Three years passed, and Konoha continued to thrive despite the turmoil it faced with the “mysterious deaths” of Naruto and Hinata; Shikamaru took it upon himself to continue leading the future of his village whilst combating the Ōtsutsuki.
In this article, we will state why Shikamaru was the perfect choice for being the 8th Hokage of Konohagakure (Sorry Konohamaru). If you have yet to catch up to the current portion of the Manga, please do so before viewing this article. Now, without any further ado, let us begin!
Shikamaru and Shikadai, as seen on the cover of “Shikamaru Shinden: A Cloud Dancing in Forlorn Falling Petals.”
Why Is Shikamaru The 8th Hokage In Boruto Two Blue Vortex?
Journey to Teenhood- Into the storm of Loss, hardships and the incessant rain of responsibilities
Shikamaru is one of the most intelligent people in Konoha; while initially lazy and escaping responsibility, Sasuke’s retrieval mission led him to his first failure as squad leader and led him to a journey of becoming one of the most important figures of his village.
Tsunade would make use of Shikamaru’s intelligence by ensuring she assigns him tasks to benefit the village and his comrades.
Also, his further participation in becoming advisors for both Kakashi and Naruto in their respective reigns, as well as being the chief coordinator of the Shinobi union, it is well understood that Shikamaru indeed was set for reaching new heights thanks to his intelligence and support from his comrades.
Shikamaru as the Eight Hokage, from Chapter 1 of “Boruto- Two Blue Vortex.”
During Shippūden, we saw a handful of times how Shikamaru had changed from how he was in part one, especially after Asuma’s death; Shikamaru faced the critical challenge of protecting his wife and child and doing everything to make a better future for the next generation.
His iconic victory against the immortal Hidan showed Shikamaru as a more changed individual as he first went through the emotional turmoil of losing his teacher, which was heart-wrenching to watch but also gave the character a sense of call back to his part one failure.
Here, we saw Shikamaru also smoke a cigarette to honour his fallen Master and to show the coming-of-age maturity he gained from the incident symbolically and that he is not the same kid who had run away from responsibilities but a changed man who was ready to hammer in duties which we see more in the next arc.
Pain’s Assult, War and Fatherhood– Past the storms into the calm sea
As we venture deep into the storm, we see Shikamaru now stepping up to aid his friend, Naruto, who also lost his beloved Master, Jiraiya; however, Shikamaru was tasked with deciphering Jiraya’s secret message that he left behind.
However, Naruto, still grieving for his Master’s Loss, couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand. Hence, he decides to take his friend to visit Kurenai, who at the time was pregnant.
Shikamaru explains his responsibilities to Naruto through their combined visit to Kurenai from Chapter 406, “The Key to the Future.”
After the brief meeting, Shikamaru further explains that the era they live in doesn’t allow them the luxury to grieve or mourn over the losses of their close comrades. Instead, they should take their passing as a sign of inspiration and become better than what their Masters were.
This is also a sign of how Shikamaru has understood his side of responsibilities and how he shares this knowledge with Naruto, whom he chooses to keep pushing forward so that he too can achieve his dreams of becoming Hokage and through his words can he inspire the next generation of Shinobi.
After the brief meeting, Shikamaru further explains to Naruto that they don’t have time to grieve and must move on, continue to work hard, and become as great as their Masters. From Chapter 406, “The Key to the Future.”
This is also where we see the beginning of Shikamaru and Naruto’s more serious relationship as friends who work to push each other. We will later see how Shikamaru and Naruto’s influence over each other helps them to continue pushing each other forward.
In a few chapters, we witness Naruto return to Konoha amidst its destruction after mastering Toad Sage Mode to combat the Six Paths of Pain.
As we move ahead in the story towards the Fourth Shinobi World War, we see Shikamaru and many other Shinobi like Itachi, Killer B, and Iruka’s influence over Naruto grows his character, and he is eventually able to tame Kurama and use his Chakra to link with other Shinobi on the battlefield.
Of course, with war comes losses, and one such was when Shikamaru was on death’s door he remembers Naruto’s influence over him and how even he made Shikamaru feel guilty for being lazy and made him pursue responsibility.
He apologises to his father for not being ready to join him, as he is the only one qualified to be Naruto’s advisor when he becomes the Hokage.
Shikamaru pulls through! From Chapter 649, “A Shinobi’s Will.”
This shows Shikamaru’s lesser shared feelings under his more serious and reserved shell and how, in this scene, his comrades like Naruto and Sakura share their respective chakras to help him pull through whilst his Monologue of how his friendship with Naruto helped him become the responsible Shinobi he is today.
Not to forget, during the war, it was Shikamaru who took the reigns of the strategy and attack division of the entire Shinobi allied forces and provided strategies that helped normal shinobis to counter attacks from beings like Madara and Juubito.
