Yūta Togashi is a boy who, during junior high school, had ‘adolescent delusions’ (中二病 chūnibyō?, lit. “junior high school second grade illness”), believing that he possesses supernatural powers and dubbing himself the ‘Dark Flame Master,’ therefore alienating himself from his classmates. Finding his past embarrassing, Yūta attempts to start off high school where he does not know anyone, free from his old delusions. This proves to be difficult, however, as a delusional girl in his class, Rikka Takanashi, learns of Yūta’s past and becomes interested in him.

As the plot progreses Rikka becomes more attached to Yūta, who despite finding her delusions irritating and embarrassing, accepts her. He helps Rikka with a number of things, including founding and maintaining her club and tutoring her. When he joins her on her summer vacation, Yūta learns that when Rikka was very young her father, whom she was very close to, died unexpectedly due to a terminal illness, causing her to fall into her delusions. After Yūta agrees to help Rikka search for the ‘eternal horizon’ (which she believes will lead her to her father) she becomes romantically interested in him and vice versa.

A sense of nostalgia and mediocracy was my initial reaction to this series, and I imagine that’s the same for most other people as well. Sometimes, initial impressions can be highly deceiving. Chuunibyou is an example of that.

A past of imagination and fun. We laughed, cried, even danced for things that bring us joy. Being a high school student, we move on, banishing our past. Some say that our past allows us to move on and run away from it. Perhaps from fear? Embarrassment? Concern? Maybe Maturity. But, we can never run away as it is always a part of us, it makes us a special, unique individual.

That is how Chuunibyou in my opinion is portrayed. As a reflection on our past and how it shaped our future.

Chuunibyou is translated as “Eighth-Grade Syndrome.”

This is a common stage in growth; for most people, it happens–you guessed it–around the 2nd year of middle school (Grade 8 in Japan). However, the problem is, there are some grown-ups who have this symptom.”

A certain website states that it is a slang term depicting three different cases: The antisocial types, ones with the ‘cool’ factor, and ones who admire mystical powers and recreates them in reality through their imagination.

Just looking up this meaning made me grin like from ear to ear you know why?
Because it was something that most of us have experienced in our school lives, whether it be in a severe form of mimicking your favorite TV character or in a cooler form of trying to be a wannabe music artist and developing newer ways to look good like your idol. In any case when we remember this some of us just smile and think “that was fun” and some of us think “i wish i had never done that, i just want to roll over and die”.

Life can be boring, lonely and even painful at times. We humans naturally tend to avoid these feelings because of the discomfort they give us. We try to run away from them, but it is no use. Reality is all around as, and there is no place for us to hide. Our only option is to blast reality..and burst it into shreds!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai focuses on a girl who does just that. She cannot accept reality, so she denies the fact that it’s there. This girl opposes reality by being a Chuunibyou. But you might be wondering…what is a Chuunibyou? By definition, a Chuunibyou is someone who pretends like they are in junior high/8th grade. 8th graders are believed to discover new self-awareness at this time in their life. They often pretend to be something they are not. For example, a super hero or an evil villain. By being a Chuunibyou, these people can successfully escape from reality by being the someone or something that they want to be.

Our story starts with a boy by the name of Togashi, Yuuta. Yuuta has spent his 8th grade year pretending to be the Dark Flame Master. In other words, he was a Chuunibyou. Now that he is a high-school student, he looks back at that time in his life shamefully. He is extremely embarrassed about being a Chuunibyou and even moves to a faraway high-school to avoid his classmates in middle school. Yuuta just wants to be a normal student now, and make new friends.

Then we have Takanashi, Rikka. She is a girl who has just become a Chuunibyou. Rikka is in the same class as Yuuta and takes an interest in him. Of course, Yuuta wants nothing to do with her. He wants to seem as normal as possible to his new classmates in high-school.

And so the two’s hilarious little adventure ensues.

Chuunibyou goes through two major shifts in its story. The first half of it is a happy going tale about Yuuta and Rikka’s interaction with each other. This slowly builds up an understanding between the two, and that understanding eventually builds up in to love. The second half is a more dramatic and meaningful story. The theme is clearly visible in the second half as Rika comes to terms with growing up and accepting reality. That is to say the first half was more happy and silly, while the second half was more depressing. All in all, the story can be summed up as short, sweet, simple, and silly. It is told near flawlessly with many laughs along the way. The relationships were not rushed, and everything progresses smoothly.

What is true happiness? Is it living a life full of material possessions? Is it being accepted within the social group of your dreams? Or, is it something much simpler?

The beauty of Chuunibyou is the beauty of simplicity; it is a simple story that preaches a simple message. Stagnated by the analytic mind, expectations of deep, continuous melodrama, or some longing for a nonsensical philosophical message, popular reception of this show might go along the lines of “well, I was expecting more” or conversely, a simple “I wasn’t expecting anything at all.” It is a love story with themes about growing up and being yourself, but they tell it in the most amusing of ways.

Simply put, Chuuinbyou is endearing, amazing, moving, and a fantastic trip back to the innocence of childhood. “Eighth-grade syndrome is embarrassing.” Anyone would tell you that. “I don’t want to remember my past, I’d erase it if I could.” But would the part of you that caused the whole affair really disappear? The part of you that imagines you’re being watched, the part that pretends to be a made-up character… Could that disappear? Sometimes people say certain things, they image worlds different than their own, think of distant futures, or write epics of love in their minds. From the moment they’re born to the moment they die, people will repeat this, time and again, without any hope of stopping. Something sad and embarrassing, yet charming. A disease called self-consciousness. An unavoidable part of life called being true to yourself. Indeed, everyone has eighth-grade syndrome all their lives.

With that said and the scores I’ve given each episode here.

I proudly give Chuunibyou a 100/100, a perfect series.

Reality be rent. Synapse break. Banishment, this WORLD!!

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