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#1
Jul 28, 2015 5:13 AM
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Most of the authors who write about genius characters are not geniuses themselves so it's easy for them to fail in portraying the characters' intelligence. Maybe by making them make silly mistakes they shouldn't, making them too perceptive to the point of breaking suspension of disbelief or even just telling the audience how smart those characters are without showing it.

Obviously, sometimes, they get it right. Someone like Yang Wengli is extremely smart in a somewhat believable way since you can actually infer it from his detailed strategizing or thought process which are all shown by the author. Same with Light Yagami and L during the first 10 episodes of Death Note. Then you have characters like Lelouch or Near who have no basis for their deductions (pretty much guess work) which are sometimes highly amateur-ish or improbable but are always correct at the end because the plot must move. Or Armin who seems smart because nearly every other character in the show is dumb. And of course, shonen villains like Itachi or Crocodile who made mistakes too dumb for how intelligent they supposedly are.

Any thoughts? Do you know of those (un)realistically intelligent characters in anime? If so, what made them like that for you?
 
#2
Jul 28, 2015 5:19 AM

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Edogawa Conan. This guy knows every fucking thing there is no matter how trivial.
 
#3
Jul 28, 2015 5:20 AM
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Hunter x Hunter 2011
Zetsuen no Tempest
FUCK THE CHARACTER COUNT CHECK!
 
#4
Jul 28, 2015 5:21 AM
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Arcofdream said:
Edogawa Conan. This guy knows every fucking thing there is no matter how trivial.
Realistic or not?
 
#5
Jul 28, 2015 5:27 AM

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Sora and Shiro in NGNL universe. Both are so smart, even they can calculate every single thing.



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#6
Jul 28, 2015 5:32 AM
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Ulysse said:
Arcofdream said:
Edogawa Conan. This guy knows every fucking thing there is no matter how trivial.
Realistic or not?


Yes and no. The guy is meant to be a genius in a sense.
 
#7
Jul 28, 2015 5:39 AM
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Kenjirou Shibazaki was one of those "genius detective" types that left me thinking the writer had read a book on greek mythology & just wanted to mix it into the story to sound clever with no consideration for how the characters involved would know about it. Oh you just happen to have a maverick detective lounging around in the departmental archives because he's doesn't play by the book & just happens to be an expert on an ancient mythology from the other side of the world that just happens to be being used as cryptic clues by the guys your looking for? What are the odds!
 
#8
Jul 28, 2015 5:40 AM

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Light Yagami, L, and Yang Wenli all essentially use mind-reading powers, but at least the latter two don't have idiotic worldviews.

Intelligence can't really be portrayed well in anime because if their thoughts really are that smart, the viewer probably wouldn't be able to keep up with them.

And if Yang and Reinhard were portrayed realistically as geniuses, you would think there would be some element of game theory in their thought processes rather than essentially just playing rock-paper-scissors.

I really just can't understand why LOGH is considered so much smarter than Code Geass when they essentially use the same tricks.
Modified by Halkenburg, Jul 28, 2015 5:49 AM
 
#9
Jul 28, 2015 5:41 AM

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They just have to do the opposite of what Yoshio Kobayashi does.
 
Jul 28, 2015 7:07 AM

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Victorique of Gosick.
    Along with her sharp tongue, abusive bluntness and eccentric attitude. She possess an odd supernatural and overwhelming charisma, and flawless eloquence, she uses these skills to manipulate people into doing what she wants with ease.

    She possesses perfect, superhumanly keen observational skills, noticing the smallest details. She possess superhuman; senses, intuition, comprehension, adaptability, perception, and superhuman; detective/investigation skills, deductive/inductive reasoning skills, strategic/tactical skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, logic skills, and calculating skills.

    She can easily and perfectly analyze multiple streams of information simultaneously, and perform an infinite amount of calculations and simulations (from simple to unimaginably complex) simultaneously in her head without any outside aid, and without stress or problems on her part. This allows her to practically predict the future (very accurately), quickly solve any puzzle or problem, and work any situation into her favor by instantly coming up with perfect plans (adjusting if necessary) and always knowing the right move needed for success. She usually describes these abilities as "reconstructing the fragments of chaos using (her) wellspring of wisdom".

