Art by @ocaxoka on Twitter
His favourite food is milk bread, his favourite motto, “if you’re going to hit it, hit it until it breaks!”
But did you know that No.1 from Team Seijoh, Captain and Setter well-liked and loved by everyone (well almost everyone), is most likely an ENFJ?
Oh yes, for those of you who are not familiar with MBTI personality test, the MBTI personality test basically gives the tester four letters meaning you are either E or I, N or T, F or S, and lastly J or P.
In a prior post we only analysed Oikawa’s MBTI personality according to the letters but in this post we are going to take it a step further, let’s say an upgrade in order to understand why Oikawa Tooru is an ENFJ.
In the following post we will analyse the stack of an ENFJ which is the following: Fe-Ni-Se-Ti, explain every trait and how Oikawa fits into that very well.
As Oikawa is not the only ENFJ character we went through in detail, Gentle criminal’s stack from the series My Hero Academia can be found here if you are interested, additionally with a compatibility to his partner.
Are you ready to discover the journey through Oikawa’s functional stack?
Disclaimer: If you are still watching Haikyuu or planning to do so, this post contains spoiler for the anime and manga (Manga only until season 3).
That said, let’s start with the first position on the stack.
Starting right off with the dominant and first function in Oikawa’s stack, the one which is the most obvious one and easy to spot – Fe.
Fe describes the judging function that consists of F the Feeling part and e which stands for how Oikawa uses this function, in this case extraverted.
With his first function being a judging function, we can see that Oikawa’s J stems from that as his dominant function is Fe it also tells us that he is extroverted meaning that Oikawa prefers to be around people instead of being alone, and his energy “loads up” when he is around people therefore being alone can make him feel rather drained.
As he is a J, he prefers planning and structure more than being spontaneous and leaving room for possibilities as they pass by.
Unlike P, Js tend to be decisive, organized and plan ahead to make a situation as predictable as possible and work on it thoroughly.
I think there are only two scenarios needed to make you see, yes Oikawa Tooru J is strong.
Can you guess them?
Scenario one, when Seijoh was about to play the first time against Karasuno the first thing Iwaizumi did was warn Oikawa to not watch the DVD through the whole night.
Later on the viewer could see Oikawa cowering on a chair, fully focussing on the match and basically studying it to be as precise as possible when it comes to countering their attacks, leading Seijoh to even block the Quick-attack early on in the game.
It was mentioned that Oikawa closes his eyes in his break and takes a moment to recover since he is always so overly focussed and thorough while playing.
Scenario two, a flashback that was shown when Oikawa was training until the point Iwaizumi made him stop since he wanted to continuously work on himself to not ever lose again against anyone especially Ushijima or Kageyama, making him overwork himself in the process which is an trait ENFJs have due to their perfectionistic nature, always competing with themselves the most.
Back to track, let’s dive further into the actual Fe trait itself and how we can clearly assess it with our beloved Seijoh captain.
What is the first thing you would say about someone when you just see them?
That is one thing how one could describe what the dom function represents as the first function that also develops personality-wise.
ENFJs deeply care about the people around them more than they care about themselves which is the extraverted feeling.
They strive to be part of something bigger in the world which we clearly see in Oikawa wanting to be the best setter and also prove that he can succeed to nationals by beating the people that seemed to look down on him as they defeated him, trying to leave a piece of himself somewhere in this volleyball tournament that may seem little to others but important for himself as he build an emotional connection to the world and wants his name to be remembered in some way.
As the Fe shows that Oikawa knows how the people feel around him and especially sees and observes the feelings for example with Kindaichi, he doesn’t take a second time to use his natural understanding and motivations.
Harmony is very important to Fe doms, as they see interpersonal relationships more valuable as their own feelings, the effort they put in, in order to hold that harmony is often seen by others as “going overboard”, yet it makes especially ENFJs one of the most empathetic personality types next to INFJs.
