The 10 Most Intelligent Anime Characters, According to MyAnimeList

2022 has brought attention back to some popular anime series known for their intelligent characters and protagonists, such as Shikamaru Nara from the Naruto/Boruto franchise, Erwin Smith from Attack on Titan and Sosuke Aizen from Bleach.

Highly intelligent characters can be crucial to anime titles for a number of reasons, but most often they are the ones who work out specific or mysterious plans, find hidden information from the rest of the characters, or use their intellect to their advantage against their opponents. Intellect is often overlooked in anime as a real threat because of sheer powerhouses with more physical abilities and strengths. However, fans on MyAnimeList have narrowed down specific characters that take advantage of their power of intelligence and differentiate themselves from their competitors as a real threat.


10 Yang Wen-Li (Legend of the Galactic Heroes)

Yang Wen-li is a character from Legend of the Galactic Heroes known for his role as an officer in the Free Planets Alliance space fleet. He is considered one of the greatest admirals in human history, impressing with the considerable military tactical skills he carried on the battlefield.

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Yang found a way to consistently defeat the threats of his opponents, despite having fewer resources than them, and was known for following his ideals without deviating from them throughout his life. Yang was not only a brilliant military tactician, but also had the skills to navigate delicate political and democratic situations, which set him apart from others.

9 Conan Edogawa (Detective Conan)

Conan Edogawa is the main character of Detective Conan and the alter ego of Shinichi Kudo. After Shinichi’s body is transformed into a younger child, he plans to adopt the alias Conan and continue to use his impressive detective skills to solve crimes.

Conan has impeccable attention to detail, which allows him to spot clues and inconsistencies in matters that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. He is an incredibly logical person and uses his thinking pattern to work out important details in almost all cases, allowing him to link these details back to the crime. His childlike appearance also allows him to arouse less suspicion in others when working on a case, and Conan has worked out exactly how to take advantage of this advantage.

8 Shiba Tatsuya (The Irregular at Magic High School)

Shiba Tatsuya is the main character of the anime series, The Irregular At Magic High School. He is a student of the Magic Engineering Course and is known as one of the most outstanding students both in the field of magic and academically.

Tatsuya is incredibly intelligent and analytical, with his greatest success in his invention, “The Freed Suit”, which grants the user flight, something the most intelligent magicians in the world had not done for centuries. Tatsuya is able to instantly categorize a person as either hostile or non-hostile, and is able to answer the most complex mathematical equations in milliseconds, proving the significance of his intelligent mind.

7 John Liebert (sample)

John Liebert is the main antagonist of sample oneand an incredibly charismatic and intelligent person who has lived in many locations for many years. He operates under various aliases and uses his human skills to manipulate and corrupt others, purely for his own pleasure.

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The way John uses his genius-level intelligence to get the better people and manipulate them to do his bidding is terrifying and part of what makes him such a fascinating adversary. John is able to remember everything and excelled during his training. While John had the potential to do well with his abilities, he instead uses them to bring darkness into the world, even manipulating certain individuals into committing serious crimes or harming himself.

6 Shikamaru Nara (Naruto)

Shikamaru Nara is an important side character everywhere naruto. Shikamaru is often referred to as a ninja with genius intellect, and there are many quotes uttered by Shikamaru. Naruto who prove this.

Shikamaru was one of the first characters to be promoted to Chunin after the Chunin exams, due to his considerable use of intelligence in all three rounds. He then became a Jonin after the Fourth Great Ninja War, working as an advisor to Kakashi Hatake and Naruto Uzumaki during their roles as the sixth and seventh Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village.

5 Ginko (Mushishi)

Ginko is a main character in the whole Mushishi anime, known for solving Mushi cases. Ginko is a laid-back, yet smart individual who is known for rarely visiting the same location more than once, earning him the title of a “wanderer.”

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Ginko is calm and smart throughout the series and it is shown that he is always aware of his role as a researcher of the supernatural life forms known as Mushi. Ginko can identify when a problem or event is caused by Mushi and knows best how to help people with problems related to it, proving his very niche, yet important intelligence.

4 Light Yagami (Death Note)

Light Yagami is the main character everywhere Obituary and is known as a character who appears to be a protagonist but gradually develops into the primary antagonist of the story.

Incredibly calculated and cunning in his actions, Light Yagami is often referred to as one of the smartest anime antagonists of all time. Light’s wits and intelligence are absolutely undeniable throughout the storyline as he is constantly pitted against the best detectives in the world, whom he constantly outsmarts. Light is extremely thorough in his actions, making several detailed plans and often manipulating others to his advantage with his charisma and social intelligence, which sets him apart from other similar characters.

Edward Elric is the main character of Fullmetal Alchemist and is known as one of the brightest shonen anime protagonists. Edward can be quite energetic and crazy, causing others to ignore him at first glance, but he has proven to be one of the most capable alchemists in the series.

Edward is a bit of an alchemy prodigy, having taught himself some of the most complicated alchemy in the world at the age of 10. Edward has a genius intellect that he uses not only with alchemy but also as a fighter in battle. Edward is able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents and combine them with his alchemy skills to counter his enemies.

2 L Lawliet (Obituary)

L Lawliet is a character in Obituary best known as the detective who opposes Light Yagami throughout the series and investigates Kira’s mystery. L is constantly quirky, but undeniably intelligent, throughout the show.

L has unique mannerisms that portray his intelligence as sincere and believable to the public. As one of the smartest anime characters of all time, he is fascinating to watch as he unravels the mysteries surrounding Kira and the Death Note. L manages to put information together in a calculated and thorough way that allowed him to correctly identify Light as the prime suspect, while others would have overlooked him time and time again.

1 Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)

Lelouch Lamerouge is a protagonist in Code Geass known for being highly intelligent and sophisticated. Lelouch is a mastermind strategist and knows exactly when to put in a feat to achieve his goals.

Lelouch knew exactly what needed to be done to achieve his ideals and was not afraid to sacrifice the lives of others to achieve them. Lelouch was able to stay one step ahead of his opponents, read their tactics and respond with his own moves of precision and power.

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