Been neglecting WaniKani for almost a year now. Wanting to come back but overwhelmed at the work load

When i started i went strong all the way to about level 10. I was approaching learning Japanese in an odd way because wanikani was really the only thing i was doing. Because of that, I didnt really have anything building on my knowledge so i started being less vigilant with my reviews until level 12 when i stopped all together. Now im in Japanese classes and I really want to get back into learning kanji since my classes dont focus on them that much, but coming back and seeing almost 1700 items in review is really demoralizing. Not to mention that ive probably forgotten a good amount of them. So im not sure what to do. Resetting all of my progress seems scary and i would have to trudge through the early levels again, but im coming to the realization that it would probably be the best choice. What do you guys think?

EDIT: Ive been reading all of the responses and I think im probalby going to do a full reset. Thank you for everyone replying. I forgot how nice and helpful this community is.


You could always look through each level real quick and see when it becomes a lot you don’t remember. You don’t have to reset all the way back to level 1.


Seanblue has a good idea, and save for (partial) reset, I think the only other alternative is to put your trust in the SRS. :slight_smile:

If you do X amount of reviews a day - you can simply get wrong whatever you’ve forgotten. If, for example, you tell yourself that you won’t go over 100 apprentice-level items (built up over a few days, I’d personally recommend), you know that your reviews won’t get too out of hand.

Instead of resetting and working through lessons like new, you can treat your review pile like your lesson pile. If you don’t remember: honestly fail the item, go over the mnemonics again as needed, and keep working through them.

If you do reviews on PC, you can install the Ultimate Timeline script, it’ll give you insight in up to a fortnight of your upcoming review schedule. That way you can also reconsider how many items you might want to add if you want to ensure not to get bogged down.

After a year of absence, everything apart from you burned items is in that queue right now. As I see it: you can do a (partial) reset for a clear head about where you are and what you’re doing with the guidance of WK, or you can choose to refresh/relearn from your review pile.

The only benefit to the latter, in my opinion, is that troublesome items will go back to the beginning of the SRS, while words that you really, truly know won’t be taking up your time, since you’ll advance them and get them out of the way.

I’m not sure that made any sense, since I’m very tired today, but whichever choice you’re more comfortable with: best of luck! Very neat that you’re taking classes.


I’m doing the same thing, I started again a few days ago (welcome back!).

I reset back to level 2 after checking the list of vocab and kanji for each level and realising there wasn’t that much I recognised anymore. It was a great decision; as I go through the lesson there’s usually some familiarity with what is in front of me. Like reading a detective novel you haven’t picked up in ages and you can’t remember whodunnit but there’s a nagging feeling like you do… weird analogy but that’s how I feel haha.

I’m going through level 2 quite quickly, which is giving me confidence to keep going. I think if I’d tried to slog through all my reviews I would have become disheartened and given up again.

That’s just how I felt, but hopefully that gives you a bit of insight.

(ETA: sorry replied to the wrong post!)


I’d just reset.

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I’m terribly inconsistent - I started WK in 2013 and go through phases when I do a lot and then take year long breaks lol. (as you can see):

I’ve never reset a level, I just trust the SRS. Don’t be afraid of getting things wrong, because in the end you’re only helping yourself.

For me, resetting a level would make me more demotivated. If you’re the same, then I reckon just dive back in. It’s always rough coming back from a break, but it’s doable.

If having hundreds of reviews will make you more demotivated, then just reset a couple of levels - you don’t have to go back to level 1.

Basically, decide what will make you more likely to continue with WK and then take that option. And take it from me, remember to put your account on vacation mode if you ever need to take a break :sweat_smile:


I reset from about the same level, and it’s not actually all that scary because I realized I got benefits out of it. When I was learning the kanji for the first time, I focused on one reading unless they were similar enough to remember. Going back, I was able to focus on some readings I hadn’t focused on. Plus there were still items I wasn’t actually all that good with and it gave me extra time with them.

