Chūnibyō (中二病) is a Japanese colloquial term that translates to "middle two disease", i.e. "middle-school second-year syndrome" or "eighth-grader syndrome", typically used to describe early teens who have delusions of grandeur, who so desperately want to stand out that they have convinced themselves they have hidden knowledge or secret powers. The term has been popularized in manga and anime shows such as Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions.
The term was coined by radio personality Hikaru Ijūin in 1999 where he was describing the childish aspirations of middle-school students as if it were some kind of syndrome he had contracted. In 2009, Ijūin made a statement disavowing the idea, as it had changed from a light-hearted remark to a condition that was studied seriously in psychology.
In 2008, light novel author Hyōya Saegami wrote a book called Chūnibyō Toriatsukai Setsumei Sho (中二病取扱説明書), 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.
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".
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