Top 10 Smartest Anime Characters of All Time

The Top Ten
1 L - Death Note L Lawliet, exclusively known by the mononym L, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

L was literally the greatest detective in the world at age 24. He easily deduced Kira's general location after just a few weeks, even though it could have been anywhere in the world. Throughout most of the series, he was 99% sure that Light was Kira, and the only thing that stopped him from being 100% sure was the lack of evidence. Despite lacking several key pieces of information, L still came pretty close to discovering who Kira was. He only died due to an illogical and unknown factor.

Also, L was specifically designed to not be attractive, but there are probably more girls who are interested in him than there are who would even look at you or me. Just saying...

2 Light Yagami - Death Note Light Yagami is a fictional character and the protagonist of the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Alright, time out! It specifically states that Light defeated L, and L was basically the smartest guy there is. That clearly shows that Light, in many but not all aspects, is smarter than L. In one aspect, he is smarter with social situations, which is a sort of genius. And they basically tie when it comes to strategy solving. Yes, Light lost to Near, but this was only because, as stated, Near could only do this with Mello's help. Individually, they could not surpass L, but together they could. This is why I believe Light should be above L. On the other hand, if L had been more ruthless and less caring of people's lives, he would have won. But my vote still goes to Light.

3 Bulma - Dragon Ball Z Bulma is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Bulma is the most significant female character in the series.

How are Lelouch, Light, Shikamaru, and L Lawliet smarter than her? She built a time machine. She built the dragon radar and laser guns at the age of five when Light would be crying for milk. She could drive a car at the age of five. She can drive spaceships. She can even drive an alien spaceship. And you say Vegeta is better than her? She slapped Beerus while Vegeta just slayed him like a dog. What can Light do? Kill people, lie, read a notebook's instructions? Bulma is way better than him.

Bulma not only made the Dragon Ball radar and a time machine and owns Capsule Corp, but she also found a way to convince the most stubborn and princely of Saiyans to marry her. Plus, she's got Whis and Beerus in her back pocket with all those tasty foods as incentives. She doesn't just have book smarts but also knows how to work with people and gods too. This girl basically has the world in the palm of her hand.

4 Lelouch - Code Geass Lelouch Lamperouge, whose real name is Lelouch vi Britannia, is the title character and protagonist of the Sunrise anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.

My only problem with Lelouch being ranked so high is that he isn't as smart about people as other characters, like Light Yagami, for instance. Lelouch continuously and meticulously maps out plans, and I will concede that these plans are well-made and overall genius. However, he isn't able to predict people's reactions as well as he should. The only time his plans fall apart is when some factor comes into play that he didn't calculate because he doesn't exhaust every possibility that the enemy has.

For example, in one of the first few battles, Lancelot comes shooting into play, and Lelouch is completely shocked. He realizes this will mess up his plan, but he already knew that the enemy had Lancelot. Even if he was aware, he didn't think of any sort of backup or escape plan in case they used Lancelot, which they did. He doesn't map out every scenario, and that's why I don't think he's the smartest character. I do believe he deserves to be on this list because he is obviously a genius, just not this high up. But that's just my opinion.

5 Shikamaru Nara - Naruto Shikamaru Nara is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

There is no one smarter than Shikamaru.

L is a deductive genius but not all that smart. Light would never have even gotten close to winning if it weren't for his father being in the police force. Lelouch is an absolute genius, but Shikamaru is smarter. Zarbon is surprisingly smart and might, like Bardock, be able to see the future. Only, Bulma isn't smart. She's just gifted and has her father to help. She was only able to build the time machine because of her father's blueprints and ideas.

Well... enough said.

6 Vegeta - Dragon Ball Z Vegeta is an anime fictional character from the anime series, Dragon Ball Z, created by Akira Toriyama.

Vegeta is a mastermind. He thinks quickly and can bluff his way out of anything. He can deceive many people, like in the Android Saga against Android 19. Plus, he can fight. P.S., he is on par with Goku, and Whis in the Revival of F stated that if he relaxed and wasn't as tense, he would surpass Goku.

Badass, sexy, a prince, strong, proud, a complete genius - he is just perfect. Bulma is so lucky, but she deserves him. They were meant to be.

He's definitely quick-witted. I love it when he makes fun of everyone. He's like the male version of Santana Lopez.

