Naruto/Characters/Tailed Beasts

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The MacGuffins of the series, at least in the second part. The Tailed Beasts (or, in the original Japanese, "biju") are humongous, primal creatures known for their extraordinary power and immense amounts of chakra. Most of the Tailed Beasts seen in the series have been sealed into human hosts in order to contain their destructive power—all the beasts are, if not actively malevolent, then at least dangerously feral. It's stated in the series that although the Beasts have massive amounts of power, they cannot use it effectively because of their lack of intelligence—the human hosts (also known as "jinchuriki", or "spiritualist medium" in the dub) are able to make better use of the Beasts' power than they themselves can. Much later, it is suggested that these perceptions of the beasts' natures may not be entirely true, which contributes largely to their bitterness and disdain towards the humans who use them.

During the wars, the various ninja villages experimented with trying to use the Tailed Beasts as weapons of war. However, the Beasts proved to be too unstable to use directly. A last-ditch effort to make use of the Beasts involved sealing them into the bodies of humans, giving those humans access to the Beasts' power while also suppressing the Beasts' influence, but this too was ultimately deemed a failure, as it was not a foolproof method and had damaging effects on the psyche of the host. Most hosts are lonely people who hate the world; according to various members of the Akatsuki, when some of the hosts were captured, the people in their villages were glad to be rid of them. (Naruto considers the term "jinchuriki" to be a slur, and sympathizes with the others.)

The presence of a Tailed Beast usually has some sort of effect, physically and mentally, on their hosts. If the host dies, the Beast does too, so the Beasts usually have some method of protecting the host's life without the host's knowledge. The reverse is also true—the removal of the spirit will result in the death of its host. The Beasts seem to have the ability to take control of the host's body during periods of extreme stress, anger, or weakness.

Akatsuki's mission is to collect all nine of them. When they capture a Beast, they seal it into a large three-headed statue. Akatsuki's stated mission is to use the Tailed Beasts to start wars and then immediately quell them, creating a monopoly on shinobi labor that would then drive the other Hidden Villages out of business. From there, Akatsuki can easily take over the world. However, certain Akatsuki members have other designs on the Beasts -- Pain and Konan want to use the Beasts' incredible amounts of chakra to fuel a jutsu that is roughly equivalent in power to a nuke, which they will then use to teach the world about the foolishness of fighting. Tobi, meanwhile, implies that the collection of all nine Beasts will allow him to return his Sharingan to full power.

Akatsuki currently has seven of the nine, and is closing in on the final two. Recently in the manga, Tobi has promised Sasuke the use of one Beast to aid in the latter's planned destruction of the Leaf Village if Sasuke aids Tobi in finding the last two. Sasuke agreed to this deal, and headed out with his team to capture the Eight-Tails host. After apparently suceeding, he headed toward Konoha, but is stopped when Tobi informs him the host actually escaped.


All the Tailed Beasts show examples of...

One-Tail

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Voiced By: Hiroshi Iwasaki (JP) Kirk Thornton (EN)

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Real Name: Shukaku. Yeah, really.

Host: Gaara.

Apparently the only Tailed Beast with an actual name instead of just referred to by what animal he looks like - at least, up until chapter 568. A gleefully malevolent sand spirit. According to the legends of the Hidden Sand Village, Shukaku was once a man, a corrupted monk who was sealed into a tea kettle. It was sealed into Gaara upon his birth by Chiyo on orders from the Fourth Kazekage, using Gaara's mother as a sacrifice.

In contrast to Gaara's sullen, morose personality, Shukaku is wild and incoherent, like a drunk. (This fits in with typical depictions of tanuki in Japanese mythology, and "Shukaku" itself can translate as "drunk".) Like all Tailed Beasts, it has an immense bloodlust and hunger for battle, and relishes a chance to kill opponents.

