All jinchūriki are able to use certain abilities granted to them by their tailed beasts. As they get older and they gain (or lose, as the case may be) control over their tailed beast's power, they are also able to transform into their tailed beast to varying degrees, granting them capabilities increasingly closer to the tailed beast itself.
Initial Jinchūriki Form
By simply tapping into their beast's chakra, a jinchūriki begins their initial transformation. They are surrounded by a layer of red, wispy chakra granting them enhanced strength, speed and healing. The beast's chakra supplements the jinchūriki and they are able to manipulate the chakra to a certain extent: Utakata can form it into waves and blasts while Naruto can generate shockwaves through punches and roars. In this form, the jinchūriki's body undergoes slight physical changes. When Naruto enters this form, his eyes change colour to red and his pupils become slitted, plus his nails and canine teeth grow longer and sharper. Naruto's hair also grows longer and spikier, and the whisker-like marks on his cheeks widen and thicken. In the anime, when Utakata entered this state, his eyes became a much paler shade of yellow than normal and he did not undergo any other physical changes. It is also possible for a jinchūriki to enter this state without chakra visibly emanating from them, instead just gaining the physical alterations.
- Known users: Naruto Uzumaki, Killer B, Ginkaku, Kinkaku, Blue B (anime only), Sora (anime only), Utakata (anime only), Rin Nohara (game only)
Version 1 – or what Jiraiya calls Naruto's "demon fox cloak" (妖狐の衣, yōko no koromo) – forms a dense shroud of chakra around the jinchūriki. The shroud, a translucent red with bubbles of chakra (reminiscent of boiling liquid) forming all along it, provides a degree of physical protection, but can also harm the user if used to a certain extent. The physical changes experienced in the initial transformation become more pronounced in Version 1 forms.
The shroud that encompasses the jinchūriki vaguely resembles the corresponding tailed beast; paws of chakra form around their hands and, in the case of Killer B, chakra-horns form on his head. Because chakra is malleable, the shroud can extend beyond the reach of the jinchūriki, often used to create chakra-arms that allow them to interact with their environment. The most significant manifestation are the tails that sprout from the jinchūriki's body, up to the maximum number of tails that the corresponding beast possesses. As with the chakra-arms, these tails can aid the jinchūriki by grasping to their surroundings. For each tail produced, the jinchūriki gains an incrementally greater boost to speed, strength, and chakra.
The source of the chakra shroud differs between users. For jinchūriki who have not learned how to control their tailed beast, it is the beast's chakra that surrounds them. The beast's chakra will tend to be harmful: individuals near the jinchūriki will experience a slight physical discomfort; those who come into contact with the shroud will suffer a painful burn wherever they touch it; the jinchūriki themselves suffer an increasing amount of corrosion to their body that can eventually damage body parts beyond the point of use. This shroud is typically acquired through a growing rage and/or the weakening of the seal that keeps the beast within their body, and consequently leaves the jinchūriki less in control of their body with each additional tail. While a jinchūriki has never been observed to completely lose control of themselves in a Version 1 form, they become more animalistic and aggressive. One advantage of this is that the shroud can act on its own, responding to threats the jinchūriki may not be aware of.
A secondary means of entering a Version 1 state is demonstrated by Killer B, who uses his own chakra in the shroud's formation. While Naruto has been able to communicate with Kurama and ask for a donation of chakra for several years, this always carried adverse consequences such as diminishing self-control and harmful after-effects of the chakra. After Naruto befriended Kurama, these drawbacks were removed and he can use Version 1 for himself, and is able to transfer it to others, thereby granting them all of the form's benefits. The chakra in this form is also capable of repelling the likes of Amaterasu.
- Known users: Naruto Uzumaki, Utakata, Yagura Karatachi , Han, Killer B, Ginkaku , Kinkaku, Fū, Nine-Tailed Naruto Clone (anime only), Rōshi, Yugito Nii, Blue B (anime only), Sora (anime only)
Version 2 (バージョン2, Bājon Tsū), as described by Sabu, is the tailed beast's chakra being converted into a humanoid shape, granting the jinchūriki an edge in battle without completely releasing the beast itself. Using the jinchūriki's body as a sort of endoskeleton, a dark red, nearly black layer of chakra envelops them. The physical manifestations of the corresponding beast that are vaguely present in Version 1 states become far clearer in Version 2, in a way fully reproducing the beast in miniature: muscle mass increases and beast-specific attributes such as shells and ears become clearly defined. Because the shroud forms so tightly around them, features of the jinchūriki may be identifiable in Version 2, such as the hat and furnace that Han wears.
