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In movies, Equals is about a society genetically engineered to be emotionless, in order to wipe out war and crime; too bad for the couple falling in love despite their DNA. Tale of Tales is a twisted dark fantasy based in Medieval Europe and filmed by a British/French/Italian team which looks rather interesting. Now You See Me 2 isn’t really genre, but it is quite a good movie. If there was anything new in TV, it slipped right past me.

In Anime Psycho-Pass: Season One is the first time you could get the entire season in a single box set in the US (previous availability was only in a Japanese all-region import disc for noticeably more money). A dystopian police procedural where the weapons decide the punishment for having the wrong attitude and a percentage of the population are imprisoned for crimes they haven’t committed yet, the show explores some uncomfortable possibilities. Rin-Ne 2 brings another Anime season of Rumiko Takahashi‘s beloved Manga home. The broke half-blood sort-of Shinigami continues to help the dead on their path to reincarnation, having a series of hair raising adventures in the process. Fairy Tail: Part 21 brings still more collateral damage and combat comedy from the wizard’s guild that doesn’t know when to stop in episodes 240 through 252. High School DxD BorN is season 3 of this supernatural fan service favorite; the war between Heaven and Hell continues, and they are fighting to protect the underworld from destruction. Gundam Build Fighters Try is more sporting event than life or death combat, growing that universe in a more peaceful direction.

The headline says it all, because the news is we really do have a Rocky Planet (as opposed to a Gas Giant) that is only a touch more than 4 light years away, according to the ESO who made the discovery, the ESA, and NASA. It is in the Goldilocks Zone of its star Proxima Centauri, and about 1.3 times the mass of Earth. The size and mass of the planet as well as the age of the star it orbits means it at least started out with the majority of the same elements that make up the Earth. The Goldilocks Zone orbit means water would be a liquid at most places on its surface, although the fact that Proxima Centauri is a Red Dwarf makes it likely that any near-Earth planet that close would be in tidal lock-down, with a single side always facing the star. That kind of thing tends to boil off an atmosphere on the hot side, and have it fall as snow on the cold side, not terribly conductive to life (or keeping your atmosphere). The good news is Proxima Centauri is the smallest and most distanced member of a triple star system known as Alpha Centauri; since the planet is not orbiting the central duo of the set, it runs a much smaller risk of being pulled apart into an asteroid belt over the next few eons.

So yes, this is one of those good news/bad news kind of things. The good news is that our nearest stellar neighbor has a planet which could evolve life, if all the other details work out. The bad news is that the odds are good it doesn’t have life more complex than viruses because of the orbital mechanics. The REALLY good news is the implication this discovery makes obvious; for us to find a planet in the Goldilocks Zone of our nearest stellar neighbor, such combinations must be a lot more likely than we ever thought possible. Just to keep me from jumping off the deep edge, let’s take a look at what SETI had to say about what we might find there just last November…

The Mars Rover recently hit its 4th anniversary of exploration (in Terrestrial years, not Martian) and to celebrate NASA has released the Mars Rover Game for mobile devices or the desktop. The game is both free and fun, and the game page also gives you some comparisons between the game rover and the real one on the red planet. Also on the page are links to information on the other rovers, Curiosity, Spirit, Opportunity, and the as yet unnamed rover mission of 2020. The robots are not the only ones planned to go there; NASA is working on the Journey to Mars project, shooting for a manned landing in the 2030s.

Movies have The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which was the final book of the trilogy but only the third out of four films. Like certain other books-into-movies series, they broke the final volume out into two films. There is something to be said for the argument that there was too much going on in the book to tell the story in a single feature length presentation, but the same is true of every book ever converted. Which tends to lend weight to those who argue that it is greed on the part of the movie companies, trying to milk every last buck out of the audience, which causes the last book in a series to be broken in two. I wasn’t able to find any other genre movies or TV shows this week, although Road Games is dystopian enough to be considered (no direct relation to the 1981 Hitchcock classic of the same name, but it was certainly an influence).

We do noticeably better in Anime, beginning with the Osamu Tezuka classic masterpiece Belladonna of Sadness, which has never before been released in the US. The artwork, animation, and soundtrack have to be experienced to be understood, much as the films contemporaries, Fantastic Planet and Wizards, were unique in ways that made them difficult to describe. A bit of caution is appropriate, because this feature presentation is nothing like Astro Boy or Tezuka’s other kid-friendly works. The original Belladonna was not for children, and this release is unrated, but it is probably somewhere between a hard R to a soft X if it is uncut, with a distinctly feminist plot line.

In more current anime, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd is the story of a boy who is the only member of his schools Library Club, until the mysterious Shepherd sends him a text message, enabling him to rescue a girl. Her joining the club is just the first step in what turns out to be a somewhat supernatural progression of events. Speaking of supernatural, Rin-Ne 1 contains the first 13 episodes of the Anime about half-Shinigami Rinne Rokudo. Based on world famous Rumiko Takahashi’s Manga series Rinne of the Boundary, it tells how Sakura Mamiya meets and befriends Rin-ne as he works to help the spirits of the departed overcome their regrets and move on to the Wheel of Reincarnation. The Manga, which has been continuously published since its inception in 2009, hit the 30 volume mark last April, and as of this week the Anime is up to episode 39.

In Yatterman Night, 40 years ago a pair of heroes known as the Yatterman defeated a dangerous gang threatening the population of their country, and went on to rule it and protect them. But their descendants are oppressing the nation now, using that population for forced labor, and the descendant of the gang leader steps up to be this generations hero. This is the latest installment to the anime franchise, which stretches back to its initial episode in January of 1977, and was itself the sequel to the earlier series Time Bokan. Finally, Robotics;Notes: Complete Series is being released in a S.A.V.E. edition, which means you will be able to pick up the whole thing for less than a single season went for when it first came out.

Tan Le developed a wearable EEG, and the other week a team of engineering doctoral students at the University of Florida used it to control drones in a competitive race as the first step to developing a brain/robot interface. One of Tan Le’s more elegant contributions to this telepathic headset was the algorithm that lets it unfold the convolutions of the brain, making it much more accurate and a lot easier for anyone to put on and start training with. This has major implications for everyone from the physically disabled who will gain previously impossible degrees of self reliance, to the military research teams trying to create their own personal Gundams. The major breakthrough’s that made EEGs wearable were developed in parallel in a number of different research projects around the world during the early part of this century, and affordable (as little as $500 a pop) the early part of this decade, and so far every year since has seen major improvements in their functionality. Another major player in this field is Ariel Garten, so I had to include some commentary from her. It seems like her system is a lot lower rez then Tan Le’s, only able to trigger actionable input from the whole brain state (Alpha, Theta) rather than specific mapped neural sites. But they are both on the market with a cheap neural computer interface as are a number of others, and there is no way to know who might come out with the advancement that pushes us into the future.