Been away for a year, trying to get back in

Hey there! So, I used to use wanikani quite a lot last year, almost every day. However, I slowly lost drive to keep going with it. At first, I told myself I’d let my first jp semester go by, and then review everything and come back to the app, but I’m entering my 3rd, and I have never touched it since.

We’re learning more words and starting to read books that feature kanji, but our course doesn’t go over kanji a lot (it’s marugoto, for those who don’t know). So I thought it’d be good to come back to wk, but I’m afraid I’ll just drop it again after a month or two (this is actually the second times it has happened, but the last time was a 3 month span, not a year).

Here’s my two issues:

  1. Whenever I start wk again, I always get very fired up and do a lot of it each day, but after a month, two months, I lose drive and start skipping days, then weeks. You guys have probably seen this happen with a bunch of people, so this isn’t a new dilemma lol. A similar thing happened on bunpro, actually.

  2. I used the redo button too often, and burned many things I shouldn’t have, or got them to higher levels than they should be. This makes me more interested on resetting than continuing at my current level, but I’m not sure to where.

I’d love some advice, and just to get back on discussing things on the forums again. Thank u for reading.

Ps: have any new scripts been added that are interesting to note? or old ones that don’t work anymore. I can share the ones I have on my tampermonkey haha


Welcome back おかえりなさい

Study lapses happen, life gets in the way. If you’ve still been studying in general (in your classes) then you shouldn’t have lost too much. continue on, or reset to where you remember most of the items. You can always reset multiple times to lower levels, so reset 1 or 2 levels, see where your at, if you feel like you need to reset again do so, that way you don’t loose too much process, but have time to remember the things you were failing on.

to reduce burnout, make sure you pace yourself based on the time you have available. If you don’t have alot of time and easily get discouraged by large review counts, slow down. only do a select number of lessons a day and/or limit your apprentice items to 100 or so, though some people have made great progress in a short amount of time rushing through the content, there are plenty more who take their time to avoid burning out and are the better for it.

As for the drive, its part habit forming, and part motivation. the habit thing will only come with time, so what motivates you to learn? You say you are starting to read material with kanji in it, that will be great, cause you have exposure to the kanji you are learning, and help solidify that. Are you doing any other immersion? listening to music, podcasts, watching videos, anime, etc. If you are actively coming into contact with Japanese media it might help encourage you to continue. If you are learning kanji, and studying with others, you can use your knowledge and flex on your classmates.

If you were having trouble with the redo script, maybe consider uninstalling/not installing it this time. it may take longer, but you might retain the knowledge better.

Ultimately take some time, analyze why you’ve quit in the past, and try to remedy the root problems. Keep with it and do your best.


Sounds like me. I think I got to about lvl 15 three times before dropping it (and resetting when I came back). Took me three failed attempts to realize I wasn’t the issue, but that WaniKani simply wasn’t for me. Dropped it for good and have now been studying continuously for two years :man_shrugging: (With a few short srs breaks when exams got intense)

WaniKani is good at a lot of things, but one thing it really doesn’t do well is getting you ready for immersion as soon as possible. Using resources that were more directly tailored towards making anime/manga/novels comprehensible was what I needed to do to keep me going.

Not saying you should definitely be dropping WK, but I think when something hasn’t worked a couple times it’s a good idea to see if other things do.


I definitely feel where you’re coming from! I took a year off of WK and came back, and spent a lot of time watching anime and movies and reading manga in that year and it really felt like it was a year well-spent on leveling up my Japanese consumption in general and then I decided to come back to WK for the kanji, because… I’m still really bad a remembering kanji.

Personally, I didn’t reset, just slowly worked through my pile of old reviews using the “wrap up” button and @Kumirei’s Wanikani: Review Queue Sizer and @sonarius’s SRS Reorder Button scripts to try to take them in chunks and prioritize ones closest to burn first to knock the total down a bit, but I probably should have.

Either way, once you get back in the rhythm, how to make it manageable so you can stick with it comes down to managing what makes you lose motivation in the first place.

I’m a huge procrastinator, and bad at building “habits” (can’t even manage to brush my teeth at the same time every day, never mind doing WaniKani reviews at predictable hours). Also, I get bored easily, so too many reviews at once and I start getting some wrong just because I start getting annoyed at how long the review session is taking and rush to try to finish quicker. Those 2 things together mean that for me, managing WK comes down to:

  1. Trying to do at least 1 WK review session a day, but if I start feeling burnt out, skip a day and don’t feel guilty about it!
  2. Stopping new lessons when I start getting too many reviews coming, and using WaniKani Lesson Filter to alternate kanji and vocab lesson to help drill in the kanji better
  3. Managing my “review forecast” so that for the next day I don’t have any more reviews than I feel I can handle (and my bar is really low, since I’m taking it slow and like I said I hate long review sessions: I shoot for 30 reviews in the morning and 30 at night)

The main thing probably comes down to determining what actually makes you lose motivation and how to prevent that, or at least mitigate it (even if the answer is “vacation mode for a week every 3 months” or something).

