Minister Raible is a regular supporting character in the classic 1980's series Go Lion. Though he can be an obstacle to the Go Lion team, he is more often than a not their stalwart supporter and a defender of the besieged planet Altea against repeated attacks by the Galra Empire under the rule of the wicked Emperor Daibazaal. He is the closest thing to a father Princess Fala has ever known, and he is enormously protective - she might say over-protective - of her.
Though Raible's duties in the series make him effectively the planet's Prime Minister, he is apt to describe himself by the title Strategist, the position he held when Galra first attacked Altea. At the urging of King Raimon, Raible took custody of the infant princess Fala, who was the only member of the royal family to survive summary execution. It was perhaps her age that kept the Galrans from even knowing of her existence. Going into hiding meant another sacrifice for Raible, as he was unable to personally see to the safety of his own wife and child, though he directed them into hiding as well. Their fates were for a very long time wholly unknown to him.
After a certain point, Raible was able to take Fala from whatever remote hiding place they had found and return to the ruins of Castle Gradam, wherein was hidden a high-tech bunker and command center built by King Raimon in an effort to revive the legendary super-robot Go Lion, whose final resting place was on Altea. Why Go Lion was never used in the first war is unknown; It can be speculated that the pilots would have to be of a sufficient level of skill, commitment and bravery to even attempt this process, qualities Raible later saw in the five young space explorers from Earth, and qualities that the Alteans, having gone from a peaceful paradise to a war-torn hell, were no longer motivated enough to have. In any event, it was the very fact that Go Lion did not rise again during that first wave of attacks that caused Daibazaal to finally retreat, feeling Altea was broken and worthless. On the day of the princess's sixteenth birthday, hope for a better future emerged when a slave ship from Galra crashed on Altea, carrying with it a crew of space explorers from the dead planet Earth, led by Kogane Akira. Perhaps monitoring the crew's progress through shattered Altea, Raible felt they were the ones to revive Go Lion, and introduced them to the Princess, to whom they swore to overthrow Daibazaal and Galra.
The revival of Go Lion was a joyous event, marking the rebirth of Altea and the beginning of its subjects' emergence from hiding in caves and underground tunnels. But it also began many other changes, not all of them positive and some unsettling for Raible. First, Blue Lion pilot Shirogane Takashi was ambushed and killed by Galran Sorceress Honerva, leaving a gap in the team's ranks, and the inability to form Go Lion. Second, Raible had failed to realize that the lessons he had taught Fala about her responsibility to her people had been taken and felt so deeply that Fala took it upon herself to become the new pilot for Blue Lion. Even the return to court of royal nanny Lady Hys did not aid Raible in his quest to have the princess stand down from her goal, while for their part the Go Lion team rapidly accepted Fala as a team member. Theirs was a goal steeped in a somewhat sexist tradition, but also in practicality and love : Fala was the planet's ruler, and her safety was thus a huge issue. Also, Raible and Hys looked on Fala as their own child, and seeing her face combat with Galra's gigantic MechaBeastmen was an upsetting yet also an uplifting thing. Proud as he was of her, Raible was still out to displace Fala from Blue Lion almost until the series' end. The final and most dangerous change was the replacement of Galran Supreme Commander Sadak by Daibazaal's son and heir, Prince Imperial Sincline. Not only was Sincline a master of deception and misdirection in his attacks, a fact that would haunt Raible on more than one occasion, but he was personally obsessed with capturing the Princess and making her his own, a desire that offended Raible on many levels.
Raible and the Princess had many notable clashes over her role as Blue Lion's pilot and her desire to be something other than a princess, including instances in which he and Hys went to the extremes of humiliating and even imprisoning Fala against her will - something that might have been treason, but for her love for them. As in the past, he found the needs of Altea and its people at odds with his own emotions, a fact which came to a head when the entire team, including the Princess, mutinied to leave Altea and see the Earth in its dying moments before the war-torn planet ultimately exploded, aided by a Galran attack that Raible had feared would hit Altea in Go Lion's absence. Despite a fight between the team and Altean guardsmen and Raible ordering the batteries of Castle Gradam to actually fire upon the Lions as they left, the incident was not spoken of again, possibly in deference to the loss of the explorers' home planet.
