“Darkness under light
defines the contours of space
shadow deepens shine”
The Anbu (暗部, English TV: Anbu Black Ops, Literally meaning: Dark Side), short for Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai (暗殺戦術特殊部隊, Literally meaning: Special Assassination and Tactical Squad), are covert operatives of capable ninja that are on equal terms on combat ability with most veteran jounin. The ANBU is an elite task force employed in a similar manner by nations on the western continent.
The ANBU’s hierarchy is relatively easy to understand. The top-ranking official within an ANBU corps is their commander, usually referred to as the ANBU commander. In some instances as situations, their leading official can also be going underneath a rank that has a different name or being affiliated to the command of a different commander. In most cases, that of a spymaster. On the absolute top of the ANBU hierarchy resides their respective kage. This is the situation for many countries on the western continent that haven’t yet absolved or modified their chain of command. In some situations, the ANBU top chief is the ruler of the country.
Recruitment and Training
The ANBU recruitment is much different from many other branches of the military. In most cases, candidates are handpicked by ANBU recruiters or high ranked officials for their potential shown in the Shinobi Academy or other organisations. These candidates are then put to various tests and gain additional training that can be considered harsh and grim when compared to the standards of the Shinobi Academy.
Candidates are trained in how to wield various weapons, tools as they also gain specialist training that makes them more viable than most regular (shinobi) operatives when it comes to subterfuge or intelligence missions. They undergo almost the same tedious as brutal training to learn how to control their emotions as withstand (most) interrogations. It is quite common that ANBU also serves as bodyguards for their kage or other high ranked officials. Unlike some other military organisations, it doesn’t matter for the ANBU operatives if they are male or female, clan, age or any background. What matters is that they are competent and loyal.
Important to note is that it was important for ANBU to keep their identity safe. Not just to protect themselves or their families from harm but also to make it easier for them to operate. It is why ANBU used and still use to this day masks, an attempt to cover their identity. Over time, this particular habit has watered down and reduced the efficiency of ANBU significantly.
Due to the large variety of specialists within the ANBU, it is hard to display common ANBU techniques. Certainly with countries developing their ANBU in a different manner to either combat foreign ANBU or improve their own ANBU corps. Seeing that ANBU are sent on high-risk missions, the information that they possess and abilities, ANBU are in general taught how to destroy their bodies if they are too badly injured on a mission - in order to prevent that they are captured and become a data leak.
Each prosperous and important nation on the western continent have their own ANBU corps. They differ from each other in terms of equipment, appearance and some specialist training. Some countries have even developed their own branch of ANBU, that is orientated or differs from the common ANBU in one way or another.
The Hunter-nin Corps (追い忍部隊, Oinin Butai) is a special branch within the Republican ANBU corps. They are orientated on tracking and hunting down on missing-nin. Preventing rival countries from gaining vital information that a missing-nin can provide to the Republicans enemies and rivals. Whereas the standard shinobi is being viewed with a wary attitude, the Hunter-Nin is dreaded by many - even their shinobi colleges. Some urban myths detail that in order to join the Hunter-nin corps that one has to sacrifice a part of their soul to powerful demons. This probably has to do with the rather grim habit of Hunter-nin only taking the head of their target, to prove that they assassinated their target. If anything, they are capable of completely erasing a target’s existence with their assassination and medical techniques as skills.
The Ghost ANBU are separated ANBU corps within the Empire of Akino. Formed by some of the most competent operatives that the Empire has to boast, the Ghost ANBU operates and functions different from the regular ANBU. To protect their identity as forcing the Ghost ANBU to perform at maximum efficiency, they are recorded dead. Only a handful within the world are aware of the Ghost ANBU’s existence, due to the amount of secrecy and measures that have been taken to keep them in the shadows. They perform similar missions like the ANBU but are considered to be more reliable, which is shown in that the Ghost ANBU have a much higher success-ratio. This has likely to do with the fact that unlike regular ANBU, the members of the Ghost ANBU have little to no actual freedom. Spending their time almost constantly on training and being on missions.
The Tough Rats have been a secretive unit for some time. Their origins actually don't lie within Amegakure, but the city of Yokotari - located within the Rain province as well. There the unit's history started out as nothing more than a group of miserable thugs and thieves. Over time, they would become a valuable asset for the Intelligence Division within the Rain.