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For another edition to the of updating of our previous lists, we would also like to re-explore some of anime’s most intelligent/smartest characters. Intelligence can be measured in many ways like in the theory of multiple intelligences. There are some that are book smart, and there are those that are street smart, and there are those that are intelligent in areas of athletics, diplomacy, deception and war. So, who are some of our latest additions to our most intelligent characters in anime list? Read our picks to find out!
10. Mavis Vermillion from Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 12, 2009 – March 30, 2013
13-years-old on the outside but over 100 on the inside, we have Mavis, the co-founder of the Fairy Tail Guild. Due to circumstances beyond her control, her body is now stuck at 13-years-old. However, Mavis represents the wisdom kind of intelligence. Considering the years she has lived and the mistakes she has made along the way, it has appropriately made her wise but she is still quite eccentric. However, adding to her intelligence is how she is capable to adapt to her situations from time to time. For example, she taught herself how to use illusionary magic tricks, and is one of her go-to tricks during emergencies, and she exploits her self-taught skills effectively. As a combat leader, she knows how to use the abilities of her subordinates to coordinate battle plans and simulate them to perfection.
9. Tanya von Degurechaff from Youjo Senki (The Saga of Tanya the Evil)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 6, 2017 – March 31, 2017
Tanya, the main character, is a reincarnated Japanese salary man who inhabits the body of a nine-year-old girl who is an officer of some magical empire. Don’t let her looks fool you, because she is a lean mean magical fighting machine! What makes her a formidable soldier is of course not her size, but her keen intellect. On the other hand, she uses that intellect for sociopathic tendencies in battle, but considering her situation, I think a lot of people would turn out the same way if the suddenly found themselves reincarnated as a nine-year-old in a world of magic at war. As a student, Tanya was top of her class and as a commanding officer, and tends to rely on calculations/statistics in regards to how she recruits her unit. Due to her excellent knowledge of statistics and economic values of human beings and how she applies it, she represents a very unorthodox sense of intelligent characters that can be defined as intriguing and yet frightening.
8. Satou from Ajin
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 16, 2016 – April 9, 2016
Satou, or Hat, is the main villain of Ajin. Do not let this unassuming elderly man fool you into thinking he is weak, but he is a deadly assassin with not just physical skills, but an intellect for carnage and destruction (and lets not forget he can paralyze people with his scream). Thanks to using his fragile looking demeanor to his advantage, he can flawlessly execute his killings due to his background of being a US Marine and as a covert assassin. Despite his sociopaths tendencies, lets say his intellect for killing equals that of John Rambo’s. As to how Satou fits into this list, you can call him serial killer intelligent, someone who gets the job done and doesn’t leave any evidence behind.
7. Norman from Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 10, 2019 – March 29, 2019
If any school/orphanage is going to have its overachieving valedictorian, it has to be Norman. Instead of being considered the valedictorian, he is one the school’s three “Premium Quality Goods.” Though his best subject is at math, he tends to get perfect scores on just about every test he is given. Not only is he smarter than his fellow orphans, he shows that he is smarter than a good number of adults as well. Not only does he study for the sake of passing, but for applicability as well in simple games such as tag. Heck, he’s so smart to the point where if you ask him a complex math problem when he’s not conscious, he’s still going to get the right answer! So, if you are looking for a tutor for the next big math test, Norman is the guy you want. Not only is he smart, but he is friendly and caring, too.
6. Oda Nobunaga from Drifters
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 7, 2016 – December 23, 2016
Oda Nobunaga may be one of Japan’s most controversial rulers in Japanese history, but in the world of Drifters, he is portrayed as a hero in a world of fantasy that he is trapped in after his death. With that world at war, he chooses to participate and uses his knowledge to help the oppressed elves and dwarves fight against the evil forces of The Ends. Thanks to Nobunaga’s battlefield accomplishments in his life, he can apply them in death. Like the real life Nobunaga, this version also likes to use muskets, but he is intelligent beyond that.
In his first battle where he is aligned with Toyohisa, Yoichi, and the elves, he uses their village as the perfect ambush to fight the elves’ oppressors by taking out the water, covering some of the ground with feces, and set it on fire to entrap them. The plan easily worked! After the Drifters are given more access to the magic of the Octoberist organization such as their communication orbs and paper charms that can turn into walls, he finds ways to use them in an offensive sense to coordinate attacks in a manner than the natives never thought of.
5. Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 6, 2011 – September 14, 2011
Kurisu is beyond being a genius. At 17, she already has a PhD! It was thanks to her that Okabe, the main character, managed to make time travel possible (despite saying it was impossible in the beginning)! Whenever Okabe or Daru could not figure something out, she was there to fill in the gaps. Thanks to her (reluctant) involvement, she helped Okabe discover what needed to be done to make the microwave/phone time machine to work. Due to being an accomplished scientist since she was a teenager, she has earned the disdain of other scientists, including her own father, which truly shows how much of a natural she is in the world of science, but the respect of the Okabe, aka the Mad Scientist Houin Kyouma.
