Good day to you and thanks for coming to read here at Anime Rants. As you may know, I will post an article about the MBTI of anime characters every Wednesday. That is, until I’ve covered all 16 types. I figured I should get the ESFJ type done sooner rather than later. As an INTP, I’m the natural opposite of ESFJ, and I’ve never done well handling the few ESFJ individuals I know in reality. In anime, I often get annoyed with characters of this personality type, but it’s not like I hate them. For this post I’ll try to be as balanced as possible.
ESFJs are often social butterflies. They love attention and they need a lot of friends and admirers to be happiest. They’re confident, upbeat, reliable, responsible, and deeply caring. An ESFJ wants to take care of their loved ones as the capable mother figure or the dependable older brother figure. Sometimes, their love can be unwanted, smothering, or intrusive, at least if you’re similar to me. It’s the same with their strong sense of propriety and the way they think things should be. They often preach and scold, even if it’s none of their business. Usually, ESFJs love physical comforts, sensory experiences, aesthetics, and “nice things.”
A healthy ESFJ (known as the assertive variant) is warm, helpful, caring, elegant, strong, and morally upstanding. But an emotionally unstable or unprincipled ESFJ (the turbulent variant) isn’t nearly so admirable. They are hypersenstive to criticism, too focused on being socially accepted or loved by others, overbearing, arrogant, and manipulative. *Shudder.* Most of the ESFJ on this list are assertive types, but I included a few villains and turbulent ones as well.
Probably my favorite ESFJ on this list, Asuna is a strong, brave, and very caring female knight. She can be a little intense, but she’s amazing.
She’s motivated by her strong love for Ciel, but still, you can definitely see in Elizabeth the traits of being overbearing and smothering. She loves stylish, expensive clothing and jewelry, and admires good social etiquette and skills like ballroom dance.
Very loving, friendly, and outgoing, but can also a frighteningly good liar. He lets his jealousy overcome him and betrays the other two boys in Sarazanmai. But later on, he makes up for it, and goes back to being their loyal, expressive friend.
An antagonist from the obscure anime Casshern Sins, she cares deeply about Dio, but also manipulates him into hunting Casshern for her. Leda is a strong leader, though not much of a fighter. Her ultimate goal is immortality, so she can enjoy the fine things in life forever.
Look at that face. Is possible for anyone to dislike Leorio? I can’t. This young man firmly believes that money makes the world go round, and he’s not ashamed to make money his #1 goal. However, the real reason for this is because he needs money for medical school. Leorio wants to be in the spotlight as a doctor, caring for people and saving lives. He puts most of his money into school, even if he does get a little carried away with the surplus after becoming a Hunter.
Other than Asuna, the ESFJ I like most on this list is Maka. I was originally going to argue that she’s an ISFJ, but when I rewatched a few episodes, it became clear that Maka is much more assertive, expressive, and people-oriented than most ISFJ. She’s an extravert, hence ESFJ.
An emotionally healthy, admirable, and sweet-natured ESFJ. Makoto wants to become a swim teacher or coach and help younger people learn to swim or improve their abilities. ESFJs are well-suited to be trainers and teachers, as long as they can deal with stress and being criticized. For Makoto, the finest, most elegant and beautiful thing in the world is the art of swimming.
Mami isn’t my favorite character by any means, but she’s the best example of an ESFJ on this list. On the one hand, she’s dazzling beautiful, well put together, a strong fighter who saves lives, a perfect hostess, and a kind mentor full of good, practical advice. On the other hand, Mami is overly sensitive, needs to be loved and admired, and won’t even try to negotiate with anyone she believes is wrong (AKA Homura).
A likable ESFJ character who is caring, strong-willed, loves nice things, and doesn’t go smothering people with “love.” (Though she does really enjoy teasing others, all in good fun.)
A determined, capable, and self-reliant girl with a sweet and sensitive nature. She’s more accepting than most ESFJs, and has less of a need to be admired or popular.
The main villain of Kill la Kill, who embodies pretty much every trait I dislike, also happens to be an ESFJ. Let’s just leave it at that, lol. Oh, but note that she is, of course, a turbulent type.
“Everybody’s big brother,” Reiner, was extremely difficult to type, because he ends up being an antagonist who does terrible things, but is somehow still a relatable person with good sides. And then there’s the whole mess with his identity confusion and dissociation. I settled on ESFJ in the end because of Reiner’s good people skills, practical skills, helpfulness, reliability, and friendly nature. Unlike an ESTJ, he isn’t a stickler for the rules, and doesn’t necessarily make logical decisions most of the time.
I have no other fan opinions to compare mine to, since Konohana Kitan is still a new anime and it fell under the radar for a lot of people. I believe Ren is extraverted, though she needs to work on her people skills, and definitely a Sensing type, focused tangible reality, disliking hypotheticals, with a keen sense of aesthetics and appreciation for fine things. She is definitely an F type, making decisions based on feeling more often that logic. Lastly, she prefers organization, structure, and tradition to spontaneity and flexibility. Therefore, ESFJ.
Unfortunately, the show declines and makes Steph into a character who exists for jokes and fanservice. But, early on, she had more personality and it was easy to see her ESFJ traits.
The male equivalent of Mami Tomoe, he’s a dazzling “prince” who loves attention, being popular, and living in luxury. Tamaki often comes across as arrogant, though he’s never consciously trying to put others down. He truly and deeply cares for his friends, and falls in love with Haruhi without even realizing it. He wants what is best for her — but he also believes he knows what is best for her. Thus Tamaki can be nosy, preachy, and overbearing.
Tsubaki is quite similar to Nanami and Maka on this list. She shows most of the usual tendencies of an ESFJ, but makes a point to respect others and their wishes.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope it was interesting. Next week I’ll cover INFP characters!