The special ops unit ANBU (meaning Special Assassination Tactical Squad) is used by villages of the five great Shinobi countries in supplement with the police force to maintain peace. Although the ANBU’s missions varied a little from one village to another. Like in Kirigakure, used Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai (ANBU) to assassinate runagate shinobi. In contrast, villages like Konoha used ANBU for covert operations. The Konoha had Konoha Military Police Force in supplement with the ANBU.
The separation of power between the ANBU and the Military Police was not so black and white. Since there were no clear distinctions between their jurisdiction, it was completely up to the discretion of Hokage to provide clarity in moments of conflict.
Konoha used to have a special branch of ANBU called Root. They used to work underground to maintain social order. The members were expected to follow Danzo Shimura’s order with unquestioning obedience. The Root’s loyalty was supposed to be so strong that they used to follow Shimua’s order at the expense of the village.
As it’s obvious the Konoha’s ANBU was acting against the interests of the village itself which led to the gradual degradation that led to the corruption of the entire squad. People of the village too lost their faith in them, and slowly ANBU lost their support too. All of this was up to Naruto’s time.
But decades later it seems the Konoha’s ANBU has undergone a reformation. They have become more transparent. The neoteric ANBU seems more progressionist and liberal and has won the support of people of the village as well. Their bad-reputation appears to have become a relic of the past.
The greater dependence and trust showed on the junior ninjas also show a sort of radical shift to established norms of the past. The younger ninjas known as Team 25 are an example of this as they are already helping the senior ninjas in their mission. They are also helping Sai to get to Kara, which is impressive as such young ninjas co-operating with seniors and helping them out in missions is no small feat in itself.
The paradigm shift of the approach of the senior ninjas to deal with the younger ones is impressive, to say the least. The younger ninjas are trusted enough to be bestowed with secrets and information of the Konoha’s defence team. The newer generation of the students is much more punctual and obedient as they comply with what they are told, which is in stark contrast with the ninjas like Naruto and Sasuke.
The purification of the ANBU and restoring their reputation was no easy challenge for the Hokages who had to struggle a lot with it. The shady history of the ANBU included secretly spying on the people of the village, and as if this was not enough, they were killed too on some occasions. They used to take children who were antisocial under their wings and manipulated them. Root, Danzo’s death cult, was also one of the examples of the corruption of the ABNU. It was no surprise that the villagers had lost trust in them. Restoring confidence and resolving differences took years.
The gradual shift from such shady business of the ABNU in the Naruto series to the present-day liberal leadership of the younger ninjas encapsulates the transformation of the ABNU which goes back to the roots of Konoha. Madara and Hashirama were very clear that they wanted a responsible police force to look out for the people of the village and keep them safe. Their visions seem to have been finally realized.
Robert Hunt is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at norton.com/setup.