|Manga||Volume #4, 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 shinobi of Sunagakure. Before he was born, Shukaku was sealed within him, resulting in his mother's death. Regarded as a monster by the village and with nobody to love him, Gaara came to despise the world and began relying only on his own strength, gaining the title Gaara of the Sand Waterfall (砂瀑の我愛羅, Sabaku no Gaara, English TV: Gaara of the Desert). After his defeat by Naruto Uzumaki and his unwavering dedication to his friends, Gaara begins emulating Naruto's method and changes Suna's opinions of him. He eventually becomes the village's Fifth Kazekage (五代目風影, Godaime Kazekage, Literally meaning: Fifth Wind Shadow), a position he maintains even after Shukaku was removed from his body by Akatsuki.
Gaara is the third, and youngest child of the Fourth Kazekage and Karura, also the younger brother of Temari and Kankurō. Prior to Gaara's birth, his father had Chiyo seal Shukaku within him, in the hopes that he would become the ultimate weapon for Sunagakure as he was the only one of the Kazekage's three children to be compatible with the beast. Gaara was born premature and was therefore an unusually small and frail infant. Before she died, Karura passionately held her son, vowing to always protect him. Gaara was trained in ninjutsu by his father, but raised mainly by his maternal uncle, Yashamaru.
As a child, Gaara made many attempts to connect to the people of Sunagakure, all of whom feared him because of his connection with the sand spirit, Shukaku. Seeing him only as the monster he contained, it seemed for a time Yashamaru was the only person who truly cared at all about Gaara. When Gaara unintentionally hurt others due to the subconscious abilities granted to him by the beast, Yashamaru alone understood that Gaara hadn't intended to harm anyone. The Sunagakure Council, however, considered Gaara's frequent attacks a serious threat to the village. Disappointed in the turn of events, Gaara's father decided to test his son by having Yashamaru attack Gaara both physically and psychologically in an attempt to see if Gaara could gain control over Shukaku. Yashamaru revealed to Gaara that his mother had never loved him, and tried to assassinate him, only to be fatally wounded by Gaara before the boy realised whom he had attacked.
Although Gaara initially tried to consider Yashamaru's attack ordered by his father, Yashamaru lied to him and said he had willingly accepted the mission to kill Gaara. He also revealed that he had never truly loved Gaara, and told him that killing him would avenge the death of his sister, who had named him Gaara after the phrase "a self-loving carnage" (我を愛する修羅, Ware o aisuru shura) as a sign of her intense hatred for Suna rather than her love for Gaara. In a last-ditch effort to kill Gaara, Yashamaru detonated a number of explosive tags covering his body, asking his nephew to "please die". Using his sand, Gaara managed to survive the blast, but he lost the only person he had thought cared for him, not knowing the truth behind Yashamaru's actions. Gaara then used his sand to etch the kanji for "love" (愛, ai) onto the left side of his forehead. Overwhelmed, Gaara lost control and transformed into Shukaku, and rampaged around the village before his father managed to stop him using his Gold Dust.
After the traumatic experience of losing his uncle and being told nobody had ever loved him, Gaara became an aloof and cruel person who obsessively killed people in an attempt to prove his own existence, and to obtain recognition from the village. He gave up any and all desire for friendship. Seeing that Gaara was unable to cope with the loss of his mother's affection, the Kazekage deemed him a failure and arranged several assassination attempts on his son, which only made Gaara detest his father more. In time, Gaara's new ideology allowed better control over Shukaku. Appreciating this, his father cancelled all assassination orders, and revived the idea of someday using Gaara as the ultimate weapon for the village.
Gaara was once a kind child who, despite their fear of him, tried desperately to be friendly towards others, before his uncle's actions twisted his personality. Misled into believing nobody cared for him, Gaara used his sand to create the kanji on his forehead for "love" (愛, ai), as a symbol of his resolution to be a "demon loving only itself", and to live up to the name his mother gave him. He became emotionally withdrawn and strangely silent, as he was consumed with loathing towards everyone but himself and "Mother", the voice of Shukaku in his head. He learned to derive pleasure and a reason to live in the annihilation of the numerous assassins sent to kill him — and by extension, anyone who posed a threat to his existence. This was only worsened by Shukaku's occasional demand for blood to satisfy the demon's bloodlust, resulting in Gaara's remorseless and sociopathic nature, demonstrated when he murdered Baiu and Midare, despite their pleas for mercy. Furthermore, Gaara suffered from insomnia as a result of Shukaku's inhabitation of his body. The disorder forced fear upon Gaara; if he were to fall asleep, the demon within him would eat away at his soul. Gaara's instability and desire to kill were only heightened as a result. His hatred for the Kazekage was justly founded in his father's assassination attempts, but his misanthropic nature even extended to his siblings, whom he never saw as related to him, despite them never offending him directly. He was fully willing to kill them if he viewed that the situation called for it. In addition, due to the protective sand activating at any time Gaara was close to injury, he never saw his own blood until Sasuke Uchiha pierced his sand shield and wounded him, causing him to suffer a severe mental breakdown.
Gaara's childhood was similar to Naruto Uzumaki's in many ways. Both were unbearably lonely, longed to be liked, loved and acknowledged as individuals as a result of being jinchūriki — they were human beings, not the demons they had been forced to contain — and were driven to separate states of depression and desperation and both had a role model in their life that kept them stable and from falling off the edge. Their similarities came to an end when Yashamaru was ordered to lie that he never loved Gaara. Having lost the only person that loved him and being lied to he was never loved, Gaara began to walk a different path than Naruto's. While Naruto consequently developed the misconception that pranks and mischief would bring him the attention he craved, Gaara came to the conclusion that he could preserve and confirm his own existence by killing any and all who challenged or could challenge it, particularity gaining a interest in fighting and killing opponents who he viewed as strong, but also has similarities to himself, like Sasuke, and later Naruto, securing this extreme form of existentialism as his key trait. In the absence of outside recognition, Gaara could compensate by valuing only himself to the exclusion of every other person. Furthermore, while Naruto eventually had Iruka Umino and Team Kakashi to comfort him, Gaara never bothered to make emotional bonds, not even with his father or siblings, as they too despised and feared Shukaku. The person who grew the closest to acknowledging him was Yashamaru, but when Yashamaru was ordered to betray him, Gaara was transformed into a lonely sociopath. As such, Gaara couldn't understand fighting for anything but himself until his confrontation with Naruto during the Chūnin Exams.
After his defeat at Naruto's hands, Gaara was shocked to discover that Naruto understood very well the pain he had endured throughout his life. He was even more surprised to learn that Naruto had never lost his ambition to be recognised as an individual, and had ultimately found companions who truly cared for him. Witnessing the resolution Naruto possessed to protect his friends caused Gaara to finally question the path he had determined for himself as a young child and began to re-walk the path he initially started on. Realising that he had given up too easily, Gaara decided to follow Naruto's chosen path instead in order to finally be seen as a human being, and not the tailed beast within him. Although, ironically, Gaara's path of a sociopath might have actually helped him find acknowledgement because since he no longer cared about being acknowledged or cared about anything but himself, he developed better control of his emotions. Over the next few years, Gaara's resolve to find happiness caused him to rely on his own power rather than that of the demon. Gaara eventually formed a close friendship with Naruto, viewing the Konoha ninja as his first true friend, and became very loyal to his decisions, and protective over him as a companion. Gaara also came to view meeting Naruto as the greatest event of his life and believed any price, even the painful life of a jinchūriki was worth the experience. Gaara even forgave Shukaku for his miserable childhood, claiming that it was only because of such a life that he was able to meet Naruto.
