Anime Underground

13 Anime Characters Who Are Too Young For Their Jobs  

Anna Lindwasser
1.7k votes 407 voters 5.1k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the characters whose bosses are definitely breaking child labor laws.

Anime characters who are too young for their jobs crop up in tons of series. Even though many popular shows star anime children, most viewers rarely consider the practicality of these stars' situations. 

Have you ever taken a class taught by a 10-year-old? It's unlikely, but you might have seen Pani Poni Dash! or Mahou! Negima-sensei, two anime about teachers who are younger than their high school students.

Anime kids in adult jobs are often competent professionals with mature insight, but one wonders how the extra reasonability impacts them emotionally. Certain underage employees' lives seem flat out impossible—there's no way all the 10-year-olds in Pokémon survive training fire-breathing monsters.

Kakashi Hatake is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Anime Characters Who Are Too Young For Their Jobs
Photo:  Naruto/Studio Pierrot

Naruto makes a strong case against child warfare by detailing the hardships of kids who are constantly locked in combat. While it's normal for 12-year-old ninja to be sent on life-threatening missions in this universe, the series makes a special point with Kakashi Hatake.

Though he's introduced as an unusually mature 26-year-old, Kakashi began his ninja career at age five, moving quickly up the ranks to become a jounin – one of the highest ranks in the ninja system – at age 13. As a result, he saw more carnage and death in 26 years than most people do in a lifetime, an implication not lost on observant viewers.

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L Lawliet is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Anime Characters Who Are Too Young For Their Jobs
Photo:  Death Note/Madhouse

When viewers first encounter L, he's a 25-year-old detective. While that's a little young to hold a prestigious, dangerous job, L seems accustomed to the responsibility. This is likely because he started his sleuthing at age eight.

L's detective work wasn't some Harriet The Spy hobby; he became the world's finest investigator through his stay at an orphanage where gifted youngsters are honed into prodigies.

Because L spent his childhood examining horrid crimes, he never worked through phases most people leave behind in their single digits. This could explain some of L's quirks, such as eating nothing but cake. 

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Ryuu Of 'Snow White With The Red Hair' Works As A Licensed Pharmacist At Age 12
Ryuu Of 'Snow White With T... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Anime Characters Who Are Too Young For Their Jobs
Photo:  Snow White with the Red Hair/Studio Bones

Snow White With The Red Hair approaches working children in a real (if pessimistic) way. At only 12-years-old, Ryuu is employed as a fully licensed pharmacist. He spends most of his time studying and prescribing medicine, which keeps him removed from peers his own age.

His colleagues typically see him as an equal and speak to him like an adult. Ryuu, who still considers himself a child, feels uncomfortable with this relationship. To further complicate matters, he also has trouble getting along with other kids, as they cannot identify with his high intelligence and unusual life trajectory. 

Are they too young for their job?
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Violet Evergarden Was A Child Soldier In 'Violet Evergarden'
Violet Evergarden Was A Child ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Anime Characters Who Are Too Young For Their Jobs
Photo:  Violet Evergarden/Kyoto Animation

From a young age, Violet Evergreen was taught to be an emotionless killing machine. As such, she never learned how to connect with others or understand her feelings. She didn't even learn a language until late in her childhood. 

As a teenager, Violet no longer has any reason to be a killing machine, but she still has to work. She ends up becoming an Auto Memories Doll, which requires her to transcribe the feelings of others in order to understand the concept of love.

Are they too young for their job?