|Previous Affiliation||Gotei 13|
|Base of Operations||Forest of Menos, Hueco Mundo|
Ashido Kanō (狩能 雅忘人, Kanō Ashido) is a Shinigami trapped in Hueco Mundo.
He wears the standard Shinigami uniform, in ragged condition and without any footwear, with a fur coat draped over himself. The coat consists of several Hollow masks adorned on it, which he utilizes in a variety of ways. The one resembling a gazelle's skull which he wears over his face is the mask belonging to the Hollow that killed his best friend. Ashido uses the rest to block Hollow attacks, and carries one of them like a shield during battles.
Ashido is shown to be rather serious most of the time, having carried the mental scars created by the deaths of his teammates for many centuries. The very reason Ashido stayed in Hueco Mundo so long was to avenge the deaths of his friends and protect the Human World by killing as many Hollows as he possibly could. He met Rukia and saved her on several occasions, and would have left the forest with her group if he had not been forced to save them from the Menos. Even after several centuries of living alone in Hueco Mundo, Ashido still harbors a sense of sorrow at having lost his companions and visits the site of their death from time to time to pay his respects. He later brings Rukia to this same spot, claiming that it would be nice if his deceased friends could hear the voice of another Shinigami.
Hundreds of years ago, Ashido and his unit fought against a large number of Hollows. As Ashido's unit pursued the Hollows, they began to retreat through a Garganta into Hueco Mundo. Ashido and his unit followed the Hollows through the Garganta and ended up in the Forest of Menos. Ashido and his unit knew where they were and continued fighting the Hollows despite this, but the fighting eventually attracted several Menos Grande. The Menos Grande attacked and fired Cero blasts, killing several of Ashido's comrades. The Hollows eventually overwhelmed Ashido's unit and killed all but Ashido and one of his comrades. As Ashido went to face the group of Hollows alone, he left his friend to rest, but a Hollow attacked and fatally wounded his friend. Ashido's friend managed to kill the Hollow, but died soon afterwards. Enraged by his comrade's death, Ashido grabbed the mask of the slain Hollow and killed the remaining Hollows himself. Ashido decided to stay in the Forest of Menos and kill as many Hollows as he could in order to protect the Human World.
Hueco Mundo arc
As Ashido leaves his cave, he senses the arrival of Shinigami Reiatsu and leaves to investigate. He finds a Shinigami facing two Gillians, but she loses her footing as the Gillians fire their Ceros. Ashido retrieves her before the Cero blasts can hit her and kills both Gillians, leaving the area soon afterward. Although she is grateful for his help, the Shinigami attempts to leave Ashido as he carries her, but Ashido recaptures her and informs her that they are nearing his hideout. Once they arrive, Ashido lets the Shinigami go, and she follows him inside his cave. She attempts to get information out of Ashido, but Ashido only gives her his name and explains that they are in the Forest of Menos, which is a forest where many Menos reside. Without another word, Ashido grabs his Zanpakutō and engages the Shinigami in combat.
Ashido is able to use his speed and swordsmanship to corner the Shinigami and ceases attacking her. The Shinigami asks why Ashido attacked her, and Ashido explains that he was testing her strength, as the weak cannot survive in the Forest of Menos. Ashido senses someone fighting somewhere in the forest, and the Shinigami tells him it is Ichigo Kurosaki. Realizing that their fighting will draw more Menos towards them, Ashido decides to find them. The Shinigami decides to come as well, as she came into Hueco Mundo with Ichigo and his group. Ashido asks her for her name, and she tells him that she is Rukia Kuchiki. They both leave afterwards to track down Ichigo and his group.
