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Gaara is a character in the manga and anime Naruto. He is known as Gaara of the Sand in the Viz translation, and Sabaku no Gaara (Gaara of the Desert) in the original Japanese.
Gaara is the youngest son of the Fourth Kazekage, thus having Temari and Kankuro as his older siblings. Because of Sunagakure’s weakened state, the Fourth Kazekage ordered one of Suna’s elders, Chiyo, to use a possession jutsu to seal the Ichibi Shukaku into Gaara. Because of this possession, Gaara’s mother, Karura, died while giving birth. Before she died, Karura cursed Suna, hoping Gaara would avenge her death.
Gaara was raised mainly by his uncle, Yashamaru. For six years, Gaara, being feared by his family and the other villagers, believed Yashamaru was the only one who loved him. However, when Gaara was six years old, Yashamaru was ordered to assassinate Gaara by Gaara’s father the Kazekage. However, Gaara killed the assassin before he knew the assassin was in fact Yashamaru. Before he died, Yashamaru revealed to Gaara that he never did love him. In fact, Yashamaru always resented Gaara for taking away the life of his beloved sister and Gaara’s mother, Karura. Yashamaru also reveals Gaara's namesake: a demon that fought only for himself. Gaara's mother had resented the village for using her and her son as a sacrifice for a weapon, and wished that Gaara would live, for nothing else but to curse the village that had created him. After realizing nobody loved him, Gaara used his sand to create the tattoo on his forehead, (ai, "love"), as a symbol of a "demon loving only himself." For the next 6 years, Gaara has been the victim of almost constant assassination attempts, all ordered by his father.
Gaara was to play a major part in the attack on Konohagakure (Konoha), which was engineered by Orochimaru. The plan was to release Shukaku inside Konoha simultaneously with Orochimaru's giant snakes spearheading an attack from outside, but Shukaku proved to be too unpredictable. He was then defeated in battle by Uzumaki Naruto. Naruto puzzled Gaara by fighting for those he cared about. While the battle technically ended in a draw, what surprised Gaara was Naruto's undying devotion to his friends. Upon witnessing Naruto literally inch and crawl his way to make sure Gaara is defeated while they were both on the ground, Gaara realized that Naruto's strength comes from the desire to protect his precious friends. As Gaara and his siblings fled, Gaara apologized to them, which brought out surprised looks from each.
Gaara later appeared as an ally, after the Fifth Hokage asked them to assist the team sent to retrieve Uchiha Sasuke. Gaara arrived in time to rescue Rock Lee from Kimimaro. After the mission ended in failure, Gaara and his siblings returned home to Sunagakure.
When Uzumaki Naruto returned to Konohagakure after his two and a half year training under Jiraiya, he was shocked to find that Gaara had become Kazekage. Gaara defended his village from an attack by Akatsuki who were actually after the Shukaku. Gaara was defeated by Deidara, captured and Shukaku was extracted from his body. This led to his death, but Chiyo was able to use her life-restoring technique (and the help of Naruto's chakra) to bring Gaara back to life at the cost of her own. It has been comfirmed that he can still control sand and use sand-based attacks, but his fighting strength sans-Shukaku remains untested.
In the manga, Gaara seems to have fangirls (shown after his resurrection), much to the chagrin of Naruto.
Personality and Ability
Because of the demon inside of him, Gaara is feared and hated by his entire village. This in turn has made Gaara hate everybody but himself. Gaara had lost all emotion years ago and filled the gap with the unrelenting goal of killing anybody in the world that was not himself. To Gaara, killing is the only way he can verify his existence. His insomnia, forced upon him by the fact that the demon inside him would eat away at his personality if he were to fall asleep, made his personality further unstable.
In fact, the main problem Gaara faces in life is almost idetical to Naruto's, albeid a more unfortunate one. Loneliness and the desire to be liked, loved and to be acknowledged as an individual(this means they want to be free of prejudices - they are themselves, not the demons they were forced to "contain") drives both into a desperate state, where Naruto develops the misconception of the need of mischiefs to draw attention(more precisely: recognition), and at the same time Gaara comes to the conclusion, that if people don't care about him, there is the way of murdering everybody he comes across to verify his own existence as a human being. Before that, they both tried to show their good side, being cheerful(in NAruto's case over-energetic), kind and caring, with absolutely no success. Gaara was rejected when he wanted to play with other children, and hurt one of the girls unintentionally with the sand(he didn't want to be left alone, that's why he grabbed them unconsciously). Later, ha was again rejected when he wanted to help the girl heal - he bought oinment, but she slammed the door and called Gaara "bakemono". Such bitter experiences were common. In the end, both Naruto and Gaara turned to the better, if not the best(Naruto with the help of Iruka Sensei and the Team 7, Gaara with the unintentional help of Naruto).
Thanks to Shukaku, Gaara has the ability to control sand. The sand also protects him from harm, even against his will, using Suna no Tate (Shield of Sand). This makes Gaara almost unable to use Taijutsu. Gaara almost always carries a gourd on his back. However, instead of water being carried in it, the gourd contains sand soaked in the blood of his enemies and enhanced with chakra. Although Gaara can control any sand, and can even make sand himself, using the minerals in the ground, he can control the sand in his gourd best. With this sand, not only does Gaara always have his own sand supply, his attacks also increase in both speed and power.
Gaara's jutsu are all sand-based and, although most are simple offensive and defensive jutsu, can be used for a variety of purposes, including floating in the air (Sabaku Fuyū (Desert Suspension)) and spying (Daisan no Me (Third Eye)). While fighting, Gaara often uses a combination of Sabakukyu (The Coffin of Crushing Sand) followed by Sabakusoso (Imploding Sand Funeral). Although most of his attacks are small scale, Gaara can wreak havoc with his Ryusa Bakuryū (Quicksand in the Style of a Waterfall).
Gaara's main defense is his Suna no Tate (Shield of Sand). This shield protects Gaara from all harm, even against his will, but can still be defeated with great enough speed and strength. If his Suna no Tate fails, Gaara still has his Suna no Yoroi (Armour of Sand). This is a layer of highly compacted sand, wrapped around Gaara's body. Although it gives Gaara an almost ultimate defense, it takes a large toll on Gaara's chakra and stamina, and it also slows Gaara down.
- The name "Gaara" is made up of three Kanji, "Ga" (meaning I or me), "A" (more commonly "Ai" meaning love), and "Ra" (used here to mean a demon). Added together, they can mean, "I only love myself. I'm a demon." which really explains what kind of character he is.
- The Viz English manga misspelled his name as "Gara" when the character first appeared in the pages of the United States Shonen Jump. This error has been corrected in the graphic novels.
- Gaara is a Persian word for an extremely sour confection. Though Iran also happens to be very arid, it's just an interesting coincidence.