When looking at most anime characters and their behavior, it will be interesting to always note that the survival of the fittest rule also applies. Here, we shall look into the smartest anime characters as we have seen characters, who are really strong but have no brains, and we have those who could be regarded as the smartest anime characters but do not have as much strength. Usually, the gifted, intelligent characters usually make it through as they can even win battles they do not seem capable of at all.
In fact, a fight needs a strategy, so without the brains for that, a stronger character might fall victim to a weaker but smart one. Throughout anime history, we have seen and adored people like that. And we have come to know that a fight is not about brute strength only, but a mixed balance of things needs to come together, especially in fights where the opponents are evenly matched. Then it will all come down to who is sneakier and tricker, which will decide the battle.
Let us talk about some of the smartest anime characters that you can find throughout different anime. In fact, we have several characters like this one in almost every anime, regardless of its genre.
Oreki Houtarou: Hyouka
Appearing as an apathetic and sluggard character, Houtarou does not put any effort into anything unless he absolutely deems it necessary. Due to his attitude, he also doesn’t talk much and hardly gets angry. Even though he doesn’t express his emotions most of the time, he is surprisingly intelligent and smart with brilliant deduction skills, which he has used several times to solve different mysteries.
Even though he is as smart as he is, he gets average grades and would usually find a solution to anything as long as he gives it enough thought. He also hates wasting his energy, but this always gets the best of him. We saw this when he made a bet with Eru and told him that he is able to make a theory for any situation, and this time, it was about the upcoming school announcement. In the end, he figured it out, but this ended up taking him a whole day to do it. Despite all that, he has proved to be one of the smartest anime characters.
Erwin Smith: Attack on Titan
Always appearing as a complex and serious character. He is calculative and would always explain the future. He has so much trust in his men, and he was also the first to realize that a spy was interfering with the Survey Corps and also determined a reasonable criteria on which soldiers he could trust. He would easily sway the military tribunal to judge Eren and other trainees into choosing which recruitment branches they should join.
Even though he was often seen as a grim individual, he would accept all news, either good or bad, with the same attitude. His greatest goal was for the humanity to rise up again and become the dominant species over the Titans. He still held his personal ideals and would question his motivations before making any decisions. After the rebellion, he accepted that he understood his audacious actions and would wonder several times if he was doing the right thing.
Armin Arlet: Attack On Titan
From a young age, Armin was naturally curious and had a deep fascination with the world outside the walls. He would usually be found studying illegal books about the world beyond the walls that his grandfather used to own. He also shared with Eren, who is his best friend, about the book and the information that was in it. He has been eager to prove his work, and as a child, he used to hope that one day he would consider himself an equal to his friends.
As he got older, he went to military training and graduated to join the Survey Corps with Eren and Mikasa. He wanted to make a good impact on the world and also fulfill his dream of seeing the outside world. His curiosity made him develop a stronger personality from a young age, and he would do anything to ensure that humanity would finally triumph over the titans. Without doubts, his traits throughout the anime and the manga made him one of the smartest anime characters we have seen so far.
Joseph Joestar: Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure
When he appears in Battle Tendency, he is a reckless and aggressive man. He was quick to resort to violence over the slightest provocations and would be involved in brawls when growing up. He has been arrested seven times and expelled from school due to such behaviors. He is also playful and prefers taking his time and has a fairly goofy side, and would spend the most time in his fights enjoying outsmarting his opponents with zany schemes.
This would usually take his opponents by surprise due to how silly his plans appear at first sight. He also incorporated his taunts into his fighting styles and used them to distract his enemies into what would be obvious traps. He is also a show-off and likes being at the center of attention and would not stand it if his opponents had more special techniques compared to himself. As one of the smartest anime characters, he possesses prestigious talent and mixes it with his boastful nature and pranks into a dangerous tool in a battle.
Koro Sensei: Assassination Classroom
Having been raised in an environment where everyone would easily betray one another to the point where the only thing they could trust was themselves. Koro Sensei went through such hardships and decided to become an assassin to survive. Even though he got an apprentice, he only saw the person as a tool for his own goals, resulting in Koro Sensei being betrayed.
His personality was described by Aguri to be much more kind and compassionate. He also appears to be a little perverted with a good head and a few screws loose. His personality was erratic, and he would switch from being silly and childish to being serious within the blink of an eye. One of his attributes was being able to connect to students with ease, being empathic, and being an observant person who would do all it takes to help his students.
Mavis Vermillion: Fairy Tail
Appearing as a kind and protective member of Fairy Tail, Mavis guides and protects her guide whenever it is possible. She can be quite carefree and reckless, and we saw this when she allowed Jellal to participate in the Grand magic games as part of Fairy Tail B. She was so smart to the point where she was named the Fairy Tactician as she would usually lead her team to many victories.
