10 thoughts on “Ink Review: Sailor Souboku

    1. Thank you. Rhodia is my favorite, but I actually use a lot of “normal” paper because I use my pens for work, and I usually write with fine and extra-fine nibs. I use Field Notes a lot, too — even the basic paper works for me with fine nib pens. 😊


  1. So did you prefer the Sailor or Platinum blue black carbon/nano pigment? The one I tried was Sei-boku, and I didn’t realize they changed the ink a little, and put it in a lovely bottle. Thank goodness it isn’t the small bottle either. I won’t go down that path today, but I could! I am interested in inks that are waterproof or at least water resistant, and recoverable. I also like to know how lightfast the inks are as well. I know Kiwa guro is totally waterproof, but the Sei-boku was not as waterproof as the black version. I may have to try this new version out in the future. I love the Platinum bottles, but I’ve never tried any of their ink. I have a Platinum pen and love it. I have just been more interested in Sailor ink/pens for some reason. The Pilot blue black did not enthuse me at all. I got a box of cartridges of it with my first Pilot Prera pen. That was used with an F nib, so maybe a heavier flowing nib would make me change my mind.

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    1. Kelly, it’s super-confusing, and I can see I did not help. 😊 Thanks for giving me the chance to clear this up. I’m talking about three different blue-black pigment inks. Sailor Sei-boku (now called Sailor Seiboku without the hyphen) is one: it’s a pigment ink, also a blue black, but it’s a more bright color. This new ink I’m reviewing here is not a replacement for Seiboku, but an addition. It’s Sailor Souboku, also a pigment ink, also a blue black, but a grayer color. Platinum Blue-Black is the third: a blue black pigment ink that is more of a standard blue than either of the Sailor blue-black pigment inks.

      I’ve got one photo above comparing swabs of all three: the new Souboku with Platinum Blue-Black and Seiboku (which I at that point wrote as Sei-boku) — there you can see the differences. All three inks are still available.

      All three, plus the two black pigment inks Sailor Kiwa-guro and Platinum Carbon Black, are either very water-resistant or completely waterproof — to different degrees. I don’t remember the degree of water-resistance with Sailor Seiboku, but of the other four, the completely waterproof two are Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor Souboku (the new one). The water-resistant but not waterproof two are Sailor Kiwa-guro and Platinum Blue-Black. That’s been my experience at least.

      I have no idea about lightfast qualities.

      I do not like Sailor Seiboku (the older one), because it was very high-maintenance for me. I do like Sailor Souboku (the one reviewed here). I also like Platinum Blue-Black. My favorite is Platinum Blue-Black.

      I think Pilot Blue Black is a very fine ink, but you say it perfectly: it does not enthuse me, either. I know other people feel like that about the blue inks I like. It’s all good; something for everyone.

      At a certain point, though, I can’t help thinking that I also could have stopped at Waterman Serenity Blue or Aurora Blue, and Pelikan Brilliant Black or Montblanc Mystery Black, and been just fine. Except hundreds of dollars richer. 😆


      1. Oh, I am so glad that you cleared that up. It is confusing for sure. You went into great detail, and I do appreciate that. That is one reason I’m on hold for another blue black too. Now I MIGHT make an exception for the Sailor-Seiboku, just because of what you said about it. If it is truly waterproof and easier to deal with, I want to at least try that before long. One day I will try the Platinum inks. I wanted to try the Sepia nano, but heard it didn’t do well on a uv test.

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        1. I have a visual memory so I remember them by their color. But maybe we should make a rhyme of it? How about, “Sou for you.” 😂 Or, Sou buy two. Woo for Sou. Stick to Sou. 🤩

          I do want to repeat that I like the color of Seiboku, and that I’m sure many people use it happily. I just found Seiboku high-maintenance, with some staining concerns, so I personally would only use it in a dedicated or cheap pen. Whereas Souboku (this new one) was very low-maintenance, so I will use it in my nicer pens. That’s why I prefer Souboku. I’ll stick to Sou. 😊 But Seiboku is a good ink, too.



    In all seriousness, good review, but I am very, very hard-pressed to consider yet another b/b ink. What I would be *really* curious to see you do is compare it to the non-pigment Pilot B/B (the 350ml “Coke bottle” ink for $22) and see how they fair (fare?) next to each other. I learned about that ink from Dan.

    I bet b/b, in some fashion, was the first ink I ever used, 50 years ago.

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    1. (Prepare for a comment so long it reminds you of War and Peace.)

      I know PIlot Blue Black. I used to own Pilot Blue Black, but don’t any more. Someone in my family likes it, so I last used it in January. I find it perfectly decent, just as good as the more expensive Pilot-Iroshizuku Shin-kai, and very similar. It’s a gray-leaning blue black. I have no idea of its water-resistance — unless I’m doing a review, when it comes to water-resistance, I’m a classic Jay Cutler “Don’t care!”

      Souboku strikes me as more attractive and interesting than Pilot Blue-Black, without being able to compare the two at the same time. Souboku has a touch of green, almost, and if you use it on fountain-pen friendly paper, it’s got pizzazz and some three-dimensionality. It’s a pigment ink, so it’s got more going on.

      In contrast, I think of Pilot Blue Black more like Waterman Serenity Blue: not exciting, but if you like the color, a fine everyday ink. I prefer the color of Waterman Serenity Blue, and I love its behavior, so that’s my standard for an everyday ink. Others may choose Pilot Blue Black instead.

      Let me put it this way: I’ll never choose to use Pilot Blue Black again, because to me there’s nothing special about it. Life being short. But I will choose to use Souboku again. It’s more interesting. Every time I buy an ordinary gray-leaning blue black, I end up thinking, huh. So that’s all there is.

      Souboku is better than that.

      But still, I have to warn you about something. The next ink I’m going to review isn’t even blue black, but just blue. So if you think this was unexciting, I want you near a defibrillator before I hit “publish” on the next one. You may need a jolt to get back going….


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