Shukaku has the ability to levitate sand, which it does to protect Gaara from all harm. (This prevents even self-inflicted injuries—Gaara had never known physical pain before the series.) Gaara's famed sand shield is actually Shukaku's doing. When angry or in a bloodlust, Gaara can give himself over to Shukaku, allowing the spirit to take its true form. In this form, it is so large that Naruto was forced to summon Gamabunta in order to defeat him. Shukaku is associated with the Wind element.

Shukaku manifests itself on Gaara's body by way of dark, raccoon-like circles that appear around his eyes.

Deidara was assigned to capture Shukaku. He does so, defeating Gaara and transporting his body to an Akatsuki hideout to extract the spirit. Although Shukaku was successfully extracted, resulting in Gaara's death, Chiyo used a forbidden jutsu to repent her old sin and revive Gaara at the cost of her own life.

As once stated by the Eight-Tails, Shukaku has a titanic hatred for the Nine-Tails, in response to judging the power of the tailed beasts by the number of tails they have. The fox, having the most tails, and Shukaku, having the least, causes Nine-Tails to view himself as the strongest and the latter as the weakest. Ever since the fox made the scathing insult, Shukaku goes into a vicious rage when he hears so much as the mere mention of his arrogant archenemy.


Tropes associated to the One-Tails:


Two-Tails

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Real Name: Matatabi

Host: Yugito Nii

This Tailed Beast was sealed into Yugito Nii, a kunoichi of the Hidden Cloud Village. It is said to be a spirit of vengeance- the living ghost of a twisted human being. It can breathe fire. The spirit manifests itself on Yugito's eyes, which are shaped like a cat's. Yugito can transform into the Cat, but this didn't help her against Hidan and Kakuzu, who defeated her in a battle with massive collateral damage. (It's unknown which one, specifically, was assigned to capture her.) The spirit was later extracted, and Yugito died from the procedure.

Yugito and the Two-Tails return in the Shinobi World War Arc alongside the other jinchuriki, brought back to life under the control of Edo Tensei, with the demon cat re-sealed inside her. Killer B expresses his distaste when he sees one of his old role models being used like a chew toy.


Tropes associated to the Two-Tails:


Three-Tails

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Real Name: Isobu

Former host: Yagura, 4th Mizukage

This giant turtle-like monster is the only Tailed Beast seen so far who was not sealed into a host when Akatsuki captured it. (Chapter 420, however, reveals that the Beast did have a host at one point, a young man from the Hidden Mist Village named Yagura who was apparently at some point the Fourth Mizukage. However, Yagura was apparently mind controlled by Tobi and killed afterward, so the Beast was free by the time it was encountered in the main story.) A Filler arc was centered around this creature, with the Leaf Ninja trying to seal it, only to be stopped by Guren and her henchmen repeatedly, eventually foiling the mission altogether. As such, the Akatsuki tracked it down, where it was easily defeated by Deidara and Tobi, who were assigned to capture it. Tobi claimed to have knocked it out in one punch, although Deidara contests this assertion. and got butt raped


Tropes associated to the Three-Tails:

Four-Tails

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Real Name: Son Goku

Host: Roshi

This Beast, referred as the Four-Tails, was sealed into the body of Rōshi, an elderly man from Iwagakure, the Hidden Rock Village. His host was able to manipulate lava, likely a power gained from this beast. Rather than letting its presence cause him scorn and hate, Rōshi left his village to try and better understand the beast. However, Rōshi would eventually run into Kisame Hoshigaki of the Akatsuki, and engaged in a lengthy battle with the shark ninja. Unfortunately, although he was a very tough opponent, Rōshi was defeated, and later died when the Yonbi was forcibly extracted from his body. Kisame, who was assigned to capture it, complained of having a difficult time with it, but ultimately succeeded. The most recent art book revealed the Yonbi to be a large, red, four-tailed gorilla. The beast manifests itself in Roshi's hair.

