Chōji Akimichi (秋道チョウジ, Akimichi Chōji) is one of the main supporting characters of the series. He is a chūnin-level shinobi of Konohagakure's Akimichi clan and a member of Team Asuma. Along with his team-mates, he is part of an Ino–Shika–Chō trio, just like their fathers were before them.
Chōji was born into the Akimichi clan, and is slated to become the sixteenth head of the Akimichi (秋道16代目当主, Akimichi Jūrokudaime Tōshu) after his father, Chōza. When Chōji was younger, he was often put down for not being good at a child's game called "Ninja", which appears to be a cross between tag and hide and seek, often employing the use of shuriken made out of cardboard and sticks. His peers would always berate him, telling him that any team that he was on was bound to lose. One day, they simply refused to let him play at all. However, Shikamaru stuck up for him, saying that the teams would be uneven if Chōji didn't join them. This gave Chōji a little hope, although, in the end, they still refused to let him play.
Chōji and his father were later seen talking on the roof of a building while Chōji was still upset over the way he was treated by the other children, saying the Akimichi were all fat and stupid. Comforting him, his father told him that few people have a heart as kind and caring as his, and one day he would meet someone who would see that in him and respect him for it, and that eventually they would be the best of friends. Soon after, Shikamaru arrived. Chōji recognised him as the one who had defended him earlier, and asked Shikamaru why he wasn't playing the game, to which Shikamaru responded that it was too troublesome. He then told Chōji that he liked to come up there to watch the clouds and that Chōji happened to be sitting in his spot. Chōji moved over to give him space. Shikamaru proceeded to lie down before telling Chōji that he should watch the clouds with him. This delighted Chōji, and he eagerly asked Shikamaru if he wanted to eat some snacks that he had brought. Shikamaru took him up on the offer, causing Chōji to be overjoyed, and then Shikamaru said "This is the best, watching clouds and eating chips". From that day on, the two became best friends.
During Chōji's time at the academy, he was often caught eating in class otherwise getting into trouble along with fellow deviants Shikamaru, Kiba Inuzuka, and Naruto Uzumaki. Together, these four would cut class or otherwise be testing the patience of Iruka Umino, their Academy teacher. During the Search for Tsunade Arc, when Naruto was struggling to learn the second step of training for the Rasengan, he recalled how once, during his days at the academy, he, along with Shikamaru, Kiba, and Chōji were held back in class, and lectured about their all around lack in concentration - in Chōji's case, he was thinking more about food than about doing his school work. During the arc involving the trap master Gennō from the long-gone Kagerō Village, it was mentioned how Shikamaru, Chōji, Kiba, and Naruto would skip class together and hang out at the kunai practice course, which was situated under the academy, to hide from Iruka.
Chōji is a very kind, polite, and caring person. These characteristics are said to be his greatest strength by both his father Chōza and his former teacher Asuma while his greatest weakness was his lack of self-confidence.
He is easily motivated by the prospect of food, and becomes highly agitated when somebody calls him "fat" (he refers to himself as "big-boned", "chubby"). However, he does not hide his love for food and his near constant hunger is also an annoyance to his team-mates, as eating often comes before other necessities such as stealth and teamwork. Food can also make him over-react about silly things, such as who gets the last piece of chips, or when Akamaru tried to take his chips, and he refuses to let anyone else eat the last chip in the bag, even in battle-situation. Chōji also tends to eat a lot when he's angry. Since Part II of the series, however, his eating habits are more controlled and it no longer interferes with his duties as a shinobi.
Chōji has a long-standing friendship with Shikamaru. The two have complete trust in each other, with Shikamaru being one of the few people to look past Chōji's lack of athleticism, and see that he had a kind heart; recognising Chōji's true strength. Because of this, Chōji has unwavering faith and loyalty to Shikamaru and, if necessary, would give his life for him, which nearly happened during his battle with Jirōbō. Chōji also cares deeply for his mentor, Asuma, and had a difficult time in fighting him during the Fourth Shinobi World War, due to not wanting to hurt his own teacher, even when Asuma called Chōji "fat" in an attempt to anger him.
As stated by his father and teacher, Chōji greatly lacked confidence in himself and his abilities which often times hindered his actions or even progression in some aspects. During the Fourth Shinobi World War however, Chōji was able to overcome these issues and become one of the major contributing factors in the Allied Shinobi Forces turning the tide of the battle in their favour.
