Webcomic / Katamari
Part of Namco Bandai
's Shifty Look
is based off the quirky game series Katamari Damacy
. Written and illustrated by Buttersafe
's Ray Castro and Alex Culang, the comic continues the adventures of the Prince, the King of All Cosmos, and his many cousins and friends.
As of October 2014, the Shifty Look
servers have shut down and the comic can no longer be read. However, a print republication from UDON Entertainment has been available since December 2014.
Its own Character Sheet
is right over here
This Webcomic contains examples of:
- A Day in the Limelight:
- The Opeo Quest mini-arc focuses on Opeo and his quest for milk.
- This leads into an arc centered on Ace looking for more ways to stand out.
- The Cow Planet 2 arc begins with Michiru hearing the Cosmos once more and looking for the Prince so she can deliver the message she recieved.
- Ace gets a second one alongside Sherman in a winter arc.
- Opeo gets another arc with Lucha in a tag team wrestling tournament.
- Abusive Parents:
King of All Cosmos: Shame. Resentment. An inferiority complex. These are feelings any good father instills in his son.
- Accidental Aesop: The epilogue to the Frosty Peak arc shows that Ace's takeaway from the whole experience is that giving somebody nothing and calling it 'friendship' is a fun prank. Sherman's understandably taken aback by this.
- Aliens Steal Cattle: Seems to be the UFO's plan, but for what purpose?
- Art Evolution: While the Prince and his cousins always have Black Bead Eyes, in the early strips, they're the same shape, size and style as seen in the games. Over the course of the first plot arc, however, their eyes gradually start getting drawn bigger. The heads are also drawn a lot shorter, looking more like ovals than tubes.
- As You Know: For some reason, the Future!Prince feels he has to explain to himself how their cousins hang out on the Space Mushroom.
- He also recaps the plot of Katamari Forever as they're flying off to save the world... until he gets to the part they aren't aware of: that The Bus Came Back for RoboKing, and he is NOT happy.
- Bad Future: Future!Prince claims to be from one that's just three hours after his arrival.
- Bait and Switch: When the Lovelorn Guy is trying to prove his commitment to his ex-girlfriend, he lists all the things he wants to do with her:
Guy: Buying a car? I'm ready! Getting a house? I'm ready!
[The Katamari rolls close to a playground full of children]
Guy: Having... Um... Having multiple houses? I'm ready!
- Beard of Sorrow: Inverted when the King falls into a funk and shaves off all his facial hair.
- Bittersweet Ending:
- The Opeo Quest mini-arc lampoons this, with Opeo (on a journey to get some milk) giving a mental speech about a hero's burden.
- The Lovelorn Guy doesn't get back together with his ex-girlfriend, but the two of them are able to talk about why they broke up and part on better terms.
- The Wrestling Tournament ends with Lucha and Opeo victorous. However, Opeo was badly hurt, and Lucha decides to put the magic sword into storage because he's afraid of what could happen if Opeo keeps using it.
- Bookends: Both the first and last comics finish with the King of All Cosmos using the Royal Rainbow.
- Brick Joke: Ace has incredibly unrealistic expectations for the treasure of Frosty Peak. After the arc ends, Opeo finds a magic sword that grants him everything Ace wanted.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Michiru Hoshino, after her family's falling Out of Focus following the original game, reappears in the UFO arc and continues to be a supporting character when needed.
- During the Future!Prince arc, the RoboKing reappears as well.
- After being Put on a Bus at the end of the UFO arc, Daisy returns in the Journey to Cow Planet 2 arc.
- Calling Your Attacks: "SUPER PATENTED ACE EVASION TECHNIQUE: ACTIVATE!" (Which turns out to be the same sort of backflip the Prince used against him in the first arc.)
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': When the Prince knocks over a lamp, the King's right behind him and immediately starts guilt-tripping him over it.
- Chekhov's Gun: Sharp-eyed readers may notice the Present the Prince rolls up during the UFO arc; this comes into play later.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The ever-cheery June is more concerned with chasing butterflies than paying any attention to a tense confrontation between cousins, and manages to entirely miss being led through a hallway of lasers.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Everyone's speech bubbles have different colored text and backdrops in order to make it easy to identify who's speaking. Even the Future!Prince has a very distinct shade of green, much lighter than the Prince's.
- Cool Shades: Ace has a pair of these, which he randomly whips out to try and look cooler.
- Crossover: With the Galaga webcomic.
- Deliberately Monochrome: When the Prince and three of his cousins visit Cow Planet 2, the atmosphere is all black, white and greyscale, with only the Prince and his cousins providing a Splash of Color to the landscape.
