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This Is The Strongest Ino-Shika-Cho Member In Naruto

The Ino-Shika-Cho trio in the "Naruto" saga has been, through generations, a group not to be trifled with. As of now, fans have seen three variations of the trio, from three generations, respectively. The first generation of the trio (the 15th generation of their families) is the original Ino-Shika-Cho trio, comprised of Inoichi Yamanaka, Shikaku Nara, and Choza Akimichi. However, the variation that got the most chance to shine and the most exposure during the span of the series is the one belonging to the immediate next generation of shinobi: Ino (Inoichi's daughter), Shikamaru (Shikaku's son), and Choji (Choza's son). Although the previous generation had some impressive feathers in their caps, the trio's second generation achieved some seemingly impossible feats as well. Currently, the variation of the trio that we see in action is featured in "Boruto: Naruto Next Generations," comprised of the second generation.

No matter the generation, the trio has always been known to turn the odds in their favor, even when outnumbered or outmatched in strength, purely due to their strategy and tightly knit teamwork. While Choza and Choji in their prime can be considered among the strongest shinobi in Konoha, they need the strategic head of Shikaku or Shikamaru to complement their strengths, and the special abilities of the Yamanaka clan to help them to victory. However, this does not mean that they are all on par in terms of strength and abilities.

Although Ino and Choji can be considered formidable, the trio would be lost without Shikamaru

While it is difficult to rank the individual members of the trio, given the varied parameters of their abilities, it can be safely said that there is one member the trio can never function without: Shikamaru Nara. Although he started out as a lazy kid, he undergoes significant character development and is currently the right-hand man and chief advisor to the Seventh Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki. However, even as a child, he showed great potential. He might not be on par with Choji — or prodigies like Neji Hyuga or Sasuke Uchiha — in terms of physical strength, but he does possess a superior intellect, as his captain Asuma explained during his fight with Hidden Sand's Temari during the Chunin Exams. 

Shikamaru has a proven IQ of over 200, as said in the manga as well as the anime, making him an excellent strategist who is quick to analyze his situation, helping him to play to his strengths. This makes him a formidable opponent in any fight, and he is famously known to turn the tides of a battle in his favor purely using his intellect. In fact, even Kakashi takes his strategies seriously, as we see in the joint efforts to avenge Asuma Sarutobi in the fight against the notorious Akatsuki members Kakuzu and Hidan. 

Shikamaru has some impressive feats to his name

It can be said that the reason Shikamaru didn't quite catch the attention of readers/viewers during the early part of the series is because he did not get the proper chance to shine — other than being one of Naruto's closest childhood friends. Shikamaru gets a major boost when his IQ is revealed during his fight with Temari, a match he forfeits despite winning. Although he was the only one from his class to become a Chunin, he remains the jaded, unambitious fellow fans have come to know. However, he finds motivation during the Sasuke retrieval arc when he is put in charge of a team for the first time. Although it is a mission he considers failed, he shines bright in the process.

Shikamaru's turning point comes when he vows to avenge the death of Asuma Sarutobi, and he proves his worth as a shinobi and captain in the events that follow. Shikamaru does not boast of an incredible chakra reserve like Naruto, nor is he especially skilled in taijutsu, like Might Guy or Rock Lee. He still faces the immortal outlaw Hidan alone, with nothing but his strategies and his signature Shadow Possession Technique in his repertoire. Not only does he emerge victorious, but he also puts Hidan and his arrogant beliefs in place as he incapacitates and buries him deep in the ground.