|This is the article on the genin from Sunagakure. If you are looking for the article on the Academy student from Konohagakure, head to Matsuri.|
|Manga||Volume #31, 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 is shown in more depth. She was initially a shy and very soft-spoken girl, but becomes braver and more outspoken under Gaara's tutelage. She remains polite to others, using the proper honourifics. 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.
In the manga, Matsuri is shown simply as a reverent admirer of Gaara or any other powerful ninja. It is also hinted that she has romantic interests in Gaara. This is also shown in her quickness to compliment him and insult others who suggest he could be defeated.
Matsuri has medium length brown hair, dark eyes and fair skin. In Part I, 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.
In Part II, she wears a dark shirt with skirt of the same colour, a Sunagakure flak jacket and a black forehead protector where her scarf was. She still wears black gloves and stockings but now wears two arm-guards instead of one.
In the anime, she learned to use the jōhyō, a weapon mainly used to keep the enemy away with the short dart attached to a long rope. She was also chosen to fight in the Fourth Division of the Allied Shinobi Forces, although still being a genin.
Ultimate Weapon Arc
Matsuri débuted in the final arc of the anime. She was a student of Suna's new ninja academy. At the beginning of the weapon-handling lesson, Matsuri asked if weapons are just dangerous. While the class and the teachers pondered the question, Gaara replied suddenly with, "Your weapon is like…" and made Matsuri think that Gaara was trying to tell her something. Therefore she was the only person out of the entire class brave enough to choose Gaara to be her teacher. Gaara, sensing her hesitation and inhibitions, taught her how to use a Jōhyō, but she was fearful of it and other weapons because she had witnessed her parents' murders in the past. Gaara tried to tell her that weapons can be used to protect comrades, but Matsuri didn't understand him at first.
Later, the Four Celestial Symbols Men kidnapped Matsuri, because of her importance to Gaara, trying to lure him out, capture him, and steal the One-Tailed Shukaku's chakra stored within him. Gaara, his siblings, and the Konoha 11 (excluding Tenten) came to her aid, and fought her captors. After being freed, she saved Naruto from a fatal attack from Seimei using her Jōhyō, after finally realising that weapons can be used to protect comrades. After Seimei's defeat, she returned to Suna with Gaara, Kankurō, and Temari. But before she left, she asked Shikamaru to tell Naruto that he had made her understand what Gaara had been trying to tell her, and that she would continue to train as Gaara's student.
Kazekage Rescue Arc
In the anime, after Gaara is kidnapped by Akatsuki, Matsuri is assigned to a team led by Temari. When they start doing border patrol, Matsuri complains that they should be trying to rescue Gaara.
Later, in her first manga appearance, Matsuri is present when Gaara is revived. She becomes angry with Ittetsu when he voices his fears that Gaara had died. Matsuri and her best friend Sari then rush towards Gaara, pushing Naruto out of the way.
Sasuke and Sai Arc
She made a cameo appearance in the anime, in which she appeared in Naruto's dream about peeping into a bathhouse where Sakura and other female characters from the series were gathered.
Five Kage Summit Arc
Shinobi World War Arc
In the anime, Matsuri is seen alongside Yukata and a few other Sunagakure shinobi, gushing over Gaara after he unites the troops with his speech. Later, she is seen with Temari, Shikamaru, Chōji, and Yukata discussing about the topic of kekkei tōta. Soon, she is seen with Yukata, lending towels to Gaara, telling him that he must conserve his strength. However, to their dismay, he tells them to give them to Ōnoki instead. While they didn't know him, Ōnoki declares that he is the Tsuchikage, much to their surprise.
- 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.
- In Naruto Shippūden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire, Matsuri appears in Gaara's thoughts along with several other villagers, including his siblings and Sari, when he thinks of the members of Suna, stating that his villagers lives now 'belong to him' and he considers it his duty to protect them.
- In Naruto: Shippūden episode 261, Matsuri is among the shinobi cheering for Gaara after his speech. However she is not present during the war in the manga as it is seemingly comprised of shinobi chūnin rank and above.