Sailor Nano – Sei-Boku (Pigmented Blue-Black)
This ink already has many quality reviews, so I thought about skipping it, but as several older reviews have broken links and images, I figured it wouldn't hurt to add a new one to the pile. I’m not sure if I’d personally call this a blue-black (though to be fair, that category of color always confuses me...they're all blue to me!), but I’m a big fan of this ink. It’s well-behaved, attractive, and practical. The downside is that Sailor’s pigmented inks are more expensive than their standard inks. They are still as reasonably priced as other “premium” ink lines such as Iroshizuku or Edelstein (that is to say, way too expensive for some people, bearable for others). If I were forced to cull my ink collection down to a small handful, this one would probably remain among the survivors, not because of any one property, but just because it's so darn usable.
In the diverse family of blue-black inks, Sei-boku is definitely on the lighter side, to the point where I wouldn’t think to include “black” in its name. It has a hint of green in it, but not much. Of course, the ink is pigmented, so the line it leaves holds up well to water. In my doodle, the straight line outlines were drawn in first and dried for a few minutes before using a brush. As you can see, the original lines remain extremely clean and dark despite a lot of water and vigorous brushing. I’ve never had this ink misbehave on me in any way. I’ve read about some users having issues with smearing and staining. As far as smearing is concerned, I rubbed vigorously on my writing samples to no effect, including the very wet lines from flex dip nibs. Perhaps humidity has something to do with this. Only a little bit of smearing occurred on the ink splatter, because it was not fully dry when I ran my finger through it. As far as staining is concerned, I’ve the same demonstrator filled with Sei-boku for a few months, and have not noticed any staining. Perhaps the issue is limited to certain plastics/materials, and I have just been lucky.
Sheen: Substantial (red sheen, visible in regular writing with the right nib/paper combo)
Water Resistance: Very High (some blue washes off the top, but the line left behind is virtually as dark as it started)
Other notes: The ink has a bit of a chemical smell to it, but much less so than its cousin Kiwa-Guro, which smells like a permanent marker. It doesn’t bother me (I don’t even notice it normally, as my nose isn’t usually next to the wet ink).
The following sample was done with a Wingsung 698 (Steel Fine) on Tomoe River (52gsm, white, loose-leaf) and a water brush for the doodle. Flex writing was done with a Trionfo 900 dip nib.
Bad Scanner Disclaimer: Scan came out a bit too green. The darkest portions should not be as close to teal as they appear. Also, forgive the wrinkle marks on the scan; I had to apply a lot of water to this to make it wash. Those aren't smears! Photo included is a better representation of actual color, but I only have a phone camera, so the quality is what it is.
Comparison inks from left to right (big smear is the featured ink):
Kobe Nagasawa #51 Kano-Cho Midnight, L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Omi Osun, Kyo no Oto #5 Aonibi, L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Oconto, Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo