14 Smartest Anime Characters of All Time

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John Wayne's character in Sands of Iwo Jima said, "Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."  

There's a lot of truth in that statement, but thankfully many of these anime characters have genius-level intellects that make their lives exponentially easier than their contemporaries. 

So here’are the 14 of the most intelligent characters in anime!

1. L Lawliet (Death Note)

When making a list of the smartest guys in anime, you start off by writing the letter L and then figuring out the rest from there. 

L is the genius detective from the hit anime and manga series Death Note, and what makes him stick out in particular is there's something about his mannerisms that make his intelligence seem completely believable. 

It's not like he's just some bloke who read the script beforehand. He acts in the inquisitive, socially awkward way you expect a genius to act.


2. Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch)

The boy who overthrew an empire with nothing but a mask, a cape and a nasty case of pink eye. 

He's intelligent enough to know when he needs to put on a performance, to exploit the weaknesses of his enemies, and throw a nation into chaos while repeatedly escaping detection. 

A ruthless strategist and mastermind tactician, he's easily a match for anyone else on this list.

3. Light Yagami (Death Note)

Light Yagami 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!

4. Nara Shikamaru (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!

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