In the anime, despite being much softer and caring than he used to be, Gaara maintained a very dark sense of humour. This was shown when Suiko asked Gaara how much of his chakra is infused with his sand, and Gaara agreed to let him know but it would cost him his life.
Since becoming one of Naruto's companions, Gaara has somehow taken on his ability to alter people's personalities. In the anime, he convinced Matsuri to overcome her fear of weapons. During the Kage Summit, he shocked the older, more experienced Kage by asking them when they had forsaken themselves, later causing Ōnoki to become much more determined to protect the Shinobi World. Before the Shinobi Alliance marched off to battle, he motivated them to set aside their differences, forget their past rivalries and unite under a single banner. He even managed to make Naruto think about the choices he had made in regards to Sasuke, stating that he only cared about revenge. His bond with Naruto has also made him capable of tossing aside any grudge, including his previous hatred of his father, who was partly responsible for Gaara's miserable childhood. He even referred to his father with an honourific when realising he was reincarnated to fight him. He admits to having forgiven his father's actions, but openly weeps after learning that his mother truly did love him, and that she had vowed to protect him forever by infusing her will into his sand which, as his father noted, would always protect him. His love for his family was also extended in his Infinite Tsukuyomi dream as Gaara dreamed of having all his family together and happy while having Naruto as a childhood friend.
Gaara cares deeply for Naruto and his well-being, and despite Sasuke's actions during his assault at the Kage Summit and his status as an international criminal, went so far as to attempt to convince Sasuke to come out of the darkness one more time on behalf of Naruto, and when unconvinced, even shed a tear for the failure Sasuke has become, and the disappointment Naruto will face. Despite respecting Naruto's goals, his care for him does not block his personal beliefs, and he believes his friend's well-being is more important, most prominent is his support to keep Naruto out of the war saying to Tsunade that Naruto takes too many risks when it comes to protecting his friends. However, he later accepted that he was wrong to keep Naruto out of the war. Gaara also bluntly tells Naruto that chasing after Sasuke is foolish, as he sees him as no longer being able to return from the path of corruption. Though he defies Naruto's goal to bring Sasuke back, he only says this for Naruto's well-being because they are "friends", but also tells him that whatever he could do for Sasuke is something Naruto must decide for himself, personally still believing that Naruto could somehow get through to Sasuke.
Although he remained ruthless against his opponents, Gaara is 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 deeply understands 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 ideals of previous generations, 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 honour, is "ridiculous old-fashioned thinking", and that cooperation between the villages is fundamental in order to defeat Akatsuki.
Years later, Gaara is shown to be more cheerful and laidback, talking very kindly to his family even when his nephew failed to address him with an honourific, though he still retains his composure. He has also adopted a more direct personality as he immediately told the other Kage to cut any idle chit-chat once Naruto arrived late to the meeting.
Gaara is a little shorter than the average males of his age, due to the fact that he was born prematurely. He has fair skin and short, spiky, red hair with a striking resemblance to his father. He also has sea green eyes. Gaara has no distinctive pupils or eyebrows. He has two very notable traits in his appearance: firstly, he has tanuki-like black eye rings, having them since his birth. Secondly, he carved the kanji "love" (愛, ai) 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. Matsuri and Sari who both seem to have a crush on Gaara, have 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 that contains his sand. He also wrapped his black forehead protector over the band. In his childhood flashbacks, he was seen wearing a beige poncho-like shawl over a short-sleeved black T-shirt, a white obi around his waist, dark blue pants that were rolled back several times at the hem, revealing the inside cloth to be grey, and black sandals. By the end of Part I, 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 armour on his wrists and ankles.
In Part II, Gaara had a considerable growth spurt, like Naruto. During his 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 and slits down on the lower half of the front and the back, a grey holster vest held in place by a single strap over his left shoulder and by two buckled belts which he uses to carry his gourd. He also wears another pair of casually worn belts around his waist. He is also seen wearing Kazekage robes, and a simple black pants 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 to his standard outfit.
Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, an adult Gaara dons a crimson long-sleeve shirt with several buttons and pants that match the colour of his shirt. He also wears a brown belt and now has a smaller sand gourd which is strapped to his left side. Years after the Fourth Great Shinobi War, Gaara's hair became flat and neatly combed to his right temple.
Since early childhood, Gaara is hailed as an extremely powerful shinobi, easily defeating his Anbu uncle Yashamaru, successfully completing a B-rank mission as a genin, and even becoming the Fifth Kazekage at age 15. He maintains this position even after losing Shukaku, and earned praise from allies and foes alike for his prowess. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Gaara was appointed the Regimental Commander and leader of the Fourth Division, defeated Kage-level shinobi such as his father and Gengetsu Hōzuki, and held his own against five of Madara Uchiha's Susanoo-clad wood clones for some time. Years later, he could defeat several kekkei genkai-wielding missing-nin that were working for the Suna Council.
Chakra and Physical Prowess
Born as a jinchūriki, Gaara gained Shukaku's immense reserves of chakra and stamina. His chakra was also noted by Kiba Inuzuka to be very strong. Thus, he can use many chakra-taxing techniques, sometimes in quick succession, before becoming exhausted. Despite the loss of Shukaku, Gaara's chakra reserves remained just as powerful, using various large-scale techniques throughout entire the Fourth Shinobi World War with no signs of exhaustion.
Despite rarely using taijutsu as a fighting element, Gaara has displayed incredible reaction speed against advanced taijutsu users and can skilfully use the Body Flicker Technique to sneak up on others unnoticed. He has also shown a degree of physical strength even without using Shukaku's chakra, easily repelling Temari with a single punch despite his injury. In the anime, upon becoming Kazekage, Gaara received extensive training in taijutsu from Shira, greatly improving his skills to ultimately fight on par with the specialist and send him flying with a simple kick. By adulthood, Gaara has become a taijutsu master whose skills were praised by Kinshiki Ōtsutsuki as being on par with other great taijutsu users.
As a host of Shukaku, Gaara possesses the ability to freely manipulate sand. The focus of his fighting style, his control and skill is formidable, being able to control immense amounts at one time for feats such as fully transforming into Shukaku or raising a tsunami of sand. While Gaara has become capable of controlling any sand (whether it is saturated with water or mixed with gold), he always keeps his own chakra-infused sand with him in a calabash gourd also made out of sand on his back, giving him a greater attack-rate. If sand is lacking in abundance, he can break down the earth minerals in the ground to create more sand. Gaara's sand is also the only ninjutsu-based substance that cannot be absorbed.
Gaara rarely moves in battle, attacking with his sand from one location. His most basic attack method is to capture and immobilise his target before imploding the sand to crush them. Exploiting the malleable nature of sand, he has come up with several "catch and crush" tactics. The second element of Gaara's combat style include powerful sand defences, also known as the "Absolute Defence" (絶対防御, Zettai Bōgyo). His primary defence is the Shield of Sand, which forms a barrier to surround and protect him automatically. He can also harden his sand to a more steel-like quality or make it completely surround him. While an effective defence, the shield can be overcome with very high-speed or sharp attacks. Should this happen, Gaara can create a thin layer of sand over his skin to soften blows. However, it requires large amounts of chakra to remain active, and has the side-effect of weighing Gaara down. He can also crush the hardest minerals in the ground together to create a shield in the shape of Shukaku's body or, in the anime, a spear in the shape of its arm for combat.
