"Nine-Tails Unleashed!" (九尾解放!!, Kyūbi Kaihō!!) is episode 40 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Yamato signals for the rest of Team Kakashi to join him on Tenchi Bridge. Kabuto and Orochimaru are amused to see Naruto and Sakura again, the latter musing whether he should bring Sasuke here to pit him against the jinchūriki. Naruto, who is already under the influence of the Nine-Tails' chakra, begins to enter into his one-tailed form. Sakura and Sai watch in a mix of shock and surprise as the chakra surrounding Naruto's body begins to engulf the air. As Orochimaru mentions Sasuke's name again, Naruto grows a second tail and rushes at him with superhuman speed, punching Orochimaru in the face and causing him to go through several yards worth of trees. As Orochimaru makes his way back to the bridge, the part of his face where Naruto struck him has peeled, revealing the face of Gen'yūmaru, the host body Orochimaru is currently occupying. Using his Face Copying Technique, Orochimaru reapplies his face as he remarks how Naruto is finally beginning to act like a jinchūriki; Kabuto himself states that Naruto, using the Nine-Tailed Fox's power, has grown considerably in strength.
Yamato recalls his conversation with Jiraiya, Tsunade and Kakashi at the Konoha Hospital, where Kakashi and Jiraiya were warning him about Naruto's "Nine-Tails' Cloak Form". Jiraiya had told Yamato that other than the time where Tsunade nearly killed him for peeking on her when she was nude, the only other time he had almost died was when Naruto entered his four-tailed form. Jiraiya explained that whenever Naruto gave in to anger, the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra would begin to leak out and envelop him. As Naruto's anger and rage grew, he would begin to grow more tails. On top of that, Naruto could only maintain his consciousness up to three tails; if he were to grow a fourth, his mind would succumb to the Nine-Tails' influence and he would instinctively attack on pure rage alone. Jiraiya likens Naruto's Version 2 form to being a mini version of the Nine-Tailed Fox itself. Jiraiya revealed to the group that when Naruto enters into his four-tailed form, the chakra of the Nine-Tailed Fox burns his skin off, causing immense pain and leaving Naruto to be covered by just blood and chakra. After the transformation subsides, the Nine-Tails' chakra then begins to heal him; the process of egregious damage followed by rapid recovery is shortening Naruto's lifespan. Tsunade had asked how this is even possible, and Jiraiya had explained that the seal the Fourth Hokage had used was beginning to weaken over time, explaining why Naruto was succumbing to the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra much more during his bouts of anger as opposed to when he was younger. Tsunade, Jiraiya and Kakashi tell Yamato that he is the only one who can keep Naruto in check since he has the power of the First Hokage in his blood.
Back on the bridge, Orochimaru realises that Yamato is team captain only because Naruto is a jinchūriki, citing that Konoha should be grateful for his experiments. When Kabuto asks what he means, Orochimaru reveals that back when he was a Konoha shinobi, he harvested DNA cells from the remains of the First Hokage and attempted to transplant them into babies and children; none of them survived, however. Before he could officially terminate the experiment and dispose of the subjects, he had been caught by the Third Hokage with another experiment in another laboratory, forcing him to flee Konoha. He realises that one of those babies who had been injected with the First Hokage's cells had survived, and that the child is none other than Yamato. Sakura recalls Yamato creating the wooden cage and how she wondered how Yamato was able to use the First's technique, and finally understands the reasoning. Orochimaru adds that the First Hokage had the ability to control tailed beasts, and that since Yamato has the power of the First within him, Konoha assigned him to keep watch on Naruto and control him if need be.
When Naruto demands that Orochimaru and Kabuto return Sasuke to them, the duo state that Sasuke came to them of his own accord. Orochimaru tells Naruto that if he wishes to know anything about Sasuke then he would have to beat it out of him. Naruto gives in even more to the Nine-Tails' influence and grows a third tail. The sprouting of the third tail causes the chakra in the air to intensify, causing a burning sensation to everyone else on the bridge. Sai realises that Naruto's true power comes from the demon fox, and Orochimaru, after staring into Naruto's changing pupils, senses the burgeoning Nine-Tailed Fox within. Naruto's three-tailed form then begins to form a chakra vortex above them.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Sakura Haruno||Chie Nakamura||中村 千絵||Nakamura Chie||Kate Higgins|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Troy Baker|
|Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野 聡||Hino Satoshi||Benjamin Diskin|
|Kabuto Yakushi||Nobutoshi Kanna||神奈 延年||Kanna Nobutoshi||Henry Dittman|
|Kakashi Hatake||Kazuhiko Inoue||井上 和彦||Inoue Kazuhiko||Dave Wittenberg|
|Jiraiya||Hochu Otsuka||大塚 芳忠||Ōtsuka Hōchū||David Lodge|
|Fifth Hokage: Tsunade||Masako Katsuki||勝生 真沙子||Katsuki Masako||Debi Mae West|