AnimeSuki Forums

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Social Groups Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   AnimeSuki Forum > Anime Related Topics > General Anime

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2015-06-17, 12:35   Link #1
DustHalls
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: May 2015
What makes a "chuuni" anime?

Most of us already know what Chuunibyou is, and what it means when applied to a character.

Now, a few months ago I came across the term "Chuuni Anime" to describe a specific type of anime.

The term didn't seem to refer to anime that star characters with Chuunibyou syndrome, like Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai or Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de.

Rather, "Chuuni Anime" is now commonly used to describe stories with settings that are impossibly big, overcomplicated and full of powerlevel. Or as someone else put it, an anime with a setting that people with chuunibyou would like.

Examples seem to be anime like the whole Fate/Franchise, To Aru Majutsu No Index, or Shakugan no Shana.

Now, here's the question: What's the difference between a "Chuuni Anime" and a normal sci-fi or fantasy anime? Or with a typical shounen anime?

Most people seem to agree that shounen anime like One Piece aren't really chuuni, despite sharing all the traits that make a chuuni anime.

Furthermore, there's anime like Durarara! or Black Lagoon that aren't described as chuuni at all, despite also sharing a lot of traits, such as superpowers, powerlevels, or complicated settings with a focus on action. In fact, I read a thread somewhere else where people were arguing about whether Psycho-Pass was a chuuni anime or not, and that only served to confuse me even further.

So I'm curious about what you guys think. Have you heard of the term chuunibyou to describe anime? If so, what do you think is the line that divides a chuuni anime with normal fantasy/sci-fi anime?
__________________

Last edited by DustHalls; 2015-06-17 at 13:57.
DustHalls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 13:17   Link #2
Triple_R
The Price is Right
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
There are certain specific elements, or tropes, that people tend to associate with "chuuni" anime. Once you reach a high number of these elements/tropes, or you have even just a couple of them show up a lot, many people may well feel that the anime is a "chuuni" anime. As with many fan terms, there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules for when to (and when not to) apply the "chuuni anime" label, so there's probably some borderline cases. But there are also cases where such a critical mass of chuuni elements/tropes are reached that a solid majority would likely accept the "chuuni" label being applied to those particular cases.

Some of the elements/tropes in question:

1. Highly detailed and shiny/colorful magical circles are used in the show. Here's an example of what they tend to look like. If magic circles like that are a common element in magical or technomage combat in an anime show, then it sends off a huge Chuuni flag.

2. Major characters have distinctive attire, at least when in combat. This attire is noticeably different from everyday civilian clothes. Particularly flashy military uniforms can count, but its more chuuni if each character has their own personal look when it comes to this distinctive attire.

3. Gothic and lolita attire is particularly notable, in and of itself. If either of the characters are dressed like a Rozen Maiden, then that's a Chuuni flag. The more characters that are dressed like that, the more likely it is that the anime is a Chuuni anime

4. Theaters of combat are conveniently kept separate from the general population. A lot of magical girl shows have this, or something like it. If the setting of battle is a cityscape or a seemingly normal town, it might become frozen in a magical sense, keeping regular everyday people in the dark to the wondrous combat going on.

5. Each major character has a specific flashy attack that s/he has a special flashy name for. Or there's multiple attacks like that. These attack names are typically called out by the attacker when the attack move is done.

6. Characters have flashy and grandiose titles, much more colorful than just "General" or "Admiral". Shakugan no Shana is absolutely loaded with this.

7. "Power fantasy" is one of the main appeals to the anime. The main character is a "chosen one", or has/gains a great hidden power that makes him/her super special.


I probably wouldn't call an anime show "Chuuni" for having just one of the above. But 3 or more of the above? Yeah, at that point, there's a good chance I'm seeing "Chuuni" with this show. 5 or above? Definitely Chuuni.

There are more than these 7, of course, but they're the first ones to come to mind for me.
__________________
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 13:19   Link #3
Fizix
Nitpicking
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: From England old chaps
Age: 33
I don't know what chuuni means, that's part of why I clicked the thread. What is this thing then?


