Happy New Year from CMX Manga! To help celebrate new beginnings we have a number of new releases including two new series to share with you all. (More on those later!)

In the latest volume of TERU TERU X SHONEN, Saizou has resolved to actively pursue Shinobu's heart. At the school fair, Sasuke and the gang make plans to get the princess and her ninja together in the dreaded haunted house of horrors. Things get heated between our young heroes, but unfortunately Sasuke's good deeds have gotten him in trouble with the Oshiro clan. When he's sent into exile, it's up to Saizou and Shinobu to return the favor and help their friend at all costs.

Tetsu's biology club may not have a large membership, but recent events have guaranteed an expanded budget with plenty of opportunities for research adventures. In what may be the biggest scientific adventure so far in SUIHELIBE! , Lan is given an assignment from her home planet. She must prove herself to be a competent "noid" captor, capable of using science and hunting skills equally to round up these escaped creatures. If Lan fails, she might be sent home. How will Tetsu be able to capture the young alien girl's heart if she's forced to leave? And what's going to become of the biology club?

In the final volume of CLASSICAL MEDLEY, Prince Soprano and his guardian Alto are still on the run from the forces of Kingdom of Classical, now under the control of an evil entity. Escaping to the neighboring kingdom of Alla Marcia, the two young fugitives try to find refuge and amnesty from this nation's matriarch, Queen Canon. Even in another nation, trouble soon follows Soprano, when Sinistra devises a plan to immerse both kingdoms into permanent darkness.

Make a resolution to enjoy more manga this year by checking out these and the following titles.

In THE NAME OF THE FLOWER, our first of two new releases this month, mangaka Ken Saito presents a colorful story of a budding love between two young people who until recently lived in the solitude of their own personal darkness. A warm friendship may blossom into something more where it is least expected.

High school student Chouko didn't get to spend much time with her parents growing up. They left Chouko with her grandfather as they embarked on a research project in Africa. Years later, the grandfather's declining health brought Chouko's parents briefly back into her life. Sadly, a car accident took them away, leaving Chouko devastated and alone. She long wished for the return of her parents, only to see them tragically snatched away.

Over the course of a year, Chouko was moved from one relative's home to another. Not once during that time did she talk or express emotion. Finally, an old friend of her father took her in. The family tried to get Chouko to open up, but their attempts failed too. In desperation, they entrusted Chouko to a not-so-distant relative who seemed to be the least likely person to help.

Kei is a twenty-nine year-old novelist. Disowned by his family, he lives in his own world of darkness and solitude. Taking care of a high school girl was the last thing he had on his mind. But when he first met Chouko, he was intrigued by the darkness in her eyes. Maybe he took pity on her. Maybe he saw something of himself in her when he watched her sitting alone and lifeless. Whatever the reason, Kei reluctantly agreed to take her in.

Watching her continue her descent into darkness, Kei gives Chouko an ultimatum: survive until graduation! Once that happens, she will be free to live as she feels fit. But until then, she must strive to repay Kei for his hospitality by cooking, cleaning and tending to his garden. So Chouko devotes herself to the assigned tasks and, in caring for the garden, she ultimately finds the one thing that propels her out of her depression. Chouko's presence and caring also begin to draw Kei out of his own shell.

THE NAME OF THE FLOWER is a sweet, understated romantic tale that's not as somber as it may at first sound. There's a lot of humor to be found in the interaction between Chouko and Kei and from Kei's meddlesome editor, who seems to have a bit of a fixation with Chouko. But ultimately you'll be touched by this story of two lonely people who start out thinking that they don't need anyone else, only to realize that they'd be lost without each other. Volume 1 of THE NAME OF THE FLOWER is on sale now.

From the screenwriter of the critically acclaimed anime Akira, Izo Hashimoto, comes an action title with a heroine who uses her wits and her scientific knowledge to fight for justice within the world of fire fighting: FIRE INVESTIGATOR NANASE.

Three years ago, rookie firefighter Nanase Takamine was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fire broke out in a hospital and Nanase was assigned to quickly get victims out of the building. With people panicking all around her, the cool-headed young firefighter rushed in to rescue as many people as possible while the more experienced members of her department worked to extinguish the blaze.

On any other day, she would have been hailed as a hero. However, one of the victims she rescued turned out to be the man responsible for igniting the fire. Nanase's efforts saved the Firebug and she put him in an ambulance and sent him off like any other victim. But the fugitive took the opportunity to escape captivity and blew up the ambulance to eliminate any witnesses who could identify him in the future.

