Knowing your MBTI personality type has evolved into cult status on the internet much like astrological signs are. As a card-carrying member of said cult, I thought it my duty to match each Studio Ghibli girl with an MBTI personality type.
A few disclaimers and notes before we proceed:
The personality types I assigned for each girl is not canon. I used two sources to determine their personality type. The first is the official MBTI page. But because they didn’t go into details with the types, I had to look at other sources, specifically 16 Personalities, so I can narrow the results down.
Studio Ghibli Female Characters and their MBTI Type
Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging
ADJECTIVES: Actively sociable, enthusiastic, harmonizer, expressive, warm,idealistic, empathic, possiblity-oriented, insightful, cooperative, imaginative, conscientious, appreciative, tactful
Identifying Nausicaa’s MBTI type was pretty easy. She’s a respected leader with a heart of gold. She fits the Protagonist description down to a tee.
“Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. They radiate authenticity, concern and altruism, unafraid to stand up and speak when they feel something needs to be said.”16 Personalities
Right at the beginning of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), it’s pretty clear how much of a well-loved and capable leader Nausicaa is.
“The interest Protagonists have in others is genuine, almost to a fault – when they believe in someone, they can become too involved in the other person’s problems, place too much trust in them.” This is certainly a Nausicaa trait. There are several instances where she saves the ‘antagonists.’ One was Asbel, the warrior who had just tried to kill her.
“People with the Protagonist personality type are passionate altruists and they are unlikely to be afraid to take the slings and arrows while standing up for the people and ideas they believe in.” She was ready to sacrifice herself to save her people.
“This personality type wants to lead the way to a brighter future.”
Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
Adjectives: Active organizer, logical, assertive, fact-minded, decisive, practical, results oriented, analytical, systematic, concrete, critical, responsible, take charge, common sense
Initially, I thought San (Princess Mononoke, 1997) would be a “Defender” because that’s the core of her character: defending her loved ones. To my surprise however, the Defender traits didn’t reflect her at all. It was the unrelenting “Executive” that described her best.
“Executive personalities lead by example, demonstrating dedication and purposeful honesty, and an utter rejection of laziness and cheating, especially in work. Even against heavy resistance, they stick to their principles and push an unclouded vision of what is and is not acceptable.”16 Personalities
San is a relentless soldier of the Wolf Tribe and the forest, leading battles against ‘dishonest enemies’ like Eboshi.
“Executives expect their reliability and work ethic to be reciprocated – people with this personality type meet their promises, and if partners or subordinates jeopardize them through incompetence or laziness, or worse still, dishonesty, they do not hesitate to show their wrath.” San sure does make her ire known. Remember when she stabbed Ashitaka for not keeping his promise to protect the Deer God? That scene was iconic.
“They have a reputation for inflexibility, but it’s not because Executives are arbitrarily stubborn, but because they truly believe that these values are what make society work.” At the end of the movie, San still refused to live with humans and chose a life of isolation in the forest instead.
“The main challenge for Executives is to recognize that not everyone follows the same path or contributes in the same way.”
Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging
Adjectives: Vision and meaning oriented, quietly intense, insightful, creative, sensitive, seeks harmony and growth, serious, loves language and symbols, persevering, inspiring
Chihiro (Spirited Away, 2001) was one of the characters I had a hard time pinning down. For me, her defining traits are timidity and resilience. But the MBTI personalities do not specifically highlight these two traits so I had to look at her other qualities. In the end, I think Advocate fits her personality the most.
“People with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life. Advocates can often be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work. However, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.”16 Personalities
Okay, this is taking the “resuce efforts” a little too literally, but she did save her parents and along the way, helped her new found friends too without being pushy. She freed the River Dragon (aka Haku) and helped No Face become a better spirit.
“The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point. If their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy, and stressed.” It’s pretty obvious how much Chihiro struggled in the Spirit World. She had a lot of ups and downs but she always managed to pull through thanks to her resilience and the help of her friends.
“Advocates just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.”
Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
Adjectives: Quietly warm, factual, sympathetic, detailed, dependable, organized, thorough, conscientious, systematic, conservative, realistic, caring, practical, stable, helpful
Sophie (Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004) was a difficult one too. I had pegged her as a “Mediator” at first because I thought we’d be the same type but I ended up changing it to “Defender.”
“Though sensitive, Defenders have excellent analytical abilities; though reserved, they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships.”16 Personalities
Sophie lives a rigid life but she has a good relationship with her colleagues and her vivacious sister, Lettie.
“And though they are generally a conservative type, Defenders are often receptive to change and new ideas. “ She quickly journeyed to solve the dilemma of being cursed and that showed flexibility and strength despite her more closed-off personality.
