I've seen a lot of hostility towards Kurama's 'sudden' friendship with Naruto, and wished to convey my thoughts on the matter in the form of an essay of sorts. All in all, I think that Kurama and Naruto's now somewhat solid friendship is perfect in the way it's built up.
I'm interested to see what you all think. ^^;
Given the latest chapter, I honestly feel like I can see why Kurama, and in turn the other tailed beasts, act the way they do.
The last words from the RS, which all the beasts seem to greatly respect at the very least, were that they'd discover true power on their own. After he died, my thoughts are that they stayed together for a little while before going on individual journeys to discover their own powers.
For those who've seen it, think Gatomon from Digimon. She waited for a while before going on her journey to discover what she was waiting for, then met Myotismon and went down a dark path. However, quite soon after meeting Kari, she turned sides almost instantly and became Kari's best friend, and there was never any doubt again.
Kurama's circumstances, at least to me, mirror this situation. Kurama was alone, presumably, for a long time; "Over the centuries, Kurama had gained a reputation as an age-old natural disaster, appearing suddenly out of nowhere to attack areas wherever human malice had collected and festered." (Chapter 399, page 15
, Naruto Wiki
Why would Kurama attack villages where malice had festered only
? It seems strange to me, this little titbit. It makes me believe that Kurama didn't hate humans at this stage entirely, merely hated evil humans.
Then of course Marada started controlling him, and soon after that it was forcefully sealed inside someone, after Hashirama told him that "his power was too great, and he couldn't let him wander anymore". (Naruto chapter 568, page 8
) I can see why Kurama was so filled with hate after that.
Then along comes Naruto, whose actions intrigued Kurama into watching him silently (Chapter 538, page 2
), for all of those years. At first, of course, Kurama wants nothing more than to kill Naruto because he was forced to live in his body and imprisoned. That dynamic seems to change slowly but surely over the course of the manga.
At first, Kurama remains the same, but after having his chakra taken away, and after licking his wounds and resting... I wonder what was going through Kurama's head during that stage. During this time between loosing his chakra and recovering, I think he wanted to test Naruto's resolve by calling out to him during chapter 538. When Naruto told him that one day, he would do something about Kurama's hate, I think this made him remember back to the days where he was searching for power like the RS had prophesized. I think he would've dismissed his thoughts immediately at first before going back to it at a later time. However, at some point, we know that Kurama has stopped taking Naruto's chakra. When this happened exactly is unclear, but I think it might've happened shortly after the hokage fight and daybreak (Chapter 545).
The reason I believe this is because of Naruto's declaration that living with a tailed beast inside him "wasn't so bad", and Kurama's shocked look. I think this line both reinforced Naruto's earlier proclaim of doing something about Kurama's hate as well as made Kurama think back to his previous hosts, who both lived happy lives.
Then we get to the fight with Tobi and the other bijuu/jin's, and Kurama is stubbornly holding onto his beliefs that Naruto is exactly the same as the other jin's before him, as well as the jin's from other villages with the exception of Bee and Gyuki, until he remembers the hate line. Kurama, at this stage, flashes back to moments in Naruto's life where he's changed all of their hate with his words and his actions, and decides to himself that, if he helps Son out, that he might just be the 'power' the RS told him to look for all along (I think that 'power' is love/friendship, btw >> )
And that's when Kurama decides to befriend Naruto, after EVERYTHING that he has observed and seen.
(As a side note: I think Gyuki reached the same conclusions as Kurama did, too. He clearly despised humanity too before being sealed into Bee, and in previous chapters, Gyuki himself has said that he went through "the same thing" in regards to his relationship with Bee, including the chakra cloak that Naruto currently has, before he reached the perfection he has now. But he's had some 25 odd years at least
to bond with Gyuki; Naruto has only had 4, given he didn't even know
about Kurama being inside him until he was 12. It's no wonder his transformations are so much more advanced than Naruto's own. )
All in all, that is why I think Kurama's actions in the recent chapters are justified, and also why I can accept them so easily (and I can't hide my excitement either XD ), and why I don't really understand why people are so up in arms about the 'sudden' change of character. To me at least, it wasn't sudden at all in the grand scheme of things. It took a lot of build-up and stuff behind the scenes in Kurama's life for him to finally decide to co-operate with Naruto.