If you’ve been watching anime for a while, you may have learned of the dreaded Middle School 2nd Year Syndrome (Chuunbiyou). Somehow, this condition has avoided mainstream recognition despite being widespread among the youths of today. If you can’t recognize the signs, you may not realize that your friends and relatives are suffering until it’s too late. In fact, you may be a victim yourself without even knowing it.

But rest assured, I am here to help spread Chuunbiyou awareness so that none have to suffer needlessly.

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it’s my pleasure

First, it is important to recognize the telltale indications that you or someone you know may be a Chuuni.

Common indicators of Chuunbiyou syndrome are:

  1. A propensity to antisocial and/or withdrawn behavior despite longing for human interaction
  2. Demonstrative self-importance
  3. A habit of recounting unlikely or incredible sounding events
  4. Knowing more than everyone on most subjects
  5. Ritualistic behavior
  6. A tendency towards idol worship
  7. Adapting a different identity (often inspired by fictional characters or idols)
  8. An exaggerated attention to details
  9. A bandaged arm
  10. An eyepatch
  11. A *true* name
  12. A high likelihood of being liked by Irina
  13. Being 14

It should be noted that not all these symptoms are required to make a reliable Chuunbiyou diagnostic. Only in the most extreme cases are they all present at once. As such, if you know anyone exhibiting 5 or more of these symptoms, you may have a case on your hands.

Chuuni anime gataris
most chuuni are not a danger to others

Thankfully, some research has been devoted to the cause and we currently have 4 identified subsets of Chuunibyou.

As identified in the Chuunibyou User’s Manual (https://hlj.com/product/kbyyk005) and all over the web, the types are as follows:

  • DQN (DQN, dokyun-kei) – Pretends to be anti-social or acts like a delinquent when in fact he or she is not or cannot become like either one. Tells made up stories about gang fights or crimes, or boasts and pretends to know about that subculture. “DQN” is slang for “antisocial person” or “annoying delinquent”.
  • Subcultural/Hipster (サブカル系, sabukaru-kei) – Often avoids everything mainstream and has a heavy preference to “things that few people like” and establishes themselves as being special. People of this type do not really love the subculture itself but rather strive to obtain the “cool” factor by not having the same interests as others.
  • Evil Eye (邪気眼系, jakigan-kei) – Admires mystical powers and thinks that he or she has a hidden power within them as well. It is this trait that they create an alias specifically for said power. This is also known as the delusional type.
  • Denpa/denpa-kei – For individuals who are disconnected or dissociated from the people around them.

It should be noted that it’s most likely not a coincidence that symptoms tend to appear in adolescence, when individuals strive to create independent personalities and is most prevalent in cultures or communities that tend to impose a certain uniformity as well as encourage admiration of others. As such people or characters that are deemed unique are more remarkable and more likely to become the subject of individual admiration.

Denpa gai
some cases can appear asymptomatic at first glance

However, merely identifying a victim isn’t enough. What should we do next?

There is some comfort to be taken in the fact that the condition is usually not degenerative or permanent. In fact, there is a high chance that the symptoms will dissipate on their own in time. In the meantime though, there are some precautions you should keep in mind:

–          Do not attempt to remove bandages. These are either there because the person was in a violent fight and you will get blood everywhere OR they are the only thing containing that person’s demonic otherworldly powers. Without them you will put yourself and everyone around you at risk!

Saiki chuuni
look what you did!

–          Do not try to deceive a Chuuni. Most of them will be able to tell right away through ESP and the rest will most likely pick up on subtle body language cues that are indiscernible to the rest of us. Although Chuunis are not usually violent by nature and will not lash out unless absolutely necessary, it is still wise to keep such powerful individuals as allies.

–          Always take notes when speaking with someone with Chuunbiyou syndrome. The condition temporarily offers huge reserves of knowledge and wisdom and you should make sure to take full advantage of that while you still can. There is no telling when these enlightened few ill no longer be able to educate you.

–          Approach Chunnis carefully and openly, like a small animal. Although it may appear from an outside perspective that Chuunbiyou syndrome is a desirable condition, providing the sufferers with many capabilities the rest of us would gladly pay for, it is in fact very difficult to deal with. New abilities are often difficult to control and occasionally painful. People constantly want to take advantage of the more powerful patients. Having access to knowledge and a view of the world way beyond that of your fellow man gives rise to some very uncomfortable realities. It is no wonder that Chuunis are therefore suspicious by nature. It’s a healthy self -preservation mechanism that should be respected. Make sure you show that you mean them no harm and have no intention of exploiting them.

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they’re more scared than you are

–          Finally, always bring snacks. Using expanded brainpowers is very draining on a system. Make sure your Chuunbiyou friends stay well nourished and hydrated at all times.

We do not yet have a vaccine to prevent the condition, but scientists are working around the clock. For now, I hope this little guide will help you to better understand and deal with this condition.