It is unknown whether or not Gaara's automatic sand defence was ever truly Shukaku's doing as both Rasa and Yashamaru have stated that Gaara's mother, Karura is the true source, as she loved him and vowed to always protect him. Gaara also has a number of miscellaneous techniques, such as producing a sand clone to aid him in battle. Unlike most clone techniques, the sand clone can reform itself after being hit or capture an opponent upon being dispersed. Gaara can also use sand as a platform to allow himself and others to float in the air, as well as create a floating eyeball of sand in any location, which he can see through as a means of spying or guiding his attacks while his sight is obstructed. He can also use his sand to detect others that come into contact with it, even from far away, such as the disappearing Mū and Gengetsu's Giant Clam.
In Part II, Gaara's improved prowess allowed him to gather enough sand to shield the entire village of Suna from Deidara's C3 the instant it detonated. Despite losing Shukaku, his sand manipulation remains stronger than ever before, with his Absolute Defence earning praise from Sasuke and Naruto at different points. It could block the attacks of the Fourth Raikage and Amaterasu (without being burned from the latter), protect Gaara and others from a cave-in, assist in stopping a giant meteorite, and later block a barrage of strikes from Madara's senjutsu-enhanced humanoid Susanoo's sword. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Gaara's father initially believed his son had fully transformed into Shukaku in order to perform such feats. Gaara could quickly manoeuvre his sand above his father's Gold Dust, despite its superior weight, and later integrate the gold into his sand. He can also insert his sand into an opponent's body through their open wounds, and use it to control and restrict their movement. Alongside Shukaku, he can use a juinjutsu empowered seal, which required a senjutsu-bearing Madara to use a humanoid Susanoo in order to escape. Two years after the war, Gaara's power increased immensely, being able to easily defend his entire village with multiple sand shields from the massive meteorites that had broken off from the falling Moon. As an adult, Gaara's sand proved powerful enough to block the entirety of Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki's elemental barrage while protecting the other Kage.
Gaara can use Wind, Lightning, and Earth Release nature transformations. After the Fourth Shinobi World War, he became exceptionally skilled in Wind Release, even using it for powerful secondary defences, should his primary sand techniques fail. He is also capable of mixing his wind chakra with his sand techniques to increase their defence, power and speed. Gaara also inherited his father's Magnet Release, a simultaneous usage of wind and earth-natured chakra. He is able to manipulate a "sparkling metallic sand", by converting his chakra and sand into a magnetic force of high density. By adding this metallic sand to his automatic defence, it is enhanced to the point of being able to guard against jutsu designed to be effective against his regular sand.
Main article: Jinchūriki Forms
In desperate times, Gaara could take on the form of Shukaku by layering sand on his body, making him much stronger than before. 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. When in need of Shukaku's full power, Gaara would use his Feigning Sleep Technique, which forced him to sleep, and allowed Shukaku to take full control. To do so, however, Gaara must emerge from within the copy, leaving him open to attack for the duration of the technique.
Over time, Gaara gained better control over Shukaku, such that he could suppress its personality by himself towards the end of the anime's pre-Shippūden filler arcs. By the time Part II began, he was even capable of using Shukaku's arms to attack numerous times, without losing control of himself. However, this could have merely been his improved control over sand in action.
Gaara has shown to be a skilled teacher in the anime, teaching Matsuri how to use the jōhyō when he learned she was afraid of weapons. In Part II, Gaara has also shown to be a highly analytical and very skilled tactician, being able to defeat the Second Mizukage by formulating a way to counter the latter's exploding clone. Like many Suna shinobi, Gaara is skilled with the Sealing Tag, using his sand in place of cloth.
Gaara participated in the Chūnin Exams, where he was quickly identified as a skilled competitor. During the first test which was set to garner how well the candidates could covertly gather information, Gaara blinded a candidate with his sand and then used his Third Eye to copy his answers. Ibiki remarked that through this all, Gaara kept a calm demeanour and gave away no indication that he was cheating. During the second phase of the examinations, he demonstrated his blood-lust, coldly murdering Team Shigure in the Forest of Death, 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 they noted that would be very difficult even for an experienced ninja.
In the preliminary matches, Gaara was matched against Rock Lee and overwhelmed him until Lee removed the weights on ankles to move at a formidable speed that forces Gaara to exchange his Shield of Sand to his secondary Armour of Sand. Despite Lee's best efforts, Gaara's sand ultimately protected him from Lee's devastating blow as he taken advantage of his opponent's weakened condition to crush Lee's left limbs with his sand. Might Guy intervened before Gaara could harm Lee any further, an act that astonished Gaara who is left more puzzled when Guy answered that Lee is his student and is precious to him.
For the finals, Gaara was matched against Sasuke Uchiha. The night after the preliminaries were finished, he was approached by Dosu Kinuta, who wanted to take his spot by eliminating him supposedly during his slumber, but was killed by Shukaku's enormous power. Some time after that, Gaara tried to kill the hospitalised Lee but was stopped by Naruto Uzumaki and Shikamaru Nara, who were successful in halting his intentions until Might Guy intervened once again, leaving Gaara no choice but to depart.
Prior to his battle with Sasuke, Gaara brutally killed Shiba and Midori when they tried to intimidate him to throw the fight for a bet. When fighting Sasuke, he realised that his taijutsu skills were similar to those of his previous opponent and as such he was having hard time keeping up with him. Disregarding the plan that the Suna-nin had made, Gaara attempts to transform into Shukaku. However, Gaara was wounded by Sasuke's Chidori, which had pierced his sand sphere, causing him to freak out at the first sight of his own blood. With Gaara not in any mental condition to join the battle, he and his siblings fled the village under Baki's orders, while the invasion of Konoha proceeded without them in aid.
Gaara was pursued by the members of Team 7, along with Shikamaru and Shino Aburame, which forced Gaara's siblings to stay behind at different points to hold off their pursuers and give Gaara time to escape. Sasuke caught up with a maddened Gaara who begins transforming into Shukaku. Transforming half-way, Gaara is able to resist Sasuke's last available Chidori attacks, allowing him to beat Sasuke to an inch of his life before Naruto and Sakura Haruno arrive. The act of Sakura coming to Sasuke's aid causes Gaara to relive his betrayed childhood before he pinned her to a tree with his sand. Intrigued by Naruto's abilities since witnessing his victory over Neji Hyūga during the exams, Gaara threatens to crush Sakura to force Naruto to fight.
Naruto, though terrified, stayed to fight against him to protect his friends. Though Gaara seemed to have the upper hand, Naruto attacked the lower base of his tail, using his rendition of One Thousand Years of Death to get an advantage to bypass Gaara's defence. After being beaten down by Naruto's army of shadow clones, an enraged Gaara assumes the full form of Shukaku while Naruto summons Gamabunta. After Gamabunta shows his strength, Gaara then emerged and used the Feigning Sleep Technique to let Shukaku take full control in the battle. Devising a strategy to combat the beast, Gamabunta and Naruto used the Combination Transformation technique to transform into a giant fox (the Nine-Tails in the anime) so he could cling onto the tanuki to give Naruto the chance to wake Gaara up. Awakened, Gaara trapped Naruto but the latter used some of the Nine-Tails' chakra to break free, then headbutted Gaara, which caused Shukaku's body to crumble.