Chōji has spiky, brown hair, swirl marks on his cheeks, and like the rest of his clan, he has a much more robust physique than most other ninja. Since his childhood, he has always been quite husky, which is a necessity in his clan to perform their techniques since they convert calories to chakra. During Part I, Chōji's wore brown shorts, a long white scarf, a short-sleeved green jacket over a white shirt with his clan's obligatory kanji for "food" (食, shoku) on it, small, hoop earrings, and his legs and forearms were wrapped in bandages. His forehead protector was also worn like bandanna around his head with tufts of his hair sticking out.
During Part II, he sports a red suit with plated armour on his torso, arms, and upper legs, similar to his father. On the front of his chest armour is the obligatory kanji for "food" (食, shoku). His brown hair has grown much longer reaching to his waist and he also changes his earrings from hoops to the studs that he got as a gift from Asuma. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, he wears the standard Konoha flak jacket over his outfit. After Chōji uses the Multi-Size Technique, he gains two extra markings underneath both his eyes as well.
As an Akimichi, Chōji uses the calories he eats and converts them to chakra in order to perform his technique which is the primary reason for his, as well as the members of his clan's physical size. Chōji's most pronounced ability is his tremendous physical strength, being the physically strongest member of the Konoha 11. Shikamaru hinted at Chōji's raw power during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, but it wasn't until he broke them out of Jirōbō's dome that the rest of Sasuke Retrieval Team believed him.
In Part I, Shikamaru said that Chōji is the strongest member of the Sasuke Retrieval Team, but that he lacks confidence in himself. In Part II, he was able to provide assistance against Deva Path with his father, and helped Kakashi Hatake decipher the weakness of Shinra Tensei. After mastering Calorie Control during the Fourth Shinobi World War, he helped Hiashi Hyūga subdue his brother Hizashi Hyūga, as well as restrain Kakuzu with the help of Darui, Izumo Kamizuki, and Kotetsu Hagane.
At the start of the series, Chōji's taijutsu was passable, and could be used to great effect with his clan's Multi-Size Technique and Partial Multi-Size Technique, which greatly increased the striking power of his blows. He is a 'power' type, using his massive physical strength enhanced with his clan's techniques to strike crippling blows. When he fought against Jirōbō, after the consumption of the Green Pill, he was able to flip him with ease. After taking the Red Pill, forming his butterfly wings, Chōji was able to catch Jirōbō's fist with ease, which is even more impressive since his opponent was in his Cursed Seal Level 2 form which was able to lift him even in his gigantic form, and with a single punch he was able to kill his opponent.
After the time-skip, Chōji's taijutsu improved immensely. He was able to use his Partial Multi-Size Technique to effortlessly destroy a few of Sai's lions. He was also able to stun two of Kakuzu's masks after growing to tremendous size and using the Super Open Hand Slap technique. By the Invasion of Pain, he was nearly able to destroy Deva Path with a massive punch, and due to his massive physical strength he was key in restraining the Path after Shinra Tensei was used. By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, he was able to get into striking range of a reincarnated Asuma Sarutobi twice, but was unable to land a blow due to his hesitation to hurt his teacher. After losing his hesitation and forming his chakra wings he was able to smash Asuma with relative ease, also using the Multi-Size Technique to increase the power of his blow. Chōji's speed has also seemingly increased, as he was fast enough to save Shikamaru from being stomped by the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path.
As an Akimichi, Chōji knows various secret techniques that allow him to expand body parts to several times their normal size, the most common of which is the Multi-Size Technique. He uses this to perform his Human Bullet Tank attack, where he turns himself into a giant ball and attacks opponents by running them over, shouting "roll" repeatedly as he does. He can also add spikes to this attack to make it more damaging. In Part I this was done by wrapping a chain of kunai around his body. He can also use the Partial Multi-Size Technique to expand his arms and legs as well as other body parts.
After the time skip, Chōji's Spiked Human Bullet Tank does not involve kunai wrapped around him, but instead involves a technique that hardens his hair into extremely sharp spikes that cover his body, similar to Jiraiya's Needle Jizō technique, after which Chōji spins rapidly. Also, Chōji no longer needs to take any pills to perform the Partial Multi-Size Technique.
Chōji can take the Akimichi clan's Three Coloured Pills to greatly increase his strength, speed, and stamina for a short time. These pills convert the body's fat reserves into chakra, and are considered a last resort, since they take a tremendous toll on the body. The last pill is said to increase the clan member's power 100 times more than normal, but known to be always fatal, although Chōji survived the effects, thanks to the Nara clan's medical book and Tsunade's medical expertise. The one consuming it loses most of their bodily fat, which is converted in an enormous amount of chakra, so much that it manifests in two massive butterfly-like wings on the user's back.
