中二病[chunibyo]

December 21, 2008 at 6:45 am (doujin(同人), general, otaku word, slang)

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 Since this term has really become popular, I must make a post on this. I guess this is one of the yearly famous words this year.

 Years ago, there was a debate show named 真剣10台しゃべり場[shinken jyudai shaberiba] in which ten or more teenagers discussed something. The theme changed every week, like “Why do people do blah blah…,” or even “What’s wrong with being an otaku?” At any rate, I used to laugh a lot at their discussion because they were truly childish. Even though they pretended be know-it-all, it seemed too painful to see. A boy pretends to be an outcast, a girl pretends to be cynical…or something like that. But after all, they didn’t make any sense.

 Anyway, this term came from the radio talk show which was hosted by the certain otaku entertainer, 伊集院光[Hikaru Ijyuin]. In the show, he mentioned his embarrassing past when he was young(14 years old?), and asked the listners to post their own painful pasts. He summed it up as 中二病[chunibyou], or eight-grade-disease. Since that was well put, otaku people started to make a post on the net to write about their own pasts. To get to the point, 中二病 means a ridiculous and painful thought or such a behavior those are frequently seen among 14-year-old boys(中二 is an abbreviation of 中学二年生[chugakuninensei], or 8th grade). Or, those people who have such a thought or do such a thing although they are grown-up. If there is a 2ch-like saying, it should be written as 厨二病.

 Simply, 中二病 means something 8th-grade-boys mostly do in order to try to surpass anybody else. But it also means someone pretends to know how the world works in spite of being a kid, or someone who pretends to be special far from others. Meanwhile, they might get cocky all of a sudden, or ironically look down on adults. Yes, in the show mentioned above, most of the teenagers seemed to have 中二病 though some of them were not really 14.

 chunibyo1

 Speaking of 14 years old, I can immediately think of GTO and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both of the shows feature 14-year-old characters. In GTO, most of the students hate the teachers who are doing a dirty work whereas they pretend to be delinquent. In Evangelion, sometimes what Shinji or Kaworu say might include such contexts. Nagisa Kaworu is actually a last servant and he is really different from others. In other words, he is a really outcast. But Shinji is not. Nonetheless, he sometimes sounds like that. I don’t mean to be rude, but in a way Shinji has also 中二病. (;^^)

 Also, 中二病 mostly indicates boys, so what about such girls? It’s 小六病[shourokubyo], sixth-grade-disease since most girls get mature ahead of boys at the age of 12 or so. And those people who look down on 中二病 in spite of having 中二病 are called 高二病 [kounibyo] or soph disease. Oh well, maybe if you look back, there would be one or two things that were too embarrassing to recall. As for me, I used to wear my brother’s suit secretly when I went out. Or else, ordered a coffee with no sugar though I knew it was very strong. Oh no! How could I do something like that!? ><

 Well, I just quickly list it out in order to describe how 中二病 is.

a. Claiming to be the God of the new world without Death Note.

b. Claiming that you can change the world without the power of Geass.

c. Foaming a SOS Brigade and searching for misteries on Sunday.

d. Despising your father although you can’t pilot Eva.

e. 戦士症候群 (in a way)

f. Wishing to be a real キルドレ (in a way)

g. Shouting “I am in despair!” all the time.

h. Keep talking about the one thing as if knowing everything of it. (超うざい)

i. Copying Shokotan-go all the time. (痛い!)

 These things would look very painful if you do in real life. I just created above, but I am sure you can, too.

 OMG, then my cosplay is also 中二病? Don’t say that! But yes, I know. Because I cosplay a stundent although I am not anymore, far from one.

gakusei2

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24 Comments

  1. jaredinnakano said,

    Bangin, you make a marvelous 8th grader! Your bearded friend looks just a few years older, but you are perfect.

  2. bangin said,

    Actually I am elder than him. I am sure he would look younger than me if he shaved. :)

  3. Kairu Ishimaru said,

  4. bangin said,

    As you can see, this is Ikari Shinji. Don’t you think he sometimes sounds like chunibyo?

