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Ink Shoot-Out : Diamine Meadow vs kyo-no-oto moegiiro


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Ink Shoot-Out : Diamine Meadow vs TAG Kyoto kyo-no-oto moegiiro


Not so long ago I did a review of kyo-no-oto moegiiro – a yellow-green ink from TAG Kyoto stationery shop. I enjoyed the ink a lot – I just love this shade of green. While preparing the review, I noticed that Diamine Meadow looks really similar. This could be a doppelgänger ink! Time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most.



Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight  spanning five rounds, where look-alike inks do battle to determine who is the winner. This time around, the battle is between lightweight boxers from different continents. In the left corner – from Liverpool, England – the well-established but relatively unknown champion Diamine Meadow. In the right corner, from the Japanese city of Kyoto, the challenger: kyo-no-oto moegiiro. Both champions make their way to the ring, while the crowd fills the arena with its thunderous cheers. Let the fight begin and may the best ink win…


Round 1 – First Impressions



The bell rings and the fighters start circling each other. A flurry of strikes and counterstrikes follows, with the champions looking for weaknesses in the other’s defenses. Great moves, feints and blocked-off strikes. This fight looks lively, and both inks make a great first impression. These inks have a lovely yellow-green colour, that looks on the light side but is sufficiently saturated to make for easy reading.  Contrast with the page is definitely ok. Shading is fairly heavy, even in finer nibs. Not too harsh though, but really elegant.  These inks are almost doppelgängers, but there are some differences:

  • Diamine Meadow looks a tiny bit more yellow, with a somewhat lighter presence on the page. A bit less saturated, but contrast with the paper remains good.
  • Kyo-no-oto moegiiro is a bit more saturated at the darker end of its colour range. It lays down a line that is a bit darker than that of Diamine Meadow.
  • Both inks are great shaders, but with moegiiro the contrast between the light and darker areas looks a bit more interesting with better aesthetics. There is more depth to the shading, which adds character.

Both champions make a great first impression. Colourwise, there is little to differentiate these inks. But the slightly darker saturation point of moegiiro adds extra depth to this ink, makes for a more pronounced presence on the page, and provides more aesthetically pleasing shading effects. Both fighters did really well, but it’s the elegant moves from moegiiro that you’ll remember. The Japanese ink clearly dominated this round. No solid hits and no knock-outs, but for this judge, the ink from Kyoto wins this round on points.



The chromatography clearly shows that both inks have lots in common. They have a really similar composition, with only a touch more yellow in Diamine Meadow’s mix of dyes. The biggest difference appears to be in the degree of water solubility of the dyes.


Round 2 – Writing Sample



The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. The inks look good in all nib sizes, even the EF-nib. Shading is also prominently present, just a hint with the EF-nib, but really pronounced with M nibs and above. Shading with the Japanese moegiiro looks a bit nicer though, with more depth of character. Beware that the scan exaggerates the shading in the broader nibs – in real-life it looks much less harsh. So, below you'll find a photo that provides an alternative look:



The writing sample also clearly shows the more saturated nature of moegiiro. Diamine Meadow is a bit lighter on the page, probably because it has more yellow in its mix of dyes. Overall, I feel that moegiiro shows a bit more character, and looks better in written text. I also noticed that Diamine Meadow writes a bit more scratchy, appears less lubricated than the Japanese ink. But this could also be an artifact of the nibs in my test-pens. The Safari pens used for Meadow had the black Lamy nibs – and I’ve read that these write drier than the corresponding plain steel nibs.


For this round, the focus is on writing, and here the advantage clearly belongs to the fighter from Kyoto. The Japanese champion breaks several times through the defenses of Diamine Meadow, delivering solid strikes. Better saturation and with it a superior presence on paper… bam! More character in the shading… bam! No knock-outs, but these punches definitely hurt! This round is a solid win for kyo-no-oto moegiiro.


Round 3 – Pen on Paper



This round allows the batlling inks to show how they behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River, Original Crown Mill cotton paper, and Midori notebook paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ?


