|“||Even should my master die, I will still tear out the throats of my prey.||”|
–Angelo, 2002: (A Side) Bullet Garden
Angelo (アンジェロ, Anjero) is a Spanish-born professional assassin and bodyguard. When The Mask Makers (appear to) murder the head of the cartel he works for in 2002, he seeks revenge by boarding the cruise yacht Entrance in August.
Angelo appears to be around thirty years old, with tanned skin, stubble lining his jaw, and sleepy eyes. Firo describes him as possessing "dark skin and defined features that make him look like the type who would be popular with women."
On the Entrance, he wears a black jacket over a white shirt, black trousers, and his trademark blue sunglasses. From his looks alone, one may easily deduce that he is not a person who makes an honest living.
Angelo is highly reminiscent of the gunslinger archetype from old westerns - rough, intense, and stubborn to a fault. When his boss is murdered, he seeks revenge against those responsible with a cold, unrelenting fury; when he realizes that he has been betrayed, he is deeply bitter.
He is not an indifferent man, and his remorse when unrelated bystanders are caught up in 'his' business speaks to a strong sense of personal responsibility. That he never once betrays his policy to never injure or kill women or children – even when doing so would endanger his life – is at the very least a testament to the strength of his convictions.
Angelo is born in a village in Spain sometime around 1972. A street urchin, he lives in a corner of an alley for most of his childhood until the villagers – upset about the homeless "harming the town's aesthetics" – hire several officers to "clean up" the streets. The officers' solution is to fire machine guns at into the alleyways, indiscriminately killing men, women and children in cold blood until they run out of ammunition before they reach Angelo's corner. It is during that incident that Angelo obtains his first gun, finding it in one of the alleys the officers had neglected to 'cleanse'.
The entire male population of the village is eradicated twenty years later. Many of them were thieves and murders, or so Angelo later claims, and it is implied that he was the one who murdered them ("I forcibly put an end to this cycle of revenge").
At some point he marries, but is absent when his wife gives birth to a boy named Carlos sometime in the latter half of 1999. Much to his wife's chagrin, he later leaves for South America (having worked there before) in search of an income, soon finding work as a bodyguard for one of the local drug cartels. That the cartel boss respects Angelo's rule not to kill women and children and gives him a place to be earns him Angelo's loyalty, but everything changes in August 2002 when the boss is killed during a shootout against another organization. That he was shot in the back after Angelo defeated all of their opponents suggests that his killer must be a spy.
With the Businessmen though to be connected to the boss' death, Angelo and the Demolisher (a wayward colleague) seek revenge by jointly attacking them while they are dining at a restaurant. After sniping Death dead, Angelo enters the restaurant and shoots dead four of the Businessmen (ignoring Death's colleague Illness, despite her training her gun on him). With seconds to spare, he leaps out of the window just in time for the Demolisher to demolish the restaurant.
In the aftermath, he receives a call from Carnea Kaufman, his deceased boss's twelve year old daughter and the new head of the drug cartel. While his boss' pre-mortem order that Angelo "take care of his daughter" is somewhat of an annoyance, Angelo remains loyal to him and in his debt and will not abandon Carnea to the new dangers she now faces. He eventually decides that he will personally chase the Mask Makers (the 'Businessmen') and asks the Demolisher to dig up whatever information he can on the organization.
The Demolisher discovers that the Mask Makers plan to take a cruise liner called Entrance to Japan, and Angelo travels all the way to the west coast of North America intending to infiltrate the ship before it leaves. Arriving well before the departure date, and having obtained one of the more moderately priced tickets, he informs the Demolisher over the telephone that his main goal is to confront the leader and employer of the Mask Maker organization. After ending the call, Angelo contemplates the fearsome size and capabilities of the Mask Makers and the "one in a million chance...that he would die" (a probability which in reality is closer to 50-50) and his thoughts turn to his soon to be three year old son Carlos, whom he has never met in person. Remaining confident in his survival, he decides he will claim one of the masks as a souvenir and vacation with his wife and son in Venice post-mission.
Once upon the yacht ship Entrance, Angelo is walking down a hallway when Czeslaw Meyer bumps into him. Noticing Czes' fear, Angelo smiles faintly and apologizes for not looking where he was going. Czes apologizes in turn but Angelo tells him not to worry about it and continues on his way towards the lower decks, where the cheaper suites are located (and presumably his own). Later, Angelo makes his way to the casino on deck after leaving the door to his cabin ajar per The Demolisher's instructions. Observing Firo Prochainezo's impressive gambling skills, Angelo takes a seat beside him at a card table and challenges him to a one-on-one match. Firo agrees to the match, and Angelo shuffles the deck, slipping a card up his sleeve. He places the stolen card on the top of the deck after he finishes shuffling, a move that Firo interprets as deliberately done so Firo would notice. When Firo shuffles the deck he drops a card on the floor, which Angelo picks up and slips into his sleeve.
