• Naruto and Gaara's friendship is important because they both experienced loneliness and ostracism as children.
  • Naruto's influence on Gaara led to his redemption and ultimately contributed to the peace in the Hidden Sand Village.
  • Naruto's willingness to befriend Gaara despite their personal pain emphasizes the power of friendship, a key theme in Naruto.

If there is one thing that Naruto cares about more than being Hokage one day, it is being a good friend. Naruto’s friendships and bond with characters are a driving force for a lot of the action throughout the anime.

However, while Sasuke gets most of the attention in the series as Naruto’s friend, there is one bond that is often overlooked that is important to the overall growth of both characters. That friendship is the one shared between the Seventh Hokage and Fifth Kazekage - Naruto Uzumaki and Gaara of the Desert. But, why is their friendship so important to the overall story in Naruto?

Gaara & Naruto Had Similar Childhoods


Gaara is first introduced during the Chunin Exam arc as one of the participants from the Hidden Sand Village, Sunagakure, along with Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro who are known as the Three Sand Siblings. Gaara possesses unique abilities as a result of being the host of the One-Tailed Shukaku. Gaara can control and manipulate sand, including the sand in his gourd, which he carries on his back. The sand can be transformed into various forms and even, including shuriken. Even unconsciously, the sand automatically protects Gaara from any perceived threats. It can create a protective cocoon around Gaara or can be used to crush opponents - such as in his Sand Coffin Sand Burial techniques. Gaara can manipulate large amounts of sand to create a massive wave, overwhelming opponents in its path. Similar to the Shadow Clone Technique used by Naruto, Gaara can create clones made of sand. In extreme situations, Gaara can tap into Shukaku's power, undergoing a transformation that enhances his physical abilities and sand manipulation.

Gaara's childhood is marked by isolation and loneliness, as the villagers view him as a monster due to the Tailed Beast inside him. His own family also fears him. His father tried to have him killed on multiple occasions. Additionally, the only person that Gaara felt loved him, his uncle Yashamaru, tried to “kill” him, although this was a failed attempt to test Gaara’s mastery over Shukaku's power.

As the series progresses, especially through interactions with Naruto Uzumaki, Gaara changes. He learns about the value of love and friendship, ultimately becoming the Kazekage and playing a crucial role in the protection of the Hidden Sand Village.

What Makes Naruto & Gaara's Friendship So Important?


Naruto and Gaara's friendship plays a pivotal role in the character development of both characters. As children, both Naruto and Gaara experienced loneliness and ostracism. Naruto was shunned for being the host of the Nine-Tails, while Gaara was feared due to being the host of the One-Tail. Naruto's ability to empathize with Gaara's loneliness stems from his own experiences, creating a unique bond between them not shared by anyone else in their respective villages. Gaara's initial hatred for everyone changes as Naruto shows him that bonds and friendship can replace hatred. Naruto's persistence in trying to connect to Gaara was instrumental in this transformation.

This paid off as Naruto's influence on Gaara led to his redemption and ultimately contributed to the peace in the Hidden Sand Village. During the Fourth Great Ninja War in the "Naruto" series, Naruto played a crucial role in saving Gaara. Gaara was captured by the Akatsuki organization earlier in the series, and they extracted the One-Tailed Shukaku from him. During the extraction process, Gaara dies, and his lifeless body is left behind. However, through the combined efforts of Naruto Uzumaki and his friends, including Sakura Haruno and Chiyo, they manage to defeat Akatsuki members and bring Gaara back to life with Chiyo sacrificing herself in the process. Naruto and Gaara’s actions during the Fourth Great Ninja War demonstrated their growth and the strength of their friendship. Naruto's willingness to befriend Gaara despite the pain and struggles they both face highlights the theme of developing bonds that go beyond personal suffering, emphasizing the power of friendship, which is what Naruto is all about.

Naruto is available for streaming on Prime Video.