May your Anime be Merry and Bright!

This might be the season of bright lights and merriment, with twinkling strings of lights dangling from every rooftop and holiday music bubbling out of every doorway, but isn’t it also important to remember a different kind of brightness? With a spark in their eye and a ingenious plan bubbling away in their brains, aren’t the best and brightest, most intelligent of human kind also worthy of celebration in this rather dark and dreary time of year? Wasn’t it the glint of genius that brought us all such wonderful things like holiday lights, decorations, and even our favorite carols?

einstein in a santa cap

Besides, doesn’t Einstein look a bit like Santa Claus if you squint your eyes reeeeaallly hard? And of course that celebration should extend to the brightest of anime characters too! So in this season when everything should be merry and bright here is a few anime characters that are the brightest light bulbs in the box!

detective conan santa

Frankenstein Family: Tanis

tanis thinking

The little genius Tanis is not just bright, he’s also fiercely dedicated to his family of science experiment siblings and does everything he can to protect them. Though Tanis has a quick temper and can often get irritated with the antics of his older siblings, he never forgets how important his family is. When government authorities raided the island where they lived and arrested the parents for their illegal work, Tanis kept his cool and started planning how to survive.

tanis angry
Fiercely Dedicated to his siblings

The children were removed from the secluded island, and were just kind of abandoned on a larger, more populated island to fend for themselves. Due to the experiments done to them, Tanis’s siblings gained a wide variety of unique abilities. Unfortunately, that also meant that his older siblings struggled to function in a modern society. So it was brainy Tanis that tried to help his siblings and manage the home.

frankenstein family cast

Promised Never land: Norman


Another boy genius that loves his family, Norman is calm, logical, and self sacrificing. When he learned that his happy family was actually just a farm to raise children for monsters to eat, he (with the help of his brainy friends) was quick to come up with a plan. Even when those plans took a turn for the worse and would result in his own death, he never tried to run away or hide from this conclusion. He followed through, as long as the plan would still save the ones he cared about the most.

Elite Classroom: Kiyotaka Ayanokoji

kiyotaka thinking

Unlike the first two boy geniuses, Kiyotaka isn’t rosy cheeked and cheerful and it’s unlikely this mysterious high school student is doing everything to protect his family. No one’s really sure why he does what he does. Seeming disinterested in everything, he somehow managed to land himself in class D of the elite Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing high school though he’s obviously very intelligent. He claims to be weak and unskilled yet no one can land a punch on him.

kiyotaka in shadow

Maybe the most unusual thing about Kiyotaka is that he feels apathetic towards everyone, in fact he can be quite calculating is his use of the other students and faculty around him, and yet people seem to want to become closer to him, and look to him as a leader.

kiyotaka with blank expression

Bungo Stray Dogs: Ranpo Edogawa

edogawa with glasses

This snack loving smarty doesn’t play a big role in Bungo Stray Dogs, but in the few times that he does appear in this anime, it’s very clear that what he lacks for super powers he more than makes up with brain power. Out of all of the characters in Bungo Stray Dogs, Edogawa is probably the most quirky of the group. Though he is one of the older detectives, he is also one of the most childish. Pouting, throwing fits, being easily distracted with treats, and getting lost to the point that it’s best if someone escorts him to crime scenes, when not on a case, he is certainly not mature.

Snack loving smarty!

Maybe one of the quirky-est things about Edogawa is his belief that he actually does have super powers like the rest of the Armed Detective Agency team. This point of view is re-enforced by many people (including Edogawa himself) giving him the moniker that he is the “Greatest Detective in the World”. He believes that if he puts on his glasses it will activate his super powers of deduction. In reality, he is an amazing detective, and his deduction abilities are amazing, but there is nothing super natural about them. He’s just that smart!

Ouran High School Host Club: Kyoya Ootori

kiyoya looking smug

Kyoya brings calculating to a new level. It’s not that he’s manipulative (though he is) but this clever high schooler literally calculates the finances of the host club that he co-founded at every chance he can get!

There doesn’t seem to be anything that Kyoya loves more that counting money, well except maybe winning! Logical to the point of being harsh, calculating to the point of being miserly, and aloof to the point of being cold, and yet there is just something so lovable about this high school CEO.

Maybe it’s his knowing smile, his indulgent way of helping his friends, and the way he let’s himself be dragged along on their whimsical adventures. All this makes Kiyoya as charming as he is smart.

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