Twitter poll sparks war over whether Shikamaru is Naruto's best friend

The Leaf Village strategist is at the center of Twitter controversy (Image via Studio Pierrot)
The Leaf Village strategist is at the center of Twitter controversy (Image via Studio Pierrot)

A Twitter poll posted by user @Coder_k24 regarding Naruto’s best friend, which includes Shikamaru and is the current leading option, has sparked a debate war across the site. Fans from every corner of the community are now weighing in on whether or not the two are best friends.

Understandably, there are two main opinions, with the other option for Naruto’s best friend being Sasuke. As mentioned above, however, Shikamaru is the leading option in the poll currently, with 7% more of the total votes than the former rogue ninja has.

Follow along as this article breaks down the recent Twitter controversy, as well as the community reaction.


Is Shikamaru Naruto’s best friend? Majority of Twitter fans say otherwise

The poll and reactions

As mentioned above, Twitter user @Coder_k24 recently posted a poll which has sparked debate across the platform. The poll asks who Naruto’s best friend is, and the current leader at the time of writing is Shikamaru, with over 40% of the total votes.

Fan reactions are incredibly mixed. Some are pointing to other options, such as Sakura or Sasuke, being better choices than the current leader. A major argument for Sakura is her willingness to let go of Sasuke for Naruto’s wellbeing.

Interestingly enough, very few fans, if any at all, seem to be vocally defending Gaara as the ideal choice. Many instead choose to refer to him as a “kindred spirit” who Naruto can freely relate with and talk about his experiences to.

One of the most interesting aspects of the debate is the key evidence some are pointing to as a way of arguing for Shikamaru being Naruto’s best friend. A filler episode from the Naruto: Shippuden anime is particularly being pointed at, which sees Naruto, Choji, and Shikamaru hanging out and getting in trouble.

This is a worthwhile point to make, as filler episodes do create their own storylines which aren’t present in official source material. While some may choose to view these independent, original storylines as “headcanon,” they still cannot be argued as part of the canonical story. As a result, this argument against Shikamaru being Naruto’s best friend is a valid one.

Vocal support for Shikamaru is present, but much of it is opinion-based rather than referencing specific points or moments in the story. Gaara, Sasuke, and Sakura seem to be the dominant three receiving such treatment in the discussion.

One important aspect of this debate being created is the emphasis on how media in all forms can be subjective, and is certainly up to a certain degree of interpretation.

The topic at hand would understandably fall into those two categories, as it comes down to what people's opinions are as they interpret the series’ journey.


In summation

Until and in the unlikely event that series author Masashi Kishimoto weighs in and specifically answers the question, there is no right answer. The subjectivity of experiencing the Naruto series is to thank for this. What’s important is to keep debates about such matters civil and respectful.

At the very least, an argument for all four present in the poll can clearly be made. Sasuke and Naruto’s journey is the focal point of the series, and is based upon their close bond. Sakura, meanwhile, bonds with the latter in the former’s absence, eventually “choosing” him over the other.

Gaara’s status as jinchuriki gives Naruto someone who truly understands and empathizes with him. And finally, Shikamaru’s prime canonical argument for being Naruto’s best friend comes from the bond they forge during Shippuden, as well as his role as Hokage Advisor once the eponymous character achieves his lifelong dream.

Be sure to keep up with all Naruto news, lists, theories, and more, as well as general anime and manga news, as 2022 progresses.