Best Chess Anime: 13 Anime Characters Who Like & Play Shogi

Everyone loves a good chess game. The complex strategies and mind-boggling moves make it a fascinating game to both watch and play.

What is even more intriguing is when anime characters from our favorite shows play the game. We have seen many characters play chess and use it to their advantage in their tales.

Chess is often used to represent the characters’ personalities and storylines. You might’ve seen someone playing “Shogi,” the traditional and most widespread variant of chess all over Japan.

Here, we will look at 13 anime characters that use chess and figure things out in their arcs. We will explore their roles in their respective anime and discuss how chess serves as a metaphor for their character development. By the end of the post, you will have gained a deeper appreciation for the characters and the artistry behind their stories. So, be ready because you are about to explore the thrilling world of anime, chess, and shogi.

#13 Touya Meijin

#13 Touya Meijin - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Hikaru no Go
Game Intelligence: 77/100

Touya Meijin, a character in the manga series Hikaru no Go, is an avid Go player. Go is a popular board game in Japan. As an experienced and highly accomplished grandmaster of the game, He is known for his formidable strategy, sharp analysis and uses frequent gambits to surprise and confuse his opponents.

Touya’s passion for the game of Go is evident in every match he plays; he often examines potential moves from every angle before taking action.

#12 Shikamaru Nara

#12 Shikamaru Nara - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Naruo
Game Intelligence: 78/100

Shikamaru from Naruto is a shogi genius! Seeing him battle it against the greatest opponents in the game is impressive. His strategy and planning are beyond comparison, as he outsmarts his opponents at every turn.

He knows how to anticipate their moves, playing multiple steps ahead of them. We’ve seen Shikamaru use his intellect to successfully defeat even the most seasoned players, often with more pieces on the board than other players have to remain. His astounding skills ensure that each battle is breathtaking to watch, leaving us all rooting for the young prodigy!

#11 Klaus von Reinherz

#11 Klaus von Reinherz - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Hikaru no Go
Game Intelligence: 80/100

Klaus Von Reinherz is a true master of chess and the perfect embodiment of cunning strategy and leadership. Not only does he possess an impressive level of intelligence and intuition for the game, but he also has mastered creative ways to outmaneuver his opponents.

Klaus’s precision on the board rivals his quick wit, combining incredible power with graceful poise, making him a tough nail when mastering the game of chess.

#10 Armin Arlert

#10 Armin Arlert - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Attack on Titan
Game Intelligence: 82/100

Armin is not only a brilliant strategist, but he’s also a chess genius. In the anime, Armin can come up with complex strategies and analyze his opponents’ moves so quickly that it almost seems like second nature to him; this includes anticipation of likely outcomes and exhibiting masterful authority over the pieces.

His impressive chess aptitude has been noticed by many other characters in the show as well, with some even counting on him to predict the best plan of action during a battle. Clearly, Armin is a brilliant tactician and one hell of a sturdy opponent when it comes to taking on any sort of challenge, be it mental or physical.

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#9 Izuku Midoriya

#9 Izuku Midoriya - Best Chess Anime

Anime: My Hero Academia
Game Intelligence: 84/100

In the action-packed series My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya also has an affinity for chess. He uses it to flex his mental muscles, and while he isn’t as skilled as Light Yagami or Kiritsugu Emiya, he still proves to be an impressive player. This is quite surprising, right?

But this is actually true. Our beloved Izuku is interested in chess, and if you notice, his battle strategies have been so great because he trained his mind by playing chess.

#8 Hikaru Shindo

#8 Hikaru Shindo - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Hikaru no Go
Game Intelligence: 86/100

Hikaru Shindo is a young boy who discovers the ancient game of Go and falls in love with it. He quickly develops an amazing talent for the contest and is later recruited by a professional Go player to help him win tournaments. He also enjoys playing chess as a way to develop his thinking skills.

