and loved ones.
- Took a Level in Idealism: At the beginning, Shikamaru didn't want to do much with his life. It was only after his sensei's death that he decided to start becoming more then what he thought he could be.
- Tragic Keepsake: After Asuma's death, Shikamaru kept his sensei's lighter and Chakra Blades.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Shikamaru and Choji are this in the Filler movie Road To Ninja.
- Weak, but Skilled: Shikamaru has little direct attacking ability but his cleverness and very productive use of standard ninja tools prove to be more then a match for incredibly powerful ninja. This is one of the traits why he'd be the perfect adviser for next Hokage; he's chosen to become Naruto's adviser. It usually bites him in the ass since he doesn't have enough strength to pull a killing blow on a strong opponent like Tayuya or 9 sound ninjas.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Is almost never shown using another jutsu outside his Shadow Imitation Technique and Shadow Neck Binding Technique.
- Wise Beyond His Years:
- See the speech he gives to Naruto after Jiraiya's death, which is also influenced by his own experiences after Asuma's death. Also a by-product of his over 200 I.Q.
- He's also one of the few to realize there's something messed up with the way Naruto is treated by the village as a child.
- Worthy Opponent: Viewed Tayuya of the Sound Five as one during their battle, a sentiment she begrudgingly reciprocated.
- Would Hit a Girl: Discussed, as he claims that its against his moral code to strike a lady and that it isn't classy for a guy to do so. Then Enforced, since he has also had the misfortune of having female opponents for all of his major battles during the first series. However, his style of fighting at that time didn't involve directly hitting to begin with, and he says that he isn't exactly a classy guy to begin with. He exploits a loophole within his own moral code when Tayuya goes One-Winged Angel, allowing himself to attack her directly because she's no longer a human girl.Shikamaru: "Socking a defenseless woman goes against my policy, but, you don't seem in any way defenseless."
Voiced by: Kentaro Ito (JP), Robbie Rist (EN), Alfonso Manjavacas (Spain), Manuel Campuzano (Latin America), Thierry Janssen (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 34 (Manga), Naruto Episode 1 (Anime)
Member of Team 10. Choji is Shikamaru's best friend, and the two hang out together frequently. He's also fat, but this is likely due to the fact that his clan's specialty is a jutsu that converts calories to chakra. He's constantly seen eating to shore up his chakra reserves. But he hates being called "fat" (he prefers "chubby" or "plump"), so don't call him that.
As a child, we learn Choji was frequently left out of childhood activities and sometimes even bullied because of his large size. Shikamaru stood up for him one day, beginning their long friendship.
In battle, Choji relies on the Body Expansion Technique, which causes his body to both balloon in size and roll into a boulder shape. He then rolls around and tries to crush his enemies. He's later shown using variants on this move, such as the Partial Body Expansion, where he'll just expand his arms.
In the Sasuke Recovery Mission arc, he is part of the team sent to retrieve Sasuke. He tangles with Jirobo, who has the upper hand for most of the battle. It's only after Choji uses the three Food Pills of the Akimichi clan — a move which nearly costs him his life — that he can gather enough strength to beat him. In Part II, he helped his team defeat Hidan and Kakuzu after they killed Asuma. When the war started, he was shown as a member of the Fourth Division with his best friend Shikamaru, Temari, and Gaara. The events of the war helped in shaping up Choji's character further, enabling him to master his clan's forbidden techniques completely.
By war's end and by the time of the epilogue, Choji goes on to marry Karui of the Lightning Village and together they have one daughter, Chocho Akimichi.
- Acrofatic: He might be on the heavy side, but he's still a ninja.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Nowhere as much as Naruto, but he still was picked on for his size until Shikamaru stood up for him and he became a member of Team 10.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: To his daughter Chocho, although she changes her mind after seeing him in his slim form.
- Animal Motifs: Butterflies.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: One variant of the Akimichi clan's Body Expansion Technique.
