Personal Journal: ladyassassin
Contact Info: AIM (No More Insomnia), e-mail, or PM
Other Characters Played: N/A
Character Name: Gaara of the Desert
Character Series: Naruto
Character Age: 16
Character Gender: Male
Canon Point: Naruto Shippuden, episode 9. Deidara infiltrated Suna in the dead of night, and Gaara fought against him. He managed to catch Deidara and destroy one of his arms, which prompted Deidara to resort to more drastic measures. He used the village’s safety to his advantage, and Gaara proved his devotion by focusing his efforts on protecting his people. When Deidara’s clay spiders exploded on Gaara in close range, he was nearly knocked unconscious, and only had enough energy to choose one of two options: save himself, or save the village. His decision was the latter, and then he passed out after moving his enormous sand shield away, swiftly getting kidnapped by Deidara.
Former Game: A Facility
Background Link: Naruto Wiki
– Gaara entered the facility in late October, during the experiment where everyone’s clothes were taken away. He quickly found out how many other shinobi were already there, including his siblings, and a number of shinobi from the Leaf. Shortly after, the captives all got transported to Death City. Gaara became a Meister and wielded Sai and Rock Lee as his weapons. During the second week, he grew fatigued from constant fighting efforts and fell unconscious, releasing Shukaku and attacking many people, even killing Lee. He spent the next week after that making amends for what happened to his victims.
– In the middle of November, Naruto got terminated. This was the first significant bond that Gaara had lost. He was perturbed by it, and reacted to the incident based on his emotions more so than cold logic. Given so much leisure time, he continued learning how to build bonds with other people and adapt to social situations, though he had more setbacks than successes. He and Sai held a private discussion on sexual intercourse and health, which was accidentally broadcasted to the entire network and broke quite a few brains.
– December brought nostalgia as Gaara got his secret wish granted – the chance to see and talk to his mother, Karura. Even though he didn’t know if she was real, what she said to him alleviated some of his insecurities toward her. Sai, one of the people that Gaara met on his first day of arrival, finally accepts Gaara’s offer of friendship during the wish experiment. Because of all the mistletoe hanging around, they kiss for the first time. And a couple of more times after that. The following week was the Seven Deadly Sins experiment, where Gaara was affected by Lust. Because Kankuro was the embodiment of Envy, he expressed severe jealousy toward Gaara, which caused a rift between the two brothers. He spent most of the week avoiding people, but found it harder and harder to resist the effects as time passed. At one point, in an effort to make amends for rejecting and upsetting Sai during a previous confrontation, he kissed him, which led to his sexual urges getting roused. Sai brought him relief by giving him a hand – literally. On New Year’s Eve, he and Sai engaged in intimate activities after sharing the traditional kiss at midnight. The day following that incident, they entered a mutually beneficial arrangement to last until the end of the experiment.
– In early January, the captives went to Isla Nublar, the land of the dinosaurs. Kankuro got injured protecting Gaara from a dinosaur attack, which resulted in the two brothers bonding. During confession week, Gaara entered a romantic relationship with Sai after blurting out his hidden desire to seek that kind of bond with him. Things were so chaotic that Gaara actually forgot about his own birthday, and was surprised to receive presents and a warm birthday greeting from Sai. Later that day, Gaara paid proper respect to the memory of his mother’s death by inscribing her name into the sand on the beach. When everyone returned to the facility a week later, the station was in chaos and they all got the chance to brutalize or interrogate the Doctors. Gaara opted to side with interrogation tactics rather than seek vengeance, and participated in the session where the Doctors were grilled. He was also shocked by the unexpected appearance of his uncle, Yashamaru.
– February was a blast to the past as many Facility residents reverted to their child form. Not having any memories of the future, Gaara instantly got attached to Yashamaru, was wary around his siblings, and happily befriended Sai and other children. After everyone returned to their usual adult selves, he and Sai had a better understanding of each other, and he reconvened with his siblings, but things remained largely unresolved between him and Yashamaru.
