10 anime characters who can outsmart Light Yagami from Death Note

Some of the most intelligent characters in the world of anime, who can outsmart Light (Image via Studio MAPPA, Lerche, Bones)
Some of the most intelligent characters in the world of anime, who can outsmart Light (Image via Studio MAPPA, Lerche, Bones)

Death Note's Light Yagami is a brilliant character, with there being only a few characters in anime that are as clever as him. With fans wondering whether Light or L was smarter, Death Note's battle of wits is one of the best-written in anime history.

The list of characters that can outsmart the genius known as Kira is short, but it does include a few popular names. There are always at least a couple of genius characters in every anime and this list examines, in no particular order, some who can outwit Light with ease.

Note: We got our Sherlock glasses out and chased down some of the most brilliant anime characters who would give Light a run for his money. However, we have not included any characters from 'Death Note,' since the fans already know how that goes.

10 anime characters who can surpass Light Yagami include Lelouch Lamperouge, Korosensei, and more

1) Lelouch Lamperouge


Among the most intelligent characters in Code Geass is Lelouch vi Britannia. As a child, Lelouch has shown an advanced level of understanding and has consistently surpassed the expectations of people in his immediate circle of influence.

As a result of Lelouch's combination of inherent talent and relentless work ethic, his powers have blossomed. He managed to retrieve control of the planet from Britannia using his intelligence. Lelough's brilliance and the immense wit that he possesses in the anime Code Geass will prove to be a great tool against Light.

2) Korosensei

Korosensei, (Image via Studio Lerche)
Korosensei, (Image via Studio Lerche)

In a gunfight, Korosensei would be able to outrun at least 26 of his peers. Despite being tied to a tree, he nevertheless managed to dodge many assassins. The only way to murder him is to use his benevolence against him, since he can outwit seasoned assassins, corporations, and anybody else vying for his power.

Undoubtedly, one of his biggest accomplishments is his ability to keep track of what is going on around him. A trait that will surely prove lethal when pitted against Light.

He's can sidestep BB pellets in a classroom, avoid explosives at short range, and his ability to observe isn't restricted to assassination. All of his 28 pupils have a different set of talents and shortcomings, which he takes into account while creating a lesson plan.

3) Johan Liebert


Monster's Johan Liebert is one of the best villains ever seen in anime, but he's far from the only one. As a young child, he was spared a gunshot to the head and went on a bloody campaign to become the only man remaining the room.

He is cunning, manipulative, and deeply intellectual. Johan can easily see through the scrupules of Light as they are probably on par when it comes to intelligence.

4) Detective Conan

Detective Conan (Image via Studio TMS entertainment)
Detective Conan (Image via Studio TMS entertainment)

The protagonist of the story is Shinichi Kudo, a high school detective in Detective Conan. The tale revolves around Shinichi Kudo's metamorphosis into a smaller, much younger version of himself due to the actions of a criminal organization.

Shinichi's disguise as Conan Edogawa and his work with Inspector Moore keeps fans guessing. Astonishing audiences and critics equally with his sharp mind and deft deductions, Conan has shown time and time again why he is a top-tier detective. His intelligence, coupled with his wits, would be a great fit to figure out the schemes of Light.

5) Senku Ishigami


Dr. Stone's anime series features Senku Ishigami. When it comes to knowledge, Senku was an expert in every facet. Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are all subjects he's fluent in. As a result of this, he has the ability to create anything at any moment.

Mcuh like Light himself, his intelligence extends well beyond his expertise. He's also a great technician, and can solve even the most complex issues in a matter of minutes. However, Senku's wide range of expertise makes him feel overwhelmed at times.

6) Kindaichi Hajime

Kindaichi Hajime (image via Studio Toei)
Kindaichi Hajime (image via Studio Toei)

Kindaichi may be a genius, but he's also just like any other person. In his attempts to woo the ladies, he gets promptly shot down. Although he has strong emotions for Miyuki, it is evident that she does not feel the same way about him.

Most of the people at school, including instructors and students, dislike him. While his shortcomings and Yozaburo's refusal to glamorize him make him seem a little boring, he's nonetheless fascinating in his own way.

There is a lot of variety in the mysteries, and they aren't limited to locked-room settings where there should be no way for the murderer to get in or out. The experience of 800+ pages worth of solving cases would prove beneficial for Kindaichi if he were to take up the 'Kira' case.

7) Kogoro Akechi

One of Japan's most notorious criminals is taken by surprise by the investigative skills and calm demeanor of Kogoro Akechi, the protagonist of a series of mystery thrillers and an anime from 2015.

Akechi is allowed to spend his time working on the most challenging and delicate cases that Japan's police departments have to deal with thanks to the government granting him a special class waiver and an investigator's badge.

A foil to Light in many ways, Akechi is a skilled operator on the ground, ready to fight any criminal who underestimates his toughness and swift reasoning.

8) Shikamaru Nara

Shikamaru Nara (image via Studio Pierrot)
Shikamaru Nara (image via Studio Pierrot)

There are very few characters in the anime universe that can match Shikamaru Nara's intellect. A Naruto character, he is a well-known genius with an IQ of over 200.

In the series, he's wriggled out of difficult situations countless times using his wits. Few characters in any series can claim more impressive acts of wit than him. Shikamaru would definitely give Light a good chase and possibly hunt him down as well.

9) Armin


Armin is also renowned as the brains behind the major events and the main trio of Attack on Titan. With his knowledge, Armin makes up for his lack of fighting prowess by a fair margin.

Armin is capable of devising a strategy to eliminate Light, and make it fool-proof, to say the least. Throughout Attack on Titan, he has often shown that he can remain calm even in the midst of the direst of chaos.

In Death Note's Naomi arc, Light is shown to be quick on his feet when things go awry, however Amin can outwit Light and even give him a good run for his money.

10) Osamu Dazai

Osamu Dazai (image via Studio Bones)
Osamu Dazai (image via Studio Bones)

Osamu Dazai, a part of the Detective Agency, seems to be the second protagonist in Bungo Stray Dogs after Atsushi Nakajima. While Dazai is cheerful and quick-witted, the series reveals that he has a terrible history.

While several personalities are unknown from the beginning, he is possibly the most difficult to decipher of them all. With his quick mind, Dazai can put up a good fight with Light's superior intellect.

That is all from our end. Do let us know who your favorite anime detective is in the comments section.