The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror: anime Halloween parody explained - what is Death Note?

In the newest Treehouse of Horror Halloween special, Lisa Simpson finds herself in possession of a mysterious notebook called The Death Tome

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When it comes to its annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween special episodes, The Simpsons is no stranger to parody, having added its own twist to films like The Shining, Nightmare on Elm Street, King Kong, The Fy, I Know What You Did Last Summer and many, many more.

This year, the animated sitcom is taking on a new style for the first time in its 34 season run - anime.

With the countdown to Halloween officially on, this is everything you need to know about the 2022 Treehouse of Horror episode.

What is the new Treehouse of Horror parodying - when is it out?

The Simpsons writer, Carolyn Omine, revealed on Twitter that the yellow cartoon family has gone anime for its newest Halloween episode, with Lisa finding herself the recipient of the mysterious “Death Tome”, parodying the Death Note anime.

Omine released a clip online which showed off a bunch of Easter eggs, including anime versions of Disco Stu, twins Terri and Sheri, Ned Flanders and of Homer and Marge Simpson as well.

The upcoming Treehouse of Horror special is set to air on Sunday 30 October.

What is Death Note?

Death Note is a Japanese anime based on the manga series of the same name, and follows the protagonist Light Yagami, a teenaged genius who comes across a mysterious notebook called the “Death Note”. The book grants the owner the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages.

Death Note is a hugely popular Japanese anime, adapted from the manga of the same name (Photo: Nippon Television Network System)Death Note is a hugely popular Japanese anime, adapted from the manga of the same name (Photo: Nippon Television Network System)
Death Note is a hugely popular Japanese anime, adapted from the manga of the same name (Photo: Nippon Television Network System)

The series follows Light’s journey to use the Death Note for good, killing criminals and other people who he deems to be unworthy. The story devolves into a cat and mouse game of wits as an elite Japanese police task force, led by the highly intelligent L, work to stop Light’s massacres.

The anime ran for 37 episodes and began on 4 October 2006 and ended on 27 June 2007. It holds a 100% tomatometer on review site Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics consensus stating: “Death Note is an exceptional anime that poses profound questions about justice and murder, all while delivering a supremely satisfying tale of tactical one-upmanship between a detective and killer.”

What are the other Treehouse of Horror segments going to be?

As all Simpsons fans know, the Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes are split up into three segments - if Death Note is taking up just one part of the episode, then what are the other two chapters about?

Matt Selman, Executive Producer and Show Runner for The Simpsons shared a poster for the upcoming Treehouse of Horror episode on Twitter that answered just that question - alongside the Death Note segment will also be a The Babadook and Westworld segment as well.

The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film about a single mother and her child who find themselves haunted by a terrifying monster after a chilling children’s book called “Mister Babadook” manifests itself in their home.

Westworld is an ongoing sci-fi TV drama that is set in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park in which visitors can attend and indulge their every whim and fantasy - however, things start going wrong once the robots start acting outside of their programming.

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