In the Shinobi World War Arc, he makes his debut, re-sealed inside an Edo-Tensei revived Rōshi. When Tobi makes Rōshi transform into the Four-Tails, it manages to catch Naruto in its teeth and swallow him whole. However, Naruto ends up in the Four-Tails's mental prison. The Four-Tails has a condescending view of all humans, believing they view the tailed beasts only as sources of power. He wishes to be refered to only as Son Goku, the name given to him by the Sage of the Six Paths himself. Son reveals the Kyubi's true name: Kurama. When Naruto shows him kindness, he's intrigued that a human seriously wants to befriend him.


Tropes associated to the Four-Tails:

  • Ambition Is Evil: Towards humans wanting to steal his power to further their own goals.
  • Berserk Button: Absolutely HATES being called the Four-Tails.
  • Cool Crown: The horns on his head are shaped like a crown, a trait of nobility amongst Japanese demon folklore.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys
  • Eyes of Gold
  • Expy: Of Sun Wukong and the Oozaru. His real name is even Son Goku.
  • Four Is Death: Subverted. Appears to be the beast that kills Naruto by eating him, but Naruto ends up going inside his mental prison instead.
  • Large Ham: Brags about himself and his "nobility" if given the opportunity, with a HUMONGOUS BELLOWING voice.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: What he thinks about humans in general.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Has a powerful desire to run free and get as far away as possible from human affairs.
  • Magma Man: Bestows the use of Lava Release on his host and is himself capable of lava attacks.
  • Pride: The Yonbi has a very, very deep-seated sense of pride about himself, and will immediately lash out at anyone who disrespects him, even if it's an honest mistake. However, he's more polite and slightly more forgiving than the Nine-Tails.
  • Shout-Out: He has many to both Journey to the West and Dragon Ball. His real name, Son Goku, pays homage to Journey to the West. For Dragonball, his Oozaru-like appearance, the fact he has four tails are no coincidence, and the name of his jinchuriki is Roshi.


Five-Tails

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Real Name: Kokuou

Host: Han

One of the lesser-mentioned beasts and hosts, being one of the first jinchuriki to fall to Akatsuki. They were hardly mentioned until their official debut in the manga's Chapter 420 and Episode 205 of Shippuden. The most recent art book provided the fandom with a glimpse into their lives and the nature of their tailed beasts. The Gobi is a five-tailed, horse-dolphin hybrid that belonged to a very tall, grey-eyed man from the Hidden Rock Village covered in a a strange set of blood-red armor named Han, who used the power of his tailed beast to fight using steam. Some combination of Pain, Konan, Hidan, Kakuzu, and Zetsu were assigned to capture him. After a challenging battle, Han was subdued, and Akatsuki extracted the Gobi, resulting in his death.

In the Shinobi World War Arc, Han and the Gobi appear in the flesh for the first time, now under Tobi's control from a combination of Edo Tensei and the Six Paths of Pain. Tobi tries to force Han to transform into the Five-Tails, but the beast attempts to resist him, which the Eight-Tails discovers much to his chagrin. In extreme pain, it seems to be on the verge of begging for help. Displeased with the beast's resistance towards him, Tobi reverses Han's transformation and dials it back to a partial state.


Tropes associated to the Five-Tails:


Six-Tails

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Real Name: Saiken

Host: Utakata

A recent[when?] Filler arc focused on Utakata. Utakata's former master, Harusame, once tried unsuccessfully to extract the beast from his body, killing Harusame in the process. Utakata had sworn not to use the beast's powers ever again, but is forced to do so to in the process of rescuing his student, Hotaru, from a man named Shiranami who had activated the destructive jutsu fused with her body. Soon after resolving this conflict, he is found by all six paths of Pain, which quickly overwhelm and incapacitate him. Though it isn't shown, presumably he is then taken away to have the tailed beast extracted from his body, dying in the process. Kabuto later resurrects him with Edo Tensei. Madara then use his body along with the rest of the revived jinchuuriki as the new Six paths.