- They themselves turn greyscale when the black hole sucks in their color as well.
- Did Not Get the Girl: A story arc revolves around the prince trying to help a man reconcile with his girlfriend by making a katamari that shows off his affection for her. While she's touched by the gesture, she gently lets him down that she isn't interested in pursuing the relationship.
- Don't Explain the Joke: The King feels he has to clarify his guilt-trip in "Down to Earth" this way.
- Double Meaning Title: Many of the individual strip titles have some sort of double meaning. For instance, "What is the Meaning of This?" has the King doing some Navel-Gazing before realizing that the Prince and some of his cousins are in danger.
- Easily Forgiven: After learning the aliens' motives, the King is inspired to use the Prince's katamari to help them, and even lets them keep everything they stole!
- Economy Cast: While the games have Loads and Loads of Royal Cousins, the webcomic tends to have the same small group of cousins appear over and over rather than bringing others in.
- Face–Heel Turn: The RoboKing made one, leading to the Bad Future the Future!Prince is trying to prevent.
- Failsafe Failure: The Robo-Katamari can't be turned off because the RoboKing couldn't build a fully functional on-off switch.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Future!Prince, Ichigo and Prince do this in Face to Face as it dawns on them what just happened.
- Flying Saucer: One's heading toward Earth at the start of the strip.
- Fun Size: Kawaiiko Ichigo invokes this by staying even smaller than her already tiny cousins.
- Go to Your Room: The King starts to tell the Prince this right at the very start of the series, but gets interrupted by the plot.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Bad Future was caused by this: the RoboKing's Automatic Katamari was meant to revolutionize katamari by drawing things to it, removing the need to roll around. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a tad too strong.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Invoked with Macho and Ichigo's introduction, where she's small enough to jump all over him and hang off the top of his head like a jaunty little hat.
- Humongous Mecha: Jumboman.
- Hypocritical Humor: The very first thing the King of All Cosmos does in the comic is criticize the Prince for breaking a star-shaped lamp.
King of All Cosmos: We cannot imagine being so reckless around something so precious.
- After learning about the UFO stealing all things bovine-related, the King proclaims they can't allow anyone to simply 'careen around the planet, take anything they see, and return to space with it.' Then immediately orders the Prince to do exactly that.
- Ace's entire "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Prince and Future!Prince would be better applied to Ace himself.
- Ironic Echo: When Odeko explains about the literal black hole, he finishes with "You know. Science." Two strips later, Opeo explains why he felt safe in letting go of his katamari, and ends with "You know. Science?"
- It's All About Me: Ace would sooner see the UFO escape entirely than let the Prince save the day.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: When the Prince is upset about not being able to catch the UFO with their combined katamari, Ace just points and laughs at him.
- Kick the Dog: Ace plays some very mean-spirited pranks on the Prince, such as breaking his plate right before the King starts serving their Thanksgiving meal.
- Laser Hallway: One of the obstacles the Future!Prince needed help getting past; specifically, the lasers are invisible, so he uses June's ever-constant raincloud to make them visible long enough to work their way through.
- Look Over There: Done by Ace to the Prince off-panel in Thanksgiving on a Roll. During the period where the Prince was distracted, his plate 'mysteriously' broke.
- Meaningful Name: Ace's debut clearly invokes The Ace and Always Someone Better.
- Monochrome Past: When explaining to Ichigo, Macho and Odeko what happened at the end of the UFO arc, the panels are cast in sepia tones.
- Motive Decay: The aliens freely acknowledge this when explaining their actions, as by the time they realized they weren't rescuing other survivors, they were too caught up in collecting everything cow-related to care.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg:
Future!Prince: We recruited the powerful Macho! The fierce Ichigo! The mystical June! Also, Opeo was there.
- Never Live It Down: Invoked by the King constantly harping about and reminding the Prince about the broken lamp.
- No Time to Explain: Rather than immediately explain what big threat to the Great Cosmos is arriving in three hours, the Future!Prince rushes his past counterpart off to start recruiting help. (He won't explain on the way, either.) It's not until they've gathered their party that he's willing to Info Dump.
- Not So Different: The Prince tries to reason with the RoboKing by pointing out that he knows what it's like to be in the King of All Cosmos' shadow.
- Papa Wolf: The King may not be a model father by any means, but when he sees his son in distress...
- Personal Raincloud: June has one; thankfully, she enjoys it.
- Pie-Eyed: The Prince's eyes are drawn like this a couple times in the early strips.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: The Future!Prince inverts this by gathering up cousins with the specific talents he feels are needed to save the world. (Naturally, this gets complicated by Ryu's absence and Ace showing up.)
