Naruto’s Fox Eyes: Why Sometimes Red, Sometimes Blue?

Here’s why Naruto’s fox eyes are sometimes red and sometimes blue:

The fox eyes appear whenever Naruto draws out chakra from the 9-tailed fox.

It’s likely that his eyes remain blue if the amount of chakra drawn is minimal.

If Naruto draws enough chakra, his eyes will turn red, and this remains true well after he and the 9-tails reconcile and start working together.

So if you want to learn all about why Naruto’s fox eyes aren’t always red or blue, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Naruto's Fox Eyes: Why Sometimes Red Sometimes Blue?

Who Is Naruto?

You probably know who Naruto is if you’re reading this, but I’m going to cover the basics anyway.

Mostly, it’s a chance to get out a spoiler warning.

Naruto is the title of a manga and two anime series based on that manga (alongside more than a few movies also based on the same characters).

It follows the main character, Naruto, who is a young, aspiring ninja.

I’ll skip the detailed synopsis and include one other important fact.

Naruto is also the host of the nine-tailed fox.

Now, before we can go any further, I have to issue a spoiler warning.

Both the manga (original Japanese comic book) and the anime series (Japanese cartoons based on the manga) are completely finished and have been for years.

Regardless, I have to discuss some major plot points in order to explain Naruto’s eyes.

If you’re not caught up, then spoilers lie ahead. You have been warned.

What Is the 9-Tailed Fox?

In the world of Naruto, there are nine chakra beasts (I’ll explain chakra in the next section).

These beasts are special, giant animals with tons of power.

Typically, when they are untamed, they go on rampages that can destroy entire cities.

They are incredibly dangerous.

So, the ninjas of the world found ways to subdue the beasts.

They could take all of the beasts’ chakra and seal it inside of a human (it’s ninja magic, just go with it).

When this happen, it creates what is called a jinchuriki.

This is a special name for a ninja who has a beast sealed inside of him.

As I said, there are nine different beasts, and each one has a number of tails corresponding to its inherent power and danger.

The one-tailed beast is the weakest of the nine, and the nine-tailed beast is the most powerful.

That said, the one-tailed beast is still more than powerful enough to lay waste to a ninja village, left unchecked.

The 9-tailed fox is the beast with 9 tails.

It looks like a giant fox, and it is often called the kyuubi (which means “nine tails) in Japanese).

It is the most powerful of the beasts, and for most of the series, it is full of hatred.

It is sentient (and actually extremely smart), and it has an internal rage that causes it to lay waste to the land whenever it is free.

It is also sealed inside of Naruto.

Because of that, Naruto can communicate with the fox, and he has access to its chakra.

Later in the story, Naruto eventually makes peace with the fox and learns that its real name is Kurama.

So, if you ever hear 9-tails, kyuubi, or Kurama in reference to Naruto, those are all referring to this same character.

What Is Chakra?

Now that you know who Kurama is, we need to talk a little bit more about chakra.

It’s already come up a lot, and we’re not done yet.

In fact, we’ve only just begun.

Basically, chakra is the special energy that exists in the Naruto universe.

Ninjas learn to control and wield chakra.

It’s similar to an inherent magical force in a fantasy world or even the force in Star Wars.

It’s the special sauce that allows ninjas to do all of the crazy things that they do in this world.

Additionally, chakra is related to an individual’s life force.

If the chakra is completely removed from a person, they die.

Because of this connection, chakra can do even crazier things than you might imagine.

So, when I say that all of Kurama’s chakra is sealed inside of Naruto, it means that Kurama’s life force is also sealed within the young ninja.

Basically, Kurama is an incredibly powerful spirit that lives within Naruto.

That is why they can communicate and share their powers.

There’s something I need to emphasize.

Both Naruto and Kurama have chakra, and their chakras are distinct from each other.

This is going to be a very important point pretty soon.

What Are Naruto’s Fox Eyes?

There is one more bit of background that we need to cover in order for these explanations to really make sense.

What are Naruto’s fox eyes?

Typically, Naruto has normal eyes.

They’re blue, and they look like the eyes of most characters in the series (special eyes are a big deal in the Naruto universe).

Sometimes, Naruto draws on Kurama’s chakra.

This happens throughout the series, so in many cases, Kurama isn’t exactly a partner in the process.

Other times, he’s helping deliberately.

I’m skipping a lot of context.

