The tailed beasts (尾獣, bijū), sometimes referred to as "Chakra Monsters" (チャクラのバケモノ, Chakura no Bakemono), are the nine titanic living forms of chakra created by the Sage of the Six Paths. They are differentiated by the number of tails they have, ranging from one to nine.
A millennium ago, the world was terrorised by a rampaging, colossal monster known as the Ten-Tails. Eventually, through the combined efforts of the twin brothers, Hagoromo and Hamura Ōtsutsuki, the Ten-Tails was defeated and sealed within Hagoromo, becoming its jinchūriki. Throughout his travels, Hagoromo used the Ten-Tails' power to perform many great deeds and promote peace during his lifetime, causing him to be revered as the "Sage of the Six Paths".
Inspired by the ideals of his youngest son, Asura, the Sage divided the Ten-Tails' chakra into nine living entities, what would become the tailed beasts. The Sage named the nine and explained to them that a link existed between them despite their separation. He also foretold of a day when they would be brought together again - though not as they were - and that at that time someone would emerge to show them what true power is. After the Sage's death, the tailed beasts drifted apart, apparently due to Kurama's belief that their number of tails was an indication of their strength.
Over the centuries, humanity failed to recognise the tailed beasts as sapient individuals, instead seeing them only as monsters, demons, or mindless beasts worthy of fear and disdain. Because of their immense power, the tailed beasts were sought out by humans to be used as weapons in times of war. The beasts resented this treatment and came to hate humans, at times willingly becoming the monsters they were viewed as. Shortly after the hidden villages were created, Hashirama Senju, who had captured several of the tailed beasts with his Wood Release, distributed the beasts amongst the new villages in order to stabilise the balance of power between them. In order to harness the beasts' power, the villages began sealing them into humans, creating their own jinchūriki.
Decades later, after the Third Shinobi World War, an organisation known as Akatsuki began capturing the villages' jinchūriki in order to extract their tailed beasts and seal them into the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path for the purposes of reviving the Ten-Tails. By the time of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Akatsuki had captured the first seven tailed beasts. In order to capture the last two, the Eight-Tails and Nine-Tails, Tobi sealed the beasts back into their reincarnated jinchūriki and forced them to fight the Eight-Tails' and Nine-Tails' jinchūriki: Killer B and Naruto Uzumaki, respectively. From Naruto's determination to free them from Tobi and his desire to learn their names, the tailed beasts collectively decided that Naruto was the person the Sage of the Six Paths foretold of. They gave him portions of their chakra, enabling him to release them from Tobi's control.
Tobi was able to reclaim the freed tailed beasts and, using fragments of the Eight-Tails and Nine-Tails' chakra, prematurely revived the Ten-Tails. Tobi then became the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki, but he was defeated by the Allied Shinobi Forces and the tailed beasts were removed from his body. The nine tailed beasts joined forces against Tobi's co-conspirator, Madara Uchiha, but he quickly defeated them all and sealed them, including the Eight-Tails and Nine-Tails, into the Demonic Statue and reformed the Ten-Tails yet again. Madara became the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki and attempted to use Infinite Tsukuyomi on the world. Naruto used the tailed beasts' earlier donations of chakra to try and defeat him, but was unable to do so in time. Madara was afterwards unwittingly used to restore Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, who tried to take what portions of the tailed beasts' chakra Naruto still had.
In one of Kaguya's dimensions, Naruto and Sasuke Uchiha sealed Kaguya away and the tailed beasts were extracted from her body, after she reverted back into the Ten-Tails. After returning to the battlefield, Sasuke, however, realising that the struggle for the tailed beasts started the war in the first place, imprisoned them with Chibaku Tensei and intended to kill them so the world couldn't fight over them any longer. Naruto convinced him not to in the end and the tailed beasts were finally released for good. The tailed beasts spread out through the world, free to live as they want; both Gyūki and Kurama decide to return and stay with B and Naruto. However, though they are apart, the tailed beasts' chakra fragments remain within Naruto, allowing his body to act as their "meeting ground".
Tailed beasts are widely believed to be bestial in nature, incapable of the intelligence needed to fully utilise their immense strength. It is thought that only when sealed within humans are they able to benefit from the knowledge of their jinchūriki to use their powers effectively. This is not actually true. However, unless sealed within a human, a tailed beast's power is rather randomly thrown around instead of being focused, as was the cases with Isobu, Gyūki, Kurama, and the Ten-Tails itself.