– Gaara almost lost control of himself in the middle of March, when Temari died for the first time since his arrival. That incident made his emotions flare up to dangerous levels, and he wanted to go after her murderer to kill him in retaliation. He was able to contain his sadistic urges after Sai comforted him and took his mind off the situation. In the last week, the Facility captives got transported to London, during the time and era of D. Gray Man. Deidara came in with a big influx of new arrivals, instantly antagonizing both Gaara and Kankuro.
– In April, during the final confrontation against the enemy party in London, Gaara got significantly injured when a spike shot through his defenses and skewered him while he was providing wide-scale defense. Sai hurriedly took him to the clinic, where he was healed by Tear. After the city was sufficiently destroyed, everyone returned to the default facility, just in time for the vampire experiment. Gaara and Temari were selected to be vampires, while Kankuro and Sai were designated as prey. Near the end of that week, Gaara and Sai lost themselves in a passionate encounter and consummated their relationship. Through his observations in the broadcasted dreams experiment, he found out Temari still had nightmares about Shukaku, realized Kankuro felt inadequate to Sasori, and how Sai’s brother Shin died.
– May started off somewhat chaotic and hilarious with OOC week that turned around many people’s personalities. Gaara was a lot less inhibited, spoke more crudely, and even jumped on a karaoke machine in an attempt to seduce his suddenly-prudish boyfriend. During the voodoo doll experiment that followed after, Sai went comatose for the first time, which affected Gaara very strongly, even more amplified by the last conversation they had with each other, where Sai had screamed that he hated him. He had a difficult time coping with the absence, and emotionally withdrew until Sai returned. At the end of the month, everyone in the facility was taken to Rapture.
– The stay in Rapture continued throughout June, with drug week giving multiple effects to different people. In the middle of the month, both Kankuro and Sai went comatose, leaving Gaara mentally weakened and susceptible to an impacting illusion. Shukaku took control once again, but was stopped much sooner this time. Gaara was whisked away right after that and sent to a comatose state to be experimented upon.
– In July, Gaara was forced into the slave role for the master and slave experiment, which he didn’t appreciate at all. Especially since he was assigned to two different masters, one of which was sadistic and immoral. Nor did he like the week of changed clothing, when he had to wear only black leather pants and a collar that carried a leash. He carefully kept two accessories hidden from the public: nipple rings and a bellybutton ring – both of which seemed to amuse Sai. After the experiment, Gaara removed the nipple rings, but decided to keep the bellybutton ring, which he still has to this day.
– August opened with Gaara getting the wall in his room busted down by an inhabitant in the adjacent suite during the large spiders experiment, prompting him to stay with Sai. He spent most of the month reading, studying, training, and learning how to control his emotions for the bomb experiment, which caused people’s hearts to explode if they felt emotional. Toward the end, the residents got transported to the Abyss level of NeoGenosis.
– The guest event in September messed with quite a few people’s minds. Gaara got a visit from a different version of his mother, one that caused him to regress due to her icy treatment. During the last week of Abyss, Gaara was captured by a group of malicious sexual slave traders when securing Sai’s escape. The period of captivity left him with a few horrible memories, but he was careful not to get overwhelmed by psychological trauma. With Kankuro comatose yet again and Temari recovering from her own ordeal, Sai rescued Gaara and took care of his injuries. Shortly after returning to the main facility, Gaara got into a brief confrontation with Shikamaru, who had questioned his loyalty to his siblings. Gaara posed the same question to his siblings, which widened the gap between them, and he spent the remainder of the week with Sai while silently wondering about the strength of ties that bound people together.
At the end of that week, the Doctors came to Sai’s room with the intention of terminating both of them from the facility.
It is very common for people to change as they grow up and go through different experiences, but Gaara has changed drastically since his introduction in the series. His personality seems to take a complete 180 after his fight with Naruto; he immediately apologized to his siblings, and then a month later, even returned to aid Konoha in their mission to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha from the Sound ninja. Gaara went from being a completely self-centered tool of destruction to selflessly sacrificing his own well-being for the sake of his village. Moments before his death, he was very pensive and wondered if anyone ever needed him, why he was struggling so hard to assume a different identity, and whether or not his existence meant anything.
