This sandy monstrosity known as the One-Tail is one of the first tailed beasts we meet in anime, other than Naruto of course. Belonging to the Hidden Sand Village, Shukaku is sealed in the fifth Kazekage, Gaara, while still in the womb. Shukaku’s hatred of 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 when Gaara sleeps, young Jinchuriki spends his formative years battling a severe case of insomnia. Eventually, after Gaara befriends Naruto, he learns to control his tailed beast more effectively and even improves their relationship.
Shuaku’s design is inspired by the Japanese Tanuki Yokai, a shape-shifting version of the raccoon dog with a habit of playing tricks on people. Unlike Tanuki, Shukaku appears to be made out of sand, but you can see elements of Tankuki in his dark ears, dark circles around his eyes, and bushy tail. 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 reputation as the lowest-ranking tailed animal. Despite its unique tail, Shukaku possesses superior defensive abilities compared to many other tailed beasts, such as the Ultimate Defense Technique that protects Gaara at all times.