Around what level should i start watching anime WITH Japanese subtitles?

Im in level 5 currently and was wondering

That has not a lot to do with your Wanikani level and more with your general understanding of Japanese.

For me Anime is still way too fast and I would have to pause every second screen.


I mean any time is a good time. But you’re gonna get humbled a bit starting out.


To contribute something more useful:

It’s easier to get started with something that either: has Furigana (Manga maybe) or does not auto advance (Videogames, that don’t have automatic cutscenes, like Persona or Fire Emblem).


Yeah, anime with japanese subs would be unnecessary hard right now.

It’s a good idea to start immersion very soon, but start with something easier that you can ingest at you own pace (manga, video game). This forum’s book clubs are a good place to start. Also, Tadoku’s free graded readers are nice.

If you want to watch anime, I suggest to you use a browser extension to display both the english and japanese subtitles. Keep an eye on both, and sometimes you’ll recognize a couple kanji, or parse a whole sentence.


I started after I got more grammar knowledge, so It was around lvl 33 here.

Having done n5-n3 on bunpro was a huge boost to understand sentences.

Also more vocab helps a lot, I dont have patience to stop and looking words up all the time. Also I forget them 5 min later. So around that level I was more or less comfortable.

Nowadays I watch flowing without any pause, I just do when a word I dont know appears 3 or 4 times, So I see it is essential to the plot of what is happening.

Today I start season 3 of mob psycho and this week I finish haikyuu to the top (5 eps left).


I did it from day one, if anything it helped me with the reading.


Hey, welcome to the forums!

Personally, I prefer looking for transcriptions that I can leave open in another tab. (For that matter, here’s one from Anicobin – a very good site for reading Twitter reactions and transcriptions, by the way – I’m currently using for an anime that’s airing this season: 【うちの会社の小さい先輩の話】第4話 感想 アズレンのコスプレが上司にバレた!? : あにこ便) Less distracting that way, and much easier to use for searches (copying and pasting is so easy), especially in dialogue scenes where people talk over each other. However, you can use text hookers to feed the subtitles into automatic text parsers like Yomi-chan, I believe, though I have no idea how to set that up.

I honestly don’t think there’s really a ‘right’ level for this. Maybe just take whatever level people say works for reading common manga? Maybe level 20-30? Who knows? You’re going to encounter new kanji for sure no matter what (e.g. Konosuba, which uses relatively simple Japanese aside from all the fantasy words, threw in 片鱗(へんりん) to mean ‘(not even) a bit’ in one of its episodes), in which case you can just look them up. I personally started anime with JP subs when I was maybe N4-N3 in JLPT terms? I already knew plenty of kanji because I’m a Chinese speaker, but at that level, all I wanted was to identify common words that I would probably know (e.g. けど, 僕, あたし, 明日 etc.). Consuming native content is useful at all levels; it’s just that exactly how useful it is, and how (i.e. in what way) it’s useful will change as you progress.


I feel like a lot of people assume that you have a “Japanese level” that goes up the more you study, but that’s simply not true. There are tons of different aspects of the language that we can get better at at different rates, and most resources only train one or two of them.

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In the beginning, it’s generally more of “too fast” rather than “too hard”.

A thing that may be helpful is transcript sidebar, when there is already JP sub. This is native in YouTube with Show Transcript. For Netflix, it can be shown with Language Reactor. This also allows rewinding by lines.

What level to start, you ask? It’s like going up Tadoku series, plus a little of speed factor. You can start even now, once you have some of basic grammar down.


Thanks everyone! Can’t reply to every comment but i’ve read them all and appreciate the feedback!

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In general, starting out I recommend watching with subs to a show you’re already fimiliar with. If you wanna go the extra mile, get the Language Reactor extension for chrome, and for an extra extra mile, use Yomichan and make any sentence cards and abandon this site!

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Hello, general. I’m Kazz.


Don’t doxx me bro

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Watching rurouni kenshin, this remake one, and even with subtitles still many vocab I dont know

If only was possible to get the vocab from the subtitles and cross with all the vocab from wanikani just to have an idea what is still missing for me for a long goal.

Because it is intended to be a “period piece” I’ve noticed that they use a lot of what I believe to be archaic words - and not just the annoyingly frequent use of “de gozaru” by the protagonist.

So it would not surprise me to find a lot of uncommon terms there.

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As with most genres, if you stick with historical setting books/anime/manga you’ll find you learn the genre vocab; much of it repeats across different works.

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at least 拙者 was a new word that I could learn, kenshin says it every episode.

I didnt know it was specific for samurai saying that.