ChristopherFritz's Study Log

Today I added a column to my frequency spreadsheets to make the learning process more depressing.

(Not really, but it kind of feels like it!)

This new column tells me how many more words or kanji I need to learn to have 100% recognition for a manga. (Excluding words/kanji below a frequency threshold.)

Kanji Spreadsheet


For the first four volumes of the ARIA re-release, I still have 442 kanji left to learn. A big number!

But that’s with it set to only count kanji that show up at least 8 times. I set it at that because four volumes of the re-release cover about eight volumes of the original release, so I want to focus on kanji that appear at least 8 times.

If I drop that down to showing kanji that appear at least 2 times, then I get:


Now it’s 716 more kanji I still need to learn!

For all the series I’ve added to this new kanji frequency spreadsheet:

If I lower the frequency requirements to showing up at least 2 times, it becomes depressing optimistic:


Hopefully there’s a lot of overlap where one kanji is frequent for multiple series!

Vocabulary Spreadsheet

For vocabulary, the numbers of a bit less reliable because of parsing errors (not too much of a problem because I cross-reference a list of words mined from Japanese dictionaries) and character names that I haven’t marked as names (to exclude from the stats).


For vocabulary, these numbers actually look quite good! I just need to be less lazy and get to learning them.

If I likewise lower the minimum frequency to be counted, the numbers increase quite a bit:


This looks like Autumn Mode, where all the green turns to shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Time to get back to adding words to Anki!


Shocking!! sobering

I wonder how many of those are names…
and how many are jargon from specialized field…

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For Detective Conan, volumes 1-8, so far I’ve marked 29 vocabulary words as being names.

Of course, Detective Conan is an exception, since every few chapters there is a new case with its own cast of characters.


Current status: I’m in the trap of not making Anki cards lately. (I’m lazy, after all.)

I’m considering joining the seasonal “read every day” thread and doing a daily write-up listing what I read (with a fun panel screenshot or two) and which words/kanji I created Anki cards from it. If I add this extra routine, it might help me stick to a schedule for adding cards to Anki. (Maