Anime is famous not just for its thrilling fights but also for the planning and strategizing that goes behind every move. Some characters, like Gilgamesh and Quinella, won the game before it even began by playing the others like a fiddle. While some of these genius characters are prodigies, some work hard to be where they are and hone their skills constantly.
These characters are famous for predicting the unpredictable and manipulating people and situations to suit their needs. Although many of these masterminds can fend for themselves in a battle of brawn, their actual strength lies in their mental capabilities.
10 Sora Is An Extroverted NEET (No Game No Life)
No Game No Life's Sora is one-half of the sibling duo Blank. A hikikomori, Sora prefers remaining indoors and spending time with his step-sister Shiro, the other half of Blank. Sora's strength lies in his negotiation and diplomacy skills, which aid him in his gaming endeavors.
Both Sora and Shiro are extremely intelligent, often helping each other where they lack. Sora is a master manipulator whose gaming style focuses more on emotions, tactics, and human logic, giving him the upper hand when dealing with tricky opponents.
9 Armin Is The Strategic Voice Of Reason (Attack On Titan)
Attack on Titan is famous for its complex and well-written characters. Armin Arlert is one of the main characters in the series, along with Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman. Armin is a strategical genius, especially when paired with Hange Zoe.
Armin is not much help with physical fighting. His actual mastery lies in his deduction and planning skills, both aforethought and on the fly. Armin figured out that Annie was the mole and saved his teammates in the nick of time, given his tactical skills.
8 Norman Is A Mathematical Genius (The Promised Neverland)
Norman is one of the three protagonists of The Promised Neverland. A mathematical prodigy, Norman was the smartest kid at Grace Field House. He was smart enough to surpass his peers, seniors, and adults in mental prowess.
Apart from possessing immense capabilities in mathematical calculations, Norman is attentive to the tiniest and seemingly insignificant details. He was the only one to figure out that Ray was a spy for Isabella, setting a trap to corner him and make him confess. Norman makes allies and escapes when sent to a facility for further experimentation.
7 Shiroe Is A Political Mastermind (Log Horizon)
Shiroe is the main protagonist of Log Horizon. A skilled tactician, Shiroe chose his character and his class in the MMORPG Elder Tale based on its compatibility with his personality and a somewhat challenging feat of being useless without other characters.
Despite being introverted and naturally cautious, Shiroe showed immense political prowess as he gathered allies and rose ranks to become the guild leader. Shiroe has comprehensive knowledge of the game, allowing him to experiment and discover more than his peers.
6 Shikamaru Is Lazy Yet Intelligent (Naruto Shippuden)
Naruto fans are well aware of the mental flexibility that Shikamaru Nara possesses. One of the main characters of the Akatsuki Suppression Mission Arc in Naruto Shippuden, Shikamaru is one of the most gifted strategists in the show. Despite his lazy disposition, Shikamaru had a firm moral compass and was willing to face death.
Shikamaru single-handedly defeated Hidan using his shadow techniques and strategic powers, successfully avenging his teacher Asuma Sarutobi. After the fourth ninja world war, Shikamaru became the advisor to the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village.
5 Ayanokoji Is Perceptive And Cunning (Classroom Of The Elite)
The second season of Classroom Of The Elite has fans on the edge of their seats looking forward to more of Kiyotaka Ayanokoji's intellectual undertakings. Ayanokoji displays immense control over his intelligence, scoring precisely 50% on his entrance tests.
Perceptive, deceptive, and manipulative, Ayanokoji knows how to get what he wants without showing his hand. He allies himself with different people and uses their strong suits paired with his skills to get the best out of each situation. A mastermind, he always sits back and observes before making a move.
4 Yumeko Is An Experienced Gambler (Kakegurui)
Kakegurui follows Yumeko Jabami, a second-year transfer student at Hyakkaou Private Academy, where gambling decides everyone's social status. Yumeko enjoys gambling and is quick to spot her opponent's cheating. Exceedingly perceptive, Yumeko doesn't back down from a fight even if she seems to lose and expects the same fair play from her rivals.
Yumeko enjoys the thrill of gambling more than anything else. She starts from the bottom and rises to the top, overthrowing those at the top of the social ladder using her intelligence and raw gambling skills.
3 Senku Is A Scientific Genius (Dr. Stone)
When humanity comes back to life after centuries of petrification, Senku Ishigami, a teenager possessing outstanding scientific knowledge, strives to rebuild civilization from scratch and advance further than humans ever did. Along with being a scientific genius, Senku is also well-versed in the art of rhetoric and politics.
Along with his superior intellect, scientific knowledge, and craftsmanship, Senku has an exceptional memory, allowing him to recall the essential steps to build things from scratch. Also blessed with impressive linguistic abilities apart from his innate charisma, Senku can understand and cruise people.
2 Light Wreaks Havoc In The World (Death Note)
Light Yagami is the main character of Death Note. Light is an honor high school student who is always at the top of his class. Bored with his monotonous life, Light comes across Ryuk's death note and takes justice into his own hands. Under the alias Kira, Light executes criminals to make the world a better place.
The Japanese police, the FBI, and an independent investigator L all strive to catch Kira and reveal his true identity. Given his superior intellect, Light successfully hides his identity from the law and kills L when he discovers he is Kira.
1 Aizen Is A Master Manipulator (Bleach)
Aizen conspired against the Soul Society and used both Hollow and Shinigami to achieve the godhood he believed was his right. Immensely powerful and immortal, Aizen has the advantage of unfathomable experience on his side, along with his unparalleled manipulation and tactical skills.
As the principal antagonist of Bleach, Sosuke Aizen has wreaked havoc and pitted everyone against each other without lifting a finger. Fans are confident that Aizen's plot-breaking omniscience makes him a frightful mastermind who can read his opponents like an open book.
NEXT: 10 Anime Characters Who Will Always Have Your Back