The point is, when Naruto draws out a lot of Kurama’s chakra, his appearance changes.

His nails tend to grow.

His teeth grow fangs.

A lot of physical differences happen, and one of those can be seen in his eyes.

They shift from looking normal to having elongated vertical pupils, looking very similar to Kurama’s eyes.

There are tons of different physical changes that happen depending on the amount of chakra and Kurama’s involvement, but none of that is necessary for this discussion.

We’re all about the eyes today.

What Color Are Naruto’s Fox Eyes?

Finally, we can really talk about the eyes.

When Naruto has fox eyes, they can be a couple of different colors.

For the most part, they are red or orange, but sometimes they remain blue.

We’ll cover why that is in a bit.

As for the red and orange, that mostly depends on who is drawing and coloring Naruto.

Generally speaking, Naruto’s fox eyes are red across the series.

But, because different artists have contributed to Naruto over the years, the exact color has shifted.

This doesn’t seem to be intentional.

So, for the sake of story context, we’ll say that Naruto’s fox eyes are either red or blue.

And, in the vast majority of cases, they’re red.

Why Does the Color of Naruto’s Fox Eyes Change? (2 Reasons)

Why does the color change?

This is never explicitly stated, but we can reasonably infer that this has to do with Kurama’s chakra.

It’s clear that other physical changes are related to Kurama’s chakra, so it would be weird for Naruto’s eyes to be an exception.

In other words, as Naruto draws out more and more of Kurama’s chakra, his eyes turn red.

It’s worth noting that this happens throughout the series.

The first time we see it is in the battle against Haku.

Much later in the series, when Naruto and Kurama are friends, Naruto’s eyes still turn red when he enters kyuubi mode (also called kyuubi chakra mode, or KCM).

If you’re not familiar, this is the version of Naruto who is covered in yellow stuff.

That stuff is called a chakra cloak, and it looks different because this is what happens when Naruto and Kurama work together.

Their chakras mix, and it leads to the golden or yellow color.

When Naruto has the cloak, his eyes are red.

#1 Red Eyes

So, Naruto’s eyes change color because of Kurama’s chakra, but it’s not always consistent.

They aren’t always red, so what’s the difference?

What really triggers the red coloring?

Again, this isn’t explicitly stated in the series.

We don’t know for sure, but reasonable speculation suggests that it has to do with the amount of kyuubi chakra that is being drawn out of Kurama.

Basically, if Naruto is pulling out very small amounts of chakra, his eyes won’t turn red.

If he pulls out enough, they will turn red, and we are never given an exact amount of chakra that triggers this change.

One guess would be that the threshold has to do with the ratios of chakra.

If Naruto is using more kyuubi chakra than his own, his eyes turn red. If not, they stay blue.

Again, that threshold is speculative, but it seems like a reasonable line to draw.

Regardless, it clearly has to do with how much kyuubi chakra is in the mix.

#2 Blue Eyes

We can clear this up a little more by discussing Naruto’s blue fox eyes.

They don’t show up very often, but there is a clear example when Naruto fights against Kakuzu.

This is the first time we ever see him use his original technique: the rasen shuriken.

New names aside, Naruto is fighting an extremely powerful enemy, but he’s determined to do it without using any of Kurama’s chakra.

That’s because rather recently, he drew out too much kyuubi chakra, and he went berserk, hurting one of his friends.

So, in this fight, Naruto is determined to keep the fox in the cage and only use his own chakra.

But, when Naruto was training and developing the new technique, we saw that whenever he exhausted too much of his own chakra, kyuubi chakra would start to naturally leak out of him.

Without his own chakra to push back, some of the kyuubi chakra would slip out of its cage, so to speak.

The point here is that Naruto would unwillingly enter into a low-end kyuubi mode by exhausting himself too much.

Coming back to the Kakuzu fight, Naruto rushed there from the middle of his training.

He was already partially fatigued at the beginning of the fight.

He then tried and failed to land a rasen shuriken attack, which dramatically drained his stamina.

So, when he pulled out all of the stops for the final blow, he was low on his own chakra, and a little bit of kyuubi chakra started to leak out.

Naruto wasn’t drawing it on purpose, so it wasn’t a ton of kyuubi chakra, but it was still there.

That’s when we see the very mild transformation.

Naruto’s eyes took on the fox shape, but they remained blue, suggesting that very little kyuubi chakra was involved in the moment.