Can we please get a "suspend item" feature?

Please, this is a cry for help. It’s really demotivating how I can’t seem to get my apprentice items pile to less than 70, sometimes it even goes up after a review session. I’m not even taking new lessons and still I get so many reviews! I feel really stuck - when am I ever going to level up again?

edit: I know 70 is not a high number for the apprentice items pile, however, I have done virtually no lessons in a month and the apprentice items pile only goes up! Clearly I’m failing too many items and most of these are the same items over and over again (I also know because when I’m doing the reviews I often go like “nooo, not this word again :sleepy:” quite often), which means they’re leeches.

I understand the Extra Study is a feature aimed at helping with leeches. However, what I do not need right now is having to study even more, it will not be good for my mental health at all.

So I really wish we could get a feature for suspending items, that way we can keep moving with the vocabulary that we think makes sense for us to learn at the level we are (talking about Japanese fluency level, not WK levels) and deal with the difficult words at a moment we think is more fit for it.

Not having this feature makes the reviews feel like punishment, to be honest. Is this really how learning kanji and vocabulary should feel like?


This is something I would support, because it can help with leeches too, being able to suspend them until we reach a time in our life where we can dedicate the necessary time to squash them instead of being bombarded with reviews over and over again. But regarding the vocab that you aren’t finding useful right now: why don’t you just use the lesson picker? Not that it will help with the items in your active review pile, but it does kinda make a “suspend item” feature obsolete.


I’m already doing it, but the lesson picker is a relatively new feature so it’s mostly stuff from before it was implemented :smiling_face_with_tear: which reminds me it would be really nice if there was a way of labelling the words we don’t want to learn for now (or forever :joy:) too! But having the “suspend item” feature would already be heaven for me.

I must admit I let my reviews pile up for a bit, but it was nothing absurd imo, it never went 250+ items. So while I am to blamed for my current failure, the leeches also make it more difficult to get back :sleepy:


Yeah, the lesson picker was definitely overdue. But it sounds like if you continue to use it then this problem will go away in the future.

I myself would love it if Wanikani was completely customizable, where you could choose whichever kanji and vocab to learn at any time with no level restrictions. But obviously that will never happen, so I’d be happy with a “suspend item” button instead.


Being able to reset individual items would also be a solution - I think it would be similar to suspending them in practical terms.


Reset as in back to apprentice 1, or back in the lesson queue?

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Back to lesson queue - then it would appear on the lesson picker and it could be skipped. But of course, suspending the item would be way better. I’m just thinking of the reset as a “alternative solution” (not sure which one would be the more difficult to implement)


don’t hold your breath on any of these ‘requests’
wk is the worst srs system out there (my opinion)

there is zero leech managment and it’s been a problem from the beginning.
making suggestions, recommendations, etc all are ignored by the wk dev team

we can’t even have an undo button cuz we might cheat :roll_eyes: (despite paying for this silly thing)

think mentioned to you before, but you are still at the early levels, ditch WK now and move to any other platform. will save you a lot of grief. already paid for lifetime and get that but it’s a sunk cost

you can search the forums and people have been requesting a leech manager since before I started wk over 5 years ago. ZILCH

yet the summary page was taken away and it’s only been 19 days, and the scripts that made wk usable all broken, no native app, this is by far the worst platform out there. There are soooooooo many good options now!

I moved all of my wk to kitsun (because i was determined to finish after putting in years of work w/o ever resetting) I was churning through almost 800 leeches with no way out (level 44). when I migrated away I suspended them all. Have been working them off slowly and have burned 117 of them through my own drilling. But they are controlled. Currently at level 56, so will finish but my 2c, ditch WK before you are in too deep.

You can migrate your wk data export it and then import it to anki or any other platform through legitimate means.

Or start over on Renshuu (free option with paid lifetime plus) or Marumori (paid but awesome and cute)

all of this is my opinion but im not the only one that feels this way. if you think wk will ever listen to your opinion, encourage you to look at al the past recs that have gone ignored and unanswered. it’s only been 19days

cut your losses while you can and use something else if you want to learn japanese w/o the frustration. it’s still not easy and won’t be w/o difficulty but not having to deal with an srs that fails to provide the most basic things like leech management is wackadoodle.


Use an undo script and pass any item you fail but don’t feel like studying more right now. That’s what I do. Sometimes I get them all the way to Enlightened so that I don’t have to worry about them for a few months.

By the time they come back you can reconsider.

I also almost never fail any item during the Apprentice stages because they’ll come back so quickly regardless.


The current WaniKani system may not be quite as flexible to accommodate your current request, but I will describe a kind of ‘workaround’ for your predicament that will help you get past it – albeit still within the current, somewhat restrictive WK system.

If you are currently at level 13 – as in, you haven’t recently reset your level down to 13 – then I would say that this is a very good time to consider your pacing. You may be advancing along with Lessons too quickly for your sustained mental health. It’s like hearing the signal shot at the beginning of a race, and starting off at full-speed sprint, not realizing it’s a 5km run. You quickly deplete your stamina and have to slow down or stop, out of breath and overwhelmed. Just something to consider.

