Welcome, readers one and all, to Anime Rants’ character analysis of Yuri “Yurippe” Nakamura from the anime Angel Beats! She is the leader of the rebellion/ battlefront that fights Angel for most of the series. Yuri is in my top 10 favorite female characters in all the anime I’ve seen to date. Hopefully, you might come to like or respect her a little, too. Now, to start with, Yuri’s story from the anime will be briefly retold. Next is the meat of this post, a description and notes about her personality. Finally, there is a discussion of what type Yuri would be according to the Myers-Briggs typology indicator (MBTI). Please enjoy!
1. Yuri’s Story
In her life on earth, Yuri had three younger siblings. As the oldest, she was often left alone to take care of the younger ones. On such occasion, an unspeakably horrific tragedy occured. Homicidal robbers broke into the house and ended up killing all the children except for Yuri. Beyond that, Angel Beats doesn’t tell us much about Yuri’s life, how long she lived, or how she died. But Yuri confirms that she did not commit suicide, nor did anyone else in the battlefront. Presumably, most died in accidents or from illnesses. Reviving in the strange afterlife, Yuri found herself in the form of a healthy teenager.
It didn’t take this intelligent girl long to collect information about this weird new world. Many of the other young people like her joined in the school life, playing sports, joining clubs, paying attention in classes, and trying to live happy lives. Those that did so were always helped along by a mysterious girl. On top of being quiet and unreadable, that girl could use strange powers, leading Yuri to think she wasn’t human like the rest of them. Yuri called the girl Angel.
Anyone who accepted their youthful lives and stayed by Angel’s side eventually disappeared from existence. Now, Yuri is intelligent, but that doesn’t mean she always arrives at correct conclusions. She concluded that Angel was the enemy, perhaps the servant of an malevolent god, intent on erasing the souls of everyone reborn into this world. Part of what clouded her judgement was her lingering rage at the unfairness of her previous life. So Yuri gathered some people of like mind with her, and formed a battlefront to resist Angel and avoid being “erased.”
As more people are reincarnated as teenagers into this odd afterlife, Yuri tried to recuit as many as possible to her side. At the beginning of Angel Beats, she recruits Yuzuru Otonashi. With him and the rest of the battlefront, Yuri takes part in many adventures revolving around Angel. Slowly but steadily, Otonashi tries to understand and make peace with Angel. Eventually, he learns the truth about her (actually a human named Kanade) and about the disappearances.
These truths aren’t made entirely clear to Yuri until after episodes 11 and 12, the mini-arc dealing with the attack of the shadow monsters. These are creatures that devour and erase souls. It’s all the work of a certain individual who believes he’s god, and has mastered godlike abilities by acquiring computers used to rewrite the programming of this dimension.
During the fighting against the shadow monsters, Yuri almost has her soul swallowed, nearly becoming an NPC. One of her biggest moments in the story is how she gets out of that state. She delivers an extremely moving speech that is one of my favorites in all of anime. I plan to discuss that long quote and its depth and meaning in a separate post in the future.
For now, Suffice it to say that Yuri declares she can’t accept the life she had. It was too unfair. That’s why she has to keep fighting in the battlefront. With that declaration made, the strong girl escapes the shadow. But the climax of her story is yet to come. That would-be god with all the computers has to be stopped before any more followers are killed by the shadows.
Yuri’s biggest moment is the face-off with that shadow-god and the power he wields. I could write six to ten fat, bulky paragraphs about this scene and how much I adore it, but I’m trying to keep this as a quick summary of Yuri’s story. Expect more on this topic in the future.
Anyway, rather than entertain the idea of seizing the system’s power for herself, or allowing the shadow monsters any more time to wreak havoc, good ol’ Yurippe takes her guns and shoots the computers and machines till they’re utterly destroyed. The shadow monsters die. The afterlife dimension returns to the way it was before the chaos. Yuri saved the rest of the characters, all her followers and friends, and gave them a world where they could decide to pass on in peace.
Because she protected everyone, in that world, Yuri could finally make peace with the cruel life she had suffered on earth. Her mind gave her a vision of her three younger siblings, who had all forgiven her for not being able to protect them. They urged her to move on and accept peace. So, after the battlefront members and all the other students at the school passed on to be reincarnated, Yuri followed suit. Before going, she made up with Kanade.
The afterlife dimension in Angel Beats is a world in which wandering souls have a second chance to find meaning, fulfillment, healing, and acceptance. It took a long time, but Yuri found her fulfillment in being a fighter, a leader, and the protector of her “second family.”
2. Yuri’s Personality
To understand Yuri’s personality, let’s look at some of her actions and reactions throughout the 13 episodes. In episode 1, Yuri is welcoming and accepting of Otonashi, but she’s obviously miffed when he won’t listen to her and decides to approach Angel. Yuri rejects most of the ideas for a name suggestion for the battlefront in episode 1. She doesn’t bother to warn people about the trap in/near her office, resulting in Otonashi “dying.” When Noda gets too annoying and aggressive, Yuri also activates the trap and “kills” him, too. It’s portrayed as comedy, and it’s funny as hell since no one actually dies for good, but it still reveals something about Yuri’s personality.
Yuri isn’t opposed to letting her followers “die” in order to get through the traps and reach the Guild in ep 2. Of course, anyone who “dies” revives later in the school infirmary, but they still experience pain and fear. She is willing to accept the sacrifices offered by the others without hesitation. But Yuri isn’t heartless enough to force Otonashi to let go of her and fall when they’re hanging off the cliff; she lets him climb up over her and then pull her up. Angel followed the battlefront underground, so Yuri had the wild idea of blowing up the Guild and moving the weapons base to another location. This way, Angel can’t reach them. She’d be blasted by explosions. She might survive and remain trapped under rubble for a while. Or she might “die” and take time to revive, giving Yuri and company time to relocate secretly.
