30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Sometimes intelligence and not just strength are enough to win the day. The most frightening and captivating anime villains are, therefore, always the most fearsome. It doesn’t matter how well-equipped a hero may be, if they don’t have a plan for defeating their intelligent antagonist, it will all be futile.

This list contains the most intelligent anime villains. These villains are not only among the best in anime, but they are also antagonists who always seem to be two steps ahead of their foes and love playing wits. These villains are not unbeatable. However, when they find themselves in an impossible situation, they always find a way to win.

These cunning villains can be a formidable force to be reckoned, whether they are preying on vulnerable emotions or sacrificing as much as necessary to declare checkmate.

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Sailor Galaxia – Sailor Moon

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

She was the most skilled soldier in the universe and believed she could contain Chaos within her body. Galaxia might have realized, as the darkness fell, that it wasn’t so bad after all.

Galaxia was much more than a formidable combatant. Galaxia was also an excellent strategist and commander. She came very close to subjugating all of the galaxy. She forgot to consider her core soul in all of this planning. Chibi-chibi, a child who had traveled to Earth seeking protection from Sailor Moon, was one of her children.

Father – Fullmetal Achemist: Brotherhood

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Father, the evil mastermind of Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood, is the oldest known homunculus. He is the father of his seven Homunculus children. They are all descendants of vices he has expelled years ago from his body. Father is a living Philosopher’s Stone who can break all rules of alchemy and exceed its limits. To become the new God of the world, he uses his vast knowledge to manipulate the human race. He has even staged wars and the Genocide Of Ishval.

Dio Brando – JoJos Bizarre Adventure

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

They won’t allow any moron become a meme. Everyone remembers Season 1’s “It was you, Dio!” line from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Dio Brando does more than just grab a kiss from the lover of his stepbrother. As a child, Dio Brando killed his abusive and alcoholic father and then spent the rest his life abusing Jonathan Joestar, his younger stepbrother. His evil plan was to become a vampire and hire Jack the Ripper to be his zombie henchman.

Shinobu Sensui – Yu Yu Hakusho

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Shinobu Sensui was Yusuke’s predecessor and was previously the acting spirit investigator selected by Koenma for monitoring the border between the spirit and living worlds. Sensui, who was a brave protector of humanity and gifted with high spiritual awareness from an early age, won admiration from both friends and foes. Sensui’s greatest flaws were both his strong senses of justice and unwavering moral compass that distinguished between right and wrong.

Sensui was obsessed with the pursuit of purpose and believed humans were purer that demons. They were, by nature, scourges worthy to be destroyed. Then he witnessed the Feast of Human Vices. This bacchanalian event saw humans torture and execute demons in some of the most horrific ways. Sensui snapped and killed everyone in the room, as his guiding principle was shattered. Sensui ran into seclusion and manifested many split personalities with unique abilities. Years later, he resurfaced as an antagonist with a plan to destroy the world that he had promised to protect.

Muzan Kibutsuji – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Demon Slayer observers quickly realized that Muzan was the real deal when they saw his cold and merciless personality during the annihilation of the Lower Demon Moons. Muzan is not only the strongest demon, but he’s also very intelligent and perceptive. His age of around 1000 years is a reasonable explanation for his intelligence and perceptiveness. He is quick at devising strategies and this seems to not bother him. He is also extremely manipulative and clever, making it almost impossible to beat him at his game.

Harry McDowell-Gungrave

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Harry McDowell started as a street hustler at a low level. He would fight for territory and con women to get a piece of the wealth that was always his. Smart, intelligent, and ambitious, Harry has always wanted to do more. He dreams of reaching the top and taking his family with him.

Gendo Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Gendo is not seen very often in Evangelion. The drama in the story centers around Gendo’s inability to interact with other people, especially his child. The audience is led to believe that although he is a shady character, he is at best a aloof genius, and that the Angels his true enemies.

