From Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke to Spirited Away, we’re breaking down the Myers-Briggs personalities of Studio Ghibli characters.
You can find Studio Ghibli’s influence just about anywhere you look in anime, and for good reason too. Films like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, The Castle In The Sky, and Howl’s Moving Castle are practically rites of passage on any anime fans journey through the medium. Hayao Miyazaki and the rest of the folks over at Studio Ghibli have been cranking out some of the finest animated feature films for decades now.
The art in these films may be top billing for most, but Studio Ghibli’s characters are complex and powerful, beautiful examples of well-written characters. The perfect type of characters to take apart and examine for an article about the Myers-Briggs personality types. Let’s take a look at some of the paired protagonists from our favorite Studio Ghibli films and see what we can learn about some of the personality types they use to lead their animated masterpieces.
San (Princess Mononoke): The Adventurer – ISFP
San is courageous, stubborn, willing to fight for what she cares about even if that means she’s fighting alone. ISFPs are pathfinders, people willing to go ahead on and clear the way for the rest of us. They have an introverted nature and a true aptitude for examining a situation exactly as it is. ISFPs make great adventurers because they don’t allow complications to slow them down. San understands the issue of the encroaching humans and forms a plan to deal with them. Her Perceptive nature grants her the type of improvisation skills that you’d expect of any good adventurer.
Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke): The Mediator – INFP
Ashitaka has a strong sense of right and wrong. He is always striving to do what he feels is right no matter what the sacrifice is to himself. INFPs are true idealists and the member of the group most dedicated to the feelings of the group. Unlike his extraverted cousins, the ENFP, Ashitaka is more like to find a single worthy cause to throw himself into, rather than spread himself thinly and risk burnout while accomplishing nothing. Ashitaka and INFPs like him may not add much logic of strategy to the party, but they are the ones showing time and time again that the world can be a kinder and gentler place if we all just try a little harder.
Princess Sheeta (Castle In The Sky): The Artist – ISFP
Sheeta is quiet and reserved, especially around new people. She has a hard time getting near others because of the danger her very presence brings them. She is the rightful princess of Laputa but more than that she is a polite, quiet, and considerate person. FPs, in general, have a strong sense right and wrong and tend to let their moral compasses make the decision and Sheeta is not the exemption to the rule. Sheeta has the weight of an entire floating castle on her shoulders, yet she still finds the strength the trudge onward when all seems lost. ISFPs are the people you go to when the going gets tough and you need someone, anyone, to get going.
Pazu (Castle In The Sky): The Entertainer – ESFP
From the very beginning of the film, it’s easy to see that Pazu is someone who has no problem with giving out their time in order to help people. Pazu is active in the mines and helping the miners that work there, but he is also very friendly. ESFPs are entirely social creatures and have a strong sense of aesthetic and style. Pazu is empowered by those around him and uses is sensitive and reactive to the feelings of those around. ESFPs are the kind of people willing to do anything to help out a good friend. And they are no stranger to good friends.
Setsuko (Grave Of The Fireflies): The Performer – ESFP
As much as it breaks my heart to even look at this title, I couldn’t, in good conscience, just ignore the film because of its characters and how truly beautiful and powerful they are. If you haven’t watched Grave Of The Fireflies yet I strongly recommend that you do so immediately. Bring tissues. Setsuko is by far the purest thing about the world of Grave Of The Fireflies. She is humble and considerate, kind and curious, loving and understanding. All hallmarks of the ESFP. She cares deeply about her brother and understands far more about her world than anyone that age should.
Seita (Grave Of The Fireflies): The Virtuoso – ISTJ
Oh, man. Seita. Dude. You really made the best out of a tough situation and that’s the best anyone can do. ISTJs are good like that. Seita is the kind of person that can take something truly horrific like Japan circa World War 2 and create something livable – magical even, at times, for his little sister. ISTJs make great doers because they understand exactly what needs to be done and know exactly the steps to take to get it done. They don’t need a group to get them started and have no problem completing the task on their own when necessary. ISTJs are hardworking and disciplined, making them the ideal older brother for when things really start to go downhill.
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