This Naruto papercraft is the Gaara, the cube craft paper toy is designed by blackignus. Gaara is a major supporting character of the series, originally introduced as an antagonist. As the jinchūriki of Shukaku, Gaara gained the nickname "Gaara of the Sand Waterfall". In Part II, he became the Fifth Kazekage of Sunagakure and the Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces during the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Gaara is the third and youngest child of the Fourth Kazekage and Karura, and the younger brother of Temari and Kankurō. Before Gaara's birth, his father ordered Chiyo to seal Shukaku within him, in hopes that Gaara would become the ultimate weapon for Sunagakure as he was the only one of the Kazekage's three children to be compatible with the beast. He was born premature and therefore, was an unusually small and frail infant. Before she died, Karura passionately held her son, vowing to always protect him. Gaara was trained in ninjutsu by his father, but mainly raised by his maternal uncle, Yashamaru.
Because of the power of Shukaku, the villagers of Suna hated and feared Gaara. Seeing him only for the monster sealed within him, for a time, Yashamaru seemed to be the only person who cared about Gaara. When Gaara would unintentionally harm others due to the subconscious abilities granted to him by Shukaku, Yashamaru was the only one who understood that Gaara hadn't intended to harm anyone. The village's council, however, did not see Gaara in the same light, and viewed Gaara's frequent attacks upon villagers as a result of a failed experiment that was a threat to the village, and Gaara's father did express disappointment at this lack of control.
Because of the danger Gaara imposed, his father decided to test him and told Yashamaru to corner Gaara psychologically, and lie to him about his mother to see if Gaara could retain control of Shukaku. As a result, Yashamaru told Gaara that his mother never loved him. He also tried to assassinate him, however he failed as Gaara dealt a lethal blow to him. But when Gaara realised who it was, he was horrified.
Although Gaara tried to consider Yashamaru's attack as an order of the Kazekage, Yashamaru lied to him, by saying that he had willingly accepted the mission to kill Gaara. He also lied that he never truly loved Gaara, and told him that killing him would avenge the death of his sister, who had named him Gaara after the phrase "a self-loving carnage", a sign of her intense hatred for Suna, not as love for her son. In the last ditch effort to kill Gaara, Yashamaru detonated a number of explosive tags covering his body, asking Gaara to "please die". Using his sand, Gaara survived the blast, and lost the only person he thought had cared for him, while not knowing the true reasons behind Yashamaru's actions. Gaara then used his sand to etch the kanji for love onto his forehead. Right after this, he lost control and transformed into Shukaku, rampaging around the village before his father stopped him with Gold Dust. Since this incident, Gaara became an aloof and cruel person who would kill anyone to prove his existence and to obtain recognition from the village, all the while giving up his desire for friendship.
Seeing that Gaara was unable to cope with the loss of his mother's love, his father deemed him to be a failure. As a result, he began sending assassins to deal with the child, numbering to six times, which all ultimately failed. Each attempt made Gaara fear and hate his father more. In time, Gaara's new ideology allowed better control over Shukaku, and his father would come to appreciate this and the uses he could serve, and cancelled all assassination orders and revive the idea of having Gaara as the ultimate weapon of the village.
Like Naruto, Gaara is a little shorter than the average males of his age, which is due to the fact that he was born prematurely. He has fair skin and short, spiky, auburn hair which was sometimes depicted as red in the earlier parts of the series. He has green eyes, however; this colour has alternated somewhat during the series. In a flashback of his youth his eyes are depicted as light blue but for the majority of the series they are depicted as being green the pupils of which, are mostly invisible. Gaara has no distinctive eyebrows either. He has two very notable traits in his appearance: firstly, he has tanuki-like black eye rings, having them since his birth. Secondly, he carved the kanji "love" on the left side of his forehead, having it since Yashamaru's betrayal. Gaara's forelocks are parted from the left side, making the kanji more visible. Matsuri and Sari who both seem to have a crush on Gaara, have described him as the strong silent type, elite and very handsome.
