ChristopherFritz's Study Log

Slightly-Past-Mid-Month Check-In


Don’t you just hate it when you plan to do something, and then it simply doesn’t work out as planned?

Plan: Try and read at least three pages of 名探偵コナン each day, looking up every unknown word and grammar along the way. Maybe finish volume one before March?

Reality: I read 56 dialogue-filled pages of 名探偵コナン today, finishing up volume one. (And also looked up unknown vocabulary and grammar along the way.)

(Technically, I suppose that does match the plan. Just a bit aggressively so.)

That brings me up to five volumes complete this month:

Since I have a lot of different series I’m reading, I’m trying to avoid buying the next volume of anything I’ve finished until a new month arrives. But I happen to have the next volume of 名探偵コナン already, so I’ll continue it as my daily intensive(?) reading. And maybe I’ll remember to make some Anki card from it tomorrow, unlike today when I was just enjoying reading it (having read it in English about four years ago) and made only one card…

I have to admit, it’s nice to take a series that seemed like an insurmountable target and actually make good progress with it. Perhaps in the next year, I’ll be in a position to re-read the first volumes of 「GALS!」, 「ハヤテのごとく!」, and 「GOSICK―ゴシック―」?

Aside from that, I'm about on track to get back to reading かがみの孤城.

An update with the alpha Migaku Reader broke pagination in late December, so I didn’t get in any planned “reading ahead” while the club was on break. Then after that was fixed, New Year’s Eve firecrackers going off late into the night kept me up a few hours past my bedtime, throwing off my always-fragile sleeping schedule. As a result, I’ve been stuck falling asleep much later than my bedtime and waking up much later than my preferred wake time, leaving no time in the morning for reading. It’s taken me a few weeks, but my sleeping schedule’s just about back on track. This will re-open mornings for me to read かがみの孤城, during the time of day when my mind is freshest.


The instances of seeing new lesson kanji showing up in my reading have died down a bit, but there have been a few. (Not counting 探 and 偵 showing up while reading 名探偵コナン.)

Still, it’s great to be making progress again after three months of no progress!


  • 171 Apprentice
  • 153 Guru
  • 106 Master
  • 164 Enlightened

If I recognize any leeches in Guru, I’ll probably send them back to Apprentice (by purposefully making three mistakes). Since I’m only reviewing Apprentice for my current level, and I’m ignoring all other (leech) Apprentice reviews for now, knocking a few Guru leeches down would open a little bit more time for me to do new lesson reviews each day.


In response to this thread by @rfindley, rather than sending an e-mail, I decided to add it to my study log. This entry is written as if specifically for rfindley (as the first parts I originally write into an e-mail).

I predict this e-mail to run long, so I plan to split it into two parts. Part one will be the primary requested information. Part two will detail how I do my reviews, as it will skew my leech results in an unexpected way (and my qualify my leeches as low-priority to review). And in part three I will list my thoughts on my leeches as I go through and review them. More on that as I get closer to it.

Part One

How many leeches? According to one of the userscripts I have installed:

  • Apprentice: 221 (per level: 6 / 2 / 168 / 45)
  • Guru: 163 (per level 36 / 79)
  • Master: 115
  • Enlightened: 152

Those numbers look about right to me, after I spent about three months recently really working at getting my Apprentice and Guru numbers so low.

What kind of leeches? I’ll cover this in part two, as I analyze some of my current Apprentice leeches in real-time.

Part Two

I’ve spent years working on some of my leeches.

I best learn words I’m having trouble with if they show up in manga I’m reading. But many of my leeches never show up in any manga I read!

Eventually, I “gave up” on my leeches. I was spending too much time on reviews and didn’t have time for lessons.

That’s when I wrote…the leech auto-pass script. What it does is it allows me to auto-mark my Apprentice leeches as correct without actually reviewing them. I’d still review them as Guru, but Apprentice leeches would auto-pass. The script is (purposefully) a bit cumbersome to run, so sometimes I’d just review the Apprentice leeches instead of running the script. I had two different periods of time when I used the script. The first was probably under a month, and the second under a week.