- Badass Beard: Cultivates an impressive one after the end of the War, which has grown even more impressive by the Epilogue.
- Babies Ever After: With Karui.
- Bait-and-Switch: When he reunites with Naruto after the Time Skip, Naruto calls him chubby and an angry expression appears on his face. It looks like he's going to attack Naruto, but he's actually looking at an ink tiger Sai sent to attack them.
- Balloon Belly: Worked into his fighting style.
- Battle Aura: Two, one due to Calorie Control which sports him wings, and the other from Naruto who gives him a cloak.
- Berserk Button: He has a lot:
- Do not call him fat;Choji: Fat!? I'm just pleasingly plump!
- Do not steal the last piece of meat or the last chip under his nose;Choji: The last bite! The end of the meal, the most precious morsel of meat. I won't let any one take the last piece away from me!
- Last but not least, DO NOT INSULT SHIKAMARU!Choji: I can't forgive you for calling me fat! But even more than that Not just for stealing the last chip or calling me fat most importantly I won't forgive anyone who insults my best friend!
- Do not call him fat;
- Because You Were Nice to Me: His friendship and intense loyalty towards Shikamaru started when the latter defended Choji from those who didn't want him to play in their ninja games because he was fat.
- Be the Ball: His Expansion Jutsu which turns him into a what amounts to a human wrecking ball.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's normally pretty affable, but do not push his afore-mentioned berserk buttons. Jirobo found this out the hard way. Moreover, he was the first rookie to be shown killing anyone on screen.
- Big Eater: Of course. Justified trope, though, for his fighting style.
- Big Fun: He is a funny Big Eater who's willing to defend his friends with his life. But remember not to call him fat.
- The Big Guy: Uses physical attacks more than the other Konoha Eleven.
- Bishōnen Line: The chilli pill has him lose thirty pounds and gain some pretty wings. His calorie control jutsu does the same thing for him after the Time Skip.
- Brains and Brawn: With Shikamaru. He's the Brawn who uses his power-style jutsu to mow down the enemies.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth:
- After Choji defeats Jirobo, allowing Naruto, Kiba and the rest of the retrieval team to continue on, he staggers to a tree and sags against it in a very moving death scene. Right after he collapses, a blue butterfly passes Shikamaru, who looks dismayed. Doubly significant in that Choji's name means 'butterfly', and that is the form that his supposedly fatal final attack takes: glowing butterfly wings of chakra.
- In Part II, Choji achieves this form without pills, and it enables him to defeat his undead sensei. It also symbolizes Choji's growth as a person; indeed, the Akimichi clan's oath, which clan members take as a coming-of-age ceremony, uses the symbol of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis and taking flight.
- Character Development:
- As stated by his father and teacher, Chōji greatly lacked confidence in himself and his abilities which often times hindered his actions or even progression in some aspects. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, however, Chōji was able to overcome these issues and become one of the major contributing factors in the Allied Shinobi Forces turning the tide of the battle in their favour.
- Since Part II of the series, his eating habits are more controlled and no longer interfere with his duties as a shinobi.
- Comfort Food: Tends to eat a lot when he's upset.
- Cowardly Lion: Mostly in Part I, but still has some attributes of this in Part II.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At least in Part I. When he's angered, he goes in complete badass mode.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: During the mission to retrieve Sasuke, Chouji brought his clan's trump card, a trio of special pills. The Akimichi rely on their Stout Strength to fight and so the special fills convert their excess body fat into chakra and power. Starting with the green spinach pill, the yellow mustard pill and lastly the red chili pill, each one makes him stronger, but the red one is especially dangerous. When Chouji is forced to use it, it increases his strength a hundredfold, but it is fatal and he would've died had Tsunade not been able to get to him on time and armed with the info on the pills.
- Deadly Upgrade: As mentioned, the Akimichi food Pills.
