Naruto Uzumaki has one unforgettable name, but it isn’t the only one to crop up from Masashi Kishimoto. The artist popularized names like Tsunade, Sasuke, and more with his iconic series. However, it looks like Gaara wasn’t meant to be part of the line-up at first.
If you look through Naruto Kizuna: The Words That Bind, Kishimoto admits he had a very different name in mind for Gaara.
“For me, Gaara's name was supposed to be Kotarou Fuuma. But my editor strongly disagreed,” the creator says. “I objected and said it was a name fitting for a sand ninja and that went on for weeks.
So, there you have it. Temari and Kankuro came close to having Kotarou Fuuma as their youngest sibling. It is only because of a staunch editor that fans got Gaara, and Kishimoto says he didn’t know why the executive reacted so negatively to his intended name until the surprising reason came to light.
“I still don't know the reason for that. When I said "Then how a I supposed to call him?" My editor said "Gaara" … I actually liked that so I kept it. Then later he told me that was the name of a Ski Resort and that he just returned from the place,” Kishimoto revealed.
“I said "That's just bullsh*t" but since I already took the name in the story and I liked it, I kept it.
Later on, I stopped focusing on surnames and just went for how the name sounds and what the name means.”
Fuuma may have been the Naruto creator’s first choice, but fans are glad Gaara is what made the final cut. When you break the name down into its kanji, the Sand Shinobi’s name is rather telling. The word can be broken down into “me,” “love,” and “demon.” Given Gaara’s hang-ups about love and his Jinchuuriki past, the name is one that fits him very well.