The Ohuhu Kaala markers come in four separate sets. There are sets of 60 illustration tones, 60 landscape tones, 24 skin tones and 24 basic tones. They're all alcohol-based pens, with a dual-tip. One end is slim broad for larger mark making and the other is fine for more detailed work.
Each set comes in a plastic box that is easy to carry, and also comes with a marker for blending, plus a sheet of plastic to go under your paper so that the markers don't bleed through (this is recommended, as they absolutely will without this sheet), as well as swatch cards and a colour chart.
We tested out all four sets to discover whether these are up there with the best markers available. We tried these on Ohuhu's marker pad as well as with a nature colouring book. I coloured in an image in my book, created my own squiggles and drawings, and also lent the markers to my husband, who is an artist, to see what he made of them.
Ohuhu Kaala review: colour range
You'll obviously be getting the most colours if you opt to get all 150 markers in this range, ie. all four sets. But if you don't, then you should still be fairly happy with the colour range available. My favourite set is probably the illustration tones, just because they are brighter, which appeals to me. Ohuhu markets this set for manga, comic, illustrations, cartoons and costume designs, and I agree that the set would be suited to those styles.
Landscapes not surprisingly gets you lots of greens, and has a nice range of other colours too. The skin tones set definitely has a range of tones for creating skin of hair, although it does lack darker colours, perhaps because these can be mixed. Basic tones has pretty much one of every 'basic' colour and would be a good place to get started if you just want to test out whether these markers are for you.
As mentioned, each set also comes with one colourless blender, which I found works reasonably well, although the effect isn't incredible. I am unsure why there isn't a dedicated space for this blender to live in the packs, because it can easily be lost when not kept with the rest of the pens.
Ohuhu Kaala review: design
I found the design of the Kaala series more satisfying than the Ohuhu Honolulu markers I tried recently, because the pens are tapered towards one end, making them easy to hold, and there are different caps for each end. This means it's easier to tell which end of the marker you are using without having to look at the symbols on each pen. One thing to note though is that the fine cap doesn't have any colour info on it, so if you put the pens back in the box the wrong way up you won't be able to tell which is which.
It's also worth noting that unlike competitors such as Copic, these pens are non-refillable. And unlike the Ohuhu Honolulu set, you can't take the tips out and turn them the other way. This makes the life-span of these pens limited.
The plastic boxes the sets come in are okay, though a little flimsy (one of the fasteners snapped off while we testing), and we can't imagine they are especially environmentally friendly. Also they are fine to carry on their own, but it would be cool if they slotted together in some way, as once you have all four sets they become awkward to carry.
Ohuhu Kaala review: drawing experience
The Ohuhu Kaala markers are really fun to draw with. Coverage is even, lines are smooth, and they dry pretty much instantly so you don't have to worry about smudging. I found the mix of the fine and the slim broad tip ideal for colouring and creating, and particularly enjoyed using the fine tip for detail. Note that this tip is not as small as you'll find on some fine-liners, so may not be suitable for all projects.
Even without the colourless blending pen, the pens themselves actually blend quite nicely, and there's no bleed from one colour to the next.
Should I buy the Kaala markers?
I think the Kaala markers are a great place to start to start experimenting with this kind of alcohol-based marker and decide whether you want to invest in more colours or sets. The sets start at around £20 / $22 so are affordable.
If you know you want more colours, then something like the Ohuhu Honolulu range is likely to suit you better.
If you want markers that will last you forever, then you'd be better off going with Copic markers, which are refillable. Or even the Honolulu range, which has tips you can turn over, so you get twice the use out of.
I wouldn't recommend using these Ohuhu Kaala markers without the transparent sheet that comes with the markers, as you'll find your work transfers on to the page below otherwise. You'll still likely find with the sheet that your work will transfer to the other side of your paper, so be aware of this. I'd recommend getting the Ohuhu marker pad or another sketchbook made specifically for markers, as this paper will absorb the markers nicely and show off their vibrancy nicely.
Read more: The best pencils