- DQN (Delinquent): Pretends to be a delinquent when in fact they aren't or can't become one. Makes up stories about gang fights and crimes and/or boasts and pretends to know about that subculture.
- Subcultural: Latches on to minority or "alternative" cultural groups seen as "cool" to try to make themselves appear interesting or special.
- Evil Eye: Interested in Magic and Powers and often believes they have special or supernatural abilities themselves (stereotypically a Magical Eye and/or Evil Hand). Generally creates a special magical persona namenote for themselves in accordance with those believed abilities. Also known as the Delusional Type, due to high incidence of becoming a Cloudcuckoolander. Likely the most iconic form of chuunibyou, and rare outside of Japanese Media.
Trope Namers and Codifiers
- Hikaru Ijuin is said to be the first person to use this word as it was heard in his radio programme Hikaru Ijuin's UP'S. During an episode which aired on 11 November 1999, Ijuin mentioned, "I'm still contracting 'chuunibyou' 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 in his radio. Ijuin originally described chuunibyou as the things people normally do during their 2nd year in middle school. As the term grew more popular, it became a slang term among Japanese internet users. Other derogatory terms such as "High School 2nd year Syndrome" (kounibyou), "Elementary School 2nd year Syndrome" (shounibyou), and other similar derivatives started appearing and also became Internet memes. It was then that Ijuin himself tweeted a message regarding this issue by saying, "I have no interest in this word anymore because it has lost its original meaning from when I first described it."
- Chuunibyou User Manual by Saegami Hyouya is basically an All There in the Manual for this kind of syndrome, becoming even a reference for future works in Japanese Media. The book was released on 2008 under Kotobukiya publishing and even has its own manga.
- Don Quixote, is largely regarded as the Ur-Example of chuunibyou-focused stories, even when the eponymous protagonist is nearing 50 years of age. Not to mention the book is widely famous in Japan at the point of having its own anime version and even a famous store holds its name.
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Tropes Associated with Chuunibyou
- Cultural Posturing
- A Darker Me
- Foreign Culture Fetish (mainly the Theme Park Version)
- Friendless Background
- I Just Want to Be Special
- It's All About Me
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All
- Loners Are Freaks
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold
- Old Shame
- Rule of Cool
- Second Year Protagonist
- Your Mind Makes It Real
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!
- Gun Nut (particularly in places where it's hard to get guns)
- Japanese Delinquents
- Miles Gloriosus
- Paper Tiger
- Atrocious Alias
- Awesome Mc Coolname
- Bandage Babe
- Dark Is Not Evil
- "Darkness von Gothick" Name
- Do Not Call Me "Paul"
- Elegant Gothic Lolita
- Evil Hand
- Evil Is Cool
- Eyepatch of Power
- Fantasy Sequence
- Goth Girls Know Magic
- Gratuitous Foreign Language
- Impossibly Cool Weapon
- Invisible to Normals
- Large Ham
- Longing for Fictionland
- Magical Eye
- Mark of the Supernatural
- Mr. Imagination
- Not-So-Badass Longcoat
- Power Limiter
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Anime and Manga
- Masayoshi Hazama is one of the main characters of Samurai Flamenco. A male model by occupation, Masayoshi has a love for the heroes of justice from Tokusatsu shows, and has always desired to be one himself. One day, he decides to get a custom suit made to finally live out his dreams as a hero. While he has no fighting experience, he gives his all when acting as a superhero, trying to instill the concepts of truth and justice into the delinquents he runs into while on patrol. He believes himself able to convince these kids of the path of justice, and able to hold his own in battle, although neither of these are particularly true. Still, he never gives up on his dreams and believes that with enough dedication he can truly become a hero like the ones on TV. And then things start to get weird...
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Before the manga became entirely about card games, one Villain of the Week was a classmate who claimed he could see the future (and arranged for his predictions to come true). When exposed by Yugi, it turned out his predictions were all prewritten, such as "There will be an earthquake". In Japan.
- Daily Lives of High School Boys
- Shaman King
- Wooden Sword Ryu and his gang are the Japanese Delinquents Who Don't Do Anything, who act scary but never break any rules and can be so considerate at times that it verges on comical.
- In the Sequel manga Shaman King: Flowers, Hana accuses Yohane of only acting like The Rival because of chuunibyou. He's correct.
