I love this family so much….I haven’t drawn them in a while so….
Also just…how precious would it be if Gaara and Shikadai bonded over cacti like do you know how happy Gaara would be oh gosh they’re adorable. I live for Temari lecturing all the men in her life and just have them all under her thumb. Poor Shikamaru is being dragged for chores.
I’ll be honest it’s been awhile since I was seriously active in the Naruto fandom, but unless something major happened, I still think he’s passed over. The sad truth is that a lot of characters deserve this spot, I considered putting Sandaime, or Ino, or Shino in here- but a lot of the flack Ino gets is because Kishimoto actually forgets he’s a decent writer whenever he puts a woman in the panels, Sandaime already has a slot, and I just prefer Kankurou over Shino anyway. Then there are the dozens of minor characters that gets thrown in and then forgotten, and then there are the characters that aren’t underrated- but get serious hatebase thrown at them like Sakura or Hinata.
But I decided on Kankurou because he is actually pretty well written, gets plenty of panel time, is actually seen to be pretty strong and fought people like Sasori and guided his own team. All things considered, Kankurou is actually pretty impressive. He just often gets overshadowed by his siblings, though to be fair, Temari and Gaara are really awesome characters.
He always kind of intrigued me, he was interesting in design and seemed a little dark/twisted but not batshitcrazy. Seeing him change from the Invasion arc and hating Gaara/not caring about Konoha, to defending Kiba in the Sasuke in a Barrel arc, to the person he was in the Sasori arc actually gave him a decent amount of development. Kankurou gained a lot of respect in the fandom during the Sasori arc and for good reason, he was smart, didn’t enjoy putting up with council bullshit, a protective older brother, and just seemed to really step in his character.
Sadly, even with that respect he’s still often looked over or just plain forgotten and that’s a shame because he’s serious awesome. Maybe he could trade Temari with some of her fanbase and he could give her some of his panel time, come on Kishimoto use her.
So I can easily imagine Kankurou going “hey Sai, can you paint something cool on my face? Like, make me a tiger or something awesome like that”. Sai will probably agree to this, sit down and pout his lips as he thoroughly goes through all the coolest animals in his mind. Of course Kankurou will get fascinated by those lucious lips and unconciously makes kissy lips himself.
(Also, Sai will probably end up making something like a rat of Kankurou, and start summing up all the cool things about rats when he deduces from Kankurou’s response that it was not what he had hoped for, after which Kankurou goes about doing his business, proudly wearing Sai’s face painting)