review: sailor jentle tokiwa-matsu - ink between the teeth

Jan 22, 2018

review: sailor jentle tokiwa-matsu

I'm shuffling around the reviews I have prepared for the coming months, and I thought I would talk about the Sailor Jentle inks I have first. As you may know, Sailor is moving their Jentle line to smaller bottles for the same price, which is silly and makes them more expensive than Pilot Iroshizuku inks. Cost aside, I wanted to review these inks while you can still find the original bottles before they disappear entirely. I'm not sure if this change will be occurring outside of Japan, but better safe than sorry, right?
Sailor Jentle inks come in these flat, circular bottles. You may think they'd be difficult to fill from, but they have a rather ingenious plastic insert that is shaped like a cone. If you invert the bottle, the cone fills with ink, and stays filled when you open the bottle (right side up, of course). It's very helpful, though the bottle itself is not particularly deep.

Weirdly enough, I've found Jentle inks to be rather... bubbly? I usually shake my bottles before I fill them to make sure that pigments or dyes don't settle, and every time I've opened a bottle of Jentle ink I come face to face with these massive bubbles. Furthermore, these Jentle inks are sticky (this isn't the right word at all). The little... foam? paper? insert on the inside of the cap tends to attach to the bottle opening. If ink gets stuck on the rim, little flakes of dried ink can fall off when you open the bottle.

Edited to add, but I completely forgot to add that Sailor Jentle inks have a smell. I don't quite know how to describe it. It's slightly, sweet? It's not an unpleasant smell to me, and it's not strong unless you stick your nose in the bottle or something, but it's definitely there.

I find opening these bottles very satisfying, because for some reason they have the same "tug" as when you open, say, a new jar of jam. A little pop, I suppose I should say. Is this just me? I certainly don't have an explanation for it. Anyway...

These couple of things aside, lets move straight on to the actual ink. Tokiwa-matsu is, at its core, a dark forest green. The name translates to "evergreen pine," and that's for sure a nice fit for this color.
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It's a touch deeper in reality than in this scan, but it's fairly close. Let's start with some basic information: Tokiwa-matsu takes quite a while to dry, due to its saturation. It also has practically no waterproof qualities to speak of. I like the way it breaks up into that blue core, though.

Since it's a rather dark ink, you'll find shading to reveal itself in broader applications. The shading is quite interesting: it goes from a medium forest green to something like a brown-green. And further, this ink changes as it dries down, from that medium forest green to the color you see in these scans.

This isn't just your regular dark green, however. It has the benefit of displaying a healthy amount of red sheen. Actually, having not used this ink in a while I had completely forgotten that it sheens as much as it does. You can't see it in the scan, so check it out in this picture:
I compare it to three other greens I own: Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün, Sailor Jentle Rikyu-cha, and J. Herbn Vert Empire. None of the three are particularly close, although Vert Empire edges towards the right direction; it's more of a gray-green, however.

I filled a pen that's relatively new to me: the TWSBI Diamond 580 with a medium nib. It's a good writer: not too wet, and not too dry. Tokiwa-matsu flows well in this ink, starting readily and without trouble. I've been enjoying using this combination in the rotation.

I'm not sure if I would purchase this ink again, despite its attractive color and healthy amount of sheen. I think this is much more a problem of me having way too much ink to consider re-purchasing rather than me disliking the ink. In 300 years, when I finally whittle down my ink collection, I'm sure Tokiwa-matsu will join me again.

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