Sometime before the series start, she witnessed her parents' murder right before her eyes. She learned that her parents were kill by the use of weapons, ever since then Matsuri has had a huge fear to use weapons in a battle.
In the manga, Matsuri is simply a reverent admirer of Gaara or any other powerful ninja; Sha no Sho states that she has no interest in any other type of man. In the anime by the time of the Fourth Shinobi War, her admiration extends to Uzumaki Naruto, who she swoons over even in the middle of combat. Gaara remains her seeming preference, however she gets offended whenever he is criticized, and will disobey orders for his benefit.
When she's first introduced in the anime, Matsuri is a shy and quiet girl who always uses the proper honorifics. Under Gaara's tutelage, she becomes braver and more outspoken, to the point that she ignores even Onoki's instructions. While Matsuri is reluctant to use weapons in Part I, she has fewer inhibitions by the start of Part II; she will use weapons to protect her comrades and Sunagakure's reputation, but will avoid causing harm to others.
Although Matsuri is usually nice, she can also be very aggressive. An example is when she hit Naruto in manga, strucking Ittetsu when he thought Gaara would die, and when hits Kiba in anime after he criticized Gaara therefore starting the fight between the participants of Chunin Exams.
AppearanceMatsuri has medium length brown hair, dark eyes and fair skin. In Part I, she wore a blue-green blouse that hung off her left shoulder, a white and pink sleeveless shirt underneath, a short yellow scarf tied around her neck and a black short skirt. She also wore long, thigh-high stockings, brown sandals and black gloves with a grey elbow-length arm guard on her right arm. During the Chunin Exams, she still wore the stockings, skirt and sandals, as well as two arm guards instead of one, a dark pink shirt with cuts over the shoulders, a white shirt underneath the other and a Sunagakure forehead protector instead of her scarf.
In Part II, she wears a dark shirt with skirt of the same color, a Sunagakure flak jacket and a black forehead protector where her scarf was. She still wears black gloves and stockings, but now wears two arm guards instead of one. During the Fourth Shinobi War, she changed her forehead protector with that of the Allied Shinobi Forces.
In the anime, Matsuri is trained to use the johyo, a dart tied at the end of a long rope. It is primarily a defensive weapon, used to keep her opponents at a distance and block incoming attacks. However, she can also use it offensively.
Her skill with the johyo is great enough to force Shira, a powerful taijutsu user, to unleash his Seven Heavens Breathing Method to defeat her. The anime suggests she has some skill in Wind Release techniques, as she is part of a group of Wind Release users that battle the reincarnated Third Raikage. Temari notes in this instance that Matsuri isn't a long distance user.
Naruto (Part I)
Pre-Shippuuden Filler arcWhile she didn't make her début until Part II of the manga, Matsuri made her début in the final arc of the anime. She was a student of Suna's new Ninja Academy. At the beginning of the weapon-handling lesson, Matsuri asked if weapons are just dangerous. While the class and the teachers pondered the question, Gaara replied suddenly with, "Your weapon is like…" and made Matsuri think that Gaara was trying to tell her something. Therefore she was the only person out of the entire class brave enough to choose Gaara to be her teacher. Gaara sensing her hesitation and inhibitions, taught her how to use a Johyo. But she was fearful of it and other weapons because she had witnessed her parents' murders in the past. Gaara tried to tell her that weapons can be used to protect comrades, but Matsuri didn't understand him at first.
Later, the Four Celestial Symbols Men kidnapped Matsuri, because of her importance to Gaara, trying to lure him out, capture him, and steal the One-Tailed Shukaku's chakra stored within him. Gaara, his siblings, and the Konoha 11 (excluding Tenten) came to her aid, and fought her captors. After being set free, she saved Uzumaki Naruto from a fatal attack from Seimei using her Johyo, after finally realizing that weapons can be used to protect comrades. After Seimei's defeat, she returned to Suna with Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari. But before she left, she asked Nara Shikamaru to tell Naruto that he finally made her understand what Gaara had been trying to tell her, and that she would continue to train as Gaara's student. Matsuri also found out along with the Sand Siblings, that Naruto is Master Jiraiya's student. While she was leaving, Shikamaru commented that she would be one of Naruto's future fans.
