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Gaara part 1

Gaara is a character in the Naruto series. He is the Fifth Kazekage of Sunagakure, the youngest son of the Fourth Kazekage and his wife, Karura, and the younger the brother of Temari and Kankuro.

Background

Gaara was born to the Fourth Kazekage and his wife, Karura, in the village of Sunagakure twelve years before the start of the series. Prior to his birth, his father had Chiyo, one of Suna's elders, seal Shukaku, the One-Tail(a member of a group of entities known as the tailed beasts), into Gaara, in hopes that he would become the ultimate weapon for the village. However, this action caused Gaara's mother to die shortly after his birth, despite his father's desperate attempts to save her. Growing up, Gaara regularly attacked villagers accidently due to lacking control of the powers he received from Shukaku. Despite the threat that he posed, Gaara's father still loved him dearly and gave him one last chance to prove his worth by controlling Shukaku. After having everyone in the village evacuated, Gaara's father had his uncle, Yashamaru, corner him and try to kill him, but Gaara easily defeated him, only to be horrified when he saw who it was. Following the order from the Kazekage, Yashamaru told Gaara a horrible lie about his mother in order to see how well he could control Shukaku under the most powerful emotional moment possible, before igniting some explosive kegs under his shirt to try and kill Gaara. This failed and quickly afterward, Gaara, overcome by dispair, released Shukaku and his father subdued the beast and began to send assassins to kill Gaara. Believing no one loved him, Gaara became bloodthirsty and cruel, caring only for himself, and came to believe he existed to kill every other person alive after killing the assassins his father sent for him. Gaara then began to exercise better control over his powers, and his father cancelled all assassination orders in hopes that Gaara would become the ultimate weapon as he was born to be.

Naruto

Gaara made his debut in part 1 of the series, alongside his siblings, Temari and Kankuro, as they arrived in Konohagakure to participate in the Chunin Exams, while really undercover to help destroy the village. Gaara first interfered with Kankuro's attempt to start a fight with Sasuke Uchiha, one of the village's gennin, who intrigued him, and forced Temari and Kankuro to leave with him, identifying himself to Sasuke when the latter requested his name. Gaara later took part in the first phase of the exam and used his Third Eye technique to acquire the answers to the test when he realized it was necessary to cheat and not get caught doing so to pass. Afterwards, Gaara and his siblings took part in the second phase of the exams, the Forest of Death, where Gaara killed Shigure, a shinobi from Amegakure, in a fight and brutally murdered his teammates, who he said looked at him the wrong way, before he and his siblings took their scroll, which they needed to pass, and proceeded to the tower at the center of the forest. As so many had survived the second phase, a preliminary fight round began.

Continuing to act as leader of his group, Gaara ordered Temari back with he and Kankuro after she started to mess around with Rock Lee after her match ended. After he was matched up against Lee, Gaara initially proved to be too much for Lee, his automatic Shield of Sand being too quick and strong for Lee to get through. After Lee removed his weights, he managed to bypass Gaara's Shield of Sand and strike him down, but Gaara's secondary sand defense, his Armor of Sand, was then revealed and had completely protected him. Lee then opened one of the inner Eight Gates(inner chakra valves that limit chakra flow through the body), kicked Gaara into the air, and slammed him through the concrete floor. However, Gaara had switched places with an empty sand shell when Lee shut his eyes, and then appeared behind Lee, retaliating on him via crushing blows and tosses with his sand.

However, Lee managed to regain his composure and began to evade Gaara's attacks. After Lee opened four of the inner Eight Gates, Gaara could do nothing as Lee kicked him into the air and began to pound him back and forth in several directions. Still protected by his Armor of Sand, Gaara was then repelled through the floor after Lee opened a fifth gate and used his Hidden Lotus move on Gaara, but he was able to cushion his fall by softening the gourd on his back into a pillow. Gaara then retaliated on the heavily weakened Lee, crushing his left arm and leg, knocking him unconscious. Before he could finish Lee, Might Guy, his teacher, intervened and Gaara won the match. During the month that the Third Hokage gave the winners to come up with new tricks, Gaara paid visits to Sasuke Uchiha, who Gaara could tell was like him from his eyes, and told him that when they fought, which had already been decided, the latter was his prey, and Rock Lee, who he tried to kill in the hospital to give himself some pleasure, but was stopped by Naruto Uzumaki and Shikamaru Nara, two other preliminary winners, who he also tried to kill, but was stopped once again by Might Guy and left, swearing to kill them one day anyway.

