The tailed beasts (尾獣, bijū) are the nine titanic behemoths within the Naruto series. They are differentiated by the number of tails they have, ranging from one to nine. The tailed beasts are living forms of chakra, sometimes referred to as "Chakra Monsters" (チャクラのバケモノ, Chakura no Bakemono), giving them immense reserves of especially strong chakra that far outmatches most shinobi. The tailed beasts' chakra is coloured red.
They also have the ability to communicate telepathically with each other and their jinchūriki, and possess several levels of consciousness. There is the initial level where the beast may appear in a habitat of sorts seemingly imprisoned in some way by whatever fūinjutsu that sealed them. The second level is where all the tailed beasts can convene, free of any restrictions and communicate with one another. The jinchūriki are also able to enter there, but in order to do so, they must be completely linked with their tailed beasts.
See also: Jinchūriki
Long ago before the founding of the hidden villages, during an era of endless wars between mankind, there existed the Shinju, a tree that was revered as a deity which bore a fruit once every thousand years. Although it was forbidden to consume the Shinju's fruit, it was eaten by Princess Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, who used the power it granted her to end the wars plaguing the lands. Some time after this, Kaguya gave birth to a son who became the first human born with chakra. Enraged by the theft of its power, the Shinju assumed a monstrous form of what many christened as the "Ten-Tails". The Ten-Tails rampaged throughout the lands until Kaguya's son managed to single-handedly defeat the beast and sealed it within himself. This act, along with many other great deeds throughout his lifetime, resulted in Hagoromo becoming revered as the "Sage of the Six Paths".
However, knowing that his death would unleash the Ten-Tails back into the world to continue its rampage and reclaim the chakra that humanity now possesses, the Sage separated the monster's chakra from its body before using Chibaku Tensei to seal the husk in what would become the moon. From there, the Sage used his Creation of All Things ability to divide the chakra into nine fragments that are each given a physical form and name. Some time after their creation, the young tailed beasts were told that they were all still linked to one another despite being separate entities. The Sage also told them that would eventually become one again, yet not as they originally were, and that one shall appear at that time to show them what true power is. Despite their close relation to one another, there is a significant amount of friction between the tailed beasts that caused them to part ways. One such cause was due to Kurama's belief that their strength was determined by the number of their tails.
Over the centuries, countless humans failed to see the tailed beasts as sapient individuals with their own personalities and emotions, and they treated them with great disdain and fear, but because of their immense power, they sought the tailed beasts out as mere tools to be used or taken, a sentiment they absolutely detest. By the time of the formation of the shinobi villages, after his victory against Madara Uchiha in the Valley of the End, Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage, used his Wood Release techniques to capture several of the tailed beasts and allow the other shinobi villages to purchase them in exchange for signing peace treaties with each other, in order to stabilise the balance of power between them.
Madara, later revealed to have survived the altercation, had obtained Hashirama's DNA — his true purpose for the encounter. Integrating Hashirama's DNA into his wounds, Madara awakened the Rinnegan shortly before the end of his natural lifespan. With it, he was able to summon the vessel of the Ten-Tails from the moon. However, using artificial means to expand his life, Madara was unable to carry out his plan to revive the Ten-Tails. As such he passed on this task to a young Obito Uchiha who had come to share his view on the world after Rin Nohara's death.
With the help of Akatsuki, by the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, seven of the nine tailed beasts had been sealed into the statue. Irked by the slow progress of the plan, assuming the identity of Tobi to oversee the matters and converting reincarnated hosts into his personalised Six Paths of Pain, Obito accompanied by the statue entered the battlefield to obtain the Benihisago and Kohaku no Jōhei which contained the Gold and Silver Brothers. Despite not having sealed the last remaining two tailed beasts entirely — only possessing portions of their power, Obito decided to begin the plan as the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path undergoes a painful regeneration into the Ten-Tails. When Madara realised the situation, he attempted to rectify this. Despite Naruto and Killer B's attempt to destroy the Demonic Statue while in mid-transformation, it was successfully restored into the Ten-Tails, albeit in an incomplete form for a while before reaching its matured state.
However, the tailed beasts used in the Ten-Tails' recreation transfered bits of their chakra into Naruto prior to Obito carrying out the process as the Ten-Tails sees them supporting the human in spirit as they all have recognised him as the one that the Sage of the Six Paths foretold. After Obito became its jinchūriki, the Ten-Tails assumes its true form to enact its host's desire while draining the chakra of those can it grasps in its branches. Eventually, Naruto, with the help of Sasuke Uchiha and the Konoha 11, delivered a devastating blow against Obito, forcing out the chakra of all the tailed beasts. Naruto and the rest of the Shinobi Alliance began to grab and pull the chakra from Obito's body to reduce him to a shell of the Shinju and prevent the Eye of the Moon Plan.
