Standing at 165cm and weighing around 56kg, Shikkaru's physique has the potential to turn into a solid figure as he grows. At the moment, he boasts more lean muscle and gangly limbs than anything else. With his runner's frame, Shikkaru is built for speed and stamina more than brute strength. Shikkaru's appearance fails to conform to the Nara stereotype, something he's quite content with. Instead of the classic spiky black hair pulled into a tail, Shikkaru keeps his hair short and untamed, as well as dyed blond in splotches. The hairstyle led to his siblings jokingly calling him Sukanku (Skunk) Instead of only piercing his earlobes, he pierced the cartillage in his left ear as well. Shikkaru's softer facial features contrast his sharp jaw and flat chin. His long eyelashes frame large, expressive amber eyes, and his petite nose creates a youthful look. Shikkaru's sense of fashion is nothing exquisite, and tends to be geared towards simplicity and comfortability. Depending on the weather, Shikkaru will wear anything from long sleeved shirts, to tank tops, to hoodies; and his preferred pant styles are joggers. His tool pouches are all positioned in an unorthodox manner, allowing him to use his Shadow Imitation Technique to its fullest potential.
Characterization and Prestige
Shikkaru is the anomaly of the Nara clan. Being the antithesis of the Nara stereotype, Shikkaru deviates from the stoic, analytical persona that people expect him to embody. Shikkaru is a social, passionate, and ambitious youth who's sharp intellect is developed beyond most kids his age. People are normally caught off guard by Shikka's keenness because at first glance he comes off as a normal, energetic teenager. Shikkaru's smarts are more dynamic, flowing, and creative than average. He's a quick thinker who follows his gut, preferring to adhere to his instincts more than any rigid plan. While this led to academic success, it sometimes causes conflict when working in teams. He isn't arrogant or over confident (at least that's what he thinks, you never know), he just has a hard time taking things slow when they could be done quicker.
In social situations, Shikkaru tends to thrive. He can be quite the conversationalist due to his budding wit and odd sense of humor. Being the amicable guy that he is, Shikkaru does his best to be kind to everyone he meets. He's quite open-minded when it comes to meeting new people or encountering new situations. Being a part of a young, increasingly modern generation has raised him to be slightly naïve regarding the older ideals of what a shinobi is. This doesn't hamper his excitement of becoming a ninja, if anything, it just sparks his curiosity to learn the old ways and combine them with his modern approach. Curiosity is one of Shikkaru's defining traits. It's like an itch he can't scratch, he's always getting into things or asking questions. This makes him a great listener but can lead to trouble, especially in a group that's built upon discipline. Shikkaru has a love for academia as well, in fact, after he does his time as a shinobi, Shikka has plans to teach at the academy, or maybe even teach genin. But that's far, far into the future. For now, Shikkaru just wants to do his best at becoming a shinobi and learn as many new things as possible.
Nara Shikkaru was born and raised in Kohonagakure under two loving parents. Being the youngest of three siblings, Shikkaru has plenty of role-models to look up to. His father, Shusako, works with Kohona's Intelligence Division, and his mother, Ichika, works at a restaurant in town. His older brother, Kishi, works as the hokage's secretary, while his older sister, Akira, is a teacher. Shikka loves his family, but if he were to pick favorites it would be his sister. She's the one who turned him into the energetic little book worm that he is. Shikkaru still vividly remembers Akira introducing him to Shogi, and recommending books for him to read. He still thinks of her almost like a second mother, though his mom is pretty cool too.
Shusako was the one to introduce him to the world of shinobi. Immediately, Shikka's curiosity grabbed hold and he was hooked right from the start. And so, his life became a mixture of studying and sparring. Training to fight with his father was an amazing bonding experience, and the occasional impromptu "take your son to work day" showed Shikkaru a whole separate world that he ached to be a part of. His ambition was stoked like a hot fire and he began to study in earnest.
Ichika showcased to him the civilian lifestyle of Kohonagakure, in all its glory. His mother is the owner of Saito No Kareraisu, a popular restaurant in the village. One that boasts the best curry rice and shabu-shabu in all the Land of Fire. Now whether or not that's true is up to those who eat there, but Shikkaru has yet to find a better cook than his mother (biased much?). Ichika likes to remind Shikka that not everything has to revolve around being a ninja, and that there are other options for his future if he so chooses. Nothing is more refreshing after a hard day of training or studying than getting to cook with his mother at the restaurant, he absolutely loves the atmosphere of the place.
During his days at the academy, Shikkaru began to realize he was actually quite intelligent, it showed in his shinobi tactics and academic records. He did his best to be kind to everyone and make as many friends as possible. He figured that he'd be working with most of them in the future, might as well get acquainted as soon as possible. Even if he didn't particularly like someone, he was mature about it, and chose to not let his irritation or frustration get the best of him. Obviously, he wasn't perfect at that, but it's the thought that counts right? Shikkaru is still curious about the future though, he notices how the older people seem to scorn this new, more modern generation. He's curious about why they dislike this shift in culture so much. It's one thing to read a book on history or hear an oral retelling of it, and it's a whole other thing to have actually lived through that history. Shikka just figures that the times are changing and there is nothing he can do about it, might as well roll with the punches and forge his own path. At the end of the day, he only has one life to live. He plans on living it to the fullest.
Character Development & Conceptualization
I was interested in seeing what a motivated Nara would look like. I also didn't want to create some crazy analyst who has to think 200 steps ahead of everyone else before doing anything. I think I hit a good mix that should be fun to play out. I think it'll be funny to see an energetic, witty Nara instead of the lazy genius stereotype we've seen before. I like that Shikkaru wants to be a teach in the future. It'll be intriguing to see if he continues to want to teach shinobi after becoming one and seeing how they live. I want to see how he interacts with the changing of the times, will his future dream job become more academia than ninja training? Will ninjas become purely ornamental? I can't wait to find out. As a side note, if no one makes an Akimichi I think I'd be interesting to see how the older generation reacts to not having an Ino-Shika-Cho combination if that's even a thing in this AU.