At the Chunin Exams finals battle arena, Gaara brutally murdered a pair of Kusagakure shinobi working for a Daimyo, who tried to intimidate him into losing his fight with Sasuke, and proceeded to excitingly battle Sasuke. After Sasuke overwhelmed Gaara, having copied Rock Lee's taijutsu with his Sharingan, Gaara encased himself in a cocoon of sand and used his Third Eye technique to watch Sasuke, while he began to transform in Shukaku, his tailed beast. However, Sasuke wounded him with his Chidori and stopped the process, causing the sand to crumble down. Orochimaru, an S-rank missing-nin formerly of Konohagakure, then began the destruction of Konohagakure, and Gaara's siblings carried him out of the village to tend to his wound, as he could no longer serve his role in destroying the village at that point, but they were pursued by Sasuke. Though Temari and Kankuro both stayed behind to hold Sasuke off at different points, Sasuke managed to keep on their trail. When Temari stopped to tend to his wound, Gaara punched her away and gave Sasuke an icy glare as he appeared in front of him.

Pointing out their similarities and differences, Gaara finally began to transform into a miniature form of Shukaku, horrifying Sasuke. Continuing their battle, Gaara assaulted Sasuke with his greatly enhanced strength and speed, Sasuke continuing to use Chidori to counter. Gaara regenerated any damage done by Sasuke quickly and nearly killed him when he collapsed, only to be repelled by Naruto Uzumaki, who had arrived as back-up alongside Sakura Haruno, his teammate. Gaara pinned Sakura to a tree when she got in his way and, intrigued by Naruto's abilities, hurt her to force Naruto to fight. As they engaged in battle, Gaara easily overwhelmed Naruto at first, but after the latter stabbed an explosive tag under his tail, Gaara's defense was reduced tremendously when it exploded, and he was overpowered by the 2,000 shadow clones Naruto then created. Baffled by Naruto's sudden strength and unwilling to lose to him, Gaara released the complete, gigantic form of Shukaku and destroyed the shadow clones. Trapping Naruto in his Sand Binding Coffin technique, Gaara attempted to crush him to death, but Naruto summoned Gamabunta, a giant toad, and broke free.

After Gamabunta cut off Gaara's right arm, Gaara became so entrigued, that he emerged from within the Shukaku transformation and used his Feigning Sleep Technique to force himself asleep and allow Shukaku to fight in his place in the battle. While Shukaku proved to be an extremely dangerous threat, Gamabunta and Naruto performed a Combination Transformation Technique into a giant fox(Kurama, the Nine-Tails, Naruto's tailed beast, in the anime) and managed to cling to Shukaku, allowing Naruto to punch Gaara and wake him up, suppressing Shukaku. Gaara then, despite Gamabunta's attempt to block him, caught Naruto and tried to kill him, but Naruto released some of Kurama's chakra, broke free, and headbutted Gaara, causing Shukaku's body to crumble. Afterwards, they engaged in taijutsu combat, and Naruto defeated Gaara. Witnessing Naruto's undying devotion to his friends, Gaara realized that love was his source of strength and opted to become like him, apologizing to Temari and Kankuro for his harsh treatment of them as they carried him home, which greatly puzzled them.

Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro were later called on by Tsunade, the newly appointed Fifth Hokage, to aid the Sasuke Retrieval Squad in bringing back Sasuke Uchiha to Konohagakure when the latter fled to join sides with Orochimaru. Gaara arrived in time to prevent Kimimaro, Orochimaru's most powerful follower, from killing Rock Lee, and fought him in his stead. Gaara managed to easily overwhelm Kimimaro with his immense sand techniques, capturing and crushing him in his sand multiple times, even when the latter made use of his Cursed Seal of Earth(one of a series of empowering marks Orochimaru gave to all his strongest and most loyal followers)'s complete first stage. After Kimimaro utilized the second stage of his Cursed Seal, Gaara was struck and repelled, but remained unharmed due to his Armor of Sand. Gaara then used his Ultimately Hard Absolute Defense: Shield of Shukaku to counter Kimimaro's two-part Dance of the Clematis and burried him 200 meters below the soil, levitating himself and Rock Lee to evade Kimimaro's final assault, the Dance of Seedling Fern. However, Kimimaro emerged from one of the bones and almost killed Gaara, but died of his fatal disease before he could. Afterwards, Gaara and Lee returned to Konohagakure and he later safely returned home with his siblings after the completion of their mission, though they helped out the shinobi academy before leaving in the anime.

In part 2, Gaara had become the Fifth Kazekage during the timeskip, and was watching over his village when he noticed Deidara, a bomb-weilding member of Akatsuki, a criminal organization of S-rank missing-nin, who was searching for him, and confronted him. The two engaged in a brutal, aerial battle, in which Gaara outmatched Deidara in brute force, crushing his left arm and keeping him on the run for most of the battle. However, Deidara took advantage of Gaara's duty to protect Sunagakure, dropping one of his most powerful bombs on the village. Gaara managed to protect the village entirely by using all his remaining chakra to summon a immense sand shield that completely blocked the explosion. Deidara then forced his automatic Shield of Sand to act and detonated explosives left in his sand when his arm was crushed from within the sand sphere that sheltered Gaara, causing it to crumble. Barely conscious, Gaara managed to keep awake long enough to move the sand he used to protect his village into the desert and passed out. He was then kidnapped and taken to Akatsuki's hideout by Deidara, where Shukaku was removed from his body, resulting in his death. Gaara was later revived by Chiyo, an elder of Sunagakure, who was being provided chakra by Naruto Uzumaki, and he resumed his reign as Kazekage.

Gaara and his siblings later appeared at a meeting of the five Kage at the request of A, the Fourth Raikage. Gaara was the first to speak at the summit, despite being the youngest and being treated rudely by Onoki, the Third Tsuchikage, and his suggestions, aside from an alliance between the five Kage and their villages, were ultimately rejected due to his young age. Gaara and his siblings later left in pursuit of A after he went to find Sasuke Uchiha, who had attempted to, but failed to kidnap A's brother Killer B, when his presence was revealed. Gaara arrived in time to prevent A from killing Sasuke, and attempted to convince him to turn from his corrupt ways one more time, before continuing the battle A started. Gaara's automatic Shield of Sand proved to be faster and stronger than the Amaterasu, forcing Sasuke to cause the ceiling to collapse to escape from Gaara. After saving his siblings and Darui, one of A's bodyguards, Gaara returned to the conference room with the group, where they were met by Obito Uchiha, the leader of Akatsuki, who told them of his Eye of the Moon Plan(really Madara Uchiha's plan to create a peaceful world in an illusion). Obito ended his speech demanding that the Kage turn over Naruto and Killer B, the Eight-Tails jinchuriki, and the Kage refused, prompting Obito to declare the start of the Fourth Shinobi World War.

Gaara then agreed to let A lead the Allied Shinobi Forces and that Naruto and Killer B should not be allowed to participate in the war since they were Obito's targets. He also suggested Kakashi Hatake to replace Danzo Shimura, the acting Sixth Hokage, as Hokage, Danzo having proven unworthy of trust. A left the task of informing Kakashi of this decision to Gaara, so he and his siblings paid him and Naruto a visit on their way home and informed them of everything that happen at the summit. Much of Gaara's effort was spent trying to convince Naruto that trying to save Sasuke was foolish and that if he had truly resolved to become Hokage, then he would have to do what needed doing as Sasuke's friend, a lesson Gaara had learned from having become Kazekage. Afterwards, Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro returned safely home, where they were informed that the Daimyo had approved of the Allied Shinobi Forces formation. Gaara and Temari later appeared at another meeting of the five Kage in Kumogakure, where Gaara explained to Tsunade, who had been able to resume her reign as Fifth Hokage, that they had made the choice not to allow Naruto and Killer B to partake in the war as a group and that he knew Naruto was the kind of person that would get reckless to protect those close to him.