The Tailed Beasts
Main article: Shukaku
Main article: Matatabi
Main article: Isobu
Main article: Son Gokū
Main article: Kokuō
Main article: Saiken
Main article: Chōmei
Main article: Gyūki
Main article: Kurama
Main article: Shinju The Shinju (神樹, English TV: Divine Tree) was an ancient tree which grew from the blood of the deceased during the era of endless wars at the dawn of the human race, and was worshiped as the host of a god. Every millennium, the tree would grow a mysterious fruit, which humans were specifically instructed to never lay so much as a single finger on. Consumption of the Shinju's fruit bestows an ability upon its consumer's body to produce powerful chakra.
- In Naruto: Shippūden the Movie, it features an evil demon named Mōryō, who was sealed away by Shion's mother.
- In Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds, it features the Zero-Tails. Despite having a numerical tail name, it is not an actual tailed beast and it has characteristics that are quite different from them.
- In Naruto 5: Blood Prison, there is a yōkai called Satori, who resides within the Box of Ultimate Bliss.
- In Naruto 6: Road to Ninja, Kurama has a Genjutsu World counterpart called the Black Nine-Tails (黒九尾, Kuro Kyūbi), who is sealed within the body of Naruto's alternate self, Menma. Menma creates and controls living entities composed of its chakra known as the Nine Masked Beasts.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3, there are three masked beasts (仮面獣, kamenjū) featured in the game (like Matatabi and Isobu that have been featured in the game) that can be fought via Beast Battle Mode.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Dragon Blade Chronicles, there are five dragons known as the Genryū, each possessing one of the five chakra natures. If all the Genryū are combined, they become the Light Dragon.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Kizuna Drive, there is the Three-Headed Guardian Beast, guardian of Yumegakure which, like the tailed beasts, is a living form of chakra.
- Shukaku, Matatabi, Gyūki, and Kurama are the only tailed beasts to be based on popular animal yōkai (such as tanuki, nekomata, ushi-oni, and kitsune respectively) from Japanese myth, while the others are original creations by Masashi Kishimoto, mixing together various elements from certain species of animals.
- According to some, the immense strength that the tailed beasts possess is tempered by their bestial nature, which restricts them from being intelligent enough to use it effectively, thus when the tailed beasts are sealed within humans, they are able to benefit from the knowledge of their hosts, giving them the ability to better utilise their powers. However, this was proven to be false.
- Despite all the tailed beasts gaining a name from the Sage of the Six Paths, only some such as Son Gokū refer to themselves by that name on a regular basis. Others, such as Kurama and Gyūki, prefer to refer to each other by the number of tails each possess.
- Because of the moon's origin and it being the holder of the Ten-Tails' body, tailed beast and subsequently their jinchūriki are effected by it, and much more so during a full moon.
- According to Gaara, Shukaku relishes the opportunity to kill anyone in sight at any time because of its innate rage and blood-lust, but especially so during the full moon.
- In the anime, Fukai, during his time as Gyūki's jinchūriki, noted that he would have trouble sleeping at night, especially during a full moon and at one point was shown to have to suppress a partial manifestation of Gyūki's tail after he had been staring at the full moon. Fukai was also shown to take sleep pills to help with this side-effect of being a jinchūriki.
- Several non-jinchūriki shinobi have been said to hold chakra levels, reserves or strength, comparable to that of a tailed beast. Such individuals include Kisame Hoshigaki, Hashirama Senju, Madara Uchiha, the Third Raikage, and A. In fact, the former has been given the moniker of Tailed Beast without a Tail (尾を持たない尾獣, O o Motanai Bijū, English TV: Tailless Tailed Beast). In addition, Madara has claimed that the power of his final Susanoo is comparable to that of a tailed beast.
- Shukaku is the only tailed beast shown to have control over a physical property rather than using a chakra-based element, and hasn't shown the characteristic red-chakra-shrouded Version 1 or Version 2 forms.
- Among the tailed beasts, only Kurama has been shown to be subject to the Summoning Technique.
- A tailed beast can "die" with its jinchūriki, if it is still sealed within them at the time of its host's death, but the beast itself will be revived later.
- In the manga, before Taka began working with Akatsuki, Akatsuki was said to have seven tailed beasts. In the anime, when Taka is sent to capture Gyūki, the group has only six, the seventh missing beast being Saiken to make room for an additional anime-only arc.
- In the anime, the six tailed beasts that were used as Obito's Six Paths of Pain, all shared a voice actor with one of each other's respective jinchūriki.
- ↑ Naruto chapter 256, page 14
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Naruto chapter 404, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 496, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 568, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 572, pages 6-7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 572, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 609, pages 13-14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 646
- ↑ Naruto chapter 467, pages 14-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 510, pages 11-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 572, pages 10-11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 567, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 568, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 648, pages 10-12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 561, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 606, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 606, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 602, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 606, pages 4-9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 468, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 536, pages 15-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 537, pages 12, 15-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 592, pages 10-11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 601, pages 10-11, 16-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 609, pages 13-17
- ↑ Naruto chapters 651-652
- ↑ Naruto chapter 318, page 11
- ↑ Naruto chapter 91, page 19
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- ↑ Naruto chapter 463, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 468, page 9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 589, page 7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 503, pages 14, 17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 541, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 543, page 9
- ↑ Naruto chapter 605
- ↑ Naruto chapter 629, pages 14-16