There has been many anime series that bent our minds, create the most cunning strategies, and pulling all the strings behind the scenes in very elaborate ways that we may never had thought of. The people that do these are some of the most intellectual characters in fiction, but which are the most intellectual in anime? Over 5,000 people have voted to pick out their top intellectual anime characters of all time in a Charapedia survey. Of those 5,000 voters, 56.7% were male, 43.3% were female, 82.5% were in their teens or 20s and 17.5% were over 30 years old.
Do note that there will be character bios of the top 20 that may contain minor spoilers. So, who are the Top 20 Most Intellectual Anime Characters?
20. Shoichi Imayoshi (Kuroko’s Basketball) – 78 Votes
Touou High’s captain and Point Guard, he is a well-spoken and superficially kind on first glance, but hides a somewhat darker personality that more subtly reveals itself in conversation. Speaking in the typically polite Kansai dialect, Imayoshi laces what would be pleasant conversation with slight jabs at other’s weaknesses and understated but absolute expressions of his own confidence. While he displays no unique skills, he is a highly effective captain, culling the collective efforts of the Touou team (widely known for being composed of individuals with very specialized styles and poor compatibility with other teammates).
19. Yuki Nagato (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) – 101 Votes
Yuki Nagato is a quiet high school freshman that is the only member of the SOS Brigade that was not “voluntarily arrested,” or coerced into joining, by Haruhi Suzumiya. When Haruhi claimed the empty Literature Club as the SOS Brigade’s clubroom, Yuki was found reading there. Haruhi claimed the clubroom and Yuki as part of the Brigade, both of which she didn’t mind. She lives alone in the same apartment complex as Ryoko Asakura. She wears glasses and her school uniform at all times, only discarding the former after Kyon babbled that she was cuter without them and that he wasn’t a ‘glasses man’, and the latter when the SOS Brigade went on vacation.
18. Kiyomaro Takamine (Konjiki no Gash Bell!!) – 107 Votes
Kiyomaro is a genius junior high student (Middle school student in Japan) who doesn’t have any friends because people around jealous of him being too smart. He is soon given Gash to care for by his father. Gash makes Kiyomaro believe in himself and together they fight other mamonos to become the King of Mamonos.
17. Hidetoshi Dekisugi (Doraemon) – 114 Votes
A sometimes-appearing character, Dekisugi is Nobita’s main rival for Shizuka. His intelligence always gets him perfect scores on his tests, and he easily aced any sports he played. Although his favorites are Astronomy and Philosophy, he excels at any subject. Thus, it’s not rare for him to receive calls by his friends, asking for guidance or tips.
Dekisugi was highly esteemed by people around him. His good behavior and academic + athletic excellence, earns him the title of “honor student” from the teachers. A wide range of skills plus his good looks, have charmed “not a few” girls in his class, and one of them is Shizuka. This seemingly “perfect” image of a prince, made him to be the subject of envy by his classmates, particularly and especially by Nobita.
16. Sailor Mercury (Sailor Moon) – 123 Votes
A quiet bookworm in Usagi’s class, called Amy in the English adaptations of the series. She is hugely intelligent, with an IQ of 300, and can transform into Sailor Mercury, acquiring power over water. Ami’s shy exterior masks a passion for knowledge and for taking care of the people around her. She hopes to be a doctor one day, like her mother, and tends to be the practical one in the group. Secretly, she is also a fan of pop culture and romance novels, and becomes embarrassed whenever this is pointed out.
15. Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan) – 140 Votes
Eren’s best friend, he is physically and emotionally weak. Even though lacking in actual combat, Armin is a genius on theoretical courses and can make plans even under extreme pressure. Even so, Armin kept on thinking that he is weak. He himself does not notice the things he does for Eren and Mikasa, and believes himself to be completely incompetent and hates himself for having to rely of Eren and Mikasa.
14. Izaya Orihara (Durarara!!) – 146 Votes
A young man who sells information for his own enjoyment. He claims to love the entire human race except for Shizuo Heiwajima, and exhibits said love by putting humans in often miserable conditions and observing their reactions.
He attended Raira Academy with Shizuo, Shinra and Kadota. According to Shinra, Izaya and Shizuo hated each other with a passion almost from the point they met. In the novels Izaya framed Shizuo for crimes on several occasions. In the anime he puts Shizuo in constant problems, such as gangs attacking him daily up to framing him of crimes. He is also fluent in Russian.
13. Keima Katsuragi (The World God Only Knows) – 152 Votes
Keima Katsuragi is a 17-year-old high school student attending Maijima High School Academy. At an early age, he acquired an obsessive interest in video games; now he is known as “The Capturing God” in the gaming world for his legendary skills in “capturing” any girls in dating sims. But ironically, he is called otamegane (a derogatory portmanteau of the two words otaku and megane-“glasses”) by almost everyone in his school due to his extreme devotion to videogames. Despite himself saying he likes girls, it’s the perfectly theoretical and beautiful girls of the game world that he prefers, not the girls in reality. His love for games is such that he even goes into withdrawal if he doesn’t play games enough and he has the bad habit of locking himself in his room and playing games for days on end when he’s depressed.
