BigEm's Study Log

I’ve been trying to stay organized and focused on my 日本語 goals, and after reading some of the study logs on here I decided that this would be beneficial. Hopefully announcing it to this community I respect will hold me more accountable that I would be on my own. So here I go, throwing my log into the internet fire! (layout stolen heavily from everyone else who`s made one of these)

Old 2020 Goals

:zap:Goals for 2020:zap:

Quantifiable Goals
Take and pass the N3 JLPT in December
Get to at least level 50 in WaniKani before the test
Read 10 different manga
Read (at least) a chapter of 風が強く吹いている (the novel) and understand it
Write the kanji for rose (薔薇) well enough that my calligraphy teacher gives me a 花丸

Non-quantifiable Goals
Watch Japanese shows and understand basic plot/meaning
Have conversations with Japanese people that aren’t surface level

:zap:Goals for 2021:zap: still being decided on

Quantifiable Goals
Take and pass the N3 JLPT
Reach level 60 in WaniKani
Read 10 different manga
Read (at least) a chapter of 風が強く吹いている (the novel) and understand it

Non-quantifiable Goals
Have in-depth conversations with coworkers in Japanese

:book:Traditional Studying Resources:book:

Visual Learning Japanese (the online JET program for teaching Japanese; flawed, but has some good aspects)

  • Current status: complete! :confetti_ball:


  • Current level: 52
  • Start date: 9 August 2019
  • Last level-up time: 7 days 2 hours

Kanzen Master N3 books (starting the week of 16 Feb 2020)

  • Vocabulary
    – As of 5 September 2020, learning material chapters are complete!
    – Currently paused and sort of reviewing until study plan for next JLPT is made

  • Grammar
    – As of 18 September 2020, learning material chapters are complete!
    – Currently paused and sort of reviewing until study plan for next JLPT is made

  • Reading
    – As of 20 November 2020, learning material chapters and practice tests are complete!
    – Will continue to be looked over just for practice

Genki II (using for grammar reference for things I should already know and need a refresher on)

:leaves:Everything Else:leaves:

Anime Series (ones I’m actually using to study with, not just watching for fun)


At the moment, not dedicating really any time for this, although I do pick up episodes every once in a while.

  • Currently on: Season 1 Episode 17ish

Run With the Wind

Didn’t finish the first season due to life happening, but I loved it so much, enough that I want to read the novel it was based on (that’s also supposed to be amazing). I’m re-watching each episode first with Japanese subtitles and then with English, stopping every once in a while when I’m super lost to look up a kanji or two. Mainly watching to learn all the running terms and learn Japanese while being inspired to exercise.

  • Currently on: Season 1 Episode 16

Manga Series


I’ve seen the show but until now haven’t read it, so I figured I should read it now that I have access to Japanese print manga! I’m really loving the manga for this, and I like being able to directly read all of Kageyama’s sass :joy: I’m being a bit slow with reading this, but I’ll finish it eventually…

  • Currently on: chpt 14

Silver Spoon

A friend of mine likes this series and recommended it as an easily understandable one for a Japanese learner. I haven’t started it yet.
Bonus: it’s set in the Hokkaido countryside so it’s finally a manga I can directly relate to

  • Currently on: have obtained the first few volumes, but no reading progress



The novel written by 三浦しおん
It’s very, uh, novel-like, with lots of abstract language that’s causing me a lot of trouble. Very challenging, so I haven’t really begun, but I love the story so I’m committed

  • Current status: admiring the cover


Started this to read with the bookclub here on the forums, but I got so behind that I decided to just drop it for a while. I’ll leave it here in case I can come back to it in the future.

Music that I’m learning lyrics to so I can impress people at karaoke

  • Bump of Chicken
  • UVERworld
  • 水曜日のカンパネラ
  • Kavka Shishido
  • 米津玄師
  • frederic
  • Sakanaction


  • I’m taking part in an infrequent calligraphy class run by the nice lady down the street in return for English conversation practice Class has been started back up after the prefecture reopened, but I haven’t gone in a while just to be safe (it’s in an assisted care facility) so this is on hold for a bit
  • Also using some brush pens to write various kanji I’m learning for a bit each week

I’ll be trying to update every few weeks to a month on my study goals and progress on them, along with updating this main page.



Great stuff! I’m really impressed with your goals for the year!

