Mood - Gleeful

Mood - Gleeful

18th September 2K8, Thursday – Night time.


Mokarimakka, minna-hun? <•ω•>/~♫!

Today, I received an email asking me questions about the text emoticons that I use.

Those of you who contact me via email, MSN, sms or through this blog by now may have noticed that I’m very fond of using text emoticons rather than graphical ones.

And if you have been wondering what on earth <OAO>!!!, <TAT> and <.____.>{?] means, here’s your chance to finally uncover what those expressions are!

Also, you’ll learn how to creatively express yourself using text emoticons~☆! \<^v^>/

Yes, I’m shedding some light into this mystery. (Laughs)


Kaneko - An example of a Japanese text emoticon

Kaneko - An example of a Japanese text emoticon

I normally use the Eastern style, to be precise, the Japanese style.

The Eastern style format is like this: (*_*).

The brackets indicates the outline of the face while the asterisk indicates the eyes. The underscore is the mouth.

\ and / are the arms.

In my case, I use < and > because personally, I think it makes my emoticons look more sheepish. (Laughs) <^x^>/

Before I begin the guide, those of you who are into drawing manga…

This guide is not just about text emoticons. You can also learn how to apply these anime-like expressions on your hand-drawn chibi or animal characters~! \<^υ^>/

Japanese Text Emoticon/Facial Expression HandBook

<^_^> – A typical cat-like smiley face.

Actually, it is not necessarily described as a cat-like smile. The Japanese originally have small eyes so when they smile, their cheeks raises causing their eyes to look like (^_^).

Don’t believe me? Go pester your friend with the smallest eye to smile insanely wide. You’ll see a similarity there!

Instead of using ^ ^, you can sometimes use ‘n’ too –> <n_n>/

\<^v^>/ – A happy face.

Compared to the first one, this one has its mouth open wide!


This one expresses its lips sinking in.


A normal and pleasant smile.

/<^ω^>\ | /<^w^>”

The ‘w’ mouth is usually used on animals as it shows its muzzle. Such as bears, dogs, cats etc. However,it does look cute on human cartoon characters too.



Konata, the main character of LuckyStar is often seen with the ‘ω’ mouth.

By the way, it is not impossible to mimic a ω mouth in real-life. (Laughs)


Another ω smiley but this time, with the eyes open.


This is another version of the bear face. Here’s an example of an anime character with this ‘kuma’ lips. ↓

Senna from Bleach - Memories of Nobody
Senna from Bleach – Memories of Nobody

The octopus a.k.a duck lips. Usually expresses ‘kissing’. (Laughs)


Another way to create this emoticon is to substitute the v with an up-side-down A. In which I can’t do that. I don’t know how. Sorry! (Cries) <;__;>


Now this emoticons expresses depression, lack of confidence and any other negative emotions. The lll indicates negativity. Without lll, (-__-) expresses the ‘boring’ look or the ‘Sou ka….’ (I see…) face.

Normally, we add the sweat drop for this emoticon. → <-_-”>


This emoticon can be tricky. It depends on how YOU look at it. To some people, it looks like the eyes are being narrowed and focused. But to others, the top hyphen appears to look like a pair of eye brows and beneath are the closed eyes.


Another tricky emoticon that relies on your own perception. (T_T) If you look at the vertical line, it may look like tears, as though the emoticon indicates crying.

For other people, it may look like this: ↓

Hatsuharu from FruitBaskets
Hatsuharu from FruitBaskets

Anyway, if you really want a crying face, go for this one then.


Or (;___;), which is slightly tearful, not flooding with tears.


My personal favourite: This emoticon expresses shock, WHAT THE FUCK and you may as well call it the “Constipated face” while you’re at it.

Another text for this emoticon is → !!!<°Δ°>

Note: When you see the eyes are like this: o_o

It means the eyes are wide open as though — SHOCK!!!



One more constipating face for you~♥ More like a ‘jaw-dropper’ face. (Laughs)

Here’s another one for you~! lll<°Д°>/ u_u


Inserting ‘u’ as the eyes shows that your eyes are close. You can use it to express calm and comfort.

