Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – Accepting Reality or Embracing Delusions?
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, one of the anime in the Fall season, was quite a pleasant surprise, and it also delivers a profound message, the prospect of accepting reality.
First of all, what is a chuunibyou? Chuunibyou, or “Eighth-Grade Syndrome”, is a real term used in Japan, to describe middle school students usually aged at fourteen who act delusional as if they have knowledge about anything or as if they have some special powers. They are arrogant and self-centered, as opposed to their normal selves, as if they had an alter ego. This is not restricted to merely middle school students however, as some suffered chuunibyou till high school, or perhaps even till adulthood. According to the Chuunibyou User Manual, there are three types of chuunibyou: DQN, Subcultural and Evil Eye chuunibyou.
When one suffers from, DQN-type chuunibyou, he pretends to be arrogant and anti-social. They may even sometimes act like a delinquent, when in fact they are not one. The subcultural-types are when someone tried something less mainstream (even though they didn’t like it), and immediately established themselves as something special. The third type, Evil Eye chuunibyou, centers around delusional people where they believe they had some sort of special powers hidden within, perhaps even creating an alter ego as a vessel for said “powers”. As you can see, the anime mostly stems from the first and most majorly, the third types.
Takanashi Rikka was suffering from chuunibyou since at a young age. It had been shown later that Rikka’s father had passed away when she was just a child, and not accepting that reality even now, she escaped to her delusions. Attaching on her eye patch, she thought of herself as a superior being, possessing a power known as the Wicked Eye; taking the Evil Eye chuunibyou term quite literally.
Yuuta managed to break her delusions at one point, and she returns to reality. She tried speaking normally and actually tried to make friends. However, under all that facade, she never smile, she didn’t seem happy at all.
A little after that, Yuuta found out the root behind Rikka’s chuunibyou. In her case, when all hope was lost, she saw Yuuta by luck, who was at that time, still an active chuunibyou. Thinking how cool the “Dark Flame Master” was, she ventured into the world of chuunibyou as well, and her fun, boisterous days begun. She seeks the Unseen Horizon, thinking that her dad is still there. Returning back to the “world of chuunibyou”, she finally managed to say her proper farewells in the “horizon”, something which she couldn’t do so back then. In the end, her chuunibyou traits are still intact.
At that end, I think the message behind the anime is the essence of escapism, or more importantly, the balance between accepting reality and escaping from it. It is important to accept reality; you need to face off against it, no doubt about that. Our lives however, aren’t just all about fighting off against reality, we need to have some fun as a mean of escape, and in Rikka’s case, her chuunibyou is the main source of fun.
This can also be quite akin to our anime hobbies. A lot of us watch anime for the escapism, but it is not a good idea to be so obsessed over it that one becomes a NEET or social outcast. That is why balance is so crucial, balance between your favorite hobbies and life, balance between your delusions and reality, and once that balance is achieved, the days will be fun, yet productive.