The most intelligent characters often hide in plain sight. This is especially true in well-written anime series. These characters hide their intelligence by playing dumb or acting like a fool while their enemies are none the wiser.
Characters who do a stupid thing are cunning, knowing when to act stupid and when to reveal their true nature. Sometimes acting stupid can be used to annoy their enemies as much as throw them off their scent. Other times, acting stupid is used to make the enemies underestimate them. In both cases, these characters always have the upper hand and know exactly when to play their cards.
10/10 Vanitas annoys his enemies
The case study of Vanitas
Vanitas from The case study of Vanitas is a mysterious man. He is very good at hiding his intentions from other people, and usually uses his brash attitude to dissuade the real truth.
Vanitas is also a master at playing dumb. If a situation turns south, he can quickly switch from a serious expression to an innocent expression. Using this method, he can easily trick his enemies into giving him information or a reaction. He’s had a lot of practice acting stupid, thanks to mad scientist Doctor Moreau.
9/10 Dazai’s enemies never see it coming
Bungou stray dogs
Osamu Dazai from Bungou stray dogs is known for his strange eccentricity and strange personality. At first, the audience and the people in the show see him as a comedic character with a certain level of competence.
However, it becomes clear that Dazai is using this foolish persona to distract people from his true intentions. He’s actually very competent and arguably one of the strongest characters on the show just for his wits. Because of this, his enemies never see it coming when he flips the switch from goofy to serious.
8/10 Nimura Furuta became the biggest enemy
Nimura Furuta from Tokyo Ghoul started out as the unassuming assistant of the terrifying Shiki Kijima. But slowly over the course of the series, he began to gather more power until he became the main threat in Tokyo Ghoul.
Furuta continued to play the role of dumb assistant until he was finally able to put his plan into action and kill his superior. From there, his plans were slowly revealed and it was too late when Kaneki and his friends knew who the real threat was. Furuta already had all the cards.
7/10 Kuon betrayed everyone on his team
Wataru Kuon from Blue lock starting out as a helpful teammate for team Z, often running meetings and planning strategies. His kind personality initially allows the team to trust him wholeheartedly.
However, Kuon is not the friendly and honest person they first thought. In one of their games in the first selection, he betrays them so he can advance and they lose. Because Kuon made himself so unassuming, he was able to trick them into giving him important information about the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
6/10 Gojo’s stupid attitude hides an intelligent mind
Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen is the strongest wizard in the world. He is also very stupid. Many will call him irresponsible or unable to take things seriously. Gojo portrays himself as immature and ill-prepared.
However, Gojo is actually very intelligent, knowing how and when to use his abilities for maximum effect. Although he may appear stupid and cocky, Gojo is actually careful with his abilities. With Gojo’s light-hearted antics, he manages to trick his enemies into thinking he’s an easy target.
5/10 Mephisto uses his eccentric personality to hide his true nature
Mephisto Pheles from Blue Exorcist is the headmaster of True Cross Academy and one of the most powerful demons in Gehenna. He has an eccentric personality that many would mistake for being stupid or uninterested.
But Mephisto is actually very intelligent, along with being incredibly powerful. Those higher up in the True Cross are shown to tolerate him and underestimate him. Only a select few people truly know about the power he has and the way he shapes things to his own advantage.
4/10 Nie Huaisang hid his master plan by acting meek
Mo Dao Zu Shi
Nie Huaisang from Mo Dao Zu Shi presents himself as meek and unpretentious. He’s just a figure in people’s periphery and never takes up too much of a scene.
In truth, Nie Huaisang is the mastermind behind everything that happens in the series. He is the one who set the plan in motion and let the dominoes fall. He did all this as revenge for his brother’s death. Nie Huaisang spent years planning and scheming while maintaining his meek and stupid personality.
3/10 The Undertaker is a true genius
Undertaker from Black Butler is not really taken seriously by the main cast. For Ciel and Sebastian, he is useful as an information broker and a bit strange for a funeral home. He is otherwise simply an eccentric man with useful information from time to time
However, the Undertaker is a former Grim Reaper and a powerful enemy who ends up being a major antagonist for Ciel and his allies. Beneath the stupid act was a genius all along. The Undertaker was able to fool everyone thanks to his foolish behavior.
2/10 Julius tricks his enemies with his peppy attitude
Julius from Black clover may be the Wizard King, but he always seemed like a fool to many people. His personality was that of an overzealous and curious person who was carried away by learning about magic. This overzealous behavior often makes people forget how powerful he really is.
Julius chooses to hide from view. His clumsy behavior catches people off guard, and that’s when he’s able to surprise them with his strength and wit. His cheerful personality lulls his enemies into a false sense of security.
1/10 Roland uses his Happy-Go-Lucky attitude to trick his enemies
The case study of Vanitas
Roland from The case study of Vanitas presents himself as a bit silly and overzealous. When he first greeted Vanitas and Noé, he admitted that he didn’t know where he was in his own headquarters. Because of this, Vanitas and Noé did not take him as a serious threat.
By the time Vanitas and Noé realized the threat Roland posed, it was too late. Vanitas and Noé had already been deceived. Roland is actually a bit clumsy, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t intelligent. Roland knows how to get over to others and uses that to his advantage.
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