aka: Authors Darling
Just like the fans, it's inevitable for a creator of a work to have a favorite character. When this happens, it can go horribly wrong, leading to the creator trying to force the character on an uninterested audience and we get a Creator's Pet. However, they can just as easily handle it better. Maybe the character isn't The Scrappy and audiences like them, or they don't get a lot of Character Focus, or maybe instead of Character Shilling the writer chooses to show instead of telling you how great the character is. Whatever the difference is, these characters do not qualify as a Creator's Pet. In fact, since many of the obvious tells for favoritism aren't there, often the only way to know for certain is from Word Of God. Compare My Real Daddy, which is where a specific creator is associated with a character due to his work with the character's title, though no favoritism is involved.
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- This situation is a frequent problem that occurs over at Big Finish where the creators of Doctor Who audio enjoy working with a particular actor/actress too much; in particular we're describing Sophie Aldred (Ace, 7th Doctor), India Fisher (Charley, 6th and 8th Doctors) and Philip Olivier (Hex, 7th Doctor). So they keep using and re-using their characters long past their ability to generate decent stories. The result? A character that everybody remembers for sticking around too long, characters that would have had a much more memorable run if they'd gone out on a high, and left people wanting more.
Anime and Manga
- The series director of A Certain Scientific Railgun, Tatsuyuki Nagai, is a huge fan of the characters of Saten and Uiharu. However, in the manga, they don't get very much screentime, so for the adaptation he had their roles greatly expanded upon, adding them into arcs they originally weren't in, and even had entire non-canon arcs of the series made just to further show them off. However, this resulted in a fair amount of Hype Backlash, not so much at their characters, as his extra arcs diluting the manga's otherwise dark and tragic nature.
- From Dragon Ball Z: Mr. Satan. Toriyama admits he is one of his favorite characters and he gets a lot of screentime in the Buu Arc. However, he's very popular (especially in the Japanese fandom, he's more of a Base Breaker in the west). According to Akira Toriyama, this has shifted through the years starting with Goku, Krillin, Tenshinhan, and finally settling on Piccolo as his overall favorite character.
- Kazuki Takahashi has claimed that Katsuya Jounouchi is one of his favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! characters.
- Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Director Mitsuo Fukuda admitted that they're stand-ins for him and his wife, Chiaki Morosawa, who is also one of the head writers of the show.
- The author of Attack on Titan, Hajime Isayama, mentioned that his favorite character is Jean Kirschtein due to his ability to be blunt and say exactly what he's thinking despite the circumstances.
- The director of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Seiji Mizushima, stated that his favorite character was Nena Trinity, largely because he worked with her CV, Rie Kugimiya, on Fullmetal Alchemist. Although Nena's role in the series was largely unimportant and her fate was anticlimatic, she was a popular character in the series in Japan. Of course, in the West, to this day it's still a push between people who think she's cool and those who look at her as an evil bitch.
- Rurouni Kenshin: Watsuki has admitted to Kyoto Arc villain Shishio Makoto being his favorite character, and basically resorted to Deus ex Machina so that Kenshin wouldn't have to break his vow in order to survive their battle.
- Naruto: Whenever this question is asked to Masashi Kishimoto, he gives a different answer every time because he loves them all equally, with only exception being Naruto above them all. Out of all characters he named so far only two stay consistent as his most favorite male and female characters: Naruto and Hinata.
- The staff from Studio Pierrot is also unapologetically admits that they're big fans of Hinata via interviews and an Omake in episode 165 to the point that they gave the Kishimoto a draft for a movie that would focus on her love story with the titular character! This is especially amusing as the main heroine of the series is supposed to be Sakura.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure creator Hirohiko Araki has stated that his favorite Jojo is Diamond Is Unbreakable's Josuke Higashikata. While he is generally liked by the fandom, he's not the favorite, those being Jotaro Kujo in Japan and Joseph Joestar in the west.