Originally, Chōji requires to take these pills in order to use the more advanced Partial Multi-Size and Super Multi-Size Techniques. After two and a half years, however, he can now rely on his own improved chakra control to do so, without the pills forcing it out for him. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, when forced to fight the deceased Asuma, Chōji is able to replicate the red pill's effects without actually consuming it. Since he formed the butterfly wings without the pill, he negates the negative side effects, and could tap fully into the calories he stored up without danger. The amount he stored made the wings grow to the size of the entire battlefield after Asuma's defeat.
During the second phase of the Chūnin Exams, Chōji was reluctant to join his team in helping Sakura Haruno fend off a team of Oto genin, fearing for his own safety, and continuously asking to run. However, when Zaku Abumi called Chōji "fatso", Chōji proceeded to go berserk as he defended his size, and yelled that Konoha and the Sound ninja were now at war. Properly motivated, Chōji fought against the Oto genin, but were unable to defeat them. His actions, however, bought time until Sasuke Uchiha awakened and forced them to retreat with the power of the Cursed Seal.
In the preliminaries of the exam, Chōji began feeling hesitant about fighting, but Asuma convinced him to fight, promising to treat him to barbecue if he won, and to intervene if he was in danger. In the last match of the preliminaries, Chōji was matched against Dosu Kinuta. At the start of the match, Ino Yamanaka yelled to him that he was fat, so that he would be spurred into fighting. Using his Human Bullet Tank to charge at Dosu, Chōji got lodged in a wall as a result of Dosu dodging the attack. With Chōji unable to fight back, Dosu sent a blast of sound into Chōji's bulk, its effectiveness increased as a result of Chōji's increased size, thus defeating Chōji. As a reward to Chōji for getting so far in the Chūnin Exams, and as a bribe to help with Shikamaru's training, Asuma took Chōji to a buffet, but Chōji ate too much and hurt his stomach, forcing him to spend some time in the hospital. He recovered in time to watch Shikamaru and Sasuke's matches, but was put to sleep during the ensuing invasion of Konoha.
Chōji can be seen at the Third Hokage's funeral alongside the other villagers, mourning his death.
Shortly after Shikamaru's promotion to chūnin, the team celebrated at Yakiniku Q. After a brief argument over the meat, Asuma told Chōji that he should eat less and train more. While Chōji was briefly depressed, Shikamaru convinced him to be himself.
When Sasuke Uchiha abandoned Konoha, Shikamaru asked Chōji to join the Sasuke Retrieval Team, to which Chōji refused. Determined to have Chōji come with them, Shikamaru and Naruto Uzumaki ate some of Chōji's favourite snacks in front of his house. When they got to the last chip, Chōji burst through the front door to eat it, saying that the last chip was sacred and he cannot let someone else have it. Having fallen for Shikamaru's trick, Chōji joined the team to retrieve Sasuke.
At the start of the mission, Chōji took on the Sound Four member Jirōbō. Jirōbō initially proved to be too strong for Chōji to beat, forcing Chōji to use the Akimichi clan's special Three Coloured Pills. Although reluctant to use the pills, Jirōbō's constant mocking of Shikamaru as a worthless, selfish, and uncaring leader convinced Chōji to take all three pills. With the accompanying increase in strength, he was able to kill Jirōbō, but collapsed, and was left near death as a result. The Nara clan's medical guide and Tsunade's medical expertise allowed Chōji to evade death and make a full recovery.
Chōji appeared for a few of the anime's filler arcs, one of which was to help rescue Ayame, the daughter of Teuchi. To save the daughter, Chōji and his team-mates were forced to create the perfect ramen, to which Chōji assisted by tasting the noodles and improving their quality when they didn't meet his approval.
During the filler arcs, Chōji demonstrated a working knowledge of the relationship between ninja and food: in Episode 158, Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge, the Academy students were divided into teams of three, and were assigned a genin to lead them on a mission against the other teams. Chōji was assigned to lead a team of three academy students; Dango, Ame and Choco. On route, Chōji imparted to them the importance of being able to acquire food during a mission, introducing a plant called the "Ninja-Aid Plant", which is edible and nutritious. Chōji even stopped one of his team from eating the wrong plant, the "Ninja Blockage Plant", even though it looked similar to the Ninja-Aid Plant, it was in fact noxious, and Chōji identified the difference between their leaves.
In Episode 168, Mix it, Stretch it, Boil it Up! Burn Copper Pot, Burn!, it was Chōji who knew about the cooking-nin of the Land of Lightning, whose purpose was to provide their country's active ninja with food, as on a mission in the field, where food may be scarce, gathering food was such a chore that cooking-nin were supposed to do this job themselves, allowing for the other ninja to focus on their mission and not worry about gathering food.
