Cute Japanese Emoticons
The Japanese have always been a people of innovation and technology and Japanese culture has made many important contributions to art and animation. The most recent example of this in pop culture is the Manga style of drawing, which has also been adapted for making cute (kawaii) emoticons on the internet. The distinctive styles in drawing have invaded emoticons with a different flavor to use as expressional graphics when chatting or having a text conversation.
For example, Emoji is a cute emoticon application made exclusively for iPhones. Since the phone doesn't have full graphic icons to describe different moods, Emoji was integrated into the iPhone. If you've never heard of Emoji, it's because unfortunately this particular emoticon app is exclusive to iPhone users in Japan. Emoji is just like any other conventional set of cute emoticons that can be used in texting services, it has the same smiley face which shows different moods to express feelings.
Cute Japanese emoticons have also changed the chatting environment by introducing a full human like icons in a manga-style drawing to represent moods. If you are using a chat client in a computer, make it more interesting by using cute manga emoticons. They can be anything, but they're usually a male or a female cartoon character that shows different mood expressions - but what makes them cute is the way the eyes create the statement in terms of conveying feelings.
Sometimes Japanese emoticons can be mistaken for avatar icons, but the fact is, they are pretty much the same but they can be different depending on what sort of chat client you are using the emoticon for. Software developers in Japan have also created a different line of cute emoticons and made it simpler and easy to be adapted to all text-based conversations. This group of emoticons doesn't use fancy caricature to make emotional icons, but it's still able to keep the cute characteristics that emoticons all have. It's nothing new, really, because they are using regular keyboard characters that resemble a face expression, and not full graphics for these emoticons.
It is the same as using : ) semicolon and a close parenthesis but instead of that they made a little more defined by utilizing more typographic symbols and uses both open and close parentheses to emphasize the face. A good example looks like this: (^_^). Also, using different symbols and typing characters allows the Japanese to recreate the cute emoticons in a traditional way, using characters, but they're still able to imply the same thought of expressing the mood of the conversation.