- In Pani Poni Dash!, Behoimi acts like a Magical Girl, though she grows out of it over the course of the series.
- In Martian Successor Nadesico, Jiro Yamada (or as he calls himself, "Gai Daigoji")note is a Hot-Blooded Real Robot pilot who thinks he's in a Super Robot series, shouting out the names of attacks from his favorite anime while in combat. He also serves as something of an inspiration to the rest of the cast especially when he dies during battle, even those who claim to find his behaviour annoying.
- Love Live! Sunshine!!: Yoshiko Tsushima, or, as she prefers to be called, Yohane. She believes she is a Fallen Angel who has been cursed and banished from the heavens to explain why she has extremely bad luck. Her arc in the anime is actually about her having grown out of it and wanting to leave it behind, but being unable to because the persona was that deeply ingrained into her personality by then — it can be observed in later episodes that "Yohane" now doubles as a subtle fallback coping mechanism for nervousness.
- My Hero Academia: Fumikage Tokoyami is a mixture of all types, being quiet and reserved with Cold Ham tendencies, owning several gothic memorabilia that he is somewhat embarrassed about and having actual Casting a Shadow powers.
- The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Shun Kaidou is a Conspiracy Theorist who has a secret identity known as Jet-Black Wing, fighting to protect the world from the Dark Reunion. In actuality, it's implied that Kaidou is Obfuscating Stupidity and only keeps up the antics as an outlet because he comes from an extremely strict household with an Education Mama.
- In Boruto, Boruto starts acting like one when he thinks he's unlocked his Byakugan, complete with sunglasses and a smug attitude. Everyone else just finds his behavior weird and think he's making it up to get attention.
- Maria Imari from This Art Club Has a Problem! is one, going on about grimoires and supernatural powers, and even wearing a medical eyepatch at one point.
- Based on the Big in Japan Ur-Example Don Quixote, there's Zukkoke Knight - Don De La Mancha, a free adaptation of Don Quixote made in The '80s, that follows the adventures of Don Quixote De la Mancha, a man that believes he's a knight and fights against monsters that there're on his imagination as well idolizes romantically to Dulcinea, who takes advantage of him for her own purposes.
- A famous Western example of chuunibyou is Kick-Ass, in which Dave Lizewski (AKA Kick-Ass), a sixteen-year-old high school student, decides to become a real-life superhero, despite having little-to-no fighting skills or training, and no super powers, he assumes the superhero role by fashioning a costume from a wetsuit bought on Ebay, inspiring dozens of teenagers like him to become superheroes like him (and eventually supervillains too). Another case is Hit Girl, which apart of becoming a vigilante and having real training and skills (with the same Evil Eye-type than Kick-Ass), she's also a Delinquent-type as well a Western example of a Tsundere.
- Basing in some articles on internet like this one, Chuunibyou may be related with Mary Sue/Marty Stu about the adolescents with this syndrome made Fan Fic or original stories based on themselves as an extension of them, being everything they can't be in Real Life, but in a fictional story.
- Fedora: the Tipping, a parody World of Darkness gameline, is about playing a cringeworthy Manchild, complete with its version of the Humanity Meter being named Edge. There's also a supplement called Chuunibyou: the Arm-Grabbing for games set in Japan, which adds new ability paths themed after the Chuunibyou User Manual and modifies old ones (notably replacing some powers based on Atheism and Weabooism with ones themed on Patriotic Fervor).
- The most famous example and the reason why this term is widely known outside Japan is Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (mostly because of the anime adaptation than the light novel). It follows a boy, Yuta Togashi, who in middle school had chuunibyou and called himself the Dark Flame Master, which ended up alienating him from his fellow classmates. He ends up finding this behavior embarrassing, and tries to reinvent himself in High School. However, a girl with chuunibyou, Rikka Takanashi, catches wind of Yuta's past and becomes interested in him and his Dark Flame Master persona. She herself believes that she is a sorceress with the ability to see other people's destinies through her "Wicked Eye", which she keeps hidden behind a medical eyepatch. Hilarity ensues as the two begin to become friends and they start to learn more about each other's lives.
- Yoshiteru Zaimokuza from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU has delusions about being a warlord in another life and even having a lifetime rivalry with Hachiman Hikigaya who also has a coincidence in his name just as Yoshiteru. He's recognized as a chuunibyou for all the other members of the Service Club (even being called by Yui and Komachi as "Chuuni-chan"), but Hachiman, who sees he has the "novelist syndrome".
