Review by Jessica Coles
Last week I was handed the Monami Olika and asked to review it. At first glance, it seemed to be a pen that you could get at any major retail store that carried pens, but as I used it more, some of the features of this pen came to light.
The Olika has a unique color. At first glance, the pen is a neon yellow demonstrator. However, once the pen is seen out of the package, the color shows as a very light olive or a spring green. I was also surprised when I began writing. Normally, pens of this type come with a blue or black cartridge. Boring, but serviceable and pleasing to the majority of people who will use the pen.
The Olika comes with dark olive-green ink cartridges – three of them, to be exact. The color is close to KWZ Green Gold or Noodler’s Rome Burning and isn’t too far away from the amazing Rikyu-cha by Sailor. The color coordinates very well with the pen body. These cartridges are proprietary, so you do need to purchase additional cartridges in the Monami Olika line. But they do come in 10 different colors!
The shape of the pen body again surprised me. I took it to be a straight barreled pen, but as I was using it, I realized it was slightly hourglass shaped. This makes a pleasant spot to rest the pen between the thumb and forefinger. The cap snaps in place so there are no threads only a textured rubber section that cushions your fingers during longer writing sessions.
I did not try to eyedropper this pen, but the body is air tight with no exposed metal, so it should be easy to convert the pen if desired.
I did have two points on the negative side for the Olika. The included ink dries very slowly, so this might not be a great pen for those who want to quickly close a notebook or lefties who need a fast-drying ink. The second complaint is the nib – while the writing experience was smooth and never skipped, the nib is listed as a fine. I would actually peg the closer to a wet medium nib instead.
All said, for the price that this pen costs ($5.50 as of this writing at Jet Pens), the Monami Olika is absolutely worth the cost. Refill cartridges are available, also from Jet Pens, for $5.50 (also as of the writing of this blot). It is a fun pen; a smooth and consistent writer and the unusual ink color make this a pen worth adding to your collection!
- Paper: Namiki Seven Seas Writer ($26)
- Ink Swabs: Col-o-Ring Cards (10$)
- Pen: Monami Olika ($5.50)
- Ink: Monami Olika Cartridges, Olive (Included with pen)