We discover Gendo, the master puppeteer, only at the end of the series. He was in control of all the threads since the beginning, 15 years after First Impact. His brain eventually gets the better of him. He thinks he has created his human-angel clone Ayanami Rei. But she says that “she doesn’t belong to him” and the power of creation.

Naraku – Inuyasha

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Naraku is the main antagonist in Inuyasha. He is a half-demon who can transform into a shape. He is the son of a human who made a deal with several demons. Naraku took control of the human body and suppressed awareness to achieve his goals. Half-demon is evil and will not hesitate to use others for his own gain.

Meruem – Hunter x Hunter

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Meruem, the King of Chimera Ants is an anime villain and a skilled one. He is a fast learner and excels in strategic games. He can master any board game in ten games. He’s only one year old.

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Makoto Shishio – Rurouni Kenshin

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Asking Rurouni Kenshin fans what their favorite story from anime is, they will most likely choose the Kyoto Arc. This tale arc is captivating because it includes Shishio Makoto (a mummified swordsman) who survived a fiery assassination by the Meiji government. His evil plan included more than just killings, but also a political attack to bring down Japanese governments.

Shishio was unlike other villains. His inability to sweat meant that he could only fight for fifteen minutes before his body temperature reached lethal levels. He combusted.

Johan Liebert – Monster

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Johan Liebert, a beautiful young man, is very intelligent and knows how to influence others to reach his goals. Johan is a sharp mind and a dark heart. He can persuade anyone to commit suicide in his name, or drive them to death by denying them any reason to live. Given his upbringing, it is not surprising that he aspires to become Adolf Hitler’s successor. Johan doesn’t care much about human life. He simply wants to be the last one standing when the earth is destroyed.

Yubaba – Spirited away

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Yubaba seems to have total control over everything. Yubaba is not only a powerful witch but also manages a large spirit bathhouse as well as the nearby stores and restaurants that cater to the visiting gods. As the story progresses, we discover that Yubaba holds a sinister grip over her employees, binding them with magical spells and tricks.

All this seems very brilliant until Chihiro, a tenacious and honest woman, exposes her lies. Chihiro is not content to be another mindless employee. She helps Yubaba free her most loyal slaves and solicits Zeniba’s help in defeating the boss of the bathhouse.

Dante – Full Metal Alchemist

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Although the manga is quite different, the original Full Metal Alchemist anime of 2003 revealed that Dante, a nice old shut-in, was the ultimate evil all along. She created the majority of the Homunculi and other creatures she trained to serve her purposes.

During her peak power, she had many created-humans who did her bidding. This seems like a good strategy but it was a disaster. Gluttony becomes a slave to his primitive instincts in order to consume Eduard and the Philosopher’s Stone he carries, but the monster turns against her and eats him instead.

Sibyl System – Psycho-Pass


30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Psycho-Pass’s status quo is the Sibyl System. Sibyl, an autonomous computer network that evaluates the susceptibility of each person to criminal intent serves as the ruling authority in 22nd century Japan. It also manages all administrative and judicial responsibilities throughout the country. Although promoted as an impartial, perfect A.I. The Sibyl System was created to improve the lives and well-being of all its members. However, it is actually a digital hive mind of sociopaths. They exist independently of the system’s judgement and see themselves as the system’s vital purveyors. It’s not just about the society controlled by murderers, but also about how they inflict their collective cruelty upon an unsuspecting population under the pretense of neutrality and empathy.

Yurimaru – Ninja Scroll

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Genma was the leader among the Eight Devils in Kimon. However, his first lieutenant and most dangerous was the cunning and deadly Yurimari. Yurimari’s unique skill was his ability to create and conduct electricity using a single line of thread. It was simple, elegant, and deadly. This allowed him to keep up with the devils while quickly dispatching his victims.

Yurimari wasn’t as savvy as he should have been when it came to keeping his professional skills separate from his personal life. He is jealous of others and dispatches them.

