Spoiler warning for Haikyuu!! season 1-3! Parts of the manga after chapter 190 will not be discussed. Thread with caution dear reader!
“The first game, second game, the playoffs, the nationals… I am going to win them all”
The genius setter from Karasuno and part of the freak duo, Kageyama Tobio is the subject of my psychoanalysing magnifying glass today.
Makii has already examined Oikawa Tooru’s personality type over here so please check that out as well!
She basically paved the way for me to now follow up with this question:
Is Kageyama Tobio an ISTJ?
Let us begin!
There is a reason why I phrased the title a bit different than Makii has. I have researched a lot about what people think Kageyama’s personality type is, and a lot of opinions were differing extremely!
Most fans have suggested ISTJ just as I expected, but there were various ideas. Some even mentioned that he might be an ENTP or an INTP.
Now if you don’t know much about the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, it is a personality test examining certain traits one possesses and using letters to distinguish these different traits.
Without dumping too much information on you, every personality consists of four different letters, each standing for one aspect of your personality: Mind, Energy, Nature, Tactics and Identity.
I will go through every single aspect and explain the letter that in my opinion is the most suiting to our blueberry boy.
Mind: Introverted (I)
How does Kageyama interact with his surroundings?
“I am not introverted!” is what we hear from him the first time this topic is mentioned in the anime. But is that really true? Kageyama is often seen as reserved and collected from the outside. A dominating and possessing figure “the king”.
Extroversion and Introversion is easier explained if we take it like the functions of a battery. As Makii has mentioned in her post as well, if you spend a lot of time with people do you feel more energized or is your energy depleted afterwards?
I feel like it’s important to mention that Kageyama’s biggest passion is volleyball, which is amplified by him saying how he would despair only if he couldn’t play volleyball anymore.
As an athlete Kageyama can’t really play volleyball alone, so saying he’s extroverted just because he’s always adamant on playing doesn’t really prove if he’s an extrovert.
What I think gives us more information on how he interacts with his surroundings is the way he communicates. After meeting Hinata ,who by any means is a raging extrovert, he starts tagging alongside him all the time. When they needed help and got tutoring from Yachi, Kageyama either walked behind or next to Hinata waiting for him to make their case. Generally you see Hinata talk mostly, and Kageyama nodding in the background.
Basically, even though it might sound like a joke, introverts live in their own little world until they get “adopted” by an extrovert. (Right Makii?)
Kageyama is really loud sometimes, he scream’s “boke!” every chance he gets which is also considered a sign of extroversion yet it has nothing to do with it. Introverts can become loud and energized when in their safe circle of people, and Kageyama is just an aggressive teen all around. After having problems with his team in Kitagawa Daiichi, be actually see a more mellow Kageyama, walking mostly alone.
When walking in groups he is not really talking much and his answers are very short. When something ticks him off he gets loud, but that doesn’t make him an extrovert.
To be honest I think the reason he screams “I’m not an introvert!”, is because he is trying to defend himself. He probably thinks to himself that an introverted person is a shut-in. I really think if he wants to he can spend a long time alone, outside of volleyball that is.
Energy: Observant (S)
How does he see the world and process information?
According to the MBTI the letter S, standing for observation, shows that the person is prone to use data and visible facts that are straightforward. They’re less imaginative and like to use things that always work for them. If they’ve found a safe route, they cling to that stability and continue to pursue it.
When Kageyama perfected the “freak attack” with Hinata he found said stability. Seeing the immediate boost it gave the team and the satisfaction that Hinata had in the beginning, it was especially hard for him later when the middle blocker demanded more.
Why change something if it is already perfect?
To have a direct comparison, Oikawa with the N type (Intuition) immediately saw room for improvement behind the success rate and a chance to make something “perfect” even better, while Kageyama was clutching on the current path that was successful. Oikawa took his time to give every member in Karasuno advice and tips on how to improve, he is often seen observing in the background and pushing everyone he works with to their fullest potential.
When it came to the freak quick attack, it was shown that Kenma saw the weakness in it as well, pushing Hinata to wan to improve it.
Kageyama’s weakness is that he didn’t see the bigger picture, but only the short term solution that was most effective.
Observants are efficient and finish the task at hand, it might just cloud their view when they get hung up on their preferred tactics.
Nature: Thinking (T)
How does he make decisions and cope with emotions?
Head or Heart?
Personalities with the thinking type are prone to use their logic to make their decisions and use facts and knowledge even in their relationships. Statistics and hard facts are what gives them the ability to be pragmatic and wage the pros and cons of a certain aspect.
Thinking types are still capable of understanding and feeling complex emotions of course, it’s just that in their daily life they like to use information they have observed or attained to give logical and rational answers to things.
“Azumane-san, how was that toss just now?”
Pairing well with his observant nature, he accumulates actual facts to accommodate to his peers. he might have a problem getting his emotions in check, but when it comes to volleyball his straightforward approach is what helps him determine how to f.e. set to someone new.
He’s not always completely logical though, especially since middle school his emotions do take part in his decision making, but it would be wrong to say that Kageyama doesn’t use his brain while interacting with his teammates.
Sadly, this also builds up to the fight he had with Hinata in season two. Not only was he unable to understand Hinata’s emotional turmoil behind the whole situation, but he was clearly sticking to his own path. Not budging a bit.
Even if he registers other people’s emotions he uses them in a logical context instead of an emotional one, while keeping facts and logical aspects like skill and technique as a first priority.
Tactics: Judging (J)
How does he approach work, planning and decision-making?
As much as he is a hothead, when it comes to his training regimen, kageyama Tobio is strict. He understands the importance of pushing his limits and working through every obstacle until it is solved.
The J stands for the Judging type and shows the adamant way of carefully planning the way they need to pursue their goals.
Like I mentioned before with the first quote of Kageyama wanting to win all his games in the future. Those are not just empty words. He is shown to have a training routine that he follows diligently and he always nags Hinata to not just hit spikes but also work on his weak receives.
I even found out that the white board in Kageyama’s room shows a very complex workout schedule.
Kageyama’s goal is to stay on the court the longest and become the absolute best, and he is aware that all of that doesn’t come from nothing.
So this is what personality type I think Kageyama Tobio is: ISTJ.
The reserved and logically inclined setter who can still be a bit emotional (a bit?) might feel quite ambiguous, still I think that his responses to sudden change and inefficiency already determine a lot about him.
Just because he’s an introvert doesn’t mean he has to be a shut-in or gets stutters when he talks to people (nuff- na- nice!), but his interactions are often awkward when he’s unsure and he’s not really likely to get the first step in a conversation.
I suppose that Sugawara and Oikawa often give him the touch of F (Feeling) that he needs to move forward.
I identify with Kageyama a lot, even though I am of the feeling type only have the introversion in common with him, I get his way of communicating and would be a lot worse off without Makii’s help.
I shall rest my case now and leave you to research your own personality if you haven’t yet! Here is the link to the official MBTI website: https://www.16personalities.com/
It has given me a lot of insight on myself as well as friends and family, and I can only encourage you to try it out!
Ah~ the tea is empty, gotta refill!