Even with all his changes, a few attributes have remained the same. Gaara has always been fairly reserved and introverted, making him a difficult person to befriend. He has notable issues with trust. He is rather anti-social, mostly derived from his experiences as a child. He can contend with solitude on occasion to gather his thoughts, but he doesn’t like to be alone all the time, to feel abandoned by others. That being said, given his interaction with Yashamaru, Lee, and Sasuke, singular obsession is a distinct trait of his. Since he is not a social butterfly by any stretch of the imagination, Gaara would rather be in the company of very few close friends rather than a large group of strangers. Though he did make a speech in front of his army during the Shinobi World War, he had been prompted by Kakashi Hatake.
Gaara is intelligent as a shinobi, but because of his exclusion from social interaction for the majority of his life, he will seem naïve – or even stupid – to most people. It takes a lot of understanding and patience to deal with someone like Gaara. He would likely understand the significance of certain things, but not actually know how to use them in application, such as social trends, fashion, or slang terms. Things like flirting and being hit on definitely fly way over his head. For the most part, he speaks properly and formerly after the time skip, which is likely derived from his position as the leader of his village. When he is around people that he feels comfortable with, he talks in a more casual way.
Though he doesn’t understand a lot of social norms, Gaara isn’t unwilling to try new things in order to expand his knowledge. He doesn’t like being ignorant, because people already have reason enough to not take him seriously. But he would be hesitant and attempt to figure out the purpose behind it before committing the action. If something seems unimportant and pointless, he will feel less inclined to do it. At initial meeting, he will guard himself carefully and distrust most people until he has properly assessed the situation. He will slowly open up to others and begin to trust them once he figures out who can be an ally and who should be avoided as an enemy, and certain canon mates will affect the trust process.
According to the most recent databook released, Gaara became a Chunin at 14 years of age. His rank further ascended to Kazekage approximately one year later. There were no specifications as to whether or not he attained the rank of Jonin before becoming the Kazekage – it was only mentioned that he is a young Kage. But the fact that he was able to advance three ninja ranks in two-and-a-half years says a lot about his intelligence, abilities, and determination. In his profile, his favorite word or phrase listed “love (the kind of love such as I love my country),” and “future,” further exemplifying his new positive outlook. Becoming the Kazekage of Suna gave his life meaning, and he can now serve a purpose that he feels is worthwhile.
Proving that age pales in comparison to the fruits of experience, Gaara is confident of his abilities as a shinobi, but as a person, his flaws are much more obvious. As he is human, he makes mistakes, he has insecurities, and there are times when he weakens and needs support. Due to his background, on the surface, he seems selfless and caring toward other people, with little regard for himself. Though it is human nature to be selfish, Gaara has been conditioned to consciously deny his own wants and needs. His desires are just not important enough to pursue, in the bigger picture. From childhood to present, he was always told that the village came first, regardless of even family relations, as clearly evidenced by his father. Underneath his stoic exterior is someone yearning to be loved and wanted and needed and cared for. He tries to do what is right, not necessarily because he wants to, but because it is expected of him, and might help him get acceptance.
Gaara is philosophical by nature and very curious, often questioning many things in life. He is particularly interested in hearing about bonds of friendship and family, as well as people’s reasons for existing. Emotions are another big topic of interest for him, since he is still learning about them. Discussions of family, morality, and self-identity would hit really close to home for him, but he won’t deny his past or run away from the truth. There are, however, some parts of his life that he will refuse to talk about, lest he risk becoming emotionally or mentally unstable. Patience and persistence will eventually get through his toughest barrier. The subject of love interests Gaara a great deal, and he will try to analyze and understand it whenever given the opportunity. Now that he has been exposed to familial and patriotic love, he wants to learn about romantic love.
