The Simpsons Death Note parody: Treehouse of Horror XXXIII pays tribute to cult classic anime horror comic

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The Simpsons look eastwards with their latest Treehouse of Horror anthology, with a parody of Death Note leaving anime fans excited ahead of the broadcast.

The annual Treehouse of Horror anthology from the long-running cartoon series The Simpsons premiered this Halloween with its 33rd ghoulish in the US over the weekend. But with clips promoting the latest edition of The Simpsons Halloween tradition, fans of Japanese anime have already celebrated its impending release.

The Simpsons have always been known during the non-cannon Halloween episodes to pay homage, or sometimes outright parody, to popular culture; be it a retelling of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula or George A Romero’s genre-defining Night of The Living Dead. But creators have decided to dedicate an entire portion of the episode to the anime series Death Note.

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In pictures shared online, the entire Simpson clan has been redrawn in the animation style made famous in the series by Takeshi Obata. Lisa replaces Death Note’s protagonist Light Yagami as she uncovers the secrets of a deadly notebook, while Bart takes the shape of a mischievous god of death.

The pictures and subsequent footage regarding this segment in Treehouse of Horror XXXIII have already seen fans of both The Simpsons and Death Note take to social media, with an overwhelmingly positive response to the parody. One Death Note fan tweeted: “I haven’t ever watched the Simpsons BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW IM TUNING IN FOR THAT DEATH NOTE PARODY ON SUNDAY!”

While another Twitter user, upon discovering that some of the animators involved in the original Death Note animated series, tweeted: “just found out there’s going to be a Death Note parody episode of The Simpsons for Halloween and they even outsourced it to the animators who adapted Death Note in the first place.”

The Simpsons latest season, number 33, will be available on Disney+ from November 2 2022.

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Who else has guest animated on The Simpsons?

Though the number of guest voice roles on The Simpsons is a list unto its own, there have been fewer guest animators involved in the production of the show. Those that have been invited have notably had their fingerprints all over the intro to the cartoon series - and the everlasting couch gag that remains since its premiere back in December 1989.

British graffiti artist Banksy was the very first artist invited to storyboard the show in the season 22 episode MoneyBart. Such was the popular reception of Banksy’s inclusion that creator Matt Groening invited controversial Ren and Stimpy animator John Kricfalusi to do something similar in the season 23 episode Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts.

Since then, other guest animators have all had a chance to leave their indelible marks during the couch gags, including Robot Chicken creator Seth Green, Rick and Morty creators Justin Hoiland and Dan Harmon, and even Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro. Del Toro in particular showed his excellent sense of humor, parodying a lot of his film work during the intro to Treehouse of Horror XXIV.

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