|This is the article on the Sunagakure character. For the Konohagakure character, head to Matsuri.|
|Manga||Volume #31, Naruto Chapter #280|
|Anime||Naruto Episode #216|
|Movie||Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Will of Fire|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 4|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game, Movie|
In the anime, Matsuri witnessed her parents' murder in the past, making her adverse to weapons and violence.
In the manga, Matsuri is simply a reverent admirer of Gaara or any other powerful ninja; Sha no Sho states that she has no interest in any other type of man. In the anime, by the Fourth Shinobi World War, her admiration extends to Naruto Uzumaki, whom she swoons over even in the middle of combat. Gaara remains her seeming preference, however, as she is offended whenever he is criticised and will disobey orders for his benefit.
When she's first introduced in the anime, Matsuri is a shy and quiet girl who always uses the proper honourifics. Under Gaara's tutelage, she becomes braver and more outspoken, to the point that she ignores even the Third Tsuchikage's instructions. While Matsuri is reluctant to use weapons in Part I, she has fewer inhibitions by the start of Part II; she will use weapons to protect her comrades and Sunagakure's reputation, but will avoid causing harm to others.
Although Matsuri is usually nice, she can also be very aggressive, such as when she hit Naruto in manga, struck Ittetsu, and hits Kiba in anime, thereby starting the fight between the participants of Chūnin Exams.
Matsuri has straight chin-length brown hair, dark eyes, and fair skin. In Part I in the anime, she wore a blue-green blouse that hung off her left shoulder, a white and pink sleeveless shirt underneath, a short yellow scarf tied around her neck, and a black short skirt. She also wore long, thigh-high stockings, brown sandals, and black gloves with a grey elbow-length arm guard on her right arm. During the Chūnin Exams, she wears two arm guards instead of one, a dark pink shirt with cuts over the shoulders, a white shirt underneath the other, and a black forehead protector instead of her scarf. In Part II, she wears a dark shirt with a skirt of the same colour and a Sunagakure flak jacket.
In the anime, Matsuri is trained to use the jōhyō, a dart tied at the end of a long rope. It is primarily a defensive weapon, used to keep her opponents at a distance and block incoming attacks. However, she can also use it offensively. Her skill with the jōhyō is great enough to force Shira, a powerful taijutsu user, to unleash his Seven Heavens Breathing Method to defeat her.
The anime suggests she has some skill in Wind Release techniques, as she is part of a group of Wind Release users that battle the reincarnated Third Raikage. Temari notes in this instance that Matsuri isn't a long-distance user.
Sunagakure Support Mission
Main article: Sunagakure Support Mission
In the anime, Matsuri is a student of Suna's new ninja Academy. During a lesson about weapon-handling, Matsuri is the only member of her class to select Gaara as her instructor. Gaara, sensing her hesitation about using weapons, demonstrates how to use a jōhyō. He tries to teach her that weapons don't need to be used for violence as they can instead be used protect comrades. Although Matsuri doesn't understand what he means, she and Gaara become close.
Because of how important Matsuri is to Gaara, the Four Celestial Symbols Men kidnap her in a scheme to take the One-Tail's chakra sealed within him. Gaara, his siblings, and the Konoha 11 (excluding Tenten) come to her aid. Once she is freed, she uses her jōhyō to save Naruto from a fatal attack by Seimei, finally understanding Gaara's lesson about how weapons can be used to protect. She returns to Suna after Seimei's defeat, determined to continue training under Gaara.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
Main article: In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths Two years later, in the anime, Matsuri, now a genin, enters the Chūnin Exams held jointly by Suna and Konoha. During the first stage held in Konoha, Matsuri and her teammates, Mikoshi and Yukata, are seated in separate rooms for a written exam. By demonstrating excellent communication skills and commitment to each other, Matsuri and her team pass. They are sent to the Demon Desert for the second stage, which they reach within three days, thus qualifying them to participate.
To pass the second stage, Matsuri and her team must acquire two scrolls within three days, one of which they are given at the start, the other of which they must take from another competing team. When, after several days, they still have not acquired a second scroll, Mikoshi suggests taking the scroll from somebody who already has two and therefore may have let their guards down. While searching for such a team they get lost in a sandstorm and fall into quicksand. They are saved and looked after by Fū, who offers them her scroll when they wake up. Matsuri and her team decline, following Gaara's example of persevering through struggles.
Matsuri and her team are later captured by Hōichi. They are found and rescued by Gaara, but he ends up being captured by Hōichi instead. Gaara, now the Kazekage, orders them to leave him behind and escape. They ignore him and go looking for help, eventually coming across Team Guy. Matsuri offers Team Guy their scroll in exchange for helping Gaara, though they decide to help without payment. While guiding Team Guy to Gaara's location they run into Fū's teammates, Fū having also been captured by Hōichi. Their teams join forces and successfully rescue Gaara and Fū.
As the end of the exam nears, Matsuri seeks out Shira, a fellow Suna-nin and supporter of Gaara. Matsuri proposes that they fight and that the victor will receive the other's scroll, terms that Shira agrees to. Matsuri ultimately loses, but takes her defeat in stride. They and their teams accompany each other to the final rendezvous point for the second stage, where they are informed the Chūnin Exams have been cancelled. Instead, a report on each participant's performance will be sent to their village and their respective village leader will decide if they should be promoted.
Kazekage Rescue Mission
Main article: Kazekage Rescue Mission
When Gaara is kidnapped by Akatsuki, Matsuri is one of the many Suna shinobi sent out to try to find him. In the anime, she is added to Temari's team, which is tasked with patrolling the border; Matsuri complains that they should be trying to rescue Gaara instead. They track him down in time to witness his revival. Matsuri reprimands Ittetsu when he voices his fears that Gaara had died. She and Sari then rush at Gaara to offer their help, but they are blocked by Temari.
Five Kage Summit
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
In the anime, Matsuri and Yukata are added to the Fourth Division during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Before the Allied Shinobi Forces are mobilised, Gaara delivers a speech to unite their diverse members, which Matsuri and Yukata both gush over. During the first night of the war, Matsuri and Yukata offer towels to Gaara, telling him that he must conserve his strength. When fighting breaks out the next day, Matsuri and Yukata are added to a team of Wind Release users tasked with subduing the Third Raikage. Matsuri and Yukata become distracted discussing Naruto Uzumaki, so Temari orders them to keep their distance so she won't need to listen to them. After the Raikage is defeated, Matsuri and Yukata gossip about Daimaru's confession of love for Temari and then tease her about Shikamaru.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
- Matsuri's name can mean festival (祭) or Arabian jasmine (茉莉).
- A kunoichi resembling Matsuri made an appearance in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja 4, walking around the save point outside of Suna, although her shirt was red.
- Matsuri made her first appearance in the anime before the manga. It wasn't until the timeskip that she appeared in the manga while in the anime it was far before that.