Anbu Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

An Anbu tattoo is the symbol that the members of the Anbu squad have in the Japanese manga series Naruto. People who choose an Anbu tattoo are almost certainly fans of the Naruto series.

In this article, we’ll explore what an Anbu tattoo symbolizes.

What is Anbu?

Anbu is the short form for Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai, which stands for Special Assassination and Tactical Squad. The Anbu is featured in the Japanese manga called Naruto. There is also a Naruto anime television series and a Naruto video game series.

Each member of the Anbu has the same tattoo on their shoulder. The tattoo is a simple, curved spiral. Female members have the tattoo on their right shoulder, while male Anbu members get the tattoo on their left shoulder.

The Anbu are sent on dangerous, secretive missions by their village leader. They protect their village from enemies and other threats. Anbu tasks include performing surveillance, interrogating people, and carrying out assassinations.

The Anbu wear standard uniforms and a mask to hide their identity. They are comprised of seven different divisions, all named after animals: Bear, Cat, Dragon, Falcon, Frog, Owl, and Wolf.

Naruto Manga

Masashi Kishimoto wrote and illustrated the manga series, which started in 1999. By the time the series finished in 2014, it consisted of 700 chapters and 72 volumes. Naruto is one of the top four best-selling manga series of all time. 

This manga series is most popular in Japan, with 153 million copies in circulation there. There are an additional 97 million copies circulated throughout 46 other countries. The series has even made The New York Times bestseller list multiple times.

The Naruto series is named after the character Naruto. He is a young adolescent who desires to become the strongest ninja in his village and be a leader.

Naruto Anime TV Series

The TV series began in 2002 in Japan and ran for five years. The sequel then aired for 10 years, with a total of 500 episodes. The original series premiered in North America in 2005. In the United States, the series was shown on the Cartoon Network; in Canada, it was on YTV. 

The television series Naruto is very similar to the manga series, though a few details have been changed. 

Naruto Video Game Series

Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have all released Naruto video games, the majority of which are fighting games. 

Naruto: Clash of Ninja was the first of the series to be released in both Japan (2003) and North America (2006). It featured 8 playable characters. Later versions in the series would have as many as 38 characters to play. The most recent video game was released for Nintendo Switch in 2020 and is called Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4.

Fans of Naruto

Naruto is popular among teenagers and adults all over the world. While the largest fan base is in Japan, people from many different countries are fans of Naruto. Since the Anbu symbol is unique to the Naruto franchise, it is likely that only Naruto fans have this tattoo.

It is not uncommon for fans of a manga series or anime television show to get related tattoos. People who read the manga or watch the anime connect to the characters in some way and wish to display that connection with body art.

The stories in Naruto illustrate all sorts of values and life lessons. When a reader or viewer connects with these, it can be a reason to get the Anbu tattoo.


One of the major themes in Naruto is perseverance. The character Naruto Uzumaki is considered an underdog and must overcome challenges in his young life. He shows how to persist despite the hardships you experience.

One of the phrases that Naruto says frequently is “I will never give up.” This represents his desire to succeed and to push through the obstacles in his life. Many people can empathize with having the odds stacked against them yet still wanting to strive for their dreams.

Here are some other inspirational quotes that Naruto says that illustrate his perseverance.

  • “If you don’t like your destiny, don’t accept it. Instead have the courage to change it the way you want it to be.”
  • “Failing doesn’t give you a reason to give up, as long as you believe.”
  • “If you don’t like the hand that fate’s dealt you with, fight for a new one.”


The Naruto series clearly displays the value of friendship and of being loyal to your friends. It also teaches not to judge someone based on their reputation, but to get to know them first. The characters in the series learn that their true friends accept them for who they are.

The series also portrays how people experience loneliness, and how building friendships can help people overcome this isolation. It talks about putting others ahead of yourself and making sacrifices for the people you love, whether this is family or friends.

Kindness and Love

Another value that appears frequently in the Naruto series is kindness for others. The series demonstrates how violence and anger only serve to create more of the same. When the characters are absorbed by hate, it only leads to more hostility and revenge.

Here are some quotes from the Naruto series that illustrate kindness and love.

  • “Knowing what it feels like to be in pain is exactly why we try to be kind to others.”
  • “When people hurt others, they become hated and racked with guilt. But knowing that pain allows people to be kind.”

Anbu Tattoos

With so many valuable lessons portrayed in the Naruto series, it is clear why people choose to memorialize them with an Anbu tattoo. The symbolic tattoo can act as a permanent reminder to follow the values and morals taught in the series. 

The simple spiral tattoo has more to it than first meets the eye. It stands for overcoming obstacles, standing up for what is right, and being loyal to the people you love.

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