I think I spent more time editing my photo export settings trying to get the color to look just the way I wanted it to than I did actually writing this review. And to be honest, I’m still not entirely happy with the outcome. As the days get shorter, I have less daylight to work with and so its harder to capture the perfect color. And with a color as bright as Kobe 41 Suma Rikyu Rose, I wanted the lighting to be just perfect. But as the saying goes, sometimes “done is better than perfect” and I knew there were people waiting on these reviews so I wanted to get them out. So… put your rose-colored glasses on and pretend these are the bestest lit photos ever.
Kobe 41 (Suma Rikyu Rose) was one of the three bottles of ink I purchased from the Kobe table at the DC Pen Show. There was such a fervor about the Kobe inks on the opening morning of the DC Show it was practically palpable.
The only enthusiasm greater was for the the Kanilea Pen Co. debut. I could afford ink. I did not have it in my budget for a Kanilea Pen though I stopped at their booth immediately and dreamed about my Hawaiian pen fantasy which would look great with my tiki mug collection.
Back to the Kobe inks. I was working for Vanness Pens for the DC Show so I had to wait for a window of opportunity (read: a lull in the crowd) to hop over to their table and snag a couple bottles. The enthusiasm for the Kobe inks was so great by Friday afternoon, two-thirds of their stock had already been sold. These inks are not usually all that easy to come by in US and for many folks, this was their first chance even seeing them. The colors are all themed around the colors in the Kobe region of Japan which gives them an extra something special as well.
Brad, Father Kyle, Matt and I had spent the morning making plans to purchase ink in such a way that we might be able to swap a few sample vials amongst ourselves in order to extend our ink sampling opportunities. However, once at the Kobe table, the depleted selection lead to each of us having to choose from what was left. That somehow lead to Brad and I both choosing Kobe 41! Since both of us own Sailor Pink Love pens, I guess it was inevitable that we would gravitate towards another shade of pink that might so closely match our pens.
The Kobe 41 shades nicely but is a bit more of a raspberry/purple-pink than the original ink we chose to match the Sailor Pink Love which was the Callifolio Andrinople. The Kobe 41 does have a bit of a gold sheen which is visible in the swatch. Its a good wet ink with some nice shading that shows to good effect with the music nib in my Pink Love. And I do really like the color a lot but, as a match for my Pink Love, its not such a good match. I might actually switch to the Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji for my next fill as its a warmer pink. I don’t normally match my inks to my pens, but for some reason, the Pink Love seems to demand it.
At the moment, there are no US sources for Kobe inks but you can purchase them through the Nagaswa Shop online shop if you’e brave enough to stumble through awkward online translation or speak Japanese. Or you can cross your fingers and hope that they come back to the DC Pen Show next year. Should I hear news that any of our favorite online retailers start stocking Kobe inks, I’ll be sure to let you know.