This sandy monstrosity known as the One-Tail is one of the first tailed beasts we meet in the anime, except Naruto, of course. Shukaku belongs to the Hidden Sand Village, and is sealed into the Fifth Kazekage, Gaara, while he is still in the womb. Shukaku’s hatred towards humans greatly affects Gaara’s childhood, as he repeatedly breaks free of his seal and rampages through the village.
Due to Shukaku’s ability and threats to break free anytime Gaara sleeps, the young jinchuriki spends his formative years battling a severe case of insomnia. After Gaara becomes friends with Naruto, he eventually learns to control his tailed beast more effectively, and even improves their relationship.
Shuaku’s design is inspired by the Japanese tanuki yokai, a shapeshifting version of the raccoon dog with a habit of playing tricks on humans. Unlike tanuki, Shukaku appears to be composed of sand, but you can see elements of the tankuki in his dark ears, the dark circles around the eyes, and his bushy tail. For reference, another famous tanuki in Japanese media is Tom Nook from the “Animal Crossing” video game series.
Shukaku’s personality is proud, short-tempered and uncompromising, but he harbors an inferiority complex due to his standing as the bottom-ranked tailed beast. Despite his singular tail, Shukaku possesses superior defensive abilities compared to many of the other tailed beasts, such as the Ultimate Defense technique, which protects Gaara at all times.