I tend to get afflicted with pen obsessions and my current passion is all things Sakura Ballsign. Poor pens with the stupid names but good grief are they fabulous to write with! At first, I thought Ballsign the shape was a little odd — sort of an elongated teardrop shape that was a little bulbous at the grip — and visibly unappealing that would make me not want to use them. However, what made them sort of dumpy-looking made them extremely comfortable to hold. The retractable tip also made them easy to use and super portable which made me want to use them even more. Add to that, the fact that the original set I purchased was virtually waterproof and I was hooked. So I had to order more of them.
I placed an order for the pastel ($13.50) and neon ($13.50) sets. These were both available in 5-color sets in 0.6mm sizes only but I was willing to give them a shot. Each 5-piece set came in a poly-plastic box. Its not super durable like the StaedtlerTriplus marker boxes but enough to keep the sets together if you prefer to keep them separated.
The pastel and neon sets at 0.6mm are just a tiny bit wider than what I would normally choose in my gel pens but because the colors are pretty light, the wider lines are probably not a bad thing to help make everything a bit more visible.
Upon testing the colors first on white paper, most of the colors showed up pretty nicely on the paper. The neon yellow was a bit light and the pastel white was, of course, not particularly useful on white. But I had a sneaking suspicion that these pens might also work well on dark or colored paper stocks.
I tested both colors on swatches of black gesso and lo and behold all five colors in both sets are opaque over dark colors! If you have a kraft paper insert for your Midori Traveler’s Notebook or other toned paper stocks, you might find these pens to be very fun and useful. I even like the matte opaque qualities of the pastels on white paper and the vivid neon of the pink, red and orange on white paper as well.
The neon and pastel Ballsign pens are not as water resistant as the standard Ballsign gel pens which is the only drawback I could find and it really is a minor complaint since very few gel pens are actually water resistant anyway.
If you like the idea of adding some more varied colors to your gel pen collection for color coding than the neon and/or pastel Sakura Ballsign sets would make great additions.