Though the game is a "neck and neck battle of wits," Angelo "absurdly" loses with a bust and congratulates Firo on his victory (which the narrative implies is a purposeful loss on Angelo's part). Angelo introduces himself as a man who works with "international exports" and offers to buy Firo a drink back at his cabin as an apology, since Firo's winnings are higher than the amount of chips that Angelo possesses (an invitation he intended to extend from before the match). Firo accepts and Angelo accompanies him back to his own cabin. Upon reaching Angelo's room Angelo receives a call from The Demolisher, who reveals that he saw him at the casino with Firo and that he left Angelo a present in his cabin, which he couldn't have done had Angelo not followed his instructions like he'd asked. Angelo, aware that Firo can hear him, keeps his own replies innocuous and unrelated to what he is hearing. After the call ends, Angelo (who claims he is conversing with an 'uncle') leads Firo into his room, and as they sit down at a round table he offers to pour him a drink from the liquor he had in a wooden box (the gift in question).
Angelo then asks Firo if his restaurant business (Firo had introduced himself as a restaurant manager) is known by the name "Mask Maker." Firo's silence (despite lasting for only a few seconds) confirms Angelo's suspicions and he draws a black handgun with red and gold decorations, demanding that Firo disclose all he knows about the Mask Makers and his 'boss' -- the man who ordered the death of Angelo's own employer. Firo decides to try and force the barrel of the gun down, but as soon as he moves Angelo fires his gun (the noise muffled with a silencer), shooting Firo in his shoulders and legs. Before Angelo can start his interrogation, Firo regenerates to which Angelo (instead of panicking) simply asks what Firo is. Angelo explains that he had been planning on listening to Firo in the beginning, and had only fired because Firo went for his gun--which he now lowers. Firo asks Angelo for a favor before disclosing what he knows; the favor is that Angelo tell Ennis and Czeslaw Meyer that Firo was shot in a tough fight. Angelo answers that he understands and will trust him, and promises him that as an apology for shooting him Angelo will tell his family that Firo was "a courageous and skilled warrior." He lets Firo return to his own cabin.The next day Angelo meets with Firo, Ennis, and Czes on the lowest floor of the shopping mall on deck and apologizes to Ennis for the bullet holes in Firo's clothes the previous night. Firo has agreed to help Angelo with reconnaissance (and nothing else) and the two begin discussing their plan of action, eventually moving along with Ennis to a nearby café, where they drink coffee while conversing. Firo and Ennis spot Claudia Walken on the other side of the nearby fountain; the fact that they know her is something that Angelo is a little envious of. As it turns out, Claudia and Charon Walken are scheduled to promote their movie that day on the event stage near the fountain. Angelo scans the room, checking to see if any of the Mask Makers have shown up. A minute later, Bobby Splot arrives dressed in Charon's costume, "The Gear" (his identity unbeknownst to the others).
Two of the Mask Makers who had attacked the restaurant back in South America take a seat at the table next to Firo, Ennis, and Angelo. Angelo recognizes them and surreptitiously alerts Firo and Ennis to their presence. Once the Mask Makers stand, Angelo prepares to follow them to the second floor only to be thwarted by the arrival of Illness, who loudly identifies him as "the awesome gunman from the other day." Angelo and the two Mask Makers draw their guns, and both sides fire almost simultaneously. Angelo manages to shoot the shoulders of both cult members after they fire, and just before their bullets reach Angelo's forehead Firo lunges in front of him, the bullets burying themselves in Firo's shoulder. The fountain area is plunged into chaos as passengers flee in panic. Members of the Mask Makers in the crowd begin a counterattack, and Angelo follows Firo and Ennis into the café for shelter.
Inside the café, Angelo (the only one armed out of the three) apologizes for dragging Firo and Ennis into a shootout and inquires as to how Firo's shoulder fairs. Apologizing again, Angelo quickly pokes his head and arm out around the wall of the café and fires multiple times at one of their assailants, aiming for the man's arm rather than killing him outright. Firo thinks "it was almost insanity to aim for the arm with a handgun in this situation, but carrying out such an action meant that Angelo was already far beyond normal levels of competence." Angelo explains that he didn't want them to die instantly, and Firo in admiration replies that he is tempted to hire Angelo as a bodyguard on the spot. To this, Angelo responds that he had already sworn his loyalties to his boss.