And it’s always nice to see a new study log! :+1: :smile:


All right, first study goal post. Work and life have been crazy, but routine is important, right?

:spiral_calendar: Study period: Feb 3 through Feb 15 :spiral_calendar:

Finish VLJ program and take “final exam” test
– As I have some big events to prep for at the end of February and the beginning of March, although I don’t need to have this done I’m trying to knock it out early
Read the first chapter of the first volume of Haikyuu!
Actively re-watch episode 1 of Run With the Wind
– I don’t think I did the best I could with comprehension, so I’m going to try to rewatch the episode and see if I actually retained anything


:tea: Review of previous study period :tea:

So. I didn’t get to most of them. Life this week was interesting to say the least, and Japanese study often gets pushed to the backburner when that happens. Not necessarily bad nor good, but yeah, I’m still trying to find the best study-work-life-fun balance. I did finish the VLJ course, though, so small victories! I’ll be rolling over the ones I didn’t complete, but at a lower priority as I’m going to begin the Kanzen Master studying (dun dun dun DUN).

:spiral_calendar: Study period: Feb 16 through Feb 29 :spiral_calendar:

KMV sections 1 and 2
[*] KMG sections 1 through 4 + quiz
Read the first chapter of the first volume of Haikyuu!
Actively re-watch episode 1 of RWtW

I'm not sure about personal Study Logs etiquette, so let me know if you prefer other people not to post here and I delete with no questions asked and no hard feelings!

I love Haikyuu (anime), just finished up-to the latest episode (season 4 is running rn), and re-watching with with better subs on Crunchyroll (Netflix sucks).
So I’m confused - in your big goals it was “watch anime”, but in weekly ones it is now “read manga” :slight_smile:
Anyway, this show cemented vocab つぎ (next) for me! I’m total Japanese beginner.
And bunch of more complicated words later on - evolution, concentration, worry - of course I hear them along with seeing English subs but still very exciting to get particular bits out.

Will add RWtW to the watch list, since it seems I’m into sports anime.

To explain, I found this log because of your recent grammar post when you mentioned that you need to sleep more :slight_smile: Also I like your avatar, but Todoroki is my favorite.

All the best!

I don't know about other study logs, but it's fine to post on mine! (I mean, within limits, like not wandering off on long convoluted discussions unconnected to my studying, but that isn't what you're doing, so post away! Conversations are great!) I'm going to put this into one of these tabs to save space though

I love Haikyuu as well, and I’m trying to rewatch to get back up to the new season in my spare time. One of my big goals is actually to read 10 different manga, and I thought it would be a good thing to start out with a series I love and am rewatching so I can understand more of the plot (especially with all those sport-specific terms). Hence, the work-in-progress reading of Haikyuu. We’ll see if that continues for all 10 goal mangas, but I’ll probably switch to some others for variety. I have a bookshelf full of unread stuff of varying genres so I’ll probably work on that.

Towards the unquatifiable “watch anime” goal, I’m using RWtW as my show for that at the moment, although that’s getting a bit bogged down with life and studying Kanzen Master stuff (see the next study update :joy:). My eventual goal with that is to get a TV and be watching stuff here in Japan as it’s airing and be able to follow along okay, but as my student loans and kerosene bills are eating up my paycheck it’ll be a while before that’s implemented…

Yessssss, please do watch RWtW! It’s so good, and I feel like it got lost as “one of those sports animes” underneath everything else that happened that season (I’m looking at you Bunny Girl Senpai and Goblin Slayer). I really like how it’s about how characters develop and grow as they participate in running, as it really mirrors my experiences on cross country teams throughout the years.

It’s always a toss up between Midoriya and Bakugo for me, but I thought Midoriya was a more positive, happy face to put on an online profile, and he’s always so optimistic so it reminds me to keep going. Todoroki is awesome too though! I think the only character I dislike on that show is Mineta (who I hate with a passion).

Thanks for your nice post! I love finding people who have similar interests as me (but then doesn’t everyone haha)

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:tea: Review of previous study period (Feb 16 through Feb 29) :tea:

Fun new Japanese I’ve learned: うわさをすれば (literally “if you do rumors/gossip” but it’s the equivalent of “speak of the devil”)

Almost fully complete, but as I had a long weekend trip where I couldn’t work on anything and then the craziness that is life right now, I’m gonna call that a win. The grammar is pretty hard to slog through, but I’m now through the time-reference ones which are always super difficult for me to conceptualize. I’ll have more free time to study in the coming weeks, so that’ll be helpful. Reading Haikyuu started a bit hard, but once I got into a rhythm it was much better. I made a document with all the vocab I didn’t know, and while I don’t know what I’ll use it for just making it seemed to help (maybe I’ll post it at the end of the volume just in case it would help someone, I haven’t decided). I’m going to roll over the re-watching of RWtW and add to it, because I expect to have more extra time this period, and hopefully that doesn’t come back to spite me.

I also just now figured out that I don’t have to edit my post each time to check the boxes, I can just click on them. So progress there too, look at me go :sunglasses:

:spiral_calendar: Study period: March 1 through March 14 :spiral_calendar:

[*] [*] [*] KMV sections 3 and 4
[*] [*] [*] [*] [*] KMG sections 5 through 8 + quiz
[*] [*] Read the next two chapters of Haikyuu!!
[*] [*] Actively re-watch (at least) episodes 1 and 2 of RWtW

Good job!

Once you’ve done, tell me what exactly Haiji tells to Kikeru when he first see him (on the bicycle), I hear:
走るの好きが? It is probably か at the end to make a question. BTW, I’ve finished RWtW, and I liked it a lot. If weather would be better right now, I might’ve even tried some jogging (more like 2 miles, not half marathon). Kikeru kinda looks like Kageyama from Haikyuu, don’t you think?

I posted my March goals today too, on “shared study log”, will see how it runs.

Keep us (forums) updated on virus situation, since it’s pretty scary, and makes a lot of people anxious.
I’m mostly afraid of degradation of humanity which may happen.

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Pretty sure that he says 走るの好きか but I’ll pay closer attention to it when I rewatch it and edit this when I get back to it and upon rewatching it, yup he says か, and my Japanese subtitles back that up. And yeah, isn’t it just an inspiring anime? If I wouldn’t wipe out on the ice I’d probably try a run every time I watch an episode (and nope not even going to try to go to the gym, I’m living a hermit life at this point). But the weather is supposed to get nice soon (we’re going to get to 42ºF/6ºC!) so maybe I’ll try then. (And he totally does!)

Good luck on your goals too! Grammar is pretty hard to self-study I’ve found, so don’t get too discouraged and just keep 頑張ってing! :smile:

Thanks for the support, not gonna lie, it’s pretty scary. My family is in the Seattle area, so I’m scared for them too (in case you didn’t hear, the first U.S. death was in Kirkland, which is right up against Seattle). It’s even more worrying because there’s literally nothing I can do and that’s driving me nuts as someone who likes to attack problems head-on. Trying to stay calm though, and in the end I know that even if I get it I’ll probably be fine (I’m pretty healthy and am working to keep it that way). My worst fear at this point is my parents get badly sick and Trump puts a travel ban in so I can’t get back to them, but I know I just have to trust my parents that they’re taking all necessary precautions and video chat them constantly. Also, my sister has a nursing doctorate so I know that she’s got a handle on things. (This was probably more than you wanted, but I’ve found being very blunt about how I’m doing keeps me sane, so here it is…)

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:tea: Review of previous study period (March 1 through March 14) :tea:
Fun new Japanese I’ve learned: ばやい (quick, without delay)

KMV sections KMG sections Haikyuu!! chapters RWtW episodes

Hey I did everything! I’m uncertain if I’ll make my goal of 10 manga in this year unless I step up my game a bit, but I’m hoping I can get a bit better of a schedule going with that. Deskwarming has been boring and I miss my classes and my kids, but it has had the positive result of being very easy to study everyday in a place with minimal distractions. I did watch one more RWtW episode than planned, so I’m now on episodes 4 and 5. My tendency to binge may make me watch more than that again this study period, although there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

:spiral_calendar: Study period: March 15 through March 28 :spiral_calendar:

[*] [*] [*] KMV sections 5 and 6 + quiz
[*] [*] [*] [*] [*] [*] KMG sections 9, 10, 9-10 quiz, 11, 12, 11-12 quiz, 1-12 quiz
Haikyuu!! chapters 4 and 5 (at least)
[*] Active watching of RWtW episodes 4 and 5


Daaaang you should definitely change your goal to N2 I think you can do it!!