In Part I, Gaara has been seen in two different outfits. When he was seen for the first time, he wore black full body suit with t-shirt-like sleeves, ¾-length legs, and an open neck. With this, he wore a white cloth over his right shoulder and the left side of his hips, and a wide leather band system over the left shoulder and right side of his hips. With this leather band, he carried around his gourd that contains his sand. He also wrapped his black forehead protector over the band. In his childhood flashbacks, he was seen wearing a beige poncho-like shawl over a short-sleeved black T-shirt, a white obi around his waist, knee-length blue pants with beige legwarmers, and black sandals.
In the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, and in the final pre-Shippūden filler arc, he switched his previous black overalls to a reddish-brownish one with longer sleeves and an upright collar. He retained the white cloth, but had mesh armour on his wrists and ankles. He used this costume in Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel as well.
In Part II, Gaara had a considerable growth spurt, not unlike Naruto. During his battling against Deidara and during the Kage summit, he wore full-length dark trousers, with a pair of laces on each leg, respectively a few inches below the waist and the knees, a long-sleeved crimson coat with flaring hemlines on the front and the back, a grey holster vest held in place by a single strap over his left shoulder and by two buckled belts which he uses to carry his gourd. He also wears another pair of casually worn belts around his waist. He is also seen wearing Kazekage robes, and a simple black pants suit, the latter one greatly resembling Kankurō's suit, and worn for the memorial of Elder Chiyo. All the time, he has been seen wearing Sunagakure's standard shinobi sandals. As the Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces, he added his village's flak jacket to his standard outfit.
Gaara was once kind and had initially tried to be friendly to others, despite their fear and hatred of him, but Yashamaru's actions and words changed him. Realising that nobody loved him, Gaara used his sand to create the kanji on his forehead "love", as a symbol of a "demon loving only himself", and to live up to his name, as what he believed Karura intended and Yashamaru told him. Gaara became emotionally withdrawn, silent, and consumed with a bitter loathing for everyone but himself and "Mother": the voice of Shukaku in his head. He learned to find pleasure, and eventually a reason to live, in annihilating the numerous assassins sent to kill him - and, by extension, anyone who threatened his existence. This was only worsened by the occasional demand by Shukaku for blood to satisfy its blood lust, which resulted in Gaara being merciless, demonstrated when he murdered Baiu and Midare while ignoring their pleas. Gaara's insomnia, forced upon him by the fear that the demon inside him would eat away at him if he were to fall asleep, only furthered his instability and desire to kill. In fact, his hatred extends to his siblings, as he never saw them as such, and was fully willing to kill them were they to cross him.
Gaara's childhood was, in many ways, similar to Naruto Uzumaki's, though more unfortunate due to his lack of anyone to call a friend. Both were lonely and desired to be liked, loved, and acknowledged as an individual, free of others' prejudices - they were themselves, not the demons they were forced to "contain" - and both were driven into a desperate state. While Naruto consequently developed the misconception that pranks and mischief would bring him the attention he sought, Gaara came to the conclusion that he could preserve and confirm his own existence by killing any and all who challenged it, securing an extreme form of existentialism as his key personality trait. In the absence of others' acknowledgement, he could compensate by valuing only himself to the exclusion of everyone else. Furthermore, while Naruto eventually had Iruka Umino and Team Kakashi to acknowledge him, Gaara never had anyone to bond with, not even his father or siblings, as they all despised and feared Shukaku that dwells within him. The person who was closest to being friendly with Gaara was Yashamaru, who was ordered to betray him, which turned Gaara into a lonely sociopath. As such, Gaara did not understand the concept of fighting for anything other than himself until his confrontation with Naruto.
After being defeated by Naruto, Gaara was shocked to find that Naruto knew very well the pain that Gaara had endured all his life. He was even more surprised that Naruto never gave up hope on being acknowledged as a person and ultimately found friends who truly cared for him. Seeing the determination that Naruto had to protect his friends made Gaara question his own path in life. Realising that he gave up too easily, Gaara decided to follow Naruto's path, wishing to become Kazekage of Sunagakure so he could be connected to his people, and hopefully have them finally acknowledge his existence as a person, not the tailed beast inside him. Over the next few years, Gaara's determination to find happiness became apparent from his decision to rely on his own power rather than his inner demon's. Gaara eventually formed a close friendship with Naruto.
