Anime Underground The 16 Smartest Anime Villains Of All Time  

Leo Reyna
16.6k votes 4.2k voters 68.2k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the most genius anime villains in history.

It's not always brute strength that wins the day because sometimes, it takes a little brain to outmatched brawn. That why, when it comes to anime villainy, it's the smartest ones that are always the most terrifying, yet, captivating to watch. No matter how fired up a hero may be, it's all meaningless if they don't have a strategy to overcome their highly intellectual foe.

Present in this list are the smartest anime villains of all time. They aren't just among the greatest anime villains - they are antagonists who are always two steps ahead of their adversaries, playing out their deadly game of wits with sinister glee. That's not to say these villains are invincible, but when presented with an impossible situation to overcome, they always manage to find some small detail to exploit for victory.

Whether it's taking advantage of their victim's frail emotions, or sacrificing as many pawns as necessary to declare checkmate, these intelligent villains are a dangerous force to be reckoned with. Listed here are some of the smartest villains in all of anime. Which ones deserve to reign all over the others? Vote up the characters you believe are the smartest anime villains around. 

1 2,145 VOTES

Sōsuke Aizen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 16 Smartest Anime Villains Of All Time
Photo:  Studio Pierrot

While all the other Souls Reapers are out playing tic-tac-toe, Sōsuke Aizen is playing 4D chess with a 3D chess board. It took Aizen a hundred years to calculate the perfect plan to overthrow the Soul Society. He spent his time gathering intelligence and enlisting the right kind of men for the job. He drowned his former comrades in conspiracies and paranoia, ensuring they fight amongst themselves before they ever grew suspicious of him.

For good measure, he staged his own death by hypnotizing the witnesses to see what he wanted them to see. Once the ugly truth came out, even without his hypnotic powers, Aizen wiped the floor with Ichigo and the other Soul Reapers with ease. 

Also Ranked

#32 on The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time

#4 on The Greatest Anime Villains of All Time

#19 on The Top Anime Characters That Use Swords

#9 on The Best Anime Characters That Wear Glasses

1,740 405
Is s/he genius?
see more on Sōsuke Aizen
Light Yagami is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 16 Smartest Anime Villains Of All Time
Photo:  Madhouse

As the ancient proverb says, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Light Yagami was a bored high school kid when he came across the Death Note. If you write a name in the notebook and picture that person's face, they will die within 30 seconds. Yagami might have had noble intentions when he first began using the Death Note to rid the world of evil, but as the series progressed, he became nothing more than a cold and calculated serial killer with a God complex. 

It wasn't just the Death Note that made Light such a terrifying villain - it was how he used it. For years, Light was able to hide his true identity from the police, while strategizing unthinkable ways of executing anyone who came close to the truth. 

Also Ranked

#52 on 25 Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On

#81 on The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time

#1 on The Greatest Anime Villains of All Time

#53 on The 25+ Saddest Anime Deaths of All Time

2,055 502
Is s/he genius?
see more on Light Yagami
3 1,516 VOTES

Father - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Father - Fullmetal Alchemist: ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 16 Smartest Anime Villains Of All Time
Photo: Studio Bones

Father, the true evil mastermind in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is the oldest Homunculus recorded in history. He commands his seven Homunculus children, all born from the vices he purged from his body years ago. Father is a living and breathing Philosopher's Stone, capable of breaking all the rules of alchemy and surpassing its limitations. He uses his great knowledge to influence humanity for his own personal gain, such as orchestrating wars and the Genocide of Ishval, so he can become the new God of the world. 

1,142 374
Is s/he genius?
Izaya Orihara is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 16 Smartest Anime Villains Of All Time
Photo:  Brain's Base

Izaya Orihara's love for humanity is comparable to a snake's love for devouring live mice. He's a devilishly cunning schemer who enjoys putting his victims in dangerous situations, just to see how they'll react. You won't see him at the frontlines because he will be gleefully observing the chaos from afar. Orihara knows which buttons to push with his mocking personality. He also has the charisma to charm people when need be. 

Also Ranked

#63 on The Greatest Anime Villains of All Time

#81 on The Biggest Anime Perverts of All Time

#75 on The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time

#41 on The Best Anime Characters With Black Hair

737 247
Is s/he genius?
see more on Izaya Orihara