  5. mochie said,

    Haha I used to copy Shokotan-go. -_- But it was too painful and tiring to keep up with it.
    We all have embarrassing pasts, when I was young, I always liked to wear my mum’s clothes and use her cosmetics when I go out.

    I think my dad is chunibyo – he has absolutely no responsibility at all (surprisingly for someone his age) and always tell people how to do stuff like as if he is an expert even when he’s not. For example, he always like to teach people how to raise their children when he’s never even done it once himself before. He is also someone who likes to blame everyone else for everything.

  6. bangin said,

    Sometimes should be fine but speaking all the time with shokotan-go is not formally good. Among cosplayers, it is said that using shokotan-go on a first contact is very rude. But some chunibyo cosplayers(they are really 14 or so) are doing this…

    Anyone has such a past upon puberty, but the thing is, we are grown-up, leaving chunibyo behind so that those embarrasing memories even sound nostalgic.

    But when chunibyo goes too far, it wouldn’t be a joke. The perfect example is the murderer of the massacare in Akihabara. In a way, he has a severe chinibyo. It might be necessary to make a facility where those people can counsel.

  7. goodyfun said,

    I got a real kick out of this one. :) As for example “G”, I think that would be okay as long as you did that around friends who knew you were quoting a particularly funny show. ^^^

    Something that you hear a lot in the English speaking nerd’s world, and outside of it just as much, is a word that is similar, but not the same thing as 中二病. Because nowadays teenagers are more free to express themselves with clothes, expressing themselves through the Internet, and listening to specific varieties of music, it has gotten to a point that the media is taking advantage of it, and is looking more closely at teenagers with a moodier disposition: And they are called “emo” (Short for emotional.).

    This has become a humongous cliché. Like the teenagers on that TV show you mentioned, “emo kids” are not too respected because the stereotype is that they are only pretending. …Or in some cases are just too angsty in general. Shinji is constantly labeled “emo” by English speaking fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    I believe that kids that do anything similar to your examples, or act in a way that’s cliché to fit in, or whatever is fine as long as they outgrow it. I personally have never seen a real adult mope around constantly in the dark, thinking about how nobody loves them (Admittedly, at that age it would be sort of funny and ironic.).

    There is also another word I like that’s similar, but I feel this has gotten too long now.

  8. Hinano said,

    That sounds like something Otaku would do rather than be a chunibyou XD

  9. bangin said,

    goodyfun: The thing is, anyone experiences chunibyo, but the important thing is how we can leave it behind. The fact that a word like this exists, means this is becoming a more serious matter. Those examples I made are ridiculous, but when these things go too far, it wouldn’t be anymore.

    Hinano: In doujin society, chunibyo is often used. I mean, a storyline in which chunibyo characters show are called 中二病設定[chunibyo setting], or 邪気眼[jakigan].

    So otaku and chunibyo have something to do a bit…

  10. Hinano said,

    ooh ok.
    by the way my blog (Hitorigoto) has moved so please update your blogroll
    The new blog is 見ないで! ひとり言

    http://jphinano.wordpress.com/

    thanks ^_^

  11. goodyfun said,

    My experience with 中二病 started when I was about nine, and ended when I was about ten years old. That might be earlier then most people, since you were saying the age it starts seems to be fourteen or so? It’s obviously different for everyone, but that seems like a very good guess. That word describes most teenagers in general.

    When a story that focuses on 中二病 characters is called 中二病設定 that reminds me of the other word that is similar. In stories of the same variety, the term “Wangst” will be used, but it is negative. The word comes from the words angst and whiney (or “wank”, like the character is getting off from being so angsty. Sorry if that offends you.) So the character is so pathetic that the readers just want to shout “Get over it already!”