- Rinna Kazamatsuri from Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a member of the Shinigami, a C-Range Blazer... and a chuunibyou, who even referenced Rikka Takanashi having an Eyepatch of Power to "seal her powers".
- In Oreimo, "Kuroneko" is this, wearing Gothic Lolita dresses, threatening people with curses, and enjoying shows because they're hard to understand. It's a while before the audience even learns what her real name is.
- One of Momonga's former guildmates, Ulbert Alain Odle, is mentioned to have been a textbook example. No wonder he roleplayed an openly evil demon with a flair for the dramatic and the most powerful destruction spells in YGGDRASIL. The NPC he created, Demiurge, is equally edgy, which suddenly becomes a lot more of a problem in The Game Come to Life. Though, given that he lost his parents in an accident, his "chuunibyou" may have been hiding legitimate mental issues.
- Momonga himself once went through a chuunibyou phase which resulted in the creation of Pandora's Actor, a Large Ham of a doppelganger who wears a Nazi uniform and constantly lapses into Gratuitous German. Nowadays, Momonga is deeply ashamed of this phase and finds the Actor quite cringeworthy in hindsight, especially now that he's sentient and his quirks fully come into play as opposed to being just a part of his backstory.
- Lakyus Alvein Dale Aindra, leader of Blue Rose is implied to have a pretty severe case of this, even faking a "dark personality" and hyping up the possibly non-existent corrupting nature of her sword Kilineiram. However, she at least has enough sense to keep it out of her public persona and gets very embarrassed whenever she realizes she's slipped up in front of others.
- Jurai Andou from When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is a shameless and textbook example of the Mystic type, to the point that Hatoko infamously chews him out for it. Also, depending on whether you believe they actually have powers or simply have overactive imaginations, every character in the series may also count.
- In Konosuba, Megumin is a self-proclaimed genius who wears an eyepatch and bandages for purely aesthetic reasons, and is prone to dramatic speeches and silly gestures. Subverted in that she really is a prodigy Arch Wizard of the Crimson Demon clan (who all act like this) and one of the few mages alive who can cast the Fantastic Nuke spell "Explosion". Double Subverted in that casting Explosion drains her entire mana pool and leaves her unable to move, and she never learned any spells other than Explosion because they "weren't cool enough"; even other Crimson Demons think she's taking the Rule of Cool too far.
- The 2001 mystery novel Hyouka (most known for their manga and anime adaptations) is about a group of students part of the Kamiyama High School's Classic Literature Club. All of them take very seriously their duties in the Club, at the point of working more as a Mystery Club than a Literature Club, solving fictional cases made by themselves.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The titular Prince came up with his identity in his teenage years as a way to get back at his Muggle father (hence half-blood) by using his witch mother's last name. He was known to run around with a gang of people who would later become the first Death Eaters and came up with some very nasty spells. He's better known as Severus Snape.
- Bridge to Terabithia: Two fifth-graders invent a fantasy world in order to escape the pressures of everyday life. It doesn't turn out well for them.
- Hikikomori No Chuunibyou is a Steam's Indie Platform Game (with touches of Puzzle and Beat 'em Up) made in 8-bit about a Hikikomori who also is a Chuunibyou and has been obligated to go outside, passing stages using parkour-like abilities and martial-arts techniques.
- Sanae Kochiya is an unusual example in that she really does have supernatural powers, she's just way too enthusiastic about them (and occasionally lapses into If Jesus, Then Aliens).
- Sekibanki from Double Dealing Character is described as giving off a chuuni vibe, in that she looks down on both humans and youkai despite her own lack of importance.
- Sumireko Usami is a textbook example of chuunibyou, being convinced of her inherent specialness, belief in mystical phenomena and general obsession with the occult, and superiority complex towards her peers and everyone else she meets prior to the serving of humble pie she gets at the hands of Reimu and Gensokyo's youkai. Unlike many other examples of this trope, however, she actually has very potent Psychic Powers.
- The story of Dateless Bar "Old Adam" focuses on chuunibyou as a general theme, in the form of the adults Maribel and Renko meet that are obsessed with the stories about Gensokyo told by the former's pseudonym, Dr. Latency.