- Bleach: Kubo admitted he likes every character he's created. However, he's often misquoted as saying his favourite is Mayuri Kurotsuchi: Mayuri is his favourite character to draw. The character is guaranteed to always appear in bizarre costumes and make-up. He is also the author's exploration of "necessary evil" and Kubo has admitted writing Mayuri's character has made him reassess what he is and is not willing to tolerate in life.
- In Saint Seiya Omega, Aquila Yuna was the favorite character of the director and the main screenwriter, and it showed: her episodes and stock footage were usually much better drawn and animated than the other characters', and she became a huge Spotlight-Stealing Squad in the Sanctuary Arc, taking over Souma, Ryuho and Haruto's roles as The Lancer, The Heart and The Smart Guy. She was still popular with fans because she was a nice and reliable girl, people liked seeing the token female character getting a prominent role in a battle Shōnen, or they just found her hot. When the writer and director were replaced in the second season, the new staff wasn't nearly as fond of Yuna and she was Demoted to Extra.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer! gives us Chiho Sasaki, at least in the anime version. Naoto Hosoda, who directed the anime, has openly declared his love for the character, to the extent that the ending sequence for each episode includes Naoto's own fanart of her. He also downplayed all of her negative attributes like how dangerous she can get when in Clingy Jealous Girl mode, and played up Emilia's aggressive nature to kill off any potential threat to his favorite ship of Chiho/Maou.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Director Akiyuki Shinbo absolutely adores Sayaka, to the point that he begged Gen Urobuchi to bring Sayaka back to life after she'd been killed off, to which Urobuchi said no. Amusingly, Urobuchi's favorite is also Sayaka.
- Both authors, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, consider L to be their favorite character in Death Note. This doesn't protect him from dying in the middle of the series, though.
- In-Universe example in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, where Nozaki zig-zags this with his shoujo manga male lead Suzuki. He likes Suzuki's visual design, and will use it for new characters when he doesn't have a model. He's also firmly behind Suzuki and Mamiko's relationship, such that he can't see them with anybody else. However, the only thing he likes about Suzuki is his visual design; he doesn't seem all that interested in him as a person, and finds his name snark-worthy.
- Koichi Tokita, creator of the Mobile Fighter G Gundam manga, had a major preference towards Allenby Beardsly, causing Rain Mikamura to suffer character-wise, going from a sisterly-type character to a Tsundere and making the series' climatic battle turn into a Anti-Climax.
- Marvel Comics' Jim Starlin:
- While he did not create Adam Warlock, he is certainly a favorite character of the author who took him from an obscure Fantastic Four side character to one of the foremost tacticians of Marvel Comics in the 90's.
- He has also expressed fondness of Spider-Man and inserts him into most of his cosmic based stories, even though Spidey is generally considered a "street-level" hero.
- Also on a regularly basis, he seems to like the Hulk. And preferably in his big, strong, Savage Hulk persona.
- It also seems he has a soft spot for Doctor Strange, trying to include him in his stories whenever he can.
- Simon Furman, writer for a great number of Transformers comics, has a couple favorites:
- Grimlock. By his pen, Grimlock is a cunning warrior who uses Hulk Speak to make his enemies underestimate him, while the TV series simply had him be too dumb to string a sentence together.
- Nightbeat, a C-list character whom Furman brought to the forefront by making him a Film Noir-style Hardboiled Detective. In the current IDW-universe that Furman created, he killed Nightbeat off so fans knew that Anyone Can Die, even his own favorite character. He did something similar in the G2 comics, killing off Nightbeat as a self-inflicted Player Punch.
- Galvatron. Give Simon Furman a chance to writer Transformers, and sooner or later, the big G will turn up, and lots of character death tends to follow. In the original Generation One comics, there were no less that three different versions of the guy by the end of the series (in the UK version at least. The US only had to deal with one).
- Bludgeon and Thunderwing, whenever he needs a badass Decepticon leader. Bludgeon tends to get more use, though.
- Shimy and Razzia from Les Légendaires were stated by the author to be his favourite characters. Regardless, they both still are fan-favourites, and he admitted he enjoyed turning Shimy into a Doom Magnet.
