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|“||It's guns! I love guns! ... Machine guns? That's even better! This could be fun! Sounds like death, and danger. Daaanger, daaaaanger... What's happening in the dining car? Is there blood? Who's killing who? Where did they get shot? I have to see! Things are really starting to get exciiiting! Yes! Yes yes yes! YES YES YES YES YES!||„|
|~ Ladd Russo|
Ladd Russo is a sadistic hitman from the Russo Family and one of the main antagonists/protagonist villains of the light novel and anime series, Baccano!. He is iconic for his bloodlust and psychotic obsession with killing anyone who thinks they're safe from death. In the anime, he is seen on the Flying Pussyfoot as the leader of the white suits.
He was voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version of the anime, and Bryan Massey in the English version, the latter of whom also voices Kain Hikaru.
Ladd is tall, with a good physical build. He's muscular, but not to the point of looking like a bodybuilder. He has blond hair, with a fringe/bangs that fall just above his eyebrows, curving inwards slightly. His eyes are a bright blue, a major contrast to the red specks of blood that can constantly be seen on his face. During his time on the Flying Pussyfoot, he was seen wearing a smart, white suit, like one at a wedding, just like the rest of is compatriots. He prefers the color because the bloodstains are easier to see. In the anime, he was seen wearing a black suit beforehand. Ladd loses his left arm after his crash from the Flying Pussyfoot, but it is soon replaced with a metallic prosthetic, which is just as strong and durable as his other arm, but is rather fragile. In the manga, Ladd is depicted as a much younger person that fits his childish behavior.
Ladd can be described as having two distinct sides to his personality. One seems to be a hate-driven lunatic bent on killing anyone that he feels are "too safe", and another more loving personality that is far more humane than one would expect from a hitman. To elaborate on the former, Ladd is a sadist; more elaborately, an insane and childish sadist. He enjoys inflicting pain on others, finding the blood stimulating and refreshing to spill. His main entertainment in life is to kill. He is very manipulative and intelligent, but extremely immature sometimes. Sadistic tendencies aside, Ladd is also seen as arrogant and egotistical, brimming with confidence. When he questions whether a victim is scared, he merely grins, claiming that they should be because they encountered him. His hyperactive personality can also be seen through his combat style. He is exceptionally skilled and resourceful in hand-to-hand combat, especially boxing, and is also good with firearms. When in a fight, his punches are continuous and energetic, reflecting his frivolous and uncontrollable nature. However, they do really hurt, and he can do some serious damage with his fists. While he acts like a child at times, his body certainly has the strength of a fully grown man and more.
1931 - The Grand Punk Railroad
Ladd first appears with his gang of White Suites and fiance, Lua to his uncle Placido Russo. They promptly claim they will rob a train and crash it to Grand Central station if they do not get their ransom. Placido lashes out against Ladd not to associate the massacre with the Russo family but Ladd tells him he's quiting, bringing his fiance with him and the others so they can ruin many lives under their white suits. He takes Placido's wedding suit and leaves to get dressed.
Upon arriving at the station, he vows to massacre every last one of them with joy. His gang also accepts this with high enthusiasm and they board the train. Isaac and Miria notes their gang to be a possible wedding of sorts.
Ladd participates in the gruesome incidents of the Flying Pussyfoot, meeting a mysterious grey magician , before conducting his killing spree onboard the train to fight against Lemures who drop the name Huey Laforet, infuriating the mad hitman further.
He later clashes with Jacuzzi Splot 's gang, warning him that they will settle their matters after they go search for their comrade who masqueraded as a conductor.
When they arrive at the back of the train, they find the corpse of two conductors and Ladd is ecstatic with finding out who killed their comrade and vows to inflict murderous vengeance against their antagonist. He tells Lua to go hide somewhere while his gang goes on another killing spree against the Lemures.
Ladd's gang and the Lemures' battles are depicted on varying accounts on the two books, both with successes and failures. Along the way they meet a mysterious boy who asked them to kill all the passengers in the first class cabin and plans to split the money they'll get from this along with the bombs the boy had been hiding. Ladd, infuriated with the boy's seemingly condescending attitude and confidence he will not be killed, shoots his head clean off, rejecting the offer.
He later tells his friends, among them being Who , that they will continue to kill the Lemures and finally kill off the passengers since no ransom will be given. He later goes on top of the train after one of his friends tells him that someone is waiting for him, he finds Chane Laforet and the two duel amidst the speedy winds of the train's speed. They later separate after Chane flees the battle, Ladd in hot pursuit.
Later, Ladd loses Chane but overhears her from her allies that they plan to betray her to get the secret of immortality from Huey, Ladd drops down from his hiding place and interrogates them before killing them. Ladd meets with Lua and Who and tells the grey magician to help his wounded friend while telling Lua that he will settle matters once and for all, before searching for Chane.
He later confronts Chane again at the top of the speeding train revealing he knows all about her and her father, he mocks Huey's immortality and plots to kill him endlessly, infuriating Chane and causing her to emotionally lash out at Ladd via her attacks. Their fight is interupted by a red monster, later revealed to be Claire Stanfield. The two exchange words of their philosophies amidst their duel and Ladd vows to kill this new man, Claire sees Lua joining their fight atop the train and tells Ladd that he will throw himself off the train.