Gaara is later made Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces and leader of the Fourth Division, and, after uniting his men as friends through a speech, he leads his division to a rocky terrain, where Gaara surrounds the position with his sand to use a sensing device. After he detects Mu, the revived Second Tsuchikage, Gaara uses his Third Eye technique to locate him and three other revived Kage, including his father. After the Fourth Division retreat for as far as they can, Gaara uses his Quicksand Waterfall Flow technique to attack the revived Kage, but his father counters with his gold dust wave. After he arrives, Gaara converses with his father about all that had happened to him since his death, and the two engage in battle. Gaara easily defeats his father, and the latter tells him the truth about his mother, bringing Gaara to tears as he seals his father away as the latter entrusts Sunagakure to him, acknowledging Gaara had surpassed in more ways that he could have hoped. Gaara then begins to aid Onoki in his battle with Mu, and Gaara is surprised when Naruto suddenly appears and the trio work together to seal Mu.

Hearing Naruto's explanation as to why hes there, Gaara, Onoki, and Naruto head for the next battlefield. Gaara arrives to confront the Second Mizukage, who had killed many of Gaara's men. Conversing with the Second, Gaara locates his Giant Clan summon and allows Onoki to destroy it. Saving Onoki from the Second, Gaara entombs the latter in a sand pyramid, which is then bound by sealing tags. Before the division can rejoice, a huge explosion occurs, and the Second's smiling face appears in the sky above. Looking on in horror, Gaara wonders if this was another genjutsu, but Onoki explains that it was the Second's Infinite Explosions Ninjutsu, Steaming Danger Tyranny, which not even Mu, the Second's rival, could counter. Listening to Onoki explain the technique as a clone of the Second appears, Gaara attempts to attack it, but it dodges. Gaara locates the Second's real body and reseals him inside the sand pyramid, but the clone rips of the tags before they can be used. After the Second emerges and refuses to aid them further, Gaara questions if he has decided to join the enemy's side, but the Second declares that he is only doing it to let them prove their strength since if they can't stop him, they couldn't possibly expect to defeat the enemy's leader.

Gaara then protects the division as his automatic Shield of Sand does him from the Second's clone as it explodes again and, when it reforms, Gaara disables it with traces of his father's gold dust and the Second's hail contained in his sand. Explaining to the Mizukage how he had done this, the Second beams at the young Kazekage, praising him as the "golden egg" of the five current Kage. Gaara then seals the Mizukage for good as Naruto arrives, and later watches in surprise when he sees Mu appear again. When Onoki recognizes the man with him to be Madara Uchiha, Gaara draws everyone's attention to Madara's eyes, which revealed that he was revived by the Impure World Reincarnation, and that Obito was an imposter. Gaara attacks Madara, but the latter dodges and uses a Fire Release technique to counter. After Madara commandeers a sword and cuts down several of his men, Gaara uses his sand to catch the blade to allow an opening for attack, but Madara repels the attacker. Gaara then uses sand lightened by Onoki to drag Madara out of his Susanoo when he uses it, and into the path of Naruto's Rasenshuriken. However, Madara activates his Rinnegan and absorbs the attack. When Madara soon uses his Susanoo and RInnegan together to summon a meteorite, Gaara questions if Madara has the power of a god.

Gaara and Onoki work together and manage to stop the descent of the meteorite, and Madara commends them, before bringing down a second meteorite on the first, overwhelming them and devastating most of the Fourth Division. Relatively unhurt, Gaara checks on Onoki, who had been severely wounded. As Madara and Mu charge at them, A and Tsunade arrive and repel them, before Mei, the Fifth Mizukage, is teleported to their location. Tsunade then begins to heal Gaara and Onoki, as A and Mei distract Madara, and the two later counter Madara's Yasaka Magatama technique. As the battle rages on, Gaara levitates himself, Tsunade, and Mei above Madara's Wood Release: Nativity of a World of Flowering Trees, but the latter knocks the five Kage into the forest from behind, where they lose consciousness from the pollen there. After Onoki saves them from death, Gaara and the other Kage watch in shock as they see a face formed on Madara's chest from the DNA of Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage. After Tsunade strikes Madara with a powerful punch, Gaara takes the time to seal him in a sand pyramid, but is surprised to see Madara impale Tsunade from below and reveal that he had sealed only a wood clone substitute.