Chōji made a number of cameos in other arcs, often aiding his fellow genin in accomplishing missions. In one arc, Chōji was teamed with Naruto in fighting a water-user, and the two were frequently able to save the life of the other. After Hinata defeated the second of the three ninja, and was badly injured in the process, Naruto sent her away with Chōji. The two were captured, but Shikamaru and several other ninja saved them.
Chōji made his Part II debut shortly after Naruto returned from successfully rescuing Gaara. Like most of the Rookie Nine, he had reached the chūnin rank. Chōji had also improved his skills during the time-skip, and was now able to enlarge various parts of his body without much concentration. His reaction time had also increased, being able to immediately prevent an attack by Sai from harming Shikamaru or Naruto.
Chōji was then seen in a restaurant together with Team Asuma and Team Kakashi, now including Sai. Sai was surprised to see them after his encounter with them. Sai then started giving nicknames to everyone, in the hope of getting along better with them. He almost called Chōji fat, but Naruto covered his mouth to prevent him doing so.
While Sora explores Konoha, he gets into a conflict with Kiba and Akamaru. Chōji then appears with Shikamaru while Sora and Kiba were arguing, telling them not to fight. Sora then insults Chōji calling him fatty which enraged him. After Lee and Naruto join the "fray" it is ended before it gets serious by Shikamaru and Asuma.
Later when a horde of zombie ninja attacked Konoha under the summoning of Furido. Chōji along with Ino, Shikamaru, Kiba, Akamaru, Rock Lee, Izumo and Kotetsu held the resurrected ninja at bay.
Chōji along with his team-mates then acted as back up for Team Yamato when the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's chakra was unleashed in Sora's body. Chōji then uses his Partial Multi-Size Technique to immobilise Sora but soon after the chakra cloak begins burning Chōji's hands.
Sora, now having four tails, attacked Chōji and the others, but Yamato was able to shield them with his Wood Release: Wood Locking Wall. Ino and Sakura then attempt to heal Chōji's burned hands and Sakura states that wounds caused by the Nine-Tails cannot be easily healed.Ch
ōji is later seen with the other ninja seeing Sora off.
Chōji arrived with Ino as back-up for Shikamaru and Asuma in their fight with Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu. As the Akatsuki pair fled due to their arrival, Chōji prepared to take the fatally injured Asuma back to Konoha for treatment. Asuma, however, knew that he wouldn't make it back to Konoha, and gave some parting words to his team. He told Chōji that he was a kind-hearted boy, who thinks about his friends, and, therefore, may be a stronger ninja than anyone else, and to simply believe in himself. Asuma also told Chōji to diet a bit more, and Chōji said that, while it was difficult, he would try. Chōji then reminisces his memories with Asuma like the day when they were assigned to him as students and he treated them for a meal and Chōji had ordered a banquet, which hurt Asuma's economy. Chōji then cried. After smoking one last cigarette, Asuma died, leaving Chōji, Shikamaru, and Ino to set out in an attempt to avenge him.
When the remaining members of Team 10 distracted Hidan and Kakuzu, Chōji attacked the two with his Spiked Human Bullet Tank, its effectiveness increased with his new ability to grow and sharpen his hair. Later, when Kakuzu's masks charged at Chōji and his team, Chōji used Super Open Hand Slap to crush the masks and keep them at bay. His attempt was unsuccessful, and Kakuzu was able to pin him down.
Later, after Naruto arrived and defeated Kakuzu, Chōji returned to Konoha with the rest of his team, noting that Naruto's defeating Kakuzu made him "cool", even if not as much so as Shikamaru.
When Pain began his invasion, Chōji and his father arrived at the scene of Kakashi and Pain's fight, stunning Pain's Asura Path. After the Deva Path launched a counter-attack at them, Chōji and Chōza tried to distract the Path so Kakashi could land a finishing blow. Their effort failed, resulting in Chōza being gravely injured. Kakashi, unable to move, sent Chōji to tell Tsunade about the Deva Path's ability. Though believing his father to be dead, Chōji did as instructed, and was delighted to learn from Tsunade that his father was alive. But he quickly sobered after finding out that Kakashi died protecting him. He went to attend to his father, and stayed with him during the destruction of Konoha. After witnessing Kakashi returning to life, Chōji greeted Naruto as he returned to Konoha, supporting Shikamaru on his shoulder.
Team Asuma, along with Team Kakashi, go off on a mission where they must save a headman's granddaughter from a gang boss named Baji. While fighting the bandits off, he uses his Human Bullet Tank to get to Shikamaru and the Headman's granddaughter's location. When he and Ino reunite with Shikamaru, they quickly apprehend Baji and save the girl, completing their mission.
