|Aliases||Fifth Kazekage, Godaime Kazekage, Gaara of the Sand|
The youngest of the Sand Siblings and host to a beast, like Naruto. He is the Fifth Kazekage of the Village Hidden in Sand.
The youngest of three siblings with a beast sealed within him, not unlike Naruto, Gaara's ability to control sand made his father train him to be Sunagakure Village's weapon and made the villagers avoid him at all costs, also like Naruto. Gaara was unable to fully control the beast within him and its attacks on villagers, so his father commanded that Gaara be killed, a mere failed experiment. All the attempts to kill Gaara failed, however, and Gaara eventually came to the conclusion that the only people he could rely on were himself and the beast within him, Shukaku.
The Birth of a Demon
Bore Gaara was born, a continuing series of budget cuts plagued the Land of Sand. This resulted in his father (The Fourth Kazekage) to seal the one-tailed beast, Shukaku, inside of him, making him a jinchuriki like Naruto.
The One-Tailed Beast made to seal Shukaku was in fact Gaara's mother. For years, Gaara's uncle Yashamaru told him of how his mother loved him to the moment she died, when, in reality, she had cursed the Village Hidden in Sand for her death. She gave her last child a name. His name was "Gaara", meaning "A self loving carnage", thus saying that Gaara was a demon that only loved himself, fought for himself, and thought only of himself. In reality, Gaara only tried to help others as a child, and, much like Naruto, he was shunned, simply because of his powers and jinchuriki status.
On one Occasion he tried to get a group of little kids ball for them, but rather than take it, they just left in terror. The rush and Gaara's want for them to take it back and keep playing caused him to accidentally use his sand to hold them to the ground, nearly crushing them. His uncle Yashamaru, one of Suna's medical Ninja, realized what was happening and rushed to stop Gaara. In the midst of all this, Yashamaru received a minor cut on his finger and a wound to his forehead. Later that day, at home, Gaara is seen with a knife trying to slit his wrists. Yashamaru walks in on Gaara just as he does it, but is relieved to see that the sands of Shukaku stop the knife blade.
He then tells Gaara that it pains him to see that kind of thing, even if the sands stop him from receiving harm. Gaara then asks what pain is like, and Yashamaru explains that it is an unbearable experience, much like what he feels when he is left out from everything that the other children do. He then explains that there are wounds that even he can't heal, and that these are wounds to the heart.
Gaara Vs, Yashamaru
Yashamaru explains that the only known cure to these wounds is love. He tells his opinions on Gaara's mother, how he thinks that every grain of sand is a symbol of her love for him. In reality, this was not so, because she cursed him as she died.
Gaara then decides to show his newfound cure to the kids he accidentally harmed at the park earlier by giving them some wound ointment that his uncle gave him. When the door opened, the kid saw him and told him he was a monster and to get away from him. A disheartened Gaara trudged home silently until he wandered into a drunk. The drunk then told him to watch out and began threatening him... until realizing that this boy was in fact the jinchuriki. It was at this point that Gaara finally snapped. In a rage, Shukaku's sands wrapped around the middle-aged man, crushing him(since Gaara was still a child, the mans body was still in a recognizable form, as Gaara wasn't strong enough to crush them into a pulp until he was older). He continues his walk home, without any guilt on his face. His father sees him on his way home and they exchange glances. This would be the last even slightly friendly meeting between the two. As Gaara finally reaches the top of the building to his Apartment, a masked man began hurling his levitating kunai at the little Gaara. "Why... why...is it always ME?" Gaara exclaims as the kunai dropped from the sand and wrapped around the masked assassin. Gaara's fist closed on the man as did the sand, with bone-crushing force. Gaara then calmed down and went from his state of rage to nervousness as he noticed a bandage on the mans finger. He lifted up the mask to find that the assaulter was none other than the only person that Gaara thought had ever loved him, his dear uncle, Yashamaru.
After the young biju host had an emotionally distraught conversation with his falsely loving uncle, the prepared assassin unleashed his final tactic as an attempt on Gaara's life. Yashamaru then opened up his Shinobi vest to release the multiple letter bombs that he had concealed on himself the whole fight, and killed himself in the explosion. Gaara lay on his knees, angered, broken, and let out a scream that could have been heard throughout the Sand village, as the grains of Shukaku's sand all flew into one spot on Gaara's forehead above his left eye forming the kanji 愛-love.
After a few years, Gaara's father, the Fourth Kazekage, decided that the assassinations attempts should stop, and that Gaara could be a very useful tool for the sand village.
