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Shift_JIS art

ASCII art (アスキーアート, Asukī Āto), or AA, is text-based visual art that utilizes the Shift JIS character set from Japanese Windows computers. Some non-Japanese users may call it Shift_JIS art or SJIS art in order to differentiate it from the various forms of ASCII art.

They shouldn't be confused with one-line emoticons called Kaomoji, but it is possible to give Kaomoji bodies and make them into ASCII art.



For the most part, non-Japanese websites don't render Shift_JIS art correctly, so you will either have to mess with CSS files, the <style> tag, or the style="" attribute, and use something that looks like:

font-size: 16px; 
line-height: 18px; 
font-family: 'MS PGothic', 'MS Pゴシック', Mona, 'MS PGothic AA', IPAMonaPGothic, 'IPA モナー Pゴシック', sans-serif;

If you have the power to upload font files to your website, you could upload the one of the AAHub Fonts as a fallback, add the CSS they provide, then add the font name to “font-family” in the above CSS code.

Compatible fonts

MS PGothic / Mona Font

It should be warned that if you do not have the correct fonts installed on your system, the art will continue to look broken unless you have one of these fonts installed. So, here's a list of fonts that should work:

To reiterate, the original font is “MS PGothic” but if I recall correctly, “MS PGothic” wasn't available by default on non-Japanese Windows computers, which is why World2ch pushed “Mona” font.5) Nowadays, I think the “MS PGothic” font is a default on newer Windows compoters, so Windows users don't have to install alternate fonts, but I could be wrong and “MS PGothic” could've changed since then.

AAHub Fonts

The AAHub, maintained by the "AAHub Developer" (aahub開発者, AAHub Kaihatsu-sha), provides a completely new set of AA-compatible fonts and tools. One major difference with their fonts is that most of them don't break when you zoom in too much, unlike the old fonts. It isn't clear if these fonts are curated by a single person or multiple people under a single name.

Font name File size Additional notes
tff woff woff2 Does it look pixelated? Supports block elements? Supports EFIGS diacritics?
aahub 2.6MB 1.6MB 1.3MB X O X
aahub_light 94.9KB 57.9KB 43.9KB X O X
aahub_light4 315KB 213KB 168.1KB X O X
ipamona 5.9MB 4.1MB 3MB X X O
monapo 2.6MB 1.6MB 1.3MB X O X
Saitamaar 2.6MB 590.9KB 398.1KB O O O
saitamaar_light 299KB 93.3KB 73.1KB O O O
RobotoJAA 4.6MB 2.8MB 398.1KB X O O
textar 3.1MB 2MB 1.6MB X O !
textar-min 1.7MB 928.1KB 758.7KB X O !
ume-pgc4 4MB 1.9MB 1.3MB X X !
monaya 1.9MB 1.2MB 1015KB X O X
giko2 1.8MB 523.5KB 352KB O X O

Other Fonts

To be collected and written.

Verification test

※ In the right environment, nothing should be shifted and the columns should line up:
                            |     .|\|/ |     |   .|
                            | ∧∧.|/⌒ヽ、| ∧_∧ .| ∧∧ |
                            |(,,゚Д゚)||,,゚ Θ゚)|(; ´Д`)|(=゚ω゚)|
※ It's probably fine if their legs don't line up, just focus on the columns for this one:
|    ∧ ∧     |      ∧∧     |    ∧___∧   │   ∧_∧    |
|    (*゚ー゚)   |    (,,゚Д゚)   |   ( ´∀` )   │   (・∀・ ,,)   │
|     U  |   │    (i  i).    |   (     )    |    (    )   │
|   ~|  |   │   ~|  |    |    i     i     |    | | |    .|
|    U U   │    し`J    │  (,__,ハ,__,)    |    (_(__)    |


Instead of opening Notepad and setting the font to Mona Font, you can use programs to make new text art or edit existing text art. I personally use OrinrinEditor, but many other programs exist:

  • Ascii Art Editor / AAE (v2.61, 2002-08-24) - An old editor from the Windows ME era. It's been surpassed by (´д`)Edit, but some crafters still prefer their auto-tracer. There are many known bugs6) but ignoring this, you need Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime to run it. It also has a guide.
  • Shitarabian / したらびあん (vβ5_050326, 2005-04-03) - Developed in C++. An old editor from the Windows XP era, not intended for crafting. It has a manual and a separate auto-tracer tool.
  • (´д`)Edit (v3.015.4.0, 2009-05-15) - Developed in Delphi 6. The popular all-in-one program, praised for its tabs, presets, and own tracing tool.
  • OrinrinEditor (v0.341, 2015-01-27) - Developed in C and C++ by “Orinrin ◆kozSKULDqI”. It's the most popular editor that aims to eliminate incompatibilities with older software. The developer is still alive under the name, “SikigamiHNQ”, despite the lack of recent updates.
    • OrinrinViewer (r11, 2013-06-17) - A derivative program used to view MLT files in a tree format.
    • OrinrinCollector (v1.2, 2012-05-17) - A derivative program used to add to MLT files.

See also

  • Mona, Giko, Shii, Morala - The original big four of 2ch AA. They're not so big now.
  • Yukkuri - The unspoken history of Yukkuris.
  • AA Saloon, AA Story, Mona, Nida, Kaomojis on 2channel - The five boards seen under 2channel's AA category. The first board was actually “Kaomojis”, then “Mona”, and then the rest.
    • SJIS Room on 2channel - The English AA board of the 2ch Embassy, but nobody knows what it's for, so a lot of video links get spammed here due to how the board is set up.
  • ASCII on 4-ch - The oldest English AA board that's still alive today.
  • ASCII Art on Niconico Encyclopedia
  • ASCII Art on 2channel's Wiki
"2ちゃんねる用フォント「モナー」" (February 10, 2001). 2channel /unix/.
"モナーフォント 2" (January 26, 2003). 2channel /unix/.
“IPA” is short for “Information-Technology Promotion Agency” (情報処理推進機構, Jōhōshori Suishin Kikō).
"AA&FLASH;". World2ch /mona/.
Ascii Art Editor can't handle text art larger than 60KB, data can be lost once it exceeds a certain size, and you may find “stealthy line breaks” that aren't visible within the editor.
aa.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-17 12:59:47 by