- "I'm going to kill you, have a beautiful laugh, then dance until I go mad."
- —Ladd Russo
|Relations|| Lua Klein (Fiancée)|
Placido Russo (Uncle)
Lydia Russo (Niece)
Graham Specter (Rival)
Blasty (Lupara or Weapon)
|Voice Actor||Bryan Massey|
Ladd Russo (ラッド・ルッソ Raddo Russo) is a sadistic hitman from the Russo Family and one of the main characters of Baccano! anime. He is iconic for his blood lust and psychotic obsession with killing. In the anime, he is seen on the Flying Pussyfoot as the leader of the white suits.
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, 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's very intelligent, but extremely childish sometimes. Sadistic tendencies aside, Ladd is also seen as arrogant and rather cocky, 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's exceptionally skilled 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 childish and hyperactive nature. They do, however, 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.
Ladd hates people who are "too safe", such as Rail Tracer, who stated that the whole world might be merely one of his dreams, Czeslaw Meyer, who, being an immortal, had no fear of death, and Huey Laforet, who is immortal as well and operates behind the scenes, away from danger. Ladd likes people who fight fearlessly, knowing they might die, (i.e. Chane Laforet) and "bastards that only he can kill" (i.e. Graham Specter).
Ladd's most notable trait is that his preference for killing, often defined as a sort of hatred, is towards people who do not fear death, almost seeing himself as a divine reminder that anyone can die. However, towards Isaac and Firo, he did not show this hatred, because Isaac was too stupid to know the fear of death (in his own words, Isaac was beyond oblivious to fear anything), and that while Firo was immortal, he was still aware and afraid of death.
Ladd also gets offended when people say they like his face. Especially in a bunch of different languages.Towards his more humane side, however, he can also show a softer side when concerning Lua, his lover and fiancée. He is truly in love with her, and this shows through his small yet affectionate gestures, such as gently cupping her chin with his hand. This affection, however, is also laced with sadism as he vows that he will kill her one day, and that she will die by his hands and his hands alone.
Ladd also has a brotherly relationship with Graham Specter. Despite his personal reputation, childishness, and killing intent, he can actually admit that simply killing itself is not a sign of strength or weakness. While at first he told the Rail Tracer that mercy towards a stranger was stupid, he seems to have been influenced by his encounter with the monster and sees mercy in a better light during his time in jail.
Overall, though, Ladd is just a sadistic child at heart, even going so far as to dance in a puddle of blood of a fallen comrade for his own enjoyment.
Going along with this "hatred" of his, Ladd himself has a lack of safety, and when he feels safe, he becomes threatened, as he did to his Uncle Placido Russa, despite claiming to love him. When he was faced with the Rail Tracer, he showed a rare moment of fear and retreated from Chane Laforet, showing that he is not without some sense of caution.
Ever since his defeat at the hands of the Rail Tracer, Ladd has mellowed out considerably. He has become more humble and is not as hate-driven as he once was, though that is not to say that it is not still there. There is simply less hatred in him than there was before. He now holds a grudge against Vino, being amongst the top of his list to kill, second only to Huey Laforet, but only because Huey was in the same prison as Ladd.
Little is known about Ladd's past, except that one of the White Suits that accompany him on the Flying Pussyfoot was a childhood friend of his, and that his former fiancée was killed during their elopement at an earlier age. Having been a part of the Russo Family since birth, he'd been trained as an assassin, learning how to fight, defend and kill. It is unknown how he came to be such a sadist; however, it is known that he did not have a very stable nor loving relationship with his uncle, Placido Russo, who was also the family boss. This can be seen when Ladd taunts him with a lupara (Blasty), jokingly threatening to kill him. He returns to his uncle later, however, fulfilling his seemingly empty threat, killing him without mercy because he felt too safe near him.
His love for acts of violence truly shows in the maniacal glee he exhibits while fighting or killing. He is exceptionally skilled in hand-to-hand combat—particularly boxing—and the use of firearms. He also has an abnormal level of durability and stamina due to his tendency to shrug off injuries and continue fighting. Ladd is deeply in love with his fiancée, Lua Klein, although he expresses it through a passionate promise to kill her someday.
Other than Lua, he does not seem to have any other person important to him. He does, however, see certain people, such as Graham Specter, as a challenge and a worthy opponent. He also thinks of Graham as somewhat of a brother, as they once fought against each other. He sees him as someone worth being associated with.
He is one of the shaking forces present during the Flying Pussyfoot incident and is responsible for several of the deaths that took place on it, though when arrested, he pleads self-defense. He is jailed in Alcatraz regardless. Although his sentence in Alcatraz is also due to his interest in Huey Laforet, as he vows to kill him after knowing that he is the father of Chane Laforet, who he dubbed a worthy enemy after exchanging blows atop the Flying Pussyfoot.
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.
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.
Lua Klein - Ladd is in love with Lua, and is one of the easiest and most complex relationships of Ladd's connections to the characters in Baccano!. Frequently, Ladd proclaims that after he has killed everyone in the world, he will kill her last, and that he will be the only one to kill her. This may be a sign of twisted affection.
Graham Specter - Ladd has a more rival-like relationship with Graham. After defeating him, he decided to let him live, as Graham fought well and accepted his death by a man better than him. Graham is now a close underling of Ladd and admires him as the greatest, treating him like a sacred king.
- 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.