|Previous Occupation||Captain in the Carabinieri|
Claudio Raballo was originally a member of Italy's prestigious military police force, known as the Arma dei Carabinieri. He suffered a leg injury resulting in an amputation, that forced his discharge from the service.
Following a period of time, he was then headhunted by Jean Croce and inducted into the Social Welfare Agency, Jean personally promising that he would be returned to active duty with the Carabinieri after three years work with the SWA, fulfilling the role of a Handler. Having agreed, he then selected a severely injured adolescent girl named Fleda Claes Johanssen to be his charge, renaming her Claes.
He remains to be one of the few handlers to have incorporated part of a patient's former name in their new title, after contemplating naming her after a boy, something Jean had suggested.
Aloof and relatively quiet, Raballo spent most of his personal time reading books and other literature, after having his entire library brought to the SWA for his own use; unlike the other handlers, it appears he lived on the premises, just down the hall from the cyborg's dormitory. His rationale for instinctively reading (anything, regardless of content), was that educated men made better soldiers, a belief he later applied to Claes' development as an assassin. Her instinctive need to learn -- the only vague remnant of her former personality prior to the Conditioning -- helped to ease an otherwise strained working relationship, encouraging Raballo to treat his charge more as a human than a machine, even if reluctantly and in small increments.
Critical and unforgiving of Claes' initial performance as a markman, he once left her on the shooting range, with an open-ended command to stay there until she could flawlessly strike targets at seven paces. Unable to meet his requirement owing to her new and untrained artificial limbs, and yet rigidly Conditioned, she unquestioningly kept practicing, throughout the night and a heavy downpour. After this event, he began to realize some similarities between a cyborg's adaptation to their new mind and body, and himself, still recovering from his own accident and dependant on a prosthetic leg. On Jean's advice, he suspended her firearms training, and focused instead on mobility improvement, taking her on frequent fishing excursions. Afterwards, she was able to resume training with greater accuracy, quickly mastering the H&K VP70 handgun, and progressing to the H&K MP5K.
Following a field exercise that involved the apprehension of two anarchists in the Rome subway, Claes suffered a deep stab wound to the abdomen, an injury that would have been otherwise fatal to a human. Raballo found himself questioning the ethic of using children to accomplish such dangerous missions, and sunk into depression, a state of mind which was made worse following an altercation between himself and Jose Croce, and their respective charges, Claes and Henrietta. With Claes reconditioned as a result, at the expense of her overall lifespan, he began to question the SWA's techniques, confiding in Triela about how he felt the cyborg's were being treated inhumanely.
Shortly thereafter, during a leave of absense that took Raballo to urban Rome, he was struck down by a car, and killed instantly. While unclear, it's possible this was a thinly-veiled termination by the SWA, acting on suspicions he was going to meet with the press and expose their activities.
Orphaned, Claes fell into a state of shellshock, and required conditioning a third time, this time to forget Raballo ever existed. By now deemed unfit for active service, she was made into a test-subject for the cybernetic limb team, and restricted to the SWA grounds indefinitely. Having been given a key to the library by Raballo (and the glasses she wore as Fleda Johanssen), she takes up near constant reading, and becomes a gardener in her spare time as a respite from her brutal lifestyle, acting on his belief that hard workers should always enjoy their idle time; only now Claes is unable to remember who told her that, and instead credits a father-figure for the advice.
Manga vs. AnimeEdit
- In Volume 2 of the manga, Raballo tells Claes his leg injury was the result of a rifle exploding, where in the anime, he says a pistol misfired.
- Raballo drives an Audi hatchback coupe in the manga, and a blue Audi four-door sedan in the anime.
- During the altercation between himself and Jose at the SWA's shooting range, following Henrietta's unsafe handling of a jammed P239 handgun, Raballo yells "did you think a SIG wouldn't jam?" in the manga, and "did you think a modern gun wouldn't jam?" in the anime. Why the name of the pistol has been removed isn't clear, as the series had licensing rights from the manufacturer, and its name is prominently featured elsewhere in the series.
- When Raballo leaves the Social Welfare Agency in the manga, it isn't made clear where he's going or what he's doing. In the corresponding anime episode, promessa, it's revealed that he's going to meet a reporter in Rome, leading the viewer to believe he intends to expose the cyborg programme to the public. It's implied that he was silenced by the SWA.
- "Right now, I'm reading a book on gardening. Should come in handy if we're ever invaded by plants."