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
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @Bam: They’d never allow bringing in toys/games/comics back when I was in school, they thought bringing in such things would make the kids of lower income families feel bad for not being able to afford things.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:31 PM)
    @Mario: He’s actually not a big fan of Iranian cinema, he told me before that he found most of it overly depressing.
    Now what you’re talking about there sounds like my kind of film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:30 PM)
    @Bam: I’ll get back into the mainstream blockbusters thing as much as I used to be someday. someday….
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:28 PM)
    @Bam: Well, I guess I more brought up the being accused of hipsterism and contrarianism referring to the type of hypothetical person who would never be satisfied with how well you’d defend your opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:25 PM)
    Thats the awkward thing though, when casting a superhero role, its difficult to find someone who can get both identities correct.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:23 PM)
    Bah implying toxic avenger and Italian spiderman aren’t the best superhero films OmO hahaha!
  • SuperMario
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 08:50 AM)
    Hey Bam, I remember attended a preview on one of an upcoming Iranian animated feature called The Last Fiction. it was inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” and from what I had seen so far, a very stylish, confident and “bloody” work. Expected to be complete in the end of 2017 thou.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:37 AM)
    Comic books were super rare and expensive in Iran, being banned and all. Rich kids in elementary would bring them to school to show them off, along with their Ninja Turtles action figures; they looked so cool and I was hella jealous. Me and my brother only had the bootleg Toxic Crusader figures lol
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:34 AM)
    @K-off: I didn’t read the comics either. I watched that weird 60s show, and Spiderman and the Amazing Friends, which had Firestar and the ice guy. I know his personality was quippy and kind of a wise-ass, and McGuire looks kinda like a rape victim of sorts. It was a lot better in costume, I admit.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:29 AM)
    I mean if we use the term fanboy for whenever someone feels strongly about something, then what’ll we have left for people who LARP and insist to be called by their WoW character names and dress up in gear and persistently speak in fake ‘Ol English?

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