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Similarities Between Anastasia 1997 Animated Movie And Detective Conan Anime

Updated on January 4, 2017
Freya Yuki profile image

Freya loves analyzing the plots, themes and characters of various movies, TV shows, and anime series that she enjoys watching.

Yes, you read that right. There are actually some similarities between the 1997 Anastasia animated film produced by Fox Animation Studio and distributed by 20th Century Fox and the Case Closed or Meitantei (means Detective) Conan anime and manga series by Gosho Aoyama.

Warning for possible spoilers:

  • Of the Anastasia 1997 animated film
  • Of Meitantei Conan anime episodes 532 The Scar of First Love and 533 The Scar that Invokes the Past

This is the case even though the former is an American movie about the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia while the latter is a mystery series about a brilliant high-school detective who was turned into an elementary-school kid.

So, what makes these 2 similar then?

Anastasia is a 1997 animated movie based on the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov, the youngest daughter of  Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and how she was rumored to have been able to survive the Romanov tragedy
Anastasia is a 1997 animated movie based on the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and how she was rumored to have been able to survive the Romanov tragedy | Source

The story of Anastasia

The Anastasia movie is based on the rumor or story that the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov, the youngest daughter of Nicholas II, the Tsar of Russia, was able to survive the Romanov massacre.

The Fox film stars Anya (voiced by Kirsten Dunst (child) and Meg Ryan (adult)) as the title character. She lost her memories thanks to an incident that happened in Russia. She is now looking for information about her family and who she really is. The only clue that she has is Paris.

Anastasia
Anastasia

The characters in this cover are Anastasia or Anya and Dimitri, her love interest in this movie

 

After meeting 2 Russian men named Vladimir (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) and Dimitri (voiced by John Cusack), she ends up agreeing to to to Paris with them.

The 2 Russians have convinced her that she is most likely the long-lost Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, the granddaughter of the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (voiced by Angela Lansbury).

They taught Anya all that she needed to know about being Anastasia so that she could fool the Empress and so that they can get the reward money. Neither men know the truth about who Anya really is.

The story of Meitantei Conan

Meitantei Conan is a very long mystery series that began in 1994 and is currently still ongoing.

Case Closed: Season 1 (Super Amazing Value Edition)
Case Closed: Season 1 (Super Amazing Value Edition)

The Japanese title of this anime series by Gosho Aoyama is Meitantei Conan. Meitantei means great detective.

In North America, the series is known as Case Closed with the tagline "One truth prevails", which is based on one of Shinichi's favorite phrases "shinjitsu wa itsumo hitotsu," which means "there is always only one truth".

 

The story stars a kid named Conan Edogawa. He's actually a high-school detective named Kudo Shinichi.

After getting involved with a dangerous criminal syndicate known as the Black Organization, he is accidentally turned into a kid.

However, he still has the brilliant mind of a detective even if he looks like a little kid now so he's still able to solve cases.

He currently lives with Detective Mouri Kogoro and his daughter, Ran.

Conan secretly solves all the cases that Mouri gets so Kogoro ends up being praised as a great detective while Edogawa is seen as nothing more than a kid who happens to be interested in mysteries and crime-solving and playing detective.

Don't underestimate Shinichi Kudo. He may look like a kid now, but, as Conan Edogawa, he is still able to solve even the toughest of cases and mysteries. He knows all sorts of things and he's able to put the pieces of the puzzle together to find the truth.

Where's the similarity between Detective Conan and Anastasia?

After seeing the short synopsis between the two stories, it can be hard to see any similarity between the 2 so, let's delve deeper to find what we're looking for.

Since Case Closed is such a long series (the current episode list of the anime is up to 773 now and it's still ongoing), let's focus on episode 532 and 533.

Detective Conan episode 532 and 533

In Meitantei Conan, on the episodes in question, we get introduced to Shoudo Kuromi, a rich woman who is blind.

She is looking for the person who saved her life when she was just a kid. She's offering to pay this person, whoever he might be, a huge sum of money if only he would step forward and claim his prize.

Everlasting Luv by BREAKERZ

About the song:

  • Everlasting Luv by BREAKERZ is the opening theme song of Detective Conan episode 532 and 533
  • The "luv" is really spelled that way as you can see in the vid

Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna - similarity to Shoudo Kuromi

In the Anastasia movie, we are introduced to the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna and we find out that she is looking for someone just like Shoudo Kuromi from Meitantei Conan.

The official trailer for the Anastasia 1997 movie by Fox

While the latter is looking for the boy who saved her life when she was still a kid, the Dowager Empress is looking for her granddaughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov.

The Dowager Empress is also offering to pay a huge sum of money to whoever can reunite her with her beloved Anastasia.

Clues - how can the Dowager Empress find Anastasia and how can Kuromi find the boy who saved her life?

Both women each have a clue that can help them find the person that they're looking for.

For the Dowager Empress, her clue is a music box and necklace with the words "together in Paris". She had given these items to her granddaughter so the real Anastasia should have these in her possession.

For Shoudo Kuromi, her clue is a scar that the boy who saved her life had on his torso. So whoever has this particular scar could only be the person that she's looking for.

Complications - what each woman did to make matters difficult for them?