Pre-Shippuuden Filler arc
Two years later after Naruto left Konoha to train with Jiraiya, Konohagakure decided to host an early Chunin Exam to help restore its reputation after the previous exam was ruined by Orochimaru's invasion. To better the chances of people joining this, it was co-sponsored by Sunagakure to help promote Gaara as the Fifth Kazekage. Matsuri joined the exams with Mikoshi and Yukata as her team-mates, and went to Konohagakure where the first exam would be held. Once entering the exams, Matsuri and her team-mates were randomly split up and sent to different rooms to take the written test. On a monitor, Shikamaru, as proctor, explained that everyone only needs to answer one question on the test, but their combined score with their team-mates will determine if they pass or fail the exam as they need exactly 100 points to pass.
With the conclusion of the three question choice test, Shikamaru revealed a bonus question, asking to which teammate you would leave to be a decoy. The answer had to be unanimous with the person picked being disqualified. Her team was able to qualify for the second round by not answering, which proved to be the right choice as all members of team would need to be present for the second round. After the exam, Matsuri teased the overjoyed Yukata about her not being able to solve the problems at all. However a preliminary round had to be held to lessen the many participants there were. The preliminary round involved a race to Sunagakure with only the first 30 participants qualifying for the primary second round.
She and her team-mates managed to be part of the 30 shinobi to make it. During dinner, when some shinobi tried to stop Burami from leaking his sweat on the food, they knocked over all the food in the process, angering her and other shinobi. But Inuzuka Kiba states it was unintentional, but when he comments on Suna's awareness skills, she attacks him, beginning the fight that commenced between the participants in the room. The next day, the second exam proctor, Temari, announced the start of the second round taken place within the Demon Desert.
Once the second round begin, Matsuri and her teammates were seen jumping into their location to begin the second round. Later, knowing they were running out of time to pass the exams, Mikoshi suggested they go intercept an enemy team already attempting to complete the exam with both scrolls and take the needed scroll. Along the way, they were caught in a massive sandstorm. Ultimately, Mikoshi fell into quicksand. While Matsuri was able to catch him initially, the whole team was ultimately saved by Fu. After they regained consciousness, Fu offered them her scroll, saying she no longer needed it. Matsuri and her team however declined, following Gaara's example of persevering through struggles.
As Gaara safety led her team out of the sandstorm, Gaara encourages Team Matsuri to continue their way through the Chunin Exams. As the three head on, they hear a strange melody and realize that the terrain is not in their favor for an enemy attack. Hoichi animates their shadows, strangling the three in order to call out Gaara. With the jinchuriki's arrival, Hoichi sets his plan in motion and uses his sealing technique to latch on to Shukaku in order to pull him from the inside its jinchuriki. As the Kazekage orders Matsuri, Yukata and Mikoshi to leave, the three decide to head out to the central tower to get help. Despite this, Yukata quickly collapses, leaving Matsuri to go on ahead alone, with Mikoshi staying with Yukata. While she was heading to the tower, she collapsed on the ground while being seen through Hyuga Neji's Byakugan. The three genin then run to the kunoichi's aid, with Lee mistaking Neji's intents and asking if he wants to steal the scroll from a shinobi in danger, only to be corrected by Tenten. As they approach Matsuri, she tells them that Gaara's in danger and asks them to go and help the Kazekage in battle.
Desperate to save the Kazekage, she offered them her scroll in exchange for their help. Neji however decided to help without compensation. Before they could act, Fu's team-mates arrived and they've all decided to work together to save both jinchuriki. With the crisis averted, Matsuri and the others began laughing at Fu's continued efforts to make friends.
Later, as the exam was nearly over and her team had yet to find a matching set of scrolls, Matsuri decided instead to find Shira, a fellow Suna-nin who like her was a student and supporter of Gaara with the desire to fight him. Upon finding him and making her intention known, he agreed. Ultimately, Matsuri lost, but took her defeat in stride. Their two respective teams then went to the main building to wait for the second exam's conclusion. Ultimately, the Chunin Exams were ended early before starting the finals due to controversy happening in the second exam. Instead, it was decided by Gaara that a report on each participant would be sent to their respective village leader for them to decide if they would be promoted.