She has exceptional skill in coming up with new strategies during battles and even though she can miscalculate every now and then. She doesn’t take failure very well and would be depressed when things do not go her way. She once lost her kindness after learning that she had the Ankhseram Black Magic curse as it would take life in return for how much she cared about it. Throughout the anime, we managed to see her display her intelligence, and we cannot talk about the smartest anime characters without mentioning her name.
Itachi Uchiha: Naruto Shippuden
Itachi has always appeared calm and insightful and would show noticeable maturity for his agent and acknowledge how he should deal with every situation. Over all of his accomplishments, talents, and fame, he was always a humble man. He never appeared arrogant about his abilities and would not underestimate others in battle, and was usually unbiased and accurate in most situations.
He was also humble to a point where even if his opponent would exceed his expectations and poses a legitimate challenge to him or his allies. He would admit it without any qualms, and at only the age of seven, his reasoning was already said to be on par with a Hokage. He has studied history not just for his clan or his village but for the world and gained a broader appreciation of what was important. This was followed by him not ever unintentionally losing a fight in the series.
Edward Elric: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
At a glance, Edward would display an immature personality and is decidedly stubborn and strong-willed. He would mostly let his pettiness and vindictiveness get the best of him and would often have to be restrained or reprimanded by Al. Appearing a bit selfish, he would act more out of his self-interests and would take several opportunities to stroke his personal ego and flaunt the governmental powers and monetary license he possesses.
Even though he is quick-tempered and has a could-mouthed reputation, he has displayed a propensity towards impatience and an inability to sit in one position for longer times which would explain his love of tourism. He also has a deeper nature to be one of marked selflessness and unflinching royalty with greater compassion. He had to suffer greatly from a young age, which makes him not to ignore the true suffering of others. So as an individual, he has proven to be one of the smartest anime characters.
Ray: The Promised Neverland
Ray has a rather distant and introverted character and would often exclude himself from playing with others as he prefers reading books instead. He can interact well with his fellow siblings and loves them dearly and even if there are times when they do not get along. He cares about their well-being and even goes to greater lengths to keep them safe. He is an outspoken person and has little patience for inconvenience and silliness.
As he would frequently lose his temper when Emma displays reckless behavior and intentions, he is a blunt and honest character, and even when Norman was trying to figure out a way to tell Emma that Ray was the spy. He abruptly came out before Norman got the chance to. He would most often be motivated by cold logic and reasoning as he usually figures out the best plan for success and thinks that it would be accomplished only by a smaller group of people.
Norman: The Promised Neverland
He is a calm and level-headed character who is kind and gentle and would always present himself to have figured things out because he always wants to be reliable. He is also a complicated individual because of his conflicting morality, as we saw this when he was exposed to the truth behind the orphanage. He was then revealed to be similar to Ray in being a realist and wanting to take a limited group of people along in his escape.
He also deems himself as being selfish because he worries about his life instead of Emma, who worries more about others than herself. His love for Emma also inspires him to follow her ideals, and he is also determined to escape with all of his siblings even though it would seem impossible. He becomes manipulative, ruthless, and extremely rational and has no issues with agreeing to the plan to kill Krone and Isabella that Ray came up with to better their chances of escape.
Kiyotaka Ayanokoji: Classroom of The Elite
He is an inconspicuous and also unobtrusive student, while his grades are average. Later it was revealed that he did this on purpose just to draw away any attention from him. He has a cunning ability that he can use to read the emotions of people around him with pinpoint accuracy and would either help or destroy them. He is also well versed in history, and he has quoted many historical figures who are popular for their intelligence.
Most times, Kiyotaka would come up with ingenious and imaginative plans, just like when he used the school rules to obtain old test questions from an order D Class student and paid 15,000 points for that. He later used these rules and the purposes of the points and bribed his teacher into stopping Ken Sudo’s expulsion, and it was later hinted that by a selected few that he could have easily been placed in a higher class if he actually applied for it. So this also sets him out as one of the smartest anime characters.
Okabe Rintarou: Steins Gate
Being a melodramatic and eccentric character, Okabe is rarely a tsundere individual, and he is also a self-proclaimed mad scientist. He also likes to assume his true name and uses it to introduce himself, and for the most part, people do not seem to care and would instead call him by his true name. He is also an intelligent man, but at times, he can be easily deceived, and we saw this when Kurisu sent him a D Mail saying that he was an airhead.
He likes to pose as a mysterious agent who works against a certain organization that is always after him. The things that this will give him a cool image and mysterious aura. At times he would often give the impression of being delusional and pardoned and had displayed eccentric mannerisms notable when he would talk to himself on the phone and engage in maniacal laughter.