You can also turn it into a sympathetic face like this → <u__u,>

Adding the , will make it look tearful and pitiful.



If I ever type this emoticon to you — Pack your bags, go for plastic surgery and take a ride to space! This emoticon is angry, outrageous and totally piss off!

Just look at the eye line closing in the nose bridge!

On the other hand…


If you reverse it, it becomes a happy face! I like to call it, “Rejoiceful” face!


A confusing face. The standard confuse face is (@_@).

Another one that I often use is … ↓


It’s as though the character is looking down and thinking at the same time!

_  _lll
<_ _>lll

Expresses negativity by facing downwards.


Do I need to explain this one? (Laughs)


The “Oo~oohh~~” face.


The frustrated face. You know.. When you vehemently protest against something, you squint your eyes like this → (>_<){Ya-da-ya-da~!]


Alright. I’ve come to an end. <—ω—>/

I hope this guide will help you in fathoming out text emoticons and also assist you in creating more cute expressions for your manga characters!

Before I go.. I’ll let you figure out these emoticons~!

(By now, you should be able to understand the facial expressions!)

(x_x)lll |  (=_+)  | (-   -”)

(o_o) |  ($v$) |  (*v*)

(~_~) |  (.   .) | (^-^)

By the way — If you don’t know how to get certain characters like Д, ω, or Δ…


Click CHARACTER MAP and a browser of jibberish will appear. ↓

Character Map Browser
Character Map Browser

From there, you should be able to experiment all the provided symbols and create some really cool and cute text emoticons of your own!

This was guided by Ms.Aya the sheep, over and out! <^-^>/~☆!

PS: So you wanna learn how to draw facial expressions for manga characters — for real? Check out my tutorial then → Click here.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2008 at 11:43 pm and is filed under Ms Aya's Papers, Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

28 comments so far

1.  Kou
September 19th, 2008 at 5:38 am

(OдO) OMG!!! So that’s how you do it!!! I’ve always wondered where these mysterious characters originated from.

I gotta thank you Aya-chan, otherwise I’d probably never have figured it out. LOLs

2.  Pixy
September 19th, 2008 at 9:01 am


Not bad, this kind of emoticon u also can figure out …

3.  Mira
September 19th, 2008 at 11:05 am

lol nice XD now i wanna try using those emotes too XD

lovely tutorial XD ahahahah ^^

4.  Ms.Aya
September 19th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Dear Kou-san

Yes! Now you can go spam your blog with these emoticons!

And create some of your own!

(Sinister laughter)

Dear Pixy

There are more emoticons out there that I have yet to figure out. Seriously, the Japanese can come up with so many creative text emoticons.

Baa~ Hey.. Other than doing the tag, you haven’t really been blogging much about your happenings!!!

Update kudasai!

Dear Mira

Yes! Use them!

Use them in your drawings too! (Laughs)

Sheep is becoming a pushy nag, huh?

(Hangs self)


5.  Saru-chan
September 19th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Ahaahaha !! I love using character maps ! fun to play with ~

Interesting tutorial .. Not something we come see everyday huh ?

Keep it up !

*updates Blog Roll *

6.  Li Shan
September 19th, 2008 at 9:07 pm


oh! Saiyuki Gaiden latest chap is out

7.  Li Shan
September 19th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

hmm… my comment wasn’t posted…. -.-|||

awesome post again!

here’s Saiyuki Gaiden latest chap as a present!

8.  Li Shan
September 19th, 2008 at 9:09 pm


WordPress doesn’t love me.. T-T

9.  Li Shan
September 19th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

it doesn’t post my comments!!!!!!! (rages)

10.  szanne
September 19th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

ahh kawaii~! you can really start a comic. lol.

hey sorry i havent been doing any of your tags lately. ill post them soon! :)

11.  Ms.Aya
September 20th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Dear Saru-chan

There’s a lot of weird symbols in the character map.

