Ink Shoot-Out : Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine vs Pilot Iroshizuku ku-jaku
When playing around with the new Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year 2016 Aquamarine, I couldn't help but notice its similarities with that other blue-green Pilot iroshizuku ku-jaku. The idea arose that it would be fun to put these inks into close comparison, and find out which of them I like the most.
Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight where two inks do battle for four rounds, after which the winner is announced. In the left corner - the challenger: Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. In the right corner - the reigning champion: Pilot iroshizuku ku-jaku. Which champion will remain standing at the end of the fight ? Let's find out...
Round 1 - First Impressions
Both inks make a very fine first impression. I really like their colour - both of them are a nice blue-green of green-blue, which gives them something of an exotic look. The inks seem evenly matched, but nevertheless there are some differences:
- iroshizuku ku-jaku is a bit more saturated, which gives it a richer feel
- the shading on iroshizuku ku-jaku is more evenly spread across the lines, which makes for a more aesthetic look
- ku-jaku is a tad more blue than the edelstein aquamarine. For me personally, this makes it look nicer
The is no obvious win by knock-out in this round, but the iroshizuku ku-jaku wins this round on points.
Round 2 - Writing Sample
I did the writing sample on a Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behave perfectly, with no feathering and no show-through nor bleed-through. With the EF-nib, the Edelstein Aquamarine was on the dry side, while the iroshizuku ku-jaku had no problem with the finer nib. I will not hold this against the Edelstein ink - once you know that it writes a littly drier, you can simply adjust to a broader nib size. With a fine nib e.g. the Edelstein Aquamarine behaved just fine.
In this round, the champions are evenly matched. Let's call it a draw.
Round 3 - Ink Properties
Both inks have similar drying times in the range of 15 to 20 seconds on the Rhodia paper. Both inks also behave admirably on the smudge test, where a moist Q-tip cotton swab is drawn across the written word. For the droplet test, I drippled water onto the grid, and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the droplets with a paper towel. On this test, I find that the Edelstein ink has better water resistance. The original lines are better preserved, and much less smeared than with the iroshizuku ink.
The difference between the champions is minimal, but this round goes to the German champion - on points.
Round 4 - the Fun Factor
Welcome to the final round. This is a purely personal impression of the inks, where I judge which of them I like most for doodling, drawing, and just doing some fun stuff. Here I must say that I like the iroshizuku ku-jaku much better than the newer Edelstein Aquamarine ink. I find that the iroshizuku ink flows a bit wetter, making it easier to draw with. And I also like that ku-jaku is a bit more on the blue-ish side. My guess is that - in the future - I will reach faster for my bottle of iroshizuku ku-jaku, and will use the Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine less often.
Both inks are wonderful additions to my collection, and both are certainly very well-behaving inks with a lovely blue-green colour. But in the end, I find that Pilot Iroshizuku ku-jaku has the edge over the newer Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. As far as I'm concerned, iroshizuku ku-jaku has won this shoot-out on points, and remains the reigning champion !