Griffith – Berserk

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Griffith, despite his inability to attain wealth, prestige or extraordinary physical power, was able transform his mercenary company the Band of the Hawk into an army that the monarch recognized. How was that possible? He is a brilliant military strategist and a charming leader. His ability to manipulate others to the point that they become idolized is part of the reason he is such a charming villain, despite the horrible things he has done.

Yagami Light – Death Note

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Light Yagami, a boring high school student, discovered the Death Note. You can write down a name and then draw a picture of the person’s face in a notepad. It will take you 30 seconds to die. Although Yagami had the best intentions when he started using the Death Note for the end of the evil world, his actions turned out to be cold and calculated.

Light’s use of the Death Note wasn’t what made him such an evil adversary. Light managed to hide his identity from police for years while plotting inexplicable ways to execute anyone who was even close to him.

Gaku Yashiro – Erased

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Gaku Yashiro, an elementary school teacher, has a dark past. He appears normal and friendly on the outside, which is what makes him so troubling. Yashiro is fascinated by human psychology and learns how to seduce young girls into situations where they may be murdered. He finds the pleasure in murdering children and framing other people at an early age. Yashiro has been on a murderous rampage for more than two decades and no one is wiser. Even though he is a rising star in politics, he maintains a positive public image.

Sosuke Aizen – Bleach

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Sosuke Aizen plays 3D chess on a regular chessboard, while the Souls Reapers play tic-tac toe. Aizen spent 100 years trying to find the perfect strategy to overthrow the Soul Society. He spent his time researching and recruiting the right people for the job. He drowned in paranoia and theories, which caused his friends to fight amongst each other long before they began to suspect him.

He hypnotized the eyewitnesses to see his intended death and made them believe he was dead. Aizen was able to dispatch Ichigo and other Soul Reapers even without his hypnotic powers.

Laughing Man – Ghost In The Shell – Stand Alone Complex

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

The Laughing Man should not be taken lightly. The Laughing Man is the most famous villain in Ghost in the Shell. He is a corporate terrorist hacker who is obsessed with J. D. Salinger’s literary work, including his novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Unfathomable hacking skills are displayed by The Laughing Man. He can hijack multiple live streams simultaneously, and also cybernetic brains or pupils. He was able access any footage of himself, and replace his portrait with his smiling logo. The Laughing Man’s secret identity was kept secret for so long. Section 9 was so impressed with The Laughing Man’s hacking skills that they offered him a job. He respectfully declined.

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Shougo Makishima – Psycho-Pass

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Shogo Makishima, a self-confident humanist, adores dystopian fictions and the overthrow Japanese civilization. Makishima is a young, troubled man who is obsessed with the reintroduction of individual thought in the futuristic world Psycho-Pass. To achieve his goal, he will use any and all means necessary. Makishima is charismatic, but his obsession with the worst aspects of humanity makes him a disturbed individual.

The Major – Hellsing Ultimate

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time


The Major of Hellsing Ultimate, a well-dressed connoisseur of warfare who graduated from Adolf Hitler’s School of Dictatorship, is a well-dressed individual. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Major loves battle. He doesn’t care about victory; he just wants a long, bloody conflict that is filled with destruction and death. Three million people were killed in a terrorist attack on London by him to destroy his vampiric enemy,
Alucard.

Izaya Orihara – Durarara! !

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Izaya Orihara’s love for humanity is similar to a snake wanting to swallow live mice. He is a wickedly clever con artist, who enjoys putting his victims under perilous conditions to see how they react. He’ll be watching from far, so you won’t see him at the frontlines. Orihara’s mocking personality means that he knows which buttons to push. Orihara is also able to charm people when needed.

Isabella – The Promised Neverland

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Isabella (AKA Mama), Grace Field House’s principal caregiver, hides a terrible secret: She raises orphans in Grace Field to feed the demons. She is a terrifying and fascinating opponent because of her extraordinary intellect. As the woman responsible for creating and nurturing great minds like Emma, Ray, and Norman, it’s not surprising that she is always one step ahead. Isabella’s battle with the main trio was an amazing battle of wits that was as intense as Death Note’s Light Yagami or L.

