Ever had that strong feeling of being gifted with a strong and powerful destiny? How we’re born for greatness? Or the sense that we somehow are a cut among the rest, a special “hero” in our own world. Chuunibyou is the word for that. It turns out that we all underwent that phase.
The synopsis for chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai had this to say about that:
Everybody has had that stage in their life where they have thought themselves to be special, different from the masses of ordinary humans. They might go as far as seeing themselves capable of wielding mystical powers, or maybe even believe themselves to have descended from a fantasy realm. This “disease” is known as “chuunibyou” and is often the source of some of the most embarrassing moments of a person’s life.
And it fits perfectly. Don’t believe me? Read on. It might just change your mind. It’s part of our being human and how we respond to the world around us.
A sense of Entitlement?
Why this might seem like a plausible explanation, it is unlikely. First off let me describe what I’m referring here. A lot of us, especially in our youth, we went through a phase in our lives where we believe that we’ll “conquer the world” or as Suzaku would say it “we’ll change this system we live in.” And maybe that’s a likely scenario. It’s not the full picture.
Defense Mechanism: living in the Chuunibyou world
Our brain is a fragile thing. And as advanced as we are, we have to contend with a lot of forces beyond our control and even understanding. Some of us resort to religion, some resort to succumbing to the futility of this life’s hardships and some rise up to the ashes and live a normal life. But one way or another we do so with the help of defense mechanism.
I would argue that in this drive to deal with such forces, we then start believing how we are something meant for far greater things. It is not arrogance. It’s a defense mechanism. Without it, we’d find no purpose in living, no motivation to get up and challenge ourselves beyond our current limits.
A bleak illusion
Defense mechanism or not, it all leads to the fact that someday, just as how our existence began with nothingness, so too will it end in nothingness. In hindsight, it took a while before we fully grasped the concept of consciousness. In our infancy, we have no concept of “I”. We don’t even remember what life was before then.
Hope and finding meaning
So is that it? Is apathy the answer? Of course not. This is where Chuunibyou comes in. Whether or not we live life to the fullest depends on our belief that in the futility of our existence, we’ll still amount to something. And this is the beauty of this concept. I’m glad I learned of this word. May it be in grade school as we dreamed of someday ruling the world and vanquishing evil or in our adult stage where we dream of becoming CEOs and presidents and 1 percenters to change everything, we all have that Chuunibyou phase.
Life can be hard and harsh. Not everyone is fortunate. But even the fortunate dream of something more. Chuunibyou lets us believe that there is a destined greatness. We might not set out what we originally wanted to do but the fight is well worth it. And if this fake disease is what drives us to do so, then I’ll have no complaint.