    She also possess superhuman learning capabilities, such as easily and perfectly memorizing and recalling limitless amount of complex information quickly, she easily understands whatever she learns, what she learns, and never forgets it (perfect eidetic memory) this doesn't put any stress or give any problems on her physically or mentally. She can perfectly and easily memorize whatever she reads (as shown how easily she showed Kujo the exact book he wanted, in the huge library, and the exact page, despite seemingly reading it once years before meeting Kuju), and later quickly and perfectly recall whatever information she desires from her wellspring.

    She learned minutiae, languages, and complex information quickly without need for repetition. She can also read extremely quickly, and can easily read multiple books in multiple languages simultaneously. Kujo once saw her read a book in advanced French while also reading a book in advanced German while understanding both with no trouble.

    She can perfectly apply whatever knowledge she learns to real life, immediately after learning it (such as mastering shooting a gun with pinpoint accuracy after only reading about the process once). --from Gosick's Wikia page for Victorique

Given that description, her exploits in the anime can be considered realistic IMO. I disagree about anyone shooting a gun with pinpoint accuracy based on knowledge alone. She may be able to successfully load and shoot it if given the necessary information but not accurately without some practice, adjusting the sights, trigger pressure, etc.
Avatar: Anzu Kadotani from Girls und Panzer.

 
Jul 28, 2015 7:15 AM

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A realistic portrayal of intelligence, like strength, is impossible and useless. The characters are only as smart as the creators make them. I can make a 10-year-old solve calculus by just having him mouth the solution. It doesn't take much effort.

A story that cares about intelligence should use it as a theme to explore. This character is intelligent, now do how do intelligent people deal with things? Where does this intelligence help or harm them?

Pi, the film is a perfect example. It has a character that can solve math problems in seconds, but that's there only to tell us he's the smart. The rest of the movie deals with how this person, who sees everything in mathematics deal with the world. This is how intelligence should be portrayed.
WEAPONS - My blog, for reviews of music, anime, books, and other things
 
Jul 28, 2015 7:17 AM

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8oomer said:
-snip-


This has Mary-Sue written all over it to me.
 
Jul 28, 2015 7:22 AM

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The authors themselves need to be intelligent to pull off convincing intelligent characters.
incisorr said:
i love it when people start acting like some neutral almighty unbiased godly judge and they even believe their own shit, suddenly its not their thoughts and opinions anymore but the righteous justice god way, they are unbiased, non-subjective, they just are! To be honest, everyone is like this quite often, me included, but i don't forget myself and i still post a lot of personal shit which is what forums are made for , if they didn't want us to have our own style and posts it would be an article instead a forum thread.
 
Jul 28, 2015 7:25 AM
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i don't give a shit about realism in characters, I only care if they are good
 
Jul 28, 2015 7:40 AM

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Read a Naoki Urasawa manga.


 
Jul 28, 2015 7:41 AM

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SuperRed said:
8oomer said:
-snip-

This has Mary-Sue written all over it to me.

Just a genius detective. She isn't any good outside of it.
Also, the description seems overkill for what she does in the anime.
 
Jul 28, 2015 9:42 AM

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hyouka. that's how logical mind works. yet soo many people hate itbecause boring and not enjoy the dialogue each f it.
"If taking responsibility for a mistake that cannot be undone means death, it's not that hard to die. At least, not as hard as to live on."
 
Jul 28, 2015 9:49 AM
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Monster and Legend of the Galactic Heroes
One bright day in the middle of the night, two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other
A deaf policeman heard the noise and came and killed those two dead boys
 
Jul 28, 2015 9:57 AM

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I'm really pissed at Near's intelligence stats being even higher than L. If from the beginning Near was the one investigating the kira case, I think he would have lost at the Misa arc.
 
