Posts filed under Monami

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Review

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

After spending some money on luxury fountain pens, it can be challenging to see the sub-$10 tier as anything but a stepping stone to the luxury pens that we grow to love. After all, they are works of art that work exactly as we expect. They become part of our sacred everyday carry. But, there's still something to be said for the more affordable fountain pens in this lower tier. Every time a new pen comes out in this price range, I automatically dismiss it as "junk" without even trying it. Shame on me for doing that, because there's no rule that says any pen under $75 can't write beautifully. And that's exactly what the Monami Olika has reminded me.

At first glance, the Olika is a plastic-barrelled pen that seems more like a gamble than a solid entry level fountain pen. Luckily, $6 isn't much of a gamble, and I'm really glad I tried it out.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen

Like other entry level pens, the color of the barrel matches the color of the ink. In the case of the transparent models, the rubbery grip section matches the color of the ink inside. I've always enjoyed the matching nature of these cheap pens, and the Olika is no different. I opted for the standard blue model, but was pleasantly surprised once I popped the cartridge in and started writing. The blue is a vibrant, exciting shade that flows smoothly and even has a bit of shading quality. It's not at all what I was expecting, but that's a good thing!

Along with the pen, you also receive three ink cartridges in the color you chose. This is a generous inclusion for such a cheap pen, especially considering the price for a five-pack of cartridges ($5.50, same price as the pen). Even though JetPens doesn't state this, the cartridges will fit most standard international sections. The only difference between this cartridge and the international short cartridges are the diameter and length.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Clip

The production quality of this pen is on par with the price. It feels better than the Platinum Preppy, but very similar to the Pilot Petit line. It can surely survive several incidents in your bag, but it will eventually break if you use it a lot. These pens aren't meant to be disposable, but they're also not heirloom quality.

Writing with the pen is comfortable. It's a leightweight pen that features a soft grip section, so long writing sessions are a breeze. The nib I chose is the fine, but you can also pick up an extra fine variant. The extra fine nib only comes on the transparent model, while the fine is reserved for the fully colored barrels.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Cartridge

I've used this pen a lot more than I expected I would. My only regret so far is only purchasing one color. I'll be correcting that on my next order.

The Monami Olika is available in several vibrant, fun colors, and each pen includes three cartridges and costs $5.50. These make great gifts, excellent beginner pens, and fantastic portable pens.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Monami Olika Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on March 13, 2019 and filed under Monami, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Review

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Where were pens like this when I was still in school? I had to hunt for affordable fountain pens back then and most of what I found wasn't nearly this nice or fun.

At first glance, it looks like just another cheap "I only use this in contexts where I'd worry about my nicer pens" pen. And it is indeed perfect for those situations! But the more I play with it, the more I like about it.

The body is clear PVC, so you can easily see your ink level. The grip is textured rubber like you'd find on a lot of big-box gel or rollerball pens. It's easy to grip and comfortable to hold. It does feel a bit large for my hand, but it's so light that it's still easy to write with even for long periods of time. The whole thing looks like a plain inexpensive office pen--which sounds like an insult, but think of it as protective coloration. I can leave it on my desk in the middle of a public library and walk away, and it will still be there when I come back.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen

The cap snaps to close and it posts securely on the back of the pen. The clip is wide and flexible, but feels very flimsy--like it's going to break off the first time I try and clip it to too many pages or if I put it in my purse wrong. Weak clips are one of my biggest pen pet peeves. Fortunately, the pen writes well enough to make up for this offense.

The EF nib is surprisingly smooth on this pen. It writes with even the lightest pressure and lays down a wet enough line that it shows off some great character in the provided ink. Reports from the wild indicate some inconsistencies in their nib quality, but that's not surprising at this price point. Most seem to be of the excellent quality I'm experiencing with mine.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Nib

The nib is steel, and it's fed by a wick rather than a plastic feed. I worried this would cause some problems with drying out or ink starvation, but I haven't had any trouble. It does mean, though, that it's a pain if you want to switch colors--because you'll need to rinse all of the ink out of that wick. It would probably be more sensible to keep a dedicated color for each of the pans, and just collect all of the 20 different colors.

Each pen comes with three ink cartridges, and there are refills available. It also accepts Lamy cartridges, if you do decide you want a change. I also noticed that these cartridges are more rugged than the ones I've seen before, They are made of hard plastic like the pen, not the flexible plastic of most cartridges. It does mean that you can't squeeze ink through if the nib gets too dry, but they look sturdy enough that they could be refilled with a syringe and used many times over.

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Cartridges

The Olika ink that came in the cartridges was a very pleasant surprise. The color is rich with beautiful shading and it behaves very well. I'll definitely be eyeing some other colors of both the pens and ink. The ink alone is worth the $5.50, and the pen is an added delight.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Monami Olika Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on October 4, 2018 and filed under Monami, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Monami Super Gel-Q Gel Ink Pen 0.4 mm Blue Black Review

Monami Super Gel-Q Gel Ink Pen

I teased my review of the Monami Super Gel-Q a couple of weeks ago on Twitter and mentioned then that I wanted to spend more time with it before posting my review on the the blog. Well, time has been spent and I think I am able to paint a better picture now than when I first bought the pen.

I purposefully set low expectations for this pen before testing it out. Why? First of all, I don’t have a lot of experience with the Monami brand. Secondly, it looks like they are borrowing heavily design-wise from the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and Uni-ball Signo DX. My experience in the past with pens that fit this criteria usually haven’t been positive, so thus the low expectations.

So, with that background out of the way, how did it perform? Initially, much better than I imagined. It wrote so well and was so nice to use I kept stopping, looking at the pen, and asking “is this really happening?” It was happening all right. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I took it to work to continue testing it out. And then …

… the other shoe dropped.

Have you been around long enough to remember my review of the Zebra Sarasa Stick? I had high expectations for this pen since I am a huge fan of the regular Zebra Sarasa line. The Sarasa Stick was great at first, but all of a sudden the line would dry up in the middle of writing. Sometimes it would come back, sometimes it wouldn’t. As I continued to use the Monami Super Gel-Q the same exact thing started to happen.

I was upset because I thought I found another great everyday use pen. I scribbled and scribbled but I still haven’t been able to get as good of a line as I did in the photo above. My lettering looks great that picture, and I want it back!

I’m not giving up hope yet though. Sometimes a pen needs a break to get started down the right path again. Plus, I have a black 0.4 mm that I haven’t used yet so maybe this is a one off issue. My recommendation? Try one, but just one. They have several great colors to choose from but I wouldn’t go buying up six or so right out of the gate. If that one works well then dig a little deeper.

Just remember to keep your expectations in check.

Posted on June 8, 2012 and filed under Monami, Pen Reviews.