Top 20 Best Anime With A Genius MCThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
There’s something satisfying about watching someone intelligent do their thing.
Sherlock Holmes, Bruce Wayne, Dexter: they’re all people we could never be.
And let’s face it, the only ones who could solve impossible cases and create impossible machines are often in fiction. You won’t see many shrink-inators in real life anytime soon.
But in anime, a mad scientist just might be able to do it.
So if you’re looking for anime with a super smart main character, here’s our ranking of some of the best.
He’s a giant cat robot from the future. What more could you ask for?
As a robot, Doraemon holds a lot of information in that giant cat head of his. Even the human children have a great imagination and creativity.
Like Dekisugi, who scores 100% on every exam.
I know he’s in elementary school but that’s still impressive!
If you’ve never heard of this anime before, give it a try. But c’mon, who hasn’t heard of Doraemon?
19. Food Wars
Okay, so here’s a show that’s not as family friendly like Doraemon.
Honestly, if you watched Food Wars with your family, applause to you.
Anyways, the food battles in this anime are no joke. The rules and judges are extremely strict – so our characters have to make a dish to wow them.
That means pulling all the tricks out of the bag to even pass. And Yukihira did more than that.
His vast amounts of creativity consistently amazed everyone around him. He’s truly a genius chef.
The ideas he comes up with (and his in depth knowledge in cooking) is a clear sign of intelligence.
You have to be very smart when you’re constantly trying to impress cooking judges at every competition.
18. Goblin Slayer
The Goblin Slayer is not someone you want to think of as “stupid”. He may take on goblin quests all the time, but he’s unmatched in his knowledge of them.
And in goblin slaying, he’s a genius.
He can make intricate traps, form strategies, and use fighting techniques against those green little imps.
The Master of One shows off his knowledge when he’s fighting them, explaining their mannerisms and habits.
If you see him in the library you can already guess what he’s studying.
17. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
Every Joestar has a unique yet creative way of using their abilities. But I think the one who displays the most intelligence with their stand is Giorno.
After all, creating life with your stand has a lot of different capabilities. It requires a lot of imagination to use it effectively.
Giorno throughout part 5 has consistently shown clever uses of his versatile stand.
But who knows, maybe Jolyne could outshine the rest of the Joestars in Stone Ocean…
For someone with a skull for a head, Ainz sure has a lot of brains. His habit of hoarding items comes in very useful for future events.
Reason being he uses these items in the most effective strategies against whoever he’s fighting.
Besides his great knowledge of the videogame Yggdrasil, he also knows how to program, strategize, and negotiate.
From the way Ainz speaks in the anime, you can tell he knows what he’s talking about.
I’d say it was lucky that it was him who got stuck in the game, and not some random noob. Only Ainz could’ve pulled off the stunts that he did.
15. Great Pretender
Makoto’s intellect is utilized in a less ethical way than many others on the list. But crime is a fantastic way of showing intelligence!
Makoto, Laurent, and the other partners of deception in this anime make plans to steal money or valuable items throughout the show.
We get to see masterful plans being devised, and improvisation through quick thinking. They trick their targets and talk their way to their goal.
It’s nerve wracking to deceive anyone. But it’s 100 times harder when you’re lying to a crime syndicate.
Crime does pay, but only in anime (hey that rhymed).
14. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
“The smartest kids in school devise plans to make the other students confess their love first… because you’re a loser if you express your feelings?”
Okay it sounds bad when you say it that way. But this show is wholesome and cute, I swear.
Kaguya and Shirogane try to make use of their genius in a classic genius anime character way.
They put on a mask of charisma, but then secretly make a strategy to force the other to say or do something romantic.
Other than Kaguya, the rest of the student council are all smart in their own right, despite how warm or cold they may seem at first.
But this anime is great to watch just for the comedy, and for characters alone, so I’d definitely recommend it.
At first glance, you wouldn’t expect this beautiful anime to have its cute and handsome characters trying to solve mysteries (and I don’t mean with Scooby).
The MC Oreki is a bright young high schooler who doesn’t use his smarts to the fullest.
Only when he joins the Classic Lit Club do his friends push him to use his deduction skills to solve mysteries.
Oreki racks his brain to make theories about events in the past, trying to figure what really happened, and the real meaning behind them.
It’s satisfying to watch him explain everything when no one else can make out the full story.
If you’re a fan of classic whodunits then definitely bookmark this anime to check out.
12. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Hikigaya goes from a cynic of youth to a mature & thoughtful young man by the end of this series.
Basically our MC Hikigaya has an ability to organize plans to complete tasks for the Service Club. He’s academically recognized in subjects other than STEM – but he’s shown to have a high social intelligence too.
Hikigaya can read between the lines and unmask the facades of the people around him very easily. He can see blemishes on everyone’s personality, including himself.
But he doesn’t try to change it.
Instead it takes everyone around him to help him change his beliefs to be more hopeful, and to offer a more optimistic perspective on youth.
11. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
It’s cool to see all the flashy alchemy Ed does in the anime. But we all know that none of us could perform transmutations, even after seeing the Gate of Truth.
You’d need an in-depth knowledge of alchemy to transmute like the Elric brothers. And they’ve studied their father’s alchemy books from a really young age.
Let me remind you that those books were not written in an easy diction meant for children…
These two brothers were prodigies, and could solve mysteries, puzzles, and codes with their intellect.
Many other characters in this show are intellects with more than a proficient understanding of the alchemical world. But Edward has proven to outshine them all.
Dr. Kenzo Tenma is a genius neurosurgeon – probably one of the best in the world.
But for most of the show, he’s not in the hospital saving patients. Instead he’s tracking down the man he intends to murder.
Dr. Tenma has medical skills that impress every doctor around him. Even when he’s searching for Johan, his sleuthing skills are top-tier.
This guy could reconstruct crime scenes and predict any criminal’s plans.
Honestly if Tenma wasn’t a doctor, he’d have a prospective career as a detective.
9. The Promised Neverland
When you raise children to be smart so you can feed on their developed brains, you’re going to get some kids who turn out a little too clever for their own good.
And if you know too much, you’re getting removed from the equation.
But Ray, Emma, and Norman were clever enough to keep all the children alive in the Grace Field Farm.
These children outsmarted adults and demons alike (although adults and demons are not exclusive to each other in some cases).
This anime is truly thrilling to watch, as you uncover the secrets of the farm and the world these characters live in – all with these three bright kids leading the way.
8. Terror In Resonance
I’d never thought I’d be rooting for terrorists, even in an anime. But the main protagonists here (Nine and Twelve) are extremely smart teenagers.
While they can help each other out, they each seem to have a unique skillset that they stick to. Nine can hack into nearly any database with speed and ease. While Twelve is well-versed in bomb making and bomb defusing.
These aren’t simple constructions, either.
We see them threaten Tokyo city with thermite-based bombs that can take down high-rise buildings – ranging all the way to a genuine nuclear bomb (kinda crazy even for an anime).
It’s not until someone matching their caliber of intelligence shows up to give the duo some difficulty.
This series is a gem, and it’s a short watch. But it gave me some of my favorite characters in all of anime.
In this anime, everyone is an intelligent detective locating murderers and weirdos to capture or kill.
Kogami is an especially talented detective who’s adept at solving cases and investigations, standing out from the rest of his colleagues.
It would make sense though, since he was an Inspector at one point, but was demoted to Enforcer rank since his crime coefficient was raised too high.
Nonetheless, Kogami and Akane used their intellect to pursue, catch, and eliminate criminals.
So if you’re into anything detective-related (or any crime-focused anime) then give Psycho-Pass a try.
6. Id: Invaded
Id: Invaded has a similar setup to Psycho-Pass, except there are key differences in the setting that makes this series feel like a unique experience.
We follow or MC Sakaido, an exceptional detective with remarkable analytical and observation skills. He can quickly figure out the motif of id wells in serial killers, and use them to help the Kura, a real-world independent police organization investigating homicides.
In the anime, the investigations and the id wells are all put together – and then masterfully solved by Brilliant Detective Sakaido.
If you haven’t heard of this anime before then I definitely recommend checking it out.
Mad scientist Hououin Kyouma is a genius. All the evidence you need is that he drinks the beverage of intellectuals: Dr. Pepper.
You want more evidence?
Well, I guess he invented a method of time travel. No big deal.
Let’s talk instead about how he turned bananas into green gel with a microwave.
But in all seriousness, Rintarou Okabe is genuinely smart, despite his mysterious mad scientist persona.
And even aside from all the technology he’s developed, Okabe is sharp enough to piece together the mystery behind all the strange occurrences happening to him and his friends.
I won’t give too much away here – but this anime is well worth a try.
4. Code Geass
Lelouch is a scheming mastermind. He clearly has an extremely high level of intelligence, which he uses to reform the world.
Fittingly, Lelouch uses a mind control ability to manipulate others for his own sake.
He uses it well for his plans and strategies against the Britannian Military, friends, and anyone else who would get in his way.
He follows a Machiavellian ideology too – which makes for an interesting MC and one incredibly acclaimed show.
3. Death Note
Yagami Light is not the detective in this anime. He’s the murderer (dun dun dun).
Well, he is a detective (but only pretending to be one) and he’s trying to find the murderer (himself) to throw a real detective (L) that’s suspicious of him off of his back.
…If you followed all that then you probably watched the show.
If you didn’t, I hope you give the series a try.
This anime has wonderful mind games between Light and the rest of the world. The strategies that Light and L employ to trap each other are all complicated and intricately assembled.
Death Note is legendary for the mind games.
2. Dr. Stone
Senku is a walking encyclopedia of science. He has a mastery over chemistry, biology, physics, engineering — you name it.
In the new primitive world, he could build modern machines and tools with no blueprints other than the ones he makes himself from his head.
What sticks with me the most is when he counted the 3,700 years’ worth of seconds during the petrification. I believe the petrification happened just so that Senku couldn’t upheave the modern science world.
He’s one smart cookie.
And who knows what kind of technology he could make with modern equipment.
1. No Game No Life
Sora and Shiro are both geniuses among geniuses. And they each have their own strengths.
For example, Shiro is better at calculations, and Sora is better at observing and analyzing other people.
Shiro is probably the most intelligent human to ever exist. She said she doesn’t know a single human who could best her without abusing her emotional intelligence.
So to make sure no one does that, emotionally anchored Sora is there for her to rely on.
However, they’re both extremely capable people in any activity that requires any semblance of thinking. Like games!
And if you’re looking for a great anime with some truly genius main characters, try this one out and see what you think.