one tailed shukaku

Gaara - From The Village Weapon to the Village Leader

On August 6th, I was asked by an Anon:

Hi I am the Gaara anon. I would prefer an analysis on his development from monster to kazekage and maybe his development on his relationships with people in his village (like his siblings for example). As always love your posts so much <3

So I FINALLY got this done! Goodness gracious!

Anon, and also @catsandchelsea, this is for you :)

From Gaara’s very first appearance in the series, where he made his older brother look like his bitch:

It was clear that there was something very peculiar about him, something very dark about him.

This sinister aura of of mystery surrounding Gaara persisted well into the Chuunin exams where he demonstrated his ruthlessness, causing even someone as calm and collected as Shino to loose his cool. It was almost as if Gaara was functioning as an emotionless weapon designed for the sole purpose of eliminating anyone who dared to stand in the Hidden Sand’s way. And as it turns out, this wasn’t too far from the truth.

It was later revealed that due to several heavy cuts to the Hidden Sand’s budget, Rasa, the Fourth Kazekage and Gaara’s father, wanted to make one of his children the jinchūriki of the One-Tailed beast Shukaku, in order to serve as a weapon for the village, to compensate for their impending lack of funds.

As it turms out, Gaara was the only one of Rasa’s children who was compatible with Shukaku, and so the beast was sealed within him prior to his birth. But unfortunately, the process of giving birth to the jinchúriki proved to be too much for Gaara’s mother, Karura, and she died during the childbirth:

This seemed to have had a rather adverse affect on Gaara’s psyche, because it was due to this that he deemed himself to have been born a monster:

And as if Gaara’s general outlook on life wasn’t skewed enough already, his father intentionally avoided giving Gaara any forms of discipline. All he knew of was how to be a weapon through Rasa’s tutelage of the ways of the shinobi, and in turn, Gaara came to view that as “love”:

However, it would only get worse.

Due to the increasingly unstable nature of Gaara’s powers, he grew to be more of a liability rather than an asset in Rasa’s eyes, and so the latter organised a total of 6 assassination attempts on his own son (the first of which being by Yashamaru, his maternal uncle whom Gaara thought he could trust). However, Gaara would survive every attempt:

After having been very confused regarding why his own father would organise so many assassination attempts, Gaara came to question the purpose of his very existence. He eventually reached the twisted conclusion that his reason for living, was to kill everyone besides himself, like a true monster:

In order amplify the negative emotions within Gaara, Rasa told Yashamaru to hide the true facts regarding Karura from Gaara. In actuality, Gaara’s mother truly loved him:

However, Yashamaru was instructed to instead inform Gaara that Karura never loved him, that the sand’s protection was a product of Shukaku and not his mother’s love, and that she named him due to how she apparently viewed him - as “A demon that loves only himself”:

This seemed to be the final catalyst required in order to push Gaara over the edge. After not only having lost everything he cared for, but also discovering that this care was apparently only one sided from his part, Gaara decided that from that point forward, he would live up to his namesake by loving only himself. To that end, he used his sand to etch the kanji for “love” (愛) onto the left side of his forehead:

And subsequently found a new determination to become the lethal asset that his father had always envisioned for him. That was the moment in which he truly became a weapon:

It was due to his newfound singular focus on himself, that Gaara eventually learned to control the abilities he was granted, and became the lethal weapon that the Hidden Sand village needed at the time. This prompted Rasa to cease his assassination attempts, and opt to find a use for him instead.

However, everything changed for Gaara following the conclusion of his fight with Naruto. Naruto, himself being a Jinchúriki who was shunned and distrusted by the village populace, was able to empathise with Gaara deeply:

Gaara saw how despite their similar treatment at the hands of their respective villages, Naruto was still fighting hard for the sake of others, and it confused him. He couldn’t understand Naruto’s motives, his incentives, his reason for living. Up until this point, Gaara had firmly ingrained within himself the belief that he should live only for himself. And yet here Naruto was, in the same position as he was, yet he fought for others:

But from Naruto’s words, Gaara realised that he had mistakenly been associating everyone else with the people who had mistreated him in the past. Naruto didn’t allow the actions of some people to influence his opinion on those who did him no harm:

Gaara saw that Naruto was fighting for those who had grown to be precious to him, and he remembered the wise words that were spoken to him all those years ago. They were only now beginning to make sense.

Following this new found perspective on life, love and his reason for living, Gaara was eventually chosen to become the fifth Kazekage of the Hidden Sand village:

However, the journey to obtaining this elevated position was a long and hard one. Those who held the title of “Kage” were a symbol of universal acceptance within their villages. Yet, around 2 years prior to his inauguration, many of the residents within the Hidden Sand still viewed Gaara as “a frightening weapon”:

However, in contrast to his previous mentality where he would have just accepted the belief without care, now he wanted to do something about it. He wanted to take the initiative, he wanted to have an active role in improving his image to the people of his village because no longer desired to be viewed as nothing but a weapon; that wasn’t who he was:

He was no longer fighting solely for himself; he was fighting for his family, for the new people he could proudly call his friends, and for his village that had grown to be dear to him. Because after Naruto had opened his eyes, Gaara now wished to be respected by everyone, rather than be feared:

