Team 8 was unable to help Naruto with the search for Sasuke and then he turns to Shikamaru. Shikamaru can’t go on the mission either, as he’s still embroiled in preparations for the Chuunin Exams, but Chouji is willing to help instead. After not seeing Chouji for several years, Naruto notices that he has gained weight. Shikamaru had to push Naruto out of the path of the attack Chouji took to destroy the inky lion sneaking up on them. After locating the attacker (Sai), Shikamaru covers Naruto, who tries to grab the attacker. Frustrated by Naruto’s skills, Sai asks if he is a girl.