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  • A Fleeting Ripple

clone wars: majohn A2 fountain pen review

There is a moment of silence after the movie finishes, before the music for the end credits start -only a short moment, half a breath. It’s all you’re given to digest the last three hours before the rumbling music of the end credits start and the lights turn on. Bored looking staff usher you out with mops in their hands, looking to clean up the fallen pieces of popcorn before the next owner of your seat arrives. The magic of the dark hall and the epic story fades quickly under the fluorescent lights inside the cinema. You walk down escalators, two floors, push the doors that swing outwards, then the cold night air hits your face. You finally give that breath out that you didn’t realize that you were holding. It’s going to be a chilly walk home, the movie’s plot remembered but the magic long forgotten.


Majohn A2 fountain pen nib closeup.

The last clicky pen that I want to talk about is the Majohn (Moonman) A2. It sits at an intersection of two interesting topics: the clicky fountain pens and the clones of popular pens.


Majohn A2 fountain pen.

Until Platinum came out with the Curidas, Pilot Vanishing Point (VP) lineup used to be the most successful clicky pen, so much so that if others exist, I have never heard of them. The release of that pen seems to have started a wave in the last couple of years, with the Endless’s Creator pen and the Majohn’s series. Curidas and Endless sit around a similar price range, while the Majohn and VP sit on opposite ends. It’s still not the most common mechanism for a pen, so I dare say that the VP is still the most commercially successful one.


Majohn A2 fountain pen nib closeup with writing in the background.

On the other hand, the clones have always been a hot topic in the fountain pen circles. It is impossible to discuss the Majohn A2 without looking at the old faceted VP, not that it tries to be something else. Chinese copies or look-alikes have been around for a while, and nowadays they’re turning their attention to more popular pens like the Jinhao 80 (Lamy 2000 look-alike) or the Jinhao 82 (Sailor Pro Gear Slim look-alike). Sometimes I think that these Chinese brands listen to consumers more, since the 80 comes in a rainbow of colours; and the A2 is looking back on the faceted VP, which is out of production, despite the fact that some people find it more comfortable due to the grip. Personally, I don’t think these pens are “bad.” I doubt the release of these pens have affected the sales of the original ones very much, as a fountain pen is so much more than its dimensions or looks.


Writing sample with Majohn A2 fountain pen.

Even though I want to say that the A2 is straight up a clone, there are some differences that are interesting to mention. There are nuances, and since I don’t have a faceted VP to compare it to, I’ll link some previous reviews by other lovely blogs for you to get an idea.


The body of the A2 is plastic, which makes it lightweight and comfortable in the hand. Mine perhaps did get a bit knocked around in the pocket of my bag, but nothing too intense. There aren’t any scratches that I can see with a naked eye, so it’s fairly durable too. Facets are noticeable under the finger, though the finish is good enough that there aren’t any distracting sharp edges. The clicky button is definitely less satisfying to depress than the Pilot versions, and it tends to rattle while depressed, especially if you’re writing fast.


Majohn A2 fountain pen clip and section closeup.

A part I want to look a bit closer is the clip. As far as I can tell, the old faceted VP had a clip that was a part of the nosecone, without an obvious seam like the current VP. On the A2, the clip seems to have been made separately and then attached to the nosecone construction. Despite this, the clip is further back compared to the modern VP, giving your fingers a bit more room to perch. Due to this, some people who find the current VP design uncomfortable to hold might like this pen. At least what I’ve been told by a friend who’s trying to buy the A2 off me… This clip also lacks the nice curves of the modern VP clip, limiting itself to a rather simple rectangle.


Majohn A2 fountain pen closeup in hand.

Despite the looks, Majohn nibs cannot even compare to the original VP nibs. The upside is that Majohn nib fits the VP line, so there is some room for customisation there, it even takes Pilot/Namiki cartridges. The downside is that it doesn’t even compare to the Pilot’s beautiful nib. I got mine in an EF, which I expected to be on the drier side. It turned out to be so much drier than I expected it to be, even after flossing the tines with some brass shim, and then some more with a thicker one to slightly widen the gap between the tines. After writing a five to ten lines, the nib starts to skip and leave a noticeably fainter line, so you have to “cap” the pen again and set it aside to rest for a couple of minutes. Then, once it gets working, it is a nib with a lot of feedback, the dictionary definition of a nail being dragged across the page. Seriously, dip a screw into some ink and try to write with that, that’ll give you an accurate idea about the feel of it. I think that I can enjoy a good amount of feedback and very stiff nibs, but the feel of this one is on a whole another level. Perhaps it’s just the combination of a nib that passes quality control because it writes -though not well- and the regular particularities of an EF nib.


Writing sample with Majohn A2 fountain pen.

Oh, did I also mention that it stops writing if you twist it one tiny degrees from the preferred writing angle of the nib?


…yeah.


It’s not a surprise that I do not love the Majohn A2 pen. I use it in school, mostly for jotting stuff down on my planner, and that’s pretty much it. I’m glad this pen exists, I wanted to try one since it came out, I’m glad to have done so. After this blog post goes up, I will give that friend a call to ask for a price, I think, I have no use for this pen. It’s better that someone else enjoys it and I can enjoy my own pens.


Quick side note, I misplaced my regular Midori notebook for the writing samples. I’m using a notebook from Oxford at the moment, whose affiliate program I joined a handful of days ago. I look forward to share my experience with their products, but I had bought this notebook some time ago by myself.



Thank you for reading and enjoy the music! I’m still sometimes daydreaming about the snow that we didn’t really get this year…



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