|Manga||Volume #4, Naruto Chapter #35|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #20|
|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|
|Tailed Beast||Shukaku (Forms)|
|Academy Grad. Age||12|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||14|
Gaara (我愛羅, Gaara) is a major supporting character of the series, originally introduced as an antagonist. As the jinchūriki of the One-Tailed Shukaku, Gaara gained the nickname "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall" (砂瀑の我愛羅, Sabaku no Gaara, English: Gaara of the Desert). In Part II of the series, he becomes the Fifth Kazekage (五代目風影, Godaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fifth Wind Shadow) of Sunagakure.
Gaara is the son of the Fourth Kazekage, and the younger brother of Temari and Kankurō. Before Gaara's birth, his father ordered Chiyo to seal the One-Tailed Shukaku within him, in hopes that Gaara would become the ultimate weapon for Sunagakure. Because a human sacrifice was needed, Gaara's mother, Karura, was used. Before she died, she cursed Sunagakure, hoping Gaara would avenge her death. Gaara was trained by his father, but raised mainly by his maternal uncle, Yashamaru.
Because of the power of Shukaku, the villagers of Suna hated and feared Gaara, seeing him only for the monster sealed within him. For a time, Yashamaru seemed to be the only person who cared about Gaara. When Gaara would mistakenly harm others due to the subconscious abilities granted to him by Shukaku, Yashamaru would be the only one who understood that Gaara hadn't intended to harm anyone. Gaara's father, however, did not see Gaara in the same light, and viewed Gaara's frequent attacks upon villagers as a result of a failed experiment that was a threat to Suna.
Because of the danger Gaara imposed, his father began sending assassins to kill him, though when all attempts were met with failure, the Kazekage requested Yashamaru to kill Gaara. As a result, Yashamaru tried to assassinate Gaara, only to fail just as those before him. Gaara dealt a lethal blow to him. But when Gaara realized that it was Yashamaru, he was horrified, and screamed, before bursting into tears. Although Gaara tried to dismiss Yashamaru's attack as an order of the Kazekage, Yashamaru corrected him, by saying that he had willingly accepted the mission. Having never truly loved Gaara, Yashamaru hoped that killing Gaara would avenge the death of his sister, who had named Gaara after the phrase "a self-loving carnage" (我を愛する修羅, Ware wo ai suru shura), a sign of her intense hatred for Suna, not as love for her son. In the last ditch effort to kill Gaara, Yashamaru detonated a number of exploding tags covering his body, asking Gaara to "please die". Using his sand, Gaara survived the blast, and lost the only person he thought had cared for him. Gaara then used his sand to etch the kanji for love (愛, ai) onto his forehead, indicating his first actual injury. Since this incident, Gaara became an aloof and cruel person who would kill anyone to prove his existence and to obtain recognition from the village, all the while forfeiting his desire for friendship.
While Gaara had initially tried to be friendly towards others, despite their fear of him, Yashamaru's actions and words changed him. Realizing that nobody loved him, Gaara used his sand to create the kanji on his forehead "love" (愛, ai), as a symbol of a "demon loving only himself", and to live up to his name, as Karura intended. Gaara became emotionally withdrawn, all but silent, and consumed with a bitter loathing for everyone but himself and "Mother", the voice of Shukaku in his head. He learned to find pleasure, and eventually a reason to live, in annihilating the numerous assassins sent to kill him – and, by extension, anyone who threatened his existence. This was only worsened by the occasional demand by Shukaku for blood to sate its blood lust, which resulted in Gaara being merciless, demonstrated when he murdered Baiu and Midare while ignoring their pleas.
Gaara's insomnia, forced upon him by the fear that the demon inside him would eat away at him if he were to fall asleep, only furthered his instability and desire to kill. In fact, his hatred extends to his siblings, as he never saw them as such, and was fully willing to kill them were they to cross him. In time, Gaara's father would come to appreciate Gaara and the uses he could serve, and canceled all assassination orders in the hopes that Gaara would become an effective tool.
Gaara's childhood was, in many ways, similar to Naruto Uzumaki's, though more unfortunate due to his lack of anyone to call a friend. Both were lonely and desired to be liked, loved, and acknowledged as an individual, free of others' prejudices — they were themselves, not the demons they were forced to "contain" — and both were driven into a desperate state. While Naruto consequently developed the misconception that pranks and mischief would bring him the attention he sought, Gaara came to the conclusion that he could preserve and confirm his own existence by killing any and all who challenged it, securing an extreme form of existentialism as his key personality trait. In the absence of others' acknowledgment, he could compensate by valuing only himself to the exclusion of everyone else. Furthermore, while Naruto eventually had Iruka Umino and Team Kakashi to acknowledge him, Gaara never had anyone to bond with, not even his father or siblings, as they all despised and feared Shukaku that dwells within him. The person who was closest to being friendly with Gaara was the deceitful Yashamaru, who ultimately betrayed him, which turned Gaara into a lonely sociopath. As such, Gaara did not understand the concept of fighting for anything other than himself until his confrontation with Naruto.
