(I sure hope I got that caption right.)
Volume two of Del Rey’s translation of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei arrived a couple of weeks ago, and, if anything, it’s better than the first volume.
Del Rey’s designers have done a good job paying respect to Koji Kumeta’s color work with their simple cover designs (which contrasts with the busy-ness of Kumeta’s pages — see below). This volume, like the last, comes with many pages (10 this time) of notes at the end, including a few in which the translator admits defeat (“Unfortunately, analyzing this map in detail would take as much space as the entire volume…”). But all is not lost — along the way the reader is learning about many running jokes in the series.
But they do an admirable job, despite missing an opportunity to put Kumeta’s under-the-dust-jacket Komori joke (“Hey! Don’t open it, okay?”) on the “Stop! This is manga! You’re going the wrong way!” page.
This volume includes the “Commodore Perry” incident (comparatively sane, if one recalls how that was done in the anime, though it does include its own madness), Zetsubou-sensei does doujinshi, and the chapter which concludes with the men of the town lining up to receive attention (in the form of criticism) from Chie-sensei. There are ten chapters in all, some of which I don’t remember from the anime, though my memory of the series may be poor.
As noted above, the volume has ten pages of notes. It also has eleven pages of extra material that goes far beyond the typical “author’s notes” at the end of manga.
The print quality is superb — my scans do not do it justice. Kumeta’s work — with its high contrasts and delicate lines — deserves no less.