#1 Consider Resetting

If you are feeling seriously overwhelmed, about to quit WK because it’s just too much, then I would recommend doing a level reset down to a level that you feel very comfortable with already.

For example, if it’s just the most recent few levels that are trouble, then reset back to level 10, or maybe even level 8. Or if you’re good with the first three free levels, but after that it’s trouble, then go back to level 4. Or, if you just want a completely fresh start, reset all the way back to level 1.

The purpose of this reset is to (temporarily) eliminate all those reviews that you tend to answer wrong, and get back to reviews where you can mostly get them all correct. This is important because overwhelm and burnout come from feeling frustrated at lack of progress, or worse, losing progress. You want to get back in the feeling of, “Yeah! I can do this!”

When you redo a previous level, you will find that the second time around it goes much easier, and hence, with less mental effort and drain, and hence much faster. So, redoing a level is not as bad as it might sound at first. Even more importantly, since you’ll be getting answers correct a lot more, it will become a lot more fun again, too! That’s important! As I mentioned, learning Japanese is not a sprint, it’s a longer-term journey. And you can set your own pace, so it’s not even really a ‘race’ per se.

#2 Choose Your Own Pace

The number one factor controlling overwhelm – and, potentially, burnout – is going too fast with Lessons. If you want/need to go slower, you need to slow down (or even temporarily put a pause on) new Lessons, until your pace for Reviews becomes sustainable and comfortable again.

Think of your WK SRS like a giant, lumbering steam locomotive, powered by a giant furnace (which heats the steam, which drives the train forward). But this furnace, instead of taking wood or coal, takes Lessons as its fuel. (Or, to stay in the metaphor, you can just think of Lessons as logs of wood, or shovels-full of coal.)

To go faster, you need to add fuel/Lessons. To go slower, you need to stop adding fuel/Lessons. (Oh, yeah. Pretend this train has no brakes, so you can only control the speed by how much fuel/Lessons you add. It’s just a metaphor, after all!)

Because the train is so massive, it has a lot of inertia, so it takes some time for it to speed up and/or slow down.

So, if you are already going way too fast, you may need to stop adding fuel/Lessons for a while before the train slows down to an acceptable speed.

However, the good thing is that if you do stop adding fuel/Lessons – and, crucially, you continue to do your reviews – then the train will (eventually!) slow down.

In other words: If you need to slow down, you need to cut down the number of lessons you do; and, if you do cut down the number of lessons, you will slow down. Speed is mostly controlled by how many lessons you do. Controlling how many lessons you do is the main way you can control speed in the long run.

Add too many, and they will accumulate in the furnace, continuing to generate steam power, piling on older lessons, and being piled on by new lessons, until you’re back to a situation where the furnace is ‘too hot’ and the train just keeps going faster and faster, out of control.

If the train is dangerously out of control, then do the emergency level reset (suggestion #1). But if it’s just ‘too fast for my liking’, then simply slow down on how many lessons you do.

But, most importantly, to prevent getting out of control again, you need to adjust how many lessons you do down to a sustainable level. There are two main, simple ways to do this:

  1. Always do the exact same number of new Lessons every day, but reduce that number down until it is comfortable.
    Some people really like this method, and it does provide for the most stable, consistent review schedule in the long run. But finding that exact number of reviews/day requires some long-term observations and thinking/planning. It might require going as low as 3 lessons per day (which I think is the minimum?). It all depends on your comfort level.
  2. Only do new Lessons when your current ‘speed’ is under control and getting ‘too slow’. E.g. only doing new lessons if your Apprentice count is below some number, like 50 or 100 or whatever works for you.
    Personally, I use this method, and only do new Lessons when Apprentice is below 60 or 70. Sometimes that means I don’t do any new lessons for a week or so, because I’m struggling a bit with old leeches coming back. This method automatically slows you down under such circumstances so that you can avoid feeling overwhelmed, or worse, getting burnt out.

There are other ways to control your pace, but these are the two simplest ones, and they are both very effective.


I find it quite amusing that the biggest way that WK helps the Japanese learning community, is by being so bad that people leave and create much better websites. If it weren’t for my lifetime subscription (and being broke) I would jump to kitsun/marumori in a heartbeat.


I appreciate the advice, but I’m not sure I can say I’m going at an unreasonable pace. These are my level-up stats:

Maybe I was going kind of fast at first, but as you can see, I’ve been on level 13 for almost a month, and during this period I took virtually no lessons. And still my apprentice items pile is only going up - it began at about 50 items and now it’s 70-ish, which means it’s all leeches. I’m not willing to reset levels, but I’ll keep trying to reduce the pile to a manageable size so that I can move on comfortably or I’ll change to another SRS system like shuly suggested (most likely).

In the end I made this post mostly as a formal complaint, but I’m not even expecting WK team to answer at this point :confused:


Are you doing at least one review session every day? If no, then that would be my main suggestion.

If yes, then perhaps it’s a question of what one considers a ‘reasonable’ pace. For example, after dealing with burnout a couple years back, I decided to slow right down, lowering my expectations about how fast I would be going, and chose to focus more on maintaining an ‘enjoyable’ pace, and not worrying about ‘going fast’ anymore. These days, my median level-up time is about 24 days, for example, and I’m okay with that.

There is an informal thread-group for folks who decide to take this ‘slow and steady’ approach, if it might suit your own preferences: :durtle_hello: Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route :turtle:


I understand your frustration.

What is it you struggle with most, readings or meaning? Do you practice reading at this moment

As someone mentioned above, I also tend to just get leeches to a higher level. If it’s the reading I don’t know, I might consider letting it drop. Meanings I generally don’t really mind getting wrong. Chances are I won’t run into the word even reading native material anyways (and if I do there’s still this amazing tool called a dictionary).

I also highly recommend considering reading Japanese texts if you’re not doing so yet. I used to live in Japan, even went to a language school. They didn’t really teach kanji and I didn’t really bother, but having encountered quite a number of kanji outside of Wanikani is really giving me a head start. I think I would have a lot more leeches if it wasn’t for having encountered them in a different setting.

Anyways, the best of luck with your studies! I hope you find a method that works for you.


Since you’re already using wkstat it might be helpful going to the item section choosing wanikani level item type and then turning off all options but apprentice 1 2 3 4 - it will let you see if there’s a particular level that trends. if there is one in particular, reseting to that level might be a good solution after all.
if your leeches are counters/numbers/days/months type, that’s something that’s easier memorizing as a list, separately.

Learning a new language is hard. Just the need to build a whole new vocabulary section in your brain while you already have a way to express yourself in another language is super frustrating. In a way nothing is new, just different, you already know how to speak and read and write and having to go through all this again demands some level of acceptance of not knowing and failing and trying again and understanding that it is ok. It is ok to fail, and it is ok to find a method that suits your needs better. Or to focus on a different area of learning and coming back to it later with a fresh mind.
Sometimes it just means that you’re too busy with more pressing chores and you need to priorities. If it’s just a side things and you don’t really need it for something essential, find a way to learn Japanese that is more fun for you. It might sound strange but compassion is key. If it comes to a point where it really puts a toll on you and you mental health, then perhaps it’s too much right now.

If you really want a response write them an email, explain where you’re at and what you think could help you and see what they say. They made a lot of changes this past year and they are still planning more of them, it just takes time, their answer might help you make a more informed decision.


I did went through a short period where I didn’t do it everyday (I was a bit fed up with Japanese/WK), but it was like one week? I’m currently doing it 1x a day (I used to do 2 or 3 times a day, so it is a “downgrade”). Since I’m struggling with it a bit, I’m not even thinking of levelling up now, tbh, I just want to get the reviews pile to a manageable size before moving on.

Oh I see what you mean… I do see a trend but I’ll let this simmer, resetting is really something that I don’t want to do :smiling_face_with_tear:

I understand all that, Japanese is not even my third foreign language, although it’s the most difficult because it literally has nothing to do with my native language at all. I just think the platform is making it more difficult than it should be and it’s quite frustrating :confused:

Will do it! But not very hopeful about it either :frowning:


I’ve reset twice, and both times wound up regretting it afterwards. You can totally knock those leeches down and get up for another round, without reseting, IMO.


Did you reset to zero? Or just a few levels?

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Not sure my advice will translate to your case, but here are some thoughts:

  • Don’t give up on WaniKani too early. I understand this is frustrating. For some reason I didn’t like some of the lower teen levels, but felt it got better after that.
  • Have you installed all the scripts or 3rd party Apps that would help you manage your reviews (and possibly cheat?)
  • In itself an Apprentice pile of 50-70 is not that bad nor unusual. You still have 2200+ items in the upper levels. How many guruus and reviews do you have?
  • In the lack of suspend option, you could either reset a few levels (which I don’t recommend, but ultimately your choice) or simply, cheat. When you miss an item, then put it back in the pile for your later review (then you get exposed to it two, three times and helps memorize it). Eventually, you may just decide to “convert” it to a correct response so it is off your review list. Sure, it will come back later, but you will have achieved that timeframe of peace to manage down your items. Effectively, it will do the same as the “suspend” that you are talking about.
  • Use the Leech review scripts every once in a while for the most critical items. I have used it 3 times in my 30 levels, and while it may not seem a lot, it really helped focus on my worst leeches that were coming back constantly (which I just couldn’t remember well from one time to the next, but also made me feel like there were a lot more leeches than reality).
  • When you miss an item, take the time to review the components and the mnemonics. Find a new mnemonics if the one provided is too weak.

I reset from 28 to 20 and regret going that far back, I wish I’d only gone back to 24 or 25. It doesn’t sound like you need to reset yet. How many leeches do you have? Right now I have over 100.

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