It’s that special time of year when the days grow shorter, the scent of pumpkin spice is heavy on the air – and the perennial hit show, the Simpsons, brings the spooks with their annual Treehouse Of Horror anthology special. This year, they’re delivering the goods in a big way with their thirty third installment of the Halloween staple not just with some great stories, but with a special segment spoofing the legendary anime Death Note – complete with the Simpsons themselves drawn in anime style!
Early glimpses of this particular installment of Treehouse Of Horror showed that little Lisa Simpson takes on the role of Death Note’s protagonist as the recipient of the parody Death Tome, in which any name and manner of death can be written to make that death a reality. Once the Death Tome is used, it becomes hers to wield according to Ryuk – er, that is, Steve. As he says, it was a very exotic name in bygone ages!
The style of animation that featured on this particular portion of Treehouse Of Horror XXXIII, which was the second of the three stories that aired as part of the holiday episode on October 30th, is also eerily accurate to the source material it’s taken from. That’s by design: Korean studio DR Movie was involved in animating the segment. Not only did DR Movie work on the Death Note anime series proper, but it also had a hand in other prolific pieces of animation such as The Animatrix and Justice League. This attention to detail in the Death Note spoof is not only proof that the Simpsons continues to deliver fresh content with an original twist even after three decades, but also shows that the show’s fanbase remains evergreen – and deeply appreciative of the show’s efforts.
The anime renditions of core series members like Lisa, Marge, and Homer have received rave reviews from fans, and with good reason. Even the ancient and decrepit Mr. Burns looks great with more realistic rendering! The segment was so well received by audiences, there have been calls for everything from a Simpsons film done in this style to an anime spinoff to just more experimentation with future episodes done in different animation styles.
In addition to the Death Tome segment, Treehouse Of Horror XXXIII also featured a Westworld parody as well as an homage to the 2014 horror film Babadook featuring Marge as the leading character. The special is now currently available for viewing on Hulu.
Sit back, relax, and watch with care — you’re in for a scare!
Liz Carlie (she/her/he/him) is a regular book, TV, and film reviewer for SCIFI.radio and has previously been a guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. In addition to being an active member of the traditional fandom community, she’s also an active participant in online fan culture, pro wrestling journalism, and spreading the gospel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She resides in Southern California with her aspiring superhero dog, Junior, enjoying life one hyperfixation at a time.