Jul 28, 2015 12:22 PM

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There will never be a portrayal that fully satisfies because there are so many factors involved and the format of these series do not really allow for in-depth portrayals that will invariably be boring. Luck and unexpected twists will always play a part because they move the plot along faster.
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Jul 28, 2015 12:24 PM

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RedRoseFring said:
There will never be a portrayal that fully satisfies because there are so many factors involved and the format of these series do not really allow for in-depth portrayals that will invariably be boring. Luck and unexpected twists will always play a part because they move the plot along faster.


What if I watched monster and was satisfied by Johan's intelligence?
 
Jul 28, 2015 12:31 PM

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Jul 28, 2015 12:35 PM
 
Jul 28, 2015 12:38 PM

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PoeticJustice said:
RedRoseFring said:
There will never be a portrayal that fully satisfies because there are so many factors involved and the format of these series do not really allow for in-depth portrayals that will invariably be boring. Luck and unexpected twists will always play a part because they move the plot along faster.


What if I watched monster and was satisfied by Johan's intelligence?


Then all the elements of luck and semi-supernatural phenomena didn't affect your appraisal of it. That's the same for me and my favourite intelligent characters.
"Let Justice Be Done!"

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I conclude that this theme is in fact good!
 
Jul 28, 2015 12:55 PM
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The irony of 'genius' characters in anime is that fans complain that these characters make their deductions from they consider to be insufficient information. It all comes down to 'I wouldn't have thought of that, so this character is unrealistic'; meaning that a genius character would have to be as intelligent as the fanbase to be considered realistic, thus negating his genius.
Armin is actually a good smart character. He doesn't say anything particularly smart, but what he says is what the viewer could easily deduce by themselves, and everyone in the show praises his plans as if they were extremely clever. So he doesn't get too ahead of the viewer, so no one's thinking 'how did he think of that', but also seen as smart by the other characters.
 
Jul 28, 2015 12:57 PM

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BatoKusanagi said:
Armin is actually a good smart character. He doesn't say anything particularly smart, but what he says is what the viewer could easily deduce by themselves, and everyone in the show praises his plans as if they were extremely clever. So he doesn't get too ahead of the viewer, so no one's thinking 'how did he think of that', but also seen as smart by the other characters.
QFT.
 
Jul 28, 2015 1:08 PM

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Y'all need Kaiji and one outs.
 
Jul 28, 2015 1:28 PM

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Forgetfulness said:
Um, not really an anime, but the manga Liar Game is very smart. Makes good use of mathematics, psychology and logic in order to show why one method of approaching games is better than another.
forgot this masterpiese. sadly the translator in my country drop it. fuck it.
"If taking responsibility for a mistake that cannot be undone means death, it's not that hard to die. At least, not as hard as to live on."
 
Jul 28, 2015 1:48 PM

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TokonatsuYuu said:
I'm really pissed at Near's intelligence stats being even higher than L. If from the beginning Near was the one investigating the kira case, I think he would have lost at the Misa arc.
near had all information gathered by L to work with tho
 
Jul 28, 2015 1:53 PM

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Yui Hirasawa - K-On! Most realistic portrayal of intelligence.
 
Jul 28, 2015 2:02 PM
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Shiroe from Log Horizon. Pretty realistic when it comes to MMORPG battle strategy.
 
Jul 28, 2015 2:02 PM
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Unyilkdr said:
hyouka. that's how logical mind works. yet soo many people hate itbecause boring and not enjoy the dialogue each f it.

If you don't enjoy Hyouka because you think it's boring blame your own attention span.

But as others have said, the point if someone being more intelligent than another is that they are basically moving at a faster speed. Characters like L and Light are realistically intelligent - simplified a lot mind you, but realistic.

Light just does things, he bases his actions on how he believes someone else will act - as someone handily pointed out by calling this 'mindreading' you can't explain it to the viewer really. Light would have no reason to slow down that chain of thought; someone who is a genius detective has already considered everything the audience has before they have and ruled out more than they've even considered.

So again, you can't really portray that in a way that everyone will accept - how do you show the audience that a character 'just can' do what they need to without that being unsatisfying to some people? That's the difference between a so-called genius and a normal person.
 