Recently, I spend three months focusing on reviews without doing lessons, but again I wanted to start making actual progress again. This time, I came up with a new approach: don’t do Apprentice leech reviews. Using the Flaming Durtles app’s review settings, I am able to arrange my reviews so I do my current-level reviews first, then my non-Apprentice reviews second. This leaves Apprentice for levels prior to my current level. Since I just spent three months on my current level, I know these Apprentices are all leeches, and I simply don’t review them anymore (starting this month).

So, that’s what shows up in my review history: a mix of “auto-passing” Apprentice leeches, and “don’t review” them.

Part Three

This part is mostly going to be for myself because it’s probably more information than you are interested in. For that reason, don’t feel bad about skipping over any of it. But if you get any kind of useful information out of it, great!

After doing my non-Apprentice leech reviews, I’m down to 188 Apprentice leeches waiting to be reviewed.

All reviews are done reading first, meaning second (but not necessarily back to back).

Note: Due to sorting, Apprentice IV leeches come up first.

Apprentice IV Leeches

Vocabulary 復習: Looking at this one, I recalled the reading. I’m thinking the meaning is…lesson? Review? Something along those lines. I settled on “review”, and found it was correct. This one’s moving out of Apprentice!

Kanji 往: I was able to type this one here before reviewing by writing 往復. This tells me the reading is おう and the meaning is “depart”. And upon review…that’s right and right. That’s another leaving Apprentice.

Kanji 絞: I can never remember if this is こう or かく, nor the meaning. Failed both reviews.

Now that I'm reading the Detective Conan manga, maybe I'll start to recognize it?

:arrow_up: My newest Anki card I made just now. If I can link the kanji to “strangle”, then I can imagine こういち as the culprit every time someone gets strangled, and maybe I’ll recall the reading then.

Vocabulary 構う: I managed to recognize the reading and meaning for this one.

Kanji 販: I remembered the reading easily, but not the meaning. Looked like a kanji I’ve never seen before in my life. Failed meaning review. Twice. (I thought “buy” the second time around, but it’s “sell”.)

Kanji 担: Reading was easy to figure. Meaning is…bear a grudge, shoulder a burden? Turns out it’s “carry, bear”, so I’ll take as “correct”. (I’m using Anki mode on Flaming Durtles.)

Kanji 製: Another easy reading. System? Control? I’ll go with system. Reviewing…nope, manufacture. Failed meaning review. Checking mnemonic, it doesn’t help that I don’t recall the keyword for 衣 as “clothes”, and I burned that radical probably a long time ago.

Vocabulary 観客: Got both reading and meaning correct.

Kanji 態: Managed to think of the correct reading. Went with “ability” for meaning, but it’s “appearance”. I get this one wrong all the time. (We are talking leeches here, after all.) Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 営む: Got reading and meaning right. I wonder how I get usually them wrong. I have no clue.

Vocabulary 資料: I managed to type it right on my first try here, but that was after running through ひりょう, しりょう, and ?りょう (I forget the other one) in my mind briefly. For meaning, I considered wealth (probably due to 資産家, “wealthy person”), but it’s “material, data, documents”. Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 税金: I had to think for about ten seconds to remember the reading, but I got it right. Normally I fail it if I don’t remember it sooner than that. Once I remember the reading, the meaning is easy for this one.

Vocabulary 防止: Reading easy, meaning: I thought suspension, but it’s prevention. Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 改正: Got both sides right. I’m not certain how I get this one wrong sometimes, as I know 改 from 「改造マリオ」. Maybe I mistake the meaning for “betterment” sometimes?

Kanji 容: A nemisis of mine. Managed to get the reading right this time. (Issue: よう? よく?) And the meaning is…valley? Bathe? Abundant? Nope, it’s “form, appearance, shape, figure”. Failed meaning review.

Kanji 僧: I managed the reading with uncertainty, but I thought maybe “increase” for meaning. (That’s 増, which I burned two months ago.) Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 虚栄心: Failed to recall the reading of 虚, but knew meaning. Failed reading review.