They successfully locate the area where Ichigo and his group were fighting, but find out that they have already moved on. Rukia is soon ambushed by an Adjuchas, but Ashido attacks him, wounding him severely. The Adjuchas then summons a group of Gillians and orders them to use Cero. However, Ashido uses his Mask Shield to block the blasts, surprising the Adjuchas. Ashido then kills the Adjuchas and the Gillians soon afterwards, Rukia commenting that his current strength was on par with a Bankai. Rukia asks Ashido about the Hollow he just killed and he informs her that he was an Adjuchas, and that they were only able to control the Gillians recently. Ashido asks Rukia what has happened in the Soul Society, as he believes that the changes in the Hollows' strength and the arrival of Rukia's group in Hueco Mundo means something has happened in the Soul Society. Rukia tells him that the Soul Society is not united, and that terrible events have happened there recently. Accepting her answer, Ashido decides to search elsewhere for Rukia's friends, and they both leave to track them once more.
Ashido and Rukia kill more Gillians, causing Rukia to remark that the Forest of Menos is more like a nest than a forest; in turn, Ashido tells her that the forest is a giant Hollow nest. Ashido then tells her that he underestimated her strength, as she is capable of fighting the Adjuchas Hollows. Rukia asks about Ashido's mask, but then dismisses her question. Ashido takes his mask off and explains that he entered the Forest of Menos several hundred years ago, pursuing Hollows retreating into Hueco Mundo, and that he has been killing Hollows ever since. Rukia asks him if there is any way for him to leave, and Ashido says that there is, but he remained in the forest because he is a Shinigami. He deduces that many Hollows that appear come from the Forest of Menos, and if he remained behind and killed as many Hollows as he could, then he could reduce the number of Hollows that appear in the Human World. Ashido asks Rukia if the number of Hollows appearing in the Human World has gone down. Rukia does not answer, but Ashido believes from her expression that it has not. Rukia apologizes to Ashido, but he decides not to worry about it.
Ashido brings Rukia to the site where he and his group first arrived in the Forest of Menos hundreds of years ago, and where their gravestones are now. Rukia is surprised that Ashido did not come to Hueco Mundo alone. Ashido explains that he was with a unit that fought against Hollows several hundred years ago, but they followed the Hollows into Hueco Mundo and his entire unit was wiped out until only Ashido remained. Ashido tells Rukia that he stayed in Hueco Mundo in order to honor his friends and help protect the Human World. Ashido then reminds Rukia that he asked her earlier if the number of Hollows decreased, but he did not ask her in hopes that he was doing well; instead, he asked her, so he could tell his friends his progress. Ashido tells Rukia that she and her friends should return to the Soul Society, since Ashido's efforts aren't affecting the number of Hollows appearing in the Human World. Rukia tells Ashido that she will not leave until after she reaches Las Noches, because one of her friends is being held there. Ashido informs her that Vasto Lordes reside in Las Noches and that average fighters cannot survive within the fortress. Rukia still insists on going to Las Noches along with the rest of her group, and that they will all work together to save her. Rukia then asks Ashido why he brought her to the site of his arrival. Ashido tells her that he brought her there because he wants his friends to hear the voice of another Shinigami besides himself.
Ashido and Rukia then sense more fighting and leave to find Ichigo and his group, but as soon as they arrive at the supposed site, they find out that an Adjuchas had destroyed all traces of Reiatsu within the area. The Adjuchas summons a large group of Gillians, which attack them with Cero blasts. However, Ashido and Rukia are able to avoid their attacks and they attack the Adjuchas. While Rukia is distracted, the Adjuchas moves behind Rukia and attacks her. Reminded of his friend's death, Ashido takes the blow from the Adjuchas instead, which breaks his mask.
Rukia apologizes to Ashido, and the Adjuchas taunts him for having a weak partner. Feeling guilty for endangering Ashido, Rukia fights the Adjuchas on her own, eventually killing him with Some no mai, Tsukishiro. With the Adjuchas dead, the Gillian leave.
After the battle, Rukia apologizes to Ashido about the shattered mask and reluctantly suggests that he should return to the Soul Society, stating that the situation with the Hollows is changing drastically. She believes that Ashido's friends would forgive him if he chose to leave the Forest of Menos. Ashido simply remarks that everyone chooses their own path. They then decide to move on and continue searching for Rukia's friends.