The shootout continues for several minutes, during which time Angelo injures or kills several of their attackers. However reinforcements arrive in a constant flow, replacing the deceased--thus negating any dent Angelo had made in the original numbers. He continues to "coldly...shoot them down." Suddenly, a deafening noise rings out through the mall, announcing the arrival of a newcomer - a "shadow holding an assault rifle" standing in front of a luxury boutique. Firo asks Angelo who the newcomer is, and though Angelo doesn't know, he realizes that the 'shadow' was dressed like Illness and Death were back at the restaurant (in a combat suit).
As Angelo and the others observe the 'shadow's' movements, Angelo receives a call from the Demolisher, who admits that he's still watching Angelo. The Demolisher asks what he is doing with Firo. Angelo asks in turn if the Demolisher can provide them with any support regarding the newcomer, and The Demolisher replies that yes he can, since there are no "civvies" around. A perturbed Angelo attempts to question him but he's immediately cut off by a loud explosion rocking the hull. The fourth floor, where the boutique stood, has been destroyed.
Firo turned to Angelo for answers and Angelo, clearly disturbed says that the Demolisher "told [him] not to worry...because he's set up explosions like this all over the ship." Firo suddenly spots the Gear by the fountain. Thinking Charon is inside, he rushes over to the Gear's side, ignoring Angelo and Ennis' exclamations. Angelo and Ennis wait there for Firo to return, and when he does he brings The Gear and a girl dressed in a shark costume with him (she was shell shocked from the explosion). Angelo immediately recognizes her as Carnea Kaufman, and when Carnea regains her senses a few moments later she gets to her feet and envelops Angelo in an embrace. Reeling from shock, Angelo asks Carnea how in the world she had ended up on the Entrance. He refers to her as 'Boss,' shocking Firo, Ennis, and Bobby.
In the café, Angelo informs Firo that there are only three official members surviving of the drug cartel he was working for. Letting out an "uncharacteristic, bitter laugh," he introduces Carnea as the Boss of his organization. Firo observes that Angelo, who is breaking out in a cold sweat, was "incomparably more shocked than when he had seen Firo's recovery" at this new development. Angelo implores Carnea to tell him how she got on the ship, and why. Carnea replies that she didn't want to see him and others be hurt because of her, a sentiment Angelo labels as foolish. As for how, Carnea confesses to having stowed away on the ship, and that it was the Demolisher who had smuggled her into the States and onto the ship with the promise that if she were around, Angelo would not start any gunfights on the Entrance. Angelo calls him a bastard, and his cold fury is such that it not only overwhelms Carnea, Firo, and Ennis but elicits a soft scream from Bobby. At the sound, Firo turned and asks Bobby (still dressed as The Gear) to identify himself. Bobby lies and says that he is Charon's stuntman.
The group make their way to Angelo's cabin, where they discuss their next course of action. Once the plan is finalized Angelo heads to the shopping mall at sunset, wearing his sunglasses despite the dim lighting. He stops and raises his gun, aiming it at a shadow hanging from the second floor which he knows to be Illness. Illness asks him how he knew she was here ("I had a feeling," he says) and reminds him of his policy not to kill women and children. Snickering, she fingers her submachine gun and posits that if she is to shoot him now, he'll likely die. Angelo merely grins and offers a one-off line as a response.
Illness, curious, wonders why Angelo follows such a policy in the first place and Angelo recounts the incident with the officers that had happened back when he was a child, the officers who killed "without any mercy for women and children." However Angelo continues "the reason I don't kill women and children...isn't my own little way of revenge, or anything like that. ...It's just my own stubbornness, and my pride as a gunman." Illness, unsatisfied, demands to know if he even wants to take revenge, to which Angelo replies that he already has. He lets her know her what had happened to the village twenty years later, implying that he murdered the men of the village while sparing the women and children.
Illness starts trembling and Angelo continues talking without looking at her, stating that he isn't "bragging about [his] misfortunes" and that it doesn't matter whether or not Illness has been through worse than him (or vice-versa). The only thing that matters, he concludes, is the fact that "you and I are here and there, each holding our weapons."
Illness decides to pull the trigger, but before she can Czeslaw emerges from the shadows and implores Angelo not to shoot him, citing his policy not to shoot children. Illness, recognizing him from their previous conversations, identifies him by name. At this, Angelo interrupts and asks Czes if he is Firo's "little brother." Angelo soon calls Firo and informs him that he's found Czes, and that Czes knows where Claudia is (Firo had been looking for Claudia as well as Czes).