After being defeated by Naruto, Gaara was shocked to find that Naruto knew very well the pain that Gaara had endured all his life. He was even more surprised that Naruto never gave up hope on being acknowledged as a person and ultimately found friends who truly cared for him. Seeing the determination that Naruto had to protect his friends made Gaara question his own path in life. Realizing that he gave up too easily, Gaara decided to follow Naruto's path, wishing to become Kazekage of Sunagakure so he could be connected to his people, and hopefully have them finally acknowledge his existence as a person. Over the next few years, Gaara's determination to find happiness became apparent from his decision to rely on his own power rather than his inner demon's. Gaara eventually formed a close friendship with Naruto.
Since Gaara has become a close companion to Naruto, he has been able to change people's personalities towards him, such as Matsuri overpowering her fear of weapons, Ōnoki in the Five Kage Summit, persuaded practically the whole shinobi nation as a team before the war, and even Naruto himself when reflecting upon what he will choose to do as Sasuke's friend. This seems to be a similar trait from Naruto, a way of showing how he has changed from before.
Although he remained ruthless against his opponents, Gaara appears extremely protective of his allies and innocent people, as seen when he protected his village from Deidara; and his siblings, Darui and even the Raikage against Sasuke. He also appears to deeply understand those who have suffered from loneliness and hatred in the past by the look in their eyes, such as Naruto, Kimimaro, and even Sasuke.
As a Kage, Gaara believes that the former ideals that each village must mind their own business and solve their own problems without having to ask for the aid of others in order to keep appearance and honor, is a "ridiculous old-fashioned thinking" and that cooperation between the villages is fundamental in order to defeat Akatsuki.
Like Naruto, Gaara is a little shorter than the average males of his age. He has pale skin and short, spiky hair that is brick-red. Gaara's eyes are spindrift, a mix between turquoise and sea foam green. The pupils of his eyes are mostly invisible. Gaara has no eyebrows either. He has two very notable traits in his outward appearance: firstly, he has tanuki-like black eye rings, having them since his birth due to insomnia caused by Shukaku. Secondly, he has created the kanji "love" (愛) on the left side of his forehead, having it since Yashamaru's betrayal. Gaara's forelocks are parted from the left side, making the kanji more visible. Gaara is often seen standing straight, with his arms crossed over his chest. Matsuri and Sari who both seem to have a crush on Gaara has described him as the strong silent type, elite and very handsome.
In Part I, Gaara has been seen in two different outfits. When he was seen for the first time, he wore black full body suit with t-shirt-like sleeves, ¾-length legs, and an open neck. With this, he wore a white cloth over his right shoulder and the left side of his hips, and a wide leather band system over the left shoulder and right side of his hips. With this leather band, he carried around his gourd containing his sand. He also wrapped his forehead protector over the band. In his childhood flashbacks, he was seen wearing beige poncho-like clothing with full-length blue trousers and a short-sleeved black t-shirt.
In the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, and in the final pre-Shippūden filler arc, he switched his previous black overalls to a reddish-brownish one with longer sleeves and an upright collar. He retained the white cloth, but had mesh armor on his wrists and ankles. He used this costume in Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel as well.
In Part II, battling against Deidara and during the Kage summit, he wore full-length dark trousers, with a pair of laces on each leg, respectively a few inches below the waist and the knees, a long-sleeved crimson coat with flaring hemlines on the front and the back, a purplish gray vest held in place by a single strap over Gaara's left shoulder and by two buckled belts, as well as another pair of casually worn belts around his waist. He is also seen wearing Kazekage robes, and a simple black tunic-trousers suit, the latter one greatly resembling Kankurō's suit, and worn for the memorial of Elder Chiyo. All the time, he has been seen wearing Sunagakure's standard shinobi sandals. As the Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces, he added his village's flak jacket with shoulder pads under his vest, and seems to have switched to a pair of ¾-length pants paired with bandages on the calves, or to have wrapped the lower part of his standard pants's legs in bandages.
