The ninja world of Naruto boasts one of the biggest shonen cast ever! And, all of these characters have unique sets of skills! One such skill is intelligence!
Although it can be hereditary, intelligence is a skill that needs to be honed and perfected! While prodigies like Kakashi and Shikamaru are obvious picks, we decided to rank the 10 smartest characters in the series to see how being “smart” can be defined!
10) Kakashi Hatake:
The Copy Ninja Kakashi, a former Hokage is widely considered as one of the smartest characters in the Naruto universe! He became a chunin at the age of six, and Jonin at twelve!
He was the youngest to achieve these ranks in history, and for a good reason! As the son of the great White Fang, Kakashi was a true prodigy. However, what made him so successful was the fact that he was a prodigy who worked hard.
Kakashi is still one of the greatest minds in the ninja world, known for his methodical plans, emotional intelligence, and wisdom!
9) Tobirama Senju:
As the second Hokage of the Konoha Village, Tobirama Senju is one of the most influential Kage of all time!
Tobirama was the one to establish the Anbu Black Ops and the Ninja Academy. He also created many Ninjutsus like the Multiple Shadow Clone and Water Dragon Techniques. As the second Hokage, Tobirama also created the Konoha Police, led by the Uchihas.
His decision to assign the safety of the village to the Uchihas was to build trust within the village. All of Tobirama’s decisions were based on the welfare of Konoha over a long period of time.
For this, he also tried to create the Reincarnation Jutsu, and was fairly successful at it! Tobirama is still one of the most influential and objective ninjas of all time, earning him a spot in this list!
8) Sasuke Uchiha:
Surprisingly, Sasuke is fairly overlooked when it comes to intelligence. A natural, Sasuke was gifted with a knack for essentially anything he did!
He has proved his intellect in battles against characters like Itachi, Orochimaru, Kabuto, Kaguya, Momoshiki Otsutsuki, etc time and time again! If it wasn’t for his intellect, then he and Naruto wouldn’t have won their most crucial battles!
People usually tend to downplay Sasuke’s intelligence as he acts rashly at times. However, people tend to forget just how twisted everything was in his personal life!
Known for being a menace to everybody, Orochimaru is an extremely cunning character. A former disciple of the Third Hokage, Orochimaru’s resume is filled with highlights!
He was caught conducting experiments on humans, practicing forbidden ninja techniques, and trying to achieve immortality! As one of the three legendary Sannin, he was also considered a potential candidate for becoming the Hokage!
However, Orochimaru took a far sinister approach, eventually attacking Konoha to capture Sasuke, and the village itself. While he was unsuccessful, the Sannin managed to kill the Third Hokage.
Later, Orochimaru also changed the course of the 4th Great Ninja War, even reversing the Death Reaper Seal placed on him! There may not be a single person alive who understands ninjutsu as deeply as Orochimaru, ever!
6) Kabuto Yakushi:
Growing up as an orphan, Kabuto was quickly thrown into the spy business. There, he became an expert at gathering intel and medicine at a young age. He displayed these qualities during the Chunin Exams arc as he gathered info on shinobis, and even outsmarted Anbu Ops Shinobi.
He is one of the best medical ninjutsu users in the world and the best users of the Impure World Reincarnation Jutsu! Kabuto also surpassed his master Orochimaru by mastering the Sage Mode.
As for his true smarts, Kabuto served as the catalyst for the 4th Great Ninja War, making the situation far more advantageous for Obito.
5) Madara Uchiha:
As a shinobi, Madara Uchiha was hailed as Hashirama’s only rival. He was the most intelligent Uchiha the clan had ever seen, with experience and tactics enough to topple nations with ease!
However, what really cemented Madara’s legacy as one of the smartest characters was his plan to execute the Infinite Tsukuyomi. First, Madara forced Hashirama into a fight, faked his own death, and disappeared from the public eye.
He then spent years cultivating Zetsu while trying to find a successor. After he found Obito, Madara pulled strings inside multiple nations just to make sure that Obito sees hell as a child.
Madara then proceeded to convert Obito into his disciple as he died. Obito then gave the Rinnegan to Nagato, who created Akatsuki. This eventually led to the 4th Great Ninja War, and his rebirth!
Due to his ability to plan meticulously, overcome difficulties with ease, and battle intellect, Madara is one of the most decorated characters in the Naruto series.
Zetsu is still an extremely underrated character. Created by Kaguya Otsutsuki, Zetsu’s goal was to resurrect his mother! For this, he manipulated all the reincarnations of Asura and Indra!
After centuries of trying, Zetsu finally achieved his goal through Madara. It is then revealed that the oh-so-loyal member of the Akatsuki is actually the manifestation of Kaguya’s will!
3) Minato Namikaze:
As one of the greatest prodigies in history, Minato wrote history in a very short amount of time! As a shinobi, Minato was highly creative and would make innovative ways to attack his opponents!
Often known as the Yellow Flash, Minato’s teleportation technique and his attack’s complexity forced nations to issue a flee-at-sight notice during the 3rd Great Ninja War! He also created the Rasengan, which he then taught to his teacher, Jiraiya, one of the three Legendary Sannin!
While his tenure as the Hokage was short, Minato was successful at isolating the Nine-Tails from the village and successfully minimized the damage caused by the beast. In fact, the Yondaime even managed to teleport a tailed-beast bomb!
During his death, he sealed half of Kurama inside Naruto, trusting his child to make the right decisions. This decision did in fact change the world for the better. Even after being reincarnated, Minato led the Hokages during their fight against Obito.
2) Itachi Uchiha:
Itachi Uchiha, often known for the Uchiha Clan Massacre, is considered to be one of the most lethal, serial, and intelligent ninjas in history.
As a child, Itachi was considered a potential Hokage, even before he was 10 years old by the villagers! This includes the Hokage himself!
Forced to take the decision of killing his clan, Itachi made the best out of this situation by joining the Akatsuki after the incident to spy on the group’s motives. He was successful at it due to his amazing planning skills.
During battles, Itachi never lost his composure, resulting in a promotion to Anbu Ops at the age of 12. However, the true display of Itachi’s intelligence was when his years-long planning helped him break the Impure Reincarnation Jutsu, a feat that was considered impossible before!
1) Shikamaru Nara:
While he is usually lazy and indifferent, Shikamaru is the son of Shikaku, who was the smartest man in the village prior to his death. With an IQ of over 200 as a genin, Shikamaru is an elite strategist.
He was able to figure out a loophole in Hidan’s immortality and formed a strategy to deal with Kakuzu at the same time as well. Throughout the 4th Great Ninja War, Shikamaru was pivotal in the allied forces’ movements!
Trusted by Shikaku himself, Shikamaru was able to surpass his father and become the smartest man in Leaf and perhaps the world as the greatest strategist in the ninja world!