Of Flowing Hatred and Sand
Gaara's primary appearance in the Naruto series is when he first meets Naruto briefly just prior to the beginning of the Chuunin Exams, after Sasuke had nailed Kankuro (his brother) with a rock, for picking on the young Konohamaru. Naruto attempted to challenge and egg Gaara on to fight him, as he saw this as his perfect chance to look "cool" for Sakura, whom he'd had a crush on for quite some time, though she had fallen for Sasuke head over heels already. Gaara completely disregarded Naruto's words of challenge, telling him that he was only interested in Sasuke Uchiha, the shinobi who he had been told by Orochimaru to focus on, though at the time no one knew about their connection to the village hidden in sound for a long duration of time.
The next mentioning of Gaara occurs right before the beginning of the very first Chuunin Exams section, the written area of the test, when Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, met Yakushi Kabuto, who was apparently a genin on his seventh attempt to pass the rigorous testing processes for the step up of shinobi. He was extremely skillful in tracking and keeping track of shinobi throughout the land, all due to his special and unique ability to read a ninja's ability with special cards he summoned at will. Sasuke requested that he look up Gaara from Sunagakure, to see that Gaara had actually completed a B-Rank mission once, and that there are very few genin who would be able to accomplish anything like that. The one other thing noted by Kabuto was the most alarming portion of info: Gaara had come back from all his missions unscathed.
During the first exam, it was noted that Gaara was able to create a third eye of his sand to see anything within the room, and collected his answers from it. In the second part of the exam, during the forest of death, his ability was further more developed. After having been followed by Hinata, Shino and Kiba,(thanks to Akamaru, Kiba's dog that had been afraid), the three witnessed the deaths of an entire team of ninja from the land of rain. Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari were being asked violently for their scrolls, or pain of death.
They refused, without fear or hesitation, and what seemed to be the leader of the three, attacked them with a technique similar to Haku's One Thousand Needles of Death, in which there were no blind spots. They looked on in awe as the needles that should have been riddled through Gaara were piercing a shield of some kind, which in actuality was the sand from the gourd behind his back. The three ninja from the Rain village cowered in fear at the ability Gaara showed, and were then told by the young boy from sand that he was going to kill them for their insolence. The two in the rear that had not attacked watched as the sand that had just protected their adversary was surrounded by the possessed earth and then crushed after being lifted into mid air, blood splattering all across the forest floor.
The other two attempted to run away after seeing his actions, to no avail, both being crushed simultaneously within seconds. After Kiba and his group had seen Gaara at work, they decided to run away, especially after seeing that even Kankuro and Temari, Gaara's siblings, had absolutely no control over what he did, and were just as afraid as they were. They took their scrolls and ended up making it through the entire forest of death faster than even the jonin of Konoha ever had, to Anko's amazement. What had initially brought them to attention, however, was the fact that even though they had gone through the entire forest at extreme speed, they held not even a single mark on them, no scratch for them to see anywhere on their bodies. Gaara's face was shown very keenly as his eyes stared down the camera in the shot they had paused it on to see their faces clearly.
After making it through the entire forest of death it is shown that Gaara and his siblings had a deal with Orochimaru and were supposed to kill Sasuke. Gaara was only in it for the kill, and the others were forced to come with him to make sure he was "safe".
Of course, they meant safe for others, not his own personal safety, and they knew that if he were to actually go on a killing rampage, nothing they could do would stop him. They watched the Chuunin Exams opening fights without much anticipation, Kankuro slaughtering his opponent and breaking every bone in his flexible body, and Temari defeating Ten Ten (of Lee and Neji's team) with ease. Gaara's opponent, however, would turn out to be none other than Rock Lee, what seemed to be his exact opposite in combat. Gaara teleported swiftly down to the arena after seeing that his name had been picked out of the randomizing algithorium.
Lee, the esteemed Taijutsu user, leapt down to the arena in excitement, proclaiming that he was very happy he could face Gaara at such an early time. Gaara's facial expression did not change, he viewed the fighter in front of him to be worthless, and not to be wasted time on, as his mission did not revolve around him at all. Lee started to charge him and began swinging with the Taijutsu he had shown he was so able in prior to the chuunin exams beginning, to little to no avail. Gaara's sand would flow in front of all of Lee's techniques and chase Lee down over and over, Kakashi noting that Gaara was the master of a very peculiar technique.
Lee dodged and rolled, and knocked a bit of the sand away when it got to close, but his strikes could not go through Gaara's seemingly impregnable barrier. Sakura commented that Lee's Taijutsu was useless, and asked Gai why he did nothing but use it over and over. Guy then commented that it wasn't that Lee wouldn't use ninjutsu, but that moreso he could not use it. The ninja in the side bars were amazed to learn of this shocking fact about the Taijutsu virtuoso in front of them, and Sakura asked Gai how in the world Lee had managed to make it this far if he knew nothing of nin or genjutsu techniques. Gai explained that when they met he was literally nothing but the object of class room bullying, and that he had wanted to be a "splendid ninja" even if it meant he couldn't use ninjutsu or genjutsu. After being told it was a splendid goal by his master, Lee prevailed in what he had wanted to do, and became an expert at his only skill.