- Frank Miller has admitted that Miho is his favourite Sin City character.
- Paul Dini acknowledged that Zatanna is his favorite character; hence, her inclusion in many of Dini's works in comics and the DCAU.
- A Song of Ice and Fire's author George R.R. Martin has freely admitted on several occasions that Tyrion Lannister is his favorite character, and he's one of the more popular characters with the fandom (especially in the television series). However, he's also stated that not even he's safe.
- J. K. Rowling has claimed her favorite character in Harry Potter is Remus Lupin, who is also a fan favorite. Though it doesn't stop her from killing him in the 7th book. According to her, she cried after writing that chapter, then cried again years later when writing his biography for Pottermore.
- Stephen Kloves, the screenwriter for all of the movies save the fifth one, told Rowling that Hermione is his favorite character. Some fans cite this as the reason Hermione gets far more attention than Harry or Ron in the later movies.
- Reputedly, Jane Austen loved her creations. We know about it from her letters to family and friends and from her nephew's memoir who wrote that she had taken a kind of parental interest in them and kept thinking about them after she had finished her work.
- Two of her great favourites were Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park and Mr. Knightley from Emma. She thought them to be superior and moral.
Jane Austen: They are very far from being what I know English gentlemen often are.
- When sending a copy of Emma to a friend whose daughter had been lately born, she wrote: "I trust you will be as glad to see my Emma as I shall be to see your Jemima." She was very fond of Emma, because when commencing that work, she said, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like".
- Soon after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen jokingly wrote about Elizabeth Bennet, "I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know". She had also personal affection for Mr. Darcy.
- Two of her great favourites were Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park and Mr. Knightley from Emma. She thought them to be superior and moral.
- Brandon Sanderson has stated that Hoid, the mysterious world-hopping Deadpan Snarker of The Cosmere, is his favorite character. Hoid is quite popular with fans as well, but Sanderson has stated that the specific reason he loves Hoid is still a spoiler.
- In her A Tale of novellas, Serena Valentino really loves the Odd Sisters, to the point where she's said, "These stories are heavily influenced by The Odd Sisters, and they have quite taken on a life of their own, and I find they are very frequently directing the plot." This would explain why they go from being secondary characters in the first story to being occasional POV characters who are directly responsible for most of the plot points in the second story.
Live Action Film
- X-Men: First Class: Direcor Matthew Vaughn has made it very clear in interviews that Magneto is his favourite X-Men character, and he even dismissed Professor X as being sanctimonious and boring. As a consequence, Erik is the main protagonist in First Class despite the film being heavily advertised as containing two lead characters of equal importance. If Vaughn had remained as the director for the sequel, Magneto would once again be the central figure. However, he dropped out and was replaced by an Xavier fanboy (see the next entry).
- X-Men: Days of Future Past: Bryan Singer has admitted at both the SDCC panel and the "X-Men Unguarded" group discussion on The Rogue Cut Blu-Ray/DVD that Professor X is his favourite X-Men character (he even got a Cerebro helmet tattoo with Patrick Stewart providing him moral support after this movie broke the $700 million mark), and this is why Singer gave the spotlight to the younger Charles.
- Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim screenwriter, claims his favorite characters are Mako Mori and Caitlin Lightcap.
- Toshiro Mifune said that his favourite character to play was Kikuchiyo in Seven Samurai, and we can all see why.
- Tuco from The Goodthe Badandthe Ugly. It's easy to see why. He's the most interesting, three-dimensional character in the movie, and by far the most likeable. Both Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef realized that director Sergio Leone had a great deal of affection for Tuco, and the director and Eli Wallach became good friends afterwards, in spite of the world of pain that Wallach went through making the movie.
Live Action Television
- WKRP in Cincinnati: During season 3 the writers decided that Herb was their favorite character so there were suddenly many episodes focusing on him.
- On the DVD Commentary for the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), the writer, Sera Gamble, said she loved Andy. She said, "You know my heart belongs to the geeks, the nerdier... If you live in a van filled with weird books then I’m your friend, you know?"