Gaara is a very powerful shinobi, so much so that he was made Kazekage at the age of 15. Even Deidara commented on his power after he captured him, after he himself lost an arm to Gaara's attacks. Out of everyone of his generation, he had the greatest increase in rank. Even though he had lost the Shukaku, he was still powerful enough to remain Kazekage. The type of fighting style he uses is a stationary type, he rarely needs to move his entire body to attack an opponent. He has also shown to be a skilled teacher, teaching Matsuri how to use the jōhyō when he learned she was afraid of weapons. He has also shown an affinity in the Wind Release.
As the host of Shukaku, Gaara possesses the ability to manipulate sand, typically moving it through the air to serve various purposes. The amount of sand he can control at one time is immense: in Part II he is able to gather enough sand to shield the entire village of Sunagakure from Deidara's explosives, albeit at great physical exertion. If sand is lacking in abundance, Gaara can break down the earth minerals in the ground to create more sand. While he can control any dry sand, ordinary sand requires more chakra to manipulate, tiring him at a rapid rate. As a result, Gaara keeps his own chakra-infused sand with him at all times, in a calabash gourd also made out of sand on his back. Because this sand is already infused with his chakra, Gaara has a great deal more control over it, enabling stronger and faster attacks with it.
During battle, Gaara rarely moves, attacking with his sand from a single location, and rarely using taijutsu. When first introduced, his basic means of attacks is to first use Desert Coffin to capture, immobilize, and potentially suffocate an opponent with sand. Once the opponent is subdued, he uses Desert Funeral to cause the sand to crush the opponent with varying intensities. Though he comes up with other means of attack throughout the series, the "catch and crush" tactic remains at the center of his fighting style. Gaara attempted to use it four times on Kimimaro but Kimimaro's sturdy bone structure makes him a frustrating target.
As the second element of his stationary combat style, Gaara has a number of sand-based defenses to be used in case an opponent gets too close. His primary defense is his Shield of Sand, an automatic sand shield that surrounds and protects him from damage whether he wants it to or not. Gaara can control the shield to some degree, strengthening it to steel-like quality or calling upon it to completely encase himself. While an effective defense, the shield can be overcome with high speed attacks, or simply be broken through with incredibly forceful strikes. Should this happen, Gaara has a layer of sand covering his body called the Armor of Sand. Although it's a useful secondary defense, the armor requires large amounts of chakra to remain active, and also has the side-effect of weighing Gaara down.
In addition to these basic methods of offense and defense, Gaara also has a number of miscellaneous attacks that, while capable of being an attack or a shield, are not limited to such purposes. By making a Sand Clone of himself, Gaara can have an ally to be used in battle, or as a mere distraction to be used to buy him time. Unlike most other clone jutsu in the series, the Sand Clone can retain its shape after more than one attack, and can even reform itself or capture an opponent upon being dispersed. With Desert Suspension, Gaara can use sand as a platform, to allow himself and others to float in the air. His Third Eye also allows him to create a floating eyeball of sand in any location, which he can see through as a means of spying, or to guide his attacks while completely enclosed by his defenses. He also claimed that he can ride his sand to reach the Island Turtle, and would have been faster than if Ōnoki went there. His sand can also be used as sensing device: Gaara can detect when others step on the sand.
In the third Shippūden movie, Gaara demonstrated additional abilities, including turning into sand as mean of transport, condensing his sand to form exploding boulders, creating a stream to incapacitate his opponents or setting a portion of his sand to take a specific shape when thrown in the wind, for example to act as a message. Gaara was also shown using a little taijutsu in conjunction with his sand, briefly overpowering Naruto.
Despite the removal of Shukaku, Gaara can still use his sand like before. According to Sasuke at the Kage Summit, Gaara's Absolute Defense is still alive and well. Not only that, but the sand has also massively improved in speed, defense, and offense since last time. He could not only block the Raikage's power kick seconds before it touched Sasuke's Blaze Release: Kagutsuchi, but even block Amaterasu itself several times as well. It is unknown if his sand defense is still automatic or requires his own will since the Shukaku's absence.
Main article: Gaara's Jinchūriki Forms
In desperate situations, Gaara was able to take on the form of Shukaku by layering sand on his body, making him many times more powerful than he already is. Shukaku's personality grew more dominant during this transformation, increasing Gaara's homicidal tendencies. Once finished, Gaara assumed a human-sized version of Shukaku, wherein he relied on his brute strength to destroy everything around him.
If need be, Gaara could almost instantly create a life-sized version of Shukaku, should the human-sized form fail. In this form, he remained deep within the copy of Shukaku, safe from harm, though unable to move. Gaara could also unleash the spirit of Shukaku through his Feigning Sleep Technique, which forced him to sleep, allowing the Shukaku copy to operate at its full potential. To do so, however, Gaara must emerge from within the copy, leaving him open to attack for the duration of the jutsu.