- Determinator: Don't let him being big-boned fool you. He never gives it up. Especially when his friends need him.
- Elemental Punch: Like Hinata his Butterfly Bullet Bombing is of the Pure Energy variety, and is made up of his chakra wings.
- Facial Markings: A spiral on each cheek, he also gets markings under his eyes when he goes gigantic.
- Food Pills: With some overlap with Bottled Heroic Resolve, near the end of Part I in order to defeat Jirobou, Choji has to use the dangerous three colored Food Pills of his clan to give him enough power to win his battle.
- Formerly Fat: In the alternate universe of the Filler movie Road To Ninja.
- Also the result when he eats the red, as it converts virtually all excess fat into chakra.
- Generation Xerox: Like the other members of his team, he shares a similar appearance to his father Chouza in both looks and ability.
- Gentle Giant: Kind of dim and always bottomless, but a really loyal and kind friend. Unfortunately, his kindness gets him into trouble in the battle with Asuma.
- Heir to the Dojo: Choji is slated to become the sixteenth Head of the Akimichi clan after his father.
- Hospital Hottie: Not Choji himself, but a Shippuden filler arc reveals he finds female nurses quite attractive.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Choji would fall in love with and later marry Fiery Redhead, Karui.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: According to Asuma and his father, Choji's greatest weakness was his low self-confidence. He manages to overcome it.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Shikamaru.
- Hot Wings: His Calorie Control jutsu gives him a pair of butterfly wings that look like they are made of blue fire.
- I Am Big Boned: Or just chubby (which heavily implies being overweight, but never tell him that). This is his argument against being called fat, though it's justified in Part II especially after using his calorie control which shows he's got a Heroic Build under his fat.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: A boy to girl variant. He was more-or-less convinced that no girl would be able to see past his chubby exterior and fall in love with him.Choji: (to Choza) "Time's have changed. Girls aren't as open-minded."
- Thankfully, he was wrong: the Epilogue reveals he and Karui got married and have a daughter, Chocho. And, as Naruto Gaiden shows, Karui doesn't care one bit about his eating habits, although she says she's not going to partake in eating king-sized lunch for breakfast.
- Idiot Hero: Although it's in quite a different way from Naruto. He prioritizes eating over his missions and lets himself get easily riled up when someone calls him "fat". He gets over the food fixation post-Time Skip, but "fat", "fatso", etc are still forbidden words.
- Irony: He's a chubby Acrofatic tank, and yet his name doesn't sound hulking...
- Kevlard: Chouji can use a jutsu to do thisjustified, as he turns into a huge sphere of fat, and it's reasonable to assume his vital organs are somewhere in the center.
- Leeroy Jenkins: When someone pushes one of his Berserk Buttons, especially the "fat" one, he quickly loses his cool and attacks his enemy without any sort of plan. Kakuzu and the reanimated Asuma used this to their advantage.
- Lightning Bruiser: After taking the third pill against Jirobo, he is able to outpace him in his Level Two State and defeat him in three moves.
- Like Brother and Sister: Because of the close relationship between their clans, he is essentially Shikamaru and Ino's brother.
- Lost Food Grievance: DON'T take his last chip.
- Manly Tears: Is one of the weepier male shinobi and has a tendency to let his emotions run away with him.
- Meaningful Name: "Choji" means "butterfly", and his fight against Jirobo sees him gain butterfly wings made of chakra.
- Megaton Punch: The Butterfly Bullet Bombing. An Elemental Punch he describes as being "heavier than life". It's what lands the killing blow on Jirobo.
- Mighty Glacier: Excellent strength and stamina for his age group, but somewhat lackluster speed. Until he takes the final pill against Jirobo, that is.
- Nice Guy: Often regarded as the nicest and most sensitive of the Konoha 12, along with Hinata. Unfortunately he might be a little too nice for his line of work.
- Official Couple: With Karui in the Distant Finale.
- Pair the Spares: With Karui.