Of course, the power difference was there but with Naruto’s chakra and Shikamaru’s guidance they were able to parry some attacks and even more powerful shinobi than them.
This cemented Shikamaru’s place as a great leader amongst all Shinobi forces across the planet.
Hence even after the war, the respect Shikamaru commands from across the globe is top-notch.
As mentioned above, these points prove how Shikamaru’s journey within the story, especially with Naruto, has helped him pull through and make him not just a perfect advisor for his friend but also lay seeds for his eventual take over as the Hokage.
The lessons from Asuma and Shikaku Nara also helped him be a confident teacher not just to his son but also to Asuma’s daughter when she also came of her age.
Shikamaru as a Father From “Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring”
Furthermore, during Shikamaru’s role as an advisor to Naruto, Shikamaru had a more systematic approach and a draconian viewpoint(extremely severe, going beyond what’s ethical to achieve a specific goal) in making decisions for the safety of his village.
This is best observed when Kawaki is under the care of Naruto and his family. Shikamaru does not know what to expect of Kawaki, and as a part of protecting him from unsuspecting attacks from Kara, he is kept under 24-hour surveillance.
This shows us the more systematic approach where, while not fully trusting Kawaki as much as Naruto has, he instead makes sure while he is more or less a magnet for Kara to capture him or if he tries to escape Konoha, it would shake things up with the other allied Nations.
This indeed would have caused way more problems politically than he’d like, which is why, unlike Naruto, who is the strongest Shinobi and didn’t initially worry about being attacked, Shikamaru, on his own, made sure to contain and protect Kawaki whilst supervising him to see if he has any ulterior motives of his own.
And despite Naruto thinking of his methods as too harsh, Shikamaru knew, unlike other problems, not having Kawaki contained could quickly bring about damage within the Shinobi Union itself, with other villages taking even more drastic measures and going so far as questioning Naruto’s leadership which Shikamaru wouldn’t want.
He is also always the first to react when prioritising keeping the villagers safe, knowing Naruto could contain the threat or if he was absent from the village during the danger, as seen in the Boruto movie and his fight with Ishiki.
This is also seen with Amado when he threatens his son’s life, and this is where we see a more protective and aggressive side of Shikamaru as he grabs Amado out of anger.
This, I feel, is one of the more powerful moments of his character, and as a father, despite how he reacted, I can’t see any other way for him to do so when it especially comes to his son’s safety.
After becoming the Hokage, Shikamaru has become more stern and fixated on Boruto’s “crime” and doesn’t take any of the words from Sarada as a benefit of the doubt for Boruto. This is because in the past, due to Kawaki’s presence in the village and how it came so far to the point where his son was threatened, he lost his friend whom he vouched for and became his advisor.
Code begins his Invasion of Konoha.
Due to his turmoil, Shikamaru was hellbent on getting his revenge on Boruto. Moving forward, While he plans to kill Boruto, whom Naruto would not have agreed to kill, he must make that choice as his actions have now threatened the leaf’s citizens with the appearance of Code’s Claw marks and his sudden attack with the Ten-Tails clones.
This means he’d have to use every card practically and ensure it ends with a maximum reduction of enemy forces, that being the clones.
While this happens, Kawaki is kept to deal with Code and finish him off and other strong enemies along with Delta, Eida and Daemon.
Conclusion and what’s to come for Shikamaru
I conclude with the many examples of assessing Shikamaru’s journey along with his comrades who helped him shape his beliefs, his methods of how to act in a dire situation and most importantly, his role as a Shinobi and what he has to do to shape the future his predecessors have entrusted with him.
While Shikamaru isn’t more favoured by Sarada as the Hokage, we can all agree that without his involvement, Konoha would not have been as stable as it is. As he dutifully does everything in dealing with Kara, Code and now the mess Eida has made with Kawaki, I feel that as the story goes on, he won’t be favoured by many for his methods. Still, at the same time, his more direct and calculated approach is needed to combat the forces he is up against.
Sarada declares Naruto to be her more favoured idol over Shikamaru
We will see this continuing with the confrontation of Boruto, Code and Kawaki in the upcoming chapters of the Manga. But at the moment, with what we’ve seen of his leadership so far, I feel he has done just fine as a Hokage, albeit under the influence of Eida’s Omnipotence jutsu.
Only time will tell whether he and Boruto will be able to come to terms concerning Naruto and Hinata’s disappearance and possibly have a “truce” of sorts to combat the remaining Ōtsutsukis, who are hellbent on causing more problems for our protagonists and everyone having different methods to deal with them, one can only imagine how it’s all going to be a real drag!
If you liked what you read or have your thoughts, please do so in the comments below. Let us know what you agreed and disagreed with, and if you have any other questions from the current chapters, please let us know, and we will be back with an answer!