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Gaara of the desert : )Gaara first appears in the series when he is sent to Konohagakure, a rival ninja village, to take part in the Chunin Exams, the biannual ninja exams for ninja that wish to increase their rank. Before he was born, Gaara's father had the tanuki-like One-Tailed Shukaku (一尾の守鶴 Ichibi no Shukaku?, English TV: "Shukaku the Sand Spirit"), a tailed beast, sealed into his body while Gaara was still in his mother's womb, giving him the power to manipulate sand.1314 The Fourth Kazekage, Gaara's father and the leader of the village of Sunagakure, intended to use Gaara as the village's personal weapon.15 Shukaku would occasionally manipulate sand against Gaara's will to harm other villagers, cementing their perception of him.16 These attacks on the villagers convinced Gaara's father order Gaara's assassination.17 After his uncle who was the only person that Gaara thought cared for him tried to assassinate him, Gaara adopted the belief that he could only rely upon himself and Shukaku, and that he had to kill others in order to confirm the value of his own existence.19 Thanks to the Shukaku's powers, Gaara can control sand, primarily using to create a defense nearly impossible to break.20 In truth, he is sent in order to infiltrate Konohagakure in preparation for an invasion by Sunagakure and its ally, Otogakure.21 During the exams, however, he is injured by Sasuke Uchiha, and is unable to participate in the invasion.22 The invasion proceeds without him and Gaara flees Konohagakure, but is pursued by members from Team 7 on the village's outskirts. After going berserk, Gaara is defeated by Naruto Uzumaki who symphatizes with his feelings.23 Later, Sunagakure sends Gaara to help in preventing Sasuke from defecting to Otogakure, which becomes a mutual enemy of both Konohagakure and Sunagakure.24 While he is able to help protect Konohagakure's ninja from Otogakure's forces, he is unable to prevent Sasuke from escaping. He makes amends with the many characters he had alienated, apologizing to those he hurt and improving his relationship with his family.25 At the same time, Gaara's fundamental characteristic becomes the desire to protect as many people as he can, as in doing so he will be able to find true strength. This culminates in his replacing his father as the leader of Sunagakure during Part II of the series.26 In Part II of the series, two and a half years after the failed attempt to retrieve Sasuke, Deidara, a member of the criminal organization Akatsuki, is sent to Sunagakure to capture Gaara. Deidara manages to capture Gaara by threatening Sunagakure, and the members of Akatsuki extract Shukaku from his body.2627 Gaara dies in the process, but is revived by Chiyo, an elderly Sunagakure ninja who sealed Shukaku inside him, sacrificing her own life so that he can continue to protect Sunagakure. Some time later, he goes to the meeting of the five Kage, where he replaces the Raikage in his fight against Sasuke who came to kill the current Hokage, Danzo, attempting to reason with him during their fight. After the Akatsuki's leader Madara Uchiha announces a war to capture the last two tailed-beasts, Gaara decides to protect Naruto. He becomes the commander of the shinobi forces for the upcoming battle. On the second day of the war, Gaara encounters his resurrected father, who is shocked his development. Revealing that both Gaara's uncle and mother always loved him, with the latter actually giving him his powers, the Fourth Kazekage recognizes his son has surpassed him and entrusts the Hidden Sand Village to him.