In time, he began gaining better control over Shukaku, such that he could suppress its personality by himself towards the end of the anime's filler arcs. By the time Part II began, Gaara was even capable of using Shukaku's arms to attack numerous times, without losing control of himself.
Due to the removal of Shukaku, it is unclear whether Gaara can still be able to use Shukaku's arms or any jutsu that involves its traits such as Ultimately Hard Absolute Defense: Shield of Shukaku or Ultimately Hard Absolute Attack: Spear of Shukaku in combat.
Chūnin Exam Arc
Gaara participated in the Chūnin Exams, where he was quickly identified as a skilled competitor. He was able to pass the first phase without giving any indications that he was cheating. During the second phase, he demonstrated his thirst for blood, coldly murdering Team Shigure, who Gaara claimed had looked at him the wrong way, and threatened to kill his own siblings when they tried to reason with him. Gaara and his team finished this phase in an hour and thirty-seven minutes, beating the previous record by over four hours, with Gaara not getting so much as a speck of dust on his clothes, a feat that would be very difficult even for an experienced ninja.
In the preliminary matches, Gaara was matched against Rock Lee. Lee's formidable speed and strength were enough to bypass Gaara's Shield of Sand completely, forcing him to rely on his secondary Armor of Sand. Despite Lee's best efforts, Gaara's sand protected him from even Lee's Reverse Lotus, which left Lee in no condition to fight after its use. Gaara used his sand to crush the weakened Lee's arm and leg, critically injuring him. Gaara tried to kill Lee, but Might Guy intervened before he could harm Lee any further. For the finals, Gaara was matched against Sasuke Uchiha. In the month before the finals, Dosu Kinuta tried to kill Gaara in order to ensure that he could fight Sasuke. Gaara promptly killed him with the power of Shukaku.
In the final round matches of the Chūnin Exams, Gaara was to play a major role in Orochimaru's invasion upon Konohagakure, by releasing Shukaku within the center of the village. Prior to his battle with Sasuke, he brutally killed Tsuba and Midori, both of whom tried to threaten Gaara to lose the battle for a bet. When fighting Sasuke, he realizes he has taijutsu as high as Lee after the month's training. Not caring what happens, Gaara tries to transform. However, he was wounded by Sasuke's Chidori, disabling him from transforming or serving his role in the invasion. With Gaara no longer in a condition to join the battle, Gaara and his siblings fled the village, while the invasion proceeded without them.
Invasion of Konoha Arc
Gaara was pursued by the members of Team 7, along with Shikamaru Nara and Shino Aburame, which forced Gaara to begin transforming into Shukaku. As his transformation progressed, Sasuke tried to use Chidori two additional times, but when both proved ineffective at stopping Gaara, he was left exhausted. Gaara tried to kill Sasuke, but was stopped by Naruto and Sakura's arrivals. This gave Gaara a short flashback of his betrayed childhood. Intrigued by Naruto's abilities, Gaara pinned Sakura to a tree, in order to force Naruto to fight.
Naruto, scared, stayed to fight against him to protect his friends. Though Gaara seemed to have the upper hand, Naruto attacks the lower base of the tail, using One Thousand Years of Death from Kakashi Hatake, reducing Gaara's defense tremendously, giving Naruto the upper hand in the battle. When beaten down by the massive shadow clones Naruto summoned, Gaara angers, and releases the body of the One-Tailed Shukaku. Naruto then summons Gamabunta right before Gaara could kill him.
Gaara then used the Feigning Sleep Technique to let Shukaku take full control in the battle. Once Shukaku proved to be stronger than Gamabunta, he and Naruto used their Combination Transformation technique to transform into a giant fox (the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox in the anime) so he can cling onto Shukaku for Naruto to hit Gaara for the beast to be resealed. This became successful, but Naruto's chakra became drained. Naruto used some of the Nine-Tails' chakra, then headbutt Gaara, making Shukaku's body crumble.
With the last of their energy, the two exchanged final blows, Naruto ending up claiming victory. Gaara was puzzled by Naruto's undying devotion to his friends, causing Gaara to realize that Naruto's strength came from the desire to protect those close to him. As Gaara and his siblings fled the scene, Gaara openly apologized to Kankurō and Temari, which surprised and confused them. Thanks to Naruto's influence, the defeat proved to be a major turning point for Gaara.