With the last of their energy, the two exchanged final blows, and Naruto ended up claiming victory. Gaara was shocked to learn that Naruto was a jinchūriki like himself yet puzzled by the boy's undying devotion to his friends, causing him to realise that Naruto's strength came from the desire to protect those close to him. As Gaara and his siblings fled the scene, Gaara openly apologised to Kankurō and Temari to their astonishment. Thanks to Naruto's influence, the defeat proved to be a major turning point for Gaara.
Sasuke Recovery Mission
The Three Sand Siblings were called by the Fifth Hokage to assist the Sasuke Recovery Team in retrieving Sasuke when he defected from Konoha. Gaara arrived just in time to save Rock Lee, using his sand to deflect Kimimaro's attack. Though Lee tried to continue, Gaara stopped him, telling Lee that he was still in no condition to fight. In the fight, Gaara's various abilities prove to be ineffective against Kimimaro's sturdy bone structure which protected him from most of the would-be devastating attack. After Kimimaro released the second state of his Cursed Seal of Earth to break through his defences while lowering his chakra further, denouncing Orochimaru to get an advantage, Gaara buried Kimimaro deep underground. However, Kimimaro escaped with a weakened Gaara barely evading death due to Kimimaro's own death by his illness. After the battle, Gaara explained that even a bad person has someone precious to them, and noted to Lee their opponent was like Naruto in that sense before escorting Lee back to Konoha. After this, Gaara and the rest of the Sand Siblings returned to Sunagakure, though in the anime, he and his siblings helped out at the village's Academy before leaving, as stated by Shikamaru.
Sunagakure Support Mission
Main article: Sunagakure Support Mission
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
Despite Gaara later being made Kazekage, many in Sunagakure were uneasy with the decision, still fearing Gaara as a monster. Determined to walk his own path and atone for his past mistakes, Gaara began making various changes to the rules and policies of the village to promote new opportunities for others. In one such case, he met a young man named Shira who lacked any aptitude for ninjutsu or genjutsu and therefore had been forbidden from entering the Academy. Shocked to see how determined the man was to become a shinobi and had developed such advanced taijutsu prowess in the process, Gaara revoked the rules that kept Shira from becoming a shinobi and later, after further acknowledging Shira's potential, had Shira personally train him in taijutsu.
About two years after Naruto left Konoha to train with Jiraiya, Tsunade made a request for Gaara to come to Konoha. Once Gaara arrived with his siblings, Tsunade and the Konoha Council discussed the idea of hosting the Chūnin Exams. Ultimately, Gaara agreed to Tsunade's idea for an early Chūnin Exams, but insisted that exams be hosted in Suna. Ultimately, it was agreed to host the first exam in Konoha and the second exam in Suna. Later, while Kankurō voiced his displeasure at Gaara putting himself out in the open in such a way to promote himself as the new Kazekage, Gaara insisted he needed to deal not only with the Akatsuki, but also the violent naysayers in Suna.
While Kankurō found this idea to be insane, Gaara insisted that, like Naruto, he wants to face these people and learn to connect with them. Kankurō later reported to him of Tsunade's agreement of letting Suna be fully in charge of the second round. The day before the second exam would be held in Suna, Kankurō revealed to Gaara of an attempted assassination on him last night. When Kankurō again pleaded for Gaara to listen to reason, the new Kazekage noted that not only would it make him as a leader look weak, it was at the Chūnin Exams that his life truly changed and because of that he could not back down. The following day, Gaara oversaw as the second exams began. Later, Gaara received a report that two members of Taki-nin team were actually jōnin in disguise. Not wanting the Chūnin Exams to be ruined by this new event, he activated his Third Eye to survey the area. To his shock, Fū quickly found his sand eye, forcing Gaara to cancel the technique. Gaara then realised the truth about the kunoichi.
Later, as an unexpected massive sandstorm began to rampage in the Demon Desert, Gaara slipped past his guards and went off to rescue Team Matsuri. During his efforts, he discovered that Fū was also helping out. Gaara admired Fū's determination, noting it similar to Naruto's. After safely bringing the genin team out of the storm, he was attacked by a fūinjutsu chain. As Gaara found himself unable to fight back, he told the genin team to retreat. The caster, Hōichi, began to forcibly extract Shukaku from Gaara. Fū then appeared to help Gaara by trying to remove the chain, but her effort failed. Despite being unable to free themselves, Fū used her Cocoon to delay the extraction. While Gaara grimly expected to the inevitable end, Fū insisted that someone would come to help. Later, to his surprise, Matsuri, Team Gai, Kegon and Yourou appeared to help, blocking Gaara and Fū's chakra points and forcing the chains to be expelled. This came at Hōichi's expense as the chains soon turned on him. Gaara asked Neji to save the man. Afterwards Gaara thanked Neji and Matsuri for their efforts.
Later, with the storm passing, Gaara approached Fugi, a well-respected ninja of the village, via sand clone. While already deducing that Fugi played a part in the recent attack, Gaara calmly spoke of his feelings over the years. Noting his continued desire to atone for his past mistakes and make friends, Gaara asked Fugi not to include his friends in their dispute, since they are the future of Sunagakure. He even told the older ninja he holds no ill-will at Fugi's actions recently, shocking Fugi at how much Gaara has grown. Later, Gaara decided to end the Chūnin Exams early due to controversy happening in the second exam. Instead, he decided that a report on each participant would be sent to their respective village leader for them to decide if they would be promoted.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Despite having become the Fifth Kazekage during the time skip, Gaara was still targeted by Akatsuki, who sought to extract Shukaku from within him. While attending a meeting the subject of the Akatsuki was brought up by Yūra. He started discussing how dangerous the criminals that were part of the organisation were and decided to tighten security around the village. After the meeting was finished, Gaara went to his office and began doing paperwork. While looking out of his window in his office he noticed an unfamiliar bird flying above Sunagukure and went to investigate. After changing out of his robes and into his shinobi attire he confronted the Akatsuki member Deidara who initially believed he had successfully infiltrated the village. After stating this is as far as he goes, Gaara quickly attacked him with his sand leading to Deidara leaping onto his clay bird and taking the fight into the sky. While holding his own against Deidara he managed to crush his 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 dropped one of his most powerful bombs on the village. Gaara prevented any damage being inflicted by summoning a vast amount of sand which covered the entire village, albeit at the cost of practically all of his remaining chakra, which left him open for capture. After having his Shield of Sand destroyed, he moved the sand he used to protect Suna into the desert and passed out. 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, which resulted in Gaara's death. Naruto Uzumaki cried in front of him, regretting his inability to save both Sasuke and Gaara. He blamed the rest of the Suna-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 so many people who were all relieved that he was alive including Konoha-nin and the Sunagakure shinobi that had gone looking for him. This was the first time Gaara truly felt loved and not so alone. Gaara later ordered everyone to pray for Chiyo when they realised that she had passed away. 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, revealing that even with Shukaku removed, Gaara still retained his ability to control sand and went on to continue his work as Kazekage.
Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Main article: Past Arc: The Locus of Konoha
Five Kage Summit
Because of Akatsuki's increasing activity, the Fourth Raikage called for a Summit of the five Kage. Gaara, along with Temari and Kankurō as bodyguards, were the first of the Kage to arrive in the Land of Iron. When the other Kage arrived and the meeting started, Gaara declared that he would speak first. He indicated that because he was captured by Akatsuki and died when Shukaku was extracted from his body, he considered the organisation very dangerous. He added that he had previously requested collaboration between the villages against Akatsuki, but that only Tsunade of Konoha responded. During the meeting, he was heckled considerably by the Third Tsuchikage due to his young age, but was defended by the Fifth Mizukage.
