*pushes up glasses*
Oh? So you want to know the best INTJ anime characters, do you? Well, that’s hardly surprising. After all, the INTJ is the rarest (and usually most successful) of the Meyers-Briggs personality types. But I feel I must warn you, “The Architect,” personality type is many things, but friendly is not one of them. The INTJ is analytical, even-tempered, and introverted. They are tacticians above all else and prefer to work behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight. If you’re interested in forming a “social relationship,” I suggest focusing your efforts on these ENFP’s instead. Conversely, if you care to meet a more “rough and tumble” type, might I suggest having coffee (or going for a… I don’t know, a skydive?) with some of these “adventurous” ISFP types. Most INTJ characters would rather be doing something a little more… useful with their time. So please, don’t try to make friends. The INTJs are not interested. But I can see by the look on your face that you’re going to try… fine.
*light flashes on glasses*
An accomplished young man in his own right, Kyoya serves as the “voice of reason” in the often inane Host Club of Ouran Highschool. Calm and logical, he handles the logistical side of the Host Club’s activities. Despite Tamaki Suoh being the “face” of the club, it is (naturally) Kyoyo who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. He also works as a host club member, titillating the female students with his confident, reserved, and “too cool for school” attitude. But like many INTJs, he is not entirely without possession of those strange, and often useless, little byproducts of the human experience called “emotions.” It is implied that he harbors secret feelings for his fellow host club member Haruhi (but then again, who doesn’t?) and he also possesses a deep love for his best friend, Tamaki, and the other members of the host club. He comes from a no-nonsense family, with a cold, domineering father who wants his son to succeed at all costs (including his son’s own happiness). In light of this, he tends to keep his cards close to the chest, and only shows his true colors to those he trusts. A wise decision, naturally.
Another person of superb talents, Captain Levi is the jewel in the crown of the Scout Regiment, and its fiercest and most shrewd soldier. He is an exceptionally gifted combatant and is able to singlehandedly turn the tide of a battle against both titan and human foes alike. He is also cold, rational, and slow to trust. A man of few words, he prefers to lead by example, and is not the type of man to rouse his soldiers with a morale-boosting speech. He instead keeps his distance from his subordinates. It is understandable, as the casualty rate in the Scout Regiment is so high, he likely sees no practical use in forming relationships with people who could be dead by day’s end. Ever the tactician, he is rarely ever surprised and appears to conduct himself with the belief that Murphy’s Law (“whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”) is always at play. Nevertheless, he is shown at times to care for his comrades, especially in his younger years. However, he is rarely slowed by the death of a friend and channels his grief into a more useful emotion (such as rage) in order to enhance his fighting spirit and complete a mission. This author cannot help but salute his practicality.
Light Yagami, L, and Near
A veritable triumvirate of INTJ personalities, each member of this trio holds themself to one rule and one rule only: logic is king. The cast of Death Note is full of the INTJ personality types (even Ryuk could be seen as an architect of sorts). However, there are slight variations in the personality of each member. Three cookies made from the same batter may possess different amounts of chocolate chips, after all (forgive the metaphor, a frivolous thing like “the literary arts” was never my strong suit). Of the trio, Light Yagami appears to be the most formidably rational, but is later consumed by a hubris that is quite unbecoming, which naturally leads to his inevitable downfall. Light wishes to become the architect of a new world, where he himself is God, but like Icarus, he flies too close to the sun and crashes back down to Earth. L, meanwhile, has no such delusions of grandeur. The child detective remains ever rational, but he is a curious sort who is in possession a few “quirks,” namely his slouching posture and his desire for sweet foods. Logically, a nutrient-rich diet would benefit L’s critical thinking powers, as his brain would be nourished with the proper vitamins and minerals, but to each their own. Near, however, seems to possess the fewest quirks of the trio, and is perhaps the most surgical and rational of the three. The child appears to derive pleasure from nothing but problem-solving. In Near’s eyes, the world is simply a Rubik’s Cube waiting for his talented mind to solve. It stands to reason that Near’s unique personality allowed him to orchestrate Light Yagami’s downfall, though he could not have done so without building upon the foundations that L had already laid. The author applauds this sort of combined intellectual effort. Indeed, the adage holds true: two INTJ heads are better than one.
A brutal and pragmatic man, this character from Cowboy Bebop pursues his ambitions with the careful, methodical nature of a cold-blooded reptile. No doubt a subscriber to the Machiavellian maxim “the end justifies the means,” Vicious is willing to employ the basest of means in order to achieve his goals. He sells out old friends, murders his superiors, and even straps an explosive device to his pet bird simply because it is the most effective way to achieve his ends. While the INTJ personality is not a personality defined by a lack of morality, the chilly pragmatism, that is characteristic of those who possess it, often leads to decisions of a morally ambiguous (and sometimes downright villainous) nature. The diminished value that social relationships hold in the mind of an INTJ can further exacerbate this. Like Light Yagami before him, Vicious serves as a chilling example of how the INTJ personality is often possessed by those of a more villainous character. While this author does not condone villainy, I would be remiss if were not to acknowledge its… practical considerations.
Regrettably, it is most often the male characters in anime who are in possession of the INTJ personality type, while female characters are often stereotyped to possess more “emotion driven” personality types, such as a warm and fuzzy nurturing type or an emotional labile “tsundere” archetype. Nevertheless, many female anime characters are refreshing exceptions to the unfortunate rule, and Satsuki Kiryuin is no doubt one of them. Shrew, powerful, and commanding, Satsuki Kiryuin prides herself as the fearless leader of Honnoji Academy’s student council. She is a woman of ruthless tactical brilliance and commands her subordinates efficiently and without hesitation. She is also unafraid to “get her hands dirty” when the occasion arises, and is a fiercely powerful combatant. She does not possess many deep social relationships, and often the only person that she seems to confide in is her stalwart butler, who has known her since she was a small child. It is later revealed that she must maintain a cool demeanor in order to deal with her abusive mother, who is the only person in the series from whom Satsuki ever takes an order. Nevertheless, she is able to maintain her composure and ultimately reveals herself as a double agent against her mother at the conclusion of the series. These shrewd tactics allow her and her sister, Ryuko, to defeat their mother once and for all. Well played, Satsuki. Well played.
A man after my own heart, this impeccable INTJ specimen is the ever-cool cucumber (again, pardon the metaphor) of the cast of Jujutsu Kaisen. While he was a talented sorcerer in his youth, he made the practical decision to live a life in pursuit of money, in order to retire and live comfortably in his 30s and 40s. However, unlike many unscrupulous INTJs on the list, his moral compass led him towards the true north of using his talents to help others, instead of pursue financial gain. A cool-headed combatant, Nanami is able to maintain composure in battle (against terrifying foes that he has never before encountered). He is a man with a singular talent, the ability to fight and think at the same time, and he uses his tactical acuity in order to best even the strongest and deadliest of cursed spirits. He is also a charismatic leader and is able to command his subordinates effectively in any combat situation. True to INTJ form, he is a reserved man who seldom speaks unless it is to communicate useful information. He does not have many close relationships, though he does maintain a friendship with his lighthearted colleague Satoru Goju. While on the surface the relationship appears to be one-sided, he is shown to care for Satoru, sometimes against his better judgment. I applaud you, Nanami. Everyone needs a friend, once in a while. Perhaps even you, dear reader, could earn a place in Nanami’s heart if you so desire it. It is a logical improbability, but a probability all the same.
Featured image credit: Kyoto Animation
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