Pilot Iroshizuku Asa Gao takes its name from the Morning Glory flower, which is a vine that has large trumpet shaped flowers. Again, there are many varieties of this plant, with flowers that are commonly seen to be anywhere between purple and bright blue. It will probably be impractical to pinpoint exactly which Morning Glory inspired this particular ink.
Iroshizuku Asa Gao turns out to be a rather deep blue with a hair towards the purple end that originates from its metallic purple sheen not unlike that seen in some rather oily ballpoint pen blues. However, unlike the humble ballpoint’s greasy offering, Iroshizuku Asa Gao has quite a remarkable edge darkening going on, which when combined with its gentle shading, combines to produce writing that simply demands a second look. It is a blue that may be dismissed at first glance, yet maintains a depth to its appearance that makes one want to get close and see it in all its inky blue glory.
Iroshizuku Asa Gao has some limited legibility after smudging, and is quite clearly illegible after a soaking. Despite its (lack of) waterproofing, I would still highly recommend that one consider this ink. It is a somber rather than vibrant blue, yet somehow manages to reveal subtleties that other blues in its tonal range fail to deliver. It is also great for use in a work setting…if one isn’t prone to spilling coffee on one’s work.
Shading – Subtle due to darkness of ink, lovely edge shading.
Bleedthrough – None
Feathering – None
Sheen – Metallic purple
Smear Resistance – Limited
Drip Resistance – None whatsoever
Flow – Dry
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