Sasuke Retrieval Arc
Team Baki was called by the Fifth Hokage to assist the Sasuke Retrieval Squad in retrieving Sasuke when he defected from Konoha. Gaara arrived to save Rock Lee in time from preventing Kimimaro's final blow. Though Lee tried to continue, Gaara stopped him, telling Lee that he is in no condition to fight since Gaara injured Lee during the Chūnin Exams. This showed Gaara's new personality. In the fight, Gaara showed off several new abilities, proving too much for Kimimaro. Once Kimimaro released the 2nd state of his Cursed Seal of Earth, this proved too much for Gaara, and in the end, he almost defeated the two, only to be luckily saved by Kimimaro's unknown disease which killed him.
After the battle, Gaara explains even a person who works for the bad has someone precious in them, and explains to Lee that he was like Naruto Uzumaki. Later, the two returned to Konoha. After this, Gaara and the rest of the Sand Siblings returned to Sunagakure, though in the anime, he and his siblings helped the village's Ninja Academy before leaving, as stated from Shikamaru.
Ultimate Weapon Arc
The Sand Siblings would later appear when they became teachers at a Konoha-style ninja academy at Suna. As an instructor, Gaara took on the only student who was willing to train under him, Matsuri. Because of Matsuri's fear of weapons, Gaara trained her to use a jōhyō, a relatively non-lethal weapon. When a group of people called the Four Celestial Symbols Men kidnapped her in order to get to Gaara, Suna then called for aid from the Konoha 11 to repay their help during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc.
Gaara first fought Suiko, then he caught and attacked the Four Celestial Symbols Men leader, Hōki, but was captured. Naruto tries desperately to save Gaara, though nothing would work. To escape, Gaara did a partial Shukaku transformation, reviving the Takumi Village's ultimate weapon, Seimei. Gaara later destroyed Seimei with Ultimately Hard Absolute Attack: Spear of Shukaku, and killed him with a Sand Waterfall Imperial Funeral.
Kazekage Rescue Arc
Having become the Fifth Kazekage during the gap in time between Part I and II, Gaara was targeted by Akatsuki, who sought to extract Shukaku from within him. Gaara held his own against Deidara, crushing Deidara's left arm and had him on the run for most of the battle, but his inevitable duty to protect Sunagakure was taken advantage of by Deidara, who threatened to drop one of his most powerful bombs on the village. Gaara prevented any damage being inflicted by summoning a vast amount of sand to cover it entirely, albeit at the cost of practically all of his remaining chakra, which left him open for capture. Being unconscious, he was taken to Akatsuki's hideout by Deidara.
Although Team Kakashi did their best to save Gaara, they did not arrive in time to stop Akatsuki's extraction of Shukaku, resulting in Gaara's death. Naruto Uzumaki cried in front of him, regretting his inablility to save both Sasuke and Gaara. He blamed the rest of the Sand Shinobi because it was on their behalf that Shukaku was sealed inside of Gaara in the first place, and because they let him feel so much pain as a child. However, Chiyo resurrected Gaara with the help of Naruto's chakra using her life-restoring technique, in the hopes that it would make up for her sealing of Shukaku into Gaara years earlier, and that Naruto and Gaara would both change the world, by bringing Gaara back to life at the cost of her own. Gaara awoke, shocked by being surrounded by his friends from Konoha and the Sunagakure shinobi that had gone looking for him, all relieved that he was alright. This was the first time Gaara truly felt loved and not so alone. Gaara later ordered everyone to pray for Chiyo.
Before Naruto went back home, he tried to say goodbye, but admitted that it wasn't something he was good at. Gaara used some sand to encourage and guide Naruto's hand, and the two shook hands, symbolizing Gaara and Naruto's friendship, and Gaara's new characteristics. Even with Shukaku removed, Gaara still retained his ability to control sand and went on to continue his work as Kazekage.
Konoha History Arc
Gaara remembers a joint mission with Team 7. On the rendezvous point the two teams meet. In Gaara's team are two rookies: Korobi and Yaoki, who are at first scared of Gaara and his abilities. After Sunagakure sent Gaara on the mission, an assassination squad from Sunagakure, who were ordered to assassinate Gaara, followed him shortly after. With the help of Naruto Uzumaki, and his two rookie team mates, Gaara defeats the Suna Assassin Captain and his squad. They then complete their primary mission of eliminating the bandits. In the end Yaoki and Koboki became Gaara's first friends, thus creating one of his very first bonds with people.
Five Kage Summit Arc
Because of Akatsuki's increasing activity, the Fourth Raikage calls for a meeting of the five Kage. When Gaara left for the summit, his hair had grown a little longer, he still wore his sand gourd on his back, and the traditional Kazekage hat and gown were attached to it. Temari and Kankurō accompany him for protection, but Kankurō notes that he doesn't need bodyguards.