When Sasuke was revealed to have infiltrated the meeting and the Raikage went to fight him, Gaara voiced his concern with the others' lack of ethics and stated that a world without faith and understanding would be a world with only fear. When the Tsuchikage offered to give him tips on how to be a good Kage, Gaara replied by asking him when he threw away his principles which only served to irritate the Tsuchikage. Gaara, Kankurō, and Temari then left to join the Raikage's battle with Sasuke. When they arrived, Gaara used his sand to stop the Raikage and Sasuke from fighting, insisting despite the Raikage's objections, that it was for the best. While the Raikage begrudgingly had his injuries tended to, Gaara tried to convince Sasuke to stop living in the darkness, citing past experience by saying no good would come of it. Sasuke could not be convinced, stating that he had closed his eyes to the light a long time ago.
Saddened by this, Gaara prepared to battle Sasuke himself. Sasuke attacked the Sand Siblings with Amaterasu, but Gaara's sand proved too fast for it, a feat which earned praise from Sasuke. Gaara then joined Kankurō, Temari, and Darui and launched a combined attack against Sasuke, who protected himself using Susanoo. Sasuke then cut down the supporting pillars of the hall which caused a cave-in to distract them; Gaara shielded the others from falling debris with his sand while Sasuke escaped. They followed him to the Summit hall, where they were met by Tobi. Tobi warped Sasuke away and told everyone in attendance about his Eye of the Moon Plan. Because Tobi concluded by requesting that the Kage give him Naruto and Killer B, Gaara refused, along with the other Kage. In response, Tobi declared the start of the Fourth Shinobi World War. With this new development, Gaara repeated the need for collaboration. The Kage agreed to a Shinobi Alliance, but would not allow Konoha to join unless someone more trustworthy than the current Hokage could be found from the village. Gaara suggested and volunteered to approach Kakashi Hatake on their behalf. Because they were Tobi's targets, Gaara also added that it was crucial not to allow Naruto and B to fight in the war, adding to the Fourth Raikage's statement about the latter that he would only make things more chaotic on the battlefield by saying Naruto would do the same.
After the Kage depart the Summit, Gaara and his siblings found Kakashi in a nearby inn, along with Naruto and Yamato. Gaara told them about the what happened at the Summit, Sasuke's actions, and about the impending war. Much of Gaara's effort was focused upon convincing Naruto about Sasuke, telling Naruto that he, after facing Sasuke at the Summit, saw no hope of redemption for him and had given up on him. He added that, if Naruto truly wanted to be Hokage, he had to realise when to do the right thing, but for himself at least, considering Sasuke. Naruto remained silent, and Gaara and his siblings left him to reflect, and returned to Sunagakure. When they arrived there, they heard that the daimyō had approved the formation of the Shinobi Alliance.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Countdown
To make preparations for the approaching conflict with Akatsuki, Gaara went to Kumogakure to meet with the other heads of the Alliance. He reiterated the need to send the Nine-Tails and Eight-Tails into hiding. When the Fifth Hokage — who had just recently awoken from her coma — objected to this, he reminded her that she must take others' views into consideration. She ultimately agreed to it and the jinchūriki were sent to the Island Turtle. When they learned that Akatsuki has discovered this hiding spot, it was decided to send the Tsuchikage as extra protection to the island. As the Tsuchikage left he dislocated his hip, which prompted Gaara to offer to go in his stead. The Tsuchikage went anyway, and when he returned Gaara showed him the new Allied forehead protector that had been designed in his absence.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Becoming both Regimental Commander of the primary fighting force and Commander of the Fourth Division, Gaara used his sand to break up a quarrel among Suna and Iwa shinobi. He explained to the joined forces that he himself was a product of the hatred between the villages yet his fellow jinchūriki, Naruto, bore no ill will towards him and others. At the end of the speech, everyone was united and all went out for battle to reach their assigned destinations. With the Fourth Division settled along a rocky terrain, Gaara surrounded their position with his sensory sand to detect any who approach. In doing so, he caught the reincarnated Mū and used his Third Eye to gather intel on the situation and learns that three other reincarnated Kage were with him, his father among them. This information is relayed to headquarters and Ōnoki is sent to provide assistance. When Ōnoki arrived Gaara told him that there was no reason for him to strain his back, and is in return told that his earlier words were the reason Ōnoki was picking up his principles again.
On the second day of the war, him and Ōnoki deciding to finally advance where they had been retreating for some time, Gaara attacked the Kage with a long-ranged attack, but the Fourth Kazekage counters it with his Gold Dust while realising his son is not using Shukaku. After he captured his father and the other previous generation of Kage with his sand arms, Gaara reveals to his father that he is no longer a jinchūriki and that he was now the Kazekage, now understanding his father's reasons and forgiving him. Shocked at how far Gaara had come, the Fourth decided to test his son's worth again by facing him directly. With Gaara getting the upper hand, his father tried to attack him from behind when Gaara's sand takes on the form of his mother, greatly shocking his father. The Fourth Kazekage then finally revealed the truth to Gaara: that his mother loved him and that her dying words were to always protect him which became a reality through the sand. Hearing that this mother truly loved him as well as the truth behind his uncle Yashamaru's actions before he died, Gaara was overcome with emotions as his father apologised for robbing his son of so much. Once the Fourth Kazekage is sealed, Gaara faces the battlefield with new determination and sets out to aid Ōnoki in his fight with Mū before Naruto arrived with Gaara helping him defeat the Tsuchikage before sealing him.
After moving to a safe location at Ōnoki's request to get an explanation from Naruto, Gaara asked him if it was okay for him to be using the Nine-Tails' chakra so much to which Naruto retorted that he was going to be Hokage someday and until then, he would not die, so Gaara shouldn't treat him like a child. Soon after, Gaara and Ōnoki headed off to the area of battlefield where the Second Mizukage was. Though the Second began to rant about being a stronger opponent than Mū first, Gaara told him that he learned not to judge others by their appearance, and admits that the Second Mizukage was indeed strong. He later detected the Giant Clam with his sand and raised a platform that Ōnoki used to prepare his attack from. After Ōnoki's assault on the clam was successful and the mirage of the Mizukage that Gaara was speaking to vanished, Gaara immediately activated his Third Eye to locate them. With Ōnoki's life seemingly in peril, the Second shot him, but it was revealed that Ōnoki was in fact a sand clone which began to restrain the Mizukage. The Second's Hydrification Technique activated immediately, but before he can free himself, Gaara used his Desert Layered Imperial Funeral technique which seemingly, successfully restrained him. Before the shinobi could rejoice however, a huge explosion occurred and the Second's face appeared above them in the sky. As Gaara watched in horror, he wondered whether it was another genjutsu. Ōnoki informed him that it was the technique that even Mū could do nothing about: the Steaming Danger Tyranny.
As a clone of the Mizukage emerged from the sky, Gaara tried attacking with his sand but the clone proved to be faster than Gaara had thought. Ōnoki explained the mechanism behind the Mizukage's technique, after which Gaara went after the Mizukage, whose position was given away by a sensor. Gaara trapped him with the Desert Layered Imperial Funeral technique again, but as he is applying sealing tags, they are ripped off by the clone. The Mizukage then told Gaara that he would not simply divulge any more details pertaining to the technique as he wanted Gaara to defeat him with his full power or else they'd have no chance at all when they went up against the leader of the opposing side. The Mizukage the lamented that he had found the "golden egg" amongst the current generation of Kage, but was having second thoughts on the matter.