We can see that clearly in Oikawa’s case, after being confronted by people he does not really like he openly shows that he is not very fond of them in his own way.
When he is angry, for example here, with Kageyama he does not back off and even starts a dispute with him not letting his emotions cool down, sometimes getting called a child by others like Iwaizumi.
ENFJs as well tend to speak their mind and what they honestly think, because honesty is one of their core values, leading them to look sometimes a bit too naive by others or even harsh and cold.
He is always honest, meaning he even praises and tells his rivals what to do or how he feels and thinks about something.
A healthy Fe Dom will try to be as supportive and nurturing as possible, to ease the burden for others and especially for those who are close to them, which we also can see that Oikawa is the captain of Seijoh and he does that with most care and caution.
When Kindaichi is self-conscious it’s Oikawa who realizes that he may still be hung up on the past which is easy for him to determine as Fes tend to understand other people’s feelings very well, therefore it was important for him to resolve the problem Kindaichi had not only because he was part of the team but he knew that Kindaichi was capable of much more yet he restricted himself.
Sometimes this trait could be mistaken as being overly confident, arrogant or being a mean person, as seen when he declared he would meet Kageyama again on the court in episode six making sure he plays from the start.
This was meant in a good challenging way and just as is, since Oikawa is not only looking at his own progress but constantly watches the progress of the others.
He knew the quick attack of Kageyama and Hinata was an amazing skill they had quickly established but he already saw its faults immediately pushing them to polish it, as he knew they would be far capable of more.
In his Captain speeches and also the strategies he provides we see the maturity of his Fe Dom coming out, he tries to get everyone on the same page, bring the best out of every out of his team member and never gets angry when someone misses a hit, despite that he much more unforgiving when it happens to himself he never blames anyone for a mistake but believes that his teammates deserve his utmost support.
Yet we can also see the immature Dom features throughout the series, as Oikawa tends to burden himself with everything instead of sharing that burden, feeling irrationally responsible for mistakes and failures that happen, even for winning or losing.
Another example would be when they lost the game and we saw in movie three that he openly cried, showed and spoke up about how aggravated he was and how he feels responsible for losing.
Ni, as ENFJs mostly are known for their eerily accurate perception of feelings and being able to understand how the person in front of them functions it is no wonder that the second function high up on the stack is Intuition.
A rich inside world in which they try to fit most of the puzzle pieces together which they gather, as the first function Fe was a judging one the following Ni is a perceiving one which nurtures the Fe with enough information that it needs for its judgement.
While Ni is there to learn about intuitive connections it’s there to encourage yourself to nurture the inner world and reflect on the things happening around you, as well as connecting them into a context so you can fill the unknown in yourself. It also provides the imagination of idealistic ideas and envisioning the future ahead of you all that is part of introverted Intuition.
The higher the function on the stack the tougher it gets to resist it, which is also the case for Ni yet we have some flashbacks of Oikawa in middle-school that show his stubborn resistance to Ni which tries to advise him, but he still tries to avoid it.
Ni shows through nonetheless as we see him impatiently training by himself in order to get better and not seeing his own efforts at all.
Since the arrival of the young and talented Kageyama, Oikawa’s self-image was completely destroyed viewing himself not good enough compared to others and seeing things a bit more shallowly forgetting the fact that he is playing in a team and not alone as Iwaizumi stated while headbutting him.
In the same scene and also later in the anime we can see that Oikawa doesn’t really care much about his physical well-being as long as he can reach his goal and show pointless behaviour which he himself doesn’t identify: one being constantly working on himself without proper breaks, lacking sleep which seems usual that his teammates point it out and even the coach seems to scold him for his reckless overworking behaviour.
Yet we also see in the anime that Oikawa frequently overindulges in Ni.
