Top 10 Manipulators in Anime with Genius Mind

Characters like Johan Liebert and Light Yagami are regarded as most known manipulators in anime world.

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Manipulators dazzlingly control situations and people to achieve their desired goals through deception, fraud, and their charismatic impression.

Characters like Light Yagami from Death Note and Johan Liebert from Monster have shocked viewers with their unexpected twists and reveals. Despite portraying the role of a deceiving person, these anime characters have won the hearts of millions of viewers.

Here is the list of the top 10 manipulators in anime with great plans and manipulative tactics.

10. Kiyotaka Ayanokoji – Classroom of the Elite

Kiyotaka Ayanokoji is a prominent character in Classroom of the Elite and is known for his fascinating personality and manipulative mind.

Ayanokoji, a Class D student, seems to be a quiet and unpretentious boy who is bad at making friends but possesses high intelligence and incredible physical ability. Behind his calm nature lies a perfect manipulator, an expert at getting whatever he wants.

His manipulative nature grows when he gets involved in many school affairs. He effectively predicts and influences people’s actions, making it tough for others to predict his moves and know his true intentions until it’s too late.

Ayanokoji engages in long-term planning, carefully directing circumstances to achieve his desired goals.

Classroom of the Elite

IMDb AnimationDramaThriller

Ayanokouji Kiyotaka, a student of the D-class of Koudo Ikusei Senior High School, begins to change when he meets two other students in his class.

creatorShogo Kinugasa
Release DateJuly 12, 2017 
StudioLerche
CastRina Hidaka, Shoya Chiba, Brandon McInnis, Justin Briner, Felecia Angelle, Aaron Dismuke, Sarah Wiedenheft, Akari Kitô, Noucky Andriansyah
WriterShogo Kinugasa, Alex Mai, Aoi Akashiro, Hayato Kazano, Sasane Xia, Ichino Yuyu, Ohine Ezaki
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

9. Sebastian Michaelis – Black Butler

Sebastian Michaelis is a demon disguised as Ciel’s butler who uses his supernatural abilities to undertake various tasks.

Despite his charming appearance, Sebastian is a sly and heartless manipulator with a dark past and joins Ciel, intending to consume Ciel’s soul and with many other mysterious motives.

Furthermore, Sebastian often uses his supernatural powers and mind games to manipulate situations in his favor and for his own benefit.

His character in Black Butler has gained worldwide popularity, and Sebastian Michaelis ranked ninth on a survey, “The Character I Want to Be My Groom.”

Black Butler

IMDb AnimationActionComedy

Ciel Phantomhive manages many unsettling events in Victorian England with the help of his loyal butler, Sebastian Michaelis, who turns out to be a cunning manipulator.

DirectorIan Sinclair, Naokatsu Tsuda, Hirofumi Ogura, Toshiya Shinohara
Release DateOctober 3, 2008
StudioA-1 Pictures, Aniplex
CastJ. Michael Tatum, Brina Palencia, Daisuke Ono, Michael C. Pizzuto, Monica Rial, Gloria Ansell, Maaya Sakamoto, Caitlin Glass
WriterBonny Clinkenbeard, Mari Okada, Yana Toboso, Yuka Yamada, Hiroyuki Yoshino
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

8. Yuichi Katagiri – Tomodachi Game

In the anime Tomodachi Game, Yuichi Katagiri is portrayed as a highly manipulative character who uses his slick mind to control situations and people to his benefit.

In the beginning, Yuichi Katagiri is regarded as a normal boy from a poor family background who participates in the Tomodachi Game and has his trust in his friends.

But as the game progresses, Yuichi starts to reveal his dark side. He is ruthless, competently manipulative, and merciless, with a mysterious talent for unraveling rules and people’s natures.

Furthermore, the series also illustrates Katagiri’s dark past, where he eradicated people with his manipulative tactics.

Tomodachi Game

IMDb AnimationDramaMystery

Yuichi Katagiri’s life turns around when he and his four friends are pulled into the mysterious Tomodachi Game when the school trip funds are stolen.

DirectorHirofumi Ogura
Release DateApril 6, 2022
StudioOkuruto Noboru
CastChiaki Kobayashi, Daiki Hamano, Reina Ueda, David Matranga, Shizuka Itou, Monica Rial, Satomi Amano
WriterKenta Ihara, Yûki Satô, Micoto Yamaguchi
Runtime23 minutes
RatingTV-14

7. Lelouch Lamperouge – Code Geass

Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass is renowned for his manipulative prowess and genius-level cleverness.