- Photographic Memory: Despite not being one of his defying traits, Choji proved to possess a very good photographic memory in the Pain arc. After surviving a failed attempt to stop the main body of Pain from attacking Konoha, which led to Choza and Kakashi to sacrifice themselves for him, he successfully reached and informed Tsunade of every little bit of information he gathered about the enemy including the interval of five seconds needed to recharge the Shinra Tensei, which was vital for Naruto's ultimate victory against Pain, thus assuring Kakashi's sacrifice to save him not to be wasted.
- Platonic Life-Partners: He and Shikamaru are this with Ino. Their clans usually go together and the three have become close friends but there's nothing romantic to their relationship, even as adults in the Distant Finale. Ironically their children argue a lot.
- Power Gives You Wings: Butterfly wings to be precise, a mark of the Akimichi clan. The first time he needs a Deadly Upgrade. Second time he is able to do this without the use of pills, a symbol of coming of age.
- Power Palms: Has taijutsu technique like this fittingly themed after a sumo wrestlers open palm slap.
- Power Perversion Potential: His main power is to expand his body parts.
- Prehensile Hair: He can make it long and sharp to enhance his Rolling Attack.
- Real Men Eat Meat: The kanji on his shirt and armor translates into "meat" and according to the databooks, he enjoys Korean barbecue.
- Red Is Heroic: In Part II, he sports a red suit with plated armour on his torso, arms, and upper legs, which is seemingly the standard attire for shinobi in his clan.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Shikamaru's Blue.
- Rolling Attack: His signature move to which he transforms into a ball, upgraded into a razor ball during the Sasuke Recovery Mission arc and uses his hair as said razors in Part II.
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Wears one in Part I and finally shows his inhuman strength during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc.
- Serious Business: The last piece of beef or chip.
- Shipper on Deck: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 has Choji agree with Ino that Temari is perfect for Shikamaru.
- Sizeshifter: In Part II, he gains the ability to increase his size.
- Stout Strength: A fat ninja with super strength.
- Super Mode: Choji has one aptly called Butterfly Mode where he gains wings and turns his excess body fat into pure chakra.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- In his first encounter with Kakuzu he wasn't able to even harm him with his Super Open Palm Slap, but his rematch with Kakuzu is very one sided and ends with Kakuzu crushed like a bug underneath his fist.
- Before that, he beat Jirobo all by himself - The only other ninja to defeat a Sound Five member by themselves was Neji.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: At the start of the series he was shown as a coy kid, with a faint frown as his default expression. As the manga progressed (starting when his friendship with Shikamaru became more evident) he changed his general behaviour to that of a friendly and optimistic young man. By the time of the Distant Finale Choji is so cheerful in public he has become an amazingly embarassing dad for his daughter Chouchou.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Choji was seldom seen without a bag of chips in Part I. Completely vanishes in Part II.
- Undying Loyalty: Chouji's faith in Shikamaru is unwavering. Every time Jirobo remarked on Shikamaru leaving Chouji behind to die, Chouji angrily corrected him in that Shikamaru had faith he would come out victorious.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Shikamaru and Choji are this in the Filler movie Road To Ninja.
Voiced by: Ryoka Yuzuki (JP), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (EN), Alicia Sainz de la Maza (Spain), Karla Falcón (Latin America), Alexandra Corréa (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 34 (Manga), Naruto Episode 1 (Anime)
Member of Team 10 and the "Ino" in the Ino-Shika-Cho. Her family runs a florist shop, although her father is also a ninja; she is often seen working there between missions. Personality-wise, she's something of the temperamental type. She and Sakura used to be best friends, but after they learned they both had crushes on Sasuke and Sakura had developed quite an inferiority complex in regards to this and Ino herself, they decided to become bitter rivals. This rivalry lasted until they met in battle in the Chunin Exams, when, after some clever plotting on Ino's part and some grit and determination on Sakura's part, they tied, and their friendship was restored.
