Published on May 2, 2012
As you can see from the beginning of this video, this is where they rapidly start making the challenges longer and longer. Our challenge this time is themed on Anbu (sometimes spelled in all caps as ANBU, as it's the initials in transliterated Japanese):
Battle 1 - Sai, with Foo and Torune
Battle 2 - Yamato, with Kakashi (Part II) and Sai
Battle 3 - Kakashi (?), with Itachi (Part II) and Yamato
Battle 4 - Itachi (Part I), with Kakashi (Part II) and Danzo
Battle 5 - Danzo, with Torune and Sai
Anbu is, as the name of this challenge suggests, the black ops division. Each of the major ninja villages has one, but this one is focused on the Hidden Leaf Village's. Anbu is a rank outside of the genin-chunin-jonin classification, but Anbu members are always strong fighters. They are sent out on missions involving assassination, crime syndicates, or other sorts that require extreme caution and concealing one's identity, so when out on mission, Anbu members wear identical cloaks and a variety of animal masks.
I believe we still have Yamato and Sai to explain here--they appeared in The Tale of Naruto Uzumaki, so I didn't have the space to describe them.
Like with Anko, Yamato was formerly an experiment subject of Orochimaru's, this one involving the Wood Style of Hashirama Senju. Hashirama is unique in that his genetic material has been preserved, and by injecting people with it, they can use Wood Style. The downside is that there's a 90% chance of killing the victim. Yamato was part of that 10%. (Orochimaru wanted to use Wood Style as this is the only style that can consistently confine Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox, whom Orochimaru wanted for himself.) As a mole, Yamato joined the Leaf Village's Anbu organization, though he didn't do much noteworthy until he was assigned to supervise Naruto in Kakashi's absence, chosen specifically because he could help control Naruto's fox outbursts better than anyone else. With Sakura and Sai, Yamato and Naruto infiltrated Orochimaru's hideout. Of course, Naruto and Sasuke fought with Orochimaru retreating. By now, Yamato lets his resentment towards Orochimaru be known, and he fights to protect the Leaf Village.
Yamato received his unique skills purely from Hashirama, so he can use a limited version of Wood Style. His favorite technique is Four Pillars Prison Jutsu, a wooden cage that can trap Naruto if Kurama ever gets control of him. Troy Baker plays Yamato, who also plays Pain.
Just as Yamato is the substitute for Kakashi, Sai is the substitute for Sasuke. Sai was a member of Root, who did the dirtiest work, such as genocide or political assassinations. Part of Root training is to bond with a fellow Root member and treat him or her like a sibling, and then to suddenly fight that member to the death. The purpose is to eliminate feelings of regret, compassion, and empathy so as to perform their missions properly. In Sai's case, that person was Shin, who practiced the same calligraphy jutsu as Sai. Sai drew a picture book with drawings of himself on one side and of Shin on the other, and they were supposed to "meet" in the middle of the book and shake hands, but Sai couldn't finish due to his having to kill Shin. Sai was assigned with Naruto, Sasuke, and Yamato to track down Sasuke--Naruto wanted to save him, but Sai got orders from Danzo to kill him. He made snide remarks at Naruto at first but warmed up to him later, no longer being the cold and emotionless boy Danzo wanted him to be, and because Naruto's ally through and through from that point onwards. Sai was one of the first people to face those resurrected by Kabuto's Edotensei (AKA Reanimation), and Shin was among them. Their encounter allowed Sai to come to terms with Shin (and Shin with Sai), and Sai finished his picture book at last.
Sai can use his chakra to make his calligraphic drawings pop out of their scrolls and move about, though they're not actually alive. Sai can also make ink clones of himself, his version of the Substitution Jutsu.
Sai is voiced by Ben Diskin. You may remember him as Numbuh One in Codename: Kids Next Door. He also voiced Kai in Blood+ and Szayelaporro Granz in Bleach.
I used Kiba (Part I), with Suigetsu and Zabuza. Hmm. Both of these support characters were wielders of Kubikiribocho, but both just shoot water as support. And Kiba is pretty gutsy to take on a multitude of Anbu people at his age. Incidentally, Zabuza was a former Anbu agent, though for the Hidden Mist Village.
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