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Shift_JIS art is artwork created from characters within the Shift JIS character set, a Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) superset of ASCII intended for Japanese usage. Naturally there are many similarities between Shift_JIS artwork and ASCII art.
Within the Japanese community, Shift_JIS art is sometimes abbreviated as SJIS art, but is most commonly referred to as "AA" meaning ASCII art, although it rarely restricts itself to the 95 printable characters within the ASCII standard.
Unlike Western ASCII art, which is generally designed to be viewed with a monospaced font, Shift_JIS art is designed around the proportional-width (albeit CJK characters are always the same width) MS PGothic font supplied with Microsoft Windows, which is the default font for web sites in Japanese versions of Windows. This dependency has led to the development of the free Mona Font, in which each character is the same width as its counterpart in MS PGothic. This is useful on operating systems lacking the PGothic font, such as Linux.
In Japanese media
The Japanese movie and television show, Densha Otoko (電車男?), frequently included Shift_JIS art, both during screen transitions and within the story itself. One of the recurring characters in the TV series was a Shift_JIS artist who would often draw full-screen Shift_JIS works of art as a way of expressing his support and encouraging the lead character.
- Tarou, Maruheso, ed. 2ちゃんねる AA大辞典 ("Ni-channeru AA Dai-Jiten" (romanized), meaning "2channel AA BIG Dictionary".) ISBN 4-7973-2275-6. Tokyo, Japan: Softbank Publishing, 2003.
- 2-ten Project, ed. 2典 ～2ちゃんねる辞典～ ("Ni-channeru AA Jiten" (romanized), meaning "2channel AA Dictionary".) ISBN 4-8354-4033-1. Virtual Cluster / Book-ing, 2002.
- 2ちゃんねるAAキャラクターの一覧 ("Ni-channeru AA Kyarakutaa no Ichiran" (romanized), meaning "2channel AA Characters at a Glance")