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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), and has been called "eighth-grader syndrome" in English-speaking countries.[1]


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.[2][3] 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.[3] In 2008, Hyōya Saegami wrote a book called Chūnibyō Toriatsukai Setsumei Sho (中二病取扱説明書),[4] 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.[2]


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".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How to tell if you have an "8th Grade Syndrome"". November 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Chuunibyou: Funny or Something Darker?". April 25, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Ask John: What Makes a Character a Chuunibyou? – AnimeNation Anime News Blog". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ 千野帽子 (2009). 読まず嫌い. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-4-04-885027-8. OCLC 918252713.