An important fact to keep in mind regarding this particular canon point is that Gaara doesn’t fully believe his village accepts him, let alone loves him. At the facility, although both Kankuro and Temari told him of the great future that lies ahead, some things just can’t be believed without first experiencing them. All Gaara has ever known is hatred and fear from the Suna villagers, throughout his entire life, so his doubt and incredulity have plenty of merit. Even after being elected Kazekage, most of his own people still don’t trust him. After he left Kankuro and Temari to join the regular platoons, the high-ranked officials continued to send assassins to kill him. Up to the point of the Kage Summit, his stubborn council keeps him in the dark about certain past transgressions. The younger generation doesn’t show disdain too openly, but support from them has minimal influence, since Gaara needs to work together with the older generation to get anything done.
He also isn’t blind to one significant glaring aspect: his village only apparently accepted him after his death and subsequent revival. Gaara is aware of the fact that Shukaku will be extracted from him, which leads to his eventual fated death. He doesn’t regret dying for the sake of his people, and he is very surprised to learn that Elder Chiyo will give her life for him. Nevertheless, he still wonders whether or not people will ever truly accept him – all of him – even in spite of knowing what he is. Or will people only like him when he plays the role of a normal human being, and not call any attention to his true nature as a demon host? Identity is an important quality to Gaara, since he has been struggling to figure out his own identity for years.
One common misconception is that Gaara always remains cool, calm, and collected no matter what, and basically has the personality of a brick wall. On the contrary, Gaara has always been an emotional person, as shown by all the times that he became enraged in the past. If his triggers are pulled or he gets pushed to his mental limits, then anger will typically be the first emotion that he falls back on. He will try to keep a level head and maintain control whenever he can, but he is definitely capable of emotional outbursts. In addition to his conscious commands, his sand can also react based on his emotions – as evidenced when he was a child – so there might be times when it seems to act independently of his will. For this reason, Gaara has to constantly struggle to keep his emotions under control. When he is calm and composed, his sand won’t be a danger to others, unless he chooses to make it deadly.
Previous Personality Development:
Gaara entered the facility on a note of high distrust, and it wasn’t until after the Shukaku incident in Death City that he started gradually forging connections with the other residents. This process still took considerable time, as Gaara is not an easy person to befriend, given his nature and background. On the outside, Gaara might seem friendly and helpful, but he is a politician, a man in a position of power, and he has perfected the poker face, so to speak. While it doesn’t take too much time for him to consider someone an acquaintance, he holds friends in much higher regard, as well as standards. Although he has always been very blunt, ever since becoming Kazekage, he had to learn verbal restraint in order to maintain diplomacy. Within the last two months, he has finally started to move away from that restrictive mindset, and is a little less inhibited in expressing himself.
Unfortunately, creating bonds with other people is not without risk. As it takes so long for Gaara to develop earnest connections, the loss of a true friend affects him deeply. In the last few months at the facility, he has lost several friends on a consecutive basis, which causes his mentality to regress and makes him not want to venture future attempts. He is starting to grow apathetic on a conscious level, trying not to care so much, a natural response to the infliction of emotional pain. He wouldn’t turn away from his siblings, Sai, or any of his existing friends, but his fear of loss has definitely been exacerbated by the latest events. In opposition to his efforts, Gaara is actually becoming more emotional, because he has to deal with his cool exterior getting breached.
This isn’t usual behavior, but Gaara can be sadistic both inside and outside of combat, depending on the situation. Whenever he is down to business and serious about a fight, he will try to end it swiftly, by whatever brutal means necessary. If he feels like being cruel, he will torment his opponents by drawing out their suffering. His siblings were terrified of him in his past psychotic mindset, and it had to have been for good reason. There were quite a few times at the facility when he wanted to express sadistic tendencies. Sai, his boyfriend, had offered himself as an outlet in some instances, and took the brunt of his viciousness. Otherwise, Gaara usually tried to take his anger out on the biodome and completely destroyed the plant life in there. He wouldn’t normally target other people first, unless they really piss him off.