Vocabulary 感覚: Struggle with if second kanji is かくor がく, but got it this time. Something about…feeling? Couldn’t recall that it’s “(the) senses”. Failed meaning review.

Kanji 典: Thought きょく, but it’s てん. That tells me it’s not music, but rather “rule, standard”. Failed reading review.

Kanji 府: Got the reading. Meaning is…something related to government or government office? Turns out it’s “government”, which I’m marking as wrong due to uncertainty. I think I have my mnemonic mixed with another “canopy” one (maybe that involves “street”?), but I don’t know which one.

Kanji 基: I happen to recognize the reading and meaning, but I know I get one or the other wrong a lot.

Kanji 格: I always know this one. Every single time. かく and “status”. So why is it Apprentice IV (now going to Guru)? I have no idea.

Vocabulary 骨折: I know why I get this one wrong! I think こっけつ, but this time I recognized that it’s こっせつ. Meaning is easy enough.

Kanji 頑: Reading I got. Meaning is…stubborn? Ah, that’s right. Yet another one going to Guru.

I think I’m discovering the secret to getting my leeches right. Stop doing leech reviews for a week or two, then type each one as I go through them, to force myself to think them through. Of course, that also means I review 24 cards in about 45 minutes.

Kanji 詩: じ? し? Poem? Ah, I got it right. Normally I go with じ and get it wrong, but this time I looked at it more carefully, and the 言 portion had me think poem, which led me to し.

Vocabulary 想定: Reading is easy, but I have no idea what the meaning can be. Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 終電: Another easy reading. Meaning is…last train? But I think blackout sometimes.

Kanji 待: I thnk とく (特) and じ (持), but it’s たい. Worst part is I know 持 versus 待, but need to look left radical every time I see one without kanji and I need to specifically think of whether it’s a “hand” or “person loitering”. But that doesn’t help me with the reading, only the meaning. I hope this goes away after I (eventually) get to reading a lot of material without furigana.

Kanji 功: I know the reading this time. Meaning is…something about effect, or success? Or something that starts with an “a”? No, I’m quite certain it’s effect. (Turns out, it’s “achievement, accomplishment”.) Failed meaning review.

Kanji 命: めい, although sometimes I think れい. Order. Or life. I’ll go with order. Or was it pray? No, I’ll stick with order. (It’s fate.) Failed meaning review.

Kanji 算: Managed reading and meaning this time, but I know I get both wrong a lot. Most often a matter of “I have no idea what the answer is.”

Vocabulary 求める: Mistook reading as みとめる. I kind of have the meaning, request, so I try to think of someone requesting more and more (もっと) to get the reading as もとめる, but I always forget. Failed reading review.

Vocabulary 親しい: Got the reading this time. Meaning is…not “confidential”. Maybe “kindness”. Or “friendly”. I’ll go with friendly, because that one’s an adjective. Looks like I managed to get it right. This time.

Vocabulary 仮に: I thought ゆえ for the kanji, and got it wrong. Meaning wrong as well, thinking temporarily or tentatively. Failed both reviews.

Vocabulary 科目: Had to try sounding this one out a few times before I got the reading figured. And that lead me to the correct meaning as well.

Vocabulary 出社: One of the items recently added to WaniKani that I’ve had trouble with. Getting easier since I added it to Anki as well. Wait, I’m confusing this with…由来? Let’s move on. Failed meaning review.

Vocabulary 工作: I used to get this one wrong all the time, but now I know the reading and that it means “handicraft” when I see it. Somehow or other.

Over an hour in, I think that’s a good stopping point. My next review session’s going to be crazy with all these new Gurus added in… And I tend to get things wrong only once or twice in a review session, so they’ll probably be hanging out in Guru for a long time if they don’t move on up the ladder. Oh boy…


WaniKani Update

My Flaming Durtles settings are now:


  • Order: Level, Type
  • Reverse Order

(Unchanged from before.)