Jul 28, 2015 2:27 PM

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Spice and wolf, in their own subset of world, the premise, execution, and the references used in the anime was done pretty well. A lot of it's aspect remain untouched by the unenlightened mass that only sees a wolf girl and a merchant, not a harvest deity of abundance and human instinctive greediness.
 
Jul 28, 2015 2:29 PM

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romagia said:
TokonatsuYuu said:
I'm really pissed at Near's intelligence stats being even higher than L. If from the beginning Near was the one investigating the kira case, I think he would have lost at the Misa arc.
near had all information gathered by L to work with tho

The intelligence stats are garbage. The author of the manga said L was the smartest because the "plot requires it". L is smartest by Word of God, which is all that really matters.
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:07 PM

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kaiji , kaiji is not some mega genius like many MCs we know and his strategies are believable
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:09 PM

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CharlRosso said:
Sora and Shiro in NGNL universe. Both are so smart, even they can calculate every single thing.


I don't see god-mode'd characters as realistically smart. Also, the only reason they seemed smart is because the rest of the people in their universe were incredibly dumb.
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:18 PM

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Kaiki Deisuu( smart + con artist )
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:35 PM

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PoeticJustice said:
RedRoseFring said:
There will never be a portrayal that fully satisfies because there are so many factors involved and the format of these series do not really allow for in-depth portrayals that will invariably be boring. Luck and unexpected twists will always play a part because they move the plot along faster.


What if I watched monster and was satisfied by Johan's intelligence?

How can you when most of his most incredible feats are done offscreen?
juicykitten95 said:
kaiji , kaiji is not some mega genius like many MCs we know and his strategies are believable

Kaiji is an idiot who makes terrible life choices , naive, and cries whenever things go wrong but can do incredible things with whatever he has once a good idea clicks. It's pretty awesome to see a complete failure like him stick it to the rich man

TokonatsuYuu said:
I'm really pissed at Near's intelligence stats being even higher than L. If from the beginning Near was the one investigating the kira case, I think he would have lost at the Misa arc.

Near had more variables to work with (like X Kira/Mikami) and had better assistance
.
Modified by gedata, Jul 28, 2015 3:41 PM
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:39 PM

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gedata said:

How can you when most of his most incredible feats are done offscreen?


If I saw it, the magic would be ruined and it would kill the pacing of the story to be.
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:40 PM

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CharlRosso said:
Sora and Shiro in NGNL universe. Both are so smart, even they can calculate every single thing.

it actually pisses me off how those two call them selves "weak" yet they can pull all that math crap even tho all they did was play video games,honestly their "intelligence" is more unrealistic and more OP then any magic
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:43 PM

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Kreion said:
Unyilkdr said:
hyouka. that's how logical mind works. yet soo many people hate it because they said boring and not enjoy the dialogue each f it.
If you don't enjoy Hyouka because you think it's boring blame your own attention span.
it's not me. i enjoy hyoka. it's awesome. sorry forgot to give subject in my second sentence that make it ambigious.
"If taking responsibility for a mistake that cannot be undone means death, it's not that hard to die. At least, not as hard as to live on."
 
Jul 28, 2015 3:44 PM

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I like it when the author does not yell "hes intuleeyent" at your face
 
Jul 28, 2015 4:10 PM

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Mahouka and Aldnoah MC's are unrealistically intelligent.

The intelligence exhibited by the characters in Psycho-pass seems genuine/realistic enough, although Kougami's superb insight into Makishima and his "detective intuition" can get farfetched at times. Don't watch the 2nd season.
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Jul 28, 2015 4:38 PM
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azzuRe said:
Spice and wolf, in their own subset of world, the premise, execution, and the references used in the anime was done pretty well. A lot of it's aspect remain untouched by the unenlightened mass that only sees a wolf girl and a merchant, not a harvest deity of abundance and human instinctive greediness.

You could say that. Or you could say it's about a hitchhiking 15/16 year old girl who gets picked up by a 25 year old man in the medieval equivalent of a dodgy van.
 