Kurisu Makise: Steins Gate
Another character from Steins Gate. She is generally a sensible and mature young woman who is usually calm and collected even in situations where people would act tense in front of her. She is also capable of showing a timid side at times and hates being nicknamed. She is a practical individual and also a realist to a point where she would believe that machines are simply fiction and would deny that Phonewave is one even after seeing the machine in action.
She can be very sarcastic at times despite her maturity, and we saw this when she interacted with Okabe and Daru. She is also friendly with anyone as long as they don’t do inappropriate actions and constantly engage in petty arguments. Generally, the way she treats others depends on how they treat her as well, as she can even say a disrespectful thing to respectable people depending on how they treat her.
Dazai Osamu: Bungou Stray Dogs
Dazai would often appear as a mysterious person, and his true intentions are not revealed unless he intentionally does so. The only person who managed to get closer to the truth of his personality and was acknowledged by Dazai himself was Sakunosuke Oda. He managed to realize that Dazai would linger in the darkness forever as there was supposedly nothing that could surpass his mind. Without looking at whether he is on the side of killing or saving people, Oda knows that there is not a single place in the world that would entertain Dazai’s loneliness.
Oda used to think that Dazai knew this about himself, but he kept an enigmatic and dark facade, and his endeavors in the mafia were unrivaled, and he would go on to be named the youngest leader in the history of the mafia. Due to his aptitude in his younger days, he contributed to half of the mafia’s profits for at least two years, with his ledger ending up being named as dark as the mafia itself. So, without a doubt, Dazai stands as one of the smartest anime characters.
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Nine: Terror of Resonance
Nine appears as a stern and aloof character with a stoic knack for devising ingenious and criminal schemes while deftly covering up his ways and exceptional computing hacking skills. He grew up in a children’s institution with Twelve, who was the closest person to him together with Five. When escaping from a fire that broke out at the institution, he went through a traumatic experience where he left five behind and could not save her.
Ever since this tragedy, he has been having recurring nightmares of the incident, and his emotional instability was exposed further when he was under a great deal of stress. We managed to see this in detail in Episode 5, when he had a panic attack when he realized that Five was onto him and all of his plans. So Twelve used to describe Nine as a sadistic but likewise a very nice person.
Johan Liebert: Monster
Johan seems to be a well-mannered and charismatic yet compassionate young man who is also aloof and possesses a myriad of favorable traits that he can use to overwhelm individuals with his nature that seems to be flawless. We have seen this with Hans, who has described him as a being out of this world, and his meticulously crafted facade makes it best for him to make new allies and manipulate them into doing different deeds for him.
Johan would also callously deliver destruction and suffering to those who fall prey to his schemes. Even when his tenure at Kinderheim 511 came to be, he still exhibited psychopathic tendencies, and most of his murders were deliberate and calculated. He also has a bad tendency of making his victims experience the worst possible loss and suffering instead of actually killing them. So these things make him one of the evils and smartest anime characters.
Sora: No Game, No Life
Sora is a NEET and a shut-in, but he is extremely outgoing and confident. He has endless virility and virality, and he is also not afraid to place with people face to face, even when they cheat on him. He is also manipulative, and he complements this as a negotiation and diplomacy skill, and it goes well with his playing style, which is based on logic and calculations.
He can also factor in emotions, behavior, and languages with his tactics. He can be very arrogant at times and would speak condescendingly to those he plays against, especially when he discovered a winning method. He heavily relies on Shiro, as whenever Shiro is not around, he would immediately become spineless and only regains confidence when he can see Shiro.
Shiro: No Game, No Life
Shiro is a genius in logic and problems, even though she has difficulties understanding emotions and behavior. She would mostly rely on Sora to help her defeat beings with emotions, such as when she was up against Ted in their chess class match. She rarely shows any emotions, and despite her genuine intellect, she speaks in short sentences from the third-person perspective.
She has mastered Chess and has managed to win every game that he has played. She is also capable of speaking 18 languages, and she also learned Immanity’s language within only 15 minutes. She is excellent with games, and along with her brother, she is the best in more than 280 games and has shown to have a dry and very twisted sense of humor.
Saiki Kusuo: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Saiki is the main character, and the story is mainly driven by his narrative. He is a fully rounded individual and changes over the course of the series. He is also mischievous as he once made his parents look for him for five hours after he had teleported. He would later smile around others, and over time, he would have to hide his true posers and abilities.
He is also one of the most responsible characters in the series, and he helps with chores around the house. Even though he would not get anything he wants without money, he would save up money to buy things he wants. He is smart to a point where he can cheat in exams, but he decides to settle with the average score to avoid being the center of attention.
Kusrotsuchi Mayuri: Bleach
Kuurotsuchi is a researcher, and he personifies the stereotypes of a mad scientist. From his early actions during the Ryoka Invasion, he was displayed as a sadistic and cruel character. He thinks that everyone and everything are not living beings but objects to be researched upon. Even though he disregards life to this point, he is very obsessive about creating it, and it is his dream to create a soul out of nothing. This led to him being overjoyed when the seventh test of the Nemuri project was a success.
