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[Mini Review] Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo


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.

 

Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo

 

Much has been written about Pilot Iroshizuku inks. It is a highly popular line of Japanese inks that comes in [mostly] vibrant and saturated colors, with rather wet-flowing consistency, some translucence, a good deal of unobtrusive sheen for some colors, and generally some water resistance. Tsuki-Yo is a popular blue-black, and I probably won't add more than what's already been written and photographed, but better more than less information for prospective buyers.

 

This is a rather vibrant blue-black. As opposed to more muted and vintage looking blue-blacks such as Sailor Jentle Blue-Black. There is a good deal of teal in this ink, but it's not necessarily jumping out at you from the page if you use bright white paper. Some paper makes it look less teal and more navy, and some paper enhances the green notes. I personally prefer the more teal look and like it on ivory toned paper more than on more neutral white paper.

 

There is magenta-red sheen around the edges of wetter writing on good paper.

 

The ink has some water resistance: a slightly fuzzy blue line remains and the text is still legible after dabbing a wet page with a paper towel. Water resistance increases slightly with time. In my experience, Iroshizuku Syo-Ro has the best water resistance and legibility of the three tealy Iroshizuku inks: Syo-Ro > Tsuki-Yo > Ku-Jaku.

 

In terms of saturation and vibrance, Tsuki-Yo sits in between Ku-Jaku and Syo-Ro. Ku-Jaku dries a more bright turquoise-teal with red sheen, Tsuki-Yo has some gray and muted tinge to it but still saturated, and Syo-Ro is more green and even more muted and grayed than Tsuki-Yo.

 

Because of how free-flowing Iroshizuku inks are, they might feather on some paper--even on fountain-pen-friendly paper if they are left to sit in a pen and concentrate. They will increase line thickness and will not give the finest hairlines. But they do provide pleasantly gliding experience for lower fatigue in long writing sessions.

 

Tsuki-Yo is not a particularly exciting ink to use with a water brush. It's fairly monochromatic in practice.

 

Papers used in this review are:

Fabriano Bioprima 4mm dot grid - a kind of ivory color, lightly textured, uncoated

Kokuyo Campus A5 lined - white Japanese paper, could be lightly coated as it's quite smooth

Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook - coated and super smooth ivory-toned Japanese paper, shows things like sheen and hue variation pretty well

Nakabayashi Logical Swing "A" B5 paper - lightly coated(?) ivory-toned paper which shows sheen and hue variation pretty well but is also quite soft

 

Photographs:

5W8CHTY.jpg

 

SaKPzCp.jpg

 

Scans:

 

Ivory toned Fabriano Bioprima:

ejDvgNG.jpg

 

Kokuyo Loose Leaf A5:

 

6k3fyAH.jpg

 

Nakabayashi Logical Prime A5 notebook:

kkMphQv.jpg

 

 

Nakabayashi Logical Prime A5 notebook:

X1lA1TB.jpg

 

Further comparison with Syo-Ro and Ku-Jaku:

4PYnZla.jpg

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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  • Tom Kellie

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Thanks for this outstanding review. I realise I haven’t used this ink for a long time, and your review brings it back to my attention (and makes me remember again how much I like it). When my last Lamy Petrol cartridge runs out, I’ll give my EDC pen a fill with this one.

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Thank you for this thorough review. It's funny, I use this ink a lot and I have never thought of it as a blue-black; I always think of it as a dark turquoise and match it with similar pens. I am particularly fond of it in my blue carbonesque capless F. I suppose we don't all see color the same way.

 

I have not had any difficulty with it feathering, at least in Japanese F nibs.

Festina lente

Optimism kills

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Using very fine nibs is always a good way to go to avoid or reduce feathering. The worst feathering offenders in the Iroshizuku line (I’ve tried most, but not the reds) have been the grays: Kiri-Same and Fuyu-Syogun. Those two can feather even on some good Japanese paper that doesn’t allow most inks to feather even with wet lines. The grays feather particularly strongly when more concentrated. Tsuki-Yo is pretty good in that regard, I just pit it there as a caution, as not everyone uses the best paper.

 

It’s funny about color categories. I can see Ku-Jaku as a dark turquoise, but Tsuki-Yo is definitely in a typical blue-black territory, just on the more vibrant side. Uni-Ball “Blue-Black” gel refills are fairly similar on some paper.

“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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Thanks for the review. I once did a 'watching paint dry' exercise with tsuki-yo, taking a pic of the bottle after each refill until it was empty. Haven't bought an other bottle since then though. Now, as self-declared tsukiyonist, my interest is revived.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/291410-most-boring-on-emptying-a-bottle-of-tsuki-yo/?hl=+empty%20+tsuki

247254751_TSUKI-Yo_emptycompressedverkleind.gif.bfc6147ec85572db950933e0fa1b6100.gif

 

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~ Intensity:

 

I have high regard for your comments in any thread in any forum.