Much like her teammates, Ino specializes in one technique: specifically, the Mind-Body Transfer Technique. This jutsu allows the user to switch consciousness with another human, but causes their own body to pass out for the duration. It also has a fairly short range.
At the end of the first series, Ino sees Sakura's growth and decides to become Tsunade's apprentice as well. When Part II begins, she has already become a medic, but her medical knowledge isn't quite enough to save Asuma from dying later on, which causes her quite a bit angst. She then goes with Shikamaru and Choji to defeat Kakuzu and Hidan and avenge Asuma. Later she was shown as a member of the Fifth Division as the Shinobi Alliance faces off against Madara.
After the events of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino's maturation enables her to finally move past her affections for Sasuke and instead she goes on to love Sai. By the time of the epilogue, they have one son together, Inojin Yamanaka.
- Action Girl: Not until Part II. Then it allowed us to see how mentally and physically badass she can be.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Her green eyes in the manga become blue in the anime.
- Affectionate Nickname: Sai refers to her as "Miss Beautiful" in Part II and in Shikamaru Hiden.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Like most of the girls in her class, Ino couldn't keep her eyes off of Sasuke. She gets over it and becomes an Official Couple with Sai.
- Babies Ever After: With Sai. They have a son in the epilogue. Somewhat fitting as Sakura and Ino once competed for Sasuke. Sakura got him, Ino got his replacement.
- Bare Your Midriff: In Part II, she stops wearing the bandages on her midriff that she wore when she was younger.
- Berserk Button: Don't call her "Ino-Pig/Ino-Buta."note Ino: Who're you calling "pig", you billboard brow?!
- Big Damn Heroes: Manages to control Obito who's controlling the Juubi for a few seconds, enough to redirect the beast's Wave-Motion Gun away from Naruto, albeit with Hinata's assistance.
- Bully Hunter: How she ended up befriending Sakura in the first place.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Ino is revealed to be this in Sakura Hiden — she, who had taken every opportunity to hug Sasuke when they were kids and even used her *ahem* charms to distract Neji, is shy and uncertain around Sai. Her reaction to seeing him half-naked says it all.
- Character Development:
- By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Ino has demonstrated more bravery and confidence, so much so that she was unfazed when told by Shikamaru how powerful the Gold and Silver Brothers were. She even told her team-mates to man-up when their resolves began to waver. Keeping to the promise she made to Asuma, Ino has resolved to put her life on the line, to protect her team-mates and her village no matter what. By the time her father died, he believed that she had truly blossomed into the bush clover of the Yamanaka family, and is proud of her bonds with her friends.
- As a married mother, her personality remains largely the same as she easily scares her son for being late. At the same time, she has developed a great respect for her clan's traditions and legacy, very adamant about passing on the Yamanaka techniques to Inojin and continuing the custom of forming a new generation of InoShikaChō.
- Character Tics: Ino sticks out her tongue when she's being playful or flirty.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: To Sasuke in Part I. She gets over it, in stark contrast to Sakura.
- Combat Medic: A Medic and a ninja. Pretty self explanatory.
- Combination Attack: She pulls one off with Hinata, combining her Mind Transfer with Hinata's Byakugan to get more accurate results. Heck, all of the InoShikaCho combinations are this.
- Cool Big Sis: She can be seen as a sister to Shikamaru and Choji. Team 10 is that close. Although she is the same age as them, she comes off more as a big sister who provides motivation for Shikamaru and common sense to Choji. One of Asuma's last living requests to Ino were that she take care of Shikamaru and Chouji, since the other 2 were socially awkward.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Especially in Part II, her skirt barely reached her knees.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasions, at Sakura's expense.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Her irises are black and her pupils are light blue. They're also gigantic, as if they're eternally dilated.
- Fanservice Pack: Her outfit post-Time Skip. And contrary to Hinata, she doesn't try to hide her buxom.
