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Top 10 Smartest Heroes In Anime

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Hannah Collins Though many rely on their brawn to fight injustice, these heroes are all about brain power. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten smartest heroes in anime. For this list, we’re looking at anime’s heroic figures that use their genius intellect for good. So sorry, but the baddies will have to sit this one out. Special thanks to our user Jordan Fort, Donathan Rogers, and Ashley Hooker for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Smartest Heroes In Anime

Though many rely on their brawn to fight injustice, these heroes are all about brain power.
Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten smartest heroes in anime.

For this list, we’re looking at anime’s heroic figures that use their genius intellect for good. So sorry, but the baddies will have to sit this one out.

#10: Shiroe

“Log Horizon” (2013-15)
In the real world, Kei Shirogane was just a 23-year-old, reclusive, engineering student. That all changed when he became trapped in the largest MMORPG in history, “Elder Tale”, and took on the mantle of “Shiroe”. As Shiroe, Kei became not only a powerful Enchanter-Scribe, but also one of best strategists in the game. He honed his strategic chops working with the Debauchery Tea Party group, practising and eventually mastering his signature skill, “Full Control Encounter”. Despite staying humble, his scheming ways soon earned him the nickname, “Villain In Glasses”, from his guild-mates

#9: Rintaro Okabe

“Steins;Gate” (2011-)
Despite being just 18-years-old, Rintaro already runs his own laboratory, “Future Gadgets Labs”. Okay, it may be tiny, situated above a CRT store, and only have a handful of Lab members, but the Gadgets Rintaro and his team create are still ambitious - even if they don’t always work as expected. One such wacky invention is the “Phone Microwave” which was built as a remote-controlled microwave, but ends up as a “Time-Leap” machine that Rintaro can’t resist using to heroically mess with the past.

#8: Victorique de Blois

“Gosick” (2011)
Imagine if the brain of Sherlock Holmes was somehow transplanted into the body of a 15-year-old, French, schoolgirl, and you get Victorique - pipe-smoking and all. The diminutive detective is a student at the prestigious, “Saint Marguerite Academy”, and spends as much time as possible in the school’s impressive library. Victorique’s incredible mind is tailor-made for sleuthing - As using her photographic memory, She can easily recall and use stored information abnormally fast. She’s also keenly observant, to the point of being able to reconstruct scenes with scary accuracy.

#7: Shiba Tatsuya

“The Irregular At Magic High School” (2014)
17-year-old Shiba enrolls at the “First High School”, though he harbours much grander plans beyond the school walls. Due to his shadowy past, Shiba possesses incredible magical and combative abilities. Other than devotion to his twin sister Miyuki, Shiba makes up for his lack of emotional freedom by channelling his mental energy into achieving outstanding academic grades and pioneering magical weapons tech. Call him a Gary Stu, but this over-powered magic user is one of the smartest around.

#6: Kurosensei

“Assassination Classroom” (2015-16)
Everything about Kurosensei seems to scream of villainy, and yet, Kuro-sensei is much more morally ambiguous than he appears. What’s clear though, is his superior intellect. Once he made the unlikely career shift to homeroom teacher, his talents focussed on being able to teach any subject, using his unique abilities to teach an entire class at once with after-images. Despite his monstrous appearance and shadowy past, he turns out to be an excellent tutor. Dangerously good, in fact.

#5: Shiro

“No Game No Life” (2014)
This is one 11-year-old gamer you better hope you don’t go up against online. As one half of the gaming team, “Blank”, Shiro is one of the most skilled First Person Shooter players in the world due to her uncanny ability to predict her opponent's moves. Her step-brother Sora - the other half of team Blank - explains that her strategic skills were sharpened beating a chess simulator designed for a grandmaster an impressive 20 times in a row. Shiro also speaks 18 languages and, like her brother, has a photographic memory and super-fast information recall.

#4: Shikamaru Nara

“Naruto” (2002-7)
A shinobi of the Nara clan and key member of “Team Ten”, Shikamaru is considered one of the smartest characters in Naruto. Not that you’d know it straight away. Shikamaru’s grades at the Academy lead many to underestimated him, but he quickly dispelled this image when he became the only member of his class to pass the Chuunin Exam. His teacher Asuna estimated his IQ to be over 200, which Shikamaru demonstrates as he finds new and innovative uses for his “Shadow Imitation” technique. But, he usually hides his superior intelligence under a cloak of sheer indifference.

#3: L

“Death Note” (2006-7)
Every great villain needs an equally great hero to try and stop them, and the murderous Light Yagami found that in L. L is so talented at solving crime that he is not only considered the greatest PI in the world, but through two of his other detective aliases’ - Ryuzaki and Eraldo Coil - the second and third greatest too. Always in need of a challenge, he specifically takes on cases that have stumped governments around the world, like the “Kira” case.

#2: Lelouch Lamperouge

“Code Geass” (2006-17)
Also known by his real name, Lelouch vi Britannia, as well as his masked alter-ego, “Zero”, he’s a freedom fighter who will stop at nothing to achieve his noble cause - even if that means resorting to less than heroic tactics. After Lelouch is gifted with a power known as “Geass”, he is galvanized to finally try and destroy the Holy Britannian Empire, headed by his villainous father. Even before gaining his unique power, Lelouch was already a daunting force to be reckoned with thanks to his prodigious intelligence and strategic skills.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

Keima Katsuragi
“The World Only God Knows” (2010-)

Yang Wenli
“Legend of the Galactic Heroes” (1988-)

“Terror in Resonance” (2014)

#1: Shinichi Kudo/Conan Edogawa

“Case Closed/Detective Conan” (1996-)
He was an ordinary 16-year-old high school student with a not so ordinary double-life. As a gifted amateur detective, he was known for solving the unsolvable cases that eluded professionals. One day, Shinichi’s life becomes even more unusual when he has a strange reaction to a poison he is forced to drink. Rather than kill him, it causes his body to regress to childhood. Luckily, his incredible IQ remains intact, but his new body means he must hide his true identity under the pseudonym, “Detective Conan”. As well as his acute observation, deductive and memorizing expertise, he also learns to use his “childhood innocence” to best his adult peers.

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