10 anime characters like Shikamaru from Naruto

Top 10 anime characters like Shikamaru from Naruto (image via Sportskeeda)
Top 10 anime characters like Shikamaru from Naruto (image via Sportskeeda)

Throughout the years, several anime characters like Shikamaru Nara from the Naruto franchise have captivated fans with their similar laid-back and calm demeanor despite being unrivaled geniuses. Fans always enjoy watching anime characters like Shikamaru outshining expectations without breaking a sweat.

Shikamaru Nara is one of the oldest and most beloved characters of Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto series. His unmatched brilliance and his downright lazy and demotivated attitude made him a favorite among fans.

That said, there have been several characters from the world of animated storytelling who possess personality traits similar to Shikamaru.

Disclaimer: This list is ranked in no particular order and reflects the writer's opinions. Reader's discretion is advised.


Best anime characters like Shikamaru from Naruto

1) Sakata Gintoki (Gintama)

Sakata Gintoki is one of the funniest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Studio Sunrise)
Sakata Gintoki is one of the funniest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Studio Sunrise)

The main protagonist from the beloved Gintama anime, Sakata Gintoki, is a middle-aged war veteran who mostly battles poverty and otherworldly enemies in his post-war life.

Gintoki is portrayed as a carefree and irresponsible individual with a highly laid-back and lazy demeanor. However, his personality takes a drastic turn on the battlefield, where he was once feared as the unstoppable 'White Yaksha,' whose power and skills remained unmatched for most of the series.

Although he is not precisely a certified genius like Shikamaru from Naruto, Gintoki manages to outsmart and defeat enemies stronger than him due to his quick thinking and ability to adapt to any situation. Additionally, Gintoki never hesitates to step out of his comfort zone and lend a hand to anyone in trouble.


2) Karma Akabane (Assassination Classroom)

Karma Akabane is one of the most popular anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Lerche)
Karma Akabane is one of the most popular anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Lerche)

The tritagonist of the Assassination Classroom series, Karma Akabane, was placed in Class 3-E, the lowest classroom ranking, due to his delinquent tendencies. Although he was shown to put much effort into anything complicated, Akabane was a brilliant student and an even better assassin who never stopped coming up with devious ways to murder the unkillable teacher, Korosensei.

Akabane mostly had a laid-back attitude in the series. However, when he actually put some effort into studying for his finals, he ended up ranking first in his school. This proved that he was capable of accomplishing pretty much anything he wanted to.


3) Kiyotaka Ayanokoji (Classroom of the Elite)

Ayanokoji is one of the smartest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Lerche)
Ayanokoji is one of the smartest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Lerche)

The protagonist of the Classroom of the Elite anime, Kiyotaka Ayanokoji, is perhaps one of the best examples of the phrase 'looks can be deceiving.' With a bored look and seemingly boring attitude, Ayanokoji prefers to remain unnoticed by others.

Although he initially did try to be more social and make friends, his unemotional demeanor led many to view him as an average lazy guy.

However, this couldn't be further from the truth since Ayanokoji was later revealed to be a 'masterpiece' of the White Room. This secret educational institution made him seem like a perfect human. That said, Ayanokoji prefers to hide his talents in order not to stand out and attract unnecessary attention to himself.


4) Houtarou Oreki (Hyouka)

Houtarou Oreki is one of the most intelligent anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Kyoto Animation)
Houtarou Oreki is one of the most intelligent anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Kyoto Animation)

Houtarou Oreki is a high school freshman whose only goal was to lead a gray life and conserve as much energy as possible. While it may seem like it at first, Oreki isn't actually lazy, as he chooses to do things only when he deems it to be absolutely necessary.

He is a bonafide genius whose brilliance at deduction led him to unravel several unsolvable mysteries.


5) Shota Aizawa (My Hero Academia)

Aizawa is one of the most powerful anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Studio Bones)
Aizawa is one of the most powerful anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Studio Bones)

Apart from being a renowned Pro Hero known as Eraser Head, Shota Aizawa is the homeroom teacher for Class 1-A at U.A. High. However, he mostly prefers to laze around and take naps in his sleeping bag rather than teach his class.

That said, Aizawa's capabilities as a Pro Hero shouldn't be taken lightly due to his laziness, considering that he possesses a powerful ability to nullify anyone's Quirk by simply looking at the user.

Although he wields one of the most potent abilities in the world, there's no doubt that Aizawa would rather spend the entire day sleeping than teach his class.


6) Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop)

Spike Spiegel is one of the coolest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Sunrise)
Spike Spiegel is one of the coolest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Sunrise)

Cowboy Bebop's protagonist, Spike Spiegel, captivated viewers with his calm and lazy attitude, a trait common among most of the characters in this list.

Fans of the popular series are all too familiar with the extent of Spiegel's laziness, as he prefers lounging around over anything else. In fact, he spends a significant portion of his time lying on his couch, watching television, and sleeping. Spiegel is also an extremely powerful bounty hunter who often overpowers and outmaneuvers his opponents with his unmatched skills.


7) Daiki Aomine (Kuroko's Basketball)

Daiki Aomine is one of the most popular anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Production I.G)
Daiki Aomine is one of the most popular anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Production I.G)

A basketball prodigy who remained unrivaled in every match he ever played, Daiki Aomine stepped away from the sport when he realized that none of his opponents could ever keep up with him.

As such, he gradually lost interest in basketball and preferred sleeping on his school roof to coming to practice. Seeing how he grew tired of coming to practice, Aomine eventually stopped playing, as he apparently didn't see the point in it.


8) Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan)

Armin Arlert is one of the smartest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via MAPPA)
Armin Arlert is one of the smartest anime characters like Shikamaru (image via MAPPA)

Armin Arlert, one of the two deuteragonists of Attack on Titan, was originally an extremely timid and shy individual who had little confidence in himself. Although he was seriously lacking in physical strength or sharp reflexes, he more or less made up for it with his intelligence and strategic genius, which made him an invaluable asset to the Survey Corps.

Furthermore, his detail-oriented and cautious nature helped him formulate plans that more than often helped him and his team overcome the greatest of obstacles.


9) Kei Tsukishima (Haikyuu!)

Kei Tsukishima is one of the best anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Production I.G)
Kei Tsukishima is one of the best anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Production I.G)

As a first year at Karasuno High, Kei Tsukishima emerged as one of the series' most notable characters, mainly due to his arrogant and smug attitude. While he may usually maintain the persona of someone who has very little interest in volleyball, Tsukishima actually has a deep love and passion for the sport.

However, he restrains himself from putting too much effort into the sport and getting attached to his team so that he doesn't eventually suffer the same fate as his brother, who got benched from his team.


10) Sokka (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Sokka is one of the most intelligent anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Nickelodeon)
Sokka is one of the most intelligent anime characters like Shikamaru (image via Nickelodeon)

Sokka was a Water Tribe Warrior who, unfortunately, didn't possess the gift of bending. Despite his limited powers, he had a creative mind that allowed him to often turn the tide of a fight in his favor. Although he was initially an abrasive and immature character, his intelligence and sharp wit were acknowledged by pretty much everyone around him.

He was unserious and tried to have fun whenever he got a chance during their travels. Although he might have looked unreliable, he was always ready to lend a hand to Aang and others. Similar to other anime characters like Shikamaru, he was not to be judged by his appearance.


Final thoughts

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All of the above-listed anime characters, like Shikamaru, not only possess personality traits similar to the latter but also similar levels of intelligence or a lazy attitude. While they may fundamentally be different characters in their own right, each one of them is unique and is one of the most beloved characters of their own series.


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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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