MBTI: Light is an ENTJ
I’m far from perfect when it comes to typing. When it comes to spelling errors, I’m king, but typing is way different even though I usually combine the two.
But some things, man, I just know. And one thing I know is that Light Yagami, of the show/comic Death Note is an ENTJ. I would think it petty to write an entire article arguing what many others don’t believe but I see it more as bringing up a different perspective. Sure, I’ve covered this before but it wasn’t enough. I love the show too much to not bring it up enough to annoy you.
The biggest misconception about Light is that he’s an introvert. I’m not telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to MBTI if you do think that, I’m just saying that you’ve got to go a little deeper. Having a long range plan and keeping secrets doesn’t mean introverted. Those things together would really just be more of a “J” thing.
MBTI enthusiasts that bother typing Light will generally go between INTJ, ENTJ, and INFJ. Let’s look at Light as an ENTJ.
With the ENTJ’s first function as Te (Extroverted Thinking), it’s all about the constructive execution of the plan. Light doesn’t waste time figuring out what the notebook could be used for. Once he gets over his initial guilt of murdering the first two men and realizes he really can kill just by writing a name, it doesn’t take him long before he decides he wants to be a god. Not all ENTJs will think themselves a god, but they do have a tendency to come off as confident. This can attract or repel others depending on how far the ENTJ takes it but Light clearly knows how to use this to his advantage.
He’s good looking, dresses well, knows how to talk to people and not only persuade them, but also make them want to do what he wants without even having to hide it. While the Kira investigation team chases their own tail for years, a major part of the world’s population agrees with the murders Light is committing. Not because of how great an arguer Light is, but because his goal is something that people can get behind, at least on the surface; kill all the bad people.
Now many people argue for Light to be INTJ. It’s understandable with his plans, his cold rationale, his god complex. We hear what’s going on in his head a lot and the gears are turning fast all the time.
But what of that couldn’t be ENTJ? ENTJs make little plans for themselves throughout the day as the go as well, just to constantly be accomplishing something and that’s what the series is made up of- Light making and changing plans as his needs see fit, something Ni (Introverted Intuition) is adept at. But since the ENTJ and INTJs functions are just their dominant and auxiliary switching places (ENTJs are Te then Ni, INTJs are Ni, then Te) the character is bound to come of as either to many.
But let’s look at Light as a character. As mentioned, this guy dresses well. Artist and series co-creator Takeshi Obata said that when designing Light, “I used a lot of fashion magazines when I was coming up with ideas. I thought of him a slim and smart guy who wears a formal shirt. I tried to avoid casual clothes like jeans; most of what he wears is fitted.
Let’s add onto this that Light has got multiple girls to use as covers. Misa and Takada are, at different points, are apart of his Light’s plan but it’s also mentioned throughout college that he speaks to a few other girls we never even see, along with the girl he rides with on the bus to get rid of the agent investigating him. Point is, this guy is popular. As he says in one chapter as he manipulates Takada, “Women are so easy.”
On top of all of these things, Light has a way with people that has to be factored into his typing. He’s able to convincingly speak to Naomi well enough to eventually give him her full name. The deceptions he creates are enough to throw off suspicion from his acquaintances and loved ones alike. Light has got a way with words that even tricks L at times, or at the very least makes it unprovable that he is Kira.
What am I saying here? What I’m saying is that while INTJs can be all of these things (Well groomed, popular with the opposite sex, persuasive debater), this simply is ENTJ. They can take these things far enough to even be considered one of the most materialistic types. INTJs on the other hand, don’t care about people when it comes to their plans or bigger ideas past how necessary they might be while the ENTJ adds people in as the plan itself.
We’ve already done the ENTJ Light vs INTJ Near comparison so I won’t rehash all of that, but take a look at Walter White of Breaking Bad, an actual INTJ. Genius though he may be, the times that his plans work the best are when people do exactly as he says regardless of the consequences. Just follow his logic and he’s fine. His family takes a backseat as he lies to himself that everything he does for the family and his wife knows nearly every single time he lies.
Light’s plans are really for himself but he easily won people over by doing something that many other people also benefited from.
Lastly (for now), let’s look at the whole “He spends a lot of time in his head” perspective. Many people think that because so much of the series takes place in Light’s mind, he must be an introvert. We’re hearing his secret plans, lies being described in plain sight, and how he really looks at the world.
This doesn’t say much because it’s the format of the series. We’re inside all the character’s heads a lot because it’s how the series was developed to give us an idea of what’s really going on with these geniuses. But we’re in Light’s head the most because, well, he’s the main character. It’s like labeling an introverted character an extrovert because they have to talk to people a lot.
That’s not how it works. He’s an actor. Light is lying to the entire world and has to keep things secret so as not to make a single misstep, get caught, and get executed. Anybody would have to keep those things to themselves and it should actually say more that Light feels the need to burst into maniacal laughter when he gets the chance.
Feeling the need for an outburst as explosive as this really would be more of an extroverted trait, as though he’s been holding it all in and it’s been itching to get out. Introverts can be loud sure but it’s more in short bursts rather than prolonged fits. This, along with his occasional bragging to Ryuk, boldly explaining the premise of his latest plan again speaks to extroversion. He doesn’t have to say anything to the Shinigami but he likes talking about it and there’s only one being he can talk to.
Why am I not using functions more? Because those have been used for this character and as mentioned, the INTJ and ENTJ functions are the same anyway, just in a different order. All that really seems to need clearing up is that Light is an extrovert and we’re good.
Again, take a look at Near in comparison- no people skills, but pure logic. Light being “crazy” doesn’t omit him from typing either. Certain characteristics lend themselves to certain disorders and complexes and they manifest themselves in different ways, simple as that.
Also check out how Light fits into the ENTJ villains grouping.