I never saw the anime, but the music is glorious.
Well, I admit I like the wallpaper too…
Children at War
An aside: Traveller character generation isn’t really geared for the creation of hyperintelligent teenage heroes with a back-of-the-hand mastery of giant fighting robots.
Then again, FASA did start out with Traveller, before going into BattleTech.
And Traveller – like the BattleTech universe – is set in an aristocratic/monarchical culture, where (upon occasion) teenagers actually do have to step onto the battlefield. This is actually more likely in the future – assuming familial/clan/monarchic rule – as small but agile hands and quick-learning minds may (given the technological battlefield at the time) be able to hold their own in the face of battle, if force-multiplied by technology.
Even today, child soldiers can be a real terror on the battlefield. Assuming they truly believe in the cause (and are not simply enslaved), they can be fearless and ruthless – and effective, with light but useful firearms. Their overall strength remains low, though, so usage remains limited: generally as porters, look-outs, spies, scouts, and messengers.
Or used as mine-clearance martyrs and human wave troopers as in the original Gulf War (1980-1988). Even in the Far Future, most boys don’t get to die at the controls of a massive war machine.
Some Noble children grow up on the battlefield, and learn to love it. These are the boys – soon to be young men – who watch as their fathers plan out high-speed maneuvers with grav tanks and drones, man the guns and the missile launchers in a strike group, join reconnaissance missions with their household men-at-arms (and are expected to learn to lead them), and generally ‘get bloodied’, as leaders of men should be.
There are alternative schools of Noble development – corporate, diplomatic, media, bureaucratic, even scientific/exploratory – but ground warfare remains close to the heart of many Nobles within the Imperium, surpassed in respect only by a Navy career.
Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.
And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.
Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.
– Judges 8:18-21
Quite a lot of Imperial Noble children would look down upon Jether. Especially the battle-hardened ones.
Other Noble children would sympathize with Jether, but would be careful not to show it. Many Nobles have this drilled into their head from their youth: “Never Show Weakness. Our House simply have too many enemies – and too many frenemies – to appear to be weak and soft, even for an instant. And if you fail, you won’t be the only one to die for it.”
Noble children grow up fast, especially in the Empty Quarter.