The Simpsons has parodied Death Note before

Simpsons Lisa Death Note

In “Treehouse of Horror XXXIII,” which aired on October 30, 2022, “The Simpsons” underwent an anime transformation. The second segment of the episode, titled “Death Tome,” parodied “Death Note.” Lisa discovers a book with the power to control life and death, using it to escalate her environmental activism to murderous levels. The segment featured anime-style artwork by South Korean studio DR Movie, known for their work on the “Death Note” anime series.

“Death Note” is a well-known anime that even those unfamiliar with anime are likely to have heard of, making it a suitable choice for parody by a mainstream American show like “The Simpsons.” Interestingly, this isn’t the first time “The Simpsons” has parodied “Death Note.” However, the previous parody was in a tie-in comic rather than the television series itself.

“Death Note” originated as a manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It ran for 108 chapters from 2003 to 2006 in Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga was followed by a 37-episode anime adaptation produced by Madhouse, which aired from 2006 to 2007. The franchise also inspired live-action movies and a TV series in Japan, as well as an American film adaptation in 2017.

Death Note poster Light L and Ryuk

The “Treehouse of Horror” comic series, published by Bongo Comics, included a parody of “Death Note” titled “Murder, He Wrote” in 2008. In this story, Bart finds the Death Note while an undead Krusty replaces Ryuk. The comic mimicked the black and white manga style and received the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Short Story.

Comparing the two “Treehouse of Horror” versions, “Death Tome” and “Murder, He Wrote,” they approach the parody from different angles. “Death Tome” swaps Bart and Lisa’s roles, with Lisa as the protagonist and Bart as the detective. The animation in “Death Tome” captures a more traditional anime aesthetic. The episode also introduces additional twists and a critique of systemic issues. While both parodies successfully condensed the complex story of “Death Note,” “Death Tome” is considered a truer parody, with the character roles better reflecting their counterparts in the original series.

Simpsons Death Note Comic

Overall, the fact that something has been done before doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done again, as demonstrated by “The Simpsons” revisiting the parody of “Death Note” in a new and entertaining way.

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Lind, Takuo,Matt, Wedy, Aiber, Steve

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