MBTI Character Comparison and Analysis: Suzaku Kururugi vs. Akane Tsunemori

Hello and welcome! Akane from Psycho-Pass and Suzaku from Code Geass are both in my top 15 favorite anime characters ever. I love them both immensely to the utmost extent that one can love a fictional character. Both Akane and Suzaku are decently well known and generally respected as characters that make the story what it is in that anime. But that doesn’t mean they are always — or even usually– viewed in a positive light. Much of the criticism toward these characters has been made on a similar basis.

Perhaps you’ll hear naysayers declare “Suzaku is had everything he needed growing up” or “Akane was privileged.” Others say that “Suzaku is a mentally ill hypocrite and Akane is a delusional idealist.” The complaints generally boil down to similar root elements. The truth is that Suzaku and Akane are both driven by extremely strong personal principles, even when it conflicts with doing something more practical, certain, or understandable. I don’t see a damn thing wrong with that, in itself. But both of these characters certainly make mistakes, and Suzaku especially deals with hatred and other emotional issues.

(Angee Suzaku)

Despite many similarities, however, Akane and Suzaku do not have the same personality type. For this post I will be comparing and contrasting the MBTI personality types for Suzaku and Akane. We will start with an overview of their personality types using the single-letter method. Afterward, we’ll have a careful examination of the cognitive functions of both characters. In the future, I plan to write more character comparisons that illustrate the differences between MBTI types. Usually, I’ll use characters from the same anime. But this time, I picked characters from two different series because a) both of these characters are personal favorites of mine, and b) they are strong examples of their respective types. Without further ado, let’s rant!


Overview: INFJ and ISFJ

A young police inspector, Akane is the main character of the sci-fi dystopian masterpiece Psycho-Pass. She is an icon of a strong and capable female main character in seinen anime. As I mentioned, Akane is driven by her personal sense of justice above anything. INFJs are also known for this trait. But let’s go through the 4 dimensions properly to see if this type actually fits.

It’s pretty clear that Akane is an introvert. She has only a small circle of friends, and can be awkward in normal interactions. Once Akane decides to like and trust someone, she is a faithful and loving friend; but with people in general. she keeps a certain emotional distance. In the next dimension, sensing versus intuition, we have another clear preference. Akane is highly intuitive, meaning she’s a creative thinker with interest in abstract topics and the ability to deal with hypothetical problems. A sensing person is more practical and down-to-earth, as well as a bit more traditional. An intuitive person would be interested in reading a book of knowledge, while a sensing person would much rather ride roller coasters all day.

(A thoughtful Akane)

So far we know Akane is introverted and intuitive. The next dimension is thinking verses feeling, and yet again, the answer for Akane is obvious. She is profoundly caring and driven to help underdogs and people in general. This deep well of humanistic compassion informs Akane’s major decisions in addition to being the basis for her sense of justice. The final dimension is judging versus perceiving. Judging types are generally organized, thorough, consistent, and conscientious in the way they live. They are goal-oriented. In comparison, perceivers live spontaneously and are more laid-back. Though they may be less organized and focused, they are extremely adaptable and can solve problems well with the ability to change plans suddenly. As for Akane, she is judging type, with all the drive, focus, and plan-making typical of the dimension. Putting it altogether, INFJ is the right type for Akane.

Next we’ll look at Suzaku to see his type. I have already written a character analysis of Suzaku wherein I explained that he is difficult to type but is probably ISFJ. In case you don’t want to read that whole article again, let me go through the dimensions here as briefly as I can. To begin with, Suzaku is introverted. Though opinionated, he’s usually quiet and reserved, keeping people at a distance, and only relaxing with his few dear friends. The tough part of typing Suzaku comes in the second dimension. I can see arguments both ways– Suzaku as intuitive, and Suzaku as sensing. Personally, I would label him as slightly more of a sensing type, due to his physical and practical skills and the way he’s so quick to take direct action.