Gaara is later shocked further when Madara creates 25 more wood clones, surrounding Gaara and the other Kage with five each. Gaara saves Mei from death, but is overpowered by the clones he is fighting. While he agrees with Mei that Madara is too strong, the two join the other Kage in a combined assault on Madara, that obliterates his clones and partially destroys Madara himself. Gaara then uses sand and sealing tags contained with Mei's Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet Technique to try and seal Madara after A's lightning numbs him, but Madara releases his complete, gigantic Susanoo, the perfect form of the technique, and overwhelms their efforts. Watching on in horror and awe, Gaara and the other Kage are repelled by a single swing of Susanoo's sword, which also demolishes several mountains. Gaara then stands with the others to face Madara again, and watches in continuous surprise and shock when Madara's Susanoo disappears and he releases his contract with the Impure World Reincarnation, and remains in the battlefield regardless. Though Onoki tries to keep Madara from leaving when he decides to go after Naruto, Gaara and the other Kage are ultimately defeated and left critically wounded. Tsunade states that she can still save Gaara and the others after summoning her partner slug, Katsuyu. Though Tsunade was at first unsuccessful, being too badly hurt and low on chakra herself even with Katsuyu's help, Orochimaru soon arrived with two of his former followers, who he has work together to heal Tsunade and she heals Gaara and the others without further trouble.

After he is healed, Gaara tells the other Kage that he will transport them to the battlefield with his sand so that they can conserve their chakra after Katsuyu tells them the current standings on the battlefield. When they get close, Gaara and the other Kage see the Ten-Tails' final form, the Shinju, before soon being telepathically contacted by a wood clone of the revived First Hokage, Hashirama Senju, who tells them the current standings on the battlefield and of what the original learned from Madara Uchiha about the Shinju. Later, Gaara and the other Kage eventually arrived on the battlefield. After Onoki comments that they could not accomplish Hashirama's dream, which they learned through the same telepathy technique he had contacted them through, witnessing at the same time the first meeting of the five Kage, Gaara agrees with the Tsuchikage that losing was not an option. Contemplating that Naruto had already become a necessary existence and that now they would both save the world, Gaara, taking command of some of his village's troops, orders them to follow his lead. Leading his troops in an assault on the Shinju, along with the other Kage, Gaara contemplates that this was their time to win. After Naruto begins to try and pull the tailed beasts from Obito Uchiha's body, given he does not have any chakra from the Shukaku, Gaara, having once been one with the One-Tail, decides to use his power to help pull Shukaku out. After they successfully remove all the beasts from Obito, Gaara asks Shukaku to help him use his Desert Layered Imperial Funeral technique on a larger scale to seal Madara, insisting that it was not an order and that he could ask someone else willing to help if he didn't want to, to which Shukaku agreed, noting it was not for him, before Gaara talks with Son Goku, the Four-Tails, and states that he considers Naruto his first true friend when the latter says they had decided together to help Naruto, and they all set out to confront Madara, later finding themselves face-to-face with the legendary shinobi after he had been brought back to life by Obito.