As the clone attacked some of the shinobi and prepared to explode again, Gaara protected them with his sand. He tries to attack the clone but is once again out-done in speed, and the clone struck him only for it to be revealed to be another sand clone after which Gaara emerged from the ground and attacked again. This time, the sand was able to catch, and cover the clone. Inside the sand, it exploded again, but the blast is stifled. The sand breaks down, exposing his father's Gold Dust underneath, which Gaara hid in the sand clone. The gold had melted due to the heat generated by the clone and fused onto its body rendering it unable to move and harder to explode. The sand on the outer layer that had been drenched in the Mizukage's hail was cool enough to keep the clone from heating up. Greatly impressed by this, the Mizukage stated that he was a "golden egg" after all.
When Naruto's clone arrived on the battlefield, Gaara asked him how things went on his end and Naruto informed him that the Third Raikage had been sealed. Gaara then told him that he would finish up here as well and then informed Naruto that the pyramid was his technique when the latter mistook it for the enemy's body. After the Second Mizukage remarked to Gaara that he and Naruto made a good duo, Gaara smiled and wondered whether that was so as he finished sealing him. He then told a shinobi to report to headquarters and turned his attention to Naruto, asking him where his original was. The division was later alerted by a sensor that someone was coming and Gaara stares in shock as he sees Mū appear on a cliff above them. As the members of his division exclaimed that someone else was up there, who is revealed by Ōnoki to be Madara Uchiha, Gaara wondered what was going on, drawing their attention to Madara's eyes that gave away the fact that he was reincarnated. On this revelation the division stood in shock wondering just who the masked man that claimed to be Madara really was.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
As a new battle commenced, Gaara attacked Madara, but he evaded it and jumped to the ground below. With this, Madara began his assault and proceeded to tear through the division's remaining forces. Gaara used his sand to catch Madara's arm, creating an opening for a Kumo shinobi to attack, but Madara easily countered. Naruto finally entered Sage Mode and Ōnoki lightened the sand in Gaara's gourd, which made it even faster and easier to manipulate. Gaara uses the sand to pull Madara out of his Susanoo, and into the flight-path of Naruto's Rasenshuriken. Their combo fails when Madara reveals his Rinnegan and uses the Preta Path to absorb the attacks. Madara then retreated to the top of a rock formation and summoned a huge meteorite, which shocked everyone present, and caused Gaara to wonder whether that was the power of a god.
As the meteorite plummeted towards them, Gaara told his troops to try and escape as far as they could while he remained behind, and attempted to help Ōnoki, who had flown towards the rock in order to lighten it. With their combined efforts, they were able to stop the meteorite, but when Madara sent another one crashing into it, they are unable to stop it. Predominantly unharmed, Gaara went to check on the Tsuchikage. As Ōnoki declared that he would fight Madara, Gaara moved to help an exhausted Naruto to his feet. As Ōnoki stumbled getting up, Gaara used his sand to support him, telling him that they would fight together. As Madara and Mū attacked, they are buffeted by Tsunade and A who arrived on the battlefield via the Heavenly Transfer Technique. Mei arrived soon afterwards via the Flying Thunder God Technique and Gaara stood with the other Kage, prepared to fight Madara.
A and Mei confronted Madara directly in order to buy some time for Tsunade to heal Gaara and Ōnoki. When Madara decided to test their defences, Gaara and Ōnoki worked together to build a double-layered shield of sand and rock to block his attack. Before Naruto's clone dispersed, having been told to leave things there to them, Gaara and the other Kage leave him with one message "win".
As the battle waged on, Gaara suspended everyone above Madara's technique. As Tsunade warned them not to inhale the pollen, Madara attacked Gaara and the other Kage from behind and knocked them into the forest below where they lose consciousness after inhaling the pollen. Regaining consciousness after Ōnoki destroyed the forest, the Kage watched in shock as the face formed from the DNA of the First Hokage juts out of the regenerating Madara's, exposed chest.
When Tsunade moved to the front-lines and the other Kage confronted Madara, Gaara wasted no time in the opportunity that was provided to seal Madara within his Desert Layered Imperial Funeral technique and applying sealing tags immediately after. Declaring that Madara was sealed, Gaara was shocked to see Tsunade impaled by a Susanoo Sword and then to see Madara emerging from one of the tree roots, and revealed that they had sealed a wood clone. After Madara noted that five-against-one was a good match-up, he created more wood clones, sending five of them at each Kage.
As Gaara battled five Susanoo-clad clones, he was able to save Mei from being skewered onto a sword of one of the clones she was battling. With his attentions elsewhere however, his own opponents took the opportunity to land a surprise attack which initially failed due to his automatic defence, but is buffeted by a combined assault from the clones. As Gaara agreed with Mei statement that Madara was too strong, Ōnoki spurred the other Kage to keep fighting on, reminding them that Naruto and the shinobi of the world had entrusted their titles and that battle to them. Motivated, Gaara relocated to the side of the other Kage in order to lure all the clone into gathering in one area as the Tsuchikage prepared a large-scale Dust Release: Detachment of the Primitive World Technique which is successful in destroying the twenty-five clones and the real Madara partially. Launching their collaborative attack, Gaara's sand is revealed to be hidden inside A and Mei's lightning-infused Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique which he used to restrain Madara.
As Gaara started to seal Madara, the latter released his full Susanoo and destroyed the sand barricade before declaring to the Kage that even their power was futile against Madara's Complete Body — Susanoo. Staring in shock as the humongous construct stabilised, Gaara and the other Kage are knocked off their feet by a single swing from the Susanoo's sword. After regaining their footing, Gaara and the others stood to face Madara once again. When Madara prepared to attack the Kage once again, Gaara stared in shock as Madara's Susanoo de-materialised and a light of sorts enveloped him. When Tsunade deflected Madara's desperate attempt to attack them one last time only to fall unconscious due to overusing her Ninja Art Creation Rebirth — Strength of a Hundred Technique, Gaara and the rest of the Kage moved to protect her from Madara's follow-up attack as she fell through the air and listened on as Madara declared that he would break contractual ties from the summoner which would cause him to remain in the real world and retain all the benefits of the Impure World Reincarnation.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Despite their attempt to stop Madara from leaving their battlefield, Gaara and the other Kage were ultimately defeated and left severely wounded. Later, upon the arrival of Karin, Suigetsu and Orochimaru at the battlefield, Tsunade was healed by Karin. After being considerably healed, she in turn helped in healing Gaara and the other Kage. With no time to lose, the Kage decided to head back out to the battlefield immediately. Gaara suggested that they conserve their chakra by riding on his sand. They do so atop Gaara's sand. While closing in on the battlefield they noticed the Ten-Tails' tree form in the distance and was informed by Katsuyu of what was happening. As they closed in, the reincarnated First Hokage telepathically contacted the Allied Shinobi Forces, explaining what he had learned during his fight with Madara. As Naruto's anger at the loss of the comrades he had fought so hard to protect grew, his emotions and memories were conveyed to everyone within range of Ino Yamanaka's technique. From these memories, Gaara sympathised with Naruto over the loss of Chiyo.
He later viewed Hashirama's memories of the first ever Summit of the five Kage before arriving on the battlefield as Hashirama declared his wishes for the future of the world. Reiterating Ōnoki's words when they arrived on the battlefield that losing was not an option, Gaara and the other Kage dispersed across the battlefield in order to keep the shinobi's morale going. Thinking to himself that he and Naruto had finally achieved what they had hoped for all their lives when they were young — to be recognised and needed — Gaara ordered those around him to follow him as they prepared to attack.