WOW thanks for the encouragement! It feels like my ego just tripled haha

Welllllll I’ve already took the N3 once and spectacularly failed (I blame that on poor studying and a stressful quarter :sweat_smile:) so I figured I’d try that again, and maybe if I’m feeling up for it take the N2 next year. We’ll see how it goes this time :joy:


:tea: Review of previous study period (March 15 through March 28) :tea:

KMV [6/7] KMG Haikyuu!! chapters [1/2] RWtW episodes

This is definitely a late update to this log, but better late than never, right?

This week has been rough, and that has definitely been reflected in my studies.

Brief summary of the roughness, because why not use this as a semi-diary as well

I’ve been very drained recently, and haven’t had a lot of motivation to do anything. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, because I’ll be too tired/lazy/unmotivated to cook or clean, which makes it harder to cook or clean, so I won’t, and then I eat horribly, which then makes me more tired/unmotivated, and it goes on and on. I’ve also been sleeping horribly, so that’s not helping. I’ve been working on centering myself better, but it’s a struggle. (Side note: I’m not diagnosed with any sort of mental illness as I’ve never been to a therapist or anything, but I’m pretty sure I have some sort of mild anxiety. Nothing super major, obviously I can function pretty well and happily normally as I’ve never seen the need to visit a professional about it, but this whole situation we’re in is definitely aggravating something. It doesn’t help that fewer of my usual methods to help cope are available to me and my family is not only far away but not safe themselves just to add to my stress.)

With classes to teach starting back up, and finally being able to socialize a bit with my teachers, it has been nice, especially as it’s giving me a structure to my life again. I’ve also started to go on runs in the morning before work as a way to be healthier and try to work out some stress, and I’m making an effort to have balanced meals with veggies again. But not gonna lie, it’s been rough, and I’m stressed about a lot of things, so it’ll probably continue to be rough for the foreseeable future.

I got behind pretty early in the week and then couldn’t seem to focus on anything, even WK (my level time for 27 is going to be several days longer than usual). Thank goodness for the emergency value days I built into my schedule. So for this upcoming study period, I’m going to scale it back just a little, focus on the more fun stuff for a bit more, maybe help head off some of this burnout at the pass. I’ll have to adjust my overall plan just a little, but it’ll be worth it in the end I’m sure.

Also, the format of chapters has changed somewhat, so I’ll be updating my resources schedule in the original post to reflect that.

:spiral_calendar: Study period: March 29 through April 11 :spiral_calendar:

[*] Zero out WK reviews from current giant stack
[*] [*] KMV sections 7 and 8
[*] [*] [*] [*] Review previous KMG points, sections 1-12 quiz, section A + review quiz
[*] [*] Haikyuu!! chapters 4 and 5
[*] [*] RWtW episodes 5 and 6 (or just binge them all, in which case I’ll check this → )
[*] わんわん pages

:owl: Non-Japanese goals :owl:
Build that one bookshelf
Finish knitting pieces of teddy bear for my older sis
Clean + caulk up the spider hole in the kitchen
[*] Taxes



:tea: Review of previous study period (March 29 through April 11) :tea:
Fun new Japanese I’ve learned: 破天荒はてんこう (unprecedented; I like it because the kanji are “destroy/defeat,” “heavens,” and “laid waste,” which sounds so intense)

KMV / KMG / Haikyuu!! / RWtW / わんわん

Well would you look at that, such a productive period! Still feeling the repercussions from letting my WK go to seed for that little bit, but working on that. I got into a groove and read more Haikyuu!! than normal and finished the first volume :tada: so now I think I’ll continue with volume 2, although I haven’t decided for sure yet as I have a full bookshelf to choose from. The grammar sections are starting to be more replacement-particle-emphasis phrases, which are easy for me to wrap my head around as I hear them so often.

Didn’t get to as many life goals, but that was a mixture of financial reasons and the fact that since they weren’t very pressing I was going to take it easy on myself for a bit and prioritize other things.

:spiral_calendar: Study period: April 12 through April 25 :spiral_calendar:

KMV sections 9, 10, and 6-10 quiz
[*] KMG sections B, C, D, E, A-E quiz
Haikyuu!! Vol. 2 chpts 1 and 2
RWtW episodes 8 and 9
わんわん pages

:owl: Non-Japanese goals :owl:
Deal with the kitchen spider hole
Knit more of the teddy bear



you got this!