Unfortunately for both the Dowager Empress and Shoudo Kuromi, they both publicly revealed all sorts of information about the person that they're looking for.

They also publicly mentioned the monetary rewards that they planned to give when they found these people. With the lure of money, many stepped forward claiming to be who they're looking for.

Fake Anastasia

In the Anastasia movie, we see a scene where a girl, who is claiming to be the Dowager Empress's granddaughter, is being questioned by Sophie (voiced by Bernadette Peters), Marie's lady-in-waiting and first cousin.

Sophie is tasked to find out if whoever is claiming to be Anastasia is really saying the truth and isn't just claiming to be someone she's not in order to get the money.

Some of the characters from the Anastasia 1997 animated film: Anya, Dimitri and Rasputin. The weird and evil-looking guy on the right is supposed to be Rasputin. He's the villain in the Anastasia movie.
Some of the characters from the Anastasia 1997 animated film: Anya, Dimitri and Rasputin. The weird and evil-looking guy on the right is supposed to be Rasputin. He's the villain in the Anastasia movie. | Source

It is implied that there are many more fake Anastasias who have stepped forward, claiming to be the Dowager Empress' granddaughter to get the reward money.

Thanks to this, Marie is wary of seeing anymore women. She doesn't want to be tricked anymore.

Hiring a great detective to solve the case

In Detective Conan, there are actually 2 people claiming to be the boy who saved Shoudo. Many others also showed up to get the money.

Just like how the Dowager Empress entrusted Sophie to be the one to try to figure things out for her, Shoudo decided to hire a detective to try and solve the case for her.

She chooses to hire Mouri Kogoro due to his well-known reputation. Naturally, his daughter, Ran, and Conan follow after him and try to help him out.

How it ends? Do these women find what they're looking for?

In the end, both the Dowager Empress and Shoudo Kuromi find the person that they're looking for. The clues that they have play a large role in helping them out. However, the way they find this person is where the similarities between the 2 end.

How the Dowager Empress finds Anastasia?

The Dowager Empress had actually become disheartened and had lost all hope of ever finding her granddaughter. She was sick of seeing fake Anastasias and didn't want to see any more women pretending to be the Grand Duchess Romanov.

Once Upon A December from the Anastasia 1997 animated movie in Russian (fitting, eh?)

This video from YouTube includes lyrics written in:

  • Russian Cyrillic
  • The Russian Cyrillic written in Latin characters so you can read them
  • The English translation of the song so you know what it means

So by the time Anya, our protagonist, arrives in Paris, France, Marie wanted nothing to do with her even with Sophie's insistence that she could be the real Anastasia.

Sophie quizzed Anya and Anya was able to answer all the questions regarding her identity perfectly.

Dimitri didn't want to give up though.

Thanks to his persistent insistence and by presenting the music box (he found this and kept it way back when he was a kid) that belongs to Anastasia to the Dowager Empress, he was able to convince Marie to give Anya a chance.

While Marie and Anya are talking, the truth is finally revealed as Anya remembers her forgotten memories and the Dowager Empress sees the locket that only her granddaughter should have.

Thus, Anastasia and her grandmother are finally reunited.

How does Shoudo Kuromi find the boy who saved her life?

In Meitantei Conan, Conan is the one who is able to figure out the truth. The one who saved Kuromi is neither of the 2 men mentioned earlier. These 2 are just pretending to be her savior in order to get the reward money.

The truth is that the one who saved Shoudo was actually her butler. The clue is the scar. All 3 guys have scars but when the butler saved Kuromi, they were still kids.

Conan Edogawa and Shinichi Kudo. Yup, they're 1 and the same person. Shinichi was turned into a kid and he used the name Conan and started wearing glasses so he wouldn't be recognized by the Black Organization who believe that he's dead
Conan Edogawa and Shinichi Kudo. Yup, they're 1 and the same person. Shinichi was turned into a kid and he used the name Conan and started wearing glasses so he wouldn't be recognized by the Black Organization who believe that he's dead | Source

So when she saw the scar on his torso, it looked large then but, as the boy grew up, the scar remained the same, so it would naturally seem small on a man’s body.

Therefore, the 2 guys couldn't have been her savior since they both have large scars. The small scar that the butler has proves that he was the one who saved Shoudo's life.

Another twist in the story is that Kuromi actually already knew who saved her. She wanted to reward her butler but, because the guy was way too nice, she knew he wouldn't take the money.

This was why, even when she publicly announced that she would give money to whoever saved her, the butler said nothing even as many people stepped forward to claim the cash for themselves.

The butler was too selfless and kind to admit the truth but Shoudo really wanted to reward him so she used the attention of the public to get him to confess and tell her the truth so that she wouldn't have to give the reward to another person.

Happy ending in Anastasia and Meitantei Conan

How would you rate both the Meitantei Conan anime series and the Anastasia movie?

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Anastasia and Meitantei Conan

Of course, in contrast to that revelation, the Dowager Empress really didn't know who her granddaughter was. But, in the end, everyone gets a happy ending (except for the bad guys, of course), so it's all good.

So, what do you think about the Anastasia animated movie? What about the Meitantei Conan anime? Do you like them or not? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on these 2 great shows.

© 2015 Freya Yuki

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