I’ll confess - - I did look this series up before I got to this episode. I didn’t read any spoilers, per se (I don’t think you can really spoil this show, given its modular nature) but I knew, for instance, that Spike was a practicioner of Jeet Kwon Do before I really saw him use it here in “Waltz for Venus.” One of my roommates in college actually had a copy of Bruce Lee’s TAO OF JEET KWON DO so it was pleasing to hear this smooth bounty hunter spouting off all that philosophy about the merits of water imitation almost word-for-word.
Another little tidbit I found out online is that the (pun intended) heavy in this episode, Piccaro Calvino, is actually modeled after Biggy Smalls - - the Notorious B.I.G. Unlike the other pop culture references that’ve been peppered through the show, I really wouldn’t have been able to call that if it hadn’t been pointed out to me, independently. It wasn’t like he was waxing philosophical about how problems are commensurate to wealth or sharing how he likes it when people call him "Big Poppa." Now that I know this, however, I have to say it was a real wasted opportunity that they didn’t use hip hop for the soundtrack. They’ve used heavy metal, they’ve used jazz (copiously)… wouldn’t it have made sense to turn up the beats and get the bass thumping in this one?
Roco Bonnaro belongs in the special category of accurate personalities I’ve encountered in anime. He isn’t charming, he’s a weasel who’s getting his comeuppance and he honestly gets pretty annoying pretty quickly… but you can’t help but feel bad when he bites it at the end. Pity maybe isn’t the right word, but you still feel some empathy or endearment for the guy, really on account of his obnoxiousness. Again, this isn’t a stock character you can fit into a trope.Read my comments on the previous episode, "Heavy Metal Queen," right here.