Also, despite the fact he even plays video games in class, he is still at the top of class in every subject. During a scolding of a teacher for his gaming habits, Keima reasoned that all would be fine as long as he aced all his exams; he then proceeded to do so, demonstrating a great academic ability. It is shown that Keima’s analytical skills he utilises to “capture” girls is also applied by him in his studies, proven true when he flawlessly predicted the questions on the upcoming English test based on the teacher’s personality and the examination extent.
12. Makoto Hanamiya (Kuroko’s Basketball) – 182 Votes
Hanamiya “Bad Boy” Makoto is one of Kirisaki Daīchi High’s players and an Uncrowned King. He is known for his foul and underhanded play and is the cause of Teppei’s knee injury last year. Makoto has a great influence on his teammates. He can develop an underhanded plan and make them execute them as asked. He uses dirty tactics to foul players out, sometimes even forcing them to stop basketball for some time. He is sometimes hypocritic about his tactics, but doesn’t deny them either. When he gave the sign for Kiyoshi’s “execution”, he said to himself “Rest in peace”, which gives him a very sinister appearance.
He is also of the thought that whether it be genius or prodigy, once broken it will just be garbage. With this he means that it doesn’t matter how good they are, if his team can break him, then it won’t matter at all.He also doesn’t like it when things don’t go his way.
11. Sora (No Game No Life) – 192 Votes
Abandoned by his parents, Sora is a brilliant NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) hikikomori (shut-in) gamer along with his stepsister, Shiro. He does not take life very seriously and is pretty much a good for nothing gamer. One day, he and his sister are called into an alternate world and they have to become Saviors of Humanity!
Sora is tall and thin with spiky brown hair, and constantly wears a sly grin on his face. Despite being a NEET and a shut in, Sora is extremely outgoing and confident, and is not afraid to play games with people face to face, even when they’re cheating. He is also extremely manipulative – which he refers to as using negotiating skills. This fits in with his play style as while Shiro is excellent at logic and computing, Sora can read people and predict what their next move is, using this knowledge to beat them.
Sora is extroverted and has no problems dealing with people. While not as intelligent as Shiro, he is shown to have a brilliant IQ. Rather than computing numbers like Shiro, Sora can rapidly compute what his opponents are going to do based on observing their behavior and motivations.
10. L Lawliet (Death Note) – 212 Votes
L, who also uses the aliases Hideki Ryuga, Ryuzaki, Eraldo Coil and Deneuve, the latter two for which he has developed reputations as the second—and third—best detectives in the world, is quite secretive and only communicates with the world through his assistant Watari. He never shows his face to the world, instead representing himself with a capital L in Cloister Black font. After meeting the Kira investigation team, he requests that the task force refer to him as Ryuzaki for discretion. The Kira investigation team never learns his true name.
L’s disheveled and languid appearance masks his great powers of deduction and insight. He tends to second-guess everything he is presented with, and is extremely meticulous and analytical. He has several quirks such as preferring to crouch rather than sit, eating only sweet foods like desserts and fruits, and holding items very delicately. L stayed in England for five years, and during that time he was the champion in tennis for the England Junior Cup. L also secretly assumes the identities of the world’s second and third best detectives, (Eraldo Coil and Deneuve respectively).
9. Shintaro Kisaragi (Mekakucity Actors) – 257 Votes
Shintaro Kisaragi is a hikikomori with an IQ of 168. In middle school and high school, before he was a hikikomori, he performed at the top of his class in National Mock Examinations. He is no longer in school. After dropping out, a mysterious software enters into his computer named “Ene,” and, being unable to control her actions, his lifestyle is at a loss. Due to one of Ene’s pranks, his computer breaks down, so both Ene and him go to the department store for shopping where they happen upon a group of terrorists. They end up stopping them together with the Mekakushi Dan. After this, he and Ene come to join the Mekakushi Dan. He is Momo’s brother.
8. Shintarou Midorima (Kuroko’s Basketball) – 264 Votes
Midorima often acts reserved, mean, and brusque with others, coming off as arrogant—although Takao claims Midorima is just “tsundere.” He has a hard time acting kind to his opponents and generally hates “fooling around” (although Takao often pursues him into it). He can be seen, at all times, with a lucky item due to his strong belief and passion for horoscope. He is left-handed, and always bandages his dominant hand outside of matches (claiming that his hand must be in perfect condition so nothing will influence his shot). He also shapes his nails so that his hands will be in perfect form for shooting.
His strength is his absolute accuracy, which is shown in his shots that always go in. He can shoot accurately no matter how far he is from the ring. He is also a really good defender.