However, as is often the case in the area where I work, no images are displayed.

The authorities here have arranged for most “foreign” image sources to be unavailable.

Tom K.

fpn_1576756647__not_shown.png

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Thanks for the review. I once did a 'watching paint dry' exercise with tsuki-yo, taking a pic of the bottle after each refill until it was empty. Haven't bought an other bottle since then though. Now, as self-declared tsukiyonist, my interest is revived.

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/291410-most-boring-on-emptying-a-bottle-of-tsuki-yo/?hl=+empty%20+tsuki

 

Thank you for that thread! Yes, I had read it and enjoyed it! It put Tsuki-Yo on my radar, as I wasn't much interested in it before.

“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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~ Intensity:

 

I have high regard for your comments in any thread in any forum.

However, as is often the case in the area where I work, no images are displayed.

The authorities here have arranged for most “foreign” image sources to be unavailable.

Tom K.

 

Hm, I'm not entirely sure what else to use, as imgur has been great for non-China viewing. I did read that OneDrive should work, but not sure yet how to insert photographs from it to be viewable by public, not just as shared links. FPN's own uploading is severely limited in allowed space. I've sent you a OneDrive folder link for now.

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 great review. If you call this `mini`, I am curious what will be maxi ;-)

Well, I was a bit intimidated by this long discussion:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/339351-the-right-way-to-do-ink-reviews-to-serve-ones-curiosity-and-interests/

 

And my review is far from exhaustive. More like a preView.

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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Intensity, this is an excellent review! Thank you for taking the time and effort to do it.

 

Someone needs to say this, so I will be the one: I understand your intimidation with that post on ink reviews. We all are. Some are not even posting ink reviews anymore, which is to the detriment of the entire FPN community. I realize and respect that there are some who feel the need to critique every dot above an i and the cross of a T, but I think this discussion has harmed the overall intent of ink reviews. It isn't to give a scientific breakdown of the ink, but, IMHO, a personal account of how that ink works for you in terms of color, formulation, how it responds in your pen and paper - all the things that you just did.

 

So, thank you for posting your reviews - no matter how large or small. Your opinions - and the opinions of everyone in this community - are important!

"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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Intensity, thank you for the review, really appreciated how many additional inks and nib widths you have put in the comparison .

It is not mini by my criteria!

Btw - Deb made a great comment above, to which I fully agree.

LETTER EXCHANGE PARTICIPANT

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It’s funny about color categories. I can see Ku-Jaku as a dark turquoise, but Tsuki-Yo is definitely in a typical blue-black territory, just on the more vibrant side. Uni-Ball “Blue-Black” gel refills are fairly similar on some paper.

It is funny; I think of Ku-Jaku as light turquoise, akin to Colorverse Morningstar. I think Tsuki-yo has more deep blue and less green.

Festina lente

Optimism kills

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Thank you very much for all the ink reviews and all the great work you've put into them! As a reader and shameless consumer, I enjoyed them a lot, but most of all thank you for doing your "own thing" and then choosing to share the results.

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._...‹snip›... as another point of reference.

Well, I was a bit intimidated by this long discussion:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/339351-the-right-way-to-do-ink-reviews-to-serve-ones-curiosity-and-interests/

And my review is far from exhaustive. More like a preView.


I think your "mini" reviews are awesome and your approach excellent. :notworthy1: Far more than I would do and far better than i could produce, and still, I shall assume, all in line with just/only what you want to know and/or show about each ink.

You're obviously got a clear list of information requirements of your own you want to satisfy, and a system (set of procedures, amount of time and resources you're prepared to consume, and so on) for fulfilling them in the course of preparing an ink review with which you're happy. I greatly admire that.

Someone needs to say this, so I will be the one: I understand your intimidation with that post on ink reviews. We all are. Some are not even posting ink reviews anymore, which is to the detriment of the entire FPN community. I realize and respect that there are some who feel the need to critique every dot above an i and the cross of a T, but I think this discussion has harmed the overall intent of ink reviews.


I'm not sure if you were referring to a particular post (of mine?) in that thread, or the discussion in its entirety. It was not my intent to "harm" anyone in the community to start that discussion; but, much to the contrary, I was trying to get doers and contributors of ink reviews -- irrespective of their level of experience or volume of output -- to think about, and perhaps collaboratively build on, how to make the preparation and production of ink reviews more time-efficient and economical in terms of effort and resources (paper, ink, cotton-tip applicators, etc.). Less time and less resources consumed, in my mind, could well mean the individual reviewer can do more reviews, assuming he/she finds each one personally satisfying to complete, within his/her "budget" of time and money for the hobby; and more ink to spare for giveaway samples, if he/she is of a mind to share and let fellow users do the work and test inks with their own pens and paper of choice.