ETA: ah my question was essentially answered as I posted. So its power fantasy anime?

If so, I'm not sure if I would call all the shows mentioned power fantasy anime. Although they might satisfy someone who has or enjoys power fantasies, that isn't what they are limited to or their main appeal.
Fizix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 13:54   Link #4
DustHalls
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: May 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
There are certain specific elements, or tropes, that people tend to associate with "chuuni" anime. Once you reach a high number of these elements/tropes, or you have even just a couple of them show up a lot, many people may well feel that the anime is a "chuuni" anime. As with many fan terms, there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules for when to (and when not to) apply the "chuuni anime" label, so there's probably some borderline cases. But there are also cases where such a critical mass of chuuni elements/tropes are reached that a solid majority would likely accept the "chuuni" label being applied to those particular cases.

Some of the elements/tropes in question:

1. Highly detailed and shiny/colorful magical circles are used in the show. Here's an example of what they tend to look like. If magic circles like that are a common element in magical or technomage combat in an anime show, then it sends off a huge Chuuni flag.

2. Major characters have distinctive attire, at least when in combat. This attire is noticeably different from everyday civilian clothes. Particularly flashy military uniforms can count, but its more chuuni if each character has their own personal look when it comes to this distinctive attire.

3. Gothic and lolita attire is particularly notable, in and of itself. If either of the characters are dressed like a Rozen Maiden, then that's a Chuuni flag. The more characters that are dressed like that, the more likely it is that the anime is a Chuuni anime

4. Theaters of combat are conveniently kept separate from the general population. A lot of magical girl shows have this, or something like it. If the setting of battle is a cityscape or a seemingly normal town, it might become frozen in a magical sense, keeping regular everyday people in the dark to the wondrous combat going on.

5. Each major character has a specific flashy attack that s/he has a special flashy name for. Or there's multiple attacks like that. These attack names are typically called out by the attacker when the attack move is done.

6. Characters have flashy and grandiose titles, much more colorful than just "General" or "Admiral". Shakugan no Shana is absolutely loaded with this.

7. "Power fantasy" is one of the main appeals to the anime. The main character is a "chosen one", or has/gains a great hidden power that makes him/her super special.


I probably wouldn't call an anime show "Chuuni" for having just one of the above. But 3 or more of the above? Yeah, at that point, there's a good chance I'm seeing "Chuuni" with this show. 5 or above? Definitely Chuuni.

There are more than these 7, of course, but they're the first ones to come to mind for me.
That's interesting.

So, would you say that chuuni anime is more heavily defined by a group of aesthetic choices rather than their actual storyline or setting?

I hadn't thought about it that way, but this does seem to make the chuuni anime "genre" a lot more of sense, considering what I've seen being classified as chuuni. It would also explain why Durarara! might not be considered a chuuni anime, despite it being a complex setting full of super powered characters...
__________________
DustHalls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 14:34   Link #5
erneiz_hyde
俺強えええ (笑)
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: InterWebs
I guess I should add that there is the "chuuni genre" and then there are genres that chuuni fans tend to like. Genres that chuunis like often include things like psychological thrill and ones that explore some philosophical questions and the darker side of human nature. Things like Psycho-Pass, Death-Note, Danganronpa, Lain, etc etc.
__________________
erneiz_hyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 14:49   Link #6
Akuma Kinomoto
Magically Lyrical
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: μ'sing on the magic
Age: 24
Send a message via AIM to Akuma Kinomoto
Well, I'm convinced this term is basically used to describe power fantasy anime I don't like the same way pretentious describes psychological anime I don't like. Chuuni is on thin ice if Lain and No Game No Life can somehow be categorized together.
__________________
Elichi~ <3I'm saying that practically nobody feels that they're talented.
That's what makes us strive to improve.
As we strive to improve
we notice the people around us improving too
which makes us work even harder.
In a way, I guess you could say friends are like rivals
Akuma Kinomoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 14:50   Link #7
Klashikari
阿賀野型3番艦、矢矧 Lv150
*Graphic Designer
*Moderator
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Belgium, Brussels
Age: 28
Send a message via Skype™ to Klashikari
Japanese define series etc as "chuuni" if it reminds them delusions of grandeur imagined by middle school kids.
Which means that the very moment the plot covers stuff like "fate of the world", "unique powers/hidden abilities" and the likes, it is deemed as chuuni.

