Posted by psgels on 4 February 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews


I’ve got quite a big backlog of movies built up, so I hope that I can clear that one in the next couple of days. First up is the follow-up movie of Nasu – Summer in Adalusia: Suitcase no Wataridori. They’re both movies about professional cycling (like, the real thing, not a bunch of teenagers racing against each other), and follow the lead Character Pepe as he tries to win some races. Suitcase no Wataridori shows a race of his and his team mates in Japan. If you liked Summer in Andalusia, then you should check this one out as well, because it’s superior in nearly every single way.

Suitcase no Wataridori is a really balanced movie, it’s got a bit of everything: there’s excitement, action, romance, comedy, tragedy, a character-study, all packaged together quite neatly in a one-hour movie without any of the parts featured too little or too much. The Cat ex Machina that was rather annoying in the first movie is also gone as well, and the events flow much more naturally this time, and this overall makes this a very fun movie to watch, making you care about the different characters. Even the romance doesn’t feel out of place and is really nicely done.

The graphics have also received a major boost. The CG is much less apparent and blends much more with the 2D graphics. And the Ghibli-esque animation really works! It adds great expressivity to the different characters, it definitely was a visual feast and a movie budget well used.

So yeah, that’s pretty much why I’ve given this movie such a high rating: it pretty much did everything it was supposed to do, without feeling rushed or anything. Most movies suffer from a rushed or oversimplified plot, but everything was really balanced for Suitcase no Wataridori. Overall, the two movies complement each other pretty well. While Suitcase no Wataridori is superior in technical terms, Summer of Andalusia does provide some valuable background on Pepe, and together they form a pretty nice recommendation for if you like quick sports anime, or want to watch some cycling but don’t have the patience to sit through five plus hours of a real-world cycling tournament.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

One Response

  1. Miles says:

    Thanks for reviewing it even though it didn’t receive a lot of attention. I agree with all the points that you made about the improvements, but just want to add one more reason that this film can be very appealing to me and others as bike racers who suffer through training and racing to achieve our dreams, the emotional aspect of this film is very natural and tangible to us, which makes it worthwhile to be watched over and over again.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:51 AM)
    Fury, like blackhawk down, weren’t really of note, they were just action movies, never poor, never great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:49 AM)
    Theres an old French documentary, it might be from the 50s or a bit later than that which dealt with the holocaust.
    Shoah is another long loooong doc about WWII.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:46 AM)
    Haven’t heard of men behind the sun.
    And I actually didn’t want to watch inglorious basterds because I was certain it was gonna treat a serious subject unseriously.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:45 AM)
    @;(: I had to watch boy in the striped pajamas twice to really appreciate it.
    Pianist is more my thing because its bleaker and in general I’m quite the fan of Polanski’s films.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Emma: actually I found boy in the striped pajamas to be underwhelming in comperasion to how holocaust stories are. And the pianist is a great movie. But when you think about it, the guy kind of avoided a much worse fate by hiding and never being found.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:42 AM)
    I still need to see all quiet on the western front.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:41 AM)
    *goofy
    Men behind the sun shows the torture of the Chinese under the Japanese, its on the wrong side of exploitation cinema.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:39 AM)
    Some war movies go the goo route like inglorious basterds and the black book.
    Unfortunately there are also films such as men behind the sun.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @Emma:
    Yes, it is controversial there.
    Both the attacks they received and especially dealt seem to be a taboo subject there. I think they omitt most of what they did in China from their history classes in highschool.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @;(: The bombing scene in Gen is still a pretty powerful thing. I believe theres something biographical in grave of the fireflies…

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