However, even with all of his training, against Gaara's techniques he was paling in comparison until Gai allowed for him to remove weights that had been slowing him down throughout the fight. Whereas most thought that this wouldn't prove to change much of his performance at all, they were astonished when they hit the ground and the amount of impact they made to it, crushing it and sending dust flying up almost to the height of the giant stone pillar Lee had been standing on. His speed then shone through to be enough to land hits on Gaara, albeit not enough to do any real damage, as Kankuro explained. Gaara had been protecting himself with a layer of sand on his skin too, aside from just the automatic shield that had stopped Lee's movements from before. On top of this, Kankuro made it out to Naruto that it was the ultimate defence, and that there was nothing that he could do about it, albeit in his mind knowing that in reality the sand encasing he was using was actually filled with weak points, and that it was really just a last resort.
An unbreakable protective shield. And as it began to engulf him. He barely had a way out at all, and still had his arm get snagged, and then crushed with unimaginable force. His options were growing thin, as Gaara stared at him with his cold, expressionless face.
"Grrr.....I'm tired of your expressionless face! I'm going to wipe that look off of it forever!!!" Deidara said, obviously infuriated that Gaara had just ripped his arm off. The kazekage just stared at him blankly through the small hole that was in his shield.
He was very open in his attempts to kill Deidara, and sent the sand flying at him every second or so, and refused to give Deidara a second's rest.
However, Deidara had a plan, and it would require that Gaara choose between himself and the village. It was then that Deidara sent some of his specialized clay birds to exploit Gaara's shield. The small birds were then inside of Gaara's shield and rather than let the explosion impact the entire Village Hidden in Sand, he enclosed the explosive clay Avian's within his shield and took the full fore of the blast in a valiant, noble act.
"Hmmmm....leave it to the Kazekage to take the sand himself and hold it up...when it would have been so much easier to dump it on 'em...heheheh" Deidara said as his huge clay bird clutched the fallen Kazekage in its claws.
"Gaara...." Kankuro said with a sad expression on his face. He knew that his brother had saved the entire village, and he was proud.
Deidara and Sasori take Gaara to their hideout. Where Akatuski begins the extraction of the Shukaku from Gaara. The extraction take three days and three nights. The extraction is complete and Gaara dies from the Shukaku no longer residing in him. During his time of death, Sakura and Chiyo (one of the elder syblings of the Sand Village) take on Sasori which ends in Sasori's death. Naruto and Kakashi takes on Deidara. Team Guy takes on a fake Itachi and Kisame. After the battles are over, the rest of the sand ninja arrive. They decided they were going to help their Kazekage, the one who protected them. Chiyo then decides to give the remainder of her chakra to Gaara in a forbidden jutsu that brings back the dead. When she didn't have enough Naruto lend her some of his to finish the jutsu. After the jutsu was complete Chiyo died. She traded her life, for Gaara's. When Gaara awoke, he found out once and for all, that he is not alone in this world, and that many people really care about him.
When Naruto and the others left, Gaara showed that he still has the ability to control sand, but to what extent is still unknown as he hasn't appeared in the series since.
Gaara returns in Shippuden, getting ready to set off to the meeting of the five Kages. With his siblings, Temari and Kankuro as his bodyguards. When Gaara left for the summit, his hair had grown a little longer, he still wore his sand gourd on his back, and the traditional Kazekage hat and gown were attached to it. Temari and Kankurō accompany him for protection, but Kankuro notes that he doesn't need bodyguards.
Gaara is a very conflicted character, he originally only wanted to kill to make himself feel alive, as, like Naruto, he also had a tailed beast sealed inside of him, and it caused everyone in his village to hate him. After everyone he loved and he thought loved him betrayed him, Gaara gave up hope at a young age for the world, and started to concentrate everything he did on how much he hated the world. After a conversation an intense and epic battle with Naruto, Gaara was miraculously brought to his senses as the victor of the battle would prove that their philosophy is correct with Naruto's philosophy being that fighting for your loved ones is what makes you stronger while Gaara's philosophy was that fighting for yourself is what makes you stronger. It was clear that Gaara had a change of heart when he intervened in Rock Lee's battle against Kimimmaru in order to aid Lee against his powerful opponent. However prior to that change of heart Gaara had been quoted as saying "I fight only for my self and I love only myself". The character also seemed to possess a rather fragile psyche possibly due to the Shukaku dwelling within him. Most recently Gaara was seen shedding a tear when he witnessed that Sasuke had truly changed during the 5 Kage Summit as he became aware that Sasuke was no longer the same person he met years ago.