So instead of giving review every week i decided to give combined review of Shikamaru’s arc (Naruto Shippuden Episode 490-493) which was focused on his character development and his relationship with Temari and his friends. In the previous review of the Naruto shippuden Episode 489, we talked about how Shikamaru’s personality has changed after the war ended and how mature he has became! The three episodes after that which focused on Shikamaru discuss more about his personality in depth and tells us a lot about Shikamaru as a character.
Naruto Shippuden Episode 490-493 review
Among all the important characters of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, Shikamaru’s character development has been on the road of consistency since the Chuunin exams part from the good old Naruto Anime aired. At the beginning he was lazy, then he turned out to be a wiz kid with an IQ over 200, he became responsible chuunin captain and then he proved his role important when he took lead in Hidan-Kakazu arc and then he once again took the lead after his father’s death in 4th great ninja war. In the movie will of fire, we saw how responsible he was and how his character developed.
All this made him my favorite character of Naruto series and this new Shikamaru arc from the Shikamaru shinden novel adheres and completely sticks to the pattern of his overall character development which makes the episodes interesting without making them flashy. You know the arc is going to be interesting because there is shikamaru involved in it. Shikamaru’s arcs are interesting to watch because his arcs revolve around his strong point and that strong point is his brain, So instead of fight involving godly human beings (Naruto and Sasuke) things are toned down to regular classic ninja level which involves fighting and defeating the enemies in a smart way.
Now coming back to the topic, as i said that Shikamaru became quite responsible because of his character development. But his responsible personality excels the normal level and becomes something that eventually puts stress on his mind and body. In short – “He takes everything too seriously!” In this arc shikamaru goes on top secret dangerous mission with a different team but his attitude of taking things too seriously backfires on him. So basically this arc shows how shikamaru overcomes this difficult situation. The main antagonist of this arc named “Gengo” uses an unusual genjustsu. He supplies chakra to his tongue and then controls everyone with his words. In those brief moments he utilizes the information gathered from the people he controls and make them obey him.
Shikamaru was the first one among the konoha eleven to become a chuunin and he failed his very first mission of bringing sasuke back. That pressurized him to perform excellently in his work and it became a part of his daily life. Sasuke is back and the war ended but that pressure did not fade. In fact all the things he went through in the entire Naruto series increased that pressure even more. The antagonist utilized that against him and since he was just smart as shikamaru it had more effect. To be honest this arc does perfect job of explaining Shikamaru as a character and the reason behind his development. I liked how this arc linked that reasoning to Shikamaru and Temari’s relationship and gave it a gentle push so it can excel further. However this arc showed only the bits of their relationship development, because the main focus was on the Shikamaru.
Surprise element & end
The surprise element of this arc was “Sai,” over the entire Naruto Shippuden i thought that we have known enough things about Sai but that’s not the case. This arc showed that Sai was under the same anxiety that Shikamaru was suffering through, i was wondering how they will display Sai overcoming his own mind. But then the unexpected happened. Ino stepped in to confront Sai and saved him from his personal delimma. I didn’t expect them to show us the development of the relationship between Ino and Sai. The arc ended on a cute note with Shikamaru and Ino asking Temari and Sai for a date.
Final opinion and Wrapping up
This arc was not that intense, in between the situations were intense and tricky however the arc maintained the toned down subtle atmosphere. If we put Shikamaru under normal situations that were present before the arc then the episode would have been intense. But after the end of the end of the fourth great ninja war, Shinobi alliance became permanent and the shinobi world became peaceful.
In such peaceful world there are some people who will start revolt and try to change the tides in their own favor but such peoples can be subdued with a minimal amount of man power, is what they were trying to display in Both Sasuke and Shikamaru arc and hence the fights and all the intense situations were toned down. Which ultimately gave us a feeling that the world inside Naruto series is changing.
Now to end this article on a personal note : I liked this arc a lot, in fact i liked both Sasuke’s and Shikamaru’s arc. The episodes were interesting and piqued my interest once again.
Overall episode and shikamaru arc rating