By George, I Think I’ve Hit Level 60!

Hey everybody! Now that I hit Level 60, I figured it was time for the traditional Level 60 forum post. They’ve always been one of my favorite things to read about on WK.

My WaniKani Story

I’ve always loved learning languages (I actually have a Bachelor’s in Spanish) and had planned to study Japanese at some point. I started my WK subscription in Fall 2016 and hit Level 60 in October 2020, about four years total.

Simply put, I started WK because I was looking for a sense of progress and accomplishment. At the end of 2015, I remember thinking that not a single thing in my life had moved forward. My life was in a really slow, frustrating place and I was looking for something rewarding to do with that time. I had recently finished grad school and the job search was taking much longer than I had expected. Plus I had a lot of general growing pains about what I wanted to do with my life.

I really liked the idea of taking that hard time in my life and pulling something positive out of it. That way, even if nothing in my life improved for another year, I’d be able to look back and see that I had learned something new. My life would be different than the year before and it would be a positive change. Kind of like I’d be doing WK in the background and one fine day when things were better, I’d have almost tricked myself into learning Japanese. It seemed like a really fun gift to give myself. Things still aren’t perfect, but I’ve made progress over the years, got into freelancing, and I’m a lot more hopeful and in a better place than when I started.

Studying kanji has felt like being a classical ballet dancer. The Crabigator was my ruthless dance master, whacking my shins with a cane as I learned the foundations of my craft. I love having the kanji knowledge in place as I turn my focus to other areas of Japanese, like tinkering with the nuances of higher level grammar and getting more confident with my speaking skills.

I think it’ll make everything flow much easier than if I was trying to put together sentences while simultaneously trying to learn how to read them.

If I can take a moment to pat myself on the back, I’m really amazed that I was able to accomplish this. With each level of WK, it felt like there was no way my brain could fit any more kanji inside it. So sticking with it over four years and actually finishing the dang thing feels pretty cool.

Pro Tips & Resources

Scripts I Wish I Had Installed Sooner

  • Wanikani Override: Being able to hit esc and not have one of my many typos count an answer wrong has been a lifesaver.

  • WaniKani LevelUP Celebrator: Whenever I leveled up, I was greeted with a gif of Donna Meagel and Tom Haverford reminding me to treat myself.

  • WaniKani Keisei Phonetic-Semantic Composition: This was a fun add-on that helped me see the similarities among kanji parts and how they can often clue you in on the reading.

  • Wanikani Niai Similar Kanji: This was insanely helpful for distinguishing between visually similar kanji. Being able to hit the F button after confusing 傲, 徹, 徴, and 微 was deeply appreciated.

General Reading & Listening Practice

Video Game Let’s Plays and Livestreams.

  • On YouTube, I like to look up my favorite games on Wikipedia, choose the Japanese language page, copy/paste the Japanese title of the game into the YouTube search bar, add 実況プレイ or 実況 to the end, and bingo! Tons of people playing games I love with Japanese commentary, voiceovers, and often subtitles on all the dialogue.

  • On Twitch, it’s great reading practice to try to keep up with Japanese comments scrolling past in the chat. Although I’m much more of a lurker than a chatter in Japanese since internet slang is a whole different thing to learn. Still, it’s very fun!

Phone / Computer Games in Japanese

  • I’m currently working my way through “How to Take off Your Mask” in Japanese. It’s a fluffy, cute visual novel type of game that I’m able to follow somewhat easily. Lots of text to read, which is great. I usually play with Jisho open so I can look up words and kanji I don’t know. At my current level, I’m happy to see that I can follow the story, even if I don’t know every single word.

  • There’s also plenty of otome games on Apple/Android that are a nice, approachable reading level with plenty of new words/kanji to learn along the way. If I see one in English, often the developer has also posted the Japanese version of the app.

A Note on Grammar Resources

I could list more grammar resources than I can count. Some solid places to begin are the perennial favorites: Genki, Tae Kim, etc. Honestly, I’ve got analysis paralysis when it comes to Japanese grammar resources because there are so many to choose from. I think my best advice is to simply pick a book/website and just get started. My grammar knowledge has steadily increased over the years through a very cobbled-together series of sources. Even if the method’s a bit scattered, I’ve definitely improved. Basically, I’m saying that it’s okay if your grammar journey isn’t perfectly linear.

Finally, A Few Words of Encouragement from MintyKanji先輩

You do not have to be perfect to finish WaniKani. My reviews usually score in the low 80%'s for accuracy; when I rush it’s more the upper 70%'s.

You can also take your time. I’m always so impressed by the people who finish WK in just over a year. For me, balancing WK with the rest of my life meant it took four years.

Maybe I’m talking to past-me in this post, but you can do this without being perfect or fast. :smiley:

And with that, I’m outta here!!

(jk, I’ll be back to review every once and a while)


Congratulations on this great achievement! You can be proud of every step you took towards your goal, and there are still many!

Really nice thought indeed. I had the same motivation and that’s true that learning a new thing can be a good way to show us that our life is evolving every day!

Oh, and if you want to update your profile number, you may have to log out from the forums, and then log in.


Thanks! That did the trick and fixed my number. :smiley:


GIFS are my love language.
I think it’s clear how much I like this post.


Congratulations! That is awesome!

You did great and the information you shared here definitely helpful. Figuring out the next steps or the next next steps can be frustrating.

You did great and hopefully you stick around with us for a while longer!

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Whoop Whoop !

Well done - awesome achievement !


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On YouTube, I like to look up my favorite games on Wikipedia, choose the Japanese language page, copy/paste the Japanese title of the game into the YouTube search bar, add 実況プレイ or 実況 to the end, and bingo! Tons of people playing games I love with Japanese commentary, voiceovers, and often subtitles on all the dialogue.

Thank you for this! The other day, I had the thought to watch Japanese let’s plays as a way to immerse, but didn’t know the Japanese term for it.

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Thanks for those scripts, will check them out :muscle:

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Thank you for sharing your experience.

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Congratulations on reaching that elusive final level! ^>^ :birthday: :tada:

Thanks for sharing your story and those tips for how you got there. For example I note that I still haven’t installed this: :eyes:

Since confusion between similar kanji is starting to become a bigger issue I’m definitely gonna give this script a try and hopefully it will also get me to the end! Thanks for the tip! :slight_smile:

Congrats again and please enjoy some cake! :cake: ^>^


Thank you for sharing. I’m on a 4-year kinda track and I appreciate seeing a Level 60 celebration post which I can relate to more. I need properly understand what you mean with how to stop typos counting.That would be helpful.

Thank you again for what you shared I will probably come back to this post for advice!!

All the best

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Congratulations, I cant imagine how happy you feel right now, its a huge acomplishment, not only as a language learner but also in terms of discipline.

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cake nakiri alice

Congratulations on reaching the golden 60. It is official! I must now call you @MintyKanji-先輩… What an outstanding achievement indeed!

Please enjoy this cake made by Nakiri Alice.

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Using the WK Override Script (the installation guide was posted by the creator in the WK community), if you misspell an answer and WK counts it as wrong, you can hit the escape key and it will cancel your answer. It puts the card back in your reviews and you get a chance to answer it again. The wrong answer doesn’t count against you. Like how normally if you get a question wrong, WK bumps it back down to the apprentice level or guru level of reviews and your have to learn the word more often. This way, you don’t lose that progress on a word if you simply made a typo, but actually know the correct answer. Hope that helps! :smiley:

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