Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fude Pen Review: Kuretake Bimoji Medium

So not terribly long ago, I contacted Jetpens about a referral program, because let's face it, I review a lot of pens and point a lot of people in their direction.  I was informed that they didn't currently have any such program, but that they'd be happy to send me some pens to review for the blog, which amounts to just about the same thing for my purposes, as I pretty much wanted that referral lucre so I could buy more pens.  My contact encouraged me to clean up my wishlist and link it to them, and I did just that, deleting all the items from years gone by that I was kinda sorta not really interested in, and filling it with brush and fude pens I wanted to get my hot little hands on.

Well, after a few weeks of waiting and a couple cons, Jetpens delivered, and boy did they deliver.  I figured I'd get a couple pens to noodle around with, but I got a hefty serving of fude and brush pen goodness.  I love the blind-box aspect of this selection: it's all stuff I want, but it's always more exciting when someone else picks it out for you.  And Jetpens was tricksy in their picksy, because several of these pens are one in a set, and anyone who knows me knows that my curiosity regarding the rest of the set will gnaw away at me until I order and test them ALL.


Some serious goodies in here, including BUSINESS CARDS I can hand out at cons, rather than writing "Color Eno in Soft Blue, From Jetpens" 100x each show.


So while the next few pen reviews are definitely a care of Jetpens, it doesn't mean I'll be any less harsh (or effusive) in my reviews.  And it probably doesn't mean they'll see any less of my money, because I just put in an order for $60 for some more non photo blue lead, a tablet glove because my homemade ones aren't cutting it, and a ratcheting pencil sharpener I wanted to review.  I'm sure you guys will be hearing all about those too soon enough.

And before you guys email me asking how YOU can get in on a totally sweet deal like this, let me just tell you that unless you constantly post art that includes your materials (and your materials are from Jetpens) or you review Japanese art and stationary supplies, you may not be a good fit.  So uh, start consistently blogging about Japanese art supplies for a few years (or link me to your existing blog of awesomeness) and let me know, and I'll add you to my blogroll of recommended reading.    And maybe consider dropping Jetpens a line with a link to your amazing blog, because I'm sure they'd be interested to!

So now, on with the review!  Today I'll be reviewing the Kuretake Bimoji in Medium.

The Packaging




The Pen






The Bimoji is quite aesthetically pleasing, and meant to mimic the look of an actual calligraphy brush.  I'm not sure how many artists would actually hang the Bimoji by the little nylon cord at the back, but it's a cute touch.  The Bimoji is also the only disposable fude pen I've encountered that has a plastic grip, which is also a nice touch, although I've never felt like I've needed one in the past.  This grip isn't much softer than the body of the pen itself, but it does have a rubber texture that makes the pen slightly easier to hold.  The grip would probably be very welcome if you had sweaty hands.

The cap posts in a weird way due to that cute little string- it posts backwards, and if you're not used to it, you may try to jam the cap on over the nib backwards without thinking.


I pulled out a couple other brushpens for comparison- from left to right Pentel Pocket Brush (nylon bristles), Kuretake Bimoji, Sailor Mitsuo Aida's larger nib. 



As you can see, all three pen nibs look very different.  The Mitsuo Aida has a spongy tip that's very flexible and responsive, the Bimoji's tip is a harder fiber.

The Field Test



Since I'm sick with con crud from Animazement, I drew Kara looking as sick as I feel.


The Kuretake Bimoji Medium handles a little stiff- like a combination of a bullet nib and fude pen, rather than a true brush pen.  The nib reminds me of the Kuretake Disposable Pocket Brush I tested awhile back, although it's easier to handle, it is already getting kinda mushy.  There just isn't much snap to the fibers.  Working with so many brush pens prone to mushiness, it makes me want to develop a sub-style that takes advantage of mushy pens.  Something very simple yet cartoony, like the strip BC would benefit from a mushy pen.  The Bimoji, however, is capable of very fine lines, the nib isn't so stiff that you can't push for dynamic bouncy lines, but I worry about pushing the Bimoji too much.

The Verdict

I tested the Bimojo in Medium years ago, and wasn't really that impressed.  It just wasn't what I was looking for at the time, but honestly, I was still determining what I wanted in an everyday carry inking pen.  At that point in time, I was batch testing pens, just trying to find one that worked for me, rather than focusing on each pen individually to decide it's best use.  While the Kuretake Bimoji in Medium isn't my ideal inking pen, I can see how other people might like it, especially once it's broken in.  At $3.50 on Jetpens, its not going to break the bank, regardless of if you love it or if you're meh on it.