|Manga||Volume #35, Naruto Chapter #313|
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #72|
|Novel||The Last: Naruto the Movie|
|Movie||The Last: Naruto the Movie|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ninja Destiny 3|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Novel, Game, Movie|
Matatabi and the tailed beasts first came into being in the waning days of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, who used his Creation of All Things Technique to divide the Ten-Tails' chakra into nine separate bodies and giving each a name. Some time after being created, the Sage explained to the young tailed beasts 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. In the anime, before his death, Hagoromo sent Matatabi to live in a temple built for the purpose of protecting it in a canebrake region. Over time, many people came to believe that Matatabi, like Shukaku, was once a human that turned into a living ghost (生霊, ikiryō).
During the First Shinobi World War, Hashirama Senju captured eight of the tailed beasts and sold Matatabi and Gyūki to Kumogakure at the Five Kage Summit, as a sign of friendship and to ensure a balance of power amongst their new villages. 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.
The tailed beast would end up being sealed within Yugito Nii when she was two years old. She was placed into a detestable training programme 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.
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 two-tailed, like a bakeneko, and is completely engulfed in flames, like a Kasha (though it's flames are an animated cobalt blue and black). It also has heterochromatic eyes, the right being yellow and the left being green, 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 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 has an enormous supply of chakra that it can transfer to others and can create the Tailed Beast Ball. As its appearance suggest, it can use Fire Release, which it can lend to its jinchūriki to create fireballs. Matatabi also has flexible muscles, which grant it great speed despite its large size. Matatabi's raw strength can easily crush an opponent or send them flying with one swipe of its paw. When combined with the other tailed beasts' tails, it could shatter and completely obliterate a senjutsu-enhanced complete Susanoo.
Akatsuki Suppression Mission
Main article: Akatsuki Suppression Mission
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. After three days of the Akatsuki extracting the Two-Tails into the statue from Yugito and getting sealed, its jinchūriki died afterwards as a result of having her tailed beast extracted.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Main article: Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
After Son Gokū was resealed into the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, Tobi, who was intent on going all-out from that point on, forced Yugito to fully transform into the Two-Tails. The opposing tailed beasts prepared to attack the shinobi, but they were rebuffed by a fully-transformed Naruto. Wasting no time in their attacks, the Two-Tails attempted to pounce from behind while Naruto and Kurama were incapacitated by the Six-Tails, but both the giant cat and slug got slammed with such force that they were sent flying. The opposing beasts regrouped and then prepared a collaborative Tailed Beast Ball, which was met by one from Naruto and Kurama.
As Naruto entered a deeper plane of the tailed beasts' consciousness, he met the remaining five tailed beasts and their jinchūriki. Summoning Naruto before it, the giant cat told the young shinobi that it intended to keep the promise it made to Son Gokū. As it told Naruto to stretch out his hand, Matatabi introduced itself. Later, as Matatabi was freed from the chakra receiver, it affirmed 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.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
Main article: Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
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 Six Paths, drove the Ten-Tails to a fit as it evolved further. Later, Naruto, with the help of the remaining Allied Shinobi Forces, managed to free Matatabi by pulling its chakra out of Obito's body, alongside that of the other tailed beasts.
When Madara ran towards the tailed beasts, both Shukaku and Gaara conjured numerous sand bullets and were able to restrain the Uchiha's movements. Using the opportunity to attack, the tailed beasts each took a swing at their opponent, giving sand-manipulating duo an opening to use their Desert Layered Imperial Funeral Seal, but Madara managed to escape the sand pyramid with his Susanoo. 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 chained them up and sealed them back into the Demonic Statue.
Later, the chakra Matatabi transferred to Naruto earlier, manifested within Naruto's subconscious along with the other tailed beasts to speak with the young jinchūriki and the spirit of Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki. There, they all voiced their shared belief to the Sage that Naruto was the child of prophecy.
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
Main article: Kaguya Ōtsutsuki Strikes
After Madara's ambitions were cut short by Black Zetsu, who revealed to be the silent manipulator of shinobi history since it was first created by Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the black entity used Madara's body as a medium to resurrect its creator. During the battle against the tyrannical princess, Matatabi and the other tailed beasts continued to support Naruto by giving him their combined power to overwhelm her. Ultimately, Kaguya was defeated by Naruto and Sasuke, who used the Six Paths — Chibaku Tensei to eject all the tailed beasts from her and seal her away inside a newly-created moon within her own dimension.
After the spirits of Hagoromo and the past Kage summoned both the tailed beasts and Team 7 back to the real world, the tailed beasts began to discuss their plans for the future since they were finally free. Sasuke, however, made his own intentions known: removing as many people as possible who could get in the way of his plans of leading the world through a revolution to do away with current shinobi systems, including killing all the current Kage and tailed beasts. Just as Sasuke swiftly subdued the tailed beasts with his Rinnegan and sealed them within his Chibaku Tensei, Naruto reassured the tailed beasts that he would save them once again. After Naruto was able to defeat and reform Sasuke, the two dispelled the Infinite Tsukuyomi and Sasuke released Matatabi, along with the other tailed beasts, from their prisons.
One-Tail Escort Arc
Main article: One-Tail Escort Arc When Urashiki Ōtsutsuki began targeting Shukaku for its chakra, it was deduced he was interested in all the tailed beasts' chakra. Naruto organised a telepathic meeting with the other tailed beasts. However, Matatabi, Kokuō, and Chōmei each refused to accept aid from humans in fear of being captured and used again by them, despite their trust in Naruto and thus decided to not attend the meeting.
In Other Media
Although Matatabi itself is not playable, Yugito takes on its form as her awakening in Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. 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.
- A bakeneko (化け猫, monster cat) is a popular animal yōkai in Japanese folklore, and is known for its abilities to speak the human language and shape-shift. It was also believed that when a bakeneko reaches a certain age, it grows larger and its tail splits in two, becoming a nekomata (猫又, forked-cat). These yōkai were said to have gained the powers of necromancy, and had been associated with strange fires and other unexplainable occurrences. This may be related to Matatabi's nickname and its fire-breathing abilities.
- A Kasha is another popular animal yōkai in Japanese folklore, depicted as a giant, flaming cat.
- Sha no Sho, pages 198-199
- Jin no Sho, pages 148-151
- Naruto chapter 313, page 13
- Naruto Shippūden episode 205
- Naruto chapter 467, pages 15-16
- Naruto chapter 572, pages 10-11
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 464
- Sha no Sho, page 183
- Naruto chapter 495, pages 16-17
- Naruto chapter 496, page 2
- Sha no Sho, page 127
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 189
- Naruto chapter 570, page 8
- Naruto chapter 688, page 8
- Naruto chapter 658, pages 5-6
- Naruto chapter 658, page 13