We Love Katamari
Yes, I know I have a blog where I can write about videogames, but this is so brilliant and clever that it should be loved by anime fans the world over. Chances are, I'm the last one to this party, and you already know the score. Ah, well.
These screenshots come from Keita Takahashi's Namco game, We Love Katamari. It is the sequel to the out-of-nowhere cult smash Katamari Damacy. It's a beautiful game, goofy and weird and fun and very, very psychedelic. And it somehow manages to leave its impression upon you, in a way you would not expect from a game. Strange. It inspires me to think about Terence McKenna raps, the Beatles' White Album, our obsession with consumerism, the collapse of America's capitalist economy, and everything in nature that makes me smile. In its way, Katamari is about living, real living.
It's almost like Hayao Miyazaki's revenge fantasies, where Japan is wiped out in a tsunami or a series of natural disasters. He's always, not so secretly, been cheering for the Ohmu stampedes. And here is a video game where you roll up all our junk, all our stupid toys, all of these useless things, roll them up into a giant ball and hurl it into space.
Katamari Damacy is sillier and more sly than it has any right to be. And the sequel, We Love Katamari, is even goofier. I'm still lurking around the game shops in the Twin Cities for a copy, though. A Playstation 2 will run you $50 used nowadays, so this is definitely set in the "impulse buy" category. This probably adds a layer of irony to the whole Katamari premise - I'm collecting more junk I don't really need to play a game about getting rid of all the junk I really don't need. Ah, well. Living is full of such goofy paradoxes.