After a critical hit is finally landed on Obito, weakening the Uchiha's hold on the Ten-Tails, Naruto begins to use the chakra he gained from the other tailed beasts to forcibly remove the chakra inside Obito. While proving impossible for Naruto on his own as he has none of Shukaku nor Gyūki's chakra, Gaara and Killer B aided Naruto, with the Kazekage noting that because he was once Shukaku's host, he'd be able to handle the beast's chakra using his sand as a medium. He successfully pulls Shukaku from Obito, thus releasing the tailed beast fully. After its extraction, Gaara asks Shukaku for its aid in using a collossal version of Desert Layered Imperial Funeral to seal Madara. The beast initially refuses, stating that it is no longer bound to Gaara and has complete free will. After Gaara states that he can easily ask another tailed beast for aid instead, and using this as an opportunity to surpass Kurama, Shukaku agrees to help the Kazekage. Son Gokū and the other tailed beasts also join Gaara and Shukaku in aiding Naruto.
Gaara leads the tailed beasts to Madara, and they all prepare for battle as a revived Madara faces them, ready to hunt them down. Gaara and Shukaku collaborate effectively, using the Wind Release: Sand Scattering Bullets to injure Madara, who praises on the techniques formation yet its lack of power. Gaara answers however, by showing that the true purpose of the attack was to allow his sand to enter Madara's bloodstream, which allows Gaara to manipulate him from within. Binding Madara's movements fully, the tailed beasts uses this opening to attack Madara. Gaara then commands Shukaku to seal him, using the Desert Layered Imperial Funeral Seal, which using its sand body and its special curse seal, successfully restrains him. However, after Madara's Susanoo breaks free, Gaara looks on as a White Zetsu clone gives Madara his original right eye back.
As Madara turned his sight to Shukaku, Gaara uses the Desert: Hand technique to create two enormous hands to intercept the chains. Declaring that he would not allow Madara to have the beast, Shukaku is shocked by Gaara's words just as much as his actions. Telling the young man not to overdo it, Gaara boldly states that he was no longer a jinchūriki which now meant he could stay up as long as he wanted as the beast's equal — making reference to the fact that the beast had always earnestly promised to possess him if he fell into deep sleep. Madara was able to successfully break the chains and send one of his Susanoo Swords hurtling towards the Kazekage which is blocked by Shukaku.
As Madara dragged the beasts towards him, Kurama called to Gaara informing him of a plan it had and as Naruto is ejected from the Tailed Beast Mode, Gaara called out to his friend. Cushioning Naruto's fall with his sand, Gaara called out to Shukaku helplessly as the tanuki and the other tailed beasts got resealed into the statue. As Tobirama attacked Madara, Gaara used the opportunity to escape while carrying the unconscious Naruto on his back, vowing that he would not allow his friend to die. Heading Yang Kurama's words, Gaara quickly finds Tsunade to heal Naruto. However, she is too drained of chakra, having been battling a Tobi's massive Wood Release. Sakura goes in the Hokage's place as Gaara carries her and Naruto to the next location.
While Sakura resorted to manually pumping Naruto's heart and performing CPR, Gaara finally brought them to Minato, currently trying to save Obito from the possession of Black Zetsu. Telling Minato the plan of Yang Kurama to save Naruto, Minato quickly attempted to transfer Yin Kurama to Naruto, only for Black Zetsu to block the attempt. Madara, now the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki, then arrived to reclaim his left eye.
As Black Zetsu attempted to return to Madara, Obito overshadowed Black Zetsu, keeping it merged to the young Uchiha, determined to talk to Madara. Gaara, equally determined to save Naruto, was held back by Kakashi who noted they had to wait for the right moment. Soon finding it, Gaara joined Kakashi and Minato in an assault against Madara, only for the resurrected Uchiha to easily repel their efforts. As Obito approached Madara, Gaara and everyone else were shocked to see Obito impale his former partner through the chest with his hand. Obito then proceeded to absorb some of the Ten-Tails' chakra and form his shakujō.
After saving Kakashi from Madara's attack, Guy was told that taijutsu was one of the few options in fighting Madara. Gaara was amazed at Guy's power as he opened seven of the Eight Gates to fight Madara. After the assault proved ineffective against Madara, Guy resolved to open all eight gates. Proving enough to let Guy fight on par with Madara, Gaara was left shocked, to which Kakashi explained to the young Kazekage that this was the full version of what Lee used against Gaara during the Chūnin Exams. After hearing that using all eight gates would almost definitely cost Guy his life, remembering the bond Guy had with his student Lee, Gaara turned his attention to Lee who firmly stated he was proud of his sensei. Minato then explained the mechanics behind Madara's Truth-Seeking Balls after which the team launched their counter-attack where Gaara used his sand to help Kakashi manoeuvre faster, ultimately depriving Madara of his defence and allowing Guy to complete his assault on Madara.
After the destruction of the holy tree by Naruto's new powers and bringing Guy to Lee and Gaara's care, the young Kazekage asked to share a cup of sake with Naruto when he became Hokage. When Madara attempted to drop numerous satellites onto the ground, Gaara informed Lee that they needed to leave, stating that Naruto was fully capable of handling himself. However, when the Infinite Tsukuyomi was activated, he and the others fell victim to the genjutsu before being linked to the roots of the Ten-Tails. Inside the genjutsu, Gaara dreams of a happy childhood with his family and playing with Naruto as his close friend.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
He later woke up from the Infinite Tsukuyomi after Sasuke and Naruto performed the technique, along with the rest of the Allied Shinobi Forces.
Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky
Main article: Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky Gaara makes an appearance in this novel.
Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness
Main article: Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness Gaara makes an appearance in this novel.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
Main article: The Last: Naruto the Movie
Gaara appears in this film, set two years after the war. He has an emergency meeting with the other Kage about the situation about the Moon falling to Earth. He later defended his village from falling meteors. When the Raikage decided to blow up the Moon, Gaara voiced his vote against it to buy Naruto time to save them. He then appeared at Naruto and Hinata's wedding congratulating them while shaking Hinata's hand as Naruto bumped fists with B.
Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze
Main article: Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze Gaara makes an appearance in this novel.
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
Main article: Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding Gaara makes an appearance in this novel.
Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage
Main article: Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage Gaara makes an appearance in this novel.
After the time-skip, Gaara is shown to be the only active Kage who participated in the Fourth Shinobi World War. In preparation for the upcoming Kage summit, Gaara and Kankurō travel to Konohagakure where the meeting is taking place. After arriving at their destination, he visits Temari and Shikamaru's house, where he meets with his sister and greets his nephew Shikadai after he arrives home. He later attends the Kage Summit with Kankurō acting as his bodyguard where he and the other Kage wait on the new Hokage, and they commence the summit upon Naruto's arrival.