- The Pollyanna: June isn't bothered by anything.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- When the Prince recieves a 'coded message' that he can't understand. Given the circumstances, you'd think that Daisy would've written more than 'moos', but they didn't, and as a result he doesn't know what he's getting into until it's spelled out for him.
- The King becomes a victim of this several times in a row, causing him to think that he's 'out of touch' and no longer needed.
- The Power of Friendship: Jumboman makes a big speech about this upon arriving to help with the UFO.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
The RoboKing: YOU. WILL. NOT. STOP—
- Race Against the Clock: While the Prince is no stranger to Timed Missions, learning something horrible's apparently going to happen in just three hours comes as a major shock.
- The Resenter: Ace thinks the Prince always gets to save the day and get all the glory for it, so when the King calls him in to help with the UFO problem, he's eager to outshine the heir and be hailed as the hero instead.
- The Rival: During the UFO incident, the King brings in Ace as backup and extra insurance 'just in case'. The deck's also stacked in his favor via a much bigger starting katamari.
- Unknown Rival: Not to his cousin, but to the public at large... at least, that's what Ace believes.
- Running Gag: The Prince's star-shaped lamp is broken almost Once an Episode.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is the Future!Prince's goal in his arc.
- Sequel Hook: Lucha's speech in 'A Rest from Wrestling' sets up the chance of the magic sword reappearing later on.
- Skewed Priorities:
- The Future!Prince eventually reveals that his father has these: turns out the way he found about about the crisis he had to Time Travel to prevent was a PS on the letter he sent him. The King spent more time talking about the Present than the RoboKing.
- During the Black Hole arc, Opeo's more interested in bringing the Prince back than the crisis at hand...
- Something We Forgot: After the aliens are dealt with, the King mentions how everyone's ended up right where they should be. Save for Daisy, still stuck with all the cows.
- Stable Time Loop: After they successfully stop the Robo-Katamari, the Future!Prince uses the time gate to try and avoid a paradox, even if it means he'll be repeating the same small period of time over and over again.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
King of All Cosmos: Ace is here as insurance. It's not that We expect you to fail. Why would you think that?
- Suddenly Voiced: In the games, the Prince and his cousins are Heroic Mimes; they could talk, but the player couldn't understand/hear their voices as more than Pokémon Speak. In the comic, their dialogue is readable.
- Tempting Fate: Exaggerated.
Future!Prince: "The chances that something unexpected might interrupt our departure are essentially zero. Yes, it's so still and quiet out here in these woods. There's no way there's anyone around who might stop us from saving the world. To reiterate, we'll be leaving immediately, and I foresee us encountering no problems. Something would have to interrupt us right this second for our departure to be prevented. So, on that infallible note, let's-
Ace: "Hold it, Prince!"
- Odeko accidentally does this again in a later arc:
- Ace does it while enjoying the unseasonably warm winter weather, wondering aloud "Who could complain about a day like this?" Cue Sherman, who's mostly melted by the heat.
- 10-Minute Retirement: The King's role in the Black Hole Arc.
- The Cameo: King, Roger, Kuma, Ganryu, Paul, and Law appear during the Wrestling Tournament arc... where they pretty much get their butts handed to them by Opeo and Lucha.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Ace tries to give the Prince and Future!Prince one in Called Out, but it doesn't work too well given how he doesn't understand the situation or his cousin's nature at all.
- Ace starts it up again in All Together, only to have the Prince turn it right around on him this time.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Ichigo only comes up to the Prince's waist, yet easily bosses around her cousins.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: Lampshaded and Discussed during the Black Hole arc. Ichigo protests when Odeko calls a phenomenon a 'black hole'; he clarifies that he means 'a hole that is black', and how it's completely different from a traditional black hole.
Odeko: You know. Science.
- Upgrade Artifact: Ace leaps to the conclusion that the 'Treasure of Frosty Peak' is something like this. Opeo finds one in the form of a magic sword.
- Walking Techbane: Surprisingly, Opeo turns out to be this for one simple reason: he's somehow contracted a computer virus.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As always, the poor Prince finds himself being compared unfavorably to his cousins.
- World-Healing Wave: At the end of the Black Hole arc, caused by the King using a Royal Punch on the color-coated katamari, which dispersing all the color back to where it belongs.
- Worthless Treasure Twist: Played With. Sherman clearly values the importance of friendship a lot more than Ace does. However, the epilogue reveals that there actually was a treasure more along the lines of what Ace wanted; they just missed it.
- Your Size May Vary: The King's ability to change size depending on his mood and atmospheric conditions is still present. As a result, he doesn't look that much bigger than the Prince when the UFO passes overhead.