Pilot Iroshizuku, Completing the Line

With the release of the Ama-Iro, Take-Sumi, and Shin-Kai, Pilot has now completed the line of their 24 Iroshizuku inks. This is a broad overview of the brand as a whole, showing how the new three inks fit in to the palate. Full reviews of the three latest inks will be coming soon.

Write On,
Brian Goulet 

2017-10-11T14:38:05+00:00 January 12th, 2013|Ink Reviews|25 Comments
  • Kyle Sanders

    I like the new intro. Props to whoever did that.

  • I like the new intro. Props to whoever did that.

  • Thanks! I did the new intro.

  • Hunter

    Nice video. The color rendition came out great – I can even see the differences between the two greys. One thing, you said the video was being done in January “2012”. Oops. Also, my Ink Drop sticker this month had a purple logo on it?? I knew Brian would someday use up all the blue ink! LOL

    • Yeah, I’m so used to saying 2012 that I didn’t even notice it…when I said it or in my post-production! Oops…

      Your Ink Drop sticker was purple? Ug…our printing company had a problem with that before, they must have screwed up this last batch, too. Dang, I’ll have to check that out.

  • Hunter

    Nice video. The color rendition came out great – I can even see the differences between the two greys. One thing, you said the video was being done in January "2012". Oops. Also, my Ink Drop sticker this month had a purple logo on it?? I knew Brian would someday use up all the blue ink! LOL

  • Mark Daniel Cohen

    Thank you. I’ve been waiting to hear about these new colors. What you said about Take-Sumi sounds very much like what you said about Edelstein Onyx in your review of that ink, and both sound very attractive. Will you be doing a comparison in your review of Take-Sumi?

    • They do actually seem pretty similar, and I am going to mention Onyx in my Take-Sumi review. I won’t spend a lot of time on the comparison, but it’s worth noting.

  • Thank you. I've been waiting to hear about these new colors. What you said about Take-Sumi sounds very much like what you said about Edelstein Onyx in your review of that ink, and both sound very attractive. Will you be doing a comparison in your review of Take-Sumi?

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I'm very fascinated by this ink. Aside from a few Noodler's colors I want to add to my collection, these are the next ink I'm interested in. My notebooks are already a strange collection of colors with no pattern or system.

    I like the theme of this ink: colors of Japan. I've lately been playing with a little pen and ink sketching, so these may be some worthwhile acquisitions for that purpose. Practicality means that I may buy one or two bottles. After all, how much ink can one person use?

  • Glenn J

    Can’t wait to try these out. I usually have two or three pens inked with Iroshizuku… apart from water resistance; they just do everything so well!

    Another interesting feature of the bottles is that they are almost impossible to tip over, especially when half-full. Try it sometime (with the lid on!!!). Not that any fountain pen user would be clumsy enough to accidentally hit an ink bottle when filling a pen, but it is nice to know that you probably won’t end up with a desk full of expensive ink.

    • That’s a great thing to point out, I can say that I’ve never personally tipped one over 🙂

  • Glenn J

    Can't wait to try these out. I usually have two or three pens inked with Iroshizuku… apart from water resistance; they just do everything so well!

    Another interesting feature of the bottles is that they are almost impossible to tip over, especially when half-full. Try it sometime (with the lid on!!!). Not that any fountain pen user would be clumsy enough to accidentally hit an ink bottle when filling a pen, but it is nice to know that you probably won't end up with a desk full of expensive ink.

  • RGH

    I like the Iro inks I’ve tried, enough that I bought the shin-ryoku, but half of their colours are shades of blue (or blue/grey)! Would it really have been too much to push their palette a little further?

    • I’m sure they had their reasons for choosing the colors they did, but I agree…there seem to be a lot of close blues/grays to each other. A lot of brands are like that in one way or another…Diamine has a lot of pinks, Noodler’s has a ton of blacks.

    • With all the myriad choices of inks in the world, I’m sure you can find a shade you like. If not Pilot Iroshizuku then somewhere else. That is why products are called “offerings”, they’re being offered but you don’t have to accept the offer. It’s not like Pilot Iroshizuku is the only ink manufacturer in the world and you’re stuck with what they want to sell you or nothing.

      Personally, I like the blue preponderance in the palette. After working in/for/around government agencies most of my life — Where BLACK is the only shade of ink that is acceptable … I’m more than happy to use anything but black.

      Kon-Peki is a great, fun color and Shin-Kai is a more formal shade acceptable anywhere outside of official U.S. Government applications. There are plenty of fruity colored inks out there, Pilot probably didn’t think they needed to add to that cornucopia.

      To each his own but I think you’re complaining because you like to complain more than that you have a legitimate grievance.

  • RGH

    I like the Iro inks I've tried, enough that I bought the shin-ryoku, but half of their colours are shades of blue (or blue/grey)! Would it really have been too much to push their palette a little further?

  • Yeah, I'm so used to saying 2012 that I didn't even notice it…when I said it or in my post-production! Oops…

    Your Ink Drop sticker was purple? Ug…our printing company had a problem with that before, they must have screwed up this last batch, too. Dang, I'll have to check that out.

  • They do actually seem pretty similar, and I am going to mention Onyx in my Take-Sumi review. I won't spend a lot of time on the comparison, but it's worth noting.

  • I'm a big fan of Noodler's, and I can definitely appreciate Iroshizuku as well. I'm a bit like you, my notebooks look like they were written by a rainbow 🙂 The only objection I ever hear about drawing with the Iro inks is the price…usually artists want to be frugal with their inks because they go through a lot of it. But the fast dry time on *most* of the Iro inks would make them great for drawing.

  • That's a great thing to point out, I can say that I've never personally tipped one over 🙂

  • I'm sure they had their reasons for choosing the colors they did, but I agree…there seem to be a lot of close blues/grays to each other. A lot of brands are like that in one way or another…Diamine has a lot of pinks, Noodler's has a ton of blacks.

  • I really like these inks, at this moment I have Kon-Peki, Shin-Kai and Ku-Jaku. I have my E95S loaded with Shin-Kai and it is a great combination. These are great inks and I keep them on hand but they are not my favorites, which would be another post for a different topic …

    There is one single thing I do not like about Pilot Iroshizuku inks and it’s not a deal killer — more of an annoyance. With every single bottle I’ve ever owned of this ink the cap sticks shut on the bottle after a while and it’s nearly impossible to get them open bare-handed. I have very strong bare hands, btw.

    I broke one cap because it was stuck so hard I used a pliers on it. The caps appear to be Bakelite not plastic and the cap shattered to bits. Luckily none of the cap fell in the bottle and I had something else that had a cap of the proper size and threads handy so the whole bottle of ink wasn’t a loss. This emergency substitute cap is plastic, not Bakelite, and it doesn’t stick to the bottle at all.

    I’ve since taken to using a rubber membrane (sort of thing) to get a better grip on these caps to open them. It’s almost like there’s sugar in the ink and when it dries between the cap and the glass bottle it really, really sticks hard.

    Remember I said these aren’t my favorite inks? I have two “go to” inks that I like best for everyday carry and writing and I use those inks in much greater quantities than I do these gorgeous but expensive Iroshizuku inks. That’s why the caps on the Pilot inks have time to make that rock solid bond with the bottle.

    It can be weeks or months between times when I load up a pen with one of these inks, sometimes several months. By the time I get back to using one of the Pilot inks that cap has cemented itself back to the bottle again.