4. Motoko Kusanagi from Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1, 2002 – October 1, 2003
Motoko Kusanagi is probably one of anime’s most iconic female heroes, and while she does kick ass, as for intelligence, that is probably one of her underrated qualities. Thanks to her intellect as a soldier, she is a very authoritative leader out on the field. No matter what incarnation you see her in, the Major shows she is very capable of handling herself in many operations without backup. She knows where her perp is running and can get to their line of escape before they are even there thanks to her smarts and agility.
Not only is she smart in terms of field tactics in law enforcement situations, but in most iterations of her character, she shows philosophical intelligence as well. This is demonstrated with her hesitance to use the Tachikoma tanks on the field after how she sees them developing a unique sense of sentience could compromise them in combat. In the second season of Stand Alone Complex, she demonstrates her intelligence as a detective as she deducts why the nation’s intelligence service is misusing her unit as she hacks into their computers and learns the truth about their motivations.
3. Lelouch vi Britiannia from Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebiellion)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 6, 2006 – July 29, 2007
Returning from our previous list, we have Lelouch from Code Geass. Thanks to his royal upbringing, he certainly got the best education a prince could ever get, and he uses that to his advantage after he gains the power of his Geass from CC, which he can make anybody do anything he commands. Beyond his powers, he is very knowledgeable in context to guerrilla tactics and throughout the series, if his soldiers follows his instructions to a t, then they are guaranteed absolute victory. Though his Geass powers allows him to command people, he is naturally charismatic and persuasive (and manipulative) when he needs to be, as he demonstrates with Rolo, who he gets to work for him without the use of his own Geass power.
2. Narsus from Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 6, 2016 -September 27, 2015
At a very close second, we have Narsus, Prince Arslan’s most valued advisor. If you were a prince of princess, or held any other kind of political power and needed an advisor, then Narsus is the perfect man for the job. Not only is he knowledgeable in diplomacy and strategy, he is also a master warrior who probably equals that to Daryun, Arslan’s bodyguard. If a problem needs to be solved by diplomatic measures, he can help you how to negotiate under the terms you want. If you have to resort to fighting, he can use every resource to your advantage for a guaranteed victory or your money back.
Not only is he intelligent, but he also has his morals. He was against the slave trade and did not like Arslan’s father’s way of doing things, which was why he was exiled. However, Arslan is the forgiving type and knew he was too valuable to look over. As to why he is a close second and not number one, if there is one talent he lacks according to the rest of the cast, it is that he is not the genius artist that he claims to be.
1. Yang Wen-Li from Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou (Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 3, 2018 – June 26, 2018
At number one, we have to give it to Yang Wen-Li, one of the Free Planets Alliance’s greatest admirals. He can instantly turn an impossible situation to a victory (whether moral or strategical) once you give him the authority to do so. Even if he cannot get a full victory, he will do what he can to save lives, which he demonstrates on the planet of El Facil early in his military career as a junior officer after his superiors fled the planet abandoning him and the planet’s civilians before an invasion by the Empire.
In this edition to the series, his greatest victory that demonstrates his ballsy intellect is how he got a small unit to seize the Iserlohn base, which is akin to the Death Star in Star Wars. So, how does he capture Iserlohn, in which seven of his predecessors failed? Instead or trying to take it from the outside, he uses an elite unit to take it from the inside by having them pretend to be Imperial soldiers who have highly classified intel that only the commander can have, and once they take him hostage, they can take the base. As it turned out, it worked!
Last, we would like to make some honorable mentions to Ryosuke from Initial D, Young Joseph from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Urumi from GTO, and Ami/Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon. So, whether it would be book smarts, street smarts, battlefield smart, magic smart, and so on, who else would you say are some acknowledgeable mentions? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!
In this article, there are ten anime characters that this writer feels are some of the most intelligent (smartest, geniuses) anime characters around, and that have made an impact in the industry.
The aspects of how the characters were chosen would have to be in the sense of outsmarting those around them in almost any situation. Having an immense amount of knowledge at the tip of their fingers, being able to quickly adjust and adapt to others. Or simply by being a great problem solver that is appreciated or hated by others.
Here are the Top 10 Most Intelligent (geniuses) Anime Characters! Enjoy!
10. Shiro from No Game No Life
This character is a genius in her own way.
She is terrifying when it comes to logic and problem solving, she is a master chess player and able to speak 18 languages fluently including the Imanity language she encounters during the show. She learns this Imanity language in only 15 minutes, impressive, and she also happens to be an excellent gamer in over 280 games. She possesses supernatural like intelligence and has the ability to calculate and simulate almost anything.
Shiro has also beaten a chess program several times that was designed to defeat grand master chess players, repeatedly.
9. Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan
This is a character that makes up for his lack of other attributes.
Even though he is weak in strength and finds himself in certain positions that require the assistance of others, while risking their own lives. Armin is in fact smart as heck when it comes to tactical planning and achieving a goal that one would say is impossible. As a problem solver under extreme conditions, he is also an intelligent individual who is top of his class academically and has a strong heart.
