Nickname: Gaara of the Sand, Gaara of the Sand Waterfall, The Golden Child
Looks: Gaara has fair skin, green eyes, and short red hair; for most if his life his hair is allowed to remain naturally spiky, but by adulthood it is combed and parted to the right. He has no distinctive pupils or eyebrows, the latter of which others sometimes make fun of. He's had tanuki-like black rings around his eyes his whole life, which Gamabunta attributes to insomnia. As a child, he carved the kanji for "love" (愛, ai) on the left side of his forehead, which his hair is parted in order for it to be kept visible. In Part II, many girls in Suna start to consider Gaara handsome.
As the start of Part I, Gaara wears a black body suit with an open neck, t-shirt-like sleeves, and almost full-length leggings. With this, he wears a white cloth over his right shoulder and the left side of his hips. He has a wide leather band from his left shoulder to his right hip with which he carries his sand gourd and around which he wraps his forehead protector. In early chapters of the manga, he also has several earrings. His appearance is mostly the same at the end of Part I, though he switches his previous black body suit to a reddish-brownish one with longer sleeves and an upright collar, and wears mesh armour on his wrists and ankles. In Part II, Gaara wears a long-sleeved crimson coat and full-length dark trousers with a pair. Over the coat he wears two buckled belts, a grey vest held in place by a single strap over his left shoulder, and two buckled belts which he also uses to carry his gourd. On certain occasions he wears the typical Kazekage garb and during the Fourth Shinobi World War he wears Suna's typical flak jacket.
Personality: Gaara was consistently warm to others during his early life. Although most of Suna's villagers feared and despised him, he was able to persevere due to the love that he felt from Yashamaru and his mother. His father, Rasa, believed these niceties were impeding Gaara's development as a jinchūriki and as such had both taken from him: he ordered Yashamaru to try and kill Gaara and, if he were to fail, to tell Gaara that neither he nor Gaara's mother had ever loved him. Rasa's plan succeeded, as following Yashamaru's death Gaara stopped trying to connect with people. Rather, Gaara focused on himself, driven solely by his own desires and his own survival.
During his years of caring only about himself, Gaara becomes infamously known as "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall" (砂瀑の我愛羅, Sabaku no Gaara, English TV: Gaara of the Desert). Though he outwardly appears calm, "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall" is deeply unbalanced, completely unmoved by others' pleas for mercy and, in certain situations, driven mad with bloodlust. This behaviour is partly due to Shukaku, whose voice Gaara alone can hear in his head, who encourages violence at every opportunity, and who torments Gaara with threats to take control of his body if he falls asleep, thus making Gaara an insomniac. But Shukaku is not wholly responsible: Gaara simply hates other people for existing, believing that so long as they are alive they are a threat to his own life. His purpose, therefore, is to kill anyone who is strong or who he perceives as similar to himself, as only by killing them can he assert his own existence. With those who do not interest him, Gaara is typically withdrawn and silent. When he must interact with them, he does so with open disregard for their feelings and often threatens to kill them, even his own siblings, if they become too much of a nuisance to him.
Gaara's background is very similar to that of Naruto Uzumaki: both have been jinchūriki since the day they were born, both were hated by almost everyone in their village, and both were raised without a parent's love. But whereas Gaara eventually gave up on other people, Naruto continued trying to win the acknowledgement of his peers and village, pursuits he eventually succeeds at. Whereas Gaara seeks strength only in protecting himself, Naruto seeks strength in protecting the friends he makes. When the two fight during the Konoha Crush and Naruto defeats Gaara, Gaara takes this as proof that his own choices in life were wrong; he had surrendered to his difficult circumstances too easily. From that point onward he starts moving away from "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall" and starts emulating Naruto instead, improving his relationships with his siblings, making friends within Suna and without, and finding something that he's willing to give his life to protect. His relationship with Shukaku did improve somewhat when he told the tailed beast he used to hate it, but was grateful to the beast because it was he was able to meet Naruto due to the life he led.
Gaara becomes Suna's Kazekage by the start of Part II, signalling the success of his emulation of Naruto. Gaara gains a new purpose in life by exerting all his energies to serving the village and those who live there; although he still has his detractors, most of the villagers adore him and will do what they can to help him reform Suna and the rest of the world. Even this reform is very much inspired by Naruto, as he wishes for the Five Kage and their hidden villages to cooperate and benefit from each other in the same way that he has benefited from Naruto's influence. Gaara believes in forgiving past differences and strife, abandoning antiquated concepts of "honour" that only promote isolation, and serving a purpose greater than one's self. As in Suna, this unity that Gaara advocates is slow to catch on, for a time only gaining support from Naruto's own Konohagakure. By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, however, the Five Kage are convinced by Gaara and this in turn starts trickling down into the larger Allied Shinobi Forces.