- Kennedy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Word of Joss was that he really liked the character and she was given a lot of focus despite a lot of fans hating her and claiming Creator's Pet.
- Vanessa and the Creature from Penny Dreadful are series creator John Logan's favorite characters to write for.
- Doctor Who:
- Jon Pertwee's favourite monster was the Draconians, due to how beautiful they were. It's possible to notice him stepping up his performance in the scenes where he's acting against them in "Frontier in Space". His least favourite monsters were the Daleks, because any emotion they could express was created in the edit and there was nothing to play off as an actor, and during "Planet of the Daleks" and "Death to the Daleks" his performance is clearly bored.
- Writer Robert Holmes' favourite Doctor was the Fourth, the one he was most involved in creating. He had the Fourth Doctor mention that he preferred himself to the last one in "The Brain of Morbius", and admitted when he wrote "The Caves of Androzani", a Peter Davison story, that he'd just written him as the Fourth Doctor. He also wangled a way of giving the Fourth Doctor a gratuitous cameo (by means of the Doctor temporarily regressing mentally) in his Sixth Doctor story, "The Mysterious Planet".
- Tom Baker liked any and all 'slithering', body-horror-themed monsters like the Wirrn and the Krynoid. His favourite companions were Sarah Jane and Romana II. Unfortunately, he's better known for his dislike of the companions he hated (Leela and K-9).
- Eric Saward's favourite monster was the Cybermen, an affection that some fans (and Terrance Dicks) found crossed into Villain Sue or Hijacked by Ganon at times. Dicks's famous Writer Revolt was when he had a very cheap monster, a robot played by a ballet dancer in a morphsuit, slaughter a whole platoon of Cybermen in a gratuitous Curb-Stomp Battle, just to make Saward cross.
- David Tennant, a Promoted Fanboy, has often stated that Peter Davison was 'his' Doctor. "Time Crash", the Comic Relief special, involves the Tenth Doctor meeting the Fifth Doctor and is basically a paper-thin allegory for this. His favourite monster was the Zygons, which he never got to fight in his tenure itself - so the featuring of Zygons in "Day of the Doctor" was written as Moffat's present to him.
- Patrick Troughton has been the favourite Doctor of perhaps the most succeeding portrayers - Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Matt Smith (arguably also Tom Baker, who despite not being a fan had seen some Troughton episodes and admired the performance a great deal). Davison even stated that after meeting Troughton incidentally and discussing things, he took the advice to leave after 3 seasons to avoid wearing himself out on the show; and Smith ultimately inspired his final costume design off the Second Doctor's (especially the bowtie) after seeing "Tomb of the Cybermen".
- It's often the case that pro wrestlers have juice with some of the promotional big-wigs. Other times, the producer just takes an odd liking to them, and gives them the stage at every opportunity. Some examples from WWE: Honky Tonk Man (Elvis impersonator, known for getting hit with his own guitars), Irwin R. Schyster (tax collector, known for "auditing" his opponents), Bray Wyatt (Max Cady imitator, known for his fortune cookie babble), and Hugo Savinovich (um...dances?◊).
Wrestlecrap: Here’s the thing about Savio: he was on like every Raw from 1994-1996. Like every single one. Why? Who knows. Maybe Vince thought he was the second coming of Pedro Morales or something. Anyway, he was on a million of these shows, yet somehow I had successfully blocked his dance routine from my memory. And now it comes rushing back. Yeesh.
- Examples from WCW: Scott Steiner, The Dog aka Al Green (literally a guy who barked and ran around on all fours; he feuded with Ernest "The Cat Miller"), Vincent, and Marc Mero a.k.a. Sable's ex-husband.
Brandon Stroud: If you’re not familiar with Johnny B. Badd, here’s what you need to know: WCW gave a former boxer with almost no wrestling training a Little Richard gimmick and put him over everybody for five years. A Little Richard gimmick. His finish was a punch. A Little Richard who could beat you by punching you once. Also, he had a confetti gun. DO YOU LOVE JOHNNY B. BADD YET.