Also, some other useful script goodies:

I think those all still work (they work for me). :sweat_smile:


These guys above have more or less driven it home.

The only thing I could add is some redo button discipline.

Unless it’s a mistype or a very serious “oh, come the fcaught you mirin’ on I’d never get that wrong under normal circumstances and I trust that with my gut”-type situation, a miss is a miss.

  1. Do the reviews as often as possible, that will reduce the workload in two ways:
    a: Spreading out the reviews
    b: Increase the accuracy so you need to do less reviews
  2. Make it a habit, relying solely on motivation will never work.
  3. Remove distractions.

You either find a way or an excuse.

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Just came back myself from a 200 day break, work through your review pile bit by bit, don’t do any new lessons. I installed the flaming durtles app so I could keep hacking away at the reviewpile wherever I was and I’d use the ‘wrap up session’ once I had enough. I agree with @x90PT on making it a habit, just make it part of your day. Even when it’s tough just do a few less reviews. But do it every day.

Stop using the redo button, a miss is annoying sure but it doesn’t matter, you get to review the thing again, that’s the worst thing that happens.

Bit by bit it does it, you’ll make it :slight_smile:

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keep going, I was there and back from a year hiatus or so.
my 2 cents: making a diary (aka study log) detailing your progess and thoughts every day helped.
good luck.

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About backlog, I would re-order and cut down bit-by-bit. I am not exactly sure about resetting, but it isn’t a bad idea at all.

Doing review everyday is a good idea, but I wouldn’t say doing too few per day either. Perhaps things like 50-100 reviews per day; or 15 or 30 minutes. I would aim for a nice block of reviews or of time. The trick is to extend the endurance. Furthermore, don’t punish yourself for skipping a day either; but skipping for a few days is definitely a bad idea. That’s why daily goals should be set.

Another thing is about remembering or forgetting. SRS can indeed do the trick, but studying outside for better accuracy isn’t a bad thing, especially for low SRS level items (Apprentice). For Guru or upper, and focusing on items for the sake of WaniKani, it is indeed a bad idea. (but who can stop your exposure otherwise?)

Diary (twice a week or something) on your thoughts should help with drive.

Redoing for Kana has no excuse, even if your fingers go too fast. For translations, it’s a dilemma for how far English should go for describing Japanese, but I would use No Cigar (typo answers can’t be entered) and mostly trust WaniKani’s decisions.

I am not sure if SRS level can be decreased, but if it is worth it, don’t hesitate to resurrect (un-Burn).

My idea of doing WaniKani would be vocabulary-driven, in order to describe Kanji, so don’t skip vocabularies. Instead, work up on remembering well.

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If you rely on drive, then I assume what you’re struggling with is making WK a habit. I’d recommend you to make it a set part of your daily routine, e.g. always in the morning after waking up, always in the evening some time before going to bed. When I wake up, I don’t even think about skipping a day. I just do it. It comes as naturally as brushing teeth, and it feels wrong to not do it. And that’s a habit.

A thing that could actually “increase” your drive is trying to go faster, because it gives you a better grasp of your progress, but if you can’t keep up and if your accuracy gets low, it can backfire. So think carefully about that one.

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Just to echo what’s been said above, I’d agree you either need to pace yourself better ~or~ wanikani might just not be for you.

It wasn’t for me. I like the system a lot and at some point I’m planning on starting again from the beginning for practice with readings and some new vocabulary. But it wasn’t the right thing at the right time for me I guess. I originally quit around the 2 month/level 9 mark and proceeded to spend the same amount of time just memorizing all 2k kanji with anki.


Thank you all so much for your input! :] I will probably reset for a few reasons:

  1. I’ve forgotten a lot of things, so even the legit burns I’ve had I don’t remember much about. I don’t plan on just reviving cards that are burned every time/reset all the time, but since I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve done and part of it was also not a deserving burn, I think it’s better to just start fresh this one time. Plus, I’ll be reading and doing jp class homework with kanji, which means I’ll be having more exposure and using these kanji irl, rather than just keeping them on wk and slowly forgetting about it.

  2. I’m on a pretty low level (18), so it’s not like it’ll be much lost progress, especially since the last levels i used the redo button even more.

  3. The time I spend on a few levels blazing through it will help me make wk more of a habit than just relying on drive, since I can see what kind of schedule fits me while the items are easy to remember.


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