Gaara is the first Kage to arrive in the Land of Iron. When the other Kage arrive and the meeting starts, Gaara is the first to speak. He indicates that, because he was captured by Akatsuki and died while the Shukaku was removed from his body, being revived later on, he considers the organization very dangerous. He adds that he had previously requested collaboration between the villages against Akatsuki, but that only Tsunade of Konoha responded. Gaara is repeatedly interrupted by the other Kage for the rest of the meeting and his input is dismissed because of his young age. Only the Fifth Mizukage was willing to listen to Gaara; even at one point defending him from Third Tsuchikage's disrespectful behavior.
When Sasuke is revealed to have infiltrated the meeting and the Raikage goes to fight him, Ōnoki offered to give him tips on how to be a good Kage, having previously dismissed Gaara's suggestions on the basis that he was too young. Gaara voices his concern with the others' lack of ethics and says that a world without faith and understanding would be a world with only fear. Gaara, Kankurō, and Temari then leave to join the Raikage's battle with Sasuke. When they arrive, Gaara uses his sand to stop Sasuke and the Raikage from attacking each other, demonstrating that despite the loss of Shukaku, Gaara's sand manipulation powers were still strong and is even more powerful than before to be able to block the Raikage with his Lightning armor on. While the Raikage recuperates, Gaara tries to convince Sasuke to stop living in the darkness, citing past experience by saying no good will come of it. Sasuke could not be convinced so, with a tear in his eye, Gaara attacks Sasuke with his Sand Shield which Sasuke comments to be extremely swift and hard enough to penetrate Susanoo's ribs which causes Sasuke to rely on his Blaze release as a more defensive measure. Sasuke also attacks Gaara with Amaterasu, which seems too slow and ineffective against the automatic Sand Shield. After showing an equal match, Darui joins with Gaara, Kankuro and Temari to form a combined attack at Sasuke.
Sasuke is able to elude their combined efforts. They follow him back to the room where the Kage met and find Sasuke with Madara Uchiha. Madara sends Sasuke away and tells everyone in attendance about his Eye of the Moon Plan. Because Madara concludes by requesting that the Kage give him Naruto, Gaara refuses. The other Kage agree, so Madara declares the start of the Fourth Great Shinobi World War.
Immediately after Madara teleported away, Gaara brought the group's attention back to the need of an alliance, now more than ever. After agreements were made, Gaara offered to relay the news to Konoha through a ninja he trusted that was Kakashi as Danzō proved himself untrustworthy. He also pointed out the importance of not playing into Madara's hands by carelessly putting the remaining jinchūriki out in the open as mere weapons, and thereby risk them being captured. Mifune agrees to let the Raikage to lead the alliance. Gaara and the rest of the Kage accept the offer, and, as the first objective, they must inform all the Daimyo about the incident.
Gaara and his siblings later confront Naruto and the others to tell what has happened at the meeting in the Five Kage Summit. He also tells Naruto that he and Killer Bee cannot be seen in combat at the war, and that if Sasuke tries to threaten Naruto, he will show no mercy against him. Recalling Sasuke's statement that he no longer saw the light, Gaara tells Naruto that his friend now only sees darkness. Grasping Naruto, Gaara states that Naruto once dreamed of becoming Hokage, while he himself became Kazekage, and to wield the title of Kage means knowing when to do the right thing.
Naruto shoves Gaara's hand off of his shoulder, and stays silent reflecting his words. Before Gaara and his siblings leave, Gaara tells Naruto he is his friend. He then states "friends" isn't just a word, but something with meaning. He then tells Naruto to reflect that meaning, and think what will be the right thing to do to Sasuke. Finally, he and his siblings leave to Sunagakure. Later it is seen that Gaara and his siblings have safely returned to the village and had already sent a message via a Messenger Hawk about the meeting's events so that the relaying of Madara's declaration of war was heard and the formation of the Alliance could be approved by the Daimyos. The other Sand ninja tells them that the Daimyos have agreed to the Ninja Alliance.
Confining the Jinchūriki Arc
Gaara is next seen at the Kage meeting called by the Raikage, accompanied by Temari. They proceed to discuss about Killer Bee, Naruto, their enemy, and the current status of their respective villages. When the Fifth Hokage is outraged by the agreement to hide the two remaining jinchūriki, Gaara reminded her that it wasn't up to her to make decisions unilaterally. Gaara then reminded Tsunade of the risk Naruto would cause if left free as Naruto would do whatever it takes in order to protect his friends.
