He is a short man, with a large torso but small legs. His legs were badly injured in a motorcycle accident.
While the notion of innocent childhood dates to the early modern era thank the Victorians and their contemporarieseven the ancients felt fairly queasy about the idea — and with good reason: On a somewhat lighter side, there are also many stories, in fiction and real life, concerning boys and girls who lied about their ages in order to serve their country in its hour of need — but those are only slightly under age, much more mature psychologically.
This trope is great for an angsty backstory while at the same time excusing Improbable Age with prior experience. A staple of the shows which focus on violence but broadcast to kids, such as the more serious Mecha Shows. In fiction, this also has the convenience of explaining why Persons Of Mass Destruction are obeying their weaker bosses and not running things, or at least not demanding wages and better job conditions.
This trope blends imperceptibly with New Meat. Since even legal adults can be teenagers, old soldiers in particular may regard them as no more than children.
This was likely to happen before the late 20th century, because births were not as well documented and the recruiters took them at their word if they looked about the right age. Sometimes the children are better off on the front lines than enduring what would happen to them if the enemy takes their village.
Child soldiers can be divided into two types: The former usually carry a heavy trauma, while the latter tend to avoid it. Even more significant dividing factor tends to be how often and how horribly they and their comrades are depicted as dying themselves. Some Super Soldiers probably started out early enough to be counted as this.
The Tyke-Bomb of all varieties is what happens when this trope backfires. The Shell-Shocked Veteran may actually be a high-school senior. Contrast Falling into the Cockpitwhich usually implies no former military experience. See Plucky Middie for the naval version. If only children get to be soldiers, then you have a Competence Zone on your hands.
The second season shows the conditions they trained under, and the level to which death and killing was such a part of their lives even when they were very young.
Special mention goes to Q-vier, the youngest of the group at 14, who looks even younger than that. The Karlstein agents also have number-letter codenames instead of namesand only one of their names is revealed in the series. The Valvrave pilots also break into a form of this - except that the two survivors were already somewhat broken to begin with.
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