Shikamaru and Naruto were dead last students during their Academy days. Having noticed the way the other villagers ostracized Naruto, Shikamaru seemed to be one of the first of their peers to see him as more than as a jinchūriki.
In the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, Shikamaru leads a team with Naruto to bring back Sasuke . They survive, but Shikamaru feels great guilt over not completing the mission.
Outside of the missions that may include them working together, Shikamaru would sometimes hang out with Naruto. Their relationship even grows stronger after Asuma Sarutobi's death. Having lost his mentor Asuma prior, Shikamaru played a role in helping Naruto cope with Jiraiya's death. In some ways, Shikamaru had became one of Naruto's best friends and strongest bonds among his male friends.
Shikamaru begins to be a firm believer in Naruto's ability to change people and wants to follow him into a new era. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, when he was weakened by the Ten-Tails, aware that Naruto was always alone, Shikamaru believed Naruto needed an intelligent brother figure, like Tobirama was to Hashirama , by his side, and resolved to be Naruto's adviser when he becomes Hokage so he would never have to be alone again.
Years after the war, this dream became true, as Shikamaru accompanied Naruto to the Five Kage Summit as both his adviser and personal bodyguard.
- Shikamaru is one of the first people to see Naruto as more than a jinchūriki.
- Shikamaru declares he wants to follow Naruto and believes there is something special about him.
- Shikamaru becomes Naruto's adviser and spends a great deal of time with him.
Among the FansEdit
ShikaNaru is a well-liked pairing in the fandom, particularity in Japan, due to how normal and strong the relationship between Shikamaru and Naruto is in comparison to Naruto's other relationships. Fans like their bond and how Shikamaru seems to deeply care about Naruto, wanting to live his life to protect him. Fans like how the two balance each other out- how Shikamaru is thoughtful and contemplative, while Naruto is headstrong and speaks before he thinks. Shikamaru is long distance fighting and Naruto is up close, Shikamaru is calm and quiet while Naruto is loud and outgoing. Many of these traits are similar in NaruHina, but the main difference is that Hinata would follow whatever Naruto says and do whatever he wants, while Shikamaru is a more free-thinking individual who wouldn't hesitate to point out flaws in Naruto's thinking and call him out when he's being dumb or ridiculous. And, in turn, Naruto pushes Shikamaru to do more, to put more effort into things, to show people what he's truly made of, as evidenced during the Chūnin Exams, when Naruto shoves Shikamaru into the stadium