- Gladion from Pokémon Sun and Moon has many hallmarks of this character type. He's an angry young man obsessed with strength, who denies being friends with any human characters, to the point where he initially seems like an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. However, it soon turns out that his anger is the result of stress, and when calm he's actually a Nice Guy who just happens to like black clothes and making dramatic poses in battle. Hau even calls him out on acting mysterious just to seem cooler.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Owain displays many stereotypical chuuni traits like Calling His Attacks, geeking out over stories about legendary weapons, and pretending that his sword arm is possessed and thirsts for blood. Both his portrait and his map sprite show him standing with his hand held dramatically over his face. When he reappears in Fire Emblem Fates as "Odin", he even has a personal skill which increases his critical hit rate when wielding weapons with cool names.note
- The True Final Boss of the Undertale Pacifist Route, Asriel Dreemurr, comes off as the type. Though he does have genuine power - godlike, in fact - he uses it in a way that makes it amply clear he's gunning for all the Rule of Cool stereotypes. Atrocious Alias (God of Hyperdeath)? Check. Boasting about suppressing his true power? Check. Several Impossibly Cool Weapons, such as dual swords and a giant rainbow laser? Check. An over-the-top ultimate attack, which he is shocked you withstand? Check. This is appropriate, since Asriel is literally a child (probably even younger than teenage) and is literally playing with you. In good "kid with the 'undodgeable laser gun' on the playground" fashion, he is invincible, so to defeat him, you have to convince him to stop... but not without resorting to some hax of your own.
- Ranko Kanzaki from THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls is an example of this. She is notorious among her co-idols for her obscure and difficult-to-understand chuunibyou talking style. However, despite being chuunibyou, she is innocent and sweet and others find it surprising that she is really scared of horror and ghosts.
- Zeke from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 exhibits many traits of one, having an eyepatch that conceals his "Shining Eye of Justice" that according to him can reduce men to ash with its full power, arts with comically flashy names (Ultimate Lightning Fury Slash Max being the most ridiculous of them), and often strikes dramatic poses while talking or fighting. However, he's considered the strongest Driver in his country and is a legitimately powerful individual both in story and gameplay.
- Rintarou Okabe is the main character of Steins;Gate. He is a self-proclaimed mad scientist and villain, and will often partake in strange mannerisms such as talking to himself via cell phone and laughing maniacally in order to keep up this persona. However, he does not truly believe himself to be a mad scientist, but rather developed this persona in order to entertain his childhood friend Mayuri Shiina.
- Dangan Ronpa
- Celestia Ludenberg, Ultimate Gambler in the first game. Decked out in Elegant Gothic Lolita attire, despite being about as Japanese as the entire rest of the cast, insists that that's her real name. Free Time Events have her "backstory" as a series of references to gambling anime, she's said to give people letter rankings based on her opinions of them, and her greatest desire is to live in a castle waited on hand and foot by pretty male vampire butlers. Her quickly-turned manservant, Hifumi Yamada, also counts as one, as a Large Ham obsessed with his favorite fictional character to the point where in Free Time he genuinely believes she's real, not to mention being a bit of a white knight. Might be why they're the closest thing to friends in the class one another have. Celestia manipulates him into committing murder thanks to the latter delusion before killing him herself, and her real, somewhat hickish name Taeko Yasuhiro is a plot point in that case. Her obsession with this delusion ties both into her Villainous Breakdown and her subsequent execution.
- Gundham Tanaka, the Ultimate Animal Breeder from Super Dangan Ronpa 2. An eccentric individual who talks like a cartoon supervillain and aspires to use the dark arts to conquer the world. When he's found guilty of murder, he attempts to protect himself from his execution with his alleged "dark powers", only to fail.
- Himiko Yumeno, the Ultimate Magician of New Dangan Ronpa V3 appears to be carrying on the trend. She wears a witch hat and insists her magic tricks are the product of actual magical powers. Though her "real magic" is what the second case is centered around, making her its prime suspect thanks to the body turning up at her show, she's cleared of any charges and, bucking the trend of the previous games, never kills anybody before going on to be one of very few survivors of the game.
- Also in v3, the mastermind herself counts as this, again crossed with Otaku. Obsessed with Danganronpa to a fault, she spends much of the trial post-unveiling insisting that she is Junko Enoshima and cosplaying as various other characters. She seems to have no identity whatsoever outside of this.