Anki vs. Kitsun

I signed up for Kitsun to compare it to other SRS systems. What are your thoughts about it? It seems there’s no app yet. I find that annoying but I will still give it a shot.


Paging @jprspereira :durtle_the_explorer:

I recently started using Kitsun for other languages and it’s been great – I like the interface and general ease of use, I hope to get better at making decks someday ;3


In my limited experience with both Anki and Kitsun, I have found Kitsun to be easier to use without spending much time learning it. Anki is highly customizable, but there tends to be a high learning curve on how to work with it enough to customize things.

An app for Kitsun is in the works, I believe, and meanwhile the mobile site works smoothly and looks pretty good. I’ve just created a shortcut to the website on my phone to use like an app and haven’t had any problems with that. It pushes notifications the same way an app does, as well.



The creator is actually working on an app for both android and iOS. That’s why there hasn’t been any significant updates lately. However, it works very well on the browser. Have you tried that yet?

My story with Anki is… several tries over several months… never sticking to it for more than 2/3 days in a row and always giving up. The design made it look overly technical.

With Kitsun… I plan on reaching my 14000th learned word on my first year of using Kitsun. Sure, I’m a weird person but hear me out: platforms like Anki have a good implemented method to allow users to actually learn content, but they’re far from being user-friendly. Apps like drops, memrise, duolingo strive to be user-friendly, but the method of teaching is horrible. Yes, it’s far from comparable to the WK standard.

With Kitsun, it’s a dude (hello @neicul) by himself striving (and legit achieving) to both have a good method of learning implemented while building a easy-to-use platform. One dude. Just imagine the potential once things start getting more serious.

Anyways, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for easy access, easy to use and quality content, Kitsun wins I’d say. The cool thing there it’s that everything is very community-centered. There’s a community centre where you can find deck creators posting their decks (Genki vocab, katakana vocab, Core 10k, specific book lists, etc). Once you start using them, it literally takes a few seconds to send a suggestion to a deck creator about a synonym missing, or something you’d like to suggest. The author then can very easily accept your suggestion and it will be automatically updated to every single user of that deck. If each person was to send a single suggestion, imagine how much bettter the deck becomes with time. I’ve sent over 3000 suggestions myself.

The creativity of how decks look like is also more attractive:

If there’s something you don’t understand about it, feel free to ask :slight_smile: Also, the creator is very willing to hear every single user of their experience in order to improve Kitsun, so if you have something you wish to ask/say, go ahead :v:


Low key no mention of a conjugation deck…


It’s only my latest pride and joy :eyes:


Guess I’ll chime in on that, because if you swapped ‘Anki’ with ‘Kitsun’ you’d have my exact experience.
I don’t know if it’s because I’d have to get used to a new system, but since I’ve been using Anki for years, Kitsun feels really restricting.
Even just simple things like the setting “Study 2 hours in advance” and then setting 30 min, 60 min, 90 min intervalls so you’re quizzed more than once during new lessons is a feature I find it hard to do without.
Not having an export setting for community decks so you can get out of Kitsun when it changes to paid and you find yourself with too little money to afford it (I don’t think pricings for new sign-ups are available yet?) is kind of another dealbreaker for me.

I don’t think other than the feedback on community decks there are any functionalities (including a good design!) that you couldn’t make work in Anki?

In the end I’d say it really depends on you. Especially if you’d like to use SRS for other things than language study you’ll have to get used to Anki eventually. (I used it for my engineering studies before I did for Japanese)
Anki grows on you over time and hopefully it’ll get even better with the new version.

(p.s: don’t forget about FloFlo - it’s great alone or alternatively works well with Anki [and probably Kitsun?])


I think someone who is already using Anki happily is just not the Kitsun target group. I would also never leave Anki because I heavily customized my decks and also tried to make them a bit easier to look at (but not like WaniKani, I get a bit sick of that look after a while and don’t want all my apps to look like that) and I’m happy with it.

But while doing so I often wondered how someone who enjoys these things less and just wants to study Japanese instead of importing csv files, tweaking themes, writing extensions… for some piece of software that has the typical „made by an engineer“-look is supposed to enjoy any of this. So having an alternative that is easier and less frustrating is a good thing I‘m sure.

But I agree with everything you said. I would at least give Anki a try for a while, one can always leave.


I’m also a big fan of Anki, but it really depends on a couple of things where/when you actually start noticing the benefits and differences with other SRS platforms. For starters probably Anki will feel more intimidating and less user friendly for sure, but as you get the hang of it and set a workflow you realize that the whole community behind Anki is incredibly vast, decks aside there’re the (hundreds of) add-ons :star_struck::star_struck: , which is were Anki shines.

For japanese the add-ons I’m using simply have no equivalent in other platforms, so is not even a fair comparision currently.
Add-ons and apps that put your show’s subtitles (Voracious) + Kindle highlighted vocab and automaticaly make of those flashcards is such a huge difference when I think on how reviewing a premade deck felt like it.
Now it doesn’t even end there, lately there’re are add ons to automate the process of adding japanese definitions to each cards, vocab frequency and native audio :scream::scream: . All with mass generation capabilities. So away are the days where I had to go one by one.

