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Naruto: 20 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Gaara

Gaara is the Kazekage of the Village Hidden in the Sand and the former host of Shukaku the One-Tail beast. If most Naruto fans can agree on one thing, they can all say that Gaara is an amazing character and deserves all the love. He’s this great mixture of an insanely powerful ninja combined with a fairly young teenager who’s still healing from a traumatic past and learning to connect with others. He’s endlessly fascinating and wonderfully awesome.

Gaara is probably one of my favorite characters in Naruto, which is funny because I found him seriously creepy when he was first introduced. But once I saw his backstory, I began to root for this character. And once I saw how he was trying to change, thanks to Naruto, I was cheering him on. He’s this amazing character who shows that someone can change their entire outlook on life.

Another amazing thing about Gaara is just how powerful he is. He has quite the mastery over sand, and his attacks are both brutal and efficient. At the same time, he’s also devoted to his people and is willing to sacrifice himself if it means they’re safe. He also proves to be instrumental in the Fourth Great Ninja War. If you don’t like Gaara, then you’re wrong.

So how much do you actually know about our favorite sand ninja? He’s not exactly the most open of people, and his whole culture isn’t all that trusting. But over the years, we have learned some interesting things about Gaara. So here are 20 awesome facts about Gaara you probably didn’t know. Think we missed a few? Be sure to let us know!

20 Quite The Double Meaning

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Gaara does have a bit of an unusual name. But do you know what it actually means? The name Gaara can have two meanings: it can mean “self-loving demon” or “self-loving silk.” This is actually really interesting, considering Gaara’s origins and nature.

Gaara has the One-Tail beast sealed away inside his body, so he technically could be considered a type of demon. And in the beginning, Gaara has such a hatred of people and he only looks out for himself, not caring what happens to others. It makes the name rather interesting. The story behind the name, however, is a bit more mundane. Kishimoto had the name suggested to him by his editor, who got it from a ski resort. Now I’m just imagining Gaara skiing and it’s pretty funny.

19 Young And Filled With Leadership

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Each village has a leader also known as a Kage. For example, Konoha has a Hokage, and Sunakagure has a Kazekage. The ages of the different Kages often differ, but the average age for them tends to be a bit older. It makes sense; the older you are, the more mature and wiser you are (in theory), so for a village to have a young Kage is a bit rare.

And then Gaara came along. He became the Kazekage of Sunakagure (The Village Hidden in the Sand) at the age of fifteen. This actually makes him the youngest Kage ever recorded. While some people were initially leery of Gaara becoming a Kage, he proved to be quite the popular leader. He eventually earned the respect of the other Kages and the other villages and was instrumental in winning the Fourth Great Ninja War.

18 So Much In Common

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When Naruto faced Gaara in combat for the first time, he grows to understand him and see the similarities between the two. It’s through this understanding that Naruto helps Gaara to start healing from his past and to start caring about others. But do you know just how much these two have in common?

Both Naruto and Gaara had tailed beasts sealed away in them by their fathers. Both lost their mothers in infancy due to the tailed beasts. They were initially feared and ostracized by their villages, and both changed their villages’ perspective of them. Both had fathers who were the fourth Kages of their respective villages. Each of them possess the Wind Release as their chakra nature, and both are the third hosts of their tailed beasts. No wonder these two felt a connection.

17 This Team Is Unstoppable

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Gaara and his team were introduced during the Chunin exams arc of Naruto. This team consisted of Gaara and his two siblings: Kankuro and Temari. The three ninjas were the representatives of the Sunakagure village. And they made quite the team. Between Gaara’s sand abilities, Kankuro’s master puppetry, and Temari’s skill with her giant fan, you really didn’t want to mess with them.

In fact, Gaara and his siblings finished the second Chunin exam in record time. No seriously, these three finished that exam (which was a trip to the Forest of Death) in 91 minutes, which was the fastest time ever in Konoha. These guys really left the other teams in the dust. It’s probably a good thing the two villages are allies now.

16 The Meaning Of This Symbol May Surprise You

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One of the iconic elements of Gaara’s image was the character etched into his forehead. He apparently etched this symbol into his own skin using his sand, after he found out his own uncle tried to kill him. So what does the character mean? Well, it actually means “love.”

Before he snapped, Gaara tried to win the love of the village, but they turned him away, fearing him. Eventually, he realized that since no one would love him, he would have to love himself, so he would only look out for himself and hate anyone else. As a result, he became a bit of a sociopath, not caring about others and killing people mercilessly. After his fight with Naruto, he grows to realize that he must try to love others again. It’s a beautiful irony that the word love is etched into the skin of a teen who was once the embodiment of hatred.

15 His Father Is Kind Of Terrible

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Gaara certainly didn’t have a very happy childhood, and part of that is actually due to his father, Rasa. Seriously, his father may have been acting for good of his village, but as a result, Gaara got pretty screwed over (and screwed up). Not only did his father seal Shukaku the One-Tail in Gaara, but he then tried to have him killed.

