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Chūnibyō (中二病) is a Japanese colloquial term typically used to describe early teens who have grandiose delusions, who desperately want to stand out, and who have convinced themselves that they have hidden knowledge or secret powers. It translates to "second-year syndrome" (i.e., middle-school second-year). It is sometimes called "eighth-grader syndrome" in the United States, usually in the context of localizations of anime which feature the concept as a significant plot element.[1][2][3]


The term was used by Hikaru Ijūin in 1999. He described the childish aspirations of elementary school students as if it were some kind of syndrome he had contracted.[4][5] Ijūin made a statement disavowing the idea in 2009, as it had changed from a light-hearted remark to a condition that was studied seriously in psychology.[5] In 2008, Hyōya Saegami wrote a book called Chūnibyō Toriatsukai Setsumei Sho (中二病取扱説明書),[6] or "Chūnibyō User Manual", in which he identifies three types of chūnibyō: "DQN", who act like delinquents; "subculture", who go against the mainstream trends; and "evil eye", who aspire to have special powers.[4]


Literary critic Boshi Chino expressed that he would like to give the novel Don Quixote the subtitle "Chūnibyō Starting from 50 Years Old" from the vicious cycle observable within the work characterized by "the protagonist's viewing of the world through colored glasses" causing "the people around him to play along in order to avoid denying his delusions, but in the end only causing the protagonist to succumb more and more to those delusions".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mahajan, Yashas (October 16, 2022). "This Underrated Classic Highlights the Value of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions in Life". CBR. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "The Anime You Should Have Been Watching… in Fall 2012". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  3. ^ Trinos, Angelo Delos (November 5, 2021). "10 "Chuunibyo" Characters With The Biggest Imaginations". CBR. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Chuunibyou: Funny or Something Darker?". April 25, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Ask John: What Makes a Character a Chuunibyou? – AnimeNation Anime News Blog". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "中二病も才能のうち!? 500人に訊いた! マンガ家志望の"中二あるある"ランキング - ダ・ヴィンチニュース". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. ^ 千野帽子 (2009). 読まず嫌い. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-4-04-885027-8. OCLC 918252713.