8 Anime Characters Who Fit the Myers-Briggs IFSP Personality Type
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test is one of those fascinations I acquired in a middle school computer lab. It was a classic scene: instead of doing what we were supposed to be working on, most people in my class were covertly taking the Myers-Briggs test. Results were compared after class in excited whispers. (I, personally, am an INFJ—”the rarest personality type!,” as all these websites congratulate me. Apparently, I share this in common with the likes of MLK Jr. and Marie Kondo.) For those for whom astrology didn’t stick, the Myers-Briggs Test is a fascinating frame of reference. For instance, you can use an MBTI to find characters you have a kinship with—and find similarities in characters from disparate series. And what better medium to discuss kinship within than anime?
For those unfamiliar, the Myers-Briggs test categorizes people based on four basic dichotomies of personal preference. These are: extroverted or introverted (self-explanatory enough); how you take in information—sensing or intuitive; how you make decisions—thinking or feeling; how you deal with situations in the outside world—judging or perceiving. (I feel your curiosity bristling: you can take the test here.)
An ISFP type, then, is Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving. Already feels like kind of a classic anime archetype, right? In fact, this personality is sometimes called the “Adventurer”—people with this personality are both very expressive and humble as individuals, driven by curiosity and a desire for exploration, and good at finding joys in everyday life (as an INFJ, the latter is something I actively admire). Others call it the “Artist”—quiet, peaceful, expressing enthusiasm in a low-key manner. They’re doers, disliking abstraction and preferring to take action. Here’s the description on the Meyers-Briggs website:
Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.
In anime, ISFPs are often protagonists. If it’s not the kind of shonen or adventure series to have an extrovert at its helm, you’ll often find an ISFP there. SO, for your reading pleasure, I’ve put together eight anime characters totally rocking an ISFP personality.
When you first think of Jujutsu Kaisen‘s Yuji Itadori, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking he’s an extrovert at first. This is, indeed, a subject of legitimate debate. But, if you ask me, Itadori’s one of those introverts whose loyalty towards his friends and general openness to life experiences gives off the impression of extroversion. The series does demonstrate that, at the end of the day, Itadori needs some alone time to recharge. Viola: ISFP.
If Kill La Kill‘s Ryuko Matoi is opting to be “quiet,” you’d bet it’s because she’s simmering on something. She’s also not really a “let’s enjoy the present moment, hooray!” type of person, but trauma does a number on anyone. Still, Ryuko is fiercely independent, follows her drive on her own terms, never waivers on her values, and is deeply competitive—all pillar traits of an ISFP.
Much like my BFF Shoto Todoroki, there’s a lot of debate on whether or not Naruto‘s Sasuke Uchiha is an ISFP or an ISFJ. I have already shamefully admitted on this website that, despite its enduring worldwide popularity, I’ve yet to dig into Naruto. But! Seems like this widely cherished boy has a loner streak and is more emotionally driven than he lets on.
Speaking of Shoto Todoroki—Shoto Todoroki. Like Sasuke, many characterize my golden icy boy with “judgment” rather than “perception.” In Todoroki’s case, I’d argue that what may come across as harsh judgment is the emotional calculus Todoroki does in any situation, thanks to the “having a Bad Dad” situation growing up. When Todoroki finds an ally he can trust, he sticks to them fiercely—just look at the growth of his relationship with Midoriya for proof.
Not to name two people from the same series, but Mashirao Ojiro (aka “very normal tail guy” in my head) is a much less controversial example of an ISFP.
If you’ve ever seen Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece, Princess Mononoke, I’m sure you don’t really need convincing that San’s default is “I work alone.” Despite her stubbornness (again, very INFP), her compassion and loyalty to the environments and animals close to her drive her at the end of the day.
Eren Yeager (Pre-Season 4)
People often place Eren Yeager as an ISFP. If we’re looking at the Eren from Seasons 1-3, that seems accurate: deeply committed to his friends, and yet fiercely independent. Tends to do things without asking anyone. Definitely not ruled by a judgment brain. He also, quite notably, has a fierce desire for lots of exploration and freedom. Given the events of the ever-ongoing Final Season of Attack on Titan, Eren’s now also kind of a textbook case about the corruption possible of the ISFP type. I don’t know if anyone would describe him as “kind” or “low-key” anymore.
P.S.—did you know Eren and Todoroki have the same voice actor? He also does Daida from Ranking of Kings. You will now never un-hear it. You’re welcome?
Let’s get it out of our system right now. Ready? Three…two…one…TETSUOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Okay, we good?
Akira is one of my all-time favorite films, and Tetsuo is, in my humble opinion, one of the most fascinating characters in modern fiction (read the graphic novel!). Like Eren, Tetsuo is also a tragic example of what can happen when an ISFP is pushed to the brink. Tetsuo here, after getting dumped by his parents and bullied (spoilers??), spent most of his life under the show of the incredibly extroverted Kaneda (okay: KANEDAAAAAAAAAA!!!!). He’s actually quite soft-spoken by nature. It’s just that, sometimes, getting absurdly strong psychic powers can make even the most low-key and calm individual work out their latent trauma in un-constructive ways.
One of my favorite characters in one of my favorite series, Perona’s a villain-turned-hero-ish who is sassy, impatient, and always looking out for Number 1. Perona’s more of the “artist”-type ISFP than the “adventurer”-type ISFP. She would like you to leave her alone, please—unless you are Kumacy. If you are Kumacy, don’t talk. Just hang out and be cute. However, once she finds an ally, she latches onto them tight.
(featured image credit: Studio Ghibli)
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