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Shadow Imitation Technique
Name
Kanji 影真似の術
Rōmaji Kagemane no Jutsu
Viz print media The Art of Me-And-My-Shadow
English anime Shadow Paralysis Jutsu
Alternative names Shadow Bind Technique (影縛りの術, Kageshibari no Jutsu), Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique (木ノ葉秘伝・影縛りの術, Konoha Hiden: Kageshibari no Jutsu, Literally meaning: Tree Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique), Ninja Art: Shadow Imitation Technique (忍法・影真似の術, Ninpō: Kagemane no Jutsu, English TV: Ninja Art: Shadow Possession Jutsu)
Debut
Manga Volume #7, Naruto Chapter #55
Anime Naruto Episode #33
Novel Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
Movie Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Game Naruto: Ninja Council
OVA Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival!
Appears in Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie
Data
Classification Nara Symbol Hiden, Ninjutsu
Nature
Class Supplementary
Range Short to Mid range
Hand seals Rat
Derived jutsu
Users

The Shadow Imitation Technique is the signature technique of the Nara clan.

Overview

The user manipulates their shadow across a surface to merge it with a target or targets' shadow. The user can stretch their shadow however they wish in order to accomplish this goal, but they are limited by their shadow's surface area; if a target can move far enough away from the Shadow Imitation's user, they are theoretically safe from it. But there are ways around this: the user's shadow can freely move within other shadows, extending its range;[2] Shikamaru Nara frequently uses flash bombs, either to briefly extend his own shadow or to extend his targets'.[3] Shikamaru Hiden clarifies that a user must have a shadow to manipulate, and so the Shadow Imitation cannot be used in utter darkness.

Once a user merges their shadow with a target's, the target cannot move on their own other than to talk. The only movements they are able to make are those that the user makes: if the user walks forward, the target walks forward; if the user raises their right hand, the target raises their right hand.[4] Nara tend to wear their shuriken holsters in atypical locations so that, when they reach for and throw shuriken, their targets will reach for and throw nothing.[5] Although most often used against opponents, the Shadow Imitation Technique can be used to save allies, freezing them in physically impossible positions so that they won't trigger booby traps[6] or causing them to cling to sheer surfaces with no means of support.[7] At times, the Shadow Imitation's mimicry is two-way, as if a third-party forces the target to make a move, the user will be forced to make the same move.[8]

Keeping a target restrained requires a great deal of chakra, making it difficult to maintain the Shadow Imitation for long periods of time; in Part II, Shikamaru can only maintain it for five minute intervals.[9] With repeated use or against multiple targets, the duration of the binding becomes shorter.[10] If a target is strong enough or if the user is weakened enough, targets can resist and even overpower the Shadow Imitation's control. When that happens, Nara will inevitably use one of their other techniques, such as the Shadow–Neck Binding Technique or Shadow Sewing Technique.[11][12]

The Shadow Imitation Technique was previously known as the "Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique" (木ノ葉秘伝・影縛りの術, Konoha Hiden: Kageshibari no Jutsu, Literally meaning: Tree Leaf Secret: Shadow Bind Technique), which was only capable of restricting targets' movements.[13] The imitation aspect was apparently not added until after Orochimaru defected from Konohagakure, as his Otogakure invaders did not know about it prior to the Konoha Crush.[14] Shikaku Nara still uses the old name sometimes. In the novelisation of Boruto: Naruto the Movie, it is the Shadow Bind Technique that is used by Shikadai Nara and that is usable through the Shinobi Gauntlet, differentiating them from the Shadow Imitation Technique used by Shikamaru.

Trivia

  • The Shadow Imitation Technique was originally created as a way to capture deer for their antlers.[1]
  • In the English dub of the anime, Sakon states that he mastered this technique.[15]
  • In the anime, Inojin Yamanaka tricked Metal Lee into believing that his ink snakes were this technique.[16]
  • In the Naruto: Clash of Ninja series, Kakashi can perform this technique by copying it with his Sharingan.
  • In Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2, using this technique on multiple opponents at once gives it the name "Eight Way Shadow Imitation Technique".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rin no Sho, page 171
  2. Naruto chapter 107, page 12
  3. Naruto chapter 207, pages 17-18
  4. Naruto chapter 108, pages 16-19
  5. Naruto chapter 119, pages 2-4
  6. Naruto chapter 185, page 16
  7. Boruto: Naruto the Movie
  8. Naruto chapter 96, page 16
  9. Naruto chapter 336, page 7
  10. Naruto chapter 337, page 13
  11. Naruto chapter 208, pages 13-14
  12. Naruto chapter 325, pages 9-10
  13. Naruto chapter 137, page 10
  14. Naruto chapter 119, page 1
  15. Naruto episode 112
  16. Boruto episode 3