During a meeting of the Shinobi Alliance they receive word that information has been leaked on the whereabouts of the hidden jinchūriki. The Tsuchikage offers to go, but in his enthusiasm throws out his back. Gaara then offers to go to the island as reinforcement, since he could get there quickly by riding on his sand. Despite this, the Tsuchikage goes anyway.
When the Tsuchikage is returning from the island then the last meeting is held in order to fully prepare for the war. Gaara offers him the newly made forehead protectors of the Allied Forces.
Shinobi World War Arc
After the Alliance ninja are placed into separate divisions, he is placed in charge of the main regiment as Regimental Commander as well as the commander of the Fourth Division. When a Suna and Iwa Shinobi began quarreling in the ranks, nearly coming to blows, Gaara broke them up and told them about Naruto. He said he was born of the hatred between the villages, yet his fellow jinchūriki, Naruto, bore him no ill will. At the end of the speech, everyone was united and all went out for battle. Later, Gaara's division and Darui division march together up until Gaara gives the signal and the two divisions go on their separate ways. Gaara is next shown with his division to be stationed in a rocky area. His sand is able to catch Mū heading towards their location and declares that the enemy is near.
Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Gaara and Kankurō came to the aid of a band of Suna villagers who came under attack. A group of seemingly invulnerable armored warriors attacked the shinobi, and it was only Gaara's sand manipulation abilities that saved the group from certain defeat. The Suna ninja then destroyed the warship that brought the warriors, only to come under attack from knights wielding the power of the Stone of Gelel. Gaara engaged one of these warriors, called Ranke, who wielded lightning powers, and was able to thwart her using his sand. When Ranke transformed into a monstrous form of greater power, she seemingly outmatched Gaara, until he crushed her using Sand Waterfall Imperial Funeral. By doing this, he made lightning rods to drain her lightning; the jutsu was called Sand Lightning Needles. He is later seen amazed by the destruction the Gelel caused. It is unclear whether Gaara met Naruto after the incident. Later, he and Kankurō safely return to Sunagakure.
Naruto Shippūden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire
Gaara watches the skies as Hiruko introduces himself, claims responsibility for the disappearance of shinobi with kekkei genkai and announces the Fourth Shinobi World War. As he and other Sunagakure shinobi travel through a rocky terrain, San's bird creature attacks the convoy with its exploding feathers. The convoy is saved by Jiraiya and Gamabunta. Jiraiya talks with Gaara, updating him on Konoha's actions, including Kakashi's will to sacrifice himself. Gaara gives Jiraiya some special sand, which when thrown in the air gave the Suna troops a temporary cease-fire notice. He leaves to Hiruko's lair, by soaring through the skies as sand in the wind. He reaches Naruto, Sakura and Sai, telling Naruto that he won't risk the lives of the Suna villagers in a war. He removes Sakura and Sai from combat and fights Naruto in a fierce battle but was forced to back down when Naruto broke through his automatic Shield of Sand. Later, when Shikamaru finds him, Gaara tells him that by fighting Naruto again after years, he was once again touched by his resolve, and allowed him to pass. Gaara returns to the troops and proclaimed that the issue has been resolved, relieving the troops anxious to return home.
Gaara is a playable character in the following video games:
Creation and Conception
Masashi Kishimoto created Gaara to be a foil to Naruto, giving him a similar background to Naruto, where he was rejected by his peers and fellow villagers for being the host of a tailed beast, a situation that Kishimoto refers to as being "very much like Naruto's. He was universally rejected and ignored, living a superfluous existence". Gaara's development from this state into a highly withdrawn, sadistic character was intended to induce sympathy for him from readers, as it was contrasted against Naruto being a cheerful troublemaker.
Gaara's initial attire, along with the costumes of his siblings, were difficult for Kishimoto to draw, resulting in a change of costume during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, with Gaara receiving an outfit with an upright collar. As well as being easier to draw, it was used to show the change in relationship between Gaara and Naruto following their previous fight. Kishimoto cites The Matrix, one of his favorite movies, as the inspiration for Gaara's new costume. He considers it to be his favorite costume out of the three siblings.
- When Gaara was first named in the English Shonen Jump, his name was rendered as "Gāra".
- Up through Naruto chapter 58, Gaara is seen wearing multiple earrings.
- In the manga, Gaara's Kazekage robes are green. In the anime, they are blue, the color of the Mizukage.
- Gaara is one of two jinchūriki known to have been a Kage, the other being Yagura, the Fourth Mizukage.
