Review: Pilot Kakuno Doraemon Fountain Pen

Review: Pilot Kakuno Doraemon Fountain Pen
The Doraemon Kakuno in its packaging

The Pilot Kakuno Doraemon fountain pen is a special edition of Pilot's cheapest offering in the fountain pen market: the Kakuno. It features a lightweight plastic body commensurate with the price and a steel nib with a nice little smiley face (which, obviously is my favorite part). Although the Doraemon edition unfortunately is about twice the price of a standard one, Kakunos are at such a low price that it doesn't really hurt your wallet and you can find them for as low as $10.

Pilot Kakuno (Doraemon) – Capped

Pilot designed the Kakuno to be a starter fountain pen. However, I find it has a place in many people's collections. It writes well and has a low price, so I can see how many people may carry them around in pockets or bags without care. Kakunos are also great for collecting on a budget – they're half the price of popular Kaweco Sports and come in a vast array of colors and limited editions (such as this Doraemon one!).

Writing sample

The Kakuno feels pleasant to use, which is surprising given its low price. The pen caps solidly and has no play. I prefer using this pen posted, and it's very secure to post while remaining relatively easy to take off. The cap has a slight concave at the top to allow for easy gripping to take off – it also adds a unique touch to the pen. However, the only thing I find annoying about the design is the lack of a clip. I usually store most of my stationery in a case that relies on the clip to keep the instrument in place. Instead, Pilot put a small nub on the cap, presumably to prevent the pen from rolling away on a steep slope.

Close up of nib and cap

The steel nib is firm and one of the stiffest ones that I've used. However, I don't have any issues with the nib skipping or behaving poorly. It's not the biggest nib, but it's relatively smooth and great to use. The smiley face (initially included to teach children which side to hold the nib) adds charm to the instrument that also acts as a unique differentiator. It's definitely one of the selling points of the Kakuno.

Another angle of the packaging

This special Doraemon Kakuno also includes a fun graphic of Doraemon having a darn good time on the cap. Other than that, along with the special packaging and colors, the Doraemon edition is pretty much a normal Pilot Kakuno fountain pen – the materials are the same, and even the nib is the same.

Back of packaging

Although the materials of the pen feel pretty cheap, it's what you'd be expecting at this price point. You won't feel too bad if you lose this pen, so I'd be comfortable carrying it essentially anywhere I go. I definitely recommend Kakunos (special edition or not) to anyone, from those with vast collections to complete beginners. It's such a great pen for such a low price.

Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Hi! I'm Nathan, and I'm a stationery enthusiast. I've been in love with anything regarding writing and have built up a huge collection that I can now share with others!