Tropes associated to the Six-Tails:

Seven-Tails

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Real Name: Choumei

Seven-Tailed Host: Fuu

The Shichibi was a rhino beetle with six wings and a tail, whose host was a teal-haired, red-eyed girl (Kishimoto decided her gender at the last minute) from the Hidden Waterfall Village.


Tropes associated to the Seven-Tails:


Eight-Tails

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Voiced By: Masaki Aizawa (JP)

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Real Name: Gyuuki

Host: Killer Bee

This Tailed Beast, one of the final two still uncaptured by Akatsuki, is sealed into a ninja from the Hidden Cloud Village. The host appears to be on good terms with the spirit, as they can work together to break genjutsu, and even converse casually outside of battle. Its seal manifests itself in the tattoo of a Tetsu (Iron) kanji. Killer Bee and the Eight-Tailed Ox refer to each other as "Jinchuriki-sama" and "Hachibi-sama". One of its horns was lost in battle when it attacked the Hidden Cloud Village and gored Motoi's father in the process, causing his death. A retaliated by slicing the horn clean off, which has yet to grow back- and may never do so.


Tropes associated to the Eight-Tails:


Nine-Tails

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Voiced by: Tessho Genda (JP), Paul St Peter (EN)

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Real Name: Kurama

Host: Naruto Uzumaki

As a consequence of being sealed into the main character, this is the Tailed Beast with the most screen time so far. It is reputedly the strongest of the nine, able to flatten mountains and raise tsunamis with a sweep of its tails. Prior to the series, it attacked the Hidden Leaf Village after Tobi extracted it from its then-host, Naruto's mother Kushina, who had just given birth to the kid. To stop it, the Fourth Hokage sealed it into the newborn Naruto (his son, as he was Kushina's husband), sacrificing his own life to do so while his Action Mom wife did the same. Tobi claims that it is a natural disaster, able to appear out of nowhere.

It is malevolently intelligent, with a scathing and sadistic personality. It does, however, have its own warped sense of honor, and a grudging respect for Naruto and the Fourth Hokage. It would like nothing more than to kill Naruto and escape (and has tried to tempt Naruto into taking actions that would allow the seal to be broken), but as long as it remains sealed, it is a (however unwilling) ally of Naruto's.

Usually, the Fox manifests itself in whisker-shaped markings on Naruto's cheeks. It also grants him improved stamina and a Healing Factor. Naruto can also draw upon the Fox's enormous reserves of chakra in order to make up for his own lack of chakra control. When Naruto becomes consumed by rage, he starts to draw further on the Fox's chakra. When this happens, the "whiskers" on Naruto's face darken, his teeth become longer and sharper, his eyes turn red, he begins moving about on all fours, and he becomes covered in a coat of visible flame-like chakra. (Chakra is normally invisible, and when depicted, "cool" colors like blue and green are usually used.)

At first, this happens unconsciously. After being trained by Jiraiya, however, Naruto learns how to actively demand chakra from the Fox. To do so, he goes into the depths of his mind (depicted as a dripping sewer with a humongous cage containing the Fox) and demands that the Fox assist him with its chakra (or as Naruto euphemistically calls it, the Fox's "rent"). It's unknown whether the Fox is forced to comply or simply does so out of amusement, but this does work.

The more Naruto gives in to his rage, "tails" of chakra begin to appear. He grows more powerful with each one that appears, but he also loses control of his own personality. When he reaches four tails, the Fox's personality becomes dominant. Recently in the Invasion of Konoha, Naruto has shown the six and eight-tailed forms. It's been theorized that if he ever made it up to nine, the seal would be broken and the Fox would be freed. The seal also seems to be weakening over time. Jiraiya made an attempt to teach Naruto to retain control after four tails, but in so doing he came as close to death as he ever had. Instead, he settled for creating several seals which can suppress the Fox's influence. Yamato's Enclosed Hermitage: Return to Society jutsu can do this job as well.