In ep 3, Yuri is critical of the idea of a GDM singing a ballad instead of a louder song to distract Angel in episode 3. She likes to make a show of outlining her new plans in front of everyone, as we can see in episode 3, among other cases. Occasionally, Yuri uses the “evil anime villain laugh” trope both for humor and because it comes naturally to her. Something else important about Yuri is revealed throughout episodes 1-3. She knows the ins and outs of this afterlife world very well. She figured out how to make weapons according to the rules of that world, organized the Guild, and helped build its two fortresses. We never see Yuri “die” in Angel Beats, but she knew how it worked, either from observing others or dying at least once herself. Yuri put together the battlefront leads everyone in it, even with their silly quirks and frequent stupidity.
Yuri isn’t afraid to try many approaches to attack and resist Angel, and her plans can be pretty harsh. In episode 4, after losing Iwasawa, Yuri decides to challenge Angel to a baseball game, in order to show that battlefront will continue to resist, and to weaken Angel’s confidence. When that plan fails, Yuri tries a much stronger personal attack in episode 5: sabotaging Angel’s grades to get her removed from the student council and weaken her influence on others. During this plan, Yurippe once again sacrifices some of the members of the battlefront in a very comedic way.
In episode 7, the knowledgeable Yuri is the one who proposes using Naoi’s hypnosis to recover Otonashi’s memories. After Naoi caused so much inconvenience, and slaughtered the whole battlefront in painful ways, he should have earned Yuri’s hatred. But being adaptable and willing to use any tool at her disposal, she instead accepts Naoi into the battlefront. Yurippe is smart and quick-thinking enough to modify Angel’s cloning program, which resolves the crisis of having to fight an endless army of violent Angels. Not only leaderly, intelligent, and knowledgeable, Yuri is capable of a variety of skills, such as CQC and using knives. In episode 8, she shows this talent in her short but fantastic knife-fight with Angel’s clone.
We’ve already seen what Yuri is made of in episodes 11 and 12, as she leads the fight against the shadow monsters, defeats “god,” and ultimately saves everyone. In the final (thirteenth) episode, Yurippe is looking notably more peaceful and content. She helps and encourages people to come to peace and pass on to the next life. She also apologizes to Kanade and acts very kind and affectionate toward her. These little cues say a lot about Yuri’s friendly nature when she no longer has to keep fighting. Now, I’ll describe Yuri’s personality based on that information.
Yuri is an extravert who needs other people around to function well. She enjoys being in charge. Good at public speaking and handling different kinds of people, Yuri is also commanding, and speaks her mind. She possesses high confidence, resolve, and energy, creating charisma. These and other qualities help make her into a good leader. Yuri adapts well to changing situations. She’s quick-witted and intelligent. She can overlook personal feelings if they get in the way of plans. Usually, Yurippe hears out others’ ideas and suggestions, but can at times be too impatient. She’ll quickly dismiss any plans she finds illogical or founded on a poor argument.
People like Yuri are determined and decisive. They like to solve problems, resolve situations, and get results. In order to achieve her goals, Yuri is willing to go to great lengths, think outside the box, and make sacrifices. That’s not to say Yurippe is heartless or anything. She cares about her friends and followers very deeply, because they are her family in this world. She couldn’t protect her younger siblings in her life on earth, so she’s determined to protect the battlefront here in the afterlife dimension. She’ll do anything to protect them, including fighting “Angels” and taking on “God”. Also consider that Yuri can be surprisingly warm and friendly, especially to people she views as sensible, like Otonashi.
This may be obvious a this point, but Yuri is determined as hell, and can be stubborn as a mule. This helps her as in her jobs of leading and fighting, as well as in her personal journey to resist disappearing until she was satisfied with protecting everyone. Another trait important to Yuri’s character is her great courage and/or mental strength. Despite remembering her terrible life and how she lost all her siblings, she stayed sane and didn’t become unreasonable or sociopathic (like Naoi). For me, Yuri’s amazing resilience is a constant source of inspiration.
3. Yuri’s MBTI Type
Yuri is energetic, loves the spotlight, is expressive, and talkative — she’s an Extravert (E). It may be slight, but Yuri is more a creative thinker than a practical or traditional one. That makes her intuitive (N). She’s not usually in tune with the feelings of others, she seems irritated by emotional motives and idealism, and she follows logic for her decisions. Clearly, she’s a Thinker (T). Yuri definitely needs and likes to plan ahead, be thorough, and focus on the future. At times, she’s inflexible, especially compared to a spontaneous P type. Thus, she is a judger (J). That makes her ENTJ. This is a rare type in anime. The few that exist are typically villains. It’s great to have one like Yuri who is relatable and good-hearted.
According to Personality Page website, ENTJs are, “Assertive and outspoken – they are driven to lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking. They value knowledge and competence, and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization.” The 16 Personalities website lists some strengths of a healthy ENTJ and then some weaknesses of an ENTJ under stress. Strengths: efficient, energetic, self-confident, strong-willed, strategic thinkers, charismatic and inspiring. Weaknesses include being stubborn, dominant, intolerant, impatient, arrogant, and ruthless. This all sounds accurate for describing Yuri Nakamura.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you now know more about Yuri “Yurippe” Nakamura, the courageous leader. Please be well and safe. Mata ashita, nee!
(Images from: Angel Beats! Dir. S Kishi. P.A. Works. 2010.)