This discussion has been the most frustrating. Pardon my seeming arrogance and rudeness but this isn't the matter of tobi's identity, rin's death, or edo chakra reserves... Minato's cloak is a very wild and amazing tease but also a very important question of "Who is Minato?". I am flabbergasted that so many mangashare forum pros are looking at it all wrong.
For me, it was so exciting and never once did I lead off from the point of view of it somehow making Naruto "less" or "lessened".
That conversation can stay over with in the form it took in 631 thread.
Here, I want to point out, with page links, several interesting facets of Minato and Naruto "Rikudou" Cloaks.
First, what is the Rikudou mode cloak? It was the result of Naruto's will overpowering the Fox's will (NOT STRENGTH OR POWER) and becoming the dominant force. Having won that struggle (IMPORTANT FACET!! = Naruto used not only inspiration of Kushina's memory chakra but MOST IMPORTANTLY.. SAGE MODE!!!)
When the fox saw Naruto in the cloak for the first time, the fox exclaimed, 'The sage of the six paths?!!?" So we see, this cloak is now proven without a doubt that its manifestation is NOT simply a beast mode level or strictly to do with kyubi chakra. Since the appearance had elements the kyubi itself recognized as not belonging to him, there is no doubt it is a compound entity of which the kyubi chakra is only a part. I should say that not only the appearance was the kyubi surprised by but also the power and ability by which the kyubi was then overcome completely, something only the so6p should have been capable of (this is a shimering clue to minato's lineage, not the uzumaki seal, allowing naruto to be so powerful here).
also, take note that when naruto turns his seal on his belly, the restrictions that deploy all over the fox look almost the same as the combined 4 kage seal on the 10 tails in chap 631. The comparisons and questions really get you thinking on the strength of uzumaki seals, minato's true strength, who and who was not a sage, what secrets each kage may have known about the fox and or bijuu chakra, how wood elements manifest in that spiritual plane of that seal without hashirama's "added for good measure", and just how crazy that temple is!
here, we see exactly how the cloak is activated. After overcoming his struggle with the fox, the fox's chakra is stored in different places within naruto. Everything is fundamentally changed from here on out. The fox's chakra that Naruto accesses is housed in a suppression style shrine (with wood manifestation) possible by MINATO's 8 TRIGRAMS SEAL!
And shortly after, when he first tries his new cloak in battle.. guess what?! HE ACTS LIKE MINATO!!
Now we move onto BIJUU mode, the form and cloak Naruto wears when his chakra melds with Kuruma's chakra when both are voluntarily participating. This is the manifestation of their cooperation and friendship.
In the lower right, that mode takes the apperance of a glowing minato as well as furthering the body flicker ability for naruto! kakashi exclaims, "Sensei?!" Because in appearance and ability, Naruto's cloaks make him take the apperance of Minato!
If I may come to a conclusion now I would say these things
1) Rikudou mode is the result of who has the stronger will/chakratic will. It is not at all to do with taming or befriending. Naruto had to put the beast in its place and kick its ass to get the Rikudou mode however, Naruto fully acknowledged how insanely powerful the fox was. The type of power we are talking about here which Naruto used to win was will power, will, is an element to the central themes of the manga. Minato most certainly was on the level to achieve this accomplishment on his own accord, especially if the harness used was his own 8 Trigrams seal.
2) Bijuu mode (not "tailed beast mode" where cloaks and tails appear in stages) for Naruto was unique. It was nothing like B and 8 tails forums. Naruto and Karuma both took apperances of the so6p spirals and tomoe, something Naruto only took in previous form. This is something I see Minato having a hard time having in the manga at this point. This was the result of full on cooperation, understanding, and mutual acknowledgement through sharing pain. Only Naruto was able to this and Minato said as much when he said that Naruto was the only one who could do it lol.
3) Minato can have Rikudou mode because his will is powerful enough to overcome the fox's will. I am sure Sandaime could do the same if his sealing were strong enough. It is nothing to do with taming or befriending or understanding. Please think this through so we don't fall into silly analogies.
4) All of Naruto's cloaks since sage mode have all garnered second looks and exclamations at the resemblences they take of MINATO!
5) There is a mystery element to Minato's lineage which were the foundation of Naruto's achievements in the first place. After all, if all of Naruto's powerups make him look like Minato then let's investigate Minato. Paulbee has cemented this as a crucial point of interest. Minato probably has a stronger blood/spiritual/will tie to so6p than any senju, uchiha, or uzumaki (they are descendents of the SONS through blood AND jutsu, not through the stock that begat the sage).
Everything about minato's appearance is based on the so6p template from jacket to hair, the symbols on the clothing to symbols in Minato's seals.
There is nothing arbitrary or strictly unwarranted fanservice about Minato's cloak in 631. At its plainest, it asserts Minato's will as being on par with Naruto's in strength and ability to overcome the Kyubi's will. It ends there, there is no foot in the door to Minato becoming friends with YIN fox just yet. I, personally, would not like to see that as it would 180 Minato's words, "only naruto can do it".
Naruto and Minato both having the cloak at the same time is a statement about Minato and a wrap up of the fox's "so6p?!" exclamation, demonstrating that Minato and Naruto are parts (pein was a separate part for question and confirmation) of the so6p inheritance arriving on time.
For the love of pete, stop saying Minato's cloak cheapens Naruto's struggle when there is a huge age difference, huge educational difference, huge experience difference, huge difference in everything except they are still father and son and became bound to same conflict at the same time and can now meet as equals and have Naruto demonstrate his ability to even surpass Minato.
Minato's cloak cheapens nothing, it is setting up to finally show Naruto will surpass his dad. We heard it in words but we have not seen Naruto demonstrate this since Kakashi acknowledged it. We are getting setup for an epic milestone and yet we jump the gun at one panel as if it were some sort of affront!