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  • Katamari Damacy A Critique: Part Two

    - Ryan Stancl


    The psychologist Carl Jung came up with a psychological framework that involved innate prototypes for ideas that can be used to interpret observations.

    He called these archetypes.

    This analysis eventually led Joseph Campbell to come up with The Hero’s Journey, which is a male-centric story that involves the son finding himself and taking his place in the world, usually by having to deal with his mother and father in some fashion.

    This Hero’s Journey is something that many myths and stories of old have in common, which is why many people today use it as a roadmap to guide their tale – because it has proven the test of time and many people connect with it on a subconscious level.

    Katamari Damacy has the son, the Prince, on a quest to prove himself to his father. He has some issues to deal with, as the King remarks: “What is that? That body, that physique. Could you really be Our son? Build yourself up while you roll the katamari. Work out and get bigger. Don’t presume to take the escalator to the throne just because you’re the Prince.”

    He’s always belittling the Prince/the player, saying he’s doing OK but he could be doing better, making fun of his small stature (the Prince’s, presumably not the player’s).

    The Prince must do as his father says, because, as the King says, “Our problem, your problem, yes? You owe Us your existence, We collect on the debt. Yes? Hand in hand, always there. Yes? The very definition of the father-son bond. Yes?”

    However, when the player/the Prince does exceed his expectations, the King says such things as he’s moved to tears at how well the player did.

    This use of the archetype of the father-son relationship is perfect for the audience to be attracted to on a subconscious level. The fact that it is male-centric, however, brings us to the next schools of thought – Feminist, Psychoanalytical, and Post-Colonial.

    Unfortunately, that will have to wait for next time. Be back here in two weeks when we wrap this whole thing up with Part Three.



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