2 year hiatus - should i reset?

Hello everyone,
I’ve just got back after 2 years of a break, and I’m ready to try and get back to the fight.
with over 2000 reviews and 80 lessons in check, and me forgetting basically EVERYTHING, this is much more difficult than I thought. I knew so much and this feels like all I did was wasted effort.

Getting back on the horse feels unbelievably difficult. I was trying to just go through ALL radicals, kanji and vocab without doing reviews - just go through each one, and if I don’t remember it (practically all of 'em) then just check it and try to memorize it.
This was really discouraging when I felt exhausted before finishing first 10 level of radicals.

Then I was thinking maybe I should just start over - I mean, I forgot everything, and right now I’m trying to study like a bull, head on, and that’s kidna against the whole SRS method.

On the other hand resetting level 27 feels so scary.
Could really use some tips/guidance, thanks!



I can’t tell you what would be best for you, but I will try and share my experience.
I had moved up to Level 14, then became ambitious, installed some extensions that made levelling up faster (Lesson sorting and the like). I went to level 20 in a breeze, only to become overwhelmed by hundreds and hundreds of reviews, 60% correct at most, rather 50-ish. I then set WK to vacation mode for about 4 months to stop the avalanche. My plan was to repeat all Kanji and learn to write all of them, be able to read them in different fonts and the go on with lession 21 … DID NOT WORK.

So, exactly 2 months ago I decided to give it a try and do a complete reset to level 1. Since then I moved up to level 10 and my WK sessions are on average 95% correct - and really fast. Not thinking, just typing.

So, yes. resetting worked really well for me. I use the system like this:

  • No more sorting of lessons and review queues
  • I try to write every kanji. Before that , e.g. “Husband, Arrow and Fault” drove me crazy …
  • I use Kaniwani. The time I spend there is easily recovered because the Wanikani sessions are so much faster now.
  • really read the mnemonics - it is worth it. Spaced repetition is cool, without it doing this kind of learning would be impossible. But - SRS does not replace understanding and learning, it complements it. Or, as the inventor of supermemo, one of the first if not the first SRS solution said: If you haven’t understood it, don’t learn it. Just a waste of time.
  • I did install a plugin that shows Kanji in randomly selected different fonts. another one shows Stroke order for Kanji. If you can write the Kanji, you will be able to even read the handwriting font. Before resetting I thought, this font was a joke …

Just my two cts …

Quidiquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem :wink:


I’m level 26 now so about the same and I’m certain that if i stop now and come back in two years, I will have forgotten far too much to be able to go forward from where i left off.

I’m pretty sure i’ll reset and do a second round after level 60 anyway.

Even if you catch up with “the review avalanche of death” with self study, it will take you ages.

You stopped two years, you might as well start from scratch or - if you have studied up to level 10 so far, reset to 10.

If you start at 10 now, you don’t have to go crazy, just study normally and you’ll be back to 27 in 4 months.


hey! i started in 2012. there have been multiple times where i’ve gone on years-long breaks. i think one of my breaks was like 3 or 4 years! i reset for the first time recently, i was around lvl 26 i think? i was studying pretty consistently and trying to get through all the reviews + new lessons, and did make pretty good progress.

the reviews will be tough to get through for a long time. i would say that it really depends on how much of a slog it seems to you, AND how much time you have. if you choose to power through it, here are some things i did to make it easier to get through all those reviews:

i PERSONALLY don’t study the radicals here, i put a synonym of “a” for all of them, so i can quickly get through them with 100% accuracy. obv this tip will only work if you also don’t care to study the radicals!

i downloaded the “wanikani reorder ultimate 2” script here: Wanikani Reorder Ultimate 2
i really like this for being able to study like, just vocabulary, or just kanji. i like to put it on 1x1 mode, and then you can quickly get the reviews you do remember separated from the ones you don’t remember. slowly that pile will go down.

anyway, i did end up resetting after i did all that, because i was getting frustrated with how many low level items kept coming back to bother me -_-
i reset all the way to level 1! i’m really enjoying the feeling of having a really high accuracy rate right now, and it makes it easier and fun for me to come back regularly! i consistently have been coming back at least twice a day because i find it fun again.

my recommendation would be to give it a go for a few days, see how you feel about powering through those reviews. don’t think about the number of them left, just focus on doing the best you can. if you find after maybe a week or so that the reviews are really making it unenjoyable, i would say reset! like yeah, it does suck to lose the progress, buuuuuuuuuuut it will be fine! it might even take less time for you to get back to where you were than for you to keep trying to go up just one level from where you are now.

the most important thing i want to share is that … like, for me, because i went those years, now i think about where i could have been had i kept studying the whole time, and i never want to make the same mistake again! so i have a lot of willpower to keep studying : )

good luck!!


I have a question on the side, sorry if it’s unrelated - if you have any burned items, any chance you remember them? I’m just wondering about the effectiveness of WK’s SRS method for items you’ve burned even after 2 years.


I was at level 31 and had a 4 month hiatus. I reset to level 1 and it’s been a good experience so far. I feel motivated and everything feels rock solid.

It was a liberating experience. A clean slate.

Good luck with your decision!


Oh, and one more thing: you didn‘t forget. They‘re just hidden behind other things on your mind.

You‘ll remember them when you relearn. Even leeches that drove you crazy will be easy. At least that’s my experience.

I say: go for it!


I have about 2000 burned items.
I remember few of the 1-10 level kanji and radicals, mostly by ‘instinct’ (I don’t remember the mnemonic, I simply memorized the shape). but go beyond level 10 and I practically can’t recognize any of them, it’s too cluttered to remember by memorizing shapes and can’t remember the mnemonics

1 Like

Thank you all very much! I feel much better, and it sounds like resetting might hurt in the begging, but all in all create for a much better experience.

@RalfKanjii - I especially like the feeling of starting fresh and ‘doing it right’ - that is, intergrating KaniWani consistently (which I was doing only partially first time), and using font scripts and stuff of the sorts since the begging. Can you send me all the scripts you were talking about? I’d love to try 'em out!

I also have a laptop now so I will never have to do WaniKani on my phone again, bless be the heavens.

We‘re all here with and for you!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.