I was indifferent to Labilia’s character initially but after chapter 178, I began to see her in a completely new light. That chapter not only highlighted Rebecca’s embracing self but it also recontextualized the entire relationship Labilia and Rebecca share.
Since their first time interacting with each other, they were bonded as B-cubers. The relationship may have been a toxic and negative one on the surface but with Labilia’s side of the story now being told, we have come to understand to an extent what was really going on with her. Labilia never meant malice through her actions but her love had just become too twisted from her confused mind. She couldn’t comprehend Rebecca and within that fog, she began to express her feelings for Rebecca in unorthodox ways.
For me, the characterizations Labilia received in chapter 178 hit me hard. I am someone who has been told in the past by a close relative that I have a cruel sense of humor (which I agree with) and even interactions by myself as a child would be taken to a point beyond reasonableness relative to how I see things now looking back. It wasn’t because I intended such outcomes but mainly because that was how I naturally was. I didn’t fully understand the weight of action. With age and wisdom, I gained perspective and mentally put in place checks to analysis my intended actions and how it would pan out in hypothetical situations. If I felt the action was reasonable, I would go ahead with it. Sure spontaneity was lost but I gained more control over my actions.
Because of such experiences, I understand Labilia’s character in a way and why she was unable to express herself to Rebecca in the manner she wanted. She did have a natural tendency to be cruel not because she wanted to but because she was overwhelmed by confusion and her inexperience. Labilia three years ago in story was a teenager who still had a lot to learn. With age came knowledge and the awareness of the consequences ones actions can have. Upon reflection, Labilia found a way forward to reached a point where she could apologize to Rebecca and open up to her.
Likewise, Rebecca’s continued openness to Labilia and willingness to forgive her is something I have some understanding with too. When I was younger I was both a bully and bullied (different times, different places) but it both cases, by some strange turn of events I ended up befriending those that I bullied and those that had bullied me. It made me aware that people are more complicated than I may see and that I shouldn’t close off my self to anyone. We are all human beings on this Earth with our own difficulties that we each face. Because of this, I immensely enjoyed the outcome reached between Rebecca and Labilia when they reconciled with each other in chapter 178.
As for story positioning, it is located is a curious place but given Holy’s relevance to the story at present, I feel Labilia was focused on now because Holy will become relevant to her story eventually. Holy isn’t necessarily an antagonist to the Edens Zero, she is just someone concerned with her own self interest. If a situation will benefit her, she has no issue helping others like when she deescalated the situation between the thugs harassing Labilia and Rebecca. If for some reason Sister isn’t able to cure Labilia, Holy may lend her assistance (this could relate to the arc involving Saintfire Nox).
Rebecca and Labilia’s friendship is also incredibly relevant within the main story of Edens Zero. A story that goes beyond defeating Ziggy or finding Mother, one where it intends to address the division and conflict between different life forms, species and organisms. Both Rebecca and Labilia (and Couchpo) are popular influencers who can impact many many lives with their positivity through the content they create. Coexistence between humans, robots and other races can be supported and championed by Rebecca, Labilia and the rest of the Edens Zero crew (and other b-cubers).
I honestly wouldn’t be opposed to Labilia joining the Edens Zero crew. Mashima-sensei did reveal she is an expert martial artist, so she can defend herself if need be. With some reworking, Labilia could engage in fights too. There is also the potential that Labilia awakens an Ether Gear. If Ether Gears do react to a person’s emotion and defines itself around that individual’s desires and personality, than a potential Ether Gear Labilia could awaken would be a power relating to protecting or assisting Rebecca. Labilia’s martial arts could be the medium in which she utilises her Ether Gear. Whatever happens, I truly do love what Mashima-sensei has done to Labilia’s character. He has recontextualized so much in regards to her journey within the expansive narrative of Edens Zero. And could the chapter 138 cover be foreshadowing for Labilia’s inclusion within the crew?
May 1, 2022 at 3:08 am
Wow, that was a really nice read. Thank you for sharing how this impact you – it’s really amazing how fictional characters can relate and impact so much in our lives.
Chapter 178 is a joy. It feels so out of place and at the same time, that’s part of what makes it so special. It made most of us appreciate much more about Labilia’s character, too, but I confess I may be a little indifferent about whether Labilia joins the crew or not. But it was the same with Laguna, Kris, Kleene and so on (and today I can’t do without them there, lol)… it needs time, and if she is to join, then Mashima-sensei is working towards that introduction to the crew. I’m certain of it.
Regardless of she joining or not, I’m really paying attention to her and Rebecca. Something is going on there and whatever Labilia’s ultimate fate is, it’ll 100% sure greatly impact Rebecca’s character moving forward.
May 1, 2022 at 3:08 am
Also yeah, that has to be a foreshadow.