Dr. Tenma – Astroboy

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

All types of anime have absent or negligent fathers, but especially in “shonen” action-adventure and shows that focus on martial arts and action-adventure. Because of his seniority, Dr. Tenma is one of the most vile and disturbing fathers in anime. Tenma is a brilliant scientist and pioneer in robotics engineering. He is also the “father” of Atom or “Astro, the protagonist of Osamu Tzuka’s 1980 manga and anime series. Tenma, in despair after his son Tobio’s death in a car accident, spends all of his energy and creativity to resurrect him as Atom, whom he adopts and raises. After several happy years, Tenma is disillusioned and resentful of the fact that Atom, his boy robot, couldn’t grow and age like a real child. This serves as a painful reminder about Tenma’s inability to fill the void left after his son’s death.

Nakamura – Ghost In The Shell

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

This one is easy to overlook, because the film intentionally misleads its audience into thinking the enemy is elsewhere. We are led to believe that the Puppet Master, and the characters of Section 9 representing police, is evil.

The tables are turned when the Puppet Masters reveals that he is a sentient form of life created by the government. The Major discovers that Section 6, the government’s political arm, was not only responsible for the creation of the Puppet Masters, but also used Section 9 to cover up their crimes and do their dirty work. He can only be forced to resign, which is typical of a failed power move.

Alphard Alshua – Canaan

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Alphard Alshua has more to her than a beautiful face in a crowd. She is the commander for Snake, the terrorist group responsible in the Shinjuku- and Shanghai-attacks. She seems detached from the outside world, but she knows how to manipulate these feelings for her own advantage.

Alphard, however, is obsessed with Canaan and her archenemies.

Alphard will attempt to corrupt Canaan’s pure spirit in any way she can.

Kyubey – Puella Magi Madoka Magic

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Kyubey, a cat-like creature with high tech that acts as an incubator, is also known. Incubators are able to solve the problem of entropy by opening up the universe’s closed systems and channeling energy from the outside back into their own. This energy is created by emotion. Kyubey’s species cannot feel emotion so they set out to find another species. Madoka Magica’s fiction identifies the species as mankind, and more specifically, adolescent girls. The incubator offers young girls the chance to make “wishes” and then enter into contracts to become “magical girls.” This pits them against “witches” and allows them to harness their emotions for energy.

Frieza – Dragon Ball Z

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Although Frieza may not be the smartest villain on our list he believes he is. Freiza is a smart, intelligent man, although most of his brainpower comes from his superiority mentality. However, being a lazy oaf does not make you the master of the universe. He is articulate and clearly shows deep thought processes. He is the primary antagonist of Dragonball Z.

Frieza’s self-confidence in his abilities is exaggerated. He boasts, panics and makes his own enemies. In a mocking attempt at calming his paranoia, he destroyed Planet Vegeta to respond to the Super Saiyan story. The survivors, including the hero of the series, Goku, decided to take revenge.

Medusa Gorgon – Soul Eater

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

Medusa Gorgon may be the Worst Mother for a Decade due to the cruel punishments she administered on Crona her child. Medusa is manipulative and cold, but she also has feelings. Although Medusa feels some guilt for torturing her child, she only shows her motherly affection when Crona completes their psychotic transformation.

Kabuto Yakushi – Naruto

30 of the Smartest Anime Villains of All Time

At first glance, Kabuto Yakushi looks like a harmless four-eyed ninja. Kabuto Yakushi is actually a wolf disguised in sheep. He is a spy for Orochimaru and he acquires information for his boss. He is a spy for Orochimaru, investigating Sasuke to determine if he could be a new host.

You have it, anime lovers. 30 of the most intelligent villains in anime history. We hope that you can see that intelligence is an important aspect of anime villains. You should not send your zombie minions yet, as this list may not be complete. We are sure there are many other anime characters smarter than this one, and we would love to hear about them!

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