  • Order[1]: SRS Stage / Level
  • Order[2]: Level / SRS Stage
  • Reverse Order
  • Overdue items first *
  • Priority: Current-level items first

I do reviews with one Order, then I go into the Advanced Review Settings and change the order and do more reviews.

For non-Apprentice, I want to review everything (including leeches), and that’s what “SRS Stage / Level” allows me to do. I review until I reach an Apprentice item.

At this point, the only Apprentice I want to do is recent levels, regardless of SRS Stage. This is when I switch to “Level / SRS Stage”.

I’m making steady progress with lessons (at least five Lessons per week). My Apprentice leeches continue to be mostly ignored. (I have 253 Apprentice leeches.)

Reading Update

Well, that didn’t happen.

Looking at my manga reading pace, I can read more volumes this year than I did last year if my budget allows it. I’ve reached a point where it’s my available cash for hobby spending that’s the constraint.

I should focus on novel reading to help continue my reading practice and progress while also keeping my expenses down. (Especially when I’m averaging completing two manga volumes per week. If I leave the furnace off for the weekend and eat rice or ramen, I can afford to buy another volume!)

I’m planning to try reworking my reading schedule as such:

  1. Do not read comics until after doing book reading for the day.
  2. Aim to complete one page of the かがみ per day. (At this pace, I would finish by mid-2023!)
  3. Join in reading 夜カフェ and keep on pace.

My hope is that 夜カフェ being Beginner Book Club and かがみ being Intermediate Book Club translates to the former being easier to read multiple pages per day. Granted, club designation sometimes is more about the pace of reading than the difficulty of the material.


I’ve finally happened upon a Manga OCR solution that actually shows some real promise.

I haven’t followed machine learning too much. Just enough to get a sense of what is possible. From that, I’ve been wondering when it would find its way to OCR’ing manga. And it looks like we’re there now.

Here’s an example of a manga page that I ran through it (one panel at a time), and the output (with some mark-up I added after to highlight where I found mistakes:


I’d say the mistakes are completely understandable.

If I ran the manga pages through a program that finds boundaries around text in word balloons, then took those boundaries, cropped them, and fed those into Manga OCR, it should be fairly easy to get a decent automated OCR to a text file for a whole manga volume. There’d still need to be human review for minor cleanup for perfection, but the end result is a text file that can be used to analyze kanji and vocabulary in the manga with minimal manual steps.

Edit: Main issue there would be getting the word balloons in order. A predictable layout such as a 4koma would work best. But lines of dialogue being out of order isn’t an issue if it’s just for kanji and word analysis.

What’s really exciting here is that Manga OCR was able to read the banner in the artwork, even though it’s at a slight angle. It makes me wonder, what else can it read that I would not expect it to?

I ran it over Ayumu’s text on the right, then Urushi’s on the left:


Just missing the 生 from the end.

I’ll admit, I tried this text three times (each with a slightly different bounding box), and this was the best of the three. I expect if there was a plain white background, it would have read correctly every time.

Everything below is the result of only one attempt at parsing.


Very nice.



It misread the name 凛子 as 渡る, but that’s probably understandable due to it being a name. The question mark came out as え as well, and it’s missing the ellipsis at the end. I wonder if I cropped off a little too much from the bottom of the bounding box.



Aside from a missing period, the final 「だろうーけど。」 managed to become 「よう!!」. Otherwise, the result is really good!



A lot of these results are images that traditional manga OCR would never be able to handle.

All right, one more:



It seems that even the primary villains of Sailormoon can’t stop Manga OCR.

Yeah, I’m all around impressed.

I expect this will perform much better than Tesseract on Little Busters, so I might actually be one step closer to being able to play it. (I decided against it before because Tesseract had too many errors.)


I’m starting to think this might actually work.

Original Image

Masked for text only.

Accidentally applying mask backward when trying to get text only.

Correct masking applied.

Text detection applied to find the boundaries of text, then bounds saved as separate images.

Manga OCR applied to the images.
Minor issues.
  1. A bounding box was found where it shouldn’t have been. Nothing text was extracted from it, so no harm there. But it’s something to keep an eye on.