- In the Naruto character popularity polls, Gaara was placed in 7th in the first, second, third and sixth, 8th in the fourth, 10th in the fifth, and 7th in the sixth and most recent poll. He is one of five characters who stayed in the Top Ten of every Character Popularity Poll.
- According to the Naruto databook:
- Gaara's hobby is cultivating cacti.
- Gaara's favorite foods are salted tongue and gizzard, while his least favorite are sweet bean jelly and marron glacé.
- Gaara and Naruto are both the same weight and height by Part II.
- Gaara wishes to fight Sasuke Uchiha and anyone, if it is for the sake of his village.
- Gaara has completed 34 official missions in total: 0 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 8 B-rank, 14 A-rank, 3 S-rank.
- Gaara's favorite words are, in the first and second databook, "love for oneself" (自愛, Jiai), and in the third databook, "affection" (慈愛, jiai) and "future" (未来, mirai).
- (To Yashamaru) "What does pain feel like?"
- "I finally understand... I'm alone. I won't believe in anyone, or love anyone. I'm alone."
- "The corpse's bitter crimson tears flow and mingle with the endless sand, filling the chaos within me - and making me stronger."
- (To Naruto and Shikamaru) "I am a relic they want to get rid of, so why do I exist and live? In order to exist you need a purpose, to exist for no reason is the same as being dead... I would love only myself and fight for only myself. If all other people exist to magnify that love, then there is no more a splendid universe than this one..."
- (To Sasuke) "You have the same eyes as I do... the eyes, filled with hatred and death, that long for strength... just like mine... your eyes tell me how badly you wish to kill the one who put you through the hell called loneliness."
- (To Naruto) "I shall kill you. I will not cease to exist."
- (To Rock Lee) "You're the same then. When you feel the honor of your idol under scrutiny... you become enraged, as if it were your own honor being questioned. The more precious your idol is to you... the harder you fight for him."
- "Perhaps the companionship of an evil person is preferable to loneliness."
- (To Kankurō) "Up until now, my bonds with others have only been ones of hatred and murder. But, seeing him fight so hard made me wonder what a bond really is. I think I understand a little now. Suffering, sadness... and joy. To be able to share it with another person. Naruto Uzumaki... when I fought him, I feel that is what he taught me."
- (To Ōnoki, the Third Tsuchikage) "When did you forsake yourselves?"
- (To Madara Uchiha) "Peace under an illusion is not true peace. It's only meaningful if the real world manages to accomplish it."
- (To Naruto) "For the sake of the ninja world and as the Kazekage, I will guard you with my life."
- (To Naruto) "If you're truly prepared to take up the mantle of a Kage, then as Sasuke's friend, you know what you have to do."
- (To Naruto) "I think of you as a friend. I used to think "friend" was just another word... Nothing more, nothing less. But when I met you, I realized what was important was the word's meaning."
- (To Tsunade about hiding Naruto) "I know him well. He takes too many risks when it comes to his friends... that's why."
- "This is where it all starts for me. Starting with this small bond. I too want to become someone who is needed, instead of a weapon that is feared. And as the Kazekage of Sunagakure."
- "He was the one who taught me to deepen my bond with my people. Thanks to him, I was able to regain my true self. That village has him, the one who cherishes a friend's bond more than anyone I know. Naruto Uzumaki.... Knowing him and the friends he holds so dear, they will overcome this disaster and grow even stronger from it."
- (To the Allied Shinobi Forces) "There are no enemies here because we've all suffered at Akatsuki's hand! So there is no Suna, no Iwa, no Konoha, no Kiri, and no Kumo! There are only "shinobi"!"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 First Databook, pages 50-55
- ↑ Second Databook, pages 62-66
- ↑ Shō no Sho, page 7
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Third Databook, pages 60-63
- ↑ Fourth Databook, pages 76-78
- ↑ Retsu no Sho, page 34
- ↑ Zai no Sho, page 33
- ↑ Naruto chapter 129, page 15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 35, page 17
- ↑ Boruto episode 24
- ↑ Naruto chapter 261, page 07
- ↑ Naruto chapter 280, page 05
- ↑ Naruto chapter 247, page 08
- ↑ Naruto chapter 249, page 05
- ↑ Naruto chapter 130, page 01
- ↑ Naruto chapter 131, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 59, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 97, pages 14-15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 127, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 136, page 08
- ↑ Naruto chapter 217, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 217, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 254, pages 08-09
- ↑ Naruto chapter 461, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 467, page 18
- ↑ Naruto chapter 474, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 474, page 16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 475, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 491, page 08
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Naruto Shippūden episode 182