When he begins to attack, Gaara and Shukaku shoot a barrage of sand bullets at Madara, shooting him through several times to no effect. Gaara then immobilizes Madara with particles of sand from inside him, allowing the tailed beasts to beat Madara around. After he is pinned down by the Six-Tails, Gaara and Shukaku work together and seal him inside a giant sand pyramid, only for Madara to easily break out with his Susanoo, much to their surprise. Afterwards, Gaara, naruto, B, and the tailed beasts are repelled by a huge attack from Madara fter he regains his Rinnegan, much to his puzzlement. After Madara had restrained the beasts and prepared to absorb them in the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, Gaara uses his sand to stop him from absorbing Shukaku, stating he'd do so over his dead body. Shukaku then catches Madara's Susanoo Sword when he throws it at Gaara, using it to instead cut his chains. Gaara, however, is still overpowered when Madara reclaims control of the blade and directs it at him, his sand still managing to block it, however. Though Shukaku tells him not to push himself too hard, Gaara states he can keep fighting as his equal. Shocked when Madara begins dragging in all the beasts, Gaara hears out a request from Kurama before hes extracted from Naruto, much to Gaara's shock. Catching Naruto as he passes out, Gaara, desperate to save him, flies him to Tsunade on his sand, instructing her to come with him and help Naruto. When she relates she hasn't the chakra to save Naruto, Gaara takes Sakura instead. When her medical ninjutsu don't have any effect, Gaara explains this is likely because Kurama was extracted from Naruto. Declaring they might still be able to save Naruto if Madara is defeated, Gaara states they must hurry to where the Fourth Hokage is.

After Sakura begins a more desperate procedure, Gaara wraps his sand around her to keep her on it as he begins to fly faster. When they arrive on the Fourth's location, Gaara relates that if he transfers his half of Kurama into Naruto, it will save his life, before joining Kakashi to hold off Black Zetsu. However, the latter manages to thwart Minato's atttempt to transfer his half by getting between him and Naruto as he starts, absorbing the second half of Kurama into himself, much to Gaara's shock, which increased all the more when Madara, now the Ten-tails' perfect jinchuriki, suddenly arrives on battlefield too. Realizing that the other half of Kurama was inside Black Zetsu, Gaara mobilizes with Kakashi in preparation to get him back as latter started to unbind from Obito, only for Obito to stop him midway. Listening patiently as the master and student talked, Gaara, Minato, and Kakashi attempted a perfectly-timed assault to prevent Obito from seemingly joining Madara's side, only for the latter to effortlessly overwhelm them in a few seconds and beat back their assault. After successful efforts to save Naruto occured and Might Guy arrived and saved Kakashi's life, Gaara noted to him and Minato that their respective taijutsu and senjutsu abilities were the only means they had of fighting Madara, only for Guy to be easily overwhelmed and nearly killed by Madara when he attempted to use seven of the inner Eight Gates against him. WHen Madara overwhelms Guy and he starts to use all eight instead, Gaara wonders what hes doing and feels sympathy for Lee when Kakashi tells him Guy will die after using all eight gates. When Minato come up with and relates a strategy to Gaara and the others, Gaara uses his sand to transport Kakashi close to Madara so he can, with his near blind left eye, use his Kamui technique to create a hole in Madara's defense, allowing Guy to strike and repel him. When Naruto arrives back and saves Guy from certain death, Gaara asks that they exchange Sake cups when he becomes Hokage, to which Naruto agrees.

When Madara regains both of his Rinnegan and starts devastating the landscape around them with his Chibaku Tensei, Gaara flies himself, Lee, and Guy away, saying Naruto and the others would be fine and that they had to get away from that area for now, only for them to quickly be caught in Madara's Infinite Tsukuyomi when he casts it and tethered to the Shinju so it can reclaim its chakra from them.

Personality

Gaara initially tried to be friendly and kind to others as a child, despite their cruel treatment of him, but after Yashamaru's lie about his mother, Gaara became bloodthirty and cruel, murdering anyone he wanted and caring only for himself. However, after he was defeated by Naruto, Gaara reformed, realizing that he wanted to be like Naruto from then on, and becoming a close friend of his. Gaara is a very mature Kage for his age, believing that the belief of prior generations to maintain prestige was old-fashioned thinking, and that cooperation between the five Kage and their villages was fundemental in defeating Akatsuki. Gaara has also shown wisdom from beyond his years, shown during his reunion with Sasuke Uchiha at the Five Kage Summit, wherein he tried to be a friend to Sasuke and lead him from his corrupt ways. Gaara is very close to his brother and sister, and while he remains just as ruthless towards his opponents as he was before, he is very protective of allies and innocent people, as shown throughout part 2 of the series. Despite his emotionless demeanor, Gaara has shown to have a sense of humor, as when the Second Mizukage said that he and Naruto made a good duo, having previously stated humorously that while Gaara was smart, Naruto seemed like an idiot, Gaara smiled and agreed with him. Gaara is also usually quite calm, collected, and fearless, and has only lost his composure a small number of times throughout the series. The greatest example of this was shown when he, despite being heavily outmatched, fought alongside the other Kage against Madara Uchiha until he was defeated and left for dead by the legendary shinobi. Gaara is also quite perceptive and observant, being the first to recognize that Madara was revived and, in part 1, being able to recognize the true purpose of Ibiki Morino's test in Chunnin Exams, as well as recognizing Deidara as an intruder simply from the look of his clay bird, which he knew wasn't native to the desert.

