When I think Sakura, I think of only one pen: The Sakura Pigma Micron. This art/drawing/sketch pen is ubiquitous, appearing in creators pen stashes all over the world. Sakura makes other pens too, like the Grosso that I was a fan of back in the day, with the Sakura Ballsign Knock Gel the most recent to land on my desk.
The Ballsign is your basic entry level micro tip gel ink pen. Simple plastic construction, lightweight, knock retractable mechanism, 0.4 mm conical tip - pretty much how you would draw it up. One addition on the Ballsign is the presence of an elastomer grip, which is essentailly a grippy overlay that works surprisingly well. I actually didn't notice it at first. I thought it was just the standard plastic barrel continued through the grip, but I realized soon my fingers weren't slipping at all and the elastomer grip was why.
When writing, the Ballsign feels a lot like its competition. The lines are solid and sharp, although oddly enough I felt the orange lines were cleaner than the blue black. The colors look spot on too, at least on the two of the 15 colors I tried out. Another interesting takeaway is that the Ballsign refills match the shape and design of the Uni-ball RT1, so it could fit in those barrels that use RT, 207, and Jetstream refills if you are so inclined.
The Ballsign is not a world beater, but it is a solid option in the world of micro gel ink pens. For me, they rank lower than the Uni-ball Signo DX, RT1, and 207, as well as the Zebra Sarasa Clip and Pilot Juice. It falls in the Pentel Slicci/Muji Gel range, which is a good spot to be. Give them a shot, especially if you want to try some of the more interesting colors like brown black, red orange, and cherry pink.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)