7 Zarbon - Dragon Ball Zarbon is Frieza's right hand man and highest ranking Commander and General in an army of millions. He is always beside his master and emperor, Lord Frieza, following his orders and carrying out his dirty work alongside his comrade, Dodoria. Zarbon is responsible for advising Frieza on numerous matters,... read more

Acting as Frieza's advisor for many years, Zarbon caused many of Frieza's diabolical decisions. This includes the decimation of Burdock's team, the wiping out of the Saiyan race, and pointing out Vegeta's betrayal. All the things Zarbon warned Frieza about came true, and his intelligence played a large factor in adding to Frieza's hatred toward his opponents and fueling the rage against the Saiyan race. As Dodoria was Frieza's deadly brute, Zarbon was the intellectual aide, helping Frieza achieve further grandeur, conquer numerous planets, and even aiding in the collection of the Dragon Balls. The success of Frieza's forces is largely thanks to Zarbon's patience and diligent loyalty.

Even as the Ginyu Force served as a backup mercenary squadron for emergency situations, no one was more trustworthy and loyal to Frieza than Zarbon. This is why he was kept at Frieza's side at all times, not just to protect the Emperor but also to contribute guidance and recommend battle maneuvers that resulted in the conquering of galaxies at a profitable level. All this and Zarbon was Frieza's right-hand man, possessing the ability to transform into a demonic reptilian beast and being the only other member of the army to hold Frieza's secret that he too could transform at will.

8 Aizen - Bleach

Simply because of how well he formulates his grand plan, one that spans over 100 years and goes perfectly for him. He is also one of the few villains in all of anime that actually succeeds in becoming immortal. Not much you can do about that.

Genius. Although Gin is about the same.

9 Itachi Uchiha - Naruto Itachi Uchiha is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

The fact that Itachi Uchiha isn't at least in the top 10 of this list makes no sense whatsoever. The fact that Sakura, SAKURA, has taken his place at number ten leaves me in absolute disbelief. Let's start and take a look at all of Itachi's feats of intelligence.

First, he was the second youngest Academy graduate behind Kakashi at a mere age of 7. Second, this man is responsible for quite possibly one of the most intricate and deceiving plans in all of anime history. Not only did he destroy the Uchiha clan and fool his entire village and his younger brother (save for a select few of elders) for half of his lifetime, but he also fooled the people who thought they had control over him.

This man is so intelligent, appearing as a villain to both of the parties he was serving (Akatsuki and Konoha), and he planned it out so perfectly that, in the end, had it not been for Obito working with him to destroy the Uchiha, the secrets behind his true intentions would have long been forgotten. Itachi is a masterful planner and an amazing character, and I don't understand, for the life of me, how SAKURA is ahead of him on this list.

10 Trunks - Dragon Ball Z Trunks is an anime fictional character from the anime series, Dragon Ball Z, created by Akira Toriyama.

My Trunks is actually pretty smart. He at least needs to be a bit higher, like at ten or something...

Trunks hasn't shown any signs of being smart. People are just biased because he's Bulma's son.

He got it from his mama. Literally the smartest kid after Bulma.

The Contenders
11 Dr. Brief - Dragon Ball Z

Another genius member of the Brief family. Should be right up there with Bulma.

12 Gohan - Dragon Ball Z Son Gohan is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Gohan is introduced as the first son of the protagonist Goku, and his wife Chi-Chi, in chapter #196 Kakarrot, first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on October 24, 1988. Chi-Chi is a strict and protective... read more

Gohan should take Vegeta's place. Vegeta is not a cool character. He's just a hot-headed dumbass who could never get anything right. A strategic analytical mind? More like a stupid so-called prince who pokes his stupid nose into everything, causing the villains to become 10 times stronger due to his overconfidence, then getting his ass beaten. He deserved it.

Gohan, on the other hand, is smart academically and strategically, inheriting Goku's great battle smarts.

I used to wonder how Gohan got so smart when his parents seem less intellectual. Then I realized he was around Bulma and Piccolo a lot. They unleashed the nerd in him.

13 Conan Edogawa - Detective Conan Jimmy Kudo, known in Japan and internationally as Shinichi Kudo, is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the manga series Case Closed and its adaptations, created by Gosho Aoyama.

Conan is smart, the smartest on the show (besides KID), but I think he flaunts it too much. He assumes no one can figure out anything without him speaking for them (though he is right, I mean his best friend can't see it's him even after all the hints?). I guess that's his fatal flaw, but I am not disagreeing with his IQ because, like people have said, he is only 17 and a great detective.

Can we please push him higher?

I've watched Death Note, and I know that L and Light are awfully intelligent. But this guy is so damn versatile!

He can read lip syncs, has a perfect pitch, can plan elaborate plans involving the FBI and the BO, and even Akai Shuichi appreciated his brain during his fake death! He's a believable and super smart guy!

14 Shikaku Nara - Naruto

You all say Shikamaru is smart, but his father is 100 times more intelligent. He commanded, all by himself, every single able ninja in the war, with no help. Every Kage and ninja commended him as his plans were the greatest.

