As the years have gone by, slice-of-life has become one of the more prevalent genres in anime. There is a certain appeal to shows that offer a vivid depiction of everyday life, especially when produced in a culturally rich country like Japan. More often than not, these shows have lighthearted comedic themes, and they give viewers a special type of enjoyment that can rarely be found anywhere else.
Due to the general absence of intense fights and other forms of engaging action scenes, characters within these anime rely on different aspects of their personalities to retain interest of audiences. One such aspect is the display of impressive smarts, using their intelligence to navigate their surroundings in ingenious ways.
10/10 Fuutarou Uesugi – The Quintessential Quintuplets
Fuutarou is an honor student tasked with tutoring five sisters with abysmal test scores. He is the top student in his grade and has rarely ever been seen scoring below 95 points in any of his exams. On one occasion, he was shown to have achieved perfect scores in five different subjects, making some question if he ever did anything apart from study.
Aside from being nigh-perfect academically, he is also adaptable and determined when it comes to his job. Though it primarily stems from his desire to support his family’s dire financial straits, he repeatedly refused to give up on the Nakano sisters and eventually succeeded in helping them improve their grades.
9/10 Eikichi Onizuka – Great Teacher Onizuka
Onizuka is an eccentric young man with the aim of becoming the greatest teacher in Japan. He was a former delinquent and gang member, remembered as the leader of the Oni-Baku biker gang. After becoming a teacher, however, he was put in charge of the most troublesome class in his school, and it turned out his talents were most helpful in that space.
What Onizuka lacked in academic ability, he made up for greatly with his ability to teach life lessons. He may not be what you’d generally consider as intelligent, but with his odd methods, he was able to achieve what many other teachers before him could not.
8/10 Houtaro Oreki – Hyouka
Hutaro Oreki is a high school student with brilliant deductive capabilities. Academic-wise, he has not shown to be as impressive, but whenever he takes up a difficult mystery, he rarely ever fails to uncover the truths behind it. Though his cases are usually limited to events surrounding Kamiyama High School, he usually does not need much to go on and can start piecing clues together with very limited material.
Despite his knack for solving mysteries, Houtaro has an energy conservation policy which inherently keeps him from exerting effort into many activities. As a result, most of his engagements are usually prompted by the ever-curious Chitanda Eru.
7/10 Sakamoto – Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto
There is only one word that can be used to describe Sakamoto, and that word is “perfect.” He excels in basically every aspect of life and, due to that, has earned not only the admiration of those around him but also the ire of some.
Nevertheless, Sakamoto is rarely ever fazed by any attempts to harm his reputation. In fact, he is constantly able to overcome unfavorable situations, and while doing so, he is elegant in his execution. As a result, the attempts people make to inconvenience him only end up increasing his popularity even more.
6/10 Miyuki Shirogane – Love Is War
Miyuki is the student council president of the prestigious Shuchi’in Academy as well as the top student in his grade. He is extraordinarily studious and works harder than anyone else in the series. Despite the esteemed background of many of the school’s occupants, Miyuki comes from a relatively poor family and, as a result, had to work even harder for his position.
On top of his academic success, he is constantly engaged in psychological warfare with his vice president Kaguya Shinomiya. The warfare is born from love and is so intense that it serves as the central concept around which the anime is based.
5/10 Kaguya Shinomiya – Love Is War
Kaguya is the vice president of the Shuchi’in Academy student council, as well as the student who constantly places second on the periodic academic rankings. Unlike Miyuki, Kaguya comes from an extremely wealthy family and had a sheltered upbringing.
Though Kaguya falls behind Miyuki in academics, she is talented in other areas and exhibits a more composed demeanor overall. During their frequent psychological battles, she is usually the one to go on the offensive and is way ahead in terms of overall victories, usually announced at the end of each battle.
4/10 Nagisa Shiota – Assassination Classroom
Nagisa is a talented assassin and a student of Kunugigaoka’s class 3-E tasked with killing the seemingly invincible Korosensei. He was one of the most promising assassins in the class due to his natural talent and his ability to learn at rapid speeds. Furthermore, he is highly observant and constantly thinks about ways to approach his target while in battle.
Nagisa eventually becomes so skilled that he is even able to shock different talented assassins and rival others in strength. When prepared to kill, he assumes a threatening persona much different from his natural disposition, and his attacks are visually represented by a snake enveloping its target.
3/10 Saiki Kusuo – The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
Saiki is a peculiar pink-haired psychic surrounded by equally interesting characters and situations. He is usually the voice of reason when interacting with his friends, and as the narrator of the story, he also has a good idea of whatever is going on.
He has remarked that he uses his psychic abilities to get average grades so as not to stand out but also claimed that he’d do very well even without using his powers. Additionally, he often uses his powers to aid his friends in ways they never think of themselves, implying that he is adept at offering valuable solutions.
2/10 Yumeko Jabami – Kakegurui
At first glance, Yumeko may seem like a regular cheerful schoolgirl, but beneath that bright exterior exists an insatiable gambling addict who loves taking part in dangerous bets. Serving to aid her vicious addiction, she attends the Hyakkaou Private Academy, an institution that hosts countless bets on a daily basis.
Of all the students and characters in the series, Yumeko is one of the most adept at gambling. She is able to see through layered strategies and, after noticing them, can employ counters to tip games in her favor. She adopts a crazed demeanor when enjoying herself and quickly built up her reputation as a formidable compulsive gambler.
1/10 Ayanokoji Kiyotaka – Classroom Of The Elite
Ayanokoji is a seemingly aloof D-Class student of the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing High School. However, despite his distant disposition, he is one of the most calculating characters in the show. He is not just extremely intelligent but also very observant, showing a good understanding of people’s desires and using them to achieve his goals.
He often decides not to stand out and, as a result, goes unnoticed most of the time. Due to this, he is able to make crucial moves while also concealing his true nature from the public. In a series with several impressive characters being trained to stand among Japan’s finest, Ayanokoji is well on his way to the top.
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