Some thoughts about Yashamaru.
It appears that I like talking about nearly forgotten characters. And so, I bring you my thoughts on Yashamaru, possible explanations for his words and actions.
I won’t explain the initial impression of his character much since it is so apparent. He tries to love Gaara, fails, and decides to kill the boy he blames for his sister’s agony and subsequent death. He evidently didn’t think about hating Gaara until later when he spoke of his feelings as he died. Perhaps the idea never occurred to Yashamaru until Gaara asked if he hated him.
We saw how Yashamaru protected the child from Gaara’s grab with the sand after they ran away from him. We also know that Gaara killed that drunken man he bumped into. Yashamaru’s attack on Gaara could be a reflection of how he saw Shakuku as uncontrollable. A power too great for a mere child to deal with. Remembering his sister’s death followed by the Gaara’s violent actions. It is not so unlikely idea that Yashamaru wanted Gaara to die so he would not hurt anyone else. This could be seen in his line of, “before long, your existence will become too dangerous to the village itself” (chapter 131, page 5).
The possibility that Yashamaru wanted to die to follow his sister. That he could believe the one thing which could take away the pain isn’t love, but death. A suicide would result in other people questioning his mental state. And so, death through an assignment would be the preferred way to go for a shinobi. Why else would his hide his face from Gaara during the initial attack (remember Gaara only learned of Yashamaru’s identify after pulling off the cloth covering his face)? You would think that if he really wanted to hurt Gaara emotionally he would have shown his face, he would let the boy know that the one attacking him was the only person he thought cared about his existence.
Yashamaru knew of Gaara’s suffering, and so if he succeeded in killing Gaara, the boy would no longer have to live with the pain of being ostracized. After all, Yashamaru doesn’t look happy at Gaara’s pain, all he does is give an empty look of sadness when Gaara asks why his heart hurts so much. Yet if Yashamaru decided to kill Gaara for the boy’s benefit as well, why the acidic parting words?
I suppose it is the idea of If I can’t kill you, then no one else will. Yashamaru knew of how the sand unfailingly protected Gaara from all harm. We see this through his line of, “...my duty is to protect you from any harm…although the sand will protect you anyway” (chapter 129, page 19). Perhaps he saw that if the sand protected Gaara then it would mean his sister wanted her child to live. That his sister wanted Gaara to live despite Yashamaru’s bitterness. He may have wanted to kill his sister’s child because of a strange sort of jealousy. His sister having left what he saw as her will to protect Gaara in the sand while Yashamaru is left with nothing. “Sister…even after death, you wanted to be there for Gaara…” (chapter 130, page 9) at that comment he didn’t look happy, he looks kind of bothered by it if you ask me. And so Yashamaru’s last words, to spur Gaara to live forever, no matter what.
Is it not possible that Yashamaru acted as he did in order for Gaara to become stronger? Why would the dying shinobi’s first words be to call Gaara’s attack, “Impressive”, instead of lashing out with some horrible words? Someone like Gaara who initially cared so much about what people thought would not have cared to defend himself, he would continue hating his existence and perhaps die through self-neglect. Gaara did not have Naruto’s personality, not the type to actively try to show he could be friendly. Instead, he is the type who would silently fume, letting his feelings eat away at him.
And somewhere in my pleasantly disillusion mind I secretly believe Yashamaru couldn’t disobey orders from a Kazekage who was willing to put a bijuu into his son for his own benefit. I secretly believed Yashamaru made up all the words about hating Gaara so he wouldn’t have to feel guilt over killing someone who seemingly cared about him. Better to hate then to live with regret, hm?
If Yashamaru were to kill Gaara’s emotions, then he would go on living. He would live only for himself. He would never be hurt and betrayed by someone again. As evil as this seems, I believe that somewhere Yashamaru knew that if there was someone strong enough they would break through Gaara’s emotional defenses. Perhaps Yashamaru saw that only someone with a will to do that could ever hope to save Gaara.