- Faux Action Girl: The girl was touted as one of the most talented kunoichi, but the plot doesn't back up the claim until Part II.
- Flower Motifs: From a young age, her father, Inoichi, raised her to embody the meaning of the bush clover, which symbolizes a blunt, candid love.
- The Force Is Strong with This One: She is a Sensor type.
- Freaky Friday Sabotage / Grand Theft Me: Her Mind Transfer Jutsu.
- Girly Bruiser: Very girly, but aggressive too.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: A girly girl who can kick ass.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Ino has platinum blond hair and she is brave, kind, and really cares about her friends and teammates.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Possibly even moreso than Sakura.
- Healing Hands: She learns some healing jutsus in Part II, though not to the same extent as Sakura.
- Hotter and Sexier: Her design after the Time Skip. Takes it further in The Last.
- Hot-Blooded: The most passionate and energetic of Team 10 by far.
- Important Haircut: With a twist. She apparently cuts it in the middle of a hissy fit after Sakura taunts her in their fight, but she was faking said tantrum and used the discarded locks to trap Sakura and use her Mind Transfer Jutsu on her. Ultimately Averted; the haircut turns out to be temporary when she, unlike Sakura, grows her hair back to its normal length after the Time Skip.
- Informed Ability: According to the databooks, Ino graduated second in her class behind Sasuke, but she doesn't show off her skills until Part II.
- Icy Blue Eyes: In the anime, she has striking light blue eyes.
- Innocent Flower Girl: Subverted. She works part-time in her family's shop and she's anything but naive.
- Irony: Her name means "boar", but she's actually a gorgeous boy-crazy florist.
- The Leader: Headstrong type when team 10 was essentially a Friendly Rival version of the Terrible Trio. She was the bossy lady in charge with Shikamaru and Choji as her fat and skinny lazy henchmen. Then Shikamaru was made Chunin and he took over the role.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: During the war, Ino manages to link her and Shikamaru's mind to the entire Shinobi Alliance. Her father needed a special machine to do it for him so the stress wouldn't kill him. Hell when asked if she could even do this she simply stated it didn't matter if she couldn't because she would do it.
- Like Brother and Sister: Because of the close relationship between their clans, she is essentially Shikamaru and Choji's sister.
- The Load: Mostly in filler. She feels like this in the Shiitenshounin arc and in the Three-Tails' Appearance arc. In the former, because she couldn't help Temari and Shikamaru. In the latter, because she has the weakest chakra control of all the sealing team. Eventually grows out of it.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: By Part II, Ino has the longest hair of the female ninjas and is the most girly.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Her backstory shows that she was the first one to befriend Sakura and not bully her for her Forehead of Doom, and later protected her from Ami, a more standard Alpha Bitch.
- Loving a Shadow: Ino was only interested in Sasuke because of his looks and talents. After the war, she gets over him, falling in love with and later marrying Sai.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Unlike her contemporaries, she kept her Yamanaka surname after marriage. She is head of her clan. There is no way she would have changed her clan surname. Probably 'helps' that her husband Sai doesn't remember his original last (or first) name, due to his former Root training, which led to him taking on Yamanaka as a last name in their marriage.
- The Medic: She is a medical ninja like Sakura. This status is played up in the anime, but the manga focuses more on her Psychic Powers.
- Morality Pet: For Sai. She's the sole person he doesn't insult with his bluntness (just see her Affectionate Nickname).
- Ms. Fanservice: In Part II, she became Hotter and Sexier, no longer wore the bandages that covered her stomach, and also wore fishnet tights. In the Naruto Hiden light novels and The Last, she wore a long skirt that completely hid her legs, but became even more attractive and wore an even shorter shirt than in Part II.
- Mystical White Hair: She has very long platinum blonde hair.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Glomps Sasuke whenever possible in Part I. He isn't there in Part II for us to see if she's got over it.