Each of the tailed beasts have their own unique abilities, but they all share the same attributes: they have massive quantities of powerful chakra - coloured red - far greater than what most shinobi have, can easily transfer their chakra to whomever they choose, and can use the Tailed Beast Ball. Because the tailed beasts are pure chakra, they cannot actually be killed; if they or their jinchūriki die, their chakra will re-coalesce in time. In addition, if a large portion of a tailed beast's chakra is separated from it, that chakra becomes a separate, sentient copy of the tailed beast.
Tailed beasts can communicate telepathically with one another and their jinchūriki, and possess several levels of consciousness. In the initial level, the beast appears to be in a habitat of sorts, typically imprisoned in some way by whatever fūinjutsu was used to seal them. The second level is where all the tailed beasts can convene and communicate with one another, free of any restrictions. Jinchūriki are also able to enter this level, but in order to do so, they must be completely linked with their tailed beasts.
The Tailed Beasts
The tailed beasts in order of their number of tails:
- In Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds, the Zero-Tails, despite having a numerical tail name and being referred to as a tailed beast in the movie, it is not an actual tailed beast as it has characteristics that are quite different from them.
- In Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison, there is a yōkai called Satori that resides within the Box of Ultimate Bliss.
- In Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie, Kurama has a Genjutsu World counterpart called the Black Nine-Tails, who is sealed within the body of Naruto's alternate self, Menma Uzumaki. 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 giant dragons known as the Genryū, each possessing one of the five chakra natures. If all the Genryū are combined, they become the Light Genryū.
- 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.
- In Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution (and two anime only episodes), there is a Mecha-Kurama, a mechanised version of Kurama.
- Shukaku, Matatabi, Gyūki, and Kurama are based on popular animal yōkai from Japanese myth (tanuki, nekomata, ushi-oni, and kitsune respectively). The others are original creations by Masashi Kishimoto, mixing together various elements from certain species of animals.
- While most of the tailed beasts have conventional tails, Chōmei and Gyūki differ; Chōmei has one regular tail and six wings that make up its seven tails, while Gyūki has eight cephalopod limbs that serve as tails.
- Despite having names, the tailed beasts do not generally use them, either for themselves or for each other, instead referring to each other by how many tails they have. Son Gokū is the only consistent exception, taking offence to the monikers.
- There have been cases that both the tailed beasts and their jinchūriki are affected to a certain degree during a full moon:
- According to Gaara, Shukaku's blood-lust is especially strong during a full moon.
- In the anime, Blue B, during his time as Gyūki's jinchūriki, noted that he would have trouble sleeping during the nights of the full moon, because anytime he would stare at it, it would reflect the loneliness in his heart. Gyūki would take advantage of those moments of weakness and try to control over Blue B's body. Blue B was also shown to take sleeping pills to help with this side-effect.
- Several non-jinchūriki shinobi have been said to hold chakra levels or strength comparable to that of a tailed beast. Such individuals include Kisame Hoshigaki, Madara Uchiha, Hashirama Senju, the Third Raikage, and the Fourth Raikage.
- In the anime, the six tailed beasts that were used by Tobi shared a voice actor with one of each other's respective jinchūriki.
- How the tailed beasts speak has been depicted inconsistently throughout the series, where sometimes their mouths move with their words and sometimes they don't.
- ↑ Chapter 404, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 256, page 14
- ↑ Chapter 467, pages 14-17
- ↑ Chapter 510, pages 11-12
- ↑ Chapter 670
- ↑ Chapter 572, pages 12-13
- ↑ Chapter 567, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 568, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 648, pages 10-12
- ↑ Chapter 468, page 6
- ↑ Chapter 592, pages 10-11
- ↑ Chapter 609, pages 13-17
- ↑ Chapter 654, pages 14-15
- ↑ Chapter 660
- ↑ Chapter 699
- ↑ Chapter 692, pages 6-7
- ↑ Chapter 318, page 12
- ↑ Chapter 638, page 13
- ↑ Chapter 572, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 519
- ↑ Chapter 503, pages 14, 17
- ↑ Chapters 642-643
- ↑ Chapter 496, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 568, page 10
- ↑ Chapter 572, pages 6-7
- ↑ Chapter 91, page 19
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 318
- ↑ Chapter 468, page 9
- ↑ Chapter 589, page 7