There are very few shows that hold a place special in my heart like Naruto Shippuden, and very few characters that come close to Madara’s villainy. His IQ and intellect aside, Madara Uchiha is one of the best examples of a true, blue villain that we haven’t seen in Shonen in so long. Sure, there have been tons of antagonistic characters across anime, but none that hit the same vein as Madara did. And I’ve always stood by the fact that he should’ve been the overarching villain of the franchise, period.
So, when people ask about Madara’s IQ levels, it isn’t a hard question to answer. I mean, I don’t doubt that they calculated that sort of thing in Konohagakure, but it’s safe to assume that it’s a high number, considering how Madara is one of the smartest people in the story. Like, if Shikamaru Nara’s IQ is 200, then Madara’s is easily at 190+. Which, again, makes sense once you consider how much he has seen over the years he’s been conscious.
The thing that always got me about Naruto Shippuden was how a lot of the villains weren’t caricatures or exaggerations. They had their motivations, flawed as they may be, and were almost magnanimous in their terror. They weren’t solely huge power vacuums with no brains. So, when you discuss what Madara’s IQ is, you’re also discussing his strategizing, and how he played one of the longest revenge plots in history to get back at the village that took it all from him and his clan. Because, as we get to learn, later on, the Uchiha clan wasn’t solely to blame for their relationship with the Hidden Leaf Village breaking down.
And it’s why I adored Madara as an antagonist. The man didn’t have to talk about his grand scheme or over-explain his methods. There’s a reason why he was one of the greatest Shinobi of all time, and it wasn’t empty air. So, let’s discuss Madara’s IQ and purpose in today’s Character Analysis!
Madara Uchiha: The Dead Man With A Plan
As I said, Naruto Shippuden was my ultimate Big 3 show, I genuinely fell for it so bad. But I also happen to be one of its biggest critics. As much as I adored the franchise and its story, it did drop the ball a ton. However, nothing felt as much of a cop-out as having the Madara Uchiha not be the overarching villain of the story.
Because, in hindsight, he was perfect for the job. Madara was imposing, a literal ghost from the past risen to awaken nightmares in the Shinobi world. He made up a plan to come back for the eventuality that he will die, becoming the reason that the Akatsuki even exist. And don’t get me started on his skills as a fighter, with a downright legendary battle IQ.
But Madara’s greatest asset was perhaps his demeanor. There is something almost very cold about him, imposing in a way a lot of Naruto villains are known for but dialed up to 100. Think Itachi Uchiha, if he was the traitor everyone thought he was. It’s haunting how his character arc is a cautionary tale, of a cycle that has been repeating itself since the dawn of the Sage Of Six Paths. You saw it with Asura and Indra, with Madara and Hashirama Senju. And then Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha. But where Sasuke was saved from his anger and madness, Madara reveled in it and gave himself to the darkness.
Why Madara’s IQ Failed When It Came To Manipulation:
Sadly, as smart as Madara was, it wasn’t enough. Madara’s IQ and predictive thinking couldn’t save him from being manipulated by Black Zetsu, to resurrect Kaguya. And like, this is where I have most of my qualms.
As much as I liked Zetsu as a character, the plot twist just didn’t feel as earned as it should have. We had heard so much about Madara and his power, the man played the long con flawlessly. He enraptured Obito Uchiha into his circle, that alone should tell you everything.
But somehow, Zetsu got the better of him. Because, what, his IQ was higher than Madara’s or something? I think this was one of the major problems with the Naruto Shippuden ending in general because Madara just felt like the perfect villain for Naruto’s natural spontaneity.
Had the show just ended with Madara being the driving force behind everything, it would’ve been perfect. But alas.