Raible never gave direct comment to the possible romantic feelings Fala may have shared with Chief Kogane, again likely he was conflicted and did not wish to clash with a man he respected so much. Raible sometimes found himself as protective of the team members as of his surrogate daughter, futilely urging them to tend their wounds before once more entering battle. Once, after a treaty in effect removed Kogane as team leader in favor of Fala, Raible openly commended the man for allowing this despite the many times he had earned the position. Raible continued throughout the deadly war to tend the command chamber, which became as apt to be attacked as any part of Altea, and through which he witnessed first hand the hideous violence the schemes of Daibazaal, Sincline and Honerva would enact upon the people. Raible took the view, one he imparted to Fala and was likely the view of her father as well, that as royalty and nobility they were in fact servants of the people, not the other way around, and that the authority they wielded must be constantly re-earned by tending to the people's safety, welfare and well-being. So it was that each deadly attack pained him as much as anyone else. He was not above taking refugees into the castle itself in order to protect them, as evidenced when Galran special forces cut a bloody swath of terror across the planet, leading to widespread panic, though this later proved to be a sign that the Galrans were getting desperate.
One odd blind spot, perhaps caused by his own need for hope and again transmitted to Fala, was the many times the cruel Galrans used loved ones and memories of loved ones to trick and trap Raible and those he cared for. Separately Fala, Seido, and once the entire planet and the team itself were fooled by impostors and dupes and false conditions, like poisoned flowers and Fala's death, faked by Honerva and Sincline, intending to revive her in their custody. This tendency on the part of people who sometimes lived by hope alone was even more pronounced in Raible and Fala, and would effectively strike Raible straight through the heart, just as Go Lion was poised to strike at Galra itself.
A young man living in the wild aided the team in fending off a Galran attack, and every bit of evidence they could find indicated that this man, Saint, was in fact Raible's long lost son, which tests confirmed. Once more, talk was raised of making Saint the Blue Lion's pilot in Fala's place. But Saint was an impostor created through the desecration of Raible's infant son's grave and obscene Galran technology. He succeeded in taking control of Castle Gradam's defenses. Only Galra's typical (and in this case, unbelievably stupid) shabby treatment of its allies and servants caused the Saint-Impostor to rebel, though on its own behalf, not for those who had treated it as family. Raible became enraged when his mistaken belief that his son was alive cost some their lives, including Lady Hys herself, and he personally shot the impostor dead. When he offered Fala his tearful resignation, she refused it, citing their near-familial ties and the fact that Galra had used the hope that made them Human against them, something she never wanted to abandon, no matter the cost. Daughter was now the teacher of Father, reminding him at his lowest of the lessons she had learned at his feet.
In the final battle to take Galra, Raible revealed the ultimate secret of the reborn, high-tech Castle Gradam, when it converted into a battle spaceship that traveled with Go Lion to Galra and participated in the decimation of its forces and the taking of Demon Castle, its well-armed fortress counterpart. Raible joyed and grieved with the others as the bloody war at last ended. The last seen of him in the series, he was openly taken aback when the Space Mice told him that the Go Lion team had blown off the huge celebration in their honor and taken a day off to nap on a hillside, reveling in the peace they had made possible. While they are not depicted, other such moments of conflict between Altea's father-figure and his 'children' seem inevitable.
Raible's wife and sonEdit
One of the most extreme edits to the American Voltron series involved the fate of Raible's wife and son. During the episodes that involved the faked return of Coran's (Raible's American counterpart) son, called Garrett in this version, Princess Allura consulted an old man who had eyewitnessed the fate of mother and child, just as Fala had done in Go Lion. Due to the Voltron show's policy of never even mentioning death (many US cartoons had this in the 1980's; a version of Spider-Man's origin never outright said Uncle Ben had died), the dubbed dialogue became rather absurd, so much so that it was parodied during a 2000's promo for the DVD releases of Voltron and Go Lion. Despite the show still using flashback footage that clearly showed a spacecraft firing upon a woman holding a baby, Allura was told by the old man that visitors from another dimension had taken the pair to safety in that other realm. Go Lion was typically more graphic, showing beams cutting through Raible's wife and his infant son being buried in the grave later desecrated by Honerva.