It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon.
It is one of the Ultra Beasts and is known by the code name UB-04 Blade (Japanese: ＵＢ０４ Ｓｌａｓｈ).
Kartana is a small Ultra Beast that resembles an origami human. It appears to be folded out of a sheet of paper which is white on one side and red on the other. Its head is folded slightly inside its body and has a four-sided star in the center, but no discernible facial features. On top of its head are two short antennae or horns that are wider at the top. It has long, thin arms that resemble katanas with a yellow, sheath-like structure around the upper area. The sheath connects to a red, slightly raised hexagon on its torso. Extending up and out from the base of each sheath are three yellow projections that are nearly as long as its arms. Its legs appear creased with areas of red visible along the edges. Its light, thin build makes it one of the lightest Pokémon, tying with Gastly, Haunter, Flabébé, and Cosmog.
Despite its small size compared to the other Ultra Beasts, Kartana is extremely dangerous, as every edge of its body is incredibly sharp. It is able to cut down a gigantic steel tower with one stroke of the blades on its arms, and any opponents that try to attack it will be similarly cut apart. According to Wicke of the Aether Foundation, its light, paper-like body allows it to evade most attacks by simply floating out of the way, but it also makes it highly vulnerable to fire and moisture. As seen in the anime, Kartana can open Ultra Wormholes. For a brief time, it was the only Pokémon that could learn Cut by leveling up.
Kartana debuted in Living on the Cutting Edge!, appearing in Alola through an Ultra Wormhole. It started slicing through various objects across Melemele Island, prompting Ash and his classmates to embark on their eighth mission as the Ultra Guardians. Their efforts to catch it ended in failure, and were soon overshadowed by a meteor falling towards the Pokémon School. Unexpectedly, Kartana sliced the meteor into small, harmless pieces before it could hit the building, saving the school from being damaged. Afterwards, it created itself a new Ultra Wormhole by repeatedly slicing the air in rapid succession, and then returned itself home.
Due to Beast Balls having a 5× catch rate modifier against Ultra Beasts, this means that one can never fail to catch a Kartana in Sun and Moon.
Despite being called "UB Slash" in Japanese, Kartana cannot learn the move Slash.
In the anime, Kartana speaks the human language, but in reverse.
Kartana may be based on origami and samurai. In particular, it may be based on noshi, a ceremonial origami attached to gifts for congratulatory occasions as a token of good luck, or shikigami, paper figurines cut into the shape of a person or animal and imbued with spiritual power, often used by priests to ward off negative energy. Its sharp, paper-like qualities may be a reference to paper cuts.
Kartana may be a combination of katana and charta (Latin for paper). It may also involve Curtana (British ceremonial sword used at the coronations for kings and queens) and कर्तन kartana (Sanskrit for cutting).
Kamiturugi may be a combination of 紙 kami (paper), 神 kami (deity), and 剣 tsurugi (sword).