Ushijima mentioned to him that if it wasn’t for his pride he could have become a big part in Shiratorizawa’s Team after he was defeated by Karasuno, leading to Oikawa telling him that he is not ashamed of that pride of his that kept him from winning, even accepting defeat over lying to himself, in the eyes of others especially Ushijima it might be seen as selfish and pointless behaviour that Oikawa judges as meaningful to himself.
Instead of taking the chance to play alongside the supposed best team, he chose to do quite something different, he is clinging to the idea of having to defeat Ushijima sooner or later, not allowing himself to stand next to him “due to that worthless pride” which in the end is his believe of a meaningful cause that leads to be purely egoistical on his side.
But despite mentioning the former cases, Oikawa seen in the Seijoh team shows us the healthy usage of Ni not only among his team but also Karasuno.
The workflow of Fe-Ni in a healthy way is seen when Oikawa tries his best to make the place around him much more comfortable not for himself but also for the sake of others as wee see in the example of Kindaichi.
As Oikawa realized that Kindaichi was still thinking about his past in Kitagawa Daiichi, thinking of himself as not useful or lacking compared to others the Captain realized immediately that it wasn’t due to Kindaichi’s incompetence quiet the opposite he saw even more potential in Kindaichi than anyone else as he straight up told him what Kindaichi was thinking and made sure Kindaichi knew that it was wrong the way he thought telling him that people need to see that he is much more stronger than everyone thinks he is.
He gives the emotional support and sees the meaning behind each of his team members and also his opponents, being able to understand things in a comprehensive way as he also explains them in that very way he learns them.
We also see that he avoids conclusions that may be incorrect or incomplete most of the time, being cautious of missing something important, one of those things was when he was the first one to understand that the “strong and invincible” Quick attack of Karasuno’s freak duo was merely something he needed to observe closely in order to find a hole.
Not only that but with Kunimi who is in the same team as him he didn’t try to criticize Kunimi’s “lazy” behaviour and avoided jumping to conclusions compared to how the Coach or Kageyama approach Kunimi, rather he is trying to make sure to understand Kunimi and make his playstyle much more useful instead of trying to change it, yet for Kunimi’s own sake he advises him to keep it away so the coach doesn’t see him.
Making sure his own team feel like that each and every one of them is an asset, even Kyotani who is viewed as a nuisance by most others , understanding what is going on before jumping to conclusions and in general even giving advice to Tsukishima and Hinata after their first practice match is all to ensure that the world around him becomes a much more comfortable place for everyone, whether he does it subconsciously or actively.
Third function on the stack: Se, another perceiving function that combined with his auxiliary makes the Ni-Se balance in the ENFJ’s stack.
As mentioned before the higher the position on the stack the harder it is to resist the function or actually seeing the lack in it.
But even so if the so-called lack or resistance happens then Se is the defence of Ni casually speaking.
The combination of auxiliary Ni with Tertiary Se shows that when Oikawa’s lack in Ni at times shows his fear of nothingness and not being enough, meaning the feeling of being invisible. Is subconsciously drives him into a corner and tries to justify his own selfish behaviour in order to give his actions a “rational” and meaningful sense.
Despite the fact that ENFJs are known for their will to cause good for others as we saw above when mentioned auxiliary NI, in this case when being emotionally exhausted or driven into a corner in which an ENFJ is forced to confront their feelings they may show signs of selfishness to make themselves feel at least visible to others if they cannot feel that way, speaking here their missing Ni trait at times like that can make them jump to wrong conclusions and hinder them into seeing the bigger picture, just like when he was overly focussed that he was the one who made the team either lose or win until Iwaizumi told him the most obvious fact that Volleyball is a team sports.
Exactly the opposite of healthy Ni behaviour.
When that happens the common defensive behaviour results from the Se-loop as we see that Oikawa is still deeply emotionally attached by his failures and negative experiences from the past as well as his outer easy-going attitude shows he may be fine he still takes the criticism to heart making him choose extreme ways to find a way to feel accomplished.