Let’s see what you can come up with. (Laughs)

Baa~ Thanks for updating your blog roll~! \(^-^*)

Dear Mau-chan

WordPress does not hate you!

If you have links in your comments, it will have to go through the admin’s (Me) moderation before publishing. But after I approve you, the next time you post a comment with a link, it will automatically approve it.

WordPress hates spams, not Mau-chan~ (Hugs)

Thanks for the update!

I’m downloading it now as I’m typing to Mau~

(Is anxious…. Kenren died… Up next is Tenpou..!) *Gasps*

Dear Szanne

Me? A comic? Baa~

I’m not consistent in drawing.

Maybe I’ll come up with some comic strips for this blog. MAYBE. (Laughs)

I understand. You’re busy. (Tears)

12.  Daisuke
September 22nd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Intresting…….but what about this…….(-____-), or this….
(-_____-”’), or this…..(o____o)….and this (o____o”’) or
(^_____^) and lastly this…..(^____^”’)……slef expression through spam!!! loh…….heheheheheheheheheheheheh -Daisuke runs off…..-

13.  Ms.Aya
September 22nd, 2008 at 7:18 pm

(Tackles Daisuke down to the floor and breaks him into halve)

14.  katamari
December 30th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

=^-^= arigatou!

15.  Grtz [k.s.]
January 30th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

(^_^)/ Hi!
( ^^) smile
(^^)(^^ )(^ )( )( )( ^)( ^^)(^^) turn by smiling
(^O^) Being glad!
^)_(^ smiley oldman
(‘;’) a baby
(~o~) a yawn
(;^_^ be in a cold sweat
(;_; )( ;_;) no no, I don’t want (shake his head)
(T.T )( T.T)
((+_+)) ummmmh
(-_^) wink
(-_-) zzz…
(-.-) zzz
(+.+)(-.-)(_ _) ..zzZZ I can’t stand any more to be awake…
o(^o^)o being cheerful
(`O`) sing a song
(..)(^^)(^¡^)(*^o^) I’m very glad!
(–)(__) yes yes(nodding)
( ^.^)( -.-)( _ _)
(@_@) What???
(~^~) I’m proud
(‘_’) silence…
m(._.)m Bow his thanks politely
m(_ _)m

( ^.^)( -.-)( _ _)
o(^-^o)(o^-^)o o(^-^o)(o^-^)o dancing
q(^-^q)(p^-^)p q(^-^q)(p^-^)p q(^-^q)(p^-^)p
(‘-’) a small glad
(^_^)/~~ bye~~
((((((^_^;) leave sneakingly
…((((( ((;^^)
(*_*) no goodÅ (dameda…)
_(++)/ It isn’t good at all…
(^0_0^) a face with glasses
(^_^X) yakuza(japanese mafia)
( ..) look down below
( ^_^)(^_^ ) good friends (nakayoshi)
p(^^)q fight!
e(^ ^)g
(`_’) glare at you
( –)//~ being frustrated
( ^)(^-^) kiss!
( ^3^)/
o(^^o) (o^^o) (o^^)o I’m very pleased!
(” )( ”) look around restlessly but curiously
)))))))))))(^^;)/ being startled(a surpris when someone ask you somethiing that you don’t want to be asked)
(*_*) without emotions
(@o@) feel dizzy
(^_^)( ^_)( ^)( )(^ )(_^ ) turn and feel dizzy
(^_^)( ^_)( ^)( )(^ )(_^ )(@_@)
(^_^)( ^_)( ^)( )(^ )(_^ )(^_^)¸ o^)
(^_^)( ^_)( ^)( )(^ )(_^ )(^_^)
(^-^)g good!
d(-_^) good!!
(/_;) I’m sad
(_ _,)/~~ I’m beaten / you win/ hold a white flag
(^_^;)))))) hide oneself secretly
))) walk like a crab
p(._.) it’s here
<< a fish
<_<)o strugle/wriggle
(^O^)g stone—the game of stone-paper-scissors
(^O^)y scissors—the game of stone-paper-scissors
(^O^)W paper—the game of stone-paper-scissors
…….. ( ..) dejectedly
{[(-_-)(-_-)]} sleep together
(T.T ) ( T.T) help me~~
(* ^)(*^-^*) kiss
(^( )
(*^3^)/ (^3^)/
(^^)/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((((;^^) I catch you!
(^_^)-c<^_^;) I catch you by pinching
(;^^)===C<T_T) I pinch you: ouch—
(=_=) stay up all night
(((.. )( ..))) where? I’m looking for
(..) examine well
o(.. )o
w(^o^)W oo—Watashi Nihongo Hanase mase–n, I don’t speak Japanese(imitate a foreigner)
(((((((;^^) ran away secretly
(^.^)b what I mean…(explain)
(_ _)(-.-)(~O~)yawn(~O~)(-.-)
(^-^)// applause
(^-^)v v
8< cissors
W(`0`) wow!
(=^_^=)(=^_^;=)(=;_;=) make comic faces
(-_-#) When someone say you something that make you disagreeable.
!(^^)! bingo!
(^^)/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((((;^^) wait!
(/_+)/ It’s dizzily!
(@_@) the glasses
( ^_^)Û———Û(^_^ ) hello hello —(telephon)
(^_-)db(-_^) make a promise by linking little fingers with each other
w(^o^)W wow
(((o(^¡^”)o))) tremble with joy
(-_-#) be threaten
(o_ _)o fall
(=^_^=) mya- (a cat)
(=^_^;=) a cat which has cold sweat
(=x_x=) It isn’t good at all…
(=T.T=) a cat which is crying
(^o_o^) a pig
(^0_0^) a pig opening his nose holes
(-)_(-) ET
(o|o) Ultra-man
()o\o() The man of the baltan planet