15 Near - Death Note Nate River, exclusively known by the mononym Near, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Near was able to almost match Light in intelligence. He gets my vote.

He's confirmed to be smarter than L. And he is just as smart as Light at 7 years old.

He was the smartest person among other anime characters. He also defeated Light with his intelligence. And I am sure that if every anime character fought with him, he would also defeat everyone.

16 Android 18 - Dragon Ball Z

18 got a lucky shot with Vegeta and Trunks. Just Toriyama being a complete butthole to the two most badass characters in DB history.

Smart, badass, and pretty. She defeated Vegeta. Even Trunks can't defeat her. Kicked Vegeta's ass. She is awesome.

17 Dr. Gero - Dragon Ball Z
18 Shiro - No Game No Life Shiro (Japanese: 白) is the main female protagonist of the light novel and anime series, No Game No Life and the calm and calculative half of the siblings... read more

She should be way higher because she is a breathing supercomputer in a little girl's body. She is smarter than the three Ls. I mean, could L memorize every position in a chess game? Hell no! She predicted where projectiles would land with mere calculations. Judging by my analysis, her IQ is over 250+. She is far more impressive than Shikamaru. I swear L, Light, and Lelouch are overrated.

Shiro is able to figure out games and schemes in a matter of seconds! She can learn a new language in minutes! She has never lost a game of chess, and on top of that, she's only 11!

19 Johan Liebert - Monster Johan Liebert is a character in the anime and manga series Monster, created by Naoki Urasawa. He is the twin brother of the main character, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, and serves as the primary antagonist. Johan is a highly intelligent, manipulative individual with a mysterious past, capable of bending people... read more

Most of the characters on this list feel like they're smart because the author said that... and that's all. In many cases, when the author tries to support this claim, it ends up more as a meme than anything else. That's why we all love L. We see his schemes and planning with some reasoning, but in my opinion, Johan Liebert would see pretty easily through his schemes. The only reason why he is so low on this list is that not that many people have watched the anime or read the manga.

So Sakura is in the top 10 but Johan isn't? Clearly, the common person watching anime doesn't know anything about Johan and his intelligence. He's more intelligent than L and Light combined. People are idiots. Johan is so intelligent that he can make all the people on this list kill each other by the sheer skill of manipulation. Those who've watched Monster know what I'm talking about.

20 Kisuke Urahara - Bleach Kisuke Urahara is a fictional character in the Bleach manga series and its adaptations created by Tite Kubo.

The cleverest Bleach character should be in the top ten. Even Aizen admits that Kisuke is the only Soul Reaper more clever than him. He created the Hogyoku and founded the Research and Development.

Definitely smart, should be part of top ten.

Even Aizen admits that Kisuke is the only Soul Reaper that has greater intellect than him.

21 Sora - No Game No Life Sora (Japanese: 空) is the main male protagonist of the anime and light novel series, No Game No Life. He is the cunning and manipulative half of the siblings... read more

In raw calculating intelligence, his sister actually beats him. However, in games where you need to play the player, not just the game (which, to be honest, is most of them in this show), he comes out on top. He's an absurd genius, capable of forming extremely accurate profiles of people he's just met and able to use those to manipulate them. He thinks several steps ahead of pretty much anyone and has contingency plans for days.

I'd rank him around Shikamaru in tactical and strategic ability, and above in mental processing power. He's not as good as his sister here, but he still learned an entire language in about an hour and can make amazing mathematical projections.

The only reason he's this low on the list is because NGNL is a bit niche in comparison to things like Naruto and Death Note. He does kind of fail at normal life, but that's not a product of intelligence (or lack thereof). It's more like a form of PTSD (that's played for laughs in the show) and the natural result of basically living in his gaming room semi-permanently.

22 Izaya Orihara - Durarara!!

He may not seem overly smart at first, but to be able to manipulate and lie to people as successfully as him, you need to be very intelligent. Aside from also being fluent in Russian, his little rants about the afterlife and Northern mythology show that he can be very book smart and philosophical as well.

Izaya is not only intelligent but also capable of manipulating others' behaviors by merely saying a few words. Not only that, but it is shown that he can fight quite a bit. He is also fluent in Russian, and hell, he can escape and injure the strongest man in Ikebukuro.

23 Ging Freecss - Hunter x Hunter

He predicted his son's life from A to Z, and the votes of the Zodiacs. He also has a huge knowledge base and is the only one, for the moment, who can match Pariston's intelligence.

24 Mello - Death Note Mihael Keehl, universally referred to by the mononym Mello, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

The anime doesn't do this character justice. In the manga and the Death Note novel, he's a genius.

He outmaneuvered Light and was also the reason for Kira's downfall. He should be at least top ten.

25 Skuld - Ah! My Goddess
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