There are way too many genre that has "flashy" appearance and it doesn't mean these stories are part of chuuni genre. It is mostly based on plot/settings.
__________________
Klashikari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 15:24   Link #8
erneiz_hyde
俺強えええ (笑)
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: InterWebs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akuma Kinomoto View Post
Well, I'm convinced this term is basically used to describe power fantasy anime I don't like the same way pretentious describes psychological anime I don't like.
Well, I am sorry if you encountered people who makes you think that way, but it isn't always derogatory like that. People who like chuuni doesn't hesitate to describe them as such.
__________________
erneiz_hyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 15:28   Link #9
0utf0xZer0
Pretentious moe scholar
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizix View Post
I don't know what chuuni means, that's part of why I clicked the thread. What is this thing then?
Chuunibyou = second year middle school syndrome. Think when a 14 year old suddenly starts acting like they're particularly sophisticated, pretend to be anti-social, pretend to be familiar with the occult, etc. and it just comes across as pretentious.

To me the defining case of a "chuuni" anime is that it feels like it was written by someone who has chuunibyou. When a show doesn't feel that mature overall yet it's shoving in my face how special the protagonist is, how sophisticated the magic system is (ESPECIALLY spells with pretentious sounding foreign names), how dark and edgy particular characters... the more chuuni.

Ther term didn't really become known in the west until after 2012's Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and I have to admit that I'm a bit reluctant to apply it to older franchises as it's something I tend to associate with b-list light novel adaptations that don't feel like they're bringing much new to the table. While Index for example has lost much of its appeal to me because it feels like more and more complexity is being added to the world without it making the story any more compelling, I don't tend to think of that as chuuni, I tend to think of it as the series getting its head stuck up its own ass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I guess I should add that there is the "chuuni genre" and then there are genres that chuuni fans tend to like. Genres that chuunis like often include things like psychological thrill and ones that explore some philosophical questions and the darker side of human nature. Things like Psycho-Pass, Death-Note, Danganronpa, Lain, etc etc.
That distinction helps, Psycho-oass doesn't strike me as chuuni at all but some of it's fans definitely have that pretentious "I love this show because it understand how dark humanity is just like I do" thing going on.
__________________

Signature courtesy of Ganbaru.
0utf0xZer0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 16:34   Link #10
Fizix
Nitpicking
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: From England old chaps
Age: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Chuunibyou = second year middle school syndrome. Think when a 14 year old suddenly starts acting like they're particularly sophisticated, pretend to be anti-social, pretend to be familiar with the occult, etc. and it just comes across as pretentious.

To me the defining case of a "chuuni" anime is that it feels like it was written by someone who has chuunibyou. When a show doesn't feel that mature overall yet it's shoving in my face how special the protagonist is, how sophisticated the magic system is (ESPECIALLY spells with pretentious sounding foreign names), how dark and edgy particular characters... the more chuuni.

Ther term didn't really become known in the west until after 2012's Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and I have to admit that I'm a bit reluctant to apply it to older franchises as it's something I tend to associate with b-list light novel adaptations that don't feel like they're bringing much new to the table. While Index for example has lost much of its appeal to me because it feels like more and more complexity is being added to the world without it making the story any more compelling, I don't tend to think of that as chuuni, I tend to think of it as the series getting its head stuck up its own ass.



That distinction helps, Psycho-oass doesn't strike me as chuuni at all but some of it's fans definitely have that pretentious "I love this show because it understand how dark humanity is just like I do" thing going on.
Thank you. I understand, I think. I'd call it bad writing tbh, which shows like Index and Fate do display, even though I love both. I've never considered it a form of power fantasy, just over complicated and verbose. When I think of Author power fantasy, and for some, self insert, its more something like SAO that comes to mind. I can see it in that.
Fizix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 18:10   Link #11
Triple_R
The Price is Right
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 34
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustHalls View Post
That's interesting.