Entering Version 2 creates a great deal of energy, producing craters beneath the jinchūriki and destroying any restraints that might have been placed upon them beforehand. Strength, speed, and chakra are once again increased beyond the levels of the previous forms, the shroud remains a reliable defence against attacks, and other features, such as chakra-arms, are still accessible. It is even possible for the jinchūriki to create chakra-bones around themselves: Killer B creates a bull's skull in order to perform a more powerful Lightning Release: Lariat; Naruto, on different occasions, forms a skeletal structure in differing states of completeness all along his body that are attached to him by chakra-ligaments, but the bones serve no obvious purpose.
Most jinchūriki have only been seen to enter a Version 2 state with the same number of tails as their corresponding beast. Kinkaku, and by extension Ginkaku, represent one exception in that not only do they not have a full set of nine tails, but one tail remains far longer than all the others. Naruto is also an exception, for he has only been seen in a Version 2 state with four and six tails (and seven tails in the anime). Unlike how the number of tails in Version 1 can measure the jinchūriki's strength, there is no observable correlation between the number of Naruto's Version 2 tails and his destructive capabilities. Likewise, although all jinchūriki gain unique, heightened abilities that bring them even closer to their corresponding beast.
Naruto has yet to knowingly enter a Version 2 form. As the seal that kept Kurama contained weakened over the years, he became increasingly susceptible to its influence. By fully submitting to the beast and his own rage, Naruto would grant Kurama full control of his body who then formed a Version 2 shroud around him. Naruto's ability to distinguish between friend and foe vanishes and he attacks in whatever way will enable him to defeat his target, oblivious to the consequences of the attack. The form itself carries a number of consequences for Naruto too, as its corrosive qualities burn away his skin and stain the shroud with his own blood. The regenerative abilities granted to him as Kurama's jinchūriki constantly heal the damage, but in the long run shorten his lifespan through the constant destruction and creation of cells. In the anime, a Genjutsu World version of Naruto learned to instantly access this form at will and retain complete control of himself, including to change back to normal whenever desired without suffering any damage. Sora's Version 2 is also triggered by rage and causes the same kind of damage to his body. Kinkaku and Ginkaku appear to trigger Version 2 through rage as well, but they retain control of their minds and do not seem to suffer any damage to their bodies.
- Known users: Naruto Uzumaki, Gaara, Han, Killer B, Minato Namikaze, Fū, Nine-Tailed Naruto Clone (anime only), Rōshi, Utakata, Yagura Karatachi, Yugito Nii, Blue B (anime only), Sora (anime only)
Rather than fully transform into their respective beast, a jinchūriki can isolate the transformation to parts of their body. Instead of appearing as translucent or dark chakra, these partial transformations fully resemble the beast's own limbs, having fur, scales, etc. The jinchūriki reincarnated and controlled by Tobi each briefly produce a tail of their respective tailed beasts, with the sole exception being Fū, whom produced two for flight. Fū and Rōshi were also able to achieve this in life, in the anime.
Killer B makes a much more deliberate usage of the body parts he chooses to partially transform. He often produces extra tentacles to increase his ability to interact with others and his surroundings as well as to improve his dexterity. He has transformed one of his arms at different times, either to increase the distance that he was able to throw or to block a punch.
Naruto's partial transformations have been the most substantial of those seen. In order to break free of Chibaku Tensei, he entered a state just short of a full tailed beast-transformation (which, at the time, would have required completely breaking the seal); the only features it lacked to fully resemble Kurama were a ninth tail, skin, and fur, his transformation otherwise matching the beast's size and possessing all of the other chakra-body parts. After becoming able to harmonise with Kurama, his partial transformations are less drastic, producing only tails like the other jinchūriki tend to or a head for attack.
Gaara represents an anomaly in the pattern of jinchūriki partial transformations. Whereas all other jinchūriki's transformations are composed of chakra, Gaara's is made of sand. He gradually piles sand onto his body, giving him an increasingly closer similarity to Shukaku with changing eyes to match. In many ways it is similar to Version 1 forms: his defences are nigh-impenetrable wherever the sand is applied; he can stretch his sand-limbs beyond their normal reach; the more his body is covered with sand, the more his speed and strength grow. Being sand, he can detach parts of his "body" from himself that will retain their shape for as long as he exerts the chakra to maintain them.