During another such meeting, Sasuke came forth to reveal evidence of a new White Zetsu Army being formed and a potential threat even greater than Kaguya. Ultimately, it was agreed to keep all this a secret from the public and to allow Sasuke to continue his research and further investigate his sources.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Main article: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Gaara attended the Chūnin Exams in Konoha and sat with the three other Kage while Naruto sat with his wife and daughter during the third round. After Naruto is kidnapped by Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki and Kinshiki Ōtsutsuki, Sasuke formed a rescue mission with Gaara and the other Kage, and Naruto's son, Boruto Uzumaki requested to join them. Sasuke used his Rinnegan to teleport everyone to another dimension, where Naruto was bound and the enemies were about to extract Kurama from inside him. While Sasuke battled Momoshiki, Gaara and the other Kage fought Kinshiki, and almost captured him before he broke free and unleashed a blast to finish them off. However, Momoshiki turned Kinshiki into a chakra pill and swallowed him, making him stronger. Gaara and the other Kage again tried to take him down but were captured in his jutsu, and Naruto was captured as well, prompting Sasuke to have Boruto use a Vanishing Rasengan to free them. At the end, Boruto uses a Ultra-Big Ball Rasengan to finish Momoshiki off for good. At some point after the battle, Gaara posed for a photograph with Naruto, Sasuke, Boruto, and the other Kage.
In Other Media
Naruto the Movie: 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 armoured 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. 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 the Movie: 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 explosive 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 shinobi in a war. He removes Sakura and Sai from combat and fights Naruto in a fierce battle, combining his sand techniques with taijutsu as well, but retreated after his defences were breached and hearing Naruto's words of resolve. 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:
Live Spectacle Naruto
Main article: Live Spectacle Naruto Kenta Suga plays as Gaara in this stage play adaption.
Creation and Conception
As revealed in Naruto Hiden: Jin no Sho Character Official Data Book, Masashi Kishimoto's original prototype for Gaara was an elite 7-year-old ninja named Kumomaru (雲丸), who would have abused drugs to push his physical capabilities beyond their natural limits. He also had a ninken named Manji (まんじ), likely an homage to Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal. Kumomaru had wild hair and wore a tattered cloak and a forehead protector with a symbol resembling a sun or moon partially obscured by clouds, which also appeared in prototype designs for other antagonists such as Zabuza Momochi and a group of shinobi that became the Sound Four; Manji was a small dog with dark markings around his eyes and the kanji for manji (卍) tattooed on his forehead.
The character design went through many revisions, eventually becoming a character named Kotarō (小太郎), after the famed Fūma Kotarō, which Kishimoto thought was a perfect fit. However, his editor opposed the name and instead suggested Gaara (我愛羅, Literally meaning: "self-loving demon"); Kishimoto later learned that his editor had actually based the name on the GALA Yuzawa ski resort in Nīgata Prefecture where he had recently vacationed.
Gaara was created 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 Recovery Mission, 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 favourite movies, as the inspiration for Gaara's new costume. He considers it to be his favourite costume out of the three siblings.
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- The name "Gaara" literally means "self-loving demon" (我愛羅).
- When Gaara was first named in the English Shōnen Jump, his name was rendered as "Gāra".
- According to the databook(s):
- Gaara's hobby is battling and cultivating cacti.
- Gaara's favourite foods are salted tongue and gizzard, while his least favourite are yōkan 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 favourite 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).
- Shukaku's previous jinchūriki foretold that one day someone would show it the meaning of the words which were tattooed on his own hands: "accept" (受, ukeru) and "heart" (心, kokoro). Incidentally, the tattoo on Gaara's forehead "love" (愛, ai) is a combination of these two kanji.
- Gaara is the only known person that was born a jinchūriki.
- Gaara is one of four characters to have placed in the top ten of every Naruto character popularity poll. His highest to-date position is third most popular character.
- Up through Naruto chapter 58, Gaara is seen wearing multiple earrings.
- In the manga, Gaara's Kazekage hat is green. In the anime, it was originally light blue. They were recoloured as of Naruto Shippūden episode 199, showing the Kazekage hat as coloured green.
- Gaara is one of only seven known Kage to predominantly wear the position's official uniform — the others being the Fourth Kazekage, Fourth Raikage, First Tsuchikage, First Hokage, Third Hokage, and Sixth Hokage.
- Gaara is the only one of the five Kage who were active during the Fourth Shinobi Great War who has yet to retire.
- In the Gaara Hiden, Gaara admires his brother-in-law Shikamaru and has sought for his help. Despite the latter being younger than him by months, Gaara still calls him "big brother", due to Shikamaru marrying his older sister.
- (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) "Love?… Let me tell you what that word means to me… My father taught me secret shinobi skills, one after another. I was raised in isolation, spoiled and overprotected… at first I thought that was love… For the past six years… ever since I turned six… my father has been trying to assassinate me. I've lost count of how many attempts he's made… A presence that is too powerful becomes a presence that is feared… To my father, in his role as Kazekage, I was the village's most powerful weapon, but at the same time, I was a fearsome and dangerous object. So apparently, when I turned six, they determined that I was too great a liability."
- (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… Then I came to the conclusion that 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… My existence will not vanish."
- (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 honour of your idol under scrutiny… you become enraged, as if it were your own honour 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) "I will work hard, because I want to become acknowledged by others. That's what I thought when I look at Naruto Uzumaki. Bonds with others… Up until now, I only known them as hate and murderous intent. But I wonder, what is that bond he longed for? Now I understand, even only a little. Pain, sadness… and joy. These feelings allow you to understand others."
- "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."
- (To the Third Tsuchikage) "When did you forsake yourselves?"
- (To Tobi) "Peace under an illusion is not true peace. It's only meaningful if the real world manages to accomplish it."
- (To Naruto) "Naruto… Just so you know, there will be a war to protect the Eight-Tails and Nine-Tails… in other words you. For the sake of the ninja world and as the Kazekage, I will guard you with my life. If as a member of Akatsuki, Sasuke Uchiha stands in the way of the ninja coalition… I will show him no mercy."
- (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 realised what was important was the word's meaning."
- (To Kankurō about Naruto) "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
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Second Databook, pages 62-66
- ↑ Shō no Sho, page 7
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Third Databook, pages 60-63
- ↑ Fourth Databook, pages 76-78
- ↑ Retsu no Sho, page 34
- ↑ Zai no Sho, page 33
- ↑ Chapter 129, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 35, page 17
- ↑ Chapter 97, pages 9-10
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 17
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Chapter 547, pages 4-7
- ↑ Chapter 130, pages 13-18
- ↑ Chapter 131, pages 1-12
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 97, pages 13-15
- ↑ Chapter 114, page 7
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 548, pages 11-13
- ↑ Chapter 213, page 1
- ↑ Chapter 280, page 5
- ↑ Chapter 250, page 5
- ↑ Chapter 515, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 548, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 247, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 588, page 5
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage
- ↑ Chapter 125, page 11
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 399
- ↑ Boruto: Naruto the Movie novelisation
- ↑ Chapter 588, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 557, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 215, page 14
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 339
- ↑ Chapter 588, pages 14-17
- ↑ Chapter 464, page 15
- ↑ Chapter 83, page 3
- ↑ Chapter 83, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 547, pages 16-17
- ↑ Chapter 249, pages 12-14
- ↑ Chapter 464, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 555, page 16
- ↑ Chapter 465, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 547, page 13
- ↑ The Last: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Boruto: Naruto the Movie
- ↑ Fourth Databook
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 400
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 394
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 395
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 397
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 398
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 401
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 410
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 411
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 412
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 413
- ↑ Chapter 700
- ↑ Chapter 700+5, pages 9-11
- ↑ Chapter 660, pages 5-9
- ↑ Chapter 130, page 1
- ↑ Chapter 131, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 59, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 97, pages 9-13
- ↑ Chapter 97, pages 15-17
- ↑ Chapter 127, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 136, page 8
- ↑ Chapter 217, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 217, page 16
- ↑ Naruto episode 120
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 182
- ↑ Chapter 461, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 467, page 18
- ↑ Chapter 474, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 475, page 13