Dorky References In Character Design

Posted 2 years, 25 days ago (Edited 3 months, 30 days ago) by Lonestarcelt

Is there anything more fun than creating new characters? Probably not...but there are certainly things that we enjoy outside of that creative process. From movies we love to watch, songs we listen to on repeat, books we can go back to over and over, and games we could play for hours if not days on end, and as a result. Sometimes, intentionally or not. We inject a bit of our other loves into the creative process. This thread is for that very purpose. Was your character's name a reference to someone from your favorite book? Was their fashion sense lifted from a show you watched? Did you get their hairstyle from an anime you saw ages ago or did some aspect of their past come about from listening to that song that you just love? Why not post the connections here? All references from big to small. From details that may seem super obvious to you to the minor minutia that someone only as in-depth in whatever lore as you would even start to recognize? It doesn't matter. If you have something that helped influence your character why not share it here and let everyone know, not only something that went into your creative process, but also maybe introduce people to something new. 

Your character's pet is named after something from a video game
Your character wears a bit of jewelry taken from some part of a short story
Your character has a phone charm of some video game faction

Please note: This is just a thread for references. Sure these references could inform large parts of a character's design or world but there's a difference between that and say a fan character for whatever bit of media they were made for. Nothing against fan characters it is just not the goal of this thread. However, if you have a fan character who has a reference to some other bit of media? Say a wizard for the Harry Potter universe who loves a particular band from the 90s enough to have some merch on them to a Homestuck fantroll with some obscure video game reference? They are more than welcome here. In essence.

X: A fan character on their own
✔: A fan character with a reference in their design to some outside media. 


Digi's aesthetic and design is based on Splatoon, her theme is even an OST from the game lol.
Gingi's hairstyle is a reference to Chibiusa's buns from Sailor Moon!
A weird one, but Spider Lily's overall design is kind of a reference to Widowmaker from Overwatch. They're like a mash up of her skins x x


I came up with Hari's character and design, mostly loosly based on myself but also some on Broadcast Illusion by GHOST, and her character Kennith


Zachary's weapon of choice came from Falco's cutscene introduction from the Subspace Emissary while Marie's gun was inspired by Carmelita's Shock Pistol from Sly Cooper


Viridian was mainly supposed to be a messenger for my retired plotline that I had last year. I was inspired by the green dude in this comic , therefore Viridian was created. Viridian used to look more like a scary monster, sort of like that green dude, but Viridian went through a TON of design phases, and now he looks more like a deer-creature XD

 Quentin Reinhart Mochagatari

If it counts, Quentin's design was majorly influenced by human designs for Bill Cipher (mostly these ones!), particularly in the way I draw his legs and his "dapper" sense of style and dress. 

I do this a lot with quite a few of my characters, I don't think I can name all of them XD


 Hushy's mouth or the gaping white hole is loosely a reference to the Betz Mystery Sphere!^^


I've only got one but Ed L's shirt has a Frogzard on it.

Beekeeper (Vincent Fuchs) esskaid

if you watch vinesauce, you'll notice that Beekeeper's entire character is based on the running gag of Vinny and bees.

"vincent fuchs" "beekeeper"


Kind of a loose one, but my secretary OC, Lizzie Belle was originally based on Isabelle from Animal Crossing. She's a bit different now, but her name is still a reference, since Lizzie Belle sounds very close to Isabelle!

A slightly more involved reference, but Naria Kaneko, my demon hunter OC, is basically one giant Shin Megami Tensei reference. Even her family name, Kaneko, is a reference to the artist behind many of SMT's famous monster designs!

Rhyme Tezuka is another big one, since they're essentially a huge MegaMan and Astro Boy reference. I designed them to sort of be a mix between the two, while their name has a musical theme, like Rock from MegaMan and their last name, Tezuka, is a reference to Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy.

Jimmy "The Rat" Scordato varkarrus

Oh yeah, forgot one

Jimmy the Rat is based very loosely off of Johnny the Ghost from Monster By Mistake. How's that for obscure?

(Really the only similarities are the name, the fact they're ghosts, and that they both play jazz)

 Eyze Firenze Wonderland

Eyze has the red hood from little red riding hood and an Alice in wonderland dress, she used to have ruby slippers too, I might readd them! Ooh! And the apple from Snow White!

 ∇ 01-Skullman Trolluminati

It's not an actual series, but a fictional one that appears in my stories as a fictional one. I have references to him not only on some characters but also in the comics.

Kit for example has Skullman's head on his shirt. Also in this comic you can see Skullman and another hero on Kit's wall. and you can also see Rammstein

Claude Lovelace Caine

Sinfonia's main cast is like... almost entirely based on 70s (shoujo) manga tropes because it started out as a joke I was supposed to post on April fools and never continue after that. 
Claude and Jonathan are the very definition of the unpredictable blond and practical brunette trope duo (see Devilman, Empire of Corpses and Romeo no Aoi sora for examples). 
Leon was based on the "older student who was held back a year or more" similar to Heart of Thomas' Oscar and Kazeki's Pascale, although he eventually became less of a mentor/big brother and more of a geneneral irresponsible jackass. 
Jet is that very spesific serious dark haired type especially in older shoujo, it's that dark hair + haircut that makes it. He ended up being really motherly and the emotional support of the team ; v ; 
Rick got the "angry small gremlin" and he lives up to the aesthetic, although is surprisingly mature compared to what characters of that trope usually are like

As for non-Sinfonia main characters, my child group was super loosely based on series aesthetics I liked. Rosemarie's is Rose of Versailles, Thomas' name is lent from The Heart of Thomas, Karl's is World Masterpiece Theatre. Ilja is more of a Cinderella reference in some weird way, although I swear I had something in mind for him too back then. 

It's really clear I love old manga/anime lmao 

For other things, Anna's name was inspired by Anna from The Little Vampire book series which I LOVED as a kid and her hair style is a super vague reference to the weird movie version of Anna