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  1. Some time last year Kingdom Note came out with two new lineups of bespoke inks from Sailor. They were the "Jellyfish" and "Crustaceans" lines and these pretty much replaced their previous collections of "Wild Birds," "Mushrooms," and "Insects". This was at a time when obtaining these Sailor inks became difficult for even those living in Japan. Some stores discontinued selling online, or even began limiting purchasers to just one or two bottles of ink, and another chose to raise prices over 100%. Kingdom Note is not one of those stores, but availability of their inks has been quite limited, and some have simply remained "SOLD OUT", perhaps seemingly forever. That's the way the sushi roll falls apart. The five inks in the "Jellyfish" series were/are: Chrysaora helvola "Yanagikurage" — an orange ink Porpita porpita — a blue ink Thysanostoma thysanura "Purple jellyfish" — a purple/red-violet ink Mastigias papua "Kite jellyfish"— a pink ink Aequorea victoria — a light green ink Recently I decided to check the Kingdom Note site, and found a few of these inks and their Crustacean cousins available. The writing samples shown there are decidedly unimpressive, seemingly using a XF nib. This would probably be fine if you were going to write Japanese characters, but many chasers of ink seem to want to use it in medium to broad to stub nibs and go to town with it. So there were few takers here when they came out. But I decided to take the plunge. The orange, blue, and purple inks were available. This is a review of the purple/red-violet ink. Just fyi, the stash of this ink KN had is sold out, but it is listed as "in negotiations". Perhaps that means they're trying to have Sailor make more. One can always hope so. The ink now comes in a standard Sailor Jentle box with a custom sticker pasted on the front. The bottle is standard Sailor Jentle with the dumb insert. The images of the box and bottle taken with iPhone4. As always, I test inks on papers I use and these are Mohawk via Linen=MvL, Hammermill 28 lb inkjet paper=Hij, and Tomoe River=TR. The images of the reviews taken with a Nikon Coolpix P50, so a bit dated, but it seems to do better than the iPhone in representing the ink color. My basic view is I liked this ink and was pleasantly surprised. But some people are probably going to hate this color. It's not really a purple as in a blue with a lot of red in it, but a magenta pushed towards violet. This ink didn't seem to be "less saturated" per se than other Sailor inks, in fact it seemed quite saturated. On the MvL the blue shows up more, but on the other papers the magenta dominates. In fact, it's almost identical to KWZI Violet #2. It's certainly a very reasonable good ink with very good flow and lubrication, some shading from light to darker orange. A bit slow drying on the MvL, but quite fast on the inkjet paper. I didn't notice any problems with hard starts, and the like, and it cleaned out of the syringe-filler pen I used quite easily. So I'm glad I got this ink and am not disappointed. The ink seems made up of two dyes, a turquoise/light blue, and a magenta. It's quite possible that under the right conditions you may see some sheen. The papers and pens I use don't typically bring that out. A lot of ink was laid down and while some washed away, there was much that stayed in place. The ink seems to be water resistant to some degree, more so than many other Sailor inks.
  2. chromantic

    Wancher Ebine (Red-Violet)

    Received Wancher Ebine last week, loaded it into a Baoer 388 fine and have been using it off and on since then; now it's time for the review. As you can see, Ebine is a dark-ish red-violet color. It's somewhat similar to Yama-budo, except lighter and redder and, of course, no sheen at all. I came across Sandy1's review of Ebine after having bought YB based on dizzypen's comparison of it and Saguaro Wine. Ebine seems to fall squarely between those two - lighter & less purple than YB, darker & less pink than Saguaro. The color itself is pleasant enough (if you like red-violet), bold yet slightly understated and not as in-your-face as Rose Cyclamen. OK for casual inter-office use, not for client-side. Same for school, ok for taking notes but not for turned-in assignments. Definitely fine for personal use. Pretty well-behaved, overall. Flows pretty well once it's started; took a couple minutes to get going after the pen sat for a couple days. Ever so slight nib creep but no evidence of nib crud after eight days. Seems fairly water resistant (that was probably 15-20 secs on the water test). Shading appears pretty minimal, the line looks fairly consistent. As you can see from the next scan, show-through is very slight on the 24 lb copy paper, better than both YB and Cyclamen; bleed-through also more apparent on the Rose. So, any reason to use this particular ink over something else? Well, it's a pretty color and it's pretty well-behaved. And it's also really cheap inexpensive. The color is somewhat similar to Yama-budo but my Yama-budo cost $18.50 with free ship for 25 ml while Ebine cost $7 + $5.50 ship for 100 ml, so 4x as much ink for 2/3 the price. Now, am I saying Ebine is as nice as YB? Um ... no. There's no sheen, for one thing, and the purple color of YB is a little more appealing. But for casual everyday use where you might go through a lot of ink it's a good alternative. I think that's about it; if I think of anything else, I'll add it.

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