Chōji is seen comforting Ino after Teams Guy, Asuma, and Kurenai agree that Sasuke must be stopped. He is also noted by Shikamaru to want revenge if Ino was to be killed. Along with the rest of Konoha 11, Chōji is prepared to kill Sasuke. Chōji was later seen with the rest of the Konoha 11, hearing Naruto's decision about Sasuke. When Naruto explained it wouldn't have been easy to defeat Sasuke, even at his current level, Chōji asks what he means by that.
When the Fourth Shinobi World War begins, Chōji is placed in the Fourth Division alongside Shikamaru. Chōji, Shikamaru, and other members of their division are later sent to provide support for the First Division. They meet up with Ino - sent as backup from her own division - and they team up to help Darui fight Kinkaku. Chōji attacks Kinkaku with his Human Bullet Tank, creating an opening for Shikamaru and Ino and ultimately leading to Kinkaku's capture. Ino–Shika–Chō next engages the revived Kakuzu. As they prepare to face him yet again, he points out that he is not the only ninja to have been revived: Asuma is on the battlefield too.
As Asuma's students and thus experts on his fighting style, Shikaku leaves fighting him to Ino–Shika–Chō. Chōji is reluctant to fight Asuma, and despite Shikamaru and Ino's attempt to reassure him he cannot bring himself to attack him. Asuma attacks him with his Wind Release: Dust Cloud Technique and Ino tackles him to get him out of the way. As Chōji struggles to come to terms with what is happening, Asuma tries to motivate him by calling him fat. Although Chōji lashes out in his usual fashion, he still cannot bring himself to strike Asuma. Ino transfers her consciousness into Chōji's body to fight on his behalf. As she fights, Chōji reflects on his duty as an Akimichi, only coming back to his senses when his father shields them from Asuma's attack.
Seeing that his teammates and his own father have the will to fight despite the circumstances, Chōji finds the resolve he needs. He uses Calorie Control to create butterfly-chakra wings without the aid of the Three Coloured Pills, a feat which amazed his father. While Shikamaru manoeuvres Asuma into a vulnerable position Chōji grew to gigantic size and used the Butterfly Bullet Bombing technique to punch Asuma into a nearby cliff. Immobilised, Asuma uses his last few moments before being sealed to congratulate his students on their perfect formation as well as thank Chōji for finding the confidence. Chōji then grew his wings to an enormous size, catching the attention of nearly everyone in the battle. He asked Shikamaru and Ino to back him up while he ended the battle.
By nightfall, Chōji has managed to capture Hizashi Hyūga in his hand while crushing Kakuzu underneath his other fist. The apparent victory is short-lived, as Tobi soon appears on the battlefield Demonic Statue of the Outer Path. Chōji and his father confront the statue but are no match for it, only being flung back in the failed offensive. Returning to his regular size, Chōji bunkers down with the rest of his team as Statue goes on a rampage. After the attack subsides, Chōji plans with the rest of his team and Tenten.
The next morning, Chōji and the rest of the shinobi stand in circles as a countermeasure against the transformed White Zetsu that had invaded their ranks until Naruto could come and differentiate them. Getting somewhat restless, Chōji asks how much longer they'd have to stay like this, noting that if the Demonic Statue came back they'd be in a lot of trouble. He is greatly relieved when Naruto's shadow clone finally arrives.
After being informed by Inoichi from HQ that Naruto and B were fighting the "masked Madara", Chōji and the rest of the Konoha 11 rush to his aid. As he runs, he states to Shikamaru that it seemed Naruto was doing well. He then states that Naruto was as stupid as he was fat but that people were not always as they seem. Thinking to himself, he jokingly tells slightly stupid Naruto to wait because slim Chōji was coming.
He made a small cameo before Team 7 was being called up, he, Shikamaru, and Ino were seen running through the streets.
Chōji played a short role while they were trying to fight off the sky ninja and was seen with Sakura, Neji, and Yamato while Naruto destroyed the Land of the Sky.
Chōji was first seen eating barbecue with Shikamaru and the others celebrating Naruto and Sai's recovery. Later when Hiruko announced that a Fourth Ninja World War would occur once he gets the final Kekkei Genkai, Chōji was seen with the rest of Konoha 11 except Naruto assigned by Tsunade to secure the village. When Naruto and Sakura left the village to rescue Kakashi, Chōji, and the others left to stop him. While they encountered them, they got ambushed by San which caused them to fight while Sai took Naruto and Sakura ahead. Later when Hiruko finally approached them they all fought and defeated him.