Ama-Iro from Pilot’s Iroshizuku line is a consistently great ink. It dried super fast on every paper I wrote on in my paper tests. Across all 21 papers that I tested, the average dry time was 6.6 seconds. For several months I had Ama-Iro in a TWSBI Eco with a fine nib, and that combination made for an excellent note taking pen. I could write fast and not smudge one bit!
Ama-Iro is a sky blue/ turquoise ink that doesn’t sheen. It’s a few shades lighter than Kon-Peki, which tends to overshadow Ama-Iro in terms of popularity. Ama-Iro writes a smooth and wet line with nice shading on most papers. It’s visually similar to Lamy Turquoise and TWSBI 1791 Sky Blue. Lamy Turquoise tends to write dryer and is capable of sheening. I haven’t written with TWSBI Sky Blue in a pen, but I remember it writing well with a glass dip pen. TWSBI Sky Blue is also capable of sheening. I used to take notes with Lamy Turquoise, but it would smudge sometimes if I was writing a lot at once. I can rub the side of my hand all over a page with Ama-Iro and it won’t smudge.
Currently, I have Ama-Iro in a Kaweco Perkeo with a fine nib. It performs similarly to my Eco, except Kaweco uses nibs by Bock and TWSBI uses nibs by Jowo. The Perkeo writes a wetter line that still dries fast. I will continue to maintain that Ama-Iro is a champion among light blue inks for a very long time.
Though Ama-Iro writes wet, it doesn’t bleed on most papers when used with a finer nib. After looking at the above pictures, I noticed that this ink feathered a bit in some spots with the Eco. On super absorbent papers like Nock, Leuchtturm, and Blackwing, there was slight feathering but no bleed through to the back of the page. On Field Notes, the line is fuzzy but there’s no ghosting. There’s even some shading. With the wetter, broader line of the Perkeo, Ama-Iro doesn’t shade and ghosts on the back of the page. The line is considerably fuzzier than that of the Eco.
It took me a while to come on to Ama-Iro. Two years ago my girlfriend bought an Iroshizuku mini set of blue inks that had Ama-Iro, Kon-Peki, and Asa-Gao. I used Kon-Peki first and liked it enough to buy a full sized bottle of it. Then, my girlfriend started using Ama-Iro more and was really enjoying it, so I decided to ink my Eco with it. Now we have full sized bottles of all three inks in that set. They all perform similarly in that they flow well and dry fast. Asa-Gao may be smoother and Kon-Peki can sheen. But, if you’re looking for a bright light blue to bring some tranquility to your writing, Ama-Iro is a solid choice.