The fear of nothingness becomes the indirect motivation in such cases and we saw that if it wasn’t for his team who make him grasp himself together, Oikawa tends to let those fears and worries become his fuel.
No matter how many achievements Oikawa had gathered in the past, for him they are unimportant and insignificant because the one thing he needed or wanted to accomplish is still not within his hands, for example: Winning against Ushijima.
Not only that we see that despite having defeated Kageyama in season one and losing against him in season two, Oikawa may have put on a façade and told him they are on a tie but the moment he turned around we saw the bitter expression on his face.
In the Seijoh movie (the third Haikyuu movie: Talent Vs Sense) we can Oikawa blaming himself for the mistakes made in that game as he overlooked all the hard work everyone put in, let alone his own.
Despite Oikawa often playing it off and fully knowing that Kageyama is better than him in tosses, as he even makes fun of it, he still compares himself to others a lot when stressed and measures his own success to those social comparisons instead of the actual achievements and successes that he reached.
Yet towards the end of season two and even in season three we see Oikawa’s Se tendencies starting to develop as he understood that sometimes hard work may not pay off immediately and his career may just have started now, taking things a bit more easy and being a bit more adventurous when it comes to his future experiences and making himself a bit more aware of the present.
Last but not least, the inferior function of the stack which is the least developed one compared to the ones before: Ti.
As Oikawa’s dominant function is Fe then his inferior would be introverted Thinking.
As the inferior function shows when the dominant one is missing, it can be described as not being oneself when acting upon this function.
As ENFJs have the Judging trait, they tend to see further in the future and being able to break themselves into working for what lies ahead, sometimes even further than the actual goal as their heads are clouded by what still needs to happen instead of what is happening, which we concluded from the Se loop.
Oikawa is only thinking of how to get to nationals, make it further and further into his career without caring for himself properly, watching DVDs through late night which concludes in lack of sleep, not tending to his emotional well-being if it weren’t for others who occasionally pull him out of his pessimistic antics and overworking himself with a high amount of extra training instead of resting properly.
The approval of others which they indirectly seek does influence their own self-confidence and awareness, as well as pressuring them into working more than they could take, Oikawa just like that was also seen in the very beginning where he couldn’t attend practice match from the very beginning due to an injury that was allegedly from overworking himself.
Ignoring the advice or threat of others as he sees his own truth as meaningful enough to justify his actions despite the fact that in the end it caused more damage for himself and the team than needed when the Ni-Se is unbalanced. There is also the weird switch between a thorough thought plan/action and sudden behaviour of irrational selfishness that stems from the desire to be of use to someone and going through which seems meaningful to oneself.
Last not but least we also see Oikawa obsessively trying and proving that he indeed is a good setter and can beat the so-called “King of the court” and Ushijima, which nobody expects from him as many others already see that he is a very capable setter like Hinata showed us, concluding the disconnection of Oikawa’s truth and perception of reality and the actual things that are happening.
We went step by step through the stack of an ENFJ and could see clearly that Oikawa matches not only the healthy states of the functions but also for example when being in a Se-loop or an unhealthy Ni-Se balance.
With his dominant Fe being his most developed function, we see him being the supportive and nurturing Captain for his team, not taking a simple leader role but also supporting his team emotionally and through motivation showing us the typical ENFJ behaviour of not wanting to be seen as a simple leader but being part of something bigger, which was his own team and Volleyball in general for Oikawa Tooru.
Yet he is calm and collected, trying to find meaningful connections in all the things happening around him as he intakes them and uses his own intuition to improve those around him foes and allies alike.
Our Number one of Seijoh clearly depicts the hard-working, perfectionistic yet gentle and emotionally intelligent side of ENFJs.
Despite not being the Protagonist of the series we saw that with his interesting character traits he still matched MBTI’s Protagonist personality.
Can you agree or do you see other traits in Oikawa?
Write it down in the comments!
Let’s meet again for Tea and Milkbread,