As they continue searching, Ashido and Rukia are eventually confronted by the Guardian of the Forest of Menos. The Guardian is aware that Rukia's friends are fighting against the Hollows of the forest, but refuses to let Ashido and Rukia pass. Having fought the Guardian in the past, Ashido warns her about his power, as well as his role in the Forest of Menos. Ashido then declares that slaying the Guardian will be the last task he performs in the forest. Rukia is surprised by Ashido's words, but he demands that Rukia tells him everything that is happening in Hueco Mundo and the Soul Society after they are finished. Ashido then begins fighting the Guardian.
While fighting the Guardian, Ashido manages to wound him greatly, even cutting off one of his arms. Ashido then asks him if he noticed that the Reiatsu of his allies has vanished. Growing desperate, the Guardian digs his tail underground and tries to use his attack to catch Ashido off-guard. Ashido manages to avoid the attack, but then he realizes that the attack is heading towards Rukia. However, Rukia uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren to stop the attack and freeze the Guardian, completely immobilizing him. Taking advantage of the Guardian's immobility, Ashido attacks him, killing the Hollow. With the battle finished, Rukia proceeds to heal Ashido's wounds with healing Kidō.
Ashido and Rukia end up finding Rukia's friends, and Ashido takes them to the exit of the Forest of Menos. As they begin to leave, a Menos Grande attempts to shoot them with a Cero. Ashido, Rukia, and the others turn their attention towards the Hollows, led by an Adjuchas defeated by Ichigo earlier. The Adjuchas declares that he will not let any of them leave the forest. Ichigo and Renji try to attack the Menos, but Ashido steps between them and blocks the Cero blasts with his shield and tells them to leave. Rukia tries to help Ashido, but one of the Cero blasts he deflects causes the passageway to cave in. Rukia tries to persuade Ashido into leaving with them, but Ashido attacks the Adjuchas instead. As the passageway begins to close completely, Ashido tells Rukia to save her friend and then leaps back into the forest.
Mask Shield: Ashido carries a shield crafted from Hollow masks. The shield has proven to be of great use, for it can withstand and deflect Cero blasts from both Gillian-class and Adjuchas-class Hollows.
Cloak: Ashido wears a fur cloak with many Hollow masks attached to it. The cloak also hold Ashido's Mask Shield when he is not using it.
Mask (Former): Ashido is usually wearing a Hollow mask covering his face. The mask was obtained when Ashido arrived in the Forest of Menos, coming from a Hollow killed by Ashido's last teammate, who was wounded by the Hollow. The mask itself is highly durable, as it was initially used as a shield to deflect various Cero blasts from Gillian-class Menos. It also protected Ashido from harm when he saved Rukia Kuchiki from a lethal blow from an Adjuchas-class Hollow. However, the mask was broken as a result.
Powers & Abilities
Expert Swordsman: Ashido has displayed great swordsmanship skills, especially since he is able to fight on par with Adjuchas-class Hollows and officer-level Shinigami without releasing his Zanpakutō.
Shunpo Expert: After saving Rukia and while searching for Ichigo Kurosaki and his group, he displayed that he could exceptionally use Flash Steps. He has also displayed that he could use Flash Steps proficiently in battle by evading a barrage of attacks from some of his opponents.
Ashido's Zanpakutō has a green hilt and a rectangular tsuba, which is chipped. He never released his Zanpakutō and as such, the extent of his skills and stages of Zanpakutō release are unknown.
- He was originally set to appear in the manga during the same part in the series, but had to be cut by series creator Tite Kubo due to time issues.
- "It’s the Menos’ nesting grounds. A world far removed from where Soul Society’s laws carry any meaning."
- "This is a fierce forest. The weak cannot survive here."
- "In order to protect human souls, and keep the promise I made with those who lost their lives, I’ve stayed here and fought."
- "I just wanted my friends to hear you speak. It’s been a while since they heard a Shinigami’s voice."
- "Everyone chooses their own paths to follow."