Both are lovely yellow-green inks that look good on both white and cream paper, but really show their best on pure white paper. On their own, both the English and Japanese ink look beautiful. But it’s when you put them next to each other that the richness of moegiiro becomes fully evident. A bit less yellow, a bit more saturated… these small differences have a significant effect on the end result. Diamine Meadow tries its best, but it cannot reach the depths and elegance that moegiiro has to offer.  Again, the scan exaggerates the contrast in the writing, so below is a photo of the same information:



The Japanese champion shows much better footwork, moves more fluently. With his superior technique, he continuously puts his adversary on the offensive. Still no knock-out, but moegiiro clearly dominates the play. And the public agrees… they’re now chanting for the fighter from Kyoto who’s stealing the show. This round is definitely a win for the Japanese ink.


Round 4 – Ink Properties



These inks are not fast-drying, requiring about 15 seconds to dry. Diamine Meadow even takes a little bit longer. Both inks are reasonably smudge-resistant. Some colour rubs off when using a moist Q-tip cotton swab, but the text itself remains crisp and clear. 


To test water resistance, I dripped water on the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water with a paper towel. Both inks show their weakness in this respect. With Diamine Meadow, nothing remains on the paper (from the bottom part of the chroma, I had expected better). And kyo-no-oto moegiiro just leaves some unreadable smudges. Neither ink likes to come into contact with water.


For this round, the fighters just keep circling one another. Neither makes an attempt to please the crowd. The public is now boo-ing. This is not what they paid for… The bell rings, signaling the end of this disappointing round. Round four thus ends with a draw.


Round 5 – The Fun Factor



Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Yellow-green inks are usually fun to play with, and these two are no exception. Both inks do well, and are great for creating some artwork. The colour range you get is just perfect, with light and darker areas complementing each other nicely. I really enjoyed using them. 


In the picture, I used different water/ink ratios to draw in the background. The horizontal tree bark was painted in with a piece of cardboard and pure ink. The trees and decorative elements were added in with a B-nib Lamy Safari and pure ink.  


Both inks work well as drawing inks. Personally, I prefer moegiiro a bit more, mostly because the range between light and dark parts can be a bit wider, and because it’s easier to get a darker saturated green. But either ink is just excellent to draw with. A big thumbs-up for both champions, that really did their utmost to please the public in this final round. No real winner, only a real spectacle that is greatly appreciated by the crowd. As such, round five ends with a draw.


The Verdict
Both inks are joyful yellow-greens that are great for journaling and drawing. Diamine Meadow and kyo-no-oto moegiiro look quite similar… real doppelgängers. But in the end, the Japanese ink has a bit more depth and character to it, which makes it the nicer one of the two. No knock-out in this fight, but a solid win on points.

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Thanks, @namrehsnoom!  I love these shoot-outs. :D  I was voting for the underdog - I like the slightly brighter Meadow, though the proof is always in the pen, and I've never written with either of them.  Time to add them to my list of inks to review next year. :)

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@namrehsnoom  I LOVE these shoot outs. Thank you for for all the work. I also adore yellow green inks.  Thank you thank you thank you.

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This was so much fun. You might want to do it as video voice over. :D

It is interesting how the chroma of Meadow looks more complex than that of, Moegirro, unless I'm missing the blue in the latter. 

This is a time of the year, I shy away of joyful greens... However, you had me with Moegiiro with the first image.  :thumbup:


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Just fabulous as always - thank you so much @namrehsnoom - these are the sort of posts that just brighten my day :)


I love both of these inks, but the moegiiro is a real favourite of mine. Is it worth the big difference in price - for me, probably yes, but the Diamine is a very lovely ink in its own right. 

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21 minutes ago, lgsoltek said:

Your previous review of Moegiiro sold me a bottle 😊 And this shoot-out is as amazing as ever! I love both Meadow and Moegiiro, and like you I prefer Moegiiro slightly more because of the darker tone. Thank you for this comparison! It’s a joy to read.

Yes, I also think the main difference appears to be the darker tone/saturation, as that seems to be the consistent difference in the parameters.  Very enjoyable as always, and your enthusiasm for this always shines through.  Thank you.

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