Naruto Shippuuden (Part II)
Kazekage Rescue arc
In the anime, after Gaara is kidnapped by Akatsuki, Matsuri is assigned to a team led by Temari. When they start doing border patrol, Matsuri complains that they should be trying to rescue Gaara instead.
Later, in her first manga appearance, Matsuri is present when Gaara is revived. She is one of the first people he speaks to when he wakes up. She becomes angry with Ittetsu when he voices his fears that Gaara had died, and then she and Sari gush over him. They rush towards Gaara, pushing Uzumaki Naruto out of the way. Temari is later seen standing between the girls and her little brother with her arms straight out, probably insisting that Gaara needs some breathing space. She, Team Kakashi, Team Maito Gai, along with Suna return the revivied Gaara back to the village. So this way he can continue to be Kazekage.
Sasuke & Sai arc
She made a cameo appearance in the anime, in which she appeared in Naruto's dream when he is seen peeping into the female bathhouse where Sakura and other female characters from the series were gathered to take a bath.
Five Kage Summit arc
Fourth Shinobi War arc
In the anime, Matsuri is seen alongside Yukata and a few other Sunagakure shinobi, gushing over Gaara after he unites the troops with his speech. Later, she is seen with Temari, Nara Shikamaru, Akimichi Choji, and Yukata discussing about the topic of kekkei tōta. Soon, she is seen with Yukata, lending towels to Gaara, telling him that he must conserve his strength. Wanting to show kindness to the older kage, he tells them to give them to Onoki before him. They did not recognise him at first, which irritated the Tsuchikage, and were surprised when he told them who he was.
The next day, the Fourth Division makes their move on the reincarnated Kage and Matsuri and Yukata join other Wind Release users in subduing the Third Raikage. Matsuri asks Temari their next move after Naruto could not damage the Raikage. Yukata asks who Uzumaki Naruto is and Matsuri explains he is the hero of Konoha who defeated the Akatsuki leader Pain. Annoyed with their discussions, Temari orders the two kunoichi to keep their distance. After the Raikage was defeated by Naruto, she and Yukata carried a protesting Onoki to the medical tents.
Later, when Temari fights with Daimaru, she and Yukata gush over his confession, and then tease Temari about her crush on Nara Shikamaru. Matsuri was lastly seen when the real Uchiha Madara arrived alongside Mu on the battlefield. It is unknown if she survived the following confrontation, and the final attack that wiped out most of the Fourth Division. However she was shown waking up after the Infinite Tsukuyomi is released.
Matsuri appears in Gaara's thoughts along with several other villagers, including his siblings and Sari, when he thinks of the members of Suna, stating that his villagers lives now 'belong to him' and he considers it his duty to protect them.
the Third Raikage
- Unnamed Mother (Mother/dead)
- Unnamed Father (Father/dead)
- Gaara (Sensei)
- Mikoshi (Teammate)
- Yukata (Teammate)
- Sari (#1 Rival)
- The name "Matsuri" can mean festival (祭) or Arabian Jasmine (茉莉).
- A kunoichi resembling Matsuri made an apperance in Naruto Shippuuden Ultimate Ninja 4, walking around the Save point outside of Suna, although her shirt was red.
- In Naruto Shippuuden movie 3, Matsuri appears in Gaara's thoughts along with several other villagers, including his siblings and Sari, when he thinks of the members of Suna, stating that his villagers lives now 'belong to him' and he considers it his duty to protect them.
- During the Fourth Shinobi War arc in the manga, Matsuri is not present among the Fourth Division as it is seemingly comprised of shinobi chunin rank and above.
- Matsuri made her first appearance in the anime before the manga. It wasn't until the timeskip that she appeared in the manga while in the anime it was far before that.
- She bears a striking resembles to Gaara's late mother, Karura.
- She has not met Uchiha Sasuke or Sai yet in the anime.
Matsuri shares a similaritie with Tenten.
- Both only use ninja tools in their battles.
- Japanese : Maaya Sakamoto (Part I & Part II)
- English : Laura Jill Miller (Part I), Michelle Ruff (Kazekage Rescue arc – Sasuke and Sai arc in Part II), Laura Bailey (Five Kage Summit arc in Part II)
all information on Matsuri is from http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Matsuri