  2. There was no bounding box for the 「ふーん」 dialogue. This may be because I have a minimum size coded in for bounding boxes, and this one was a little too small. I may have to adjust that, but I risk adding in false positives.

  3. This was not properly transcribed and that’s perfectly understandable:

  4. The ぃっ in ひょぃっ didn’t make it in, but that’s fine as it’s only a sound effect.

  5. A couple of graphical elements received bounding boxes, and were processed as text. However, these wouldn’t impact collecting stats on kanji or vocabulary.


One week later and I’ve somewhat streamlined my process for picking kanji to learn from manga I’m reading.

The first half of this post is essentially the same as the prior post, only I’ve streamlined things a bit.

The problem: When learning kanji from reading manga, it’s time-consuming to determine which kanji and vocabulary are more common, and thus better to learn sooner.

The solution: Use OCR to find the most common kanji within the manga volume. For this use, the OCR doesn’t need to be 100% perfect. The more common a kanji is, the more likely it will be correctly recognized multiple times.

My current process is:

Step 1) Buy manga from Kobo, remove DRM, extract images, and copy into a folder to work from:


Step 2) Run a Python script to pad images so the dimensions are a multiple of 32 (required for text segmentation process).

Step 3) Run a Python script to put the images through Manga-Text-Segmentation.

This takes a little time and uses up all my CPUs.

I’m glad I built a new computer a few months ago. My old one would probably take at least two hours for this, rather than about seven minutes for 130 images. (I wonder if I can run a Python script on my CPU’s integrated GPU instead.)

The end result is the mask for text.

Step 4) Run a Python script to apply the masks to the padded images.


(Looks a lot like the mask image, but the mask is two-bit black and white, while the masked image is the actual grayscale or color text directly from the comic.)

Step 5) Run manga-ocr.

Step 6) Run a Python script to separate the text into separate images based on contours (real fast), which manga-ocr monitors and converts to text in realtime (which takes about six minutes for 130 pages).

manga-ocr also takes up all the CPUs, but neither instances of high CPU usage blocks me from using other software.


Step 7) Run a Ruby script to:

  1. Read the output from manga-ocr.
  2. Extract the kanji.
  3. Count the number of occurrences of each kanji.
  4. Exclude any kanji that I already have kanji cards for or kanji marked as known in Migaku’s kanji add-on.
  5. Exclude anything that shows up fewer times than a set threshold, as they are either uncommon kanji (within the volume) or misparsed kanji.

This gives me a list of potential kanji to learn: 俺 村 第 撮 知 繋 頑

Step 8) Check output to ensure kanji looks like it’s something showing up in vocabulary. For example, here 第 shows up in chapter titles, and 村 is part of a character’s name.

Sample search results


Step 9) Add kanji to Migaku’s kanji add-on.



Step 10) Review kanji cards as part of normal daily Anki reviews. (Also look up WaniKani mnemonics if they may be helpful.)


Step 11) When reading manga, I’m primed to see the kanji I’ve recently started reviewing. That makes them likely to stand out when I see them appear in a sentence. If there are no other unknown kanji or vocabulary words in that sentence, I’ll make an Anki card from it.


Step 12) Review vocabulary as sentence cards as part of normal daily Anki reviews.


So far this seems to be working out okay.

But I might need to cut back on WaniKani lessons again, as my number of daily reviews (not counting Apprentice leeches that I’m ignoring) has been getting a bit high again.

State of WaniKani lessons, reviews, and leeches...