“They have a tendency to underplay their accomplishments. Using their imagination and natural sensitivity, it is in family that their expressions of affection fully bloom.” This is ultimately what makes Sophie a Defender type. She’s self-deprecating and the love she has for her family is unparalleled, taking on the task of managing the family business so her sister(s) can be free to do what they want.
“They may never be truly comfortable in the spotlight, and may feel guilty taking due credit for team efforts, but if they can ensure that their efforts are recognized, Defenders are likely to feel a level of satisfaction in what they do.”
Introversion + Sensing + Thinking + Judging
Adjectives: quietly systematic, factual, organized, logical, detailed, conscientious, analytical, responsible, pragmatic, critical, conservative, decisive, stable, concrete, efficient
Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989) is definitely a Sentinel type just looking at how determined she is to make it on her own and make her family proud.
“People with the Logistician personality type enjoy taking responsibility for their actions, and take pride in the work they do – when working towards a goal, Logisticians hold back none of their time and energy completing each relevant task with accuracy and patience.”16 Personalities
As a witch-in-training with a whole clan rooting for her, Kiki jumped into her task with as much gusto, wanting to prove herself to the family.
“Logisticians have little tolerance for indecisiveness and can become noticeably angry as deadlines tick nearer.” Kiki certainly felt the pressue at some point in her training and started losing her ability to fly.
“Dependency on others is often seen by Logisticians as a weakness, and their passion for duty, dependability and impeccable personal integrity forbid falling into such a trap.” Kiki is hard on herself, working to the bone and is often hesitant to accept help from others. She’s dead set on proving she can be independent, sometimes even at the expense of her own health.
“Logisticians need to remember to take care of themselves – their stubborn dedication to stability and efficiency can compromise those goals in the long term.”
Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving
Adjectives: Excitement seeking, active, pragmatic, direct, easygoing, observant, concrete, realistic, adaptable, efficient, analytical, troubleshooter, spontaneous, adventurous, experiential
Arrietty (The Secret World of Arrietty, 2010) is our first from the Explorers group. “Entrepreneur” might not seem like an appropriate noun for Arrietty but take a look at these descriptions below, it may just convince you.
“Entrepreneurs leap before they look, fixing their mistakes as they go, rather than sitting idle, preparing contingencies and escape clauses.”16 Personalities
Arrietty is definitely the risk-taker type. The fact that she went behind her family’s back and went out exploring on her own speaks of her dare-devil attitude and bravery.
“School and other highly organized environments are a challenge for Entrepreneurs. The regimented, lecturing approach of formal education is just so far from the hands-on learning that Entrepreneurs enjoy.” Reading this actually made me understand Arrietty more. She rebelled at her parents’ strict rules because she’s the type to learn from experience. She puts more value on her own understanding of the world based on what she learned rather than just take the words of her parents.
“If Entrepreneurs aren’t careful though, they may get too caught in the moment, take things too far, and run roughshod over more sensitive people, or forget to take care of their own health and safety.” Arrietty’s rebellious streak definitely put her family in jeopardy but she’s strong enough to admit her mistakes and provide solutions to the problems she caused.
“Entrepreneurs are natural group leaders, pulling everyone along the path less traveled, bringing life and excitement everywhere they go.”
Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging
Adjectives: Vision oriented, quietly innovative, insightful, conceptual, logical, seeks understanding, critical, decisive, independent, determined, pursues competence and improvement
Shizuku (Whisper of the Heart, 1995) is the character I was most excited to examine. Her strong and clear personality made the analysis of her behavior such an enjoyable experience. Looking at the adjectives listed above, I realize how perfectly they describe her big personality.
“Architects are among the most capable. People with this personality type are imaginative yet decisive… ambitious yet like their privacy… curious about everything but remain focused.”16 Personalities
Shizuku has the wildest imagination that allows her to pen fascinating stories but she never loses her eyes on the prize. She has her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground. Everything she does is for the attainment of her goal—including following around a random cat as part of her research.
“They have a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life. They are serious and prefer to design and carry out effective plans rather than waste their time with foolish distractions like gossip.” Books are a big part of Shizuku’s life. Aside from cat chasing, books are another way for her to research material. All of this are basically plans in order to achieve her dream.
“They typically apply a sense of perfectionism and even morality to all their work. Anyone who can’t keep up with Architects’ processes or doesn’t see the point of them is likely to lose their respect.” This reminded me of how she rejected Sugimura who confessed to liking her. The reason may be partly because her friend Yuko has a crush on this guy but deep down, it’s really because Shizuku never saw anything in Sugimura to be impressed about. It’s completely different with the mysterious Seiji who ignited Shizuku’s curiosity and interest, so it’s only natural that she would develop deeper feelings for him.