(Some Code Geass fans think Suzaku is just plain stupid. I wouldn’t go that far with it. It’s just that he is much more of a physical person than an intellectual one. Lelouch has the monopoly on brains in this anime, but Suzaku has the monopoly on physical prowess.)

(Suzaku flexing his muscles)

Much like Akane, Suzaku is a feeling type. He has the same immense love for humanity and the same faith in his ideas of justice. Suzaku is easily the most compassionate of the main characters in Code Geass. He strongly believes in serving others. And again like Akane, Suzaku is also a judging type. Due to psychological issues and trauma, he is not quite as consistent or focused as Akane. Still, he works tirelessly toward long-term goals, even while being so mentally tortured by his mistakes. So if we put it all together, then Suzaku is introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging: ISFJ. Now we have a good basis for thinking Akane is INFJ and Suzaku is ISFJ. Next, we’ll compare and contrast these two characters based on the cognitive functions of their types.


Introverted Sensing vs. Introverted Intuition

The major difference between Akane and Suzaku can be found in their dominant functions: Introverted intuition for Akane, and introverted sensing for Suzaku. What do these functions mean? How are they different? Let’s explore.

First let me give some explanations for what Ni and Si are. We’ll begin with the latter. When I think of the sensing dimension, the ideas that come to mind are usually what’s typical of Se, extroverted sensing. But Suzaku’s form of sensing is introverted. What does that look like? All sensing types are interested in experiences, but while Se users look for new experiences and more immediate gratification, Si users seek quality, meaningful experiences and delayed gratification. An Si user like Suzaku is more detail oriented and learns well from the past, while an Se user may be less focused and more concerned with the present. Si is the careful, thoughtful form of sensing, in contrast to the active, living-in-the-moment Se.

Intuitive types have a lot of commonalities, but there are two subtypes of the dimension: extroverted intuition and introverted intuition. Akane’s primary function is introverted intuition (Ni). Both Ni and Ne are driven to seek knowledge, explore truth, and uncover new possibilities. Both are able to handle hypothetical problems and envision theoretical or imaginative solutions. But while Ne is an active, intentional process, Ni happens in the internal world of the user’s mind. Ni is the more introspective type. That’s what fits Akane best. Her mind is constantly working on gathering information and seeing patterns even when she’s unaware of it. When given a mass of complex and varied information, the Ni function is able to sort through and find the central idea.

So we know that Suzaku uses Si and Akane uses Ni. I probably went a bit too much into detail describing each of those individually. The real point is to compare them to one another. How are Ni and Si different? How does it show in the thoughts and actions of Suzaku and Akane? Well, generally speaking, sensing is practical, interested in fact, and understands the world through experiences. In comparison, intuition is abstract, interested in possibilities, and understands the world through knowledge. To demonstrate this difference in our characters, I will provide some examples gathered from the anime series in which they appear.

Suzaku is a physically strong and skilled soldier and a great mech pilot. His physical abilities, speed, and agility are astounding. He is one of the best knightmare pilots and the only one who can control the Lancelot well. On the other hand, Akane is definitely no soldier. She’s fit and healthy, but has no exceptional physical talents like hand-to-hand combat. As the job demands, Akane lets the police enforcers do most of the fighting and shooting.

Rather than being extraordinary in the same way as Suzaku, this character is extraordinary in her mental abilities. She is keenly intelligent and naturally versatile, understanding so many fields of study. The Sybil system in Pyscho-Pass matches people to their best possible careers based on a complex aptitude test; Akane scored so well that she had her pick of basically any career path she wanted. In addition, Akane is extremely mentally resilient, able to overcome traumatizing experiences and make a full recovery within a short time.

The differences in abilities between Suzaku and Akane reflect the differences between Sensing and Intuition. But this isn’t the only example. There’s also the way they approach their long term goals of change. Suzaku arguably takes the more practical course of action by joining the Britannia military and aiming to change the system from within. He thinks Zero’s rebellion is neither feasible nor ethical. As a good member of the military, Suzaku wants to operate within the parameters of the existing structure as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Akane is bold and sometimes a little unreasonable with her approach. She is intent on saving the lives of the criminals they capture rather than killing them just because of their psycho-pass numbers. Akane goes to great lengths to keep doing this. Also, she is directly defiant in her attitude toward Sybil, aiming to change the entire system somehow. But she says she will never join Sybil or become part of it in order to accomplish this. She’ll bring change in her own way even if it seems absurd sometimes. This too is reflective of the differences between introverted sensing and introverted intuition.