- Games Workshop love the Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000. They give the SM's more focus and spotlight than any other faction in the game. Particularly they have special rules and unique models and characters for several Space Marine Chapters.
- Matt Wards most faved chapter are the Ultramarines who are very much the Creator's Pet faction of GW. Later starts showing the same favoritism towards the Grey Knights.
- The favourite monster of Nicholas Briggs, the Big Finish Doctor Who director and producer, is the Daleks, and it shows. Most of the stories he writes have something to do with Daleks, he plays all of the Daleks, he plays the Daleks in the revival series, he even played the Daleks in the DVD rerelease of the Third Doctor story "Day of the Daleks", he does the Big Finish podcasts with his ring modulator at the ready slipping in and out of his Dalek voice, the first story he wrote for Tom Baker's much-hyped return was a attempt to give him a Dalek story with no Davros in it, the big event series Dark Eyes is all about Daleks, any event story he writes is all about Daleks... On the bright side, he is very, very, very good at it.
- Ragnar Tørnquist, the creator of The Longest Journey series, stated on numerous occasions that Crow is his favorite character in the series.
- For Persona 3, according to character artist Shigenori Soejima, Mitsuru Kirijo was the most popular character among the development staff, while he himself likes Akihiko Sanada. Both of their popularity among the staff, along with Aigis' popularity among fans, is likely why they appeared in Persona 4 Arena, whereas the rest of the P3 characters didn't appear until its sequel.
- Surprisingly, it's not a staff member who likes her, but Takehito Koyasu, seiyuu extraordinaire, admitted that his favorite character from Persona 2 was Lisa Silverman (Koyasu was the voice actor for the game's male lead, Tatsuya Suou).
- Yoshitaka Amano has stated that of all characters he has drawn for Final Fantasy, Terra Branford from Final Fantasy VI is his favorite.
- Ed Boon's favorite Mortal Kombat character is Scorpion. Not only has he appears in practically every Mortal Kombat game (except vanilla Mortal Kombat 3, through he's later added in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 due to fan demand), but he now serves as the mascot of Netherrealm Studios.
- Averted by Hideo Kojima, whose favourite characters in the games are not given favouritism whatsoever. His favourite boss character is the extremely obscure Running Man from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake who is never seen or even mentioned again after his one battle (probably because his affection extended mostly to the game mechanics involved in his battle themselves). His favourite main character is Raiden, who gets Demoted to Extra in Metal Gear Solid 4 and appears in a game written and designed by another team with no connection to him in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
- BlazBlue gives us Noel Vermillion. She's the mascot character of the series, and admitted favorite of Arc System Works producer Toshimichi Mori. She even became the central character in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. The only thing saving her from Creator's Pet status is that the fans don't (mostly) hate her.
- The staff behind the Dangan Ronpa games have said multiple times that the character considered the best representation of the franchise, as well as the personal favorite of artist Rui Komatsuzaki, is Touko Fukawa. In fandom, Fukawa used to one of the less popular characters in the first game, though she's seen a very considerable rise in popularity since she was promoted to main character in Absolute Despair Girls. Kazutaka Kodaka, the series creator and writer, meanwhile has stated his favourite is Series Mascot Monokuma, on basis that he was a character Kodaka could do anything with. Kodaka however has said that Super Dangan Ronpa 2 is his favourite entry in the series.
- Tomonobu Itagaki has gone on record to say, several times, Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series is his daughter, while showing no personal or close concern from any other character he has created or directed during his days at Team Ninja / Koei-Tecmo. The man was very protective of Kasumi too, openly admitting she would never appear in Ninja Gaiden, claiming Kasumi was too pure and wasn’t the type to engage in the same bloody works as Ryu Haybusa, allowing her less morally inclined sister, and almost as popular, Ayane to appear instead. Long after Itagaki had left Team Ninja, Kasumi started making cameos in Ninja Gaiden, becoming fully playable in Ninja Gaiden III, soaking herself in blood as much as Ryu and Ayane.