In spite of the fact that they are his bodyguards, Gaara tries hard to protect Kankuro and Temari rather than the other way around. He isn’t used to being taken care of, but he did tell his siblings that he would try to let them do their job. He is still mostly independent, but learning to accept help from other people – although asking for it is a separate matter. During their time together at the facility, he has also come to terms with the knowledge that he will likely be the cause of his siblings’ eventual death, in one form or another. Since he hasn’t been Kazekage for very long back in their world, he is starting to realize more and more of the burdens that come with the position. This discovery won’t make him shirk his heavy responsibilities; rather, he will need some time to differentiate between devotion to his duty, and personal commitment.
Throughout the majority of the series, Gaara isn’t shown to be very close to his siblings. Kankuro and Temari were always closer to each other than either one is with him, and he’s well aware of that. At the facility, Gaara befriended Ishtar, a princess from another world. Ishtar and Gaara share similarities with their pasts and their families, but they are very different in terms of personality. Ishtar is outspoken and often acts without thinking, while Gaara holds himself back and is much more calculating. Despite those differences, they get along really well, mostly because Ishtar is patience and tolerant of Gaara’s many fail moments. He is closer to Ishtar than his own sister, which isn’t too surprising, considering the deterioration of their relationship toward the end. He tries to help Ishtar whenever he can, saving her from danger and pointing things out when she can’t see them for herself.
Because there were so many revolving versions of him, and also due to the kind of interaction they had at the facility, Gaara regards Naruto with much less intensity compared to canon. There were multiple Narutos that went in and out of the facility, and each one of them treated Gaara differently. Gaara tried to help Naruto whenever possible, but they didn’t bond very often, or with much depth. He stood back and observed, for the first time, just how popular Naruto was, how many friends he had, and caught a glimpse of the extent of his obsessive goals revolving around Sasuke. While Gaara still admires Naruto and feels gratitude toward him for their fight in the forest years ago, he considers him a comrade rather than a friend, at this moment in time. Because his efforts to befriend him went largely unreciprocated, Gaara won’t try as hard to reach out to Naruto, if one ever appears again.
His relationship with Sai has significantly affected his growth. While Sai is notably much more social, he and Gaara share many similar core qualities. Both were raised through hellish circumstances, and are better at being shinobi than regular men. They are intelligent, but socially inept. Their differences are complementary to each other. Sai is very open, while Gaara has a number of inhibitions. He has learned quite a bit from him, one of the most important aspects being that he can actually be liked by simply acting as himself – his real self. He doesn’t have to try so hard and do what is expected of him, in order to prevent abandonment. Since Gaara experienced so much shunning and hatred and rejection throughout his life, he is consistently surprised by Sai’s acceptance of his numerous quirks and oddities. Sai hasn’t shown fear in spite of knowing that Gaara is a demon host, nor display any disgust toward his blood fetish and occasional violent tendencies.
Sai’s selfless devotion is another surprising, but very endearing quality, having made his adamant loyalty clear, in addition to the fact that he would let Gaara use him. While his initial reaction is to refuse, Gaara hasn’t fully realized that part of him does want to use Sai to appease some of his selfish desires, such as having a constant companion. As Sai has recently requested of Gaara to start showing more of his darker qualities – ones that he tries to suppress so he won’t frighten anyone away – he is slowly shedding his inhibitions. He will start displaying some of his true natural traits, such as telling things like they are, regardless of hurt feelings, and articulating blunt, sarcastic, and sometimes even rude remarks. Due to his bloody past, he enjoys fighting, though it isn’t something he would openly admit.
Love is a very sensitive subject for Gaara. He is slowly learning about familial love, although he isn’t sure if that emotion is really shared between himself and his siblings, given his difficult past and their recent falling out. He doesn’t understand the platonic love that is shared between friends, because he hasn’t experienced it. If anyone ever feels that way toward him, he would be completely oblivious, unless he is told bluntly. He is aware of his strong emotional attachment to Sai, which reminds him of the bond he used to share with Yashamaru, but feels different. Since he’s had such arduous experiences with love, he doesn’t know how to deal with this current situation. On more than one occasion, Sai has stated that their relationship is only temporary, and Gaara has no idea when or how it will end. He just knows this isn’t a bond he wants to lose.