Apparently, his father considered him pretty dangerous, and he was trying to draw out Gaara’s powers. He deceived Gaara into thinking that no one loved him, hoping that would help him to draw on his power, and then he arranged to have Gaara killed. There was a total of six assassination attempts on him, all of which obviously proved ineffective. Eventually, Rasa stopped trying to kill him and tried to use him instead. It’s all incredibly messed up.

14 No Sleep For This Ninja

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Can you imagine not sleeping for twelve years? Well, apparently Gaara didn’t. This was likely a contributing factor to his own mental instability. Apparently, Shukaku the One-Tail would whisper to Gaara, telling him that he would take over if Gaara ever fell asleep. So Gaara pretty much became an insomniac.

He did gain control of the insomnia and used it to his own strength. But yeah, he fought sleep for over twelve years until Shukaku was extracted from him. There is a short period where he does fall asleep, which is during his battle with Naruto. At that moment, he decided to let Shukaku take over and he fell asleep, releasing the tailed beast. Naruto managed to counteract with his own summoning jutsu, but it was a pretty intense battle. Since Shukaku is no longer a part of him, Gaara can sleep now, though we don’t know if he does.

13 He Was Mostly Gone

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Naruto is one of those shows that can get a little iffy around death. Sometimes characters will die and stay dead, sometimes characters will die briefly and then are brought back, and sometimes dead characters are brought back through a type of zombie jutsu (yeah, the Fourth Great Ninja War was a little strange). In Gaara’s case, he fell into the second category.

When Gaara was captured by the Akatsuki, they extracted Shukaku the One-Tail beast from his body. Unfortunately, this process killed Gaara, since no jinchurikki had ever survived the process of having their beast removed from them. So how is Gaara still alive? It was thanks to the older ninja Chiyo, who was also the one who sealed Shukaku inside Gaara in the first place. Through her unique jutsu, Chiyo gave her life in order to bring Gaara back.

12 A Planned Addict

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Did you know that Gaara was originally going to be an addict? In fact, Gaara’s whole character was going to be pretty different, according to Kishimoto. Even his name went through a few changes since he was going to be called Kumomaru, then Kotaru, before they settled on Gaara. But they were originally going to make him much younger too.

Initially, Kishimoto was going to introduce Kumomaro as an elite seven-year-old ninja who abused substances in order to push himself beyond his physical limitations. Yikes, a seven-year-old substance addict. That’s a little dark, even for Naruto. But Kishimoto decided to go in a different direction. And then Gaara was created. Personally, I rather like his current backstory than the one Kishimoto was going to do. This is why we rewrite, people!

11 The First To Hit Him

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Thanks to Gaara’s unique abilities, he didn’t really experience much pain or injury until he was a teenager. The sand acted as a natural protector, keeping him from any type of physical injury. As a result, it was incredibly difficult for someone to even land a hit on Gaara. Well, two people managed to do it during the Chunin exams.

Rock Lee was actually the first person to land a hit on Gaara during their fight. Thanks to Lee’s powerful taijutsu and speed, he managed to punch Gaara, surprising him. This wasn’t enough to defeat him though, and Lee ended up losing. Then Sasuke became the first person to actually injure Gaara. During their battle, Sasuke used his Chidori technique to break through Gaara’s barrier and cause him to bleed. Understandably, Gaara freaked out a bit.

10 A Unique Secret Ability

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Even Gaara has a few tricks up his sleeves. Those that are familiar with Gaara just through the anime likely don’t know that he has a rather special ability that he doesn’t use very often. This ability is called the Magnet Release Kekkei Genkai, and it allows him to control iron sand.

This ability was first revealed in the manga story Gaara Hiden. So why doesn’t he use it very often? It’s actually for a pretty good reason. Gaara doesn’t like people knowing about this ability since it helps ensure he stays one step ahead of his enemies. It’s basically a secret weapon. It also makes sense that if he doesn’t have to use it, he won’t, and his enemies won’t know everything about him. Still, it’s a pretty awesome power.

9 Interesting Tastes

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To be honest, I don’t think Gaara was ever shown eating food in the anime series (though I could be wrong). If it was shown, it wasn’t very often. I’m also pretty sure people probably believe that the guy lives on air. But Gaara does eat food, and he does have his likes and dislikes. Though they may not be what you expected.

According to the databook that you can find on Gaara, his favorite foods are salted tongue and gizzard. A little strange, but hey, you do you Gaara. On the flip side, his least favorite foods are yokan and marron glace, which are a type of sweet confections. So basically, he doesn’t really like sweets at all, and he prefers more savory foods. I can respect that.

8 His Hobby May Surprise You

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For someone as powerful and rather emotionally unattached as Gaara, it’s hard to imagine him with doing everyday things or even having simple hobbies. But there are things that Gaara likes to do besides fight. And you’d be surprised what one of his favorite hobbies is.

