Throughout Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, Naruto and Kurama have had many important interactions and fought crucial battles together. This was inevitable after all, as the Nine-Tails was sealed inside Naruto the whole time, but they've shared several special moments that stand out for being crucial to the overall story. Here are five of the most affecting moments between Naruto and Kurama.
You Owe Me Rent
Naruto and Kurama's very first interaction comes during Naruto’s early training sessions with Jiraiya. In his attempts to teach Naruto the summoning jutsu, Jiraiya learns that Naruto cannot draw out the chakra required to summon a battle-ready toad by himself, concluding that the only way around this is to rely on the Nine-Tails chakra. Jiraiya then tosses Naruto off a cliff, intending to shock him into accessing the Nine-Tails. On his way down, Naruto’s survival instincts kick in and he is transported to the Nine-Tails' sealed prison for the first time.
Brought face to face with the demon fox, Naruto realizes what he has to do to survive and demands the Nine Tails’ chakra as payment for staying in his body. Surprisingly, Kurama agrees to Naruto’s deal and grants him chakra as payment for making it that far. Not out of goodwill, of course. The fox is planning something, but Naruto doesn’t know what yet. He gladly accepts it and succeeds in summoning a giant toad.
This moment is so important because it transforms the Nine-Tails from a mystical entity living inside Naruto to a visibly real one. It’s the first time the audience sees Kurama and learns that he can give chakra to Naruto if he wishes.
I’m Coming After The Hatred In You
When Naruto defeats the Nine-Tails for his chakra just before the Fourth Great Ninja War, Kurama calls out to him from within to have a conversation. He calls Naruto naïve for thinking he can put an end to all the hatred in the world by himself and asks if he actually thinks he can stop the war alone. When Naruto ignores him, Kurama begins to pick apart his cause, pointing out that he would harbor hatred should any of his friends fall. This provocation continues until Naruto subdues him with sealing gates. Naruto gets up close and personal with the Nine-Tails and assures him that his conviction is unshakeable.
Then he promises to come after the hatred inside of Kurama one day. Kurama is shocked at the revelation and grows indignant, claiming there's no way a kid could ever change the very embodiment of hatred. Naruto just chuckles and leaves, but not before releasing Kurama from the gates. The seeds of a possible future friendship were sown.
Who Says Being A Jinchuriki Makes Me Unhappy?
Kurama goes silent for an extended period… until Naruto meets Obito and the reanimated jinchuriki in the woods. Before the fight, the two have a conversation as Obito tries to make Naruto understand his goals, saying that the world is only full of despair. He mentions that all the Jinchuriki had tailed beasts forced into them and have lived lives full of suffering, and asks Naruto if he can’t understand even a little of his despair.
Naruto’s retort, “Who are you to decide being a Jinchuriki makes me unhappy?” was short and willful as always, and Kurama is visibly taken aback. Many of Naruto’s problems stemmed from his being a jinchuriki, and Kurama always assumed Naruto resented him for that. Hearing those words gave Kurama newfound respect for his host and made it easier for them to develop a closer relationship later.
Let’s Do This Together
During the Tailed Beast smackdown in the middle of the war, Kurama observed Naruto’s actions from within in awe. For centuries, he’d seen humans who claimed to have noble ideals treat the beasts as lesser beings only meant for exploitation or imprisonment. Seeing Naruto treat his fellow Tailed Beasts with respect and care finally convinces Kurama that he did mean everything he had promised.
With Naruto low on chakra, Kurama offers full access to his own. Before accepting it though, he thanks Kurama for all the help so far -- yet another gesture that surprised him. Instead of just using Kurama’s chakra, Naruto undoes his sealing jutsu completely, a sign of ultimate trust. Kurama does not disappoint as the two of them combine chakra and Naruto unlocks the Nine Tails mode. Together, they defeat the other Tailed Beasts and release them from Obito’s control.
Perhaps the moment that best defined how far their relationship evolved throughout Naruto is during the fated battle with Sasuke. With all of Naruto’s chakra drained and Sasuke poised to deliver his final attack, Kurama has no choice but to give up his remaining chakra to Naruto, a move that renders him unconscious. He’s prepared to do this without hesitation and immediately gives Naruto strategy advice, warning him about Sasuke’s Rinnegan and telling him how to counter it. Naruto listens to him for a bit, then stops Kurama with a look that just says “trust me.” Kurama, having journeyed with Naruto all these years, now knows what he’s capable of and retires, leaving his fate in Naruto’s hands.
This moment shows just how much respect and concern the pair grew to have for each other. A couple of years earlier, Kurama would never have dreamed he’d be fussing over a human like this or trusting one enough to bet his life on.
Bonus Moment: I Missed You!
Following Kaguya’s defeat and the restoration of the Tailed Beasts, Team 7 is transported back to the site of the God Tree and the Sage of Six Paths. After briefing everyone on what transpired in Kaguya’s dimension, Naruto rushes over to Kurama and loudly asks in front of the other Tailed Beasts if he missed him. Kurama gets embarrassed and asks Naruto to be quieter -- he’s got a reputation to protect after all -- but it’s too late. Everyone gathered has a good-natured laugh at Kurama’s expense but he isn’t bothered too much about it. He’s reunited with his best friend.