The Wonderful Life of a Chuunibyou

In Japan, they have a special word for kids who, in their childhood, act like they have things like fantasy powers, or play make-believe all the time. That word is Chuunibyou, and the literal translation is “Middle-school Syndrome”, referring to the common time that these people begin their obsessions. This isn’t a thing that only happens in Japan, though, it can be found all over the world, young people enacting elaborate fantasies in their minds. However, is this really such a bad thing?

Most of the time, behavior of this sort is looked upon with disdain, and the kids who engage in said behavior are generally ignored, shamed, or bullied. Not only others of a similar age, but adults as well, look with scorn upon these “weirdos” that spend their days off in their own little worlds. “Spend less time playing make-believe, spend more time studying!” they will say, trying their hardest to break these kids’ habits.

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“Explode, synapses!”

Is being Chuuni really so bad, though? Sure, it might be kind of strange, and deviate from the pre-conceived “social norms” or whatnot, and sure, some of them may take things too far sometimes. However, at the end of the day, what is Chuuni but having a powerful, active imagination? If that’s the case, who really has the right to tell them that they need to stop? Is constant study more important than having an imagination? I’d like to argue, NO.

In my opinion, utilizing an active imagination happens far too infrequently these days. People focus more on school, on memorizing facts and earning degrees, than they do on being creative, expressing their imagination, creating the things that only they can create. If nobody uses their imagination, how are we supposed to move forward? Video games, novels, movies, art, music… You can’t create without having an imagination.

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Never change, noble souls.

Maybe there is some middle ground to be found, where the Chuuni population can study what they need to to get by in life, while still being able to exercise their active imaginations? It’s possible, but until then, why not just let the Chuuni do their thing? They’re generally pretty harmless, and… who knows? Their powerful imaginations might end up creating something incredible in the future.

So, my fellow Chuuni, rise up! Let your voices be heard! Let your imaginations run free and wild, and bring about a new age in society! Having an active imagination is nothing to be ashamed of; be proud of what you have.

P.S. If you’re a former (or current) chuuni like yours truly, please let me know what you like to do with your imagination down in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “The Wonderful Life of a Chuunibyou

  1. I agree with your feelings about school—there’s an importance, certainly, in memorizing/learning, but there also needs to be room for creativity and imagination, and just as importantly, focusing those abilities in a way that encourages learning and helps students grow. A lot of schools are working on this these days.

    I think the bigger issue with chuunibyou, though, is that most are associated with having very poor social skills (see Zaimokuza in Oregairu). Retreating into your own world often precludes others, especially those unlike you, and relationship building and communication is so very important to learn as we grow since it’s key to professional and personal success later in life, and, in my opinion, is really a foundation for what’s most important in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s definitely true that some moderation may be needed, however I do see Chuuni able to have great interactions with other Chuuni.
      Might just be my own experience, but some of my best friends today are people I was able to fantasize and such with on the playground as a youngster.
      Mainly, i feel like there’s a better way to deal with chuuni than simply telling them to stop, trying to shame or bully them out of it, etc. It’s something I feel society needs to work on, finding middle ground, or better ways to approach those who might take it too far.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Minutiae: I am now aware that I am Uniquely Lovely… – Chizurue

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