Powers and Abilities

Gaara is an extremely powerful shinobi, so much that he became Kazekage as a teenager. His power is such that he was made Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces during the Fourth Shinobi World War, despite his young age and lack of experience, and all of his fellow Kage respect his power. In the history of his village, Gaara is the strongest Kazekage of all. Gaara has been able to easily defeat his father and defeat the Second Mizukage, both one-on-one, prompting the latter to praise him as the golden egg of the five current Kage. Gaara's father acknowledged that he had surpassed him in more ways than he could have hoped for, and entrusted Sunagakure to him. Even as a Gennin, Gaara was easily as powerful as a Jonin, and is presently the overall strongest member of the five Kage. For the entirety of his life as a jinchuriki, having been trained into a shinobi by his father by the time he was six, Gaara has always been a very powerful fighter, able to easily hold his own against any opponent, once even defeating a Sunagakure Anbu(his uncle in disguise) quickly and decisively. Another true testament to Gaara's power at his young age is the fact that he was able to hold his own against five wood clones of Madara Uchiha, all of which were clad in complete Susanoo, for a long period of tme, only being overpowered when he turned his attention to saving Mei Terumi, the Fifth Mizukage, when she was about to be killed by her own clones. Notably, many of Gaara's enemies throughout the series have underestimated him, as Rock Lee and Kimimaro both did in part 1, which led to the former nearly being crippled by Gaara, despite his use of the inner Eight Gates, and to the latter being easily and quickly overwhelmed for the majority of his fight with Gaara, nearly dying each time. In part 2, even powerful, S-rank members of Akatsuki like Deidara, who managed to defeat him, by his own admission underestimated Gaara, losing his left arm and being kept on the run for the majority of their battle in the process. Sasuke Uchiha, a possessor of the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan and master of its techniques, has tried and failed twice to successfully defeat Gaara, being outmatched from the beginning each time, nearly dying once.

As the jinchuriki of Shukaku, the One-Tailed beast, Gaara has the ability to manipulate sand at will with his chakra, an ability he retained even after Shukaku was removed from him. He always carries around a large callabash-shaped gourd made of sand on his back that is filled with sand that has been infused with his chakra. This sand comprises Gaara's Absolute Defense; his automatic Shield of Sand, which is bound by his mother's will to protect him and will shield him from harm whether he wants it to or not, and his Armor of Sand, an outer shell of sand that will protect him should the Shield of Sand be penetrated. The power of Gaara's Absolute Defense has also massively increased throughout the series, as in part 1, both the Shield of Sand and the Armor of Sand could be broken through by the Chidori, whereas in part 2, neither the Amaterasu, the strongest fire technique and a Mangekyo Sharingan ability, or the Second Mizukage's Steaming Danger Tyranny, an immensely powerful explosion technique, could even penetrate Gaara's Shield of Sand, much less damage his Armor of Sand, with Amaterasu failing to even so much as burn into the sand. The Shield of Sand was even able to withstand five Susanoo swords from Madara Uchiha, whose Susanoo is the strongest one that has been seen in the series to date. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto expressed belief that Gaara's Absolute Defense was the greatest of anyone's, despite having just witnessed the Third Raikage's incredible defenses. Since this sand already is infused with his chakra, Gaara only needs his mind to control it and is able to do so with much greater ease than with other sand.