#7 Reiji Sakamaki

#7 Reiji Sakamaki - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Diabolik Lovers
Game Intelligence: 88/100

Reiji Sakamaki is an absolute master of chess. His moves are always calculated and precise, allowing him to outsmart his opponents and come out on top with whatever objective he had in mind at the beginning.

No matter how skilled or experienced his opponent may be, His intellectual prowess and quick thinking will give him an edge. He understands the most intricate strategies and tactics, ensuring each move is never wasted. Reiji’s ability on the board has earned him the awe and respect of all those who witness his skillful play!

#6 Shiro

#6 Shiro - Best Chess Anime

Anime: No Game, No Life
Game Intelligence: 90/100

Shiro is one of the best chess players around. Her game mastery is truly incredible, as her moves are always precise and calculated. She can easily read into her opponents’ strategies and predict what they will do next, always remaining one step ahead.

Even when playing multiple opponents at once, her skills rarely waiver. Of course, this makes it easy for her to play against even the most formidable opponents, making each match a thrilling experience from start to finish.

With Shiro’s knowledge, skill, and intuition on the board, she undeniably makes for an exciting opponent that any chess player would be eager to face off against!

#5 Kiritsugu Emiya

#5 Kiritsugu Emiya - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Fate/Zero
Game Intelligence: 92/100

Another chess-loving character is Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/Zero. He is a former mercenary who is obsessed with perfecting his strategies from the Fourth Holy Grail War.

Kiritsugu’s skills as a strategist and his ability to think several moves ahead of his opponents make him a challenging opponent, and his love of chess is one of the things that drive him to victory.

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#4 L

#4 L - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Death Note
Game Intelligence: 94/100

L from Death Note likes chess and is pretty good at it too. He loves the strategy involved and the challenge of overthinking his opponents. Whenever he can, L will seek out local tournaments or meet up with friends in his area to play a game or two.

He adores that it is both mentally stimulating, socially interactive and considers it a great way to pass the time. In one of the episodes, we’ve even seen L playing chess against Light, and during that, both characters have a deep conversation, not to mention that while playing chess, L becomes even more manipulative.

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#3 Ciel Phantomhive

#3 Ciel Phantomhive - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Black Butler
Game Intelligence: 96/100

Ciel Phantomhive from the popular manga and anime series Black Butler is known for having an interest in chess, even though we’ve never seen him actively play the game. He does, however, reference its strategies during conversations, demonstrating he has a fair knowledge of the game’s tactics.

His passion may have been sparked by his late father, who was also known to be fond of chess. Although Ciel Phantomhive is not as highly skilled at the game as some other characters like Sebastion or Grell Sutcliff, Ciel’s interest still shows that he is intelligent and enjoys strategizing and problem-solving.

#2 Light Yagami

#2 Light Yagami - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Death Note
Game Intelligence: 98/100

Light Yagami from Japan loves playing chess. He is not just a fan of the classic game; he’s also devoted much time and effort to mastering it. As smart and logical as he is, it’s no surprise that Light has become an expert in chess strategy.

By understanding the way pieces move around the board, Light has crafted some truly killer strategies that have earned him respect amongst his peers. With his signature charisma and natural brilliance, Light’s chess prowess makes him a formidable opponent and adds another layer to his wickedness.

#1 Lelouch vi Britannia

#1 Lelouch vi Britannia - Best Chess Anime

Anime: Code Geass
Game Intelligence: 100/100

Lelouch of Code Geass has a unique interest in chess. This classic board game holds a special place in Lelouch’s heart, as it is the only one he can consistently finish, given his desire for control and strategy.

He often uses analogies from the game of chess to make his points or explain situations in which he finds himself or others. For example, while discussing his relationship with Nunnally, he refers to himself as a knight on a chessboard, dedicated to protecting her kinglike figure.

While this analogy illustrates Lelouch’s willingness to sacrifice himself for her personal safety and the well-being of Nunnally, it also reinforces how important chess holds in his life.

This is it for today’s blog. Who is your favorite character that plays chess? And does chess actually make a person smart? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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