(Akane Fan Art)

Shared Function: Extroverted Feeling

Suzaku and Akane have the same auxiliary function: extroverted feeling. Let’s review what this function is all about. Broadly speaking, Feelers are the more considerate, people-oriented, and richly emotional types compared to their Thinker counterparts. They are concerned with harmony and are sometimes idealistic. This describes both Suzaku and Akane so far. There are two cognitive functions related to this dimension– introverted feeling and extroverted feeling– and the latter is what we see in both of these anime characters.

Extroverted feeling (Fe) is when the traits of the feeling type are directed outward at others. Fe types are usually very loving, with the desire to help others. Even when that’s not the case, they still gravitate to people and live their lives being highly socially conscious. Let’s look at some examples of the outwardly caring, idealistic, and social nature of Suzaku and Akane.

Akane believes in protecting victims, and in most cases is even merciful in the way she handles criminals. This shows how much she values others. After joining the police unit, she immediately seeks to connect to her comrades– not just her fellow Inspector Ginoza, but also the Enforcers, who have been labeled as “latent criminals” and are only there to be the Inspector’s hound dogs. Even when warned against interacting with them, Akane persists. She quickly becomes friends with Kagari and even drinks with him sometimes. In time, she also comes to understand and connect with the others despite issues like gaps and differences in age and personality.

Akane forms a bond with Kogame more than anyone, and most fans interrupt her interest in him as romantic. It takes a very freely, openly loving person to seriously fall for someone as aloof, proud, and stubborn as Kogame. Particularly in the case of Akane, Fe can be seen throughout all her actions and development in the show. Suzaku has more psychological issues, struggling with bitterness and hatred toward certain people. Still, I’m sure we can find examples of Suzaku’s natural loving self when not clouded over with rage and regret.

Suzaku possesses a sense of humanism and value for life as much as Akane, but his version looks a little different. Believing in sacrificing the few to save the many, he committed patricide rather than let his father continue sending troops to their deaths in a war where they were hopelessly outnumbered. The only problem is that Suzaku tried to do something that didn’t suit his personality or morals. For the rest of his life, he suffered severe guilt and depression about what he did. He even had some level of suicidal ideation. At heart, Suzaku is idealistic, and he can’t stand killing people.

As he grew, Suzaku’s morals become even more convoluted as he struggles with conflicting goals and wishes. Even so, his desire for harmony and minimal death is always first and foremost in his mind. But where Suzaku’s Feeling nature really shows is not in his humanism; it’s in his relationships.

Suzaku is extremely loyal and caring to those he has formed a bond with. He’s Lelouch’s best friend, and despite their personality differences, he treasures their friendship (until he finds out Lelouch is Zero.) More than just being polite, he cares about getting to know people and protecting them. In addition, Suzaku forms new bonds pretty readily with those who have common values and ideals. He fell deeply in love with Euphemia after only a few months and wanted to spend his life with her. Perhaps the greatest show of love is being willing to lay down your life to help yout friend; Suzaku risks his life many times trying to save those he loves. As you can see, Suzaku is a deeply compassionate person.


Shared Function: Introverted Thinking

I’m going to spend less time explaining the tertiary and inferior functions, but they are still worth writing a bit about. Suzaku and Akane share the third function of introverted thinking (Ti). For a reminder, Thinking types are the more logical, emotionally detached, and objective types compared to their Feeling counterparts. They often overlook and/or undervalue the emotional and human components of an issue. But when the thinking dimension is in tertiary position, it means it’s really not as strong in that person compared to primary and auxiliary functions.

