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HughJ

Who is the best mastermind in anime?

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It can be the hero, antihero, villain, antivillain, or side character... but regardless of their overall role in the story, in the time they do have, these characters have demonstrated a huge capacity for strategy, backup plants, organization, and tactics. Generally starting with just a handful of tools and assets, characters like this can grow their power into entire cults or nations; or otherwise can bring down said entities like they're nothing. To be clear, I'm not looking for the best leader in anime - often times the masterminds will remain behind the scenes and anonymous even to their closest allies.

 

I'd like to see who you guys think deserves the title of "Best Mastermind in Anime."

 

Some candidates I can think of (which you might like to make cases for) are as follows:

 

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Lelouch vi Britannia (AKA Lelouch Lamperouge, Zero, Julian Kingsley) from the anime Code Geass.

 

Born into Britannia, the greatest empire the Earth as ever seen, Lelouch's destiny as a royal was forever changed when his mother was assassinated and his sister left crippled by the same bullets. Seeking revenge against his father and the royal family (whom he blamed for the assassination attempt), Lelouch accepted the power of Geass - the ability to have anyone he made eye contact with follow his commands. Using this power, as well as strategy and diplomacy, Lelouch assembled a terrorist group known as the Black Knights and proceeded to match the military might of Britannia time after time. He serves as the hero of Season 1, the villain of the midquel, and the antihero of Season 2.

 

 

 

Image result for kira

Yagami Light (AKA Kira) from the manga and anime Death Note.

 

The son of a police chief and the antihero of the manga, Light was initially just another student in the Japanese education system when he one day discovered the Death Note - a magical notebook that would kill whoever's name was written within. Armed with this weapon, Light sought to purify the world of all criminals, regularly purging those he felt did not meet his standards. Though he withheld his identity, some of the public came to worship him under the identity Kira and formed cults, television shows, and riots in support of their savior. Guided by a delusional messiah complex and the belief that he could construct a new, pure world free of crime, Light would meet his equal in the form of the genius international detective L.

 

 

 

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L (AKA Lawliet, Ryuuzaki) from the manga and anime Death Note.

 

A famous adversary of Kira/Yagami, L is an anonymous international detective who takes interest in the Kira case. Perhaps less because he believes it is right and more to entertain himself, L undertakes the dangerous task of hunting down the seemingly omnipotent killer; as such, he becomes the series antivillain. In just the first two episodes, L manages to narrow down his suspects from any of the 7.1 billion people on Earth to a likely urbanite from the Kanto region of Japan. If this incredible feat is not enough, L is also repudiated to be the best detective in the world, having solved many other cases before.

 

 

 

Image result for makishima

Makishima Shogo from the anime Psycho-Pass.

 

A psychopath (or "criminally asymptomatic" person, as it is known in the Psycho-Pass universe) born into a postmodern Japanese society, Shogo Makishima becomes disgusted with the present nature of human living. Under the organization of the algorithms of Sibyl, a functional role in society is secured by a person's submission to the system and their ability to keep their stress level down. Makishima serves as the antivillain of the series: while his goal of freeing people from this submissive, cowed way of living is admirable; his means are grisly and horrific. He assembles a team of murderers and powerful individuals to destabilize society from the inside, but does not shy away from dirtying his own hands with innocent blood to realize his goals.

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I am for Lelouch all the way. He is up there as one of my favorite anime characters. I'd vote for him based on his sheer creativity in using his geass, alongside his nonmagical manipulation powers.

I'm not such a big fan of him, but Light Yagami deserves a place on the list of candidates, along with L.

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8 minutes ago, Strider said:

I am for Lelouch all the way. He is up there as one of my favorite anime characters. I'd vote for him based on his sheer creativity in using his geass, alongside his nonmagical manipulation powers.

I'm not such a big fan of him, but Light Yagami deserves a place on the list of candidates, along with L.

 

I apologize for prematurely posting the topic, I'm still getting used to the new site design

 

I have now included Light and L, as well as the lesser-known (but ever present in my heart) Makishima

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All hail His Majesty, Lelouch vi Britannia!

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Lelouch was only caught/thwarted because he wanted to be, so he's already got a leg up on the rest on your list. 

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10 minutes ago, Jericho said:

Lelouch was only caught/thwarted because he wanted to be, so he's already got a leg up on the rest on your list. 

 

*Spoilers for Code Geass Seasons 1/2*

 

He came close a few times. First, during the second ghetto incident when he underestimated Cornelia, and second during the second season when the Black Knights found out his identity and turned on him. In both instances he was ready to accept defeat when someone else bailed him out (C2 dresses up as Zero and draws attention, and Rolo stops time, respectively)

 

He also has a weakness the other masterminds don't have, which is that Nunnally is his only reason for living - during the period where he thinks she's dead, he becomes incredibly depressed

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Spoiler

If we are talking about master minds you really cant leave out Junko Enoshima "The Ultimate Despair", she threw the whole world in chaos and ruin, without anyone even realizing she was responsible for it. In the end she only died, because she suicided to feel the despair of death.

 

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I'd have to pick Light Yagami. He was able to outsmart L and most other characters in the series. He was able to successfully lead away the investigator who came looking for the murderer of her fiance. He was able to find the notebook even when he had forgotten it by relinquishing it and killed successfully the Shinigami of Misa. He was even able to hide his true nature from his father. Although he lost in the end to the Near and Melo cooperation, he's still quite a good mastermind, having executed so many actions that led him to escape from being discovered by the authorities.

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Well, I guess I'm not the only Lelouch fanatic.  His mastermining is brought to new heights in the Super Robot Wars games he is in.

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Lelouch got his empire in the end, Satsuki had hers from the start.

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This one's easy. it has to be Father from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. His plan got him immortality, destroyed Xerxes, nearly wiped out the Ishvalans, took over Amestris and all that with the patience of a rock. Took over 450 years.

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