Art might not be the strongest point of Beelzebub, but Tamura consistently manages to deliver quality cover pages. His color selection here is vivid and eye-catching.
The rapid exchange between comedy and action throughout the opening scene is fantastic. Himekawa’s massacre of the delinquents on the roof is punctuated superbly by his nonchalant attitude to the supposed hostage situation going on around him. On the whole, the realization by the Chinpira students that they are facing the true Touhoushinki is done excellently, from their terrified reactions to Himekawa’s allusion to teaching them how to be proper delinquents, only to take advantage of them instead. Tamura’s awareness of the fourth wall shines here as well, as Kamiya’s deadly fall is nullified by a “gag-like” ending. As always, the author’s propensity for mixing styles of comedy together keeps the entire scene fresh and engaging.
Though Aiba’s conversation with his fallen comrade leads to a nice moment of solemn determination, that serious scene makes for a great setup for Furuichi’s perversion. Furthermore, that same perversion is then used as a setup itself, for Aiba’s untimely arrival in Oga’s room. This seamless blend of serious and comedic elements is a hallmark of Beelzebub, as is the cooperative sense of every scene setting the stage for a potential subsequent joke, and both are used to great effect again in this chapter.
The beach scene is another great example of this series’ use of seemingly clashing elements working well together. This meeting between Aiba, a powerful unknown quantity, and the Touhoushinki, a known powerful force, is understandably tense, but that tension is immediately exploited by the embarrassing comedy of Aiba’s unrequited love. Furthermore, Aiba’s misunderstanding regarding the identity of the Touhoushinki chief leads to more great humor, as his search for a target for his revenge directs him to the aloof and disinterested Oga.
This is a fantastic culmination of weeks of buildup; since Aiba’s interest in Kunieda has forced him to stop fighting, the series has only hinted at the serious aspects of his personality, rather than overtly displaying them as with most other delinquents. As a result, the audience has had to wait for Aiba to finally reveal his fighting ability. However, now that he is finally intent on doing so, his desired opponent turns out to be Oga, who is currently even less interested in combat than Aiba was all along. Oga’s mannerisms and silliness would be funny on their own, because a fearsome delinquent singing a pudding commercial song is naturally hilarious, but the fact that this anticlimax came after weeks of waiting makes it even funnier.
Now that the joking is over, the prospect of a fight between Oga and Aiba is exciting. This arc has featured some excellent comedy, so this is a great time to reintroduce some action to the series.
Final Flash: Fantastic comedy and the beginning of an interesting fight. Great chapter.