    The biggest reason why words like 中二病 and “emo” are being invented is because teenagers are able to express themselves more once the times become further politically correct. Many years ago, teenagers all went through this sort of thing and it is not new, but they couldn’t express it because they had to grow up faster then these days, and had to work, raise families, etc. Therefore, let us embrace the times and accept their stupidity! ^^;

  12. 子犬 said,

    goodyfun: “Therefore, let us embrace the times and accept their stupidity!”

    That is so harsh… but true. ^^;

    This word makes me think about how otaku things and chunibyo things relate to different ways. When someone is into otaku things that can be the time they experience chunibyo. At the same time, it may be the opposite. Like in this one manga I read, the character kept the fact he was an otaku a secret and that is when he was pretending. Then he got over it when he was honest about it and was himself.

    Perhaps they relate so much because otaku culture is very youth-related and so is chunibyo?

  13. bangin said,

    Hinano: Oh thank you for telling me this, I changed it now.^^

    goodyfun&子犬: Anyone who is around 10-15, is likely to sympathize such a far-fecthed story. No matter how stupid it seems to be, I think it is still alright. Because they will find out when the right time comes. Or else, a word like this exists, might be a good thing because they are able to notice they have a chunibyo. Those who can realize it and those who can’t are different.

    Not only young people have a chunibyo, but someone like the massacrer in Akihabara. I am sure he has a severe chunibyo.

  14. Ōkami-Sensei said,

    Today in my goodbye speech, I both copied Shokotan and use the phrase “I’m in Despair!”

    My Facebook image is Lelouch! OMG!

  15. bangin said,

    Sometimes should be fine. XD

    And I am sorry that I couldn’t answer on skype. I fell asleep while my computer was on.

  16. 子犬 said,

    “Or else, a word like this exists, might be a good thing because they are able to notice they have a chunibyo.”

    I have not thought about it but that is true. Massacre? That sounds scary…

  17. bangin said,

    The massacre was aimless in his entire life, and came to Akihabara to kill people. He was in despair, abandoned the will to live, and depended on the wrong idea.

    That is the final destination of the worst chunibyo…

  18. goodyfun said,

    “He was in despair, abandoned the will to live, and depended on the wrong idea.”

    When it gets to that point, it becomes much more deeply psychological. There is a time when you can call it chunibyo, but when someone is at the end of their ropes its more like delirium or psychosis.

  19. Chingaez said,

    Well,not only Japan have this kind of illness. Here in Malaysia also have this kind of disease, & it really creepy when I recalled it. If the statement is true(As i believed), then I was one of the infected otaku despite taking a lot of Hentai gallery all the time! I just want to get a good focus on it main art groove & everyone here misunderstood ’bout almost everything!

    What will happened to me right after I got this infected?

  20. bangin said,

    Don’t worry, anyone likes to see a hentai gallery.

  21. On Twitter Policy - Wynn's said,

    [...] to savor our new world before choking at it, old man. Just in case you have not yet recovered from eight-grade-disease, look at your sanity before you declare war on everyone [...]

  22. Matthew Pursell said,

    I used to be kinda chunibyo myself… I was always running around pretending I was a hero and making up silly stories. Now that I’m a writer I channel all of those old delusions into my stories and poetry. But there was a chunibyo kind of guy at my old school who always wrote weird stories about himself being a big hero, so I was surprised that other people did that too.

    A lot more people are chunibyo than we know, probably…

  23. Ongoing Investigations: Case #236 | Reverse Thieves said,

    […] Player One is an American chunibyo […]

  24. Shenmue654 said,

    It’s interesting. You could say I spent most of my teenage years as a “chunibyo” of sorts, although I was very aware that I was just playing a game. My friends and I LARPED as teenagers, and I claimed that what we did affected real universes outside our own. Call it my own personal Bridge to Terebithia.

    I think that viewing this as a mental illness is a big mistake— It’s the kind of thing that people grow out of on their own. It’s penalizing teenagers for continuing to have an imagination, and for believing they can “change the world.”

    The truth is, they might— They just need to learn that the world won’t fall at their feet without some very, very hard work.

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