- Odango Hair: During the Chunin Exams finale in Part I.
- Official Couple: With Sai, who becomes her husband.
- Opposites Attract: Again, with Sai She's highly emotional and socially savvy, while he's an Emotionless Boy that lacks social skills.
- Peek-a-Bangs: In Part II, her hair covers the right side of her face.
- People Puppets: Her clan's signature Mind Body Disturbance skill allows her to temporarily gain control of an opponent's body.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Ino is this with Shikamaru and Choji. Their clans usually go together and the three have become close friends but there's nothing romantic to their relationship, even as adults in the Distant Finale. Ironically their children argue a lot.
- Pride: Ino takes a great deal of pride in her appearance, which is evident even during her younger days in the Academy. She also takes great effort to keep up as well as improve her appearance, as seen from her constant dieting to lose weight in the belief it will make her more attractive.
- Psychic Powers: Mind Control, Mind Probe, Possession, Sensing and Telepathy are all part of her family's special abilities.
- Purple Is Powerful: The main color scheme of her clothing is purple.
- Rapunzel Hair: In Part II, Ino's reaches to her waist. It goes down to her knees in The Last.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni:
- The more dynamic, loud Red to Shikamaru's calm and disinterested Blue.
- Ino is the elegant Blue to Sakura's rough-house Red.
- Sarashi: Part of her outfit in Part I.
- Shipper on Deck:
- She's the local Asuma/Kurenai "fangirl". In one scene, Ino knows the flowers Asuma wants are for Kurenai before he tells her.
- Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 shows that Ino thinks Temari is perfect for Shikamaru.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: After getting over her crush on Sasuke, Ino appears to have develop this with Sai. Their first meeting has him referring to her as "Miss Beautiful". They end up marrying and having a son, Inojin.
- Squishy Wizard: She's an illusionist and a mind hacker, not a warrior.
- Stripperiffic: Much less post-Time Skip, despite actually showing more skin.
- Support Party Member: Ino admits her abilities are not suited for simple fights and works best in team situations.
- Team Mom: Asuma asks her to take care of Shikamaru and Choji before he dies.
- The Tease: Very confident in her seductive abilities.
- Tomboy And Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Sakura's Tomboy, albeit with her own tomboyish streak.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the Fourth Shinobi World War, her timing with the Mind Body Switch Technique has improved to a point that she only needs a target to be briefly immobilized in order to invade their mind. According to Inoichi, her use and releasing of the technique has improved drastically.
- Tsundere: Lovestruck with Sasuke, tomboyish with everyone else. Although after Part I ends, she forgets about Sasuke and develops deeper bonds with Shikamaru and Choji as they become her "boys".
- We Used to Be Friends: With Sakura, but they got better.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: In the alternate universe of the Filler movie Road To Ninja.
Voiced by: Jurota Kosugi (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN), Iván Jara (Spain), Andrés García (Latin America), Robert Dubois (French)
Debut: Naruto Chapter 34 (Manga), Naruto Episode 3 (Anime)
Leader of Team 10, Asuma Sarutobi is the son of the Third Hokage. In his teen years, he had something of a falling-out with the old man and decided to travel abroad. A highly talented jōnin-level shinobi, having even once been part of the Twelve Guardian Ninja an elite hand-picked team which served to protect the Land of Fire's daimyō, a role which later earned him a bounty of 35,000,000 ryō.. Later, he returned to the town and became a Jonin.
In combat, Asuma relies on his Wind Chakra, which he channels through his trench knives. This allows him to hit targets from a distance. He can also use his omnipresent cigarettes to generate flames, which can cause third-degree burns.
In the first series, he really doesn't do much besides play Mr. Exposition, take care of his team, get knocked around by Kisame, and get accused of dating Kurenai.