“This personality type always looks for new tactics, strategies, and contingency plans. With this, they can achieve any goal they apply themselves to.”
Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging
Adjectives: Actively sociable, warm, harmonizer, caring, enthusiastic, empathic, people-oriented, practical, responsible, concrete, orderly, conscientious, cooperative, appreciative, loyal
Studio Ghibli certainly loves Sentinels because here we have another one, this time a “Consul,” known for being caring, social and popular people. Indeed, Umi (From up on Poppy Hill, 2011) is all that.
“Consuls are altruists, and they take seriously their responsibility to help and to do the right thing. Unlike their Diplomat relatives however, people with the Consul personality type will base their moral compass on established traditions and laws, upholding authority and rules.”16 Personalities
When Shun told Umi that they may be siblings, Umi took it like a champ. She felt sad but she didn’t wallow on it too much and quickly put on a happy front for everyone. She didn’t dare suggest they continue the relationship either. Umi, just like Shun, chose to do the right thing.
“Consuls love to be of service, enjoying any role that allows them to participate in a meaningful way. This is especially apparent at home, and Consuls make loyal and devoted partners and parents. “ Umi does a lot of chores at their bed and breakfast. In school, she signs up to help at the Journalism Club renovate the Quartier Building to save it from demolition.
“The best thing for Consuls to do is to do what they do best: be a role model, take care of what they have the power to take care of.”
Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging
Adjectives: Driving organizer, planner, vision focused, decisive, initiating, conceptual, strategic, systematic, assertive, critical, logical, organized, pursues improvement and achievement
Analyst group is home to big personalities so it seems. Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, 2008) joins with her “Commander” personality, a pretty self-explanatory noun especially with how loud her character is.
“Commanders are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. However, Commanders are also characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves.”16 Personalities
I need not tell you how Ponyo managed to enlist the rest of her sisters to help her track down Sosuke, relentlessly if I may emphasize.
“If there’s anything Commanders love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal.” Ponyo faced a lot of hurdles before she was able to be with Sosuke. A disapproving father and an all-powerful mother couldn’t stop her from doing anything she wanted. She is, quite literally, a full-on rainstorm.
“Commanders are true powerhouses, and they cultivate an image of being larger than life – and often enough they are.”
Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving
Adjectives: Gentle, quietly caring, compassionate, adaptable, modest, aesthetic, idealistic, observant, loyal, helpful, realistic, patient with details, spontaneous, joy in action
Fio (Porco Rosso, 1992) is probably the easiest to identify. When I read about “Adventurer” type, she was the first one that came to mind.
“Adventurer personalities use aesthetics, design and even their choices and actions to push the limits of social convention. Adventurers enjoy upsetting traditional expectations with experiments in beauty and behavior – chances are, they’ve expressed more than once the phrase ‘Don’t box me in!'”16 Personalities
Being an engineer in the ’50s put Fio at the forefront of women breaking social conventions. She’s not just a poster girl though. Fio walks the talk and proves it countless times throughout the movie.
“Adventurers live to find ways to push their passions. Riskier behaviors like gambling and extreme sports are more common with this personality type than with others. “ Remember that time Fio wanted to join Porco Rosso to a test flight even though his plane only had one seat? Not to mention it was absolutely forbidden for an unmarried man and woman to be alone together? Fio made room at the compartment as a solution and she couldn’t care less about the latter.
“Adventurers don’t plan their futures in terms of assets and retirement. Rather, they plan actions and behaviors as contributions to a sense of identity, building a portfolio of experiences, not stocks.”
Introversion,Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving
Adjectives: Deep-felt valuing, quietly caring, compassionate, pursues meaning and harmony, creative, idealistic, empathic helpers, inquisitive, enjoys ideas, language and writing, independent, adaptable
I don’t think we need a personality test to identify Sheeta’s type. She’s a “Mediator” from every sense of the word.
“Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine.”16 Personalities
Sheeta (Laputa: Castle in the Sky, 1986) is soft-spoken, wouldn’t-break-a-glass kinda girl but when the situation calls for it, she has drive that leads to results. Prime example is how she leads a resistance against the exploitation of Laputa.
“Mediator’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.”
The list ends here! Here’s an infographic/chart of the Studio Ghibli girls’ MBTI.
I was going to do Taeko (from Only Yesterday) as well, but I changed my mind as she has the same type as Sheeta. Do you agree with my analysis or would you match a different personality type to any of the girls?
I never took the official (paid) test but I did try the 16 Personalities one and I got INFJ the first time and INFP on the second. It’s not surprising as my Perceiving and Judging scores always hover on the 50% range anyway. What’s your MBTI Personality Type?
I linked the resources below in case you want to check them out.