I came across something that had favorite works of characters.

One was:



And another was:



Is this simply a way of not actually putting the titles to avoid copyright issues? Is this common?


It is, and it is. It's a way to make references to well-known works without the legal headaches that using the actual copyrighted title would. This is quite common in parodies - Gintama for example has used this trick to no end; the anime does this instead by bleeping out a syllable or two as the character states the name.

I could be wrong, but from my experience it seems like the kind of thing that would be out-of-place in more serious works. I can't remember seeing it used for anything other than humorous effect, but I don't know that that never happens.

Names of celebrities and other famous people often get similar treatment.

  • 4
    Humorous effect and copious amounts of pornography. It is use in many AV works to attempt to obfuscate often illegal terms (such as words relating to anything underage even when it isn't) and, along the lines of what you say, parodies and lookalikes of famous people and places. – The Wandering Coder May 29 '15 at 3:52

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