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[Mini Review] Maruzen Athena Sepia Brown Ink



Intensity
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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

 

ATHENA_SEPIA_4__48626.1373947284.1000.10

(Image source: http://www.nanamipaper.com/products/maruzen-athena-ink.html)

 

Photographs in diffuse daylight shade:

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On Fabriano Bioprima:

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On Nakabayashi Logical Prime paper:

5EHkvaG.jpg

 

Scans:

 

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Nakabayashi Logical Prime paper:

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Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Thank you for a review of one of my favorite brown inks. It's too bad that such a wonderful ink is so hard to come by.

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Wonderful review! It looks fairly close to GVFC Hazelnut Brown, which I absolutely love.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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I love your mini reviews! I find this brown very appealing as a writing ink - it looks great in the fine nib (I definitely see myself using it in my Kaweco EDC pens which typically have EF/F nibs). And I’m fascinated by the bunny drawing ... this inks shows lots of nuances and looks great for watercolour type drawing.

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inkstainedruth

Thanks for the review. I like browns that lean sepia, and this one, with its good water resistance, looks very interesting. (My wallet, OTOH, does NOT thank you.... :rolleyes:).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Wonderful review! It looks fairly close to GVFC Hazelnut Brown, which I absolutely love.

 

Hazelnut brown has some red-orange and mahogany tones to it. Maruzen Athena Sepia is less orange and more of a cooler brown, leaning toward red (but it's not marroon, it's still clearly brown). It's like KWZ Pink Brown and GvFC Hazelnut Brown get married and have a baby :D (if that makes any sense!)

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Hazelnut brown has some red-orange and mahogany tones to it. Maruzen Athena Sepia is less orange and more of a cooler brown, leaning toward red (but it's not marroon, it's still clearly brown). It's like KWZ Pink Brown and GvFC Hazelnut Brown get married and have a baby :D (if that makes any sense!)

 

Thanks. I see the cooler undertones now.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Your bunny sketch is so cute. I don’t have this ink, but I got Visconti Sepia for Christmas. I have not tried it yet, and am thinking of saving it for February.

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  • 3 weeks later...
GreenMountain

Hi,

It's a very nice ink and looks just like the pics shown us by Intensity. The review inspired my purchase.

Not sure one is allowed to offer ink here, but I'm not using this ink, preferring Doyou.

If you are interested, please send me a message.

 

Cheers,

GreenMountain

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