Shikaku Nara (奈良シカク, Nara Shikaku) was the Jōnin Commander of Konohagakure, head of the Nara Clan, father of Shikamaru Nara, husband of Yoshino Nara, and was a member of the fifteenth generation of the trio Ino-Shika-Chō, alongside Inoichi Yamanaka and Chōza Akimichi. Shikaku Nara was an expert in Shadow Paralysis jutsus and known as the chief strategist of the Allied Shinobi Forces. He died in the episode 364 of Naruto Shippuden called “The Ties That Bind” (繋がれるもの, Tsunagareru Mono) during the Fourth Shinobi World War, killed by Ten-Tails’ attack at the kage headquarters.
Shikaku, like his son, had black hair, which he also tied into a braid, and black eyes, but wore a chin beard. His most distinctive feature was the two large scars on the right side of his face, and in the anime he even had a third on the left side at the beginning.
In Part I, he wore a fishnet bottom under his Jonin vest and a deerskin vest over it, along with long gloves with armor, but in Part II he wore the standard Konoha nin outfit. At home, he wore a light-colored kimono and a haori with the symbol of his clan.
Shikaku has proven to be a concerned father, but still, he set bad examples, when he was with Shikamaru, he would get drunk with his friends, so his son had to worry about him. His intelligence is similar to his son’s, he shows coldness and confidence for the decisions to make in a mission. He finds everything problematic and believes that women are a nuisance who only complain.
Unlike his son, his determination was much stronger, as even during the most depressing or dangerous situations, he had been shown to maintain great determination and understanding, as shown by how he had helped on several occasions Shikamaru regain his sense of worth.
It was also revealed that he was one of the few parents who did not order his son to stay away from Naruto Uzumaki. Instead, he encouraged Shikamaru to do what he thought was best. Since Shikamaru became a Chunin, Shikaku had taken a greater interest in his son’s training and began to teach him more of his clan’s techniques. He also spent a great deal of his time taking care of the clan’s deer.
Chunin Exam arc
Shikaku first appeared during the Chunin exams, attending a party with his former teammates and teasing Inoichi Yamanaka for having a daughter. When Shikamaru came to pick him up, he instead told his son why he wasn’t enjoying the festivities.
The Invasion of Konoha
Shikaku’s first appearance was during the Sand and Sound Invasion to Konoha during the Chunin Exams. He uses the Ino-Shika-Chō formation, his possession of Shadows shows that he can encompass more than one enemy and he can also use Shadow Strangulation.
He is also seen to be in the hospital and scolds his son for what he thinks about the failure of his mission, making him understand that he was lucky to be able to lead his friends and that the most important thing is that they are all safe, then Tsunade thanks him for lending her the Nara Clan’s medical manual.
The Destroyer of Immortality, Hidan and Kakuzu
After Asuma Sarutobi’s death, it is shown that all of Shikamaru’s abilities came from his father, as they possess the same qualities. In addition to standing by his son, showing his support and talking about the Will of Fire.
The Two saviors
During Pain and Konan’s invasion, he is seen appearing next to Shikamaru after the devastation caused by Pain. He checked on his son’s health and denied him to help Naruto. He contributed and helped to decipher the mystery of Pain, deciphering the clues obtained. When the idea was concluded, he began the search for the real Pain together with Inoichi. While searching, they came across Naruto; Shikaku insisted to his partner to trust Naruto, because he had full confidence in him (due to his son).
At the conclusion of the whole disaster, he is seen to appear next to Yamato and asks for his help to rebuild Konoha, at that moment, an ANBU appears and tells him that there is an emergency meeting and the participation of the Jonin Squad Leader is requested, making it clear that Shikaku Nara is the representative of the Jōnin in important decisions.
Fourth Shinobi World War
Later, during the war, he is seen in the Shinobi Grand Army’s headquarters, planning strategies for the battle, earning A’s compliments for his intelligence, later he is seen communicating with Ino, Chōji and Shikamaru through Inoichi Yamanaka, giving them instructions on how to fight Kinkaku, when they defeat him, Shikaku is seen congratulating them on their good work. Later, when the Raikage and Hokage go to stop the Jinchuriki, he is left in charge of the shinobi army.
When problems arise within the divisions due to Zetsu infiltrators, he and Mabui start looking into the reports to get a solution, discovering that Naruto is able to detect people’s hatred, so he can tell who the impostors are. Upon A and Tsunade’s arrival, they give the latter some information sent by Shizune and Sakura about the DNA results of one of the White Zetsu.
With that information they managed to conclude that the enemy was anything but ordinary, as they have a supposedly immortal leader due to Madara implanting the Hashirama genes, an army of plant ninjas created from the DNA of the First Hokage who are the White Zetsu, and a group of revived ninjas. After Tsunade’s orders, he decides to mentally talk to Naruto and B about the situation.
Later, when Tsunade decides to go out to the battlefield, he, along with Mabui, protests to her with the argument that he would disintegrate if the Raikage’s secretary used the Jutsu: Heavenly Transfer, despite this, the Hokage argues that he is her best bet, Shikaku, still disagrees and informs her that he always loses his bets, but Tsunade tells him that he only loses money bets, convincing him and Mabui to transport Tsunade and the Raikage.
Later, from HQ, they realize that the Ten-Tails has reached maturity, and it is precisely at that moment that the Jubi launches a Bijudama from a distance, which hits HQ. Apparently, they all die, although Shikaku transmits a plan through Inoichi to the entire alliance to defeat the beast before impact.
As a Jonin-level ninja and head of his clan, Shikaku was undoubtedly a powerful shinobi. According to Kakashi, Shikaku would make a highly skilled Hokage. His skills and reliability earned him great respect from other ninja of great fame and power, such as the five Kage, especially, A and Ōnoki, as they trusted him enough to lead and command the entire Grand Shinobi Alliance in their stead as they went to face Madara.
Nara Clan Techniques
Like other ninja of the Nara Clan, he has mastered many of his clan’s Secret Jutsu revolving around the use of shadows. His prowess with it was witnessed during the Invasion of Konoha, when he effortlessly trapped and killed several invading ninja. In the anime, he also demonstrated great control over his shadow, able to use the Black Spider Lily technique, with which he forced several ninjas, while at the same time, with a lock of his shadow, lead his partner to safety.
Along with this, Shikaku was able to work seamlessly with his teammates, Chōza and Inoichi, due to the strong bond forged between their clans and their long-standing friendship. This was seen again in the anime most prominently in Shikaku, he was able to use his techniques to support his teammates as well as gain support for his own techniques, for example, with large shadow Chōza to facilitate his use of the Black Spider Lily.
Above his physical abilities, Shikaku is known even more for his intellect. He has carried on his family’s tradition of keeping a medical encyclopedia full of various information, such as remedies for the Akimichi’s Three Colored Pills, which Tsunade has praised him for keeping so well and protecting. He regularly defeats his son Shikamaru, who is a genius with an IQ of over 200, in the Shōgi, not realizing that the latter lost the game yet. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, his years of experience and skills were put to great use.
He was appointed the Chief Strategist of the Allied Shinobi Forces and proved to be an astute strategist, able to quickly and calmly analyze any information, anticipate actions and use it to formulate or reformulate plans quickly and highly effectively. Because of these skills, he was praised by the Fourth Raikage, who stated that he now understood why Konoha had been so difficult to bring down.