| (又旅, Matatabi)
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #72|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga and Game|
Matatabi first came into being in the waning days of the Sage of the Six Paths, who used his Creation of All Things ability to separate the Ten-Tails' chakra from its body and divide it into nine separate constructs that would come to be known as tailed beasts in order to ensure that it would never resurface after his death. Some time after being created, the Sage sat down with all the young tailed beasts and told them that they would always be together, even when separated, and that one day they would become one entity again with different names and forms than they did. Then, when the time came, they would know what true power is.
Like Shukaku, many people believed that Matatabi was once a human that turned into a living ghost (生霊, ikiryō). Matatabi eventually fell into the possession of Kumogakure and was sealed within Yugito Nii when she was two years old. She was placed into a detestable training program in order to learn to control Matatabi's power. In the anime, Yugito agreed to have Nekobaa collect Matatabi's paw print for the Paw Encyclopaedia. In a cavern behind the Falls of Truth, where jinchūriki learn to control their tailed beasts' power, there are wall murals of Matatabi and Gyūki, which indicates how long they were associated with the Land of Lightning.
Compared to most of the tailed beasts, Matatabi has shown to be respectful and polite towards others, speaking in a formal manner using "watashi" (私) when referring to itself and using honourifics when addressing Naruto while introducing itself to the young shinobi.
Matatabi is a bakeneko that is completely engulfed in blue flames. It also has a right yellow eye and a left green eye, similar to an odd-eyed cat without pupils. When forced to transform by Tobi, Matatabi increased in size compared to when Yugito unleashed it. During the last remaining days of the Sage of the Six Paths' life, Matatabi was a young flaming kitten much smaller than its present-day self, but was still much larger than the Sage.
See also: Jinchūriki Forms As a tailed beast, Matatabi possesses an enormous supply of chakra and is able to create the Tailed Beast Ball. The cat has flexible muscles, which grant it great speed despite its large size. Matatabi's brute strength is enough to initially pummel Kakuzu, who had attempted to use brute force to stop its paw, forcing him to use his Earth Release: Earth Spear to survive the attacks. It is able to breathe fireballs powerful enough to destroy a sewer and the building above.
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc
Soon after her introduction, Yugito was captured by two Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuzu, although it is unknown who was specifically assigned to capture her. Despite luring her two pursuers into a closed space, sealing the exits, and transforming herself into the Two-Tails, Yugito was overpowered and rendered unconscious by the two Akatsuki members. Zetsu later arrived to take her off their hands, and she later died as a result of having the tailed beast extracted from her.
Shinobi World War Arc
After Son Gokū is resealed into the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, Tobi, who is intent on going all-out from this point on, forces Yugito to fully transform into the Two-Tails. Preparing to attack the shinobi, Matatabi along with the other four beasts creates Tailed Beast Balls. These attacks, however, are deflected by Naruto and they are rebuffed by a now fully-transformed Naruto. Wasting no time in their attacks, Matatabi attempts to attack while Kurama is incapacitated by Saiken, but instead has Saiken slammed into it with such force that it is sent flying. With this, the opposing beasts prepare a collaborative Tailed Beast Ball which is met by one from Naruto and Kurama.
As Naruto enters a deeper level of Kurama's consciousness, he meets the remaining five tailed beasts and their jinchūriki. Summoning Naruto before it, it tells the young man that it intended to keep the promise it made to Son Gokū. As it tells Naruto to stretch out his hand, the giant cat introduces itself. Later, as the beast is freed from the chakra receiver, it affirms Kurama's belief that Naruto was the person the Sage of the Six Paths had spoken about so long ago before being resealed into the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path.
Ten-Tails Revival Arc
Matatabi appeared alongside the other tailed beasts with the exception of Gyūki and Shukaku when the Ten-Tails looked down at Naruto. The image of the tailed beasts, along with a silhouette of the Sage of the Six Paths, drove the Ten-Tails to a fit as it evolved further.
Later, Naruto, with the help of the remaining Allied Shinobi Forces, manages to free Matatabi by pulling its chakra out of Obito's body, alongside that of the other tailed beasts. When B explained his tardiness being due to moving others to safety, Matatabi assured him that they'd end Madara. As Naruto in Tailed Beast Mode pinned Madara down with a tail, Matatabi and the other tailed beasts joined in and did the same to increase the damage, but the Uchiha survived their attacks and retreated to a safe distance. After he received his own right Rinnegan eye from a White Zetsu clone, Madara quickly summoned the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path from Obito's body, and used the Rinnegan to repel the tailed beasts. With the tailed beasts stunned, Madara then proceeded to chain them up and prepared to seal them back into the statue.
Although Matatabi itself is not playable, Yugito takes on its form as her awakening in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. Matatabi also appears as a boss in Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3 and Naruto Shippūden: Kizuna Drive, though in the latter, only the false copy of Matatabi appears.
- 'Matatabi' (又旅) literally means 'travel again', which is probably an adaptation to not only the nekomata (猫又), but also the Japanese name for silver vine, a plant noted for having an effect on cats much like that of catnip.
- Cats are the common species throughout the world, and stories of bakeneko (化け猫, monster cats) are popular throughout Japan. In myth, when a cat reaches a certain age, it grows larger, and its tail becomes longer and forks in two, and is then called a nekomata (猫又, forked-cat). These cats were said to have the ability to manipulate the dead as if they were puppets, and had been associated with strange fires and occurrences. This may be related to Matatabi's nickname and its fire-breathing abilities.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Third Databook, pages 198-199
- ↑ Naruto chapter 313, page 13
- ↑ Naruto chapter 467, pages 15-16
- ↑ Naruto chapter 510, pages 11-12
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Naruto chapter 572, pages 10-11
- ↑ Third Databook, page 127
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 189
- ↑ Naruto chapter 495, pages 16-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 496, page 2
- ↑ Naruto chapter 570, page 8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 313, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 313, page 12
- ↑ Naruto chapter 570, pages 8-9