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[?] ANBU

The ANBU is actually short for Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai. The name is a play on words, as in English acronyms like SWAT, where the two kanji used to abbreviate the group's full name constitute an actual word on their own. The ANBU wear porcelain animal masks, in order to distinguish themselves from normal shinobi and to conceal their identities. They also have standard uniforms consisting of black and grey armor, arm guards, and a signature spiral tattoo on their arms. Certain ANBU wear black cowls over their standard uniforms, and squad leaders may wear white cowls.

ANBU protect the village from exceptional threats, conduct high-risk missions into enemy countries, and deal with extremely strong (S-Rank) ninja. They are also responsible for carrying out assassinations and missions requiring specially trained ninja. Unique for most characters in Naruto, all ANBU carry Ninjaken, which are usually strapped to their backs, and they all know the layout of the human body in detail. ANBU is an organization that serves under the direct command of their Kage. Kakashi Hatake was a former captain and Itachi Uchiha became an ANBU captain at age 13. Ibiki Morino, the proctor of the first Chūnin exam, is the head of the Konoha ANBU Torture and Interrogation Squad. Zabuza Momochi and Raiga Kurosuki were once part of Kirigakure's ANBU.

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