Chuunibyou - The high school crisis

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The Japanese are known to be unique and different, and sometimes strange. You probably know the Otaku term, but there is a slightly worse and scary level. Sometimes a young boy influenced by games, anime, manga, movies and fantasies can end up having Chuunibyou.

Chuunibyou (中二病) is slang used to refer to 中学校二年病 (chuugakkou ni-nen byou) which literally means high school sophomore illness. In reality, the 2nd year of high school in Japan is equivalent to our 8th grade.

Chuunibyou is used to describe a person who exhibits delusional behavior, especially thinking that he has special powers. Originally this term was used to refer to children in the second year of high school who like to act like adults and belittle others, the term has evolved into a term used to describe delusional behavior in general.

This term originated in 1999 when it was first used on a radio program called Hikaru Ijuin UP'S People with Chuunibyou they can be literally crazy, difficult to deal with, and sometimes have a causative problem, or an identity crisis.

Types of Chuunibyou

There are 3 types of Chuunibyou, I will describe each one and leave an example dialogue.


DQN (DQN系, dokyun-kei) - Pretends to be antisocial, or acts like a delinquent, when in reality it is not. They create stories about the common behavior of gangs as fights or pride themselves on knowing about this subculture. "DQN" is slang for "anti-social person" or "annoying delinquent".

Example: (To be furious with his own mother and say: respect my privacy!)

  • You are full of Band-Aid! What happened?
  • I was in a gang fight.
  • Oh seriously, I know you don't have a gang.

Subcultural / Hipster (サブカル系, sabukaru-kei) - Many times it avoids everything that is popular or known, prefers less known trends and establishes itself as being special. People like that don't really love their own subculture, but strive to get the “cool” factor by not having the same interests as others.

Example: (Listening to Japanese music to be different)

  • When you pick up Pokemon cards I want Japanese originals!
  • And can you read Japanese?
  • -_-; Yes, of course I can ...

Evil Eye (邪気眼系, jakigan-kei) - You admire mystical powers and think you have a hidden power within them. This type is also known as the delusional type. They usually establish a special name, and they usually name their powers and things that surround them in fantasy. 

Example:

  • Don't take this bandana on my left wrist. He's sealing an evil spirit inside me and if you take it out I can lose control.
  • Dude, calm down. You just have chuunibyou.

Chuunibyou – a crise do ensino médio

Chuunibyou by far is a mental problem or the like, but being a problem often psychological when it is the way out of reality, unfortunately there are many people who have chuunibyou in Japan, and this ends up being a social problem because many do not overcome this phase after adulthood and the problems that many who have chuunibyou go through this stage due to the non-acceptance of people.

If one admires idols, celebrities, foreign cultures, and begins to act like one, it can be labeled as a variation of chuunibyou.

The term Chuunibyou ended up gaining more fame in the West with some anime that deal with this theme, like Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and other anime that present a character with and this problem like: "Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de", "Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko", "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai" and "NHK ni Youkoso!".

Is that you? Have you ever fled from reality? Have you tried to be an adult when you weren't? Do you imagine yourself with powers and in fantasy worlds? Or is it an Otaku that insists on learning Japanese, just heard things and only talks about Japan? So, you have Chuunibyou!

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