When in battle, Mayuri would toy with his opponents and torture them bit by bit until they could hardly stand up. He did this when fighting Ury, and every time he fought, he used the chance as an experiment to test himself and his opponents. He also uses the opportunity to implant microbes or other things into people in case they would later get away. Despite his crazy and wicked personality, Mayuri appears as one of the smartest anime characters.
Yagami Light: Death Note
Light appears as a hardworking character who is also talented and is a natural genius. He is highly receptive and good with problem-solving skills. He is very good at mapping out scenarios, and he is also popular amongst peers and is adored by his family. His high intelligence and frequent praises from adults laid the foundation for an intense level of hubris, and it quickly took effect once he obtained the notebook.
Light has a strong sense of justice, and he quickly becomes swayed when tainted by the powers of the notebook. He believes that the world is rotten, and he will be using his death note as a means to enact his will and get rid of even people from the world.
L Lawliet: Death Note
L is a very secretive individual and only communicates with the outer world through his assistant. He has never shown his face to the world in person, and instead, he represents himself with a capital letter L. L is also very intelligent, and his disheveled and languid appearance usually hides his great powers of deduction, and many would question his abilities after viewing him.
He tends to second guess things he would be presented with, and he is extremely meticulous and analytical. He can deceive his opponents well, and he can take drastic measures to solve cases. Some of his tactics are very bold, and he is also shown to possess a dry sense of humor throughout the series.
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Edogawa Ranpo: Bungou Stray Stray Dogs
Ranpo is a member of the Armed Detective agency, and even though he is not an ability user, he is known to be one of the best detectives who are highly sought by the police.
He is renowned by his comrades and allies, together with himself, as the greatest detective in the world. He takes extreme pride in his ability to solve any mystery in a very short time and has done so in countless cases.
Shikamaru Nara: Naruto Shippuden
Even though he exhibits a lazy nature, he has a rare intellect that allows him to prevail in combat consistently. He has the responsibilities that his successes leave him and would draw attention to him, which he finds annoying.
He would gladly accept his responsibilities, though, as he wants to be of service to his allies and friends and prove himself to the generations of the past and future as the most powerful weapon the Nara clan can have is their intellect.
Aizen Sosuke: Bleach
Aizen has a polite and soft-spoken intellectual capabilities, and he would often be seen addressing his subordinates by their given names. He has rarely shown any sign of alarm or distress and would often have entire situations planned out well in advance.
When he is confronted, he is casual and uncaring, and he attempts to draw out a conversation while making small talk which would usually infuriate those he talks to.
Lelouch Lamperouge: Code Geass
Lelouch is a calm and highly intelligent individual who is sophisticated and would appear arrogant at times. His aristocratic upbringing led him to conduct himself as a friendly and likable character who is often easygoing.
He usually puts this as a front to hide his true nature, and while he poses as Zero, his real nature can be fully expressed, and his charisma and beliefs in justice gain him the trust and respect of many soldiers and leaders.
Bulma: Dragon Ball Super
Being the brilliant scientist with a temperamental personality and being a bit tomboyish, Bulma is well known for her extreme intellect despite being considerably spoiled. She is always rational when it comes to every situation and is capable of making crucial decisions on he own.
Bulma is persistent on her own goals, and she focuses on being a great scientist as she would usually help out by creating and fixing inventions that would help the Dragon Team. She has managed to establish herself as one of the smartest anime characters.
Urahara Kisuke: Bleach
Looking at the smartest anime characters in Bleach, Urahara Kisuke appears as a laid-back, cheerful, optimistic, and humble eccentric man who shows a deceptiveness and cunning side when the situation calls for it.
He usually uses idle conversations and outward concerns to distract his opponents, and despite his carefree attitude, he always speaks politely. Sometimes he can be sarcastic, and he tends to go over the top with whatever he becomes passionate about.
Senku Ishigami: Dr. Stone
Being known as a straightforward and confident with high logical skills individual, Senku sometimes does come off as arrogant, and his borderline overconfidence does not usually cloud his judgment. He has a vast knowledge of science that he usually uses to back himself up, and he never belittles those who are less known than he is. Instead, he encourages everyone around him to do their best, and due to his charisma and caring nature, people tend to gather around him, be it his supporters or allies.
When he is most excited over something he created or discovered, he usually acts over the top and shows exaggerated emotions despite his usual appearance that brims with confidence and determination. He is not at a point where he doesn’t criticize himself in cases where he misses important information like we saw when Kohaku pointed out the precession of the North Star that Senku used to overlook because he had not internalized the full effects of the years that he was petrified.
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