Claire ties Lua around a noose against a post, forcing Ladd to save his fiance and jump off the train. It turns out the noose was fake, he swears revenge against Claire as they are flung out of the train. He uses his wounded arm to break their fall by punching a water tank with his strength, losing his arm and fatally bleeding.
The police later arrives to fetch the two of them, Ladd reveals the severity of his broken arm and is promptly arrested despite his claims that the massacres onboard the train were an act of self-defense. Lua is separated from him but they vow to meet each other again, Ladd is subsequently taken to prison and is told that he will stand trial for the murders and be imprisoned elsewhere. Ladd asks the officer where Huey Laforet is kept, and they advise him that he is in Alcatraz. Ladd says nothing else and smiles, ending his involvement with the immortals until later. Despite this, the Russo family's troubles will still continue on in 1934.
1933 - The Slash
He gets an offhanded mention from Ronnie that he will be transfering to Alcatraz soon to fulfill his desire to kill Huey Laforet to spite Chane. Huey welcomes this.
1934 - Alice in Jails
An old correctional officer recalls the time he was working in a prison before when Ladd finally was transfered to Alcatraz, he noted the young killer's placid attitude and coopreation despite the cruelty the officer inflicted to the prisoners. Ladd creeped the officer out, and asked how would one be able to get a transfer to Alcatraz. The officer tells Ladd so, prompting Ladd to revert back to his extremely violent tendencies.
One day, Gustavo arrives after being jailed for the drug incident of 1932, causes a ruckus in the prison. Ladd mocks the large gangster and summons a fight with 10 men or more who were loyal to Gustavo. The officer recounts how the fight ended in a near blood bath while Ladd gleefully ate his lunch amidst a pile of unconscious bloodied prisoners. Ladd was shortly sent to solitary confinement after threatening the old officer that he should never feel like he'll never die because death comes unexpectedly. Subsequently Ladd was transfered to Alcatraz along with Al Capone and other gangsters but the correctional officer resigns his post to hide.
He narrates how he dreads the day Ladd is released from Alcatraz, getting the gut wrenching feeling that the mobster is still coming for him. The officer then breaks down in fear.
Powers and Abilities
Ladd is a trained hitman and formidable fighter. While on the Flying Pussyfoot, Ladd was capable of doing the most damage to the Black Suits (aka the Lemures) than any other hijacker, second only to the Rail Tracer. As he was the Leader of the White Suits, it is assumed that he was the most deadly and powerful fighter, notable as this group was made up of highly experienced sadists, assassins, and hitmen. Ladd's prefers to kill using his gun, a Lupara he has named Blasty, using bullets in an orthodox, but deadly and effective manner, usually aiming for vital parts of the body and blasting them with deadly accuracy, showing remarkable marksmanship on Ladd's part. He uses his fists to savagely disfigure one's face; however, he noted that he needed to work on his right hook. Also, while Ladd's fists can do some serious damage, they do really hurt. It appears that by 1934, he has improved, as he was able to defeat the Runorata Gustavo in only one clear hit and snap a table like a pencil using only his right hand. However, after he lost his left hand to the Rail Tracer, he suffered a significant loss to his capabilities and had to resort to getting a lot stronger with what he had left. Also, he was fully able to go toe-to-toe with Chane Laforet, the Lemures' strongest fighter, using a combination of his melee combat and marksmanship skills, showing that Ladd can combine the two. In the anime opening, Ladd was shown throwing darts with great accuracy.
While the scenes showing it were removed in the anime adaptation, Ladd is also an extremely brilliant manipulator and is extremely good at reading people and piecing together information. All of his schemes are extremely well planned out, and MOST of his completely insane bloodlust is an act to lull opponents into underestimating him or fear him so much they begin making mistakes. Only Czeslaw and the Rail Tracer genuinely disgusted him enough that he completely lost it and went berserk on them.
Ladd is infamous in the underground world, more specifically, his enjoyment to kill. According to Placido Russo, Homicidal Nutcases are wary of Ladd, further elaborating on his abilities. He also stated, when Ladd left the organization, that other mafia put more preassue on the Russo's when informed of Ladd's departure, and most of the Russo family's people felt incredible respect for the deranged assassin as when he left, most people from the mafia left, stating that they had nothing else to do.
While not usually shown, Ladd is an expert improviser and is very quick to react to unplanned occurrences. When hurdling off of a train at deadly speed, he used his own arm to punch into a tower to save himself and Lua Klein from death.
As a member of the Russo family, he has access to all of the family's sources of income and influence. Indeed, with his incarceration, the family fell into disarray and suffered greatly without the fear that Ladd struck into their enemies. As the leader of the White Suits, he was in charge of the hijacking, and expertly coordinated all the unexpected occurrences to his own advantage. With his leadership, he made sure that his men suffered far less causalities than the Black Suits while doing considerable damage to them as well. Though he did not take into account the Rail Tracer, he was one of the few who even theorized that there was another faction on the train when Goose was the only other person to do so. Also, he had a large amount of influence over Graham Specter's gang, as Graham was his underling. It is unknown if Graham was Ladd's only underling, but Graham may be all he needs, as Graham is a powerful individual in his own right.
- According to the series' creator, Ladd is his favorite character.
- The Russo Family is actually an Italian Family that immigrated to North America in the late 1800's. However, they were not associated with the underground mafias.