A plastic barrel, cartridge-fill pen at Daiso’s typical price of $1.50, I was especially eager to try it out after the Rosso Bianco turned out to be a rebranded original Daiso fountain pen.
The “regular” Daiso fountain pen has been in my rotation for a few years now. It’s honestly one of my favourite pens.
So when Daiso added a whole tray of new fountain pens, marked at a premium of $5, I was honestly not too inclined. The other fountain pen is still available for $1.50; how much better could a $5 one be? It’s more than three times the price, but will it be more than three times the quality? I was doubtful and held out for a couple of months, but eventually. Eventually. Curiosity got the better of me.
My local Daiso has stocked Zebra brush pens pretty regularly for a while now, and it’s usually where I load up on the Zebra super fines I like so much. While I was in Richmond, BC, though, I stopped by their monstrous two-story Daiso and saw some pens I hadn’t seen before, including this mysterious Zebra one.
Searching around later, it seems this is the Zebra “Usu-Zumi” brush pen (P-WF1-GR), which is confusingly labeled “black” in most places, despite actually being a grey ink pen.
The pen doesn’t seem widely available online, and when it is, it’s usually bundled with the other Zebra brush pens or priced anywhere between $3 and $8 as a single pen, so Daiso’s $1.50 price ($2.00 CAD) was a great deal.
So the Ooly Splendid Pen is apparently just a repackaged version of the Monami Olika fountain pen, but the latter comes in more default color options and has an extra fine nib available in addition to the fine.
The Ooly pen was impressive for the $5-6 price point and since the Monami is priced the same, I picked up a Monami with the EF nib in black. A neutral color would give the pen more use cases for me, and I wanted to see if the EF nib was as good as the F.
Spoilers: It is. This pen is wonderful.
I’ve wanted do some kind of “top pens” post for a while, and with Inktober just around the corner, I figure now is a great time to talk about pens for inking.
Top Overall Recommended
These are my top picks in each category of felt tip brush pen, synthetic hair brush pen, and technical pen, then ranked in order of which I personally use the most. A Pentel pocket brush, maybe two of the Tombows, and a set of Microns, easily arms you for every kind of line you might want to make and can definitely carry you through a month of daily ink drawings.
“Real” brushes and dip pen nibs weren’t considered here since I don’t use them nearly as often and have way less expertise as a result. No fountain pens either, since I don’t use them to draw as much as I use them to write… but recent acquisitions may well change this in time for next year… That category also open up the wonderful world of inks, which is a whole ‘nother ballgame entirely and something I’m still slowly exploring.
So for now, just pens! But no fountain pens. It’s mostly brush pens. No one’s surprised.