So, would you say that chuuni anime is more heavily defined by a group of aesthetic choices rather than their actual storyline or setting?
I think this is why "chuuni" is sometimes applied to "super-powered characters in an action-packed show", but sometimes not. It certainly can seem a bit arbitrary. So going by my own observations on which shows are likely to get the label, and which shows aren't, it does seem to me that certain aesthetic choices can make a big difference.

Granted, there is some truth to what 0utf0XZer0 wrote as well. For people who use "chuuni" in a mostly critical sense, they tend to mean what he's pointing to there.

However, I have read people use "chuuni" in a more neutral way. erneiz_hyde is right there, from what I've seen.

I also get the impression that the term probably isn't going to go away anytime soon. It does seem to have some staying power to it, so its probably useful to have a good sense of what people tend to mean by it, and the sort of shows and aesthetic choices that are likely to get that chuuni label.
__________________
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 19:32   Link #12
IceHism
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Dies Irae is chuuni but doesn't suffer this "bad writing" you guys are speaking of.
Overly complex =/= bad

It's an aesthetic choice that doesn't impact how well written a story is. It's simply personal preference at that point.
IceHism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-17, 21:32   Link #13
Yui Is My Wife
Paper-Fan of DOOM!!
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Certain criteria
1) the protagonists are special and stand apart from the "normal crowd", be it through powers, beliefs, philosophy, speech or at the VERY least dress and gestures.
2) double points of this is an actual "real" world where their specialness and difference will stand out.
3A) more cynical works will be lead by a snarky (but still hammy) protagonist with a marked and frequently stated disdain for "the normality/plebs." Expect these to defrost and grow a heart of gold through the power of love and friendship.
3B) less dark works will be lead by kind but quiet and troubled characters whose defining primary worry is "I'm alone and nobody understands me". Expect these to grow into braver happier people through the power of friendship and love.
4A) Acting, dialogue and even physical mannerisms must be exaggerated to the point of absurdity and beyond, and being at LEAST hammier than Kenneth Brannagh in a butcher shop is a MUST.
4B) Melodrama Melodrama MELODRAMA! No emotional problem is so harmless that it wouldn't bring world around our heroes crashing down with them.
5) Finally, for 21st Century Onwards works at least, there must be an active, tongue in cheek, fourth wall breaking self awareness of the absurdity of the Heroe's Bizzare Universe.

Hence the following definitely qualify as Chuuni Anime:

Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Every single "Pretty Cure" series
Jojo's Bizzare Adventure
Seraph of The End
"Dog Days" Franchise
Date A Live
Sword Art Online
Haiyore Nyaruko San
Ore Twintail Ni Narimashita
And of course, "Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai" (the most self aware of the lot)

Hope this helps
__________________

Last edited by Yui Is My Wife; 2015-06-17 at 21:48.
Yui Is My Wife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 10:28   Link #14
Eisdrache
Part-time misanthrope
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yui Is My Wife View Post
Hence the following definitely qualify as Chuuni Anime:

Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Every single "Pretty Cure" series
Jojo's Bizzare Adventure
Seraph of The End
"Dog Days" Franchise
Date A Live
Sword Art Online
Haiyore Nyaruko San
Ore Twintail Ni Narimashita
And of course, "Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai" (the most self aware of the lot)

Hope this helps
Aside of Chuu2 none of these series is a chuuni series in my eyes.

Fantasy, magic, worlds other than ours, etc, these are just some categories that can be applied to many shows without them necessarily being chuuni. Bad writing certainly isn't synonymous for chuuni. Chuunibyou are mostly delusions of children ~around middle school, therefore if it exists then it can't be chuuni. Inou-battle stopped being a chuuni series the moment they got their powers for real, although it certainly keeps playing the trope throughout the series.