Image result for haikyuu rocket gif"


Well. I’m back. :wave:

To make a long story short, I wasn’t able to handle working from home and the lack of social contact as well as I hoped. Not only did I not have classes, but my eikaiwa dinners and taiko practices were (understandably) cancelled, so I went from almost 24/7 being around people to suddenly only really talking to people over video chats. I’m doing okay now, but it was rough. Needless to say, Japanese studying, and WK, fell to the wayside along with some other stuff.

On the bright side, I’m now back at my schools as the state of emergency has been lifted for Hokkaido (we’ll see if that stays, but that’s another worry). It feels good to have even the slightest bit of in-person human contact, and the weather has been nice along with the arrival (finally) of cherry blossoms here. My taiko group is talking about starting practices next week, but we’re being cautious about it because most of the team is very old.

I’m doing my best in getting back into the swing of things! I opened WK this morning to find 2629 reviews waiting for me, so I have to chip away at that for a bit. :expressionless: I’m also behind on my わんわん book for the book club, so I’m taking this week to sort of figure things out when it comes to my study schedule. (It also appears I missed a lot in the Church, so I have to get on that before I get excommunicated or something…)

Thanks everyone for the support (especially @kitsunesenpai, it was really nice to come back to your message, it means a lot)!





:tea: Review of previous study period (whatever that huge gap was) :tea:

This is really just a check-in post so I get somewhat back in the habit of tracking my Japanese learning. I’ve gotten my review count down to about 1200, and I’m using the reorder script to do all of the ones from previous levels first so I’ll only level up once I’m all done. I also have 49 level 30 vocab in the queue, but I haven’t touched those yet.

:spiral_calendar: Study period: May 31 through June 13 :spiral_calendar:

[*] Get WK reviews to 0
[*] Get WK lessons to 0
[*] Level up
Catch back up to わんわん reading group
[*] Make KMV/KMG study plan

:owl: Non-Japanese goals :owl:
[*] Take plastic off of windows
[*] Get all my ducks in a row for switching my driver’s license


:tea: Review of previous study period (May 31 through June 13) :tea:

Whew, I managed to get my reviews back under control. Level 30 ended up being about 58 days all together :sweat_smile: but I got through it! I’m hoping now to get back on track with my grammar and vocab studies with my adjusted KM plan. I’m taking it a bit easy this week, especially on the grammar side, with an emphasis on review. I still haven’t gotten caught back up with my book club and at this point I’m not sure I ever will, but I’m trying not to get too discouraged - my copy of the book and the helpful threads will be here when I’m ready. At the moment my family and I have started a book group of our own to read the Lord of the Rings together as somehow my sister has gotten through life without ever reading them (although we’ve all seen the extended movies numerous times and I love the books so I’m not mad at all to be rereading them) so I’m spending more time on that.

I’m also going to update my original post as some of the stuff is out of date :+1:

:spiral_calendar: Study period: June 14 through June 27 :spiral_calendar:

[*] [*] [*] [*] KMV Chpt 10, 6-10 Quiz, Chpt 11, Chpt 12
[*] [*] [*] KMG Section D, Section E, A-E Quiz
[*] [*] RWtW episodes 8 and 9
ハイキュー vol. 2 chpts 1 and 2
[*] Get through a bit more of わんわん

:owl: Non-Japanese goals :owl:
[*] Go on at least 6 runs

Saving space too :D

We are roughly around the same level I think.
How happy with are you with KMG? What made you choose it over tobira? How do you handle progressing at ~7 days 20hrs on WK while adding on the KMG vocab + working a job. I don’t even have a job and grammar study + WK feels like it consumes a lot of my day.

I’m also catching up on the detective book. I’ve been trying to do a week of reading per day to finally catch up. I think going forward I will wait for the vocab sheet for the new week to come out before reading. It makes the whole process so much more pleasant.

I think after catching up on the detective book, I’ll look into another past beginner book club and plan to cover a week a day. I’m really struggling remembering past vocab on WK, so I feel like I need much more exposure than I’ve had lately.

Feel like I’m kinda hijacking your study log lol, but will follow along as I think it’s good to know people around your own level! Looking forward to the next post.