Studio Ghibli has graced us with many impactful and beautiful movies for years and years. Something that is incredibly beautiful to see is the romantic relationships that blossom through the stories they tell.
In this post we will look at the relationships of two ghibli movies and what makes them so compatible with the help of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
What is MBTI?
For those of you who aren’t familiar, let me quote myself!
“[…]It’s basically a personality test that divides every person into a set of letters that combine a certain type of personality. There are 16 types in total, and they’re divided in four categories: the analysts, the diplomats, the sentinels and lastly the explorers.”
For everyone who doesn’t know the specific personalities that will be discussed, let’s look at the singular personalities first before delving into the relationships!
The types that will be discussed here are ISFJ, ENFP, INFJ, and INFP!
INFJ’s are the rarest personality type there is! They make great advisers and strive to live their lives looking for the deeper meanings of things. Advocates tend to be quiet and reserved but they definitely leave their mark in society with their creative mindset.
Having the urge to connect to others, it’s especially easy for this personality type to understand other people and give them the help they need to flourish.
Although their strengths lie in helping others and seeing the deeper meaning in everything, their own personal struggles are locked within. Advocates don’t open up very easily and like to stay on the sidelines. Sometimes that might look like they’re uninterested or cold when they’re just trying to keep themselves out of the situation.
Perfectionism is nothing new to the diplomat category, and an Advocate often feels like they need to give their all to attain the goal they set for themselves. They stick to their principles and can get sensitive when criticised harshly.
ENFPs are inherently curious and love to explore the big wide world. They love to take in everything surrounding them be it good or bad and have a feel of freedom and exploration about them. The atmosphere Campaigners bring is carefree and loving, and they’re often very popular among others.
Communicating is an easy piece for them. If it’s deep talk or small talk it doesn’t matter to them, they know how to voice themselves with ease and can move the discussion to their benefit in a seamless way. A carefree and independent way of living is the most founded principle in their life. Campaigners want to live their life like they want to, restrictions in any way makes them uneasy and could damage strain relationships faster than expected.
When it comes to practical skills and focusing on more “boring” tasks ENFPs have problems adjusting and would rather continue living their fun life. Although they seem happy and excited all the time they tend to overthink a lot and get stressed regularly.
At first glance INFPs might seem very shy, but there’s a passion lying inside them that comes to the forefront when they feel comfortable. Their unpractical and fantastical thinking might make them look childish and they get misunderstood easily as frail and weak. Quite on the contrary mediators have set ideals and principles they like to pursue and they give their all to live their life the way they imagine it to be best.
INFPs think out of the box and may have unconventional methods to solve their problems. They can be impractical in their daily lives, sabotaging themselves due to self criticism and fear. Conflict is something Mediators like to avoid, they dodge uncomfortable situations or bury their complaints to a point where their emotions can overtake them.
INFPs tend to be very emotional when in stressful situations and work in small circles they consider their safespace. They value trust and loyalty and hope to inspire others and themselves for the better.
Defenders are very warm and supportive people. They tend to go out on a limb to help others and forget themselves easily in such situations.
They sit at the sidelines and observe thoroughly and have a more imaginative mindset than others. While they also tend to have fixed methods which correspond to them being a Sentinel, ISFJs are also open to other peoples approaches if they fit them.
Thanks to their altruistic nature they tend to glorify small and mundane tasks that keep everyone else going but themselves. Defenders see everything that is helpful to others as a blessing and have no problem taking themselves out of the equation.
Staying humble and shy, even when they get credit for their work they tend to brush it off and try to focus on other people’s victories. ISFJs repress their feelings and are very sensitive when it comes to their own emotions. They gravitate to being more private than outspoken which can lead to other people forgetting their presence or taking what they’ve worked hard for for granted.
Sophie and Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle): ISFJ x ENFP relationship
Sophie as an ISFJ and Howl as an ENFP make a very interesting couple, but why is that so?
Howl is very idealistic, his inherent traits make him yearn to live the way he depicts a good life to be and he cherishes the beauty of life in general. While he is a huge flirt and he might seem to be a heartbreaker, throughout the movie he was slowly getting more and more attached to Sophie.
Sophie on the other hand is a very quiet and reserved person, that only blossoms into her real personality when she is comfortable and taken care of. Still, as a defender she is the one who takes care of other people first. She makes sure to keep the shop of her father open and visits her sister whenever she can. Sphie doesn’t talk much to others about what she wants, but she is ready to save and protect the people dear to her.
This is something Sophie and Howl have in common: high empathy for others.
Sophie’s altruistic nature comes from a strong sense of responsibility and the fact that she feels happy and accomplished when her family and friends are happy as well. It is a reaction based on the fact that she was forced to help out when her father died and her mother was too busy traveling. Looking out for others is a reason for her to work harder and that is where her altruism comes from.
Howl’s empathy and altruism comes mainly from his idealistic view of the world. It is less about responsibility and more about his heart aching when he can’t help someone in need. That is why his approach to saving and taking care of Sophie is a lot more rock than estimated. He wants her to be far away from him to be safe, but risks for her to resent him for keeping a distance.
Communication can be hard for these personality types in the beginning, as they have differences that make communicating a challenge. If it wouldn’t have been for the witch of the waste cursing Sophie, she might’ve never had the opportunity to meet Howl and resolve to stand up to him.
In the end, the reason these two are so compatible is because they bring out the best in each other. Sophie is more fact oriented and nurturing while forgetting herself, Howl is the romantic man who takes care of her and makes sure she knows how valuable she is.
Haku and Chihiro (Spirited Away): INFJ x INFP relationship
Chihiro suddenly finds herself in a whole new world that is completely different from what she is used to, and no one else but Haku is there to save her.
Chihiro is an INFP, which means very closely to Howl, she is extremely idealistic and has specific things she needs to function without stress. We learn in the beginning of the movie that she is moving away from her friends which makes her feel cut off from the new life her parents are so excited about.
But Chihiro doesn’t want to leave her friends and her home to live somewhere else. Still, as she sets foot into the other world, she is so scared and confused that she can’t even move.
Haku lives as the assistant to Yubaba in the other world and is trapped there, as he doesn’t remember his name and therefore can’t turn back. When he finds Chihiro he makes sure to help her in his own way and keep an eye on her as she learns to have courage and work.
The interesting thing here is, that INFPs and INFJs are in the same category as diplomats and therefore both have the Intuition (N) and Feeling (F) traits. What distinguishes these two are their last traits which are Prospecting (P) and Judging (J).
As an INFJ, Haku keeps to himself and doesn’t share more than he needs to, but he still goes out of his way to help others and in this instance Chirhiro. His J trait is what makes him organized and think carefully of what he needs to do to keep Chihiro motivated to find her parents and not forget her name. He knows how horrible it is to be stuck in the other world, so by helping Chihiro he hopes that she might get out.
Chihiro is very focused on saving herself in the first part of the movie, which is what a lot of INFPs do when they are backed into a corner. She readily takes the advice Haku gives her and immediately attaches herself to him as the only pillar of hope she has.
She doesn’t even realise that she is caring for him until she is in the middle of a chaotic situation and tries to save him from Zeniba’s curse.
The relationship between them is based on mutual survival and small yet tender moments of love that might not be that noticeable. As their loving acts speak more than their words, it’s through Kamaji that the viewer realises: They are in love.
This is the first of two parts for the Ghibli MBTI compatibility post! Next time we will be dealing with two pairs that fight with and against nature itself. Can you guess which it will be in the comments?
Until the next mesmerizing tea time!