Now Nanase is a professional fire investigator and a single, adoptive mother to a boy whose father died in that same inferno. The Firebug is still on the loose, and his actions still haunt Nanase to this day. Her obsession with the Firebug has led her colleagues to believe she may be in cahoots with the arsonist. Will she end up collaborating with the criminal in order to bring other arsonists to justice? Who is the Firebug? Why has he decided to help Nanase after so many years? And if given the chance, will Nanase be able to throw away any respect she may have found for the Firebug-in order to capture him for the crimes he has committed?

In FIRE INVESTIGATOR NANASE, Hashimoto carefully weaves together various arson scenarios using modern forensics information and fire science. By following Nanase's adventures, the writer takes readers through the very training exercises that firefighters go through to read and extinguish infernos. Then artist Tomoshige Ichikawa renders those ideas with great detail, always making sure to capture the power and speed of fire. Each story arc is built up in the fashion of a classic whodunit. Nanase--with support from the Firebug--breaks down the crime scene logically to not only find the perpetrator but to also reveal the causes to the layman reader. Meanwhile, Hashimoto also poses an intriguing conflict for his lead character. Fire does not choose its victims, but arsonists often do. Readers are left to ponder the moral dilemma of whether or not the Firebug should be forgiven for his crimes or pay for unleashing hell on so many innocent people.

FIRE INVESTIGATOR NANASE is part Backdraft, part Silence of the Lambs, part CSI. It's a deftly written crime drama, told from the perspective of a local fire department. The crimes committed in this story may be extreme and bizarre, but the way Hashimoto has Nanase approach each case is done with the utmost care and logic. In the end, it's the dedication and the skill of the real life Nanases that help to keep us all safe.

FIRE INVESTIGATOR NANASE Vol. 1 goes on sale January 28, 2009.

In the latest volume of Marginal's ASTRAL PROJECT, Masahiko's out-of-body (OOB) experiences have led him to meet a handful of allies in the sky. He gets a firsthand look at how limitless that world can be by leaving Earth completely. Still, even with a number of journeys and his astral network quickly growing, he has yet to have found a concrete clue leading to his sister Asami.

But that may be about to change. Even though his address is known by neither his employers nor his family, a clue finds its way to his front door. A man from Asami's not-so-distant past used his connections to the astral realm to get in touch with Masahiko. This man who had been her confidant over the internet believes that Asami is watching over him and Masahiko from another realm. The stranger also attempts to give Masahiko some advice about the astral plane: don't trust everyone or everything he meets in that realm.

Once again Marginal has revealed a side of Tokyo that would be foreign to even its 13 million citizens. The astral plane, with its unlimited freedoms and potential, makes the underworld that Masahiko works in more accessible. Within the astral plane, the power of the human spirit is on display for readers to explore. Marginal takes his time to reveal the full capacity of life in this world of endless possibilities, building up a mystery drama that is as engaging as it is vast. With every new chapter, Masahiko's search for his sister becomes even more daunting. But as he starts to uncover the astral plane's secrets, he also starts to see Tokyo and its people in a very different way, one which American readers rarely get to see.

ASTRAL PROJECT Vol. 2 is now on sale.

Join CMX this month as we say farewell to manga's favorite little dinosaur GON. Gon will appear in his final volume this month, and in typical Gon fashion he wraps up this seven-volume series with his biggest adventure yet!

Gon has never walked away from a challenge. In this volume he tackles everything from fatherhood to spiritual enlightenment head-on. Alone on the shores of a tropical island, Gon is awakened from slumber by the chirps of a newborn albatross. The bird's instincts have imprinted Gon as its parent. The albatross chick has its wings full following in Gon's footsteps, but if he can keep up with his dino dad, he'll be capable of handling anything the future may give him.

Gon and son then travel deep into the jungle forests of Malaysia and befriend a brood of orangutans. Living with the great apes, Gon develops an appreciation for the strength and inner calm these powerful beings possess. Gon may be a mighty mite of a dino, but he is anything but calm and collected. Fortunately, when it comes to feeding a forest full of honey-loving beasts, calmness is never necessary. So Gon uses his unrelenting drive for food to take on a swarm of bees to feed his new friends and family!

Gon may be a wordless manga, but Masashi Tanaka's art reveals more about the character of his little dinosaur than words could. Gon is extremely simple and primitive. His emotions can be described as hungry, annoyed, determined or pleased. And Tanaka renders those feelings so well readers can clearly see those emotions expressed on Gon's huge face. It's how the rest of world reacts to Gon that really makes this series special. The animals he meets along the way either step aside and let him have his way, or they face off with an immovable force. When readers see this little dino with a big heart take on the world with all his might, readers can feel the eternal struggle of the animal world as well as the humanity that our animal friends possess.

GON Vol. 7 goes on sale January 21, 2009.

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