Like it or not, new episodes of the The Simpsons are crammed with modernity, tainted whenever Bart operates an iPhone or Lady Gaga makes a fleeting appearance.
Rest assured, Matt Groening and co. are still capable of great things. The latest being Married to the Blob, a new episode which sees Comic Book Guy fallung for a Japanese woman who writes manga, with a scene paying ode to Japanese anime legend Hayao Miyazaki – master animator of Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Ponyo.
Rather than poking fun at anime, as it did when Battling Seizure Robots sent Homer into an epileptic fit during a Simpsons family visit to Tokyo, it’s a striking and faithful homage, turning some of Springfield’s finest into the unique oddities from Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, and, fittingly, allowing us to see two landmark cartoons combined.
As for whether Miyazaki will cram a couch gag into his next blockbuster film, watch this space...