Oh, also never look under the eyepatch. In fact, never look under anyone’s eyepatch. Why would you ever do that? That’s just way too invasive. Unless you’re an eye doctor…

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33 thoughts on “Chuunbiyou Symptoms and Diagnostic”

  1. Forgive me for taking the fun out of this article, but I have some of these “symptoms” as an Autistic person. Not that I wear an eye patch or pretend I’m the Lizard King or anything, but certainly some of those traits like social awkwardness, extensive knowledge or obsession with obscure subjects, and a fanciful imagination are all elevated in people on the Autism spectrum.

    I doubt that all chuuni folk in Japan are Autistic but it might be interesting to learn if they are, and their esoteric culture plays a part in how it manifests in their teenagers. Although the chuuni world does seem incredibly fun! 😛

    Sorry for the boring, serious post. As you were….

    1. I considered adding in a disclaimer or a long time but this is clearly a joke post. However it’s really awesome that you took the time to share this n the comments. And quite brave too. Thank you!

      The symptoms do overlap with a lot of conditions. I’ve spoken of my own OCD on here from time to time and I can see myself in a lot of those too.
      When I researched this, I stumbled on the much more serious aspect of the actual research done on chuuni and neet behavior. A lot of theories exist that these may be combinations of a few conditions. The idea of huuni is that it passes after High School so it’s puberty associated but obsessive and reclusive is much more common even into adulthood and it’s becoming a serious problem (the hikikomori issue)
      Maybe a more talented blogger will try to discuss that. It’s fascinating but very delicate.

      1. No worries, I knew it wasn’t a serious post which is why I felt bad about bringing the jocular tone down with my comments. 🙂

        1. Oh noes – nothing to feel bad about. It was very good to bring it up. I personally didn’t know how but a comment is just perfect

    2. I call myself an aspie, but it is still just a name. You are absolutely correct that many of the symptoms are shared. Perhaps we really are more p[rone to be Chuunbiyou.

  2. It might fit under ritualistic behaviour but I’d like to add a symptom – picky eater (or at least strong preferences with food). Rikku was anti-tomato. Okabe was all about Dr Pepper. There’s a few others I remember who had fairly specific issues with food and what they would and would not eat.

      1. I think it is definitely part of the identity they are trying to portray and as such it is one of the symptoms that can be easily identified by someone observing the person.

  3. Well…I think I am safe. Don’t think I have any of these symptoms…..checks…nope denial isn’t one of them. See: I’m perfectly safe 😊
    (great post Irina! 😊😊)

  4. W- wait? Subtypes? Ah… must contain myself. Must… contain… Oh, Subcultural/Hipster. Yes, that’s me. Wait, no. I actually do like what I like (don’t I?) and I sometimes like popular stuff, too (don’t I? don’t I?), um… but… Oh, denkpa-kei. That’s more like it. I’m disconnected all right. At the very bottom of my soul (metaphoric, because I don’t really have one) there’s a void so scary that it even swallows and obliterates demons who are starved enough to try and take it away. It’s better not to associate with my because at a certain colese-ness level I will just drain you dry and leave you with the same stale desperation… the only good thing…

    ….

    Do I smell a snack? A… snack? You’re so unfair! *Turns and runs off, spraying a tiny mist of tears behind*

    ***

    Hard to deal with you say? Hmm….

    (How could I not?)

  5. “Do not attempt to remove bandages.”

    Wow! You may have just saved a life! Just the other day, I was wondering if I should “help” a coworker by removing his bandages. Now I’ll avoid such a dangerous course of action!

    “We do not yet have a vaccine to prevent the condition, ”

    Is there a Foundation we can contribute to? I’m sure that with enough effort, we can erase this scourge from the Earth!

    30 points for the shot of Kobato from Haganai! No offense to Rikka from Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, but I’m always happy when you use examples from Haganai!

    1. Oh there are several foundations – it’s a very serious problem after all!!! Hanegani is my favorite show I haven’t seen yet….

  6. Dark Flame Master… so precious. Gets references in SNAFU and Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Chuuni girls are often cosplayers, and its a major sign of the disease. You should probably include that one. Also, tattoos with magical powers (which means most people who have one are chuuni). Excess black leather, with laces on it, and big black harley davidson motorcycles. Motorcycle gangs are chuuni, since most of the members are lawyers, accountants, doctors, and similar high paying jobs. They’re similar to hipsters. Guys driving monster trucks are chuuni, especially ones with giant testicles hanging from the trailer hitch, or a cowbell which is the same thing. So many things are chuuni. Socialism is chuuni. 150 million dead and they want to try again, pretending that this time it will work, a simple denial of reality using mania and dreams of a world that never lived. Star Trek fans are chuuni. That’s socialism with explosions everywhere, and a strange lack of pockets.

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