He is a former Britannian prince who, along with his sister Nunnally, is sent as a political pawn to Japan to soothe the Japanese government into a false sense of security after a terrible incident takes place in Britannia where his mother Marianne is eradicated and having to witness the event, his sister loses both her sight and ability to walk.

Seven years later, Lelouch mysteriously finds a girl named C.C., who grants him a power known as Geass. This power allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants, including bending their will to live, fight, or die on his behalf only through direct eye contact.

Furthermore, with his manipulative Geass power and charismatic appearance, Lelouch gained popularity and support among the Japanese and formed a resistance movement called the Black Knights to destroy the British empire, find his mother’s assassin, and achieve his own goals.

When Code Geass aired, Lelouch was recognized as one of Japan’s most popular characters, appearing at the top.

Code Geass

IMDb AnimationDramaAction

After being given a mysterious power to control others, Lelouch Lamperouge, an exiled prince of Britannia, becomes the masked leader of the rebellion and uses his power to defeat the British empire and avenge his mother’s demise.

creatorGorô Taniguchi, Ichirô Ôkouchi
Release DateApril 6, 2008
StudioSunrise
CastJun Fukuyama, Takahiro Sakurai, Johnny Yong Bosch, Yukana, Kate Higgins, Karen Strassman, Kikuko Inoue
WriterMarc Handler, Gorô Taniguchi, Ichirô Ôkouchi, Hiroyuki Yoshino
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

6. Eren Yeager – Attack on Titan

Eren Jaeger is a teenager who vows to take revenge on all Titans after a Smiling Titan eats his mother. He enrolls in the military and joins the Survey Corps, where he gets to study the psychology of Titans to learn what they are fighting.

As the story progresses, Eren discovers a mysterious ability to transform himself into an aware Attack Titan. This ability helps him utilize his psychological manipulation, convincing people to believe he can initiate massive change.

Eren’s manipulation further extends to complex plans, such as provoking his father to steal the Founding Titan and destroy the Reiss family, indicating his long-term manipulation tactics.

His role as a manipulator contributes to the complexity and depth of the narrative in Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan

IMDb AnimationActionAdventure

After a giant Titans eat his mother and destroy his hometown, a young boy, Eren Jaeger, vows to take revenge on Titans and cleanse them with his mysterious power.

DirectorTetsurô Araki, Masashi Koizuka, Yûichirô Hayashi, Jun Shishido, Hiroyuki Tanaka
Release DateSeptember 28, 2013
StudioWit Studio, Production I.G., Mappa
CastBryce Papenbrook, Jessie James Grelle, Yûki Kaji, Trina Nishimura, Yui Ishikawa, Yoshimasa Hosoya
WriterHajime Isayama, Yasuko Kobayashi, Hiroshi Seko, Noboru Takagi
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-MA

5. Kyubey – Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Kyubey is a small cat-like creature from Puella Magi Madoka Magica who initially appears to be a cute, innocent character.

But as the story progresses, Kyubey, with his manipulative strategy, lures young girls by promising them to grant any wish they make in exchange for obtaining magical powers to fight against Witches.

Furthermore, Kyubey reveals to Madoka that he is of an alien race. His true agenda is to harvest girls’ energy and try to transform them into witches so that Kyubey can steal the world’s energy, which can keep him alive and content.

For Kyubey’s catchphrase, the series won the 2011 Bronze Prize, and his character was regarded as a famous manipulator in the anime world.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

IMDb AnimationActionAdventure

A creature named Kyubey, who initially appears to be innocent, shows his true self after offering Madoka and Sayaka a grant for any wish they make in return for becoming magical girls.

creatorsUme Aoki, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Gen Urobuchi
Release DateJanuary 7, 2011
StudioShaft, Aniplex
CastAoi Yûki, Chiwa Saitô, Emiri Kato, Cristina Valenzuela, Cassandra Lee Morris, Eri Kitamura, Sarah Anne Williams
WriterGen Urobuchi
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

4. Makima – Chainsaw Man

Makima in Chainsaw Man is regarded as a highly manipulative and controlling character to achieve her desired goals.

Her apparently harmless and charismatic appearance easily misleads people into accepting her requests and orders without opposition.

Makima’s manipulation strategy mostly involves emotional and psychological manipulation, managing the desires and fears of others.

When Denji, a chainsaw man, joins a team of governmental Devil Hunters led by Makima. He is manipulated and controlled by Makima with the promise of an intimate and romantic relationship.