Now, what people tend to call a chuuni series is a whole different matter.
Eisdrache is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 10:37   Link #15
erneiz_hyde
俺強えええ (笑)
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: InterWebs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisdrache View Post
Inou-battle stopped being a chuuni series the moment they got their powers for real, although it certainly keeps playing the trope throughout the series.
I would say it's never a chuuni anime in the first place. Nor was Chuu2koi for that matter.
__________________
erneiz_hyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 12:11   Link #16
Tactics
Re:Cord
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Asia
> SAO

Definitely not; SAO isn't chuuni anime. Neither Inou-battle, Haruhi, Nyaruko or Ore Twintail as well.
I'm not sure about Index, but I can say Fate series is chuuni enough to be considered as one of the chuuni series.

By my POV, chuuni genre main element is about how the fate of the world decided by such grandeur delusions;
Creating a world filled with blades, a drill-like sword that said can split heaven and earth-- something like that.

That's the closest example I could think as it currently aired and well-known by most.
Other example I could thought would be a story about a high-school boy that befriended a guillotine.



IMO, example of chuuni other than Fate series would be 11Eyes, Fortissimo series and (especially) Shinza series (one of it is Dies Irae pilot anime that currently on funding).
Tactics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 12:33   Link #17
Kafriel
Senior Guest
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Athens (GMT+2)
Age: 26
I'd say it mostly has to do with how the characters themselves feel about these powers. Being overly expressive about it (Yu-gi-oh!, Shaman King, TTGL, etc.) is one thing, contrasted by the weaponization of power (Busou Renkin, Soul Eater, FMA and so on). Reborn! would be a prime chuuni example for the most part.
__________________
Kafriel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 15:38   Link #18
erneiz_hyde
俺強えええ (笑)
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: InterWebs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactics View Post
> SAO
SAO belongs to another genre, named "ore tueeeee!" (I am soooo stroooonkkk!). That genre itself however, I still hesitate to say that it's separate from chuuni genre. Because way I look at it, "ore tueee" genre is what you get when you didn't quite reach the level of chuuni. There are a lot of OP characters and whatnot in chuuni series, but I don't know, narrative structure? exposition? characterization? anyway, it always have that lingering feeling that should you change several aspect of its story it would become a fantastic nerdgasm chuuni work. Be that as it may, it doesn't mean one is inherently inferior from the other. They are simply enjoyed in different ways.
__________________
erneiz_hyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 19:16   Link #19
Yui Is My Wife
Paper-Fan of DOOM!!
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Chuuni does not necessarily have to mean "Gothic" or "Superpowers."

A worthless cynical asshole played by Brad Pitt called Tyler Durden once babbled defeatist crap like "you are not beautiful, you are not special, you will never become a rock star" blah blah blah.

The Chuuni Genre is basically a big idealistic middle finger at that nihilism, the "Reverse Fight Club" Genre if you will.


IE. I am special and beautiful because I am unique, and I will not let the world shut me down and shut me up with its stranglehold rules built to destroy my hopes and dreams. And the Devil take anyone who says I'm not allowed to happily live out my boyhood/girlhood ideals of Glory, Beauty and Heroism.


Little wonder the conformist and conservative institutions of Japan's Mainstream Society finds Chuuni to be so threatening, no?

This is what makes Suzumiya Haruhi, non-Gothic tendencies aside, a definitive example of a "Chuuni" character. She is adamant in her convictions to live a full, joyful meaningful life even if it means breaking societal rules and expectations, her special little way or the highway; and those who don't see it her way don't even exist, much less matter.
And if there is no inherent meaning? Then she'll FIND one whatever it takes; playing by her rules, of course.
__________________
Yui Is My Wife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-06-18, 20:16   Link #20
Marcus H.
Tea and Crumpets from NY
 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: the Philippines
How come nobody mentioned Seiken Tsukai no World Break? That series has the aspects you'd see in a chuuni anime, particularly the excessive use of Roman terminology for stuff that could have been left as a Japanese term. Oh, and the looooooooong spell incantations.
__________________
Marcus' Handpicked!
Summer 2015: Durarara!!x2 Ten, Classroom Crisis, Charlotte, and Working! S3.


Contact me on Wikia and MyAnimeList.
MyAnimeList Status|| Watching: 33. Completed: 246. Plan to watch: 32.

Marcus H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anime, chuunibyou, genres

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:36.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
We use Silk.