Short for Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai (lit. "Special Assassination and Tactical Squad") the ANBU is an organization of highly trained ninja that specialize in various undercover operations, hence why they are also nicknamed the "Black Ops" or "Dark Side."
ANBU ninjas have distinct differences to that of normal ninjas. The most recognizable feature would be the animal masks that they wear upon their face to hide their identity, or their tattoo that is imprinted on their left shoulder [males] or right shoulder [females]. They also have white/gray/black uniforms that resemble the Jounin outfit, though differently colored. Most ANBU also have a Ninjato [weapon] strapped to their backs. Certain ANBU members may also wear dark capes over their uniform and ANBU captains occasionally have the traditional white cloak.
The ANBU were created for various reasons and are people who are under the direct control of their Kage. Each ANBU does something different, and are known to go undercover and find out more information about various, dangerous things that normal ninja wouldn't be found doing. ANBU are well trained and they know all about different chakra points and vital points in the body allowing them to make effective use of Temporary Paralysis Jutsu and Memory Erasing Jutsu. They can also attempt to bring back memories using Time Reversal Jutsu.
ANBU have various jobs and can be told to do many things. The main jobs are listed as follows, and should any ANBU member fail to complete the mission, get captured by the enemy, or begin to die, they are required to destroy their body, thus no enemy could get hold of any secrets.
The jobs are:
- Protecting Village from "exceptional" threats.
- Dealing with extremely strong ninja.
- High Risk missions to enemy countries.
- Interrogations to captives by probing the mind.
- Assassinations and missions requiring special skills.
- Going undercover to find out enemy information.
Known ANBU members are as follows, some are mentioned in the anime and some only in the manga. Most ANBU are nameless however.
- Kakashi Hatake [former Konoha ANBU captain]
- Itachi Uchiha [former Konoha ANBU captain]
- Ibiki Morino [ANBU interrogator]
- Danzo [Konoha Foundation Founder]
- Sai [Konoha Foundation member]
- Tenzo (codename is Yamato) [Konoha ANBU, former member of Kakashi ANBU squadron]
- Uzuki Yugao [Konoha ANBU, former member of Kakashi ANBU squadron]
- Zabuza Momochi [former Kirigakure ANBU]
- Hyō [Konoha Foundation member]
- Kage [Konoha Foundation member]
- Baku [Konoha ANBU]
- Tora [Konoha ANBU]
- Ushi [Konoha ANBU]
- Hoshigaki Kisame [Former Kirigakure ANBU]
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