He yearned for someone to wish for his aid, so that he could genuinely help someone, and embrace their gratitude, not as a weapon to be feared…

But as their leader, and someone who they could always rely on for a helping hand in their moment of need:

Therefore, Gaara’s successful appointment as Kazekage was a representation of the universal acceptance he eventually received from the village, and it was on full display when he was protecting them from Deidara. He undoubtedly had the entire village behind him:

And when Deidara dropped a huge bomb on the village which threatened to decimate it in its entirety:

Gaara demonstrated his new convictions, by using an enormous amount of chakra to shield the entire village, his village, from the blast:

And the lengths to which Gaara was willing to go to in order to protect them didn’t go unnoticed by the grateful spectators, who looked on in awe at their leader, putting his life on the line to shield them:

Gaara’s skills and qualities as a leader were so great, that despite his amazingly young age (just 17), he was made the Commander General of the Allied Shinobi Forces, as a testament to the strength of his character:

And the speech that Gaara gave as the war commenced, truly embodied the journey that Gaara had been on to get to that point. He mentioned how a “lust for power” gave birth to him, with the intention of turning him into the ultimate weapon, devoid of all emotions barring hatred:

But he highlighted the role Naruto had in changing all of that for him:

Despite their status as enemies on the battlefield, Naruto cried for him and empathised with him, because he was able to truly understand Gaara’s pain. He used this example to signify to the rest of them that despite the petty grievances that existed between them, in that moment, they could all unite because they shared the same pain:

They were all suffering due to Akatsuki’s actions, and in that moment, there were no Hidden Sand, Mist, Leaf, Cloud or Stone villages; they were all just “ninjas”, united under a common cause:

Gaara’s ability to concoct a motivational speech as effective as this one just added to the list of justifications for his appointment as the Commander General of the Allied Shinobi Forces. Just look at the overwhelmingly positive response he obtained:

Just moments prior to his speech, the majority of them were at each other’s throats. Now, they were cheering and offering their unconditional support for their Commander General. Temari was right, Gaara was amazing.

Once the war had begun, Gaara eventually found himself facing opposition in the form of his resurrected father, Rasa. And soon afterwards, even Ohnoki swallowed his pride and stated how despite his young age, Gaara was a fine Kage who gained the respect of his peers:

The conversation inevitably switched to the truth regarding Gaara’s past - his birth, the foundation of his sand’s protective nature, and what his mother truly though about him.

Rasa revealed to Gaara that Yashamaru’s initial words to Gaara were no lie; Karura did truly love him, and the source behind his sand’s innate desire to protect him wasn’t derived from Shukaku’s influence. No, it was fully due to his mother’s love and her sincere desire to protect him. Gaara’s protective sand is essentially the manifestation of Karura’s will:

And for her love to be so powerful, to be able to influence the very sands to protect her child forever… That’s incredible, truly incredible. That’s

And what better way to demonstrate this - the strength of Karura’s love and her desire to protect her son, than for Gaara’s sand to take the form of his mother:

Following these revelations, Gaara was brought to tears. After all these years of believing that his mother hated him and that he was born through resentment, he finally found solace in the knowledge that his mother loved him:

Rasa could see how much this information meant to Gaara. I don’t think he was fully aware of how deep Gaara’s emotional trauma actually was, and you could see the regret etched in Rasa’s face, as he continued to not only reiterate how much Karura loved Gaara, but also to reveal how proud he was that Gaara had managed to not only become Kazekage, but also to make real friends, and form real connections and bonds with others:

And in turn, Gaara revealed to his father that his words were so uplifting that they were akin to medicine; they were helping to heal his broken heart, and mend the emotional wounds that had troubled him for so long. After all this time, Gaara had finally been set free from this burden:

And in his final moments, being prouder than he had ever been in his actual life, Rasa faded with a genuine smile, and entrusted the Hidden Sand village to his son, because he knew they’d be in good hands:

And of course, he was right. Gaara would proceed to enjoy a long and successful tenure as the Kazekage, and would later be acknowledged as even more of a hero than he already was, after he and the other Kages aided Naruto, Sasuke and Boruto in defeating Momoshiki:

When looking back at how Gaara developed from being a lethal weapon who loved and fought for his sake alone, to someone who earnestly wanted to lead, bond with and live for the sake of those who were dear to him, you realise how amazing his journey truly was:

This person, who was once regarded as an unstable monster in his village for slaughtering many innocents, was now their Kazekage; someone who they trusted and believed in with all of their hearts. Gaara of the Sand pioneered this, and truly demonstrated that indeed, no one is irredeemable ^_^

Has anyone else noticed this about Deidara's C4?

It’s called ‘C4 Karura’ if I remember correctly. And Karura is Gaara’s mother.

I find it hard to believe it’s a coincidence.

Although Deidara might have named it after her after he extracted Shukaku from Gaara, I actually have a different theory.

(This is purely headcanon so feel free to ignore)

We don’t know if Sasori was alive at the same time as Karura, but I assume so. (Obviously before Gaara’s birth) So what if Sasori just let slip this little story about the kind young teen lady who lived next door but always made sure to buy him candy or ice cream and cheer him up, and Deidara just chose that name for his technique. In Sasori’s honor, because we only find out about C4 after Sasori’s first death.

Someone write a fanfic about this please. Or I might end up doing it.