Tailed Beast Mode
- Known users: Naruto Uzumaki, Fū, Gaara, Han, Killer B, Menma Namikaze (anime only), Minato Namikaze, Blue B, Obito Uchiha, Rōshi, Utakata, Yagura Karatachi, Yugito Nii, Mecha-Naruto (video game only), Rin Nohara (video game only), Menma Uzumaki (movie only)
In principle, all jinchūriki can fully transform into the tailed beast sealed within them when the seal breaks and they entirely lose control over the beast. However, doing so results in the jinchūriki's death. Tailed Beast Mode (尾獣モード, Bijū Mōdo), also called Tailed Beast Transformation (尾獣化, Bijūka, English TV: Tailed Beast State), is a way to avoid this. By either subjugating their tailed beast or learning to work in unison with it, a jinchūriki can become a full-scale replica of the beast with complete access to its natural strength and abilities. If they choose, the jinchūriki can pass control of this form to the beast itself.
Tailed Beast Mode is devastatingly powerful and poses an untold risk of collateral damage. It is for this reason that Killer B was forbidden to use the form under normal circumstances, as it could easily destroy an entire ninja village if left unchecked. The most dangerous and powerful ability available to this mode is the Tailed Beast Ball.
Yugito is seen willingly transforming into Matatabi. Her size in this state was far smaller than when Tobi forced her transformation during the war, the exact amount of control she has is unknown. That said, in the anime she seemed to be able to transform with very little effects to herself as she was able to provide a paw print for Nekobaa's Paw Encyclopaedia. Also in the anime, Utakata was able to fully transform into Saiken to absorb the Tsuchigumo kinjutsu after asking for the slug's aid.
Naruto has not been able to fully recreate Kurama's form. At first, this was because the fox would not cooperate with him, causing all attempts to turn into it to result in a miniature, comical version of the beast that could not be maintained for very long. Since then he has been able to earn Kurama's cooperation, but the Tailed Beast Mode he enters, though accurate in size, is unique as he does not as closely resemble the beast as the other jinchūriki do their own. For more on Naruto's version of this form (and Minato Namikaze's) see Nine-Tails Chakra Mode. Also unique to Naruto, when accessing Sage Mode while in his Tailed Beast Mode, his chakra avatar of Kurama gains the rings around its eyes. Naruto retains this mode even when he has his Six Paths Sage Mode, with his Kurama avatar becoming many times larger and more powerful than before and retaining the circular marks around its eyes. By combining his Kurama avatar with other two created through shadow clones, Naruto can manifest a form similar to the one Asura Ōtsutsuki wielded.
Gaara's Tailed Beast Mode is also unique; unlike the other jinchūriki or Naruto's, his is composed of sand that can entirely shatter if Gaara is knocked out, and it takes quite a bit of time for Shukaku to gain its full strength in the form whenever Gaara uses the Feigning Sleep Technique. As such, it can't use the Tailed Beast Ball immediately, instead focusing on its other powers such as its sand control or its Wind Release: Drilling Air Bullet.
Provided the jinchūriki is also a sage, they can gather natural energy at an extremely fast rate to the point they only need to remain still for a few seconds to fully replenish their senjutsu without the need of the Sage Art: Amphibian Technique.
In Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie, Naruto and Menma showed the ability to manifest Kurama similar to Obito's Tailed Beast Mode. In order to accomplish this, they needed to have their Kurama's full power, which Menma already had since they bonded through their shared hatred. Naruto, however made a short truce with his Kurama so that he could un-restrain him and manifest Kurama as he would be at full power. This is very practical in that they can use Kurama in battle without breaking the seal, especially for Naruto since he hadn't yet bonded with Kurama.