One of these hobbies is cultivating cacti. Yep, Gaara actually likes care for cacti. For some reason, I find this oddly adorable. And I can see why he likes cacti. He even talks about his hobby and why he likes it to other people, which is also amazing. To see this character that was introduced as a rather psychotic killer share his interest in cultivating live plants is a bit surreal. But it shows just how far Gaara has come.

7 He’s Come A Very Long Way

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If you think about it, Gaara came a long way as far as his emotional and mental development. He starts out in the series as this sociopathic killer whose hatred of everything hid a very wounded heart from a horrific childhood. But as he starts to open up and connect with others, we see him turn into this wise leader who’s willing to give up his life for his people. That’s quite the change.

I think the biggest example of his growth is when he comes face to face with his father. As he learns why his father did those things to him, he forgives his father. That’s pretty impressive, considering his father is the reason Gaara had such a horrible childhood. But Gaara just forgives him, saying that he understood that his father was looking out for the village. I don’t know if I would’ve been so forgiving. You go, Gaara!

6 He’s A Father (Sort Of)

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As far as we know, Gaara has never married or had any children, which proved to be a source of fear for the people of Sunakagure. This was mostly because Temari had married Shikamaru from Konoha. As a result, if Gaara didn’t have any type of heir, the next Kazekage could be from Konoha, which could cause some political issues. But this all changed when Gaara ended up adopting a kid.

Gaara became a foster father to a young ninja named Shinki. We don’t know much about Shinki’s origins, but apparently, he’s very fond of Gaara, telling him that his team won’t tarnish Gaara’s reputation. Shinki is proficient in the Magnet Release Kekkei Genkai as well as a Puppet Technique. Looks like this kid could prove to be as formidable as his foster father.

5 He Has An Interesting Tie To This Movie

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Kishimoto talked about Gaara’s look, saying how his first outfit was actually a little hard to draw often and keep consistent. So, he changed it up toward the end of Part I, and I have to say that Gaara looks pretty good! It definitely makes him look a bit older and more mature. But did you know this outfit had a rather interesting inspiration?

Apparently, Kishimoto said he took from the movie The Matrix for Gaara’s new look. And looking at the two, I can see the similarities. There’s the high collar, the solid colors and the almost trench coat feel to it. It’s kind of cool that action movies like The Matrix can even influence anime shows. Now I want to see Gaara in The Matrix; that would be so cool!

4 He Almost Tied The Knot

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Did you know that Gaara almost got married? Well, it was a bit of an arranged marriage. The council of Sunakagure was worried that if Gaara never got married and had kids, the next heir to the Kage role would be from Konoha since Temari married Shikamaru. So, they arranged for him to meet the woman they chose for him, Hakuto.

Gaara was actually okay with most of this since he saw the logic in it, and when he met Hakuto, he genuinely liked her. But things didn’t work out. Well, meaning that Hakuto was planning to leave Suna with her lover and elope. It was complicated, but in the end, Gaara let them go. I guess he won’t be finding love anytime soon, but I think he’s okay with that.

3 Intense Missions

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The way the missions go in Naruto is that S-rank are the highest and most dangerous, followed by A-rank, B-rank, C-rank, and D-rank. Most Genins would complete D-rank and a few C-rank missions. But most genin aren’t Gaara. Since he was a young kid, he had to fight to survive and was often forced to become stronger out of necessity. So, he proved to be quite capable at tougher missions.

When he was only a genin, which is one of the lower rankings in the ninja military, he completed many B-Rank missions. In fact, throughout his career, Gaara has completed 0 D-rank, 9 C-rank, 8 B-rank, 14 A-rank, and 3 S-rank missions. Basically, Gaara is someone you really don’t want to fight with because he will mess you up and make it look like it was painfully easy.

2 He’s Quite The Loving Uncle

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This may come as a surprise, but Gaara is actually pretty good with kids. He’s shown to give a lot of attention to his nephew Shikadai, and you can tell he loves him. He even becomes a surrogate uncle to Naruto’s kids, Boruto and Hiwamari. They love their Uncle Gaara, and you can tell he’s very fond of them.

I think Gaara likes kids because they probably don’t judge him and aren’t afraid of him. It’s probably a breath of fresh air to be around them since they don’t expect anything of him either. They just love him for who he is, which is an awesome uncle. Man, now I just want to see more of Gaara interacting with kids; it’s so cute! It also makes me glad that he did become a foster father.

1 His Backstory Is A Popular One

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One of the things that Naruto does really well is that it gives pretty interesting backstories even to the characters you may not like initially. As a result, you could sympathize with any character, even if they’re a villain. And Gaara’s backstory is really an amazing one.

When we first meet Gaara, he seems pretty sociopathic and has this deep hatred for all people, but also this cold indifference to them. Combined with his amazing power, he’s genuinely scary, and makes for a good “villain.” Then we get to his backstory, and we learn about his terrible childhood and how he was twisted and in so much pain. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve never changed my mind about a character so fast. And Kishimoto himself has said that Gaara’s backstory is his favorite from Part I. I don’t blame him; it’s truly incredible.

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