Nickname: Gaara of the Desert
Like Naruto, Gaara is a little shorter than the average males of his age, which is due to the fact that he was born prematurely. He has fair skin and short, spiky, auburn hair which was sometimes depicted as red in the earlier parts of the series. He has green eyes, however; this colour has alternated somewhat during the series. In a flashback of his youth his eyes are depicted as light blue but for the majority of the series they are depicted as being green, the pupils of which being mostly invisible. Gaara has no distinctive eyebrows either. 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 gray, and black sandals.
In the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, and in the final pre-Shippūden filler arc, he switched his previous black overalls to a reddish-brownish one with longer sleeves and an upright collar. He retained the white cloth, but had mesh armour on his wrists and ankles. He used this costume in Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel as well.
In Part II, 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 on 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.
Gaara was once a kind child who, despite their fear and hatred towards him, tried desperately to be friendly towards others. His uncle, Yashamaru's, actions changed and twisted his personality. Misled into believing nobody loved him, Gaara used his sand to create the kanji on his forehead "love" (愛, ai), as a symbol of his ideal to be a "demon loving only itself", and to live up to the name his mother gave him. Gaara became emotionally withdrawn and silent, as he was consumed with a 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 own existence. This was worsened by Shukaku's occasional demand for blood to satisfy its bloodlust, resulting in Gaara's remorseless nature, demonstrated when he murdered Baiu and Midare, despite their pleas for mercy. Gaara's insomnia forced fear upon him; if he were to fall asleep, the demon within him would begin to eat away at his soul. This only furthered his instability and desire to kill. Gaara's hatred for his own father is due to the the multiple 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 sand activating at any time injury would otherwise befall Gaara, he never saw his own blood until Sasuke Uchiha pierced his shield and injured him, thus causing Gaara to have a mental break down.
Gaara's childhood was similar to Naruto Uzumaki's in many ways. Both were unbearably lonely and longed to be liked, loved and acknowledged as individuals, free of the prejudices of others — they were human beings, not the demons they had been forced to contain — and were driven to separate states of desperation. While Naruto consequently developed the misconception that pranks and mischief would bring him the attention he sought, Gaara came to the conclusion that he could preserve and confirm his own existence by killing any and all who challenged it, securing this extreme form of existentialism as his key trait. In the absence of outside recognition, he 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 bonded with anyone, not even his father or siblings, as they too despised and feared Shukaku. The person who grew the closest to acknowledging Gaara was his mother's brother Yashamaru. Yashamaru was ordered to betray Gaara, transforming him into a lonely sociopath. As such, Gaara couldn't understand the concept of fighting for anything but himself until his confrontation with Naruto.
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 never lost his ambition to be recognised as an individual, and ultimately found companions who truly cared for him. Witnessing the resolution Naruto possessed to protect his friends made Gaara finally question the path he had determined for himself. Realising that he gave up too easily, Gaara decided to follow Naruto's chosen path instead in order to finally have people acknowledge him as an individual, and not the tailed-beast within him. Over the next few years, Gaara's resolve to find happiness caused him to rely on his own power rather than that of Shukaku. Gaara eventually formed a close friendship with Naruto, and became rather protective of him.
Gaara cryingGaara crying after learning that his mother loved him.
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 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.
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. 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".
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.
Village of Birth: Sunagakure
Village of Alliance: Sunagakure
Ninja Rank: Jounin
Sand Techniques: Need Training
Gaara is the third and youngest child of the Fourth Kazekage and Karura, and the younger brother of Temari and Kankurō. Before Gaara's birth, his father had Chiyo seal Shukaku within him, in hopes that Gaara 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. He was born premature and therefore, was 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 mainly raised by his maternal uncle, Yashamaru.
Because of the power of Shukaku, the villagers of Sunagakure hated and feared Gaara. Seeing him only for the monster sealed within him, for a time, Yashamaru seemed to be the only person who cared about Gaara. When Gaara would unintentionally harm others due to the subconscious abilities granted to him by Shukaku, Yashamaru was the only one who understood that Gaara hadn't intended to harm anyone. The Sunagakure Council, however, saw Gaara's frequent attacks as a threat to the village. Because of the danger Gaara imposed, disappointed by the turn of events, the Kazekage decided to test his son by having Yashamaru attack Gaara both physically and psychologically to see if Gaara could retain control of Shukaku. As a result, on the Kazekage's orders, Yashamaru told Gaara that his mother never loved him. He also tried to assassinate Gaara, only to be fatally wounded by the boy before Gaara realised whom he killed.
Although Gaara tried to consider Yashamaru's attack as his father's order, Yashamaru lied to him by saying that he had willingly accepted the mission to kill Gaara. He also lied that he 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), a sign of her intense hatred for Suna rather than love for her son. In the last ditch effort to kill Gaara, Yashamaru detonated a number of explosive tags covering his body, asking Gaara to "please die". Using his sand, Gaara survived the blast, and lost the only person he thought had cared for him, while not knowing the true reasons behind Yashamaru's actions. Gaara then used his sand to etch the kanji for love (愛, ai) onto his forehead. Gaara then lost control and transformed into Shukaku, rampaging around the village before his father stopped him with Gold Dust.
Since this incident, Gaara became an aloof and cruel person who would kill anyone to prove his existence and to obtain recognition from the village, all the while giving up any desire for friendship. Seeing that Gaara was unable to cope with the loss of his mother's love, the Kazekage deemed him a failure and arranged several assassinations of his son that all failed yet made Gaara hate his father even more. In time, Gaara's new ideology allowed better control over Shukaku, and his father would come to appreciate this and the uses he could serve, and cancelled all assassination orders. This revived the idea of having Gaara as the ultimate weapon of the village.
Sand Ninjutsu: Gaara has a gourd of sand on his back, and is capable of manipulating sand present on the battlefied as well.