7. Tatsuya Shiba (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei) – 293 Votes
Shiba Tatsuya is a First Year Student in Course 2 of the First High School. He is the eldest son of Four Leaves Technology (FLT) company’s president, part of the Yotsuba clan. His only sibling is Shiba Miyuki. Since he was born in April and Miyuki born in March, they are studying in the same year according to Japanese school system. Miyuki scores at the top of the class of freshmen, while Tatsuya scores near the bottom in the technical skills portion. The school is split between the high scoring students, blooms, and the low scoring students, weeds.
6. Tsubasa Hanekawa (Bakemonogatari) – 363 Votes
Tsubasa Hanekawa is Koyomi Araragi’s classmate and a class representative in Naoetsu Private High School. She is known at school as an overachiever and model student who is admired by many. However, hidden by her achievements in school and her kind personality is a tense family life caused by unfortunate circumstances.
Tsubasa is also a wealth of information due to her study habits, but keeps humble about it, always stating that “I don’t know everything, I just know what I know” to those who commend her knowledge on the least expected.
5. Shiro (No Game No Life) – 366 Votes
Shiro is a 11 year old genius NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), hikikomori (shut-in) gamer along with her step-brother.
Shiro is described as a genius in logic and problems, but has difficulty understanding emotions or behaviour, relying on Sora to help her defeat human opponents such as Tet in their chess match. She also rarely shows much emotion at all on her face and, despite her genius intellect, speaks in short terse sentences. Shiro is extremely close to her brother, to the point of needing him by her side at all times to be comfortable. She is also shown to have a dry and somewhat twisted sense of humour, and displays signs of jealousy if Sora pays serious attention to other girls, showing she has a brother complex.
4. Seijuro Akashi (Kuroko’s Basketball) – 503 Votes
The final member of the Generation of Miracles, he stood at their head as captain, leading their team to uncontested victory during the three years he played for Teikou Middle School. He is uninterested in winning, simply because victory in his eyes is an absolute given, requisite to his own life as much as breathing. But he has grown tired of victory in the absence of a chance of defeat.
He is able to control the Generation of Miracles, the only person shown so far whom they submit to. He has a certain level of respect for all of his teammates, former and present, and has utter faith in their abilities. He possesses a strong winners-mentality, believing that winners get everything in life while losers are denied all.
3. Conan Edogawa (Detective Conan) – 369 Votes
At the beginning of the series, Shinichi is a 17-year old student at Teitan High School. He is already well-known as a brilliant young detective, the “Savior of the police force”, for solving many difficult cases that the professionals could not. However, while investing 2 mysterious men, he is spotted and forced to swallow an experimental poison known as APTX 4869. This results in his body shrinking to that of a 6 year old.
Shinichi comes up with the alias Conan Edogawa after Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Rampo and pretends to be a distant relative of Agasa’s who places Conan in Ran’s care. Ran’s father Kogoro Mouri, owns a Detective Agency which Conan uses to his advantage to discover cases involving the Black Organization.
By solving cases one after the other, he helps build up Kogoro’s reputation who will later on be referred to as “Sleeping Kogoro”. He also spends a good amount of time with his Detective Boys fellows and solves many small cases with them and sometimes in the company of Professor Agasa.
2. Light Yagami (Death Note) – 659 Votes
Light is a third year high school student at Daikoku Private Academy who also attends supplemental classes at Gamou Prep Academy in the beginning of the story. Light has a father, Soichiro Yagami, who is the head of the Police Force. Light also has a mother, Sachiko Yagami, and a younger sister, Sayu Yagami.
In Spring 2004, Light becomes a first-year student at To-Oh University becoming one of two freshman representatives. Yagami Light is a brilliant college student. He uses the Death Note to create his ideal world of justice under him; its new God. Though he looks frail, Light is an extremely athletic person, with an aptitude to find an opponent’s weak point. He is a genius, which adds to his notion that only he is fit to judge humanity and steer it on a proper moral course.
1. Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch) – 718 Votes
Lelouch is a student of Ashford Academy high school, where he is a member of its student council. A brilliant thinker who is quite talented at chess, he lives with his younger sister, Nunnally, with their maid, Sayoko Shinozaki, at a house situated within the compounds of Ashford Academy, where they are looked after by the Ashford family. He is highly intelligent, possessing a genius-level intellect, and is capable of devising and executing strategies with incredible speed and precision.
Physically, Lelouch is underwhelming. He possesses the physical prowess of a teenager who engages in little to no strenuous physical activity. Thus, one of Lelouch’s traits is the inability to run very fast or for any substantial period of time.
Lelouch is also shown to be very talented at most domestic skills, including cooking and sewing; it has been stated that this comes as a result of his taking care of himself and Nunnally for seven years. He has been shown to be an excellent cook, and is usually the one cooking the food for parties held by the Student Council, both because the others are terrible cooks and nobody else can meet his exacting requirements (such as measuring ingredients to three significant decimals).
And these are the Top 20 Most Intellectual Anime Characters as voted by over 5,000 people over at Charapedia. Does this list makes sense to you or do you feel that someone is missing or misplaced? Let us know below.