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Sasuke chidori

A typical ninjutsu.

Ninjutsu (忍術; ; Literally meaning "Ninja Techniques"; ) vaguely refers to pretty much any technique that uses chakra and allows the user to do something that they otherwise would be incapable of doing. Unlike genjutsu, which makes the opponent see illusions, the effects of ninjutsu are quite real. Ninjutsu relies on chakra and, most of the time, hand seals (each hand seal showing a different animal in the chinese zodiac) to be effective. The hands are put in sequential positions that mold chakra in the necessary manner to perform a jutsu. This is not always consistent, however, and some of the simpler jutsu seem to become second nature to experienced ninja, after which they can perform them at will. Additionally, some ninjutsu can be classified as an elemental jutsu, in those cases where a specific element (wind, water, fire, earth, lightning) is used.