For Suzaku and Akane, their Feeling sides are much more prominent. That being said, Ti is still their third choice. Ti is when the traits of the Thinking dimension are used mostly in the internal world of the mind. Both Te and Ti rely on knowledge and logic, but the latter places more value on what has been learned and experienced in one’s personal life. This is a little different from knowledge gained externally through an active process. Akane and Suzaku definitely think more like Ti types. They place great value on the things the past has taught them, and it helps them make informed decisions.

(Of the two characters, Akane is definitely the one more in touch with her Thinking side. However, I don’t think that applies as a general rule. ISFJs can, in general, be just as strong with this function as INFJs.)


Extroverted Intuition Versus Extroverted Sensing

For the fourth or inferior function, Akane has extroverted sensing (se), and Suzaku has extroverted intuition (Ne). We briefly talked about how Suzaku’s dominant function is introverted sensing (Si), and how that differs from Se. In case you don’t remember though, Se is all about seeking new experiences, taking action, and enjoying the physical senses. It is the opposite of the quiet intellectual; it wants to ride roller coasters and feel and taste things in novel ways. This is Se: Akane’s inferior function. Because it is her fourth function, it’s not as strong as the other elements of her personality. She is much more of a thoughtful and cautious person in day to day life. That being said, Akane has several courageous moments in the anime that show off her Se side.

As for extroverted intuition (Ne), we also talked about that and how it’s different from Akane’s main function of introverted intuition. Ne is concerned with ideas, learning, understanding, abstract concepts, imagination, and knowledge just like Ni. However, Ne is the more active process. This is Suzaku’s inferior function. As I’ve said before, the fourth function is not as strong as the others. But on the relatively rare occasions where Suzaku does need to learn something or try a new perspective, he uses Ne.


Suzaku and Akane List Point Comparison

This section is for restating some of the similarities and differences between Suzaku and Akane. It should be a decent summary. I’ve arranged the information into bullet point lists.

List 1: Suzaku and Akane Shared Traits

  • Introverted, with some social awkwardness and only a few trusted friends
  • Compassionate, kind, and altruistic
  • Great friends who are loyal and supportive
  • Extremely stubborn
  • Introspective, thinking about their past experiences and pondering new information
  • Driven primarily by ideals and the long-term goals related to realizing those ideals
  • Dedicated and self-disciplined
  • Sometimes impractical or even unreasonable with their ideas, expectations, or goals
  • Capable of forming deep attachments rather quickly if they like someone enough
  • Generally polite and well-mannered, but outspoken about what matters most to them

List 2: Traits of Suzaku

  • Possesses amazing physical strengths and skills
  • Is an excellent athlete and pilot
  • Is cordial, humble, and deferential with new people
  • Does well in highly structured environments like the army
  • Inconsistent with regards to his own values and beliefs
  • Wants to provide care to others in a practical, concrete way
  • Believes in changing the system from within, using the proper channels
(Suzaku art)

List 3: Traits of Akane

  • Possesses amazing mental strength and high intelligence
  • Is an excellent learner
  • Is polite with new people but will argue or object right away if there is an issue
  • Does well in environments where she has freedom as an authority (police inspector)
  • Consistent with regards to her values and beliefs; hard to shake
  • Wants to provide protection to others in a more abstract way
  • Believes in working with the system where possible but not joining it and often fighting it

Closing Thoughts

In summary, Suzaku and Akane have a lot in common, but while the former is an ISFJ type, the latter is an INFJ type. We determined their types using a basic understanding of the four preferences. After that, we explored the similarities and differences in these characters’ cognitive functions. The list in the final section should also help give a good understanding.

As I mentioned in the opening, I’m planning to do more posts like this in the future. These posts will compare and contrast anime characters and show the differences in their MBTI types. Since this is my first one, I’m both excited and nervous. I honestly wonder if anyone will understand it enough to find it remotely interesting. I’d love to know any thoughts or feedback in the comments. If you did read this post, or even just browsed it for 10 seconds, allow me to thank you heartily. Your readership is much appreciated. Sayonara until next time!


PATREON

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