Disclaimer: I enjoy doing mini ink reviews for my personal reference, and I'd like to share them with others if they might be of help to gain an insight into the ink's appearance and performance. I generally don't have time to put together super comprehensive reviews, like some of our fantastic reviewers here do (thank you so much for your hard work!), but hopefully these mini reviews will still be useful as another point of reference.
Maruzen Athena - Sepia Brown
This ink comes in beautiful old-style bottles and is available for sale from Japanese "Maruzen" book stores. I believe at some point it was imported for sale in the U.S. by Nanami Paper, but it seems to have been out of stock for a while. I bought my bottle at Maruzen on my recent visit to Japan.
Athena Sepia is a rich and dark red-toned brown. It is so saturated and dark that you will likely not see much of any shading with finer nibs, even on fountain pen-friendly paper. I personally like red-leaning browns, and this is my kind of dark brown--as opposed to more green-gray-leaning Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri. I am not 100% sure if this ink is made for Maruzen by Sailor, but it might be. I remember reading something to that extent a while ago. It does have the typical Sailor Jentle ink behavior and consistency. Flow is good but not excessive (depends on your pen), lubrication is good, I have not observed any feathering on good paper. Drying time varies based on paper used and pen, but it's not very long (subjectively).
Despite the lack of shading in writing with fine nibs and the darkness of the color, it's actually fairly interesting in its constituent dye colors. So if you like to do a bit of water brush drawing with your fountain pen inks, this is a good ink for that purpose. There's a kind of pink brown component, and a warm golden component. There's even some green, as can be seen on the edges of the paper towel drop "chromatography".
The ink has moderately good water resistance--clearly legible lines remain and not too much smears off to obscure original writing. This ink doesn't sheen for all practical purpose. I have not observed any smearing after the ink has dried.
I am posting photographs (color-corrected) and scans of this ink and other inks in the general brown color family for comparison.
Papers used in this review are:
Fabriano Bioprima 4mm dot grid - a kind of ivory color, lightly textured, uncoated
Rhodia Dot Pad 5mm dot grid #16 - bright white (perhaps with a slight lavender tinge)
Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook - coated and super smooth ivory-toned Japanese paper, shows things like sheen and hue variation pretty well
(Image source: http://www.nanamipap...thena-ink.html)
Photographs in diffuse daylight shade:
On Fabriano Bioprima:
On Nakabayashi Logical Prime paper:
Nakabayashi Logical Prime paper:
Edited by Intensity, 18 December 2019 - 19:08.