Top 10 Anime Moments Where Characters Outsmarted Each Other



Top 10 Anime Moments Where Characters Outsmarted Each Other

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Being one step ahead has never been so flashy. Join Ashley as we look over the times anime characters pulled off genius moves, as seen in series such as "Attack on Titan", "Death Note", "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure", and more!
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 10 Anime Moments That Were Pure Genius

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Moments That Were Pure Genius.

For this list, we’re looking at the power plays made by anime heroes and villains that were ingenious in their plotting and execution. Think we skipped out on a key masterplan? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Outsmarting Bertholdt

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

Out of all of Armin’s plans, this is by far one the most ambitious and most costly. With Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan form proving to be unmatched in terms of scale and sheer power, the Survey Corp’s only hope to pull off a win is to make the ultimate gamble, with Armin acting as the sacrificial pawn. As his best friend’s body is flambéed, Eren makes full use of the moment, coming in clutch from behind Bertholdt’s blind spot, slicing open his nape, and finally bringing him down the once-thought unstoppable beast.

#9: Kira’s Escape

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable” (2016)

Even without a stone mask or vampiric regeneration, Kira proved that sometimes all you need is sheer force of will when it comes to slipping away to fight another day. After having his identity revealed, the Stand-user serial killer makes a break for it, doing everything possible to get back under the radar. This includes slicing off his own hand and stealing someone else’s face! It’s almost admirable how far Kira was willing to take things to pursue his ideal lifestyle, even if he is a murderous fetishist with a brutal body count.

#8: Mikado and the Dollars

“Durarara!!” (2010-16)

Compared to the walking beserker barrage that is Shizuo or the headless beauty that is Celty, Mikado is…painfully unremarkable. Just another student who found himself in one of the most dangerous cities around and casually kicking back with monsters and gangsters on a daily basis. As it happens, Mikado has a secret – he’s the leader of the Dollars. Due to coincidence and messing around online, what started as a joke turned into a movement, leading to the creation of the infamous Dollar gang. And the one in charge is this kid! Social media is a scary thing.

#7: Emma’s Escape Plan

“The Promised Neverland” (2019-21)

It takes more than losing her friends and getting her leg broken to take the fire out of this little lady’s heart. Despite the losses suffered, and seemingly resigning herself to the orphanage’s plan to feed them to their demonic hosts, Emma reveals to Ray at the final hurdle that not only has she continued to rebel, but also conjured up one hell of a way to escape Grace Field House. By leaning on the talents of her fellow orphans, training them up, and plotting their escape, Emma is able to flee the death-trap with the majority of her adopted family, all in one fell swoop!

#6: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

“Hunter x Hunter” (2011-14)

Greed Island is not for the faint of heart, mainly due to a game over resulting in an actual death. Taking on the likes of Genthru and his scumbag hunter brigade, Gon is put through a torrent of punishment as he’s constant bombarded with Nen bombs, and given very little room to fight back. That is, until he changes the landscape to his advantage. Trapping Genthru underground with nowhere else to go, all the shady player can do is beg for mercy as Gon demonstrates just how painful rock, paper scissors can truly be.

#5: Jerk Move

“Fate/Zero” (2011-12)

Kiritsugu fancies himself as a champion of justice, who thinks that by making enough sacrifices and bending enough rules, he can save the world once and for all. Case and point, when he used underhanded means to take out both Lancer and his Master. Instead of giving Saber the chance to honorably dual Lancer in a battle between heroic spirits, Kiritsugu blackmails Kayneth into making his Servant take his own life, only to then assassinate him and his wife afterwards. Just another bloody steppingstone for a dream that would ultimately lead to ruin.

#4: Hell Dice

“Kaiji” (2007-11)

When you’re forced to work in a labor camp to pay off astronomical debt, it can be easy to succumb to any and all manner of reprieve. For Kaiji and company, it was the allure of a basic game of chinchirorin held among the workers. Until it quickly became apparent that it was a way for the foremen to steal the wages of their subordinates for themselves. Being the clever bastard he is, Kaiji seeks revenge by pooling all the money he and his colleagues earned…only to then expose the game as rigged in front of everyone, and in doing so rob his slimy boss of everything to his name!

#3: Senku’s Bloodless War

“Dr. Stone” (2019-21)

Talk about a high bar. Despite opposing the brutality of the Tsukasa empire, Senku decides that he’s going to ensure that their subsequent siege won’t result in a single death. Somehow. Considering his plan involved charging in with a tank and re-creating nitro-glycerine, the fact nobody died come the Stone Wars’ end speaks to Senku’s brilliance and devil’s luck. Turns out the threat of a dynamite paper plane has a way of bringing about an unconditional surrender. Who’d have thunk.

#2: Lelouch's Master Plan

“Code Geass” (2006-08)

How to unite the world in one easy step – become the ultimate tyrant. Following the defeat of his monstrous parents, Lelouch devises a means to unite the Britannian nobility and Japanese masses by becoming a symbol of hate among all peoples, only to then stage his own assassination and usher in a new era of cooperation. It’s a sacrifice that only a few will ever truly know, and a true culmination of his journey as one of anime’s most conflicted anti-heroes.

#1: All According to Keikaku

“Death Note” (2006-07)

Leave it to the God of the New World to pull off something as radical as this and have it pay off in such a big way. In order to remove himself from L’s suspicions, Light purposefully ditches the Death Note, and as a result loses all memory of ever being of Kira, only to reclaim the Death Note in the most convoluted yet enthralling game of cat and mouse. Light literally gave himself amnesia, unknowingly hunted down his alter ego, reclaimed said alter ego, and used the whole affair as a means to stay out of the spotlight, and find a way to dispose of his nemesis. Well played.