Since Gaara has become a close companion to Naruto, he has been able to change people's personalities towards him, such as Matsuri overpowering her fear of weapons, Ōnoki in the Kage Summit, persuaded practically the whole shinobi nation as a team before the war, and even Naruto himself when reflecting upon what he will choose to do as Sasuke's friend. This seems to be a similar trait to Naruto's, a way of showing how he has changed from before. Not only that, but because of his close bond with Naruto, he has also been shown to throw away any such grudge or hatred against anyone, including his father, who was responsible for making Gaara's childhood miserable. He admits to having forgiven his father for his actions a long time ago, but openly weeps after learning that his mother truly loved him very much and instead of cursing his existence, vowed to protect him forever, infusing this will into his sand.
Gaara cares deeply for Naruto and his well-being and goals, and despite Sasuke's actions during his assault at the Kage Summit and his status as an international criminal, he went so far as to attempt to convince Sasuke to come out of the darkness one more time on behalf of Naruto, and when unconvinced, even shed a tear for the failure Sasuke has become, and the disappointment Naruto will face. Despite respecting Naruto's goals, his care for him does not block his personal beliefs, and he believes his friend's well-being is more important, most prominent is his support to keep Naruto out of the war saying to Tsunade that Naruto took too many risks when it comes to protecting his friends. Gaara also bluntly tells Naruto that chasing after Sasuke is foolish, as he sees him as no longer being able to return from the path of coruption. Though he defies Naruto's goal to bring Sasuke back, he only says this for Naruto's well-being because they are "friends".
Although he remained ruthless against his opponents, Gaara is extremely protective of his allies and innocent people, as seen when he protected his village from Deidara; and his siblings, Darui and even the Raikage against Sasuke. He also deeply understands those who have suffered from loneliness and hatred in the past by the look in their eyes, such as Naruto, Kimimaro, and even Sasuke.
As a Kage, Gaara believes that the ideals of previous generations, that each village must mind their own business and solve their own problems without having to ask for the aid of others in order to keep appearance and honour, is a "ridiculous old-fashioned thinking", and that cooperation between the villages is fundamental in order to defeat Akatsuki.
Gaara is an extremely powerful shinobi, so much that he was made Kazekage at the age of 15. His powers and status have now become well-respected and praised by everyone in the Allied Shinobi Forces, including other Kage, both the current and previous ones with the Second Mizukage going as far as to call him the "golden egg amongst the Kage", and his father who acknowledged that he had surpassed him in more ways than he could have hoped for. He was also praised by his enemies such as Deidara, who commented on his power after he captured him, losing an arm to Gaara's attack in the process. Even though he had lost his tailed beast Shukaku, he was still powerful enough to remain Kazekage. Gaara's fighting style is a stationary type, as he rarely needs to move his entire body to attack an opponent. Though he almost never uses taijutsu as a fighting element, Gaara has incredible reaction speed against regular users of taijutsu as he was able to instantly react at a moments notice to Rock Lee closing his eyes and completely escape from his high-level taijutsu attacks while having precision enough to position himself directly behind Lee. Gaara was shown to have great physical strength, even without transforming into Shukaku as he was able to easily repel Temari with a single punch, despite being wounded. In the anime, Gaara was strong enough pick himself up without aid after having his Armour of Sand soaked through with water which had made it as heavy as land.
He has also shown to be a skilled teacher in the anime, teaching Matsuri how to use the jōhyō when he learned she was afraid of weapons. Like many Suna shinobi, Gaara is skilled with the Sealing Tag, using his sand in place of cloth. He has shown the ability to use Wind Release nature transformation, though this was only seen during his Shukaku transformations. Whether he is able to use this nature transformation on his or it stems from Shukaku, is currently unknown. In Part II, Gaara has also shown to be a highly analytical and very skilled tactician. This is proven when he was able to defeat the Second Mizukage by formulating a way to counter the Mizukage's exploding clone.