While Gaara prefers to use his gourd sand in combat mostly, he is able to use it to create more sand and infuse it with his chakra for battle usage as well, though any other sand is more difficult for him to control. Gaara's fighting style is a stationary, mid-to-long range type, as he rarely ever needs to completely move to attack a foe, usually attacking with his sand from a single position. Gaara is very skilled at using sealing tags, just like most Sunagakure shinobi, using his sand in the place of cloth. He has also shown the ability to work together with Shukaku to perform collab techniques, which he can do to use more powerful sealing techniques, or deadly attacks with a wide range. Gaara's most often used techniques are Sand Binding Coffin and Sand Waterfall Funeral. With these techniques, Gaara utilizes his "catch and crush" tactic, the primary strategy of his battle style, using Sand Binding Coffin to catch his opponent, and Sand Waterfall Funeral to implode the sand and crush the opponent to death. Gaara has larger variants of these techniques, called Quicksand Waterfall Flow and Sand Waterfall Imperial Funeral, which he uses against stronger enemies and/or large groups of foes. He uses Quicksand Waterfall Flow to burry the opponent(s) in a tsunami of sand, and Sand Waterfall Imperial Funeral to send shockwaves rushing through the sand and crush whatever opponent(s) he has caught. Just like all jinchuriki, Gaara has large reserves of strong chakra, allowing him to use these techniques multiple times in a fight, sometimes in rapid succession, allowing him to overwhelm most enemies easily. Gaara can enhance the defensive abilities of his sand by crushing down the hardest minerals available and fusing them with his sand. In the anime, he could do the same thing offensively to create an almost indestructible spear.

Gaara also has a considerable amount of power and capability in other areas. As the jinchuriki of Shukaku, along with his sand powers, Gaara has the ability to transform into miniature or full-sized forms of Shukaku at will, using his gourd sand to embody himself. In his minature form, Gaara gains incredible strength and speed, able to outmatch Sasuke Uchiha, a member of the Uchiha clan and a very powerful taijutsu fighter, in physical combat. He is also able to regenerate any damage done to him in a usually very quick manner. He can also use Wind Release powerfully, able to instantly destroy a pack of shadow clones created by Naruto Uzumaki, a fellow jinchuriki. When using the full-sized form of Shukaku, Gaara remains deep within the replica, safe from harm, but is not able to regenerate any damage done to the replica. If need be, Gaara can emerge and force himself into sleep, allowing Skukaku to fight in his stead in a battle, though he is open to physical attacks when doing so and Shukaku can be easily suppressed if Gaara is struck and awoke. As the jinchuriki of Shukaku, Gaara developed insomnia due to Shukaku's ability to influence its host in ways they might not like when they sleep and as such, Gaara gained infinite stamina, never needing to sleep, and being only slightly fatigued, even after fighting extremely exhausting battles, and needing only to rest for short periods to recover, the only exception being his battle with Deidara. All these other jinchuriki abilities Gaara may have lost since Shukaku's removal.

Gaara also has great physical strength, even without being transformed into Shukaku, as he was able to repel Temari with a single punch, even when wounded. In the anime, Gaara showed to be physically strong enough to pick himself up without aid after having his Armor of Sand soaked through with water, which had made it as heavy as land. Also, despite not being a taijutsu fighter himself, Gaara has incredible reaction speed and reflexes against regular taijutsu fighters, able to instantly react at a moments notice to Rock Lee, a formidable strong fist master, closing his eyes, and escape from his Front Lotus taijutsu move without being noticed. Gaara also showed to be a skilled teacher in the anime, able to train Matsuri, a kunoichi of Sunagakure, to use a rope javelin when he learned she feared weapons. Gaara has also proven to be a highly analytical and very skilled tactician, able to formulate a way to counter and defeat the Second Mizukage's Steaming Danger Tyranny technique, a feat which even the Second's own rival, Mu, the Second Tsuchikage notably, was not able to accomplish. Also, starting from the beginning in part 2, Gaara demonstrated to be a natural leader who always commands the loyalty of his troops. The best example of this is shown in the Fourth Shinobi World War, where he was able to bring his men together as friends in one speech after witnessing some of them fighting amoungst themselves.

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