At some point, Angelo separates from Czes and Claudia and goes off in search of the Demolisher. Over thirty minutes later, presumably having made an agreement with Illness and the others, Angelo shows up in front of the surviving Mask Makers on the ship Exit. The leader of the Mask Makers, Luchino B. Campanella ("Rookie") has handcuffed together the hands of a Mask Maker called Life, informing Life that he just wants to confirm something.
At Angelo's appearance, Life squirms and asks what is going on. His associates – Aging, Luchino, and the other survivors – say nothing. Angelo approaches Life and removes his goggles, saying cryptically with a melancholy look in his eyes that Life ought not to act like a stranger--after all, he and Life know each other quite well. He proceeds to accuse Life of being the Demolisher. Life cackles in response, sneering that Charon must have alerted Angelo's suspicions.
Following the Demolisher's admission that he and Life are the same person (thus working simultaneously for opposing sides), Angelo bows his head quietly and asks if the Demolisher was the one who shot Carnea's father, his former boss. The Demolisher plays dumb, asking Angelo "what do you think?" Angelo grinds his teeth, turns and walks back to Entrance with "surprising calm," informing the surviving Mask Makers that the Demolisher's fate is in their hands. When asked if he is alright with that, Angelo announces that his boss Carnea had cried and asked him not to kill anyone anymore, and with a "strangely satisfied look on his face" he cites his policy not to kill women and children (referring to the fact that Luchino is a minor).
Some time after the events upon the sister ships Entrance and Exit, Angelo arrives in New York and visits the Alveare at Firo's suggestion (dressed all in black and wearing his trademark blue shades), needing a place to hide after the incident – the drug cartel had essentially been destroyed, and he cannot return to his hometown until the cruise ship incidents are thoroughly investigated. There, he immediately turns to Maiza Avaro (who looks like the one with the greatest authority in the room) and explains that Firo has introduced him to the Martillos. He asks if they have any need for a bodyguard.
The alert atmosphere changes to one of good cheer and welcome, and Angelo is immediately bombarded with questions and opinions by the Martillos who realize he is the gunman Firo had told them about. Angelo is taken aback at such an atmosphere, which is different from the 'normal' criminal organizations he was used to. Angelo realizes that this was the sort of organization that "made Firo into what he is" and smiles "bittersweetly."
When Angelo finally speaks, he says that he is taking care of "an acquaintance's daughter" (Carnea) and is hoping the Martillos can help find him a safe place for her to stay.
Angelo is an excellent shot, able to fire a gun with speed and accuracy so remarkable that the shots "almost appeared to be drawn to their targets." Angelo does not attribute his success to some special skill, however. He attributes his skill to pure experience, and that he "happened to have survived this far."
He is also very good at card games, or rather, cheating at them (or both).
"I have no intention of bragging about my misfortunes. I'm sure you have your own past to contend with. Whether or not you've been through worse than myself is a trivial matter. Some people in this world die of starvation before they even have a drink of water. Others live unfortunate lives even if they have food, shelter, and a family. Happiness and misfortune--neither are ever significantly important, and they aren't reason enough for people to survive through bloodbaths." - Angelo to Illness, 2002: (B-Side), p. 192.
"I am not a guard dog. I am a hound." - Angelo, 2002: (A-Side), p. 31.
- Angelo has a policy to not harm or kill women and children.
- Angelo has a wife and a son named Carlos ("turning three" in 2002), who lives back in Spain.
- He has yet to meet his son in person.
- Angelo had originally turned down the woman who was to eventually become his wife out of the feeling that he "had no right to pursue happiness." However, she proved tenaciously formidable, and won him over (apparently her skills with a kitchen knife are lethal).
- It is highly likely that Angelo's son is the same person as the young gunman Carlos, a character from one of Ryohgo Narita's other light novel series, Etsusa Bridge.
- It is implied that Angelo won his first shootout because his opponent tripped over a corpse.
- When the Businessmen accuse him of acting like Chuck Norris in Hitman, Angelo replies that he thinks of himself as "more of a John Wayne."
- To this, the Businessmen respond that he is more Antonio Banderas than John Wayne, which can probably be considered the most accurate of the three comparisons, since the narrative compares Angelo and Banderas throughout the novel.
- On the topic of comparisons, the narrative and Angelo himself have compared him to a hound.
- His impressive accuracy with a gun has led him to be compared with a shark: "He had become an object of fear, sometimes likened to a man-eating shark who could track the scent of blood."
- Of all of Claudia's films, The Wild Dog is Angelo's favorite.