- "Charged with emotion and fierceness, for good reason."
Kaito Hashimoto (橋本 海翔; Hashimoto Kaito) was a Quincy noted for his skill in the use of seele schneiders. He deeply resented the shinigami for their clear attempts to wipe out the Quincy and even advocated training designed specifically to fight them.
Despite Uryū Ishida's claim to being the Last Quincy (though already contested by his father Ryūken), the Quincies were not a dying breed. The Hashimoto family is one such group that continued to exist as Quincies, though they remained in hiding as a means of protecting themselves from the Gotei 13. Hiding in Karakura Town, the Hashimoto remained an underground Quincy family.
Kaito resented the oppression that the Quincies suffered from, and would not hear out attempts by some to voice some form of cooperation with Soul Society. His opinion was that the Quincies need to rebuild their strength to be able to stand up to the power of the Gotei 13, then they can reveal their presence in force. He even advocated the teaching of means to fight shinigami in the case of a backlash where the Gotei 13 decides to wage war against them.
Throughout his school years, Kaito has remained, spiritually, in hiding, undergoing formal training in order to prepare for an adulthood as a full-fledged Quincy. On the outside, he was a normal student who received good grades all around and a top member of Karakura High's kendo team.
After graduating from high school, Kaito found a stable job as a store clerk in the busy downtown sector of Karakura. While not standing behind the counter, taking payment for purchased goods at the store, Kaito was either enjoying life or fighting hollows not engaged by shinigami. On more than one occasion did Kaito had to flee a scene as he noticed approaching shinigami.
Personality and traits
Kaito is the cautious type: rarely does he make a bold gamble, even in combat. That being said, the Quincy would only consider removing his sanrei glove, to achieve the final form, in a matter of life-or-death. He has a general distrust for the shinigami, and is not a fan of the Quincy philosophy involving Quincies acting as a first-response team to defend humans from hollows while shinigami relief squads make their way to the human world.
Powers and abilities
"The seele schneider is not a sword: Quincies never use swords."
Reiryoku Absorption: As a Quincy, Kaito can absorb reiryoku to use in combat.
Reiryoku Manipulation: As with all Quincies, Kaito can alter the shape of spiritual particles for use in combat. He relies heavily on this ability for his seele schneiders.
High Spiritual Power: Being able to absorb reiryoku and the innate ability for his seele schneiders to absorb the same energy, Kaito has a substantial amount of spiritual energy at his disposal.
Seele Schneider Master: Kaito's skill in this weapon is extraordinary, being capable of holding his own against swordmasters. He has been seen dual-wielding seele schneiders, connecting them at the pommels with a chain of reiryoku. The reiryoku could be utilized like an actual chain of sorts, as Kaito is capable of swinging his seele schneiders about with it.
Hirenkyaku Master: Kaito has great skill in the Quincy equivalent of shunpo, called hirenkyaku.
Licht Regen: This powerful attack allows Kaito to fire one thousand arrows at a single target.
Sprenger: Using five seele schneiders to create a pentagram boundary, Kaito can create a powerful explosion within its boundaries by splashing liquid from a gintō tube into the diagram.
Quincy bow and spiritual arrows
As a Quincy, Kaito wields a bow, which has yet to be named. He claims to be able to fire 2500 arrows without rest, which would make him capable of using the licht regen attack, at maximum power, twice.
Behind the scenes
Lavi, the creator of Kaito, wanted to make a Quincy of his own, noticing a lack of such characters on the Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki at the time. However, he had little inspiration as to how the Quincy character would fit into the Bleach world. He had to thoroughly research Quincy attributes in order to create Kaito's abilities and characteristics, since he was unfamiliar with the specifics of the group.
Kaito has been featured as the Character of the Month for May 2009.