In Part II, he plays something of a more expanded role. While Naruto is trying to learn the Wind Rasengan, Asuma gives him the advice needed to complete the first stage of his training. In an anime-only filler arc, more of his backstory with the Twelve Ninja Guardians (only alluded to in the manga) is elaborated upon. Later, he and Shikamaru mobilize as part of the Niju Shotai (Akatsuki Hunters), where he engages Hidan in battle. Though he successfully decapitates his opponent, it's to no avail: Hidan is immortal. Hidan then completes the ritual that allows him to kill Asuma. It succeeds. After Shikamaru kicks some serious ass in his memory, we learn that Kurenai is carrying his child.
Kabuto later resurrected him with Edo Tensei. He managed to resist the Mind Control as he fought Team 10, and once defeated he compliments them as he's sealed away. His soul later moves on when Edo Tensei is undone, with his memory living on in his wife and new daughter Mirai.
- Adapted Out: He's absent in the musical theater adaptations.
- Ashes to Ashes: One of his signature jutsu is Fire Release: Ash Burning, breathing out a cloud of explosive ash.
- Badass Beard: Asuma has a very cool, spiky beard.
- Badass Teacher: The formidable sensei of Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji.
- Back from the Dead: Thanks to Kabuto resurrecting him. He gets sent back to the dead after his students defeat him.
- Blow You Away: His main ability along with Razor Wind. His Hien (Flying Swallow) ability adds in Absurdly Sharp Blade and Laser Blade in the mix.
- Character Death: He was killed by Hidan.
- Chess Motifs: Uses lots of shogi motifs referring to Shikamaru as a knight and himself as a gold general and of course his famous line as seen by his page quote.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Kurenai — They were teammates in their childhood, entered a romantic relationship as adults, and have a child together.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Easily kills nine Sound Ninja who would have been too much for Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru combined.
- A Death in the Limelight: Around the time of his death, we learned much about his character, such as his past and family relations.
- Disappeared Dad: He becomes one himself after his death at the hands of the Akatsuki.
- Everyone Can See It: His relationship with Kurenai.
- Former Teen Rebel: Asuma had a disagreement with his father and left Konoha to pursue his personal interests. During his absence, he became one of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, a group that protected the Land of Fire's daimyō, indicated by the sash on his waist.
- Friend to All Children: Heavily implied. Asuma stated that "The King" are the children of the next era.
- Generation Xerox: He and his father both had their A Death in the Limelight in episode 80.
- Knife Nut: His Weapon of Choice.
- Nice Guy: As blunt as he was to his students, he cared for them like they were his own kids. Other than that, Asuma was a fairly laid-back person.
- Not a Date: With Kurenai.
- One Last Smoke: Before his death. In the manga, Shikamaru finishes it for him.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Shikamaru asks if something is troubling Asuma when his teacher isn't smoking one of his cigarettes. It turns out that Kurenai is pregnant with his child.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Its implied his strained relationship with the Third was due to him being a good ninja living in the shadow of a great one.
- Playing with Fire: Uses an ash-based jutsu to try to burn Hidan, and gets fairly badly burned himself when Hidan's jutsu effect kicks in.
- Power Fist: His knives had one built in.
- Praetorian Guard: He used to be one for the Daimyo of the Land of Fire.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death brought up a major change in the arc's feel and Shikamaru's character.
- Shout-Out: In the Ultimate Ninja Storm games, he gives one to Jojos Bizarre Adventure with his Oraoraoraoraora. He quotes Jotaro too in Ultimate Ninja 5 during his first Ultimate Jutsu: "Yare Yare Daze !"
- Smoking Is Cool: Even in death. Temporarily stops when especially concerned or upset, though.
- So Proud of You: When Zombie Asuma sees how much Ino, Shikamaru and Choji have grown, he outright states this and the look on his face says it all.
- Spellblade: His main focus of Razor Wind.
- Team Dad: To Shikamaru, Ino and Chouji. But especially to Shikamaru, who he acts as a second father to.
- Weapon of Choice: Asuma always uses his Chakra Blades.