[[Gaara]] is angry with [[Naruto]] since he isn't giving him the challenge he wanted from someone who would protect his friends so much. Angered, Naruto attacks, using his shadow clones to get close to the base of Gaara's tail, where there isn't any defence. Naruto wraps a kunai with a paper bomb and uses [[One Thousand Years of Death]] with the kunai and paper bomb, Gaara knocks Naruto away and the bomb explodes, causing Gaara's form to deteriorate and weakening him. Sasuke tells Naruto to save [[Sakura]], and that Sasuke would be able to hold off Gaara long enough for Sakura to escape. Remembering what [[Haku]] said to him in the [[Land of Waves]], he realises that Gaara is exactly like him, carrying all the hatred and loneliness that Naruto had to. Repeating his vow to save Sakura and Sasuke, Naruto gathers up all his remaining chakra and summons 1000 shadow clones, to the amazement of everyone. Naruto tells Sasuke to stay back, and Sasuke asks if that is the same Naruto. The thousand clones all attack Gaara at the same time, getting close enough to use [[Naruto Uzumaki Combo]] with all of his clones, sending Gaara crashing into the ground and infuriating him. Gaara roars that he would never lose to "a guy like him", and transforms into his [[Gaara's Jinchūriki Forms#Full Shukaku Form|full Shukaku form]], to the horror of [[Temari]]. Gaara notes that he never thought Naruto would bring out the demon in him, and uses his [[Sand Binding Coffin]] on Naruto. Right before Gaara is about to crush him, Naruto manages to use the [[Summoning Technique]] and summons [[Gamabunta]]. Gaara laughs and says Naruto never fails to amaze him. Gamabunta in unhappy about being summoned by Naruto, and sees Gaara in his true form, remarking that he is [[One-Tailed Shukaku|Shukaku the Sand Spirit]]. Naruto asks if Gamabunta will fight with him, and Gamabunta tells Naruto to "take a hike". Naruto freaks out, yelling that Gamabunta made Naruto his henchmen in their last encounter, and Gamabunta says that they haven't sealed the deal yet. Before they can argue anymore, [[Gamakichi]] tells Gamabunta to hear Naruto out, calling him "pops". Gamakichi tells his father that Gaara was picking on him, and that Naruto came to his rescue. Gamabunta is furious, and leaps into battle with Gaara, using his knife to cut off one of Gaara's arms. Gaara rages, and then manifests his human form onto the Shukaku's forehead. Gamabunta remarks that Gaara hasn't had any sleep his entire life since he has the Shukaku sealed inside him, and that if he did, the Shukaku would eat away at Gaara's soul. Gaara uses the [[Feigning Sleep Technique]] and forces himself to fall asleep, bringing out the Shukaku and drastically increasing his power. The Shukaku is overjoyed at being free, and it and Gamabunta exchange their [[Wind Release: Drilling Air Bullet|air]] and [[Water Release: Gunshot|water]] style attacks, and Gamabunta says they have no chance unless they make Gaara wake up. Gamabunta tries to grab onto the Shukaku for Naruto to get close enough to hit Gaara, but he cannot hold on. Gamabunta says that he doesn't have any claws or teeth to hold onto the Shukaku with, and tells Naruto to use a combo transformation to transform them into something that has what they need. Gamabunta charges at the Shukaku, and Naruto manages to transform them just in time, turning them into the [[Nine-Tailed Demon Fox]].
[[Naruto]] attacks [[Gaara]] using his [[shadow clones]] and performs the [[One Thousand Years of Death]] with a [[kunai]] and [[explosive tag]], damaging Gaara's [[Jinchūriki Forms#Partial Transformation|form]]. [[Sasuke]] tells Naruto to save [[Sakura]], and that he would hold Gaara off long enough for them to escape. Realising that Gaara is just like him and remembering his conversation with [[Haku]], Naruto produces [[Multiple Shadow Clone Technique|nine hundred and ninety-nine shadow clones]], which all [[Naruto Uzumaki Two Thousand Combo|attack]] Gaara at once. Gaara responds by [[Tailed Beast Mode|fully transforming]] and attempting to [[Sand Binding Coffin|crush]] Naruto, but he escapes by [[Summoning Technique|summoning]] [[Gamabunta]]. The toad identifies Gaara's form as [[Shukaku of the Sand]], and agrees to fight alongside Naruto after learning that he protected [[Gamakichi|his son]], quickly [[Toad Sword Beheading|severing]] Shukaku's right arm. Emerging from Shukaku's head, Gaara uses the [[Feigning Sleep Technique]] and falls asleep, handing over control to Shukaku and drastically increasing its power. Realising they stand no chance unless they wake Gaara up, Gamabunta tries to grab hold of Shukaku. After the initial attempt fails, Gamabunta tells Naruto to use the [[Combination Transformation]] to transform them into something that has fangs and claws. Charging toward Shukaku, Naruto manages to transform them just in time, becoming the [[Nine-Tailed Demon Fox]].