The levels until 5 will breeze on by, but yes, if a full reset is really just that unappealing, you don’t have to do a full reset. I did because I found more benefit in starting fresh than plopping myself in a random spot down the line between the beginning and where I got stuck.

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Having 1700 items ready for review just means you had already learnt 1700 things previously on WK. Isnt that a nice thing to know?

Imo chipping away at the reviews say 40-50 at a time (maybe more when you see a lot of radicals since theyre only one card) will be better than resetting. You’ll quickly find out what you remember vs. dont remember and the stuff you probably remember like the numbers will be on a much higher SRS level so you wont have to see them again for a while once you get them correct.

Resetting puts an artificial limiter how quickly you can go through the material you have already gone through. (If you do reset, at least reset to level 3 or 4 not 1)

I’d not reset personally.

Just grab the reorder script and organize your reviews by level and do them in radical->kanji->vocab order to make sure you’ve learned the fundamental stuff for vocab correctly. No need to set your progress back weeks/months.

Also I’d recommend the pomodoro technique:

  1. Choose a task to be accomplished.
  2. Set the Pomodoro to 2510 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

Which is awesome for getting things done that you really don’t want to do.

Anyway gl with whatever you decide to do.


I did the same, after I went and learned the Kana though reading and vocab are still kicking my butt, and just simply resetted. But then again, I was only at level 2.

If you are in a class now and only level 12 i would probably reset: first few level will be boring, but in the long run you will get a good pace and do a good review of things you already now: repeating things may not be a bad thing.
On the other side, since level 12 are not so many items you could do your reviews in a couple of weeks and be back on time.

I started wanikani when i already now like 300 kanji so the first levels were boring, but it helpde cementing my knowledge on that ones.

I also reached level 12 then I didn’t do much for about a year. I tried to chip away at the mountain of reviews, but it was very frustrating and I didn’t progress much (perhaps 100 items from apprentice to guru, but still about 1,000 reviews to do). I did a full reset about two months ago. The beginning was quite slow, but now I’m back into the swing of things. This time round I’m pacing myself on wanikani. I aim at 50 to 60 reviews a day, which means I do not do all lessons as they become available, but 5 to 6 lessons a day on average. If I maintain this speed I should finish in about 5 years, which is fine with me. I’m also supplementing with self-study to let things sink deeper. All in all I find it more enjoyable than the first time, as I’m not stressing out on doing a level every 8 days or so. Less haste more speed.

I kept trying to come back after putting WK down. I had made it to around level 20 and it just wasn’t happening. I reset to level 15. Still wasn’t happening. Level 10. Nope.

Finally I bit the bullet and just did a full reset back to level 1. It does suck to feel like I’m set back so much and that I’m going to take longer to finish but in the end I think it was the right choice. I can re-solidify my knowledge and I find the second go at it is much easier - more like review. So you can move quickly if you’re so inclined.

That said, I think you could also just try to do your reviews and not touch lessons until you feel the SRS has worked its magic and you’re back up to speed. That didn’t work well for me… but that’s not to say it won’t or can’t for you.

I personally just reset back to level 1 after an over 4 year hiatus. I made it up to Level 13 too. If you really remember the kanji/vocab, you’ll just breeze through it anyway. Plus, it seems like the radicals and mnemonics on some items were completely different so I needed to start from scratch anyway~

I went though the same thing as you @Landorin, i was level 12 or 13 and stopped for 2 years because of exams and personal life stuff. I found it too demotivating to see how much I don’t remember anything so I reset it all at level 1 and I am now at level 7; redoing all these levels was a very good refresh and i remembered it all pretty quickly, it’s a positive fresh start and my goal is to keep the momentum. Whatever you end up doing : good luck ! :slight_smile:

reading these posts made me realize that resetting was probably the best thing for me. i have spotty memory past level 3 so i went ahead and reset to there and now my review pile is about 500 reviews less and i’m ready to get back at it! love this language and culture too much to give up because of some small discouragement.

best of luck!


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