For the longest time, I thought Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki was my favorite blue ink from the Iroshizuku line. It's bright, has great shading properties, dries relatively fast, and looks great everywhere. I always shied away from Ama-iro because it looked too light — almost transparent. Well, I eventually cracked and decided to give Ama-iro a shot, and I'm really glad I did.
I've never used an Iroshizuku ink that I disliked, so I was sure that Ama-iro would be a nice ink that lacked the "wow" factor of others. The name translates to "Sky," which is very fitting given the light, bright blue hue. In my book, they could also call it "Bora Bora" because it looks like the clear blue waters of Indonesian island paradise.
Like I said, I didn't go into this ink thinking I would care for it. To my surprise, I was completely wrong. This is just another example that shows you should never assume anything. Immediately after inking it up, I was enamored with the light blue shade that had a beautiful shading behavior. In a matter of minutes, I went from "meh" to "love it."
What makes the Ama-iro so great? Well, the color. If you've used an Iroshizuku ink before, you know what to expect. It's an incredibly well-behaved ink with beautiful color characteristics, great flow, and pretty bottles. The Iroshizuku inks are my favorite of any other brand. That said, I was 100% sure that I would never find an ink that compares to my beloved Kon-peki, and I'm sure there are plenty of folks that hold that same opinion. Let it be known, this opinion has not changed, but Ama-iro is nipping at the heels of this special title. It's closing the gap with every stroke from my pen.
The sky can be different colors depending on weather conditions and what locale you're currently in. For me, this color reminds me of a clear, sunny day in Colorado — somewhere around 6,000 ft. elevation. They're clean, crisp, and rich with color. That's exactly what this blue is like. It's not just a flat light blue — it's rich and has amazing depth.
My favorite characteristic of this ink is its ability to shade to a medium blue. I've used the ink in several pens, and I love using it in wetter, broader nibs that can really show off the shading. It really is something to behold.
Another favorite feature of this ink is the dry time. I clocked it somewhere between 10 and 15 seconds when using a Japanese medium nib and a European medium nib. Not the fastest dry time, but definitely impressive.
Apart from that, all the other characteristics of this ink are in line with all the other Iroshizuku line. Great flow, easy to clean up, no bleeding or feathering, and minimal show-through.
If your favorite blue ink is Iroshizuku Kon-peki, you should give this ink a try. It's a great cousin to add to your collection for those days when you need some bright sky cheer.
JetPens sell this particular ink in two sizes: 50ml bottles and 15ml bottles. Pick up the smaller size if you aren't sure it's the right color for you! I hope you are as pleasantly surprised as I was.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)