The process of making cards feels now more efficient and enjoayble than ever. I just go watch a show, highlight the unknown vocab and send it to Anki while watching, same for reading a book on Kindle.
Few clicks later I have set all the cards that came from those respective activities. Besides I get them ordered by relative requency (or even check relative frequency on a particular show or book), so while closely related to my immersion still I procure to learn common vocab first :relieved:

As a side note, this week there was even the release of a pitch accent add-on that really makes it so you can clearly mark words on your decks (coloring words and pitch drop graphics on hovering over words) :star_struck: ; so even though a complex and advanced topic on anyone’s japanese journey you’re able to gradually dip your toes into that by means of the add-on.

Too soon to watch shows with jp subs or not reading in japanese yet? :wink: There’s an add-on that will search +1 sentences for you so you don’t break a sweat. Feed it with you favourite shows with the correspondant subs… and guess what? That’s what you’ll use to study :star_struck:

I feel learning progressively to use Anki now has the benefit that it can carry your weight through the whole journey. You won’t be needing to change platform if you decide to go monolingual, nor if you start mining sentences, or doing listening cards. Is all there, and you can pretty much recycle your same material.

And… is free :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


@jprspereira How could you :sob:

@Tbilzie In all seriousness, I’ve been using Kitsun intermittently when my studies allow for it, and I find the platform to be intuitive, fun, and painless. As an added benefit recent optimizations have made many different facets even smoother than they already were. It keeps improving as a platform.

I don’t know the feature list of Anki off the top of my head, but I’m also quite impressed with Kitsun’s feedback system, in which users can suggest a change in any field of a card. This suggested change along with the original is shown to the deck creator, where they can choose to adopt the change and that updates the deck on the community side for everyone using it.

For me personally, because Kitsun is so intuitive in its user interface, integrated dictionaries and card creation etc… It’s all set up, and it all just works. In my mind that’s worth paying a small fee compared to Anki being free. Normally I’m not the type to avoid learning something just because its a little difficult, but in this case I find the payoff to be far in excess of the compromise. Kitsun doesn’t have as much content as Anki, but that’ll change.

I think some people will just prefer Anki, and some will just prefer Kitsun. At the end of the day, whichever you enjoy using most is the one you’re gonna keep using.


This has been discussed before. I also like this idea very much and hope to see it being implemented in the future :slight_smile:

For extra repetition, I use the self-study tool on Kitsun. I select my lessons of the day and I give them an extra 5/10 min binging. Works wonders :grin:

Yeah, that’s a limitation, but that makes sense. It’s a paid system, it’s supposed to have some restrictions. That same restriction also protects deck creators from getting their content manipulated by others. By making their decks more exclusive, they can afford to improve it themselves and build up a name. The long-term idea is to stimulate deck creators to step up and build better things than exist today.

That’s my pov, at least.

If people are hesitating about the price, they can always ask on the Kitsun thread about it :slight_smile:

Yeah, sure. I’m not daring to say that Anki is an inferior product. Of course it isn’t. It’s… different. Kitsun still has a lot to implement, it’s far from a complete product… but that’s why I support it. The values that @neicul is trying to build around Kitsun’s community is how the suggestion feature happened in the first place. Choosing a SRS platform to use is a decision where you take into consideration long-term thinking. I’ll be using SRS in 2,3 years still after all. So yeah, that’s my perspective on it :slight_smile:

Yup, works perfectly fine. I have some decks from Floflo on my Kitsun account :ok_hand:


I got you beat on this one. I used Anki once for about 10 minutes before uninstalling it. It was way too complicated for how I like to learn, and it was very overwhelming.

@OP I don’t use Kitsun either currently, but I’ve been following its development from nearly the beginning. From what I’ve seen (and briefly tried when I had time), I’m much more likely to pay for Kitsun than use Anki for free.


I will say, as someone who perhaps deals in the design portion of Anki/Kitsun a bit more than some, Kitsun solved some nagging issues I had been having with Anki for years. Specifically in CSS and JavaScript support. There are ways of dealing with it in Anki for sure, but for me it’s just way easier and much more satisfying on Kitsun.

As a matter of fact my current card designs are not supported at all on Anki. I would be hard pressed to even get close.

Of course designing cards is a very small portion of what makes a flash card app effective. For me though, it makes all the difference.



Echoing I tried to get into Anki…and I just didn’t have the time to learn it AND Japanese at the same time. I started with kitsun, and I’ve got decks going, its worked fairly seamlessly, and as I’ve gotten to use it more features have become developed or apparent. I’ve really enjoyed the process and its worked really really well.

When Kitsun becomes paid- I’ll be buying it- because for me it has worked while anki just didn’t.


what is a conjugation deck? a deck strictly for conjugating verbs?

I tried kitsun and it seems great. You guys were right, it works great on a mobile browser.

Quick question though: how does one do the little tsu on it? I tapped “tt” like I do on in WK but it didn’t work.

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You should be able to double the following consonant on both websites. For example, issho = いっしょ.

If you ever need to type it directly you can do xtu or xtsu.

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Yes. @neicul is hiding it in the Featured decks


You can find it here → [Japanese Verb Conjugations]

Below is a sample of a card in action. :grin:


cool just added it

What’s the add on your using for your kindle? I can’t seem to find the right one :cold_sweat:

Pretty much the same ones that I used while watching shows in Voracious.

Then for importing all, I used Kindlemate, which I think I was a very practical way to handle look ups for exporting to Anki