However, if "harm" did come to the community just by raising the idea of "best practice" or improved practices for discussion, I unreservedly apologise.

Not trying to be cute, but I'm going to echo your words: "Someone needs to say this, so I will be the one" — the framing and tone of that discussion was entirely pro-reviewer; f**get what the passive, faceless and unidentified information consumer may like, want or demand. I tried very hard to not let the activity of reviewing be hijacked by those who expect to sit back and have benefits served to them on a platter. Minimising the cost to the individual reviewer in producing reviews, while ticking all his/her boxes, is what I was interested in exploring. Minimising the cost to the individual reader to find the information he/she wants, or expense to acquire inks to satisfying the "right" inks for his/her use cases, is of no concern to me.

 

Alas, given the responses I saw, instead of arriving at improvements to the volume and quality of ink review outputs, (at least) I personally lost the enthusiasm for doing more ink reviews, and so that discussion has been counter-productive for the intended objective, and thus a terrible failure.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Thank you very much for all the ink reviews and all the great work you've put into them! As a reader and shameless consumer, I enjoyed them a lot, but most of all thank you for doing your "own thing" and then choosing to share the results.

 

I think your "mini" reviews are awesome and your approach excellent. :notworthy1: Far more than I would do and far better than i could produce, and still, I shall assume, all in line with just/only what you want to know and/or show about each ink.

 

You're obviously got a clear list of information requirements of your own you want to satisfy, and a system (set of procedures, amount of time and resources you're prepared to consume, and so on) for fulfilling them in the course of preparing an ink review with which you're happy. I greatly admire that.

 

I'm not sure if you were referring to a particular post (of mine?) in that thread, or the discussion in its entirety. It was not my intent to "harm" anyone in the community to start that discussion; but, much to the contrary, I was trying to get doers and contributors of ink reviews — irrespective of their level of experience or volume of output — to think about, and perhaps collaboratively build on, how to make the preparation and production of ink reviews more time-efficient and economical in terms of effort and resources (paper, ink, cotton-tip applicators, etc.). Less time and less resources consumed, in my mind, could well mean the individual reviewer can do more reviews, assuming he/she finds each one personally satisfying to complete, within his/her "budget" of time and money for the hobby; and more ink to spare for giveaway samples, if he/she is of a mind to share and let fellow users do the work and test inks with their own pens and paper of choice.

 

However, if "harm" did come to the community just by raising the idea of "best practice" or improved practices for discussion, I unreservedly apologise.

 

Not trying to be cute, but I'm going to echo your words: "Someone needs to say this, so I will be the one" — the framing and tone of that discussion was entirely pro-reviewer; f**get what the passive, faceless and unidentified information consumer may like, want or demand. I tried very hard to not let the activity of reviewing be hijacked by those who expect to it back and have benefits served to them on a platter. Minimising the cost to the individual reviewer in producing reviews, while ticking all his/her boxes, is what I was interested in exploring. Minimising the cost to the individual reader to find the information he/she wants, or expense to acquire inks to satisfying the "right" inks for his/her use cases, is of no concern to me.

 

Alas, given the responses I saw, instead of arriving at improvements to the volume and quality of ink review outputs, (at least) I personally lost the enthusiasm for doing more ink reviews, and so that discussion has been counter-productive for the intended objective, and thus a terrible failure.

 

Thank you for your cogent response, A Smug Dill. I do appreciate what you were trying to do, and my comment was not in anyway aimed at any specific person.

 

And please, forgive me for derailing this thread a bit.

 

In my typical "big sister", co-dependent fashion, I am trying to stand up for those that somehow think, including myself and perhaps you to some degree, that we are not up to the task. The thoughts, critiques and opinions of every FPN member are essential to the life blood of FPN.

 

So, please, please, please - all of you - continue with your excellent reviews, as you see fit to review the ink.

 

Perhaps I am advising at cross purposes here to the "true" intent of a review. But from what I am seeing of the variety of reviews, IMHO it serves my needs and seems to serve those of others.

"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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~ Intensity:

 

I felt likewise.

The prospect of ever preparing and posting an ink review has become more daunting.

Who knows?

Perhaps in 2020 there might be a welcome opportunity for fresh takes on inks.

Tom K.

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Someone needs to say this, so I will be the one: I understand your intimidation with that post on ink reviews. We all are. Some are not even posting ink reviews anymore, which is to the detriment of the entire FPN community. I realize and respect that there are some who feel the need to critique every dot above an i and the cross of a T, but I think this discussion has harmed the overall intent of ink reviews. It isn't to give a scientific breakdown of the ink, but, IMHO, a personal account of how that ink works for you in terms of color, formulation, how it responds in your pen and paper - all the things that you just did.

 

~ DrDebG:

 

Thank you for writing the above.

Your tone and outlook are encouraging.

We share a similar outlook on ink reviews.

Tom K.

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