Nearly 300 Apprentice leeches…


I remain quite impressed by your methodology when it comes to this stuff. Mine is truly thoughtless by comparison; I’m as far away from you as possible. I come across words and go on pure, dumb, gut feeling. Do I like the look of this kanji? Do I want to learn this word right now? Do I think I’ll remember it, on the basis of almost literally nothing? I’ll probably know some words in the future, but no guaranteeing what sort of words they are… :sweat_smile:


Same, haha! If I notice a kanji in something I’m reading isn’t in WK, I’ll add it (and the word that it’s in) to Anki, but I frequently don’t even notice. I figure I’ll be adding a lot more once I’m level 60 and anything I don’t recognize must necessarily be a non-WK kanji, but until then, I’m not bothering too much. I have so much vocab still left to learn, I just add anything that has kanji I already know, regardless of how common the word is. With the kind of stuff I read (at least, the only stuff I’ve been mining words from currently), the innocent corpus number and other frequency indicators are pretty much utterly useless, and I don’t exactly have a fixed body of text I can run calculations on, so I just grab up whatever I see and let the WK level be the hard cap on whether or not I add a word.

But my vocabulary is also much smaller than both of yours, which means almost every sentence has multiple unknown words in addition to unknown grammar, so I’m trying to just throw enough words into the Anki soup in the hopes that eventually sentences will make more sense, haha.


It’s been a long journey trying to find what works for me.

Somehow, I reached a point where most of the manga I read, I only require minimal lookup for unknown words (when I can’t infer what their meaning may be, or when I want to verify).

I know that years of learning vocabulary via SRS was mostly a waste, as I wasn’t reading yet and thus I forgot most of the words and I never learned any kanji.

I know that WaniKani works for me, except for all the leeches that sap away vast amounts of time. I’m pretty much brute-forcing my way through what I can here.

I know that when I learn a new word from a manga, oftentimes I’ll continue to remember which manga and scene where I learned it. By “learn”, I mean actually learn, not “look up, read meaning, then forget moments later”.

This applies to new words picked up watching anime as well. I learned ()りる and ()ちる (the spoken words, not the kanji) watching the first several episodes of Ojamaj Doremi a decade or so ago.

None of the “what works” has been anything intentionally reproducible (outside of WaniKani). Ah, congrats on passing me by on WaniKani, @Daisoujou =D

Regardless of whether anything I try works or not, I enjoy the methods of trying to find different potential solutions, and I love the programming challenges.

But, really, here’s hoping something works out.

Maybe a kind Japanese author will write a 20 volume light novel series titled, “Every time I go to sleep, I wake up in the body of a different pro-wrestler, and it’s messing with my love life”, which can then be used to develop a pro-wrestling frequency list from =D


I appreciate it! Though, funny timing, I just posted in my study log that I’m experimenting with learning kanji on my own from here and just doing my reviews on WK for now. Going to see if I’m ready to handle that well enough. So I’m stalling out on levels too, just stopped slightly after you, haha.

That right there basically being the reason, so that I’m not grinding WK words I don’t feel like I know super well. We’ll see if I’m truly good to learn kanji this way totally, though.

Haha I know that experience well; I struggled to find anything good to mine from when I started. Luckily it didn’t take too long for the situation to improve, but I was using Satori Reader at the time, so I probably benefitted from it being a little more handholdy than native material in that transition.

I know I have a lot of not useful things in my deck because often they just interest me. I love the 4 kanji compounds and proverbs and stuff. They’re often not really “worth the time,” but they keep me excited about the language, so I’m gonna mine them anyway. If nothing else, I figure since Japanese words have kanji readings, I can reinforce useful info even in “useless” items, so that’s nice.


This made me smile, haha, thank you!

Yeah, same here. And that’s part of why I’m mainly focusing on adding words that contain kanji I already know. It helps reinforce and build on knowledge I already have, so it feels like each card is helping me learn more than just the surface level reading/meaning of one single word, and I conveniently don’t have to do quite as much work trying to come up with mnemonics, unlike trying to memorize kana-only words, which thus far I’ve had to resort to pretty much brute-forcing, haha :sweat_smile:


Almost-mid-month update.

Book Reading


Well, at least I did finish the first chapter of 夜カフェ. I plan to re-read the chapter with the book club and follow along.

Extra Study

At the very least, I can spare a few minutes to go through my Recent Mistakes in Extra Study. That shouldn’t add too much time to my daily review routine, right?

On second thought, I’ll pass.


Manga OCR

The OCR process is going well so far, although I still need to run a lot more manga through.