He's a great tactician and strategist that has proven to be extremely resourceful, especially when it came to uncovering the identity of the female Titan.
8. Izaya Orihara from Durarara!!
This characters has to be one of the most intelligent and sinister characters around, he's a person who loves to toy with life, even though he says he loves everyone and is for the community, not.
He goes around selling information that cause chaos and disorder where ever he sees fit by placing people in horrible situations and observing their reactions for his amusement. This enables him to make precise predictions of people's actions.
Izaya is a parkour master and very skilled with a knife, able to speak fluent Russian, he is the mastermind behind the chaotic breakout that takes place in Shinjuku, almost causing an outright war between gangs.
7. Yuuko Shionji from Kamisama no Memochou
This character, whose age is unknown is as mysterious as they come, living above a ramen shop, and referring to herself as Alice.
Suffering from insomnia, she is apart of the Neet Detective's and is a complete genius and an amazing hacker when it comes to investigations and gathering information. She's the brains of the team and solves some of the most difficult cases presented to her. Alice does all of this by using only a computer or laptop, and never even sets foot out of her room. When she needs to eat, she has her comrades bring it to her, for she is always looking for information to share with the NEET Detectives in completing their next case.
In the show, she is considered the best, so much, that clients come to her.
6. Johan Liebheart from Monster
This character may be a bit on the horrible side, but nonetheless, he still is extremely intelligent in a way that he's manipulative and corruptive.
Considered to be the next Adolf Hitler, he has a level of charisma that is extraordinary and effective in causing suffering and destruction in the world. His main goal is to be the last man standing when the world is ending. He has deductive reasoning and is an excellent talker who always knows what to say at the right moment. He can gain anything he wants without limitations and fear, this includes wealth, power, loyal friends, allies, etc.
The world is his playground and he plays dirty!
5. Victorique De Blois from Gosick
A 15 year old girl who is small in form and looks like a porcelain doll at times, she sounds mature and seems so especially when she is seen smoking a white pipe.
She does nothing but read high leveled books in different languages and at the same time. Victorique is a unique girl with a blunt way of showing her emotions that makes her coy. She also has a bizarre attitude in general because of her past, but none of this takes away from her impressive knowledge and outstanding observation with attention to detail. All of these attributes combined give her amazing detective skills, and considering the setting of the show, it reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.
She has a sweet tooth for snacks and reconstructing chaos which may lead to the recurring headaches she experiences.
4. Shinichi Kudo (Edogawa Conan) from Detective Conan
This character is a Japanese favorite, even though he was transformed into a boy after taking an unusual pill that ended up being an experiment from the Black Organization, his traits and skills have not changed.
Conan is still very talented and extremely intelligent in using detective skills as he continues to show his keen ability of attention to detail and a photographic memory. He's a person who has incredible knowledge on many subjects in several categories which help him solve the toughest cases that come to him. He is also very skilled in medical situations like first aid and survival skills. He is a great athlete in several sports including skateboarding and soccer.
Conan is an all around Intelligent person, but he can't sing if his life depended on it!
3. Shikamaru Nara from Naruto
This character is one of the most intelligent characters in anime as far as mental capabilities.
He has the ability to outsmart almost anyone or anything he comes across, despite his young age, he has gained acknowledgment not only from his peers, but from the community he lives in. Known for his great strategic and tactical skills, he is unbeatable not only in games, but on the battlefield as well. Not easily fooled by deception and tricks, he is able to focus and accurately make split decisions in rough situations.This also helps him analyze events in order to anticipate any enemy actions by always thinking not one or two, but several steps ahead of anyone.
He could've become the next Hokage, if he weren't so lazy! Mendokusai!
2. L Lawliet from Death Note
This character is also known as Hideki Ryuga, Ryuzaki, Eraldo Coil and Deneuve, who is to be the second and third best detective in the world.
L is very secretive and never reveals his identity when it comes to the facts of himself and his plans, which is why communication between him and his assistant, Watari, are the only means of knowing what's on his mind. He has superb skills of deduction and insights when it comes to investigations, analyzing and questioning all information that is presented to him. L has to be one of the best masterminds in anime, to the point that it would be scary if anyone came across him.
Having a sweet tooth for desserts and being delicate in his surroundings, there is nothing he can't accomplish, even if it costs him is life.
1. Light Yagami from Death Note
This character has to be one of animes most memorable characters ever.
He comes across the Death Note that gives him the ability to pass judgement on those who have done harm. Being one of the top students in his school, he is also an exceptional athlete as champion in tennis two years in a row. His father is the head of the Police Force and Light gains certain resources from him. Since obtaining the Death Note, he tests his abilities in a cat and mouse game that turns into a wild experience of strategy, intelligence, and manipulation.
Even though his intensions are good at first, it quickly develops into him being deceptive and shameless in the end!
These are the writer's opinions and the writer's alone, this does not reflect the views of HoneyFeed or Honey's Anime in any way!