The Kobe Ink Story Line of Sailor Custom inks is a massive line of inks produced for the Nagasawa Penstyle Store, located in Osaka and Kobe. At the time of writing, there are over 70 inks in this line, so there is bound to be a colour in here for everyone. Further, this is one of the more accessible and reasonably priced custom Sailor inks available internationally, some are extremely expensive or difficult to find.
I purchased this ink when I was last in Japan, along with #57 Hime Ajisai, which I have already reviewed here. Together these two inks make up the two “hydrangea twins” in this collection of inks. I suspect that this ink is inspired by the bluer hydrangea flowers, whilst #57 is based on the more purply pink flowers (I am no expert in flowers or colours).
To my eye, this is the more usable of the two, although it is still very bright and purple, its not quite as bright and eye catching as #57. I still think that its far from “work appropriate” but you could get away with it in a less conservative office.
The ink displays good shading, which is apparent in wider nibs and especially on Tomoe River paper, but unlike its Hydrangea twin, I don’t see any sheen in the ink. The ink felt wetter than its twin, I didn’t experience any railroading like in my review for #57 and it behaved in my somewhat troublesome stub nib (which can play up on horizontal strokes with drier inks). I had no issues cleaning it out after a soak, flush and sonicate.
Compared to other inks in my collection, I feel like Iroshizuku Aji Sai is probably the closest in colour, although #56 Rokko Shichidanka leans a little pinker. Nekoyanagi has similar purply tones, but is lighter and less pigmented. I feel like the colour in Nekoyanagi is also a little more complex – it looks as though the purple and blue tones are somehow separated in this in (multichromatic) whereas in #56 Rokko Shichidanka the colours appear mostly combined.
Whilst #57 Hime Ajisai is arguably more unique, I feel like #56 Rokko Shichidanka is a more usable option which still captures the brightness and colour of Hydrangeas.
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