Still, there should be enough that I can go through a few Extra Study items and check for occurrences of those vocabulary words in the manga I’ve read. If it’s used in a +1 sentence, I can attach a scene I’ve read before to the word to help with remembering it. (Especially when a year or two of reviewing it hasn’t helped.)


I feel like I’ve never seen this one before. I have no idea what it is.

Now to check for a manga match:

(The “zero checked” refers to how many matches I have checked, not how many files were checked.)

Well, maybe the next one will give me a result.


Okay, this one I think I figured this one out after pondering on it a bit. But just to help out, let’s see about finding it in a manga:

How about one more…


Maybe I’ve seen this one before, but unsure… Hopefully it shows up in a manga I’ve read. Let’s see…



I’m currently at 502 leeches, of which 309 are Apprentice.

I wondered today, if I wanted to drop some levels in WaniKani to get my Apprentice leeches below 50 and overall leeches below 100, what level would I have to drop to (from 32)? The answer: level 17.

If it means less time spent reviewing the same things every day for months and years on end, I’m getting closer to deciding to drop my WaniKani level and to go all-in on Anki for a bit. The number one reason I barely add anything to Anki is that I never have as much time for Anki reviews after doing my WaniKani reviews each day.

I think the main thing that keeps me from dropping levels is that I finally reached levels where I’m seeing vocabulary I learn in my reading. But if I’m spending over 100 days per level and hardly doing any lessons, then I may as well be using my time learning new vocabulary with Anki.

Video Games

I haven’t touched Chrono Trigger much lately. The issue for me there is that there’s a lot of words that I’d recognize with kanji that don’t use kanji, and it’s making it a bit exhausting to read. I just need to build up stamina through practice, but a couple of other games have been taking up my (minimal) gaming time lately:

I bought the Final Fantasy 1 through 6 pixel remaster pack (now that there was enough evidence I’d be able to run them on Linux).

I’ve never played Final Fantasy 1 before, so I can’t rely on already knowing the context of conversations and where to go next. So far I do seem to be managing to find my way around and seem to understand where to go and what to do.

I was planning to play the Final Fantasy titles in order, but since I’ve played Final Fantasy VI so many times in English I decided to jump into playing it as well.


So long as I don’t pay attention to the fact that I’ve been ignoring most of what I’m reading to keep reading more Detective Conan, manga reading is going well. By the end of the month, I should be at at least 18 volumes completed overall, which is a very good pace.

I’m getting to the point where a lot of what I’m reading I’m waiting for the next volume to release:

  • ふらいんぐうぃっち
  • それでも歩は寄せてくる
  • 好きな子がめがねを忘れた

Or else I’ve almost completed the final volume:

  • 恋に恋するユカリちゃん
  • 現代魔女の就職事情

But I shouldn’t look for new series to start just yet, as I’m already putting a lot of focus on Detective Conan as it is (currently on volume 5).


For myself, whenever I get back at it, I was thinking about restarting before level 20 as well. I don’t have any data to support this except that I felt as though I limped through the 20s. I haven’t delved into Anki.

Oh, and I recently took advantage of our interlibrary loan system to finally look at Japanese the Manga Way. And I am going to pass on adding this to the collection! I came across a grammar point that I wanted to see in action and finding resources is a bit tricky, as you know, so I finally scooped it up. (It has been sitting in my ‘Save for Later’ on Amazon since you sent me those shots but I am trying to save money). Anyway, I found the manga too distracting!! :joy: I wanted to read what happened next in all of the points I looked at, which I think defeats the purpose of the grammar review. Alas. I put a hold on that popular Japanese grammar dictionary to see if that works as a resource.

I feel as though I am doing a no/low tech version of what you’re doing, except it’s for grammar, and it’s hard to find a lot of examples of what you’re specifically looking for as you learn something. So, as usual, I salute you and your efforts.


It certainly sounds great for promoting reading!


It does, and I’m not a big manga reader. If there were such a thing as a manga library, I think it would be really popular.


