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  • Katamari Damacy – A Critique: Part Three

    [10.12.06]
    - Ryan Stancl
  •  Post-Colonial

    Post-Colonialism examines the effects of colonization, both on those that have been colonized and those that did the colonizing. It questions the idea of identity. In each case, a third identity is formed, one that is not quite the same as it was before the colonizing (Rivkin, 1998).

    The King of All Cosmos broke the cosmos, destroyed all the stars in it, because of his carelessness:

    Yes, we were naughty. Completely naughty… So, so very sorry. But just between you and Us, it felt quite good. Not that we can remember very clearly, but We were in all Nature’s embrace. We felt the beauty of all things, and felt love for all. That’s how it was. Did you see? We smiled a genuine smile. Did you see? The stars splintering in perfect beauty. So many there used to be, almost a nuisance. Now there’s nothing but darkness. Hee… ‘Tis but a dream… Hee… But a beautiful one. But… That miraculous fabulous moment has passed, it’s over. We came to and found everyone furious. Even the King of All Cosmos was not spared their wrath. Really, everybody was irate.

    This is akin to the way in which colonizers would come in and carelessly disrupt the place, thinking that the universe was theirs to do with as they pleased. In fact, it goes directly into the gameplay of the game as well – a giant ball picking up everything in its path, with nothing spared, no time for the feelings of anyone.

    It’s Western expansion.

    In the Japanese version, the disruption of the cosmos was actually caused by a night of drunkenness, something that didn’t make it over in the translation.

    What is interesting is that the King felt “in all Nature’s embrace,” “felt the beauty of all things, and felt love for all.” This is most likely due to the alcohol, but in tying it in with colonization, it might be the ‘drunk with power’ feeling that one gets when he thinks he’s right, that the world revolves around him. “The stars splintering in perfect beauty” – the cultures shattering, being destroyed – “So many there used to be, almost a nuisance” – so many cultures there used to be, so many varied people.

    But is this disruption a bad thing?

    Sure everyone is furious, irate when they are colonized, and it is not a good thing overall, but what can be done?

    Look to the future.


    Perhaps there is an argument that can be made for colonization, bringing people together, making everyone a part of the human race.

    “‘Tis but a dream… Hee… But a beautiful one.”

    In fact, throughout the game the King is commenting on how this culture and that is beautiful and how the Prince should try and visit it while on Earth. The King even starts trying to speak various languages, eventually ending up on Esperanto, the so-called ‘international language.’

    The whole time the player is rolling over things with his katamari, steamrolling over them like Western expansion, he is doing it to make a star, to make the future brighter.

    In this Westernizing of the world, perhaps one day it can lead to “Nature’s embrace,” where everyone will be able to “smile a genuine smile.”

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