The List
7 Incredible Geniuses

by Lynzee Loveridge,

In a world full of characters with super powers and brawny muscles, it's easy to forget about the quiet, smart ones. Despite what they may lack in physical prowess, these brainy heroes are still indispensable. Who else can figure out a cunning escape plan and help you study for the next big test at the same time?

7. Naoki Irie (Itazura na Kiss) Is there anything Naoki isn't good at? I mean, besides being nice? Protagonist Kotoko has a crush on her emotionally aloof classmate. He's the best looking guy at school, he has a genius-level IQ, aces every test, and excels in athletics, too. Naoki is so competent he becomes complacent in life until Kotoko gives him a kick in the ass and convinces him to go to medical school. He's still a jerk, though.

6. Ami Mizuno (Sailor Moon) Naturally shy, Ami is the quintessential book worm character. In the series she often emphasizes the importance of studying, claiming it is the only hobby she's good at, but that stems from her lack of confidence in other abilities. She's shown to be fluent in English, an adept swimmer, and chess player. Ami's intelligence initially isolated her from others, who assumed because of her disposition and top-level grades that she was a snob. Fortunately, Usagi sees right through that.

5. Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad) Kotomi is painfully shy and apparently so bored with her regular curriculum that she holes up in the library to read complicated books in foreign languages. She'd be in more trouble for her delinquent-like behavior if she wasn't acing all the national exams. Tomoka manages to befriend her and slowly pull her out of her shell, usually by suffering through her horrible violin playing. By the end of the series she heads to America to study scientific theories, specifically, parallel dimensions.

4. Conan Edogawa/Shinichi Kudō (Detective Conan) Teen prodigy turned child prodigy, Shinichi Kudō is a guy after Sherlock Holmes' own heart. He picked up much of his deductive reasoning reading mystery novels in his father's library. Prepped to become a detective like his own idol, his sleuthing abilities earn him his nickname "Savior of the Japanese Police Department." He's fluent in English and locally famous at his high school for his soccer abilities, to boot.

3. Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate) Scientifically curious Kurisu graduated high school a year early while studying in America. At 18 years old, she's a neuroscience researcher at an American university and her academic papers gained worldwide attention. The series protagonist, Rintarō, first meets Kurisu at one of her time travel theory lectures in Japan. Her knowledge on the subject makes her a subject of interest to SERN in an alternate timeline.

2. Light Yagami (Death Note) Known at his school as an athletic and academic genius and all-around good-looking guy, Light's real intellectual strength in his ability to adapt and tactically overcome his enemies. He's an example of extreme intellect meets a more extreme ego. This is shown early in the series when he creates a series of markers to know if someone's entered his room and peaks in his long con of L when he temporarily gives up his Death Note.

1. Shigeru Akagi (Akagi) Akagi earned his fearsome reputation as a mahjong player at the early of age of 13. His main mode of offense in gambling is psychologically breaking his opponents from within, usually from personal information he's able to discern based on their playing style. He lies, raises stakes to incredible levels, and will put his life on the line if he thinks it'll crack his opponent, and it usually does. His brazen attitude takes him to seedy parlors where death is a real option, but it's not like Akagi was going to lose, so what's to be scared of?

The new poll: Which is your favorite English manga publisher? Tell us why in the forums.

The old poll: Who is your favorite blue-haired character? This poll is impressive in The List terms because it's gotten more respondents than any other poll prior to it: 2,003. Here's the top results (any character under 1% is omitted):

  1. Ami Mizuno (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) 12.2%
  2. Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion) 11.9%
  3. Konata Izumi (Lucky Star) 11.6%
  4. Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic!) 10.1%
  5. Sayaka Miki (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) 8.5%
  6. Ika Musume (Squid Girl) 6.2%
  7. Juvia Lockser (Fairy Tail) 6.0%
  8. Rika Furude (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) 5.2%
  9. Ami Kawashima (Toradora!) 4.5%
  10. Wendy Marvell (Fairy Tail) 4.1%
  11. Akane Tendou (Ranma 1/2) 2.9%
  12. Erio Touwa (Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl) 2.2%
  13. Kurumu Kurono (Rosario + Vampire) 2.1%
  14. Eri Shiina (Angel Beats!) 2.0%
  15. Nymph (Heaven's Lost Property) 1.9%
  16. Meia Gisborn (Vandread) 1.7%
  17. Xenovia (High School DxD) 1.4%
  18. Tabitha (Familiar of Zero) 1.0%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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