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  • Katamari Damacy – A Critique: Part Three

    [10.12.06]
    - Ryan Stancl
  •  Feminist

    In looking at the work itself, it may be easy to forget about the roles the characters themselves play. For that, Feminism is the school of criticism to turn to, as it analyzes gender roles in a work of art, paying particular attention to the treatment of women and oppression in general (Rivkin, 1998).

    Katamari Damacy is a rather male-centric game. The story is an offshoot of the monomyth, the Hero’s Journey, as discussed last time.

    The player is the Prince, working for his father, the King of All Cosmos. Both are overly male, the King having a rather large package, quite the built physique, and spreading his seed/the stars all over the cosmos, while the Prince’s head and body look rather phallic and he’s rolling around a gigantic ball.

    Other males in the game also seem to be emphasized over the females. The young boy is the only one that actually sees what’s going on, and the father is doing the manliest of things – exploring space in his phallic rocket.

    Now, out of the three main females of the game, two of them are rather submissive, non-threatening, not even substantial at all – the Hoshino mother, who never seems to know what’s going on, preoccupied with the father and his space mission, and the Queen of All Cosmos, who never really makes an appearance except for in cutscenes here and there, always in the background, never uttering a line of dialogue, sitting pretty in her pink blouse and white skirt.

    The only saving grace for females in the game is the young Hoshino girl. While her brother only observes the goings on, the sister actually can feel the cosmos as the Prince begins to heal it.

    This plays into the notion that women are the ones with innate feelings for things in nature while males take a more hands-off approach, observing things, all of which is important to point out and interpret in a Feminist critique.

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