Makima is later revealed to be the Control Devil, who ultimately seeks to control Pochita as he can erase evil concepts from the world by consuming their Devils.

Chainsaw Man

IMDb AnimationActionAdventure

A boy named Denji, after making a contract with a dog-like devil named Pochita, gains the ability to transform himself into a devil-human hybrid.

DirectorsRyû Nakayama, Masato Nakazono, Takeru Satoh
Release DateOctober 11, 2022
StudioMAPPA
CastKikunosuke Toya, Ryan Colt Levy, Tomori Kusunoki, Shogo Sakata, Suzie Yeung, Reagan Murdock, Fairouz Ai, Mariya Ise, Katelyn Barr, Shiori Izawa, Lindsay Seidel
WriterTatsuki Fujimoto, Hiroshi Seko
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-MA

3. Johan Liebert – Monster

Johan Liebert is an antagonist character known as a charismatic and manipulative sociopath with a dark past in the anime series Monster.

Liebert uses psychological manipulation, often misinterpreting perceptions and using misinformation to control others.

He can also easily infiltrate his targets’ minds and drive them to do his dirty work. Because of his actions, many people lose their lives, but Johan doesn’t feel guilty and wants to control others and achieve his desired goals.

Johan is ranked among the best manipulators in anime due to his terrifying tactics.

Monster

IMDb CrimeDramaAnimation

Tenma, a brilliant neurosurgeon with a promising future, risks his career to save a young boy who turns out to be involved in unusual serial homicides.

creatorNaoki Urasawa
Release DateApril 6, 2004
StudioMadhouse, Shogakukan Production
CastHidenobu Kiuchi, Liam O’Brien, Mamiko Noto, Karen Strassman, Nozomu Sasaki, Keith Silverstein, Yûto Uemura
WriterTatsuhiko Urahata, Naoki Urasawa
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

2. Sōsuke Aizen – Bleach

Sosuke Aizen is the main antagonist of the anime series Bleach, who is a highly manipulative man with a sadistic nature.

Using his intelligence and charm to control others, Sosuke tricks the protagonist, Ichigo, into falling under his spell of becoming stronger. Sosuke fooled him, sparked a revolution in Renji, and even faked his demise.

Intending to achieve his goals by hook or crook, Aizen tricks Ichigo several times. He further possesses abilities like time manipulation, relativistic speeds, and existence erasure, which enhance his manipulative skills.

Sosuke is also known as the most threatening opponent and most manipulative character in anime.

Bleach

IMDb ActionAnimationAdventure

Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student with a special ability to see ghosts, gains soul reaper powers from Rukia Kuchiki, which helps him to save the world from Hollows.

creatorTite Kubo
Release DateSeptember 9, 2006
StudioPierrot
CastJohnny Yong Bosch, Michelle Ruff, Stephanie Sheh, Kyle Hebert, Hiroki Yasumoto, Yuki Matsuoka, Steve Kramer
WriterMasashi Sogo, Natsuko Takahashi
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14

1. Light Yagami – Death Note

Light Yagami from Death Note is an intellectual manipulator who uses various techniques to achieve his goals.

He mysteriously finds a Death Note, a supernatural notebook that allows the user to exterminate anyone by knowing their name and face.

Frustrated by the status quo and injustice of the world and fueled by his deformed, misguided sense of justice, Light uses the book to manipulate the people to choose who gets to live and who deserves to die.

His tactics of manipulating people psychologically, exploiting their weaknesses and fears to bend them to his will by using his charismatic appearance, led to the horrific assassination of people and also made him able to garner most of the world’s support, reaching the point where his followers begun worshipping him as a god.

Death Note

IMDb CrimeDramaAnimation

After discovering a notebook capable of eradicating anyone whose name is written into it, an intelligent high school student starts eliminating offenders from the world to make it a clear space.

DirectorsTetsurô Araki, Norimitsu Suzuki, Kei Tsunematsu
Release DateOctober 21, 2007
StudioD.N. Dream Partners, Madhouse
CastMamoru Miyano, Brad Swaile, Vincent Tong, Ryô Naitô, Naoya Uchida, Chris Britton, Aya Hirano
WriterTsugumi Ôba
Runtime24 minutes
RatingTV-14
Suruchi Lohani
Suruchi Lohani
Suruchi is a student of Business Management, who is also a movie enthusiast. She loves writing articles and blogs related to movies. Besides that, she enjoys reading novels and is passionate about learning new things.

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