16.  Ms.Aya
January 31st, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Wow~ That adds up more to this whole text emoticons. (^.^)lll

17.  David Hurley
February 14th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Hi Ms Aya,

Thanks for the lesson on Japanese emoticons. I wanted to use one or two on my twitter tweets, so this page was a great help.



18.  alng
January 1st, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Do anyone know the meaning of (UOU)? Pls e-mail me if u know, thanks.

19.  alng
January 1st, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Sorry, both U have two dot ontop.

20.  Ms Aya
January 3rd, 2010 at 9:08 pm

You mean like this: (üoü)

If so — I apologize..I have no idea what face is that.. (Laughs nervously)

21.  kioko
January 16th, 2010 at 1:34 am

I only know a few, sadly *sobs* maybe i just need more practising…

22.  RA
June 5th, 2010 at 12:29 am

can someone please tell me what this emotion means:


Thanks in advance

23.  Ms Aya
June 5th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Dear RA

Д — This is like a jaw wide open
And with those eyes, it’s describing a regretful expression.

Eg: “Man, it’s so tiring to go to school~~!” (´Д`)

24.  chocoberrybunny
August 11th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the tutorial =3

25.  Katie
August 23rd, 2010 at 8:48 pm

\m/ ^_^ \m/ (rocker facee)

26.  Iana
December 17th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

nice. though, can you make a tutorial with the sketchings of a chibi anime character?


Anyway, the sheep looks cute. O.o

27.  rene
December 22nd, 2010 at 3:03 pm

There’s now a rubber stamp so you can create Japanese style emoticons

28.  Shil~
July 14th, 2012 at 10:28 am

this is so coool! ^u^ thanks for writing this haha :)

3 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. First Step to Drawing Your Very Own Manga Character! « PaperDiaries    Nov 26 2008 / 11am:

    [...] Guide to Japanese Text Emoticons and Chibi Facial Expressions! [...]

  2. Drawing Facial Expressions for Your Manga Character! « PaperDiaries    Nov 26 2008 / 11am:

    [...] Guide to Japanese Text Emoticons and Chibi Facial Expressions! [...]

  3. Anime and Manga PhotoShop Tutorials    Aug 31 2009 / 9am:

    [...] Guide to Japanese Text Emoticons and Chibi Facial Expressions! [...]


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