Gaara feels indebted to Naruto for how significantly he's changed since his time as "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall"; he considers Naruto his closest friend and believes all the tragedies of his childhood were worthwhile since they led him to meet Naruto. He takes part in the Fourth Shinobi World War not simply because he believes Akatsuki must be stopped, but because by doing so he can keep Naruto safe. Gaara's powerful desire to protect Naruto at times means acting against Naruto's wishes: he knows Naruto would want to participate in the Fourth Shinobi World War to protect his loved ones, but feels Naruto would be safer if he were forbidden from doing so; he knows that Naruto wants to redeem Sasuke Uchiha, but will kill Sasuke if Naruto's own leniency places himself at risk, yet he was willing to leave advice that Naruto should at least considered for himself what the best course of action for Sasuke is, along with not being above admitting when he could be wrong, as shown when Naruto's presence in the war did more good than harm, when he and the Raikage and Mizukage originally thought it would be the other way around. Gaara often cites his own experiences as "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall" during his interactions with Sasuke and others who suffer hate and loneliness, explaining the missteps that he didn't realise he'd made until he met Naruto so that they, in turn, might realise their own. His words do not always convince them, but Gaara is able to empathise with their choices and, as with Sasuke, he even wonders if Naruto could get through to them, just as Naruto got through to him.
Village of Birth: Sunagakure
Village of Alliance: Kumogakure
Ninja Rank: Sannin
Specialty: Sand, Lightning & Taijutsu
Elements: Fire, Wind, Water, Earth & Lightning
Your Ninjutsu: Nin, Ken, Tai & Gen
Bombardier Beetle CSC
Sand Ninjutsu Training Required
History: Because of heavy cuts to Sunagakure's budget, Rasa, the Fourth Kazekage, wanted to make one of his children the jinchūriki of the One-Tailed Shukaku to serve as a weapon for the village. His first two children, Temari and then Kankurō, had not been compatible with Shukaku. Rasa's third child, who would become Gaara, was compatible, and for that reason Shukaku was sealed into him by Chiyo while he was still in his mother's womb. Gaara ended up being born prematurely and, from the ordeals of childbirth, his mother, Karura, died. Before dying, Karura looked lovingly at Gaara's small form and vowed to always protect him.
Gaara was raised in isolation during his early life, taught ninjutsu by his father and cared for by his maternal uncle, Yashamaru. When he was allowed to roam around the village, Gaara would try to connect with the villagers, being kind to them and offering them any assistance he could. However, being a jinchūriki made the villagers frightened of Gaara; adults avoided him and, when they couldn't, treated him delicately while children would run from him on sight. Gaara would try to assure them he meant no harm, but in the process would inadvertently injure or even kill them with his sand. Gaara did not understand this pain he caused others because his sand protected him from all injury. When he was six years old, Gaara asked Yashamaru to explain pain to him. From Yashamaru's explanation, Gaara believed he did know pain: the unbearable agony in his heart.
From this, Yashamaru elaborated that psychical pain, what causes one to bleed, could be cured with medicine and time, whereas pain of the heart, like Gaara experienced, could only be cured with love. Gaara, said Yashamaru, received love everyday, from both his mother - whose spirit controlled the sand that protected him - and from Yashamaru himself. Gaara was pleased by this and went out into the village to show some love to those he'd harmed, but his efforts were met only with more fear and hate. Gaara was dismayed and went off to try and understand why he was treated as such a monster. While doing so, he was attacked by one of Suna's Anbu, who he fatally wounded with his sand. When he unmasked the Anbu, Gaara discovered it was Yashamaru.
Gaara was devastated that Yashamaru, the only living person to love him, would try to kill him and asked for an explanation. Yashamaru replied that it was a mission given to him by Rasa, it having been decided by the Suna Council that Gaara was a failed experiment that, if allowed to live, would only continue to do harm to the village and its people. Gaara tried to find solace in the fact that Yashamaru had been ordered to kill him, but Yashamaru insisted he volunteered and that he'd always hated Gaara for causing Karura's death. Karura had not loved Gaara either, and named him after the phrase "a self-loving carnage" (我を愛する修羅, Ware o aisuru shura) so that he would be a curse upon Suna for what it had done to her. With his explanation done, Yashamaru asked Gaara to "please die" before blowing himself up with explosive tags.
Gaara's sand - a product of Shukaku rather than Karura if Yashamaru's words were to be believed - shielded Gaara from the blast. Having lost everything he cared for, Gaara decided that he would from that point forward live up to his namesake by loving only himself; to that end, he used his sand to etch the kanji for "love" (愛, ai) onto the left side of his forehead. Overwhelmed with grief, Gaara transformed into Shukaku and attacked Suna, which Rasa stopped with his gold dust. Rasa would arrange five other assassination attempts on Gaara over the following years, each of which Gaara survived. Due to his singular focus on himself, Gaara eventually learned to reign in his powers and became the lethal weapon Suna wanted him to be, prompting Rasa to stop trying to kill him and instead find a use for him. His Bijuu was later extracted by the Akatsuki.
For more information, please refer to his wikia page here.
Having been raised from childhood as Suna's "ultimate weapon", Gaara is very strong for his age. In Part I, he becomes a favourite to win the Chūnin Exams, as well as essential in the planned success of the Konoha Crush. His fame spreads from that point, such that he is recognisable to Kimimaro of Otogakure later on. By Part II, Gaara becomes Suna's Fifth Kazekage, tasked with leading and protecting the entire village. Gaara's fellow Kage initially doubt his suitability for the position due to his young age, but come to respect him by the start of the Fourth Shinobi World War, appointing him the commander-in-chief of the Allied Shinobi Forces' combat divisions. The reincarnated Kage that Gaara fights also come to approve of his abilities after he defeats them.
Theme Song and Background Music: