In the crazy universe of Katamari Damacy, the King of All Cosmos reigns supreme over all existence. In the first game, the King gets incredibly drunk and accidentally destroys every star in the universe (in the international version of the game, he simply does this as a general accident). To fix this blunder, he sends his son, the Prince, to Earth, and orders him to roll a Katamari around the planet and collect as many “Things” as possible, which the King then uses to create new stars. The King seems to have the ability to change his size at will, but he is invariably a large man, usually ranging from at least 40 feet to several miles in height. The King presides over the Prince, giving him objectives to complete and judging his performance at the end of every level by scooping up the Prince and his Katamari with his “Royal Rainbow,” a sweeping, radiating rainbow pattern that wipes the screen at the end of each stage. Usually more insulting and condescending than helpful and rewarding, the King berates the Prince for failing to complete a level in the first game, and blasts him with lasers from his eyes in the second. The King is also noted for having spoken dialogue which sounds (to human ears at least) like a record being scratched on a turntable.
While the majority of fans outside Japan may not realize it, the King of All Cosmos differs greatly between the Japanese and various international releases.
The King of All Cosmos was designed around a Japanese concept known as “okama,” which is a term literally meaning a pot or kettle, but is used in this case as slang when referring to an extremely effeminate man or drag queen. While the term and its application can be used in a derogatory fashion, it is generally accepted in Japanese culture and media to represent an extremely effeminate male archetype.
Specifically, the King has several attributes that serve to establish the character as being okama. He is usually dressed in very tight-fitting or feminine costumes, which serve to show off his impressive and muscular physique. Additionally, certain illustrations of the King make specific and noticeable effort to enhance his crotch, another common characteristic of the character archetype. Finally, his Japanese dialogue is written in such a way as to imply a feminine accent, and while the King’s voice is never actually heard speaking dialogue in any of the games, We Love Katamari features an audio track titled ” A Song for the King of Kings,” in which the King’s voice can be heard prominently in the second half, singing Japanese lyrics in an extremely effeminate accent.
The King of All Cosmos appears as a carefree, jovial individual, but retains a condescending attitude towards his son, the Prince. While he still sports the tight-fitting clothing and impressive musculature of his Japanese counterpart, the game makes no direct effort to establish the character as overly effeminate, and many international players are not familiar enough with the okama archetype to make the connection.