Something important to note: given the fact that Gaara will be entering Animus with news of his world being destroyed and most of his important bonds brutally cut, his personality will very likely regress to that of an earlier canon point. He doesn’t respond well to “wounds of the heart” as he referred to in canon, and will try to suppress his negative emotions for as long as he can. He still has to contend with having Shukaku in his body, as well as deal with the increased effects from the moon cycle. Everyone has a breaking point, and if Gaara reaches his, there is a good chance he will be cold to the point of cruelty, and might even incite violence, depending on the severity of the situation. Just a warning, so people that don’t want to get caught in the crossfire can choose to avoid him.
Gaara of the Desert was given his particular title because of his unique ability to control sand. His strongest aptitude is ninjutsu, the usage of ninja techniques through chakra – the component of spiritual energy. As a demon vessel for the sand spirit Shukaku, he can manipulate sand and make it do many things, from protection to visually spying to flying to teleportation to capturing or killing his opponents. Due to the magnitude of his sand abilities, he can even change the entire terrain of a battlefield to his advantage, such as creating a whole beach, or a cascading waterfall of sand, if he feels inclined to do so. If he needs more sand to use, he can create it out of the dirt and minerals in the earth by grinding them up with his sand. The sand inside his gourd is much faster than new sand that he picks up, because those special grains are infused with his chakra over a period of time.
In addition to versatility, his sand is also very durable, being able to completely deflect fire techniques as evidenced in his fights against Sasuke. Unlike the clones of most other shinobi, his sand clones can withstand stronger attacks and last longer rather than poofing away after one hit. His limitation is in the amount of chakra it takes to execute his techniques, but Gaara has high chakra endurance and capacity. After the time skip, he has shown that he can throw out many large-scale sand attacks over and over without slowing down. He also has the option of taking chakra from Shukaku if his reserves run low, which he is usually reluctant to do. If he gets too exhausted, Shukaku would deliberately withhold his chakra in hopes of making his host pass out.
Apart from ninjutsu, Gaara has ample knowledge of sealing techniques for his age group, which aligns with his role as a demon host. During the war, he is shown applying seals to banish the resurrected zombie shinobi, including his own father. According to the databook, he has a decent aptitude in genjutsu – ninja illusionary jutsu that affect the five senses – but is rarely seen encountering those techniques in canon. Interestingly enough, the majority of Gaara’s techniques don’t require hand seals, which implies that they come from mental efforts.
Given these powerful assets, Gaara may seem infallible, but he definitely has flaws and drawbacks as a fighter. Speed is not his strong suit; fast enemies can get past his automatic sand shield. Element-wise, oil techniques are effective in slowing down his sand. His greatest weakness is physical hand-to-hand combat, so if his powers ever get suppressed, his combat capabilities will be severely diminished. If that ever becomes an issue, Gaara will seek to arm himself with weapons, and most likely a long-range one due to his vulnerability in short-range combat. In a Part I filler arc, he demonstrated knowledge of wielding a kunai, a rope javelin, and a spear. Presumably, he should also know how to throw typical ninja tools, as kunai and shuriken are very basic weapons taught to all ninja during their Academy years.
Although Gaara has the devious Shukaku inside of his body, he won’t attack anyone intentionally, unless one of his siblings, friends, or allies gets harmed. It would take a really horrible crisis or a great deal of emotional pain to make him resort to transforming and using his dormant demonic powers. There is one time during the month when Gaara will have difficulty taming the beast within, and that is the night of the full moon. Once he realizes the full moon is approaching, he will seek ways to restrain himself in preparation of losing control. As seen in canon when he was a child and during the Chunin exam, severe enough mental distress can make Gaara plummet and allow Shukaku to emerge.
In the year since his arrival to the facility, he has consistently trained with Sai to improve his poor taijutsu aptitude. He is still lacking in physical speed and force, but he has become notably more nimble and agile. He has also recently developed a new form of aerial transportation based on the technique he used in the third Shippuden movie, where his body completely dissolves into sand to swiftly move through the air. Since his powers were occasionally sealed at the facility, he has experienced pain more often than in canon, the most significant instance being the spike skewering in London.
A Facility post