Nine-Tails Chakra Mode
Main article: Six Paths Ten-Tails Coffin Seal Immediately after becoming the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki, Obito's body turned white and the entire right side became scaled, with ten protrusions emerging from his back; five near his shoulder and five near his hips. A unique pattern of Rinnegan and nine magatama also appeared on his back, which resembled the pattern on the back of Hagoromo's robe. Like other jinchūriki transformations, this form granted Obito tremendous boosts of speed and strength, as he was capable of taking two Hokage, both noted for their power, completely by surprise, as well as being able to shatter both Hashirama Senju's Sage Art: Gate of the Great God and the combined barrier erected by the four Hokage. After entering this form, Obito formed two Truth-Seeking Balls, which floated behind each of his hands, and he became capable of flight. Initially, Obito could not completely control the Ten-Tails or his newfound abilities, as the new jinchūriki was barely able to recognise his own name and his body periodically became bloated due to it not being used to the beast.
After regaining control of his mind, Obito underwent a second transformation. In this form, the protrusions on his upper back now wrapped around his neck, while the five lower protrusions expanded to resemble a robe. He also gained two horns on his forehead, the right being larger than the left, and a pattern of six magatama markings on his chest. Obito manifested eight additional Truth-Seeking Balls, which floated in a circular formation behind his body, and was able to form half of Hagoromo's shakujō. When entering his version of Tailed Beast Mode, he formed the Ten-Tails' body from the spike-like protrusions on his back, which then split apart to reveal its tree form. While separate from his body, the tree acted as an extension of Obito, though it remained even after the Ten-Tails was removed from him.
Madara also underwent a drastic transformation upon becoming the Ten-Tails' jinchūriki, but unlike Obito, he immediately gained control of the beast's power. Madara's skin became grey and his hair turned taupe-coloured (white in the anime). Instead of possessing clothing-like flesh, Madara was instead cloaked with a complete outfit composed of chakra, with a pattern of six magatama below his neck and a pattern similar to Hagoromo's on his back. He also gained a forehead protector-like appendage which emerged from the left side of his forehead, and had an upward curve on its right side and a single horn on its left side. He was able to create ten Truth-Seeking Balls, one of which formed the other half of Hagoromo's shakujō, and gained the ability to fly. After absorbing the Ten-Tails' tree form, which had previously been produced by Obito, Madara gained additional magatama markings around his sleeve cuffs and the rim at the bottom of his chakra clothing. Upon approaching the moon while having both of his Rinnegan, Madara awakened a Rinne Sharingan on his forehead, allowing him to cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi.
- Naruto's miniature nine-tailed fox form resembles his true form from the manga pilot.
- In some of the video games, Naruto in his One-Tailed form is known as "Ultimate Nine-Tailed Naruto" (究極九尾ナルト, Kyūkyoku Kyūbi Naruto).
- Shukaku is the only tailed beast that hasn't shown giving its jinchūriki the characteristic red-chakra-shrouded Version 1 or Version 2 forms. This is presumably due to Shukaku appearing early in the story and Kishimoto having not defined the certain abilities that all the tailed beasts share.
- When Nagato absorbed some of Killer B's Version 2 chakra, it restored him to his appearance before he had used the Summoning: Demonic Statue of the Outer Path technique.
- In Naruto Shippūden the Movie: Bonds, while fighting the Zero-Tails, Naruto was able to use the chakra-arms of his Version 1 form as makeshift wings for semi-flight.
- In the Naruto Collectible Card Game, Gaara's Partial Transformation is called Possessed Mode.
- In the spin-off series Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth Full Power Ninja Chronicles, after Naruto and Rock Lee switch bodies due to one of Ino Yamanaka's techniques, Lee entered a Version 1 state. He forms chakra-eyebrows in this form instead of the traditional chakra-tails.
- Naruto chapter 291, page 11
- Naruto chapter 232, page 8
- Naruto chapter 471, page 9
- Naruto chapter 293, pages 1-7
- Naruto chapters 296-297
- Naruto chapters 616-617
- Naruto chapter 697
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 446
- Naruto chapter 471, page 10
- Naruto chapter 556, pages 10-11
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 295
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 429
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 447
- Naruto chapter 598, pages 1-6
- Naruto chapter 600, pages 14-15
- Naruto chapter 519, page 6
- Naruto chapter 519, pages 7-9
- Naruto chapter 645, page 7
- Naruto chapter 695
- Naruto chapter 696, page 13
- Naruto chapter 538, page 1
- Naruto chapter 638, pages 8-14
- Naruto chapter 639 page 12
- Naruto chapter 663, pages 14-15
- Naruto chapter 673, page 12
- Naruto chapter 676, page 18
- Naruto chapter 550, pages 16-17