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Top 10 Smartest Anime Characters Ranked

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For newcomers to anime, it’s easy to assume that it’s all about non-stop battles. With the prevalence of action-packed shonen series in anime lore, it’s understandable why they might think that way. However, anime has much more to offer, including thought-provoking stories with incredibly intelligent characters.

Many anime explore the depths of human psychology and tackle complex scientific themes that challenge viewers‘ thinking. The smartest characters in these shows bring a valuable sense of logic and reasoning to their peers and the audience. While there are numerous intelligent characters in anime, here are some of the brightest minds you’ll encounter.

10. Madara Uchiha (Naruto)

Within the Naruto universe, Madara Uchiha undeniably claims the title of the most formidable tactician. In a world where returning from the clutches of death is an arduous endeavor, Madara defies the odds and accomplishes the impossible. With his extensive mastery of various jutsu, he harnesses a wide range of techniques to devastating effect. Additionally, his commanding presence possesses the extraordinary ability to rally armies with just the power of his voice.

However, Madara’s intelligence extends far beyond his tactical prowess. His intentions appear to revolve around sowing chaos and eclipsing the achievements of others. He leads a life dictated by his own desires, exhibiting a remarkable freedom that transcends societal norms. Ultimately, even his demise occurs solely at his own volition, solidifying his control over his destiny until the very end.

9. Shikamaru Nara (Naruto)

Shikamaru Nara, a skilled shinobi and proud member of the Nara Clan in the Naruto series, harbors an unusual aspiration: to embrace a life of indolence. However, his profound knowledge and remarkable combat abilities continually obstruct his quest for a carefree existence. Alongside his mastery of the Nara Clan’s shadow-based jutsu, Shikamaru displays exceptional ingenuity by inventing his own techniques.

Beneath his laid-back exterior, Shikamaru remains a steadfast and devoted friend. He willingly assumes the mantle of protector, valiantly safeguarding his allies at any cost. Despite the added burdens this responsibility entails, Shikamaru consistently prioritizes the well-being of his companions over his own longing for freedom.

8. Norman (The Promised Neverland)

Within the world of The Promised Neverland, Norman stands out as the sole child from Grace Field House who surpasses Ray in intelligence, further showcasing the extraordinary capabilities of the young cast. After discovering the existence of demons beyond the confines of the orphanage, Norman is abruptly sent away, leading others to believe he has met an unfortunate fate.

However, Norman’s unparalleled intellect shines through as he meticulously predicts the sequence of events leading up to the next shipment of children. Crafting a meticulous plan, he entrusts its execution to Emma, who flawlessly carries it out. Norman’s strategic genius allows him to save his family, all while remaining absent and unseen, firmly cementing his position among the most brilliant characters in anime.

7. Houtarou Oreki (Hyouka)

In the series Hyouka, Houtarou Oreki presents himself as an indifferent high school student. Despite possessing intelligence, he maintains a distaste for social interaction and actively seeks to minimize his efforts. However, his outlook takes a turn when he encounters the vibrant and curious Eru Chitanda.

With Chitanda’s arrival, Oreki uncovers his innate talent for unraveling mysteries. Demonstrating his keen observational skills, he assists her in solving the enigma surrounding her missing uncle. As the Literature Club tackles subsequent cases together, Oreki’s abilities as a sharp and astute detective come to the forefront, shining brightly with each successful resolution.

6. Korosensei (Assassination Classroom)

In the world of Assassination Classroom, Koro-sensei’s actions demonstrate a unique and extraordinary form of genius. Choosing to destroy the moon and subsequently becoming a teacher, he embarks on a mission to assist struggling students who are overlooked and marginalized. Despite being an unstoppable monster possessing a multitude of powers, Koro-sensei devotes his time to transforming the lives of his students.

Koro-sensei’s plan unfolds with both beauty and complexity. As the story progresses, subtle hints and revelations captivate fans throughout two seasons, leading to a poignant and impactful conclusion. It becomes evident that Koro-sensei was the hero his students truly needed, leaving a lasting emotional impact on those who have followed his journey.

5. Senku Ishigami (Dr. Stone)

In the series Dr. Stone, Senku showcases his incredible scientific prowess across various disciplines. While characters like Bulma from Dragon Ball predominantly excel in technology, Senku emerges as a true polymath, mastering a wide array of fields ranging from physics to chemistry to biology. With limited resources at his disposal, he possesses the remarkable ability to create virtually anything.

What sets Senku apart extends beyond his extensive knowledge. He demonstrates an aptitude for drawing insightful conclusions based on newly acquired information. Additionally, Senku proves himself as a competent strategist, taking the lead in confronting formidable adversaries like Tsukasa and other threats within the Stone World. His multidimensional capabilities and strategic acumen make him a force to be reckoned with in the realm of anime intellect.

4. L (Death Note)

In the Death Note series, L stands out as the world’s greatest detective. Throughout his illustrious career, he successfully solves numerous complex cases, showcasing his exceptional investigative skills from a remarkably young age. However, the ultimate challenge that pushes L’s abilities to their limits is the Kira Investigation.

Swiftly deducing that Kira operates within Japan, L collaborates with a local task force to pursue the truth. With meticulous deduction, he uncovers the identity of Kira as Light Yagami, who utilizes the ominous power of the Death Note to eliminate his targets. Despite this revelation, proving Light’s guilt becomes an arduous task for L, setting the stage for one of the most captivating rivalries in the realm of anime. The ongoing battle of wits between L and Light creates a captivating dynamic that captivates viewers and elevates their clash to legendary status.

3. Kiyotaka Ayanokoji (Classroom Of The Elite)

Kiyotaka Ayanokoji, the protagonist of Classroom of the Elite, finds himself enrolled in Class D, the lowest-ranking class at the prestigious Koudo Ikusei High School. However, it becomes apparent that Ayanokoji has a hidden agenda for choosing this particular class. Despite his often cynical demeanor, viewers are aware that he conceals a deeper secret, yet to be uncovered by his peers.

Leveraging his exceptional intellect, Ayanokoji becomes instrumental in elevating Class D to the top ranks. Though he typically intervenes at the eleventh hour, it becomes evident to fans that he has been several steps ahead of everyone else all along. Ayanokoji prefers not to boast about his intellectual prowess, instead opting to operate from the shadows, patiently waiting for the opportune moment to make his move.

2. Dio Brando (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

In JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the series showcases a multitude of highly intelligent villains. The antagonists within this universe are renowned for their exceptional creativity and malevolence, a testament to the creative genius of Hirohiko Araki, the series‘ creator.

Among these villains, Dio stands out as the most sinister and cunning. His unparalleled creativity enables him to pose a continuous and formidable threat to the Joestar family. Dio’s remarkable ability to devise intricate plans and execute them with unwavering determination sets him apart in the series, highlighting his intelligence and strategic thinking. His enduring presence and calculated actions showcase the depth of his intellect, making him an iconic and formidable adversary.

1. Light Yagami (Death Note)


Had the Death Note fallen into anyone else’s possession, its user would likely have been swiftly identified and apprehended. However, Light Yagami managed to evade capture for years, despite L’s astute deduction that he resided in Japan.

Ultimately, Light’s downfall stemmed from a lethal combination of his own arrogance and underestimating the intelligence of his adversaries, such as Near. It is undeniable that Light’s defeat was a consequence of his hubris and overlooking the abilities of his fellow geniuses.

Nevertheless, it remains evident that no other individual in that world could have wielded the Death Note with such far-reaching societal impact. The combination of Light’s intellect, resourcefulness, and the power bestowed upon him created a unique and unparalleled force, making him a formidable figure in the series.

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