Unlike the previous One Piece featurettes, shown alongside that year’s feature film of the series, Trap Coaster was – fittingly so- shown in water parks and the like as a limited “theathrical” release (as in i guess it was shown inside small locales repurposed as temporary cinemas, or something like that, i don’t really know) between December 1, 2011, and February 27, 2012.
Of course never re-released in any official capacity anywhere, so it’s no wonder it’s almost unknown even to One Piece fans, but internet exists, so you can find it subbed.
If its omission from One Piece movie compilations seems suspect, it’s simply because this is a 12 minutes short, unlike the previous One Piece 3D movie, Straw Hat Chase (released some month priors in 2011), one that barely clocks in at 30 minutes, but can pass as a short film, since it was actually double billed with another 3D anime movie of a popular Jump series, Toriko 3D: Gourmet Hunter.
And similarities to Straw Hat Chase are fairly obvious, as both shorts share the same style of 3D CG animation, and were made as attractions more than anything else. Especially this one, which leans into the 3D gimmick even more, but honestly i don’t think they look that bad, the CG quality isn’t that great itself, but it’s well animated, they managed to translate the usual One Piece designs and expressions well into this style.
The premise is that the Straw Hats are going their way until they are targeted and cornered by a Marine captain known as Trap, who leads them into a peculiar tower full of traps he designed in order to capture the Straw Hat pirates, the titular “Trap Coaster”. He also uses his fleet, made entirely of Kung Fu Dugongs (those turtle-dugong animals first seen in the Alabasta arc), because he really finds them loyal, diligent and very cute.
Given the very short run time, there isn’t really space for anything else that action and things flying about, half of them clearly meant to be seen in 3D due to how they launched against the screen, and it definitely delivers, with cannons, spears, even Marine giants donning baseball attire and iron bats to attack the crew.
It’s short, but it’s quite fun and full of spectacle, would have loved to personally see this in a theme park or something like that.
The Straw Hats are complete with Brook, not that it actually matters since it all happens in non-descript ocean and there’s no other characters to help place this in any kind of timeline, again, there’s literally no time, so it just expects to know the characters already (and you can follow it even if you don’t). As i said before, the villain, Captain Trap, is surprisingly funny too, squawking and moving like an idiot at the command board when he sees his beloved Kung Fu Dugongs in danger, or just pushing trap buttons in his command center like a frigging maniac.
So delightfully goofy, even more because he sports a oddly placed half-face mask, i guess to make him look more sinister, but it just ends up looking even more cheesy. XD
There’s really not much else to it or to comment on, this is a short featurette, but a very entertaining and enjoyable one, some fun visuals, some fun jokes, nothing to really complain about.
And it gets a plus since – like Captain Trap – i love the Kung Fu Dugongs, bless them. 🙂