Chuunibyou (中二病 Chūnibyō?, contracted form of "Middle School 2nd Year Syndrome") is a Japanese term used to refer to delusional adolescents (around 13 -15 years of age) who either act like a know-it-all adult and look down on real ones, or believe they have special powers.
Psychologically this behavior is a common stage in adolescent growth as the child forms their own identity in society. However, while most develop past the delusional phase to acquire sound personalities, some do not and continue to exhibit delusional identities into adulthood.
There are 3 main types of "Chuunibyou".
- DQN-type: These Chuunibyou desire to be seen as "rebels" and pretend to be antisocial outcasts even though they are not. To further their façade they conjure fictional stories about past antisocial behavior.
- Subculture/Hipster-type: These Chuunibyou desire to be seen as "cool/hip" and will claim to be involved in subcultures or minor trends although in reality they are not involved and know nothing about them.
- Evil Eye-Type: These Chuunibyou desire to be "unique" to the extent as seen in multimedia and so will adopt various "mystical powers" to achieve this. Some will even establish their own alias to further their façade.
- It is believed that Hikaru Ijuin (hikaruijuin@twitter) is the first person to use this term in his radio program "Hikaru Ijuin's UP'S". During an episode which aired on 11, November 1999, Ijuin mentioned, "I'm still contracting 'chuunibyou' (middle school syndrome) myself". In the following week, Ijuin started a corner called "Am I sick? Oh, it's just Chuunibyou." in which Ijuin reads "cases" contributed by his radio listeners on air.
- The majority of the cast believe that Lala is simply a Chuunibyou (of the Type 3 variety) who believes she has death-related powers. However, it is later discovered by Kimihito (himself having gone through the same developmental stage) that Lala actually does have death-related powers and simply pretends to not have them to avoid panic.