Jul 28, 2015 4:56 PM

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Rinda Riko from the Q series. Logical thinking coupled to incredible knowledge on everything to its finest result. Trully incredible. Those are novels that don't have an anime but a partial manga adaptation as well as a drama adaptation. Didn't see those though, only read the novels.

SuperRed said:
8oomer said:
-snip-


This has Mary-Sue written all over it to me.

Congratulation for most probably being the first person in the world calling Victorique a Marie sue. Well, there's a first to everything.... I guesss...


....


...Sorry, I'm trying hard not to laugh right now. :)
Modified by Zefyris, Jul 28, 2015 4:59 PM
 
Jul 28, 2015 9:45 PM

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gedata said:
Arguably the most bullshit moment in the entire franchise.
 
Jul 28, 2015 10:01 PM

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Forgetfulness said:
Um, not really an anime, but the manga Liar Game is very smart. Makes good use of mathematics, psychology and logic in order to show why one method of approaching games is better than another.
No. The plans are not calculated well, Akiyama's plan at times are rushed and unrealistic.

Example.



Anyway, I haven't seen yet any genius characters except they are self insert gary stu.

Modified by DannyTheDonkey, Jul 28, 2015 10:52 PM
I'm too weird to live but much too rare to die.

 
Jul 28, 2015 10:23 PM

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SuperRed said:
8oomer said:
-snip-


This has Mary-Sue written all over it to me.
she's not doe

Other than being a smart mofo, she's not much anything else. Heck, the last arc is pretty much about her being useless, and it was the best arc. Not that I dislike her tho, that loli is good


 
Jul 28, 2015 10:25 PM

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None
Japanimation dont do such things like giving Science discoveries so noep
 
Jul 28, 2015 10:41 PM
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Ulysse said:
Most of the authors who write about genius characters are not geniuses themselves so it's easy for them to fail in portraying the characters' intelligence. Maybe by making them make silly mistakes they shouldn't, making them too perceptive to the point of breaking suspension of disbelief or even just telling the audience how smart those characters are without showing it.

Obviously, sometimes, they get it right. Someone like Yang Wengli is extremely smart in a somewhat believable way since you can actually infer it from his detailed strategizing or thought process which are all shown by the author. Same with Light Yagami and L during the first 10 episodes of Death Note. Then you have characters like Lelouch or Near who have no basis for their deductions (pretty much guess work) which are sometimes highly amateur-ish or improbable but are always correct at the end because the plot must move. Or Armin who seems smart because nearly every other character in the show is dumb. And of course, shonen villains like Itachi or Crocodile who made mistakes too dumb for how intelligent they supposedly are.

Any thoughts? Do you know of those (un)realistically intelligent characters in anime? If so, what made them like that for you?


There was never a fault within Itachi´s character besides him being human.
He realized the necessity of wiping out his clan, but couldn´t bring himself to kill his brother (conveniently the only child).
He later fucked up his brother head to make him hate him.
The part I think you are refering to as "dumb" is when he tells him to pursue him by becoming like him. that´s objectively spoken dumb, but it falls into the category of human emotion. It´s trust, he trusts in his brother to do the right thing (I believe in you!), not kill his friend.
Because it´s a Shounen Sasuke acts exactly as he predicted with the exception of Orochimaru (unknown variable). He even makes sure that Tobi will reveal the secret and creates a countermeasure, but effortless because Tobi hax.

Later he even comes back and reveals that he´s human as well and admits that he didn´t account for enemie cheat codes. He´s good, but he´s not Aizen.

The inerent problem with Shounen and "being smart" is the universes applied rules.
It all turns down to Scifi Mumbo Jumbo and deus ex machina and vague plot devices.Aka fuel forces as Chakra, Nen or Reiatsu without clear restrictions.
Or Fairy Tail who just makes up it´s logic on the spot therefore requiring no brains at all.

AttackOnTetris said:

Intelligence can't really be portrayed well in anime because if their thoughts really are that smart, the viewer probably wouldn't be able to keep up with them.


You can but you may end up with a mess of shit like this:
Modified by Isterio, Jul 28, 2015 10:55 PM
 
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