- The creator of Five Nights at Freddy's, Scott Cawthorn himself, freely admitted◊ that Bonnie, a literal Killer Rabbit, was the animatronic he found the most terrifying, having several nightmares about him during development. Since then, Bonnie has had a lot of appearances in promotional media, even overshadowing the titular character.
- Several of the people behind Age of Wonders, including Djurre van Dijk himself, have named the Halflings as their favorite race, and Ham the Wanderer in particular as their favorite character. Ham's favoritism shows most in the Wonderpedia for Age of Wonders 3, where a LOT of the flavor text snippets for various units are attributed to him.
- The only reason Yuffie Kisaragi still appears in Final Fantasy VII at all is because one of the event planners, Jun Akiyama, was very attached to her and refused to let her be cut for time. Most of Yuffie's dialogue was written by him alone because he was the only one who cared, and it's consistently witty and attentive to her character in a way that several of the optional party members don't even get. In particular, she's often allowed to upstage the other party members by stating a contrary point of view (like telling Cloud not to help someone, or refusing to empathise with sympathetic characters), where other party members will simply feed Cloud the same line translated for their character's manner of speaking. She gets a date scene with Cloud (and is the only potential date who gets to kiss him), and shows up to tag along with Barret during his and Tifa's escape in Junon, and gets her own elaborate sidequest. Not bad for a character who was almost entirely cut.
- Takashi Takeuchi, the lead artist for Type-Moon, has openly expressed that he is an enormous fan of Saber from Fate/stay night, and was one of the largest driving forces in the creation of Last Episode (a happy and satisfying conclusion to the otherwise Bittersweet Ending of the Fate route), just so that she could canonically have a happy ending with Shirou. It's gotten to the point that even he jokes at his inability to not insert an Expy into every work in the franchise.
- With the release of Fate/Grand Order, Takeuchi has expressed a lot of love for Sakata Kintoki.
- The Jaegers from Girl Genius are apparently so loved by the authors that they keep involving in the plot. Not that anyone's complaining.
- Misfile's creator Chris Hazelton has stated that his favorite character in the strip is Emily and he loves writing drawing her the most, and that she is the character he most identifies with in story. Which possibly explains her borderline "Sue-ish" moments.
- Electric Wonderland creator Peter Paltridge has continually expressed an affection for Aerynn Arlia, a Magical Girl with unlimited gag potential and a mysterious origin.
- The SCP Foundation's SCP-173. While it's fairly average fare these days (a Living Statue that attacks unless someone is watching it), it has the honor of being the first SCP. As such, the site creators are very defensive of it. Even editing its article can incur the mods wrath.
- Matthew Santoro has stated that Eugene is his favourite character in his web series, which is why he gets the most focus, secondly only to Matthew.
- Writers of both Sonic Satam and Sonic the Hedgehog have admitted that Princess Sally Acorn is their favorite character. Though she has more than a few detractors that could lean her into Creator's Pet territory, she has almost as devout a number of fans, making her a Base Breaker at worst.
- Arthur: At a ComicCon panel, some of the writers admitted that George was their favorite character, on grounds that he's so interesting to write for, given how creative, imaginative, and inventive he is, despite being withdrawn, shy, and timid.
- Young Justice co-creator Greg Weisman has said that Black Canary is his favorite DC Comics character, which is partly why she's one of the team's mentors on the show.
- Voice actor Peter Cullen has stated Optimus Prime and Eeyore to be his favourite voice roles.
- Many people who watched My Life Me agreed that the only likeable character was Mr. Towes, a Large Ham who had a penchant for randomly slipping into an accent mid-sentence. According to this interview, the series' creator agrees.
- Dib from Invader Zim is Jhonen Vasquez's favorite character and is actually based off of him (Jhonen) from his childhood. Doesn't stop Dib from being the shows Butt Monkey.
- However, it seems now his favorite character is Gaz, as she is the character he would most like to spend time with.
- Edward from Camp Lazlo is one for the writers.