If you look in the Happy section, you might even find some super cute animal text graphics: InJapanese users began using a particular kind emoticon.
The use of asterisks as eyes was, though, particularly different from the internet standard at the time the standard: After some time, people began to get more creative with portraying what they wanted with a horizontal face. Sometimes, in certain anime, one can see the artist actually draw three lines onto the face of the subject.
This is an example of one media following another! Who would have ever thought that something as simple as little kawaii text faces would have so much cultural sway? Also around this time, the emoticon expanded from base emotions into portraying gesticulations too.
With time and more ASCII additions, people began to mix languages to make emoticons that could portray things never before seen online. Once more language packs became more available to everyone, we began to see really interesting results. More obscure languages, like Kannada, allowed for unexpected and particularly specific emotional portrayals.
It often is used to portray disapproval. Once Westerners had a mastery of the Japanese smileys and the Japanese had a good grasp on the Western smileys, we began to see rich opportunities for even more creative masterpieces.