The Sharingan seems to have the ability to control the Fox. In Shippuden, Sasuke prevented Naruto from drawing on its power, and it was later revealed that Madara Uchiha had "tamed" it and used it in his battle against the First Hokage. Itachi Uchiha was originally assigned to capture it, but with his death, Tobi has sent Pain to do it instead. After that didn't work, it appears that Tobi is handling it himself.

In recent chapters, Naruto (with the help of his parents) successfully tamed the Fox. Naruto can now tap into the Fox's unlimited chakra reserves whenever he chooses, giving himself a Super Saiyan-like glow in the process. Things progress even further when, upon seeing Naruto's genuine concern for the various tailed beasts, Kurama finally accepts his host as an equal partner, and the cage is finally unlocked. Now, Naruto is finally able to complete the tailed-beast transformation technique.


Tropes associated to the Nine-Tails:

  • Blow You Away
  • Canis Major
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Defines himself as a "living mass of malevolence".
  • Cunning Like a Fox
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Enemy Mine: Allows Naruto to use his chakra to combat "Madara"
  • Fantastic Foxes
    • Kitsune: Naturally, although there are significant differences in malevolence and power.
  • Heel Face Turn
  • Jerkass
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The force of its mere roars can cause incredible destruction.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Constantly baits Naruto to tap more and more in his chakra, so it can take control and cause destruction and/or break free of the seal.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Is clearly a fox, but his body proportions (especially his torso and arms, look the picture) are clearly humanoid.
    • To the point where his forepaws are depicted as very nearly having thumbs. Which means he can properly bump fists with Naruto.
    • Also his long rabbit-like ears (though they're likely based on the fennec fox).
  • Omnicidal Maniac
  • Playing with Fire
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Not very fond of Naruto, but nevertheless aware that if he wants to live, then he just has to help him during battles. As a bonus, this regularly gives him occasions to go on wild rampage.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Rule 63: There are quite a few fanfics which feature a female Kyuubi. Nearly always combined with Draco in Leather Pants.
  • Shout-Out: The Nine-Tails' real name, as revealed by the Four-Tails, is Kurama.
  • Slasher Smile: Displayed this when Naruto met him for the first time. Technically, everytime he smiles or shows he's amused looks like this, so much that you can't even tell whether he is feeling murderously giddy or is actually ready to cooperate.
  • Sleep Mode Size: Noticably shrinks when Minato sealed half his essence into the Death God.
  • Tsundere: In the most recent chapters, especially when it always asserts its reluctance to help Naruto despite how it's already obvious that he is being taken in by Naruto's sincerity.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: No, really.
    • To elaborate, in the flashback showing all the Tailed Beasts as children, not only was Kurama the only one shown crying, but he was also the one standing closest to the Sage of Six Paths, implying that the two were quite close before the Sage's death

See also Naruto.


The Ten-Tails

The combined form of all the Tailed Beasts. Was sealed inside the Sage of Six Paths, saving the world from its evil and effectively turning the Sage into a mortal god, explaining why he is regarded as such. Eventually, the Sage on his deathbed, hoping to lessen the chance of global devastation, split its chakra apart to form the nine Tailed Beasts and hid its body in the moon, to prevent the Eldritch Abomination from escaping upon the Sage's passing. Tobi's plan hinges on capturing all of the tailed beasts, depriving them of their chakra and reforming the Ten-Tails back to its original, primordial form, so he can become its Jinchuriki.

  • Bigger Bad: The primordial evil of the world, said to have chakra foul enough that all living things on the planet are menaced by its wrath.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The most overt example thus far in this series
    • Humanoid Abomination: In the sense that its (albeit silhouetted) torso, up to its head, has this eerily humanoid outline.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The Sage of the Six Paths sealed it into himself, making him the first chronological Jinchuriki, on top of turning him into a Physical God in all but name.
    • Sealed Evil in a Can: Before the Sage died, he channeled the Ten-Tails' chakra and divided it into nine different pieces, leading to the creation of the Tailed Beasts, and hid the rest of the Ten-Tails' body in the moon to prevent it from wreaking further havoc onto the world.