There are manga libraries though. Shonen Jump’s whole catalog is available on an app. If you live near a major city, there may be a manga library, although it probably has mostly/all volumes in the local language. I know there are a couple in NYC and DC because they bring some of their catalogs to anime conventions.


Ah, yes, this is a downside. Lucky for me, none of the manga in it are of any interest to me, but there’s still a bit of wondering what events transpire next. (Sometimes they’re covered in later grammar points, though!)


Word of the day: Inversion

Prioritizing Anki

I’ve long had this issue where my WaniKani reviews were taking up so much time that I didn’t have time to do many Anki reviews. Thus I haven’t been making many Anki cards.

Last week, I asked myself, what if I invert my order and do Anki reviews first?

I still start with one WaniKani review session (which I think I have at 12 items), because my daily review streak is 1,177 days, and breaking that would be too freeing devastating.

Then, I switch over to Anki for as long as I have available to review.

Recent Anki card creation stats:

  • 3/12: added 3 cards
  • 3/13: added 30 cards
  • 3/14: added 0 cards
  • 3/15: added 36 cards
  • 3/16: added 33 cards
  • 3/17: added 1 card
  • 3/18: added 0 cards
  • 3/19: added 38 cards (and counting)

Selcting Kanji

So far, it’s mostly still creating cards for kanji that I already learned in WaniKani, whether I feel I have a strong recognition of them or not. If I find I really do know the kanji well, I can always retire the kanji and vocabulary cards later.

Now that I’ve done OCR on a lot of manga series (well, seven series), I’ve loaded their kanji into a spreadsheet and sorted them by most used kanji. The majority of the most used kanji is kanji in the first 30 or so levels of WaniKani. (No wonder I seem to do well with reading and minimal vocabulary lookups these days! At least, for these specific series.)

As an example, here’s Flying Witch’s kanji list, with items I already have cards for in Anki hidden, and anything that appears fewer than 20 times hidden:


Once I tackle much of this list, I’ll unhide kanji that show as few as ten items across the 10 manga volumes.

Selecting Vocabulary

From this list (or one of the other manga lists), I pick a kanji to look up words for.

My goal isn’t to learn kanji. It’s to learn vocabulary. But I want to be able to recognize the kanji if an unknown word as well. To help with this, I’m aiming to make cards for the more common vocabulary that use that kanji, to improve my recognition of it.

Flying Witch has the most results, but there are matches in other series as well.

I browse for a line that looks i+1 enough for me, then bring up the image and put it all into Migaku’s browser extension, and from there it goes into Anki (creating the kanji card for me).

Then I exclude this word from my search and look for another word to create a card for:

For 捕, the resulting cards cover the words:

  • 捕まる
  • 捕る

That list does fall a bit short of WaniKani’s list of six words, in part because I still need to OCR series such as Detective Conan (which uses 逮捕). But that’s all right.

The process is way longer than for people who can simply add a word they see in reading to Anki and learn from it, but this is something that is working for me so far. The real test will be when I get past these kanji I’ve had WaniKani exposure to.

Back to adding new cards.


Lately, it’s been minimal reviews (over 100 waiting for me on Anki) and barely any reading, as I’ve finally made progress on how I want to organize my long-running website of manga examples of Japanese grammar.

The main issue has always been working out the categorization for everything.

Recently, I decided that rather than try to have a complex categorization, I’d have essentially no categorization. Tagging will handle everything.

So far it’s going well. I’m liking it very much.

I’m down to just 89 101 more items to convert into the new style (which I’m slacking off a bit by writing in this thread here).

The main advantage of this new layout is that it’ll be a lot easier for me to add content to the site, as I don’t have to worry about categorization or various other prior limitations.

The basic concept of the site is that I do a very simple write-up of grammar:

Then I can add examples as I happen upon them when reading manga (or if I go looking for examples):

From there, if I need a refresher on grammar, I can look at the various examples I’ve posted on the site.

Now, to get back to work on those last 89 items to convert over…

(For the curious, the site is linked to in my profile here.)


This is a really cool project, I’ll take a look :eyes: