Some of the most satisfying fights in the anime world are won through intelligent means. Whether it's a character mapping out a strategy ahead of time or being quick to come up with new ideas, watching smart characters flex their brains can be just as satisfying as watching them flex their muscles. With that in mind, let's appreciate some anime characters who won fights in clever ways.
A well-known example of a character showing off their intellectual might is when Shikamaru Nara leads Hidan into a trap in Naruto. A lesser-known but equally intriguing example is when Saki Watanabe and her allies force Akki to destroy herself in From The New World.
Which examples light up your brain?
- Photo: Studio Pierrot
Shikamaru Nara's showdown with Hidan was impressive not because of Shikamaru's strength, but because of his smarts.
Using Shadow Jutsu, he led Hidan away from Kakuzu to an area in the Nara forest covered in traps and explosive tags. He tricks Hidan into consuming Kakuzu's blood, inadvertently destroying one of Kakuzu's hearts in an attempt to destroy Shikamaru's. Shikamaru then covers him in explosive tags, then activates a prepared trap that causes the ground beneath him to crumble. He throws Asuma's lighter at him, blowing up the tags and severely damaging Hidan's body. Because he's immortal, he'll be trapped, in pieces, underground for eternity.
The amount of planning that went into executing that strategy is wild. Naruto could never.Clever way to win?
Senku Ishigami Pretends To Have Weapons In 'Dr. Stone'Photo: TMS Entertainment
Senku Ishigami gets into a surprising number of physical conflicts for somebody who can't lift to save his life - so he deals with them using the skill he does have, his intelligence. This is best demonstrated when Tsukasa's Army invades Ishigami Village for the first time. He's able to scare them off by convincing them that the village has managed to invent guns. To accomplish this, Senku shoves gunpowder into an iron tube and ignites it to create a sound while Magma hurls a rock at top speed to create a projectile.
This is enough to temporarily end the conflict - though it won't be the last they see of Tsukasa's Army.Clever way to win?
- Photo: Studio Pierrot
Shikamaru isn't the only character to pull off clever moves in Naruto - there's also Shino Aburame. During the Chuunin exams, he faces off against Zaku Abumi, a Sound Village Ninja who fitted his arms with hollow tubes that allow him to expel powerful bursts of air and sound. Shino unleashes his Kikaichu bugs, but keeps Zaku sufficiently distracted through combat that he doesn't notice the bugs infiltrating the tubes. When he tries to use his signature attack, his arms burst, knocking him unconscious. It's hard not to feel sorry for the guy, but it's equally hard not to be impressed by Shino's out of the box thinking.Clever way to win?
- Photo: Toei Animation
During Kenpachi Zaraki's fight with Tousen, he's plunged into darkness by Tousen's shifting vortexes. While most people would struggle to stay sharp after suddenly losing their senses, Kenpachi quickly adapts to the situation. In order to figure out where Tousen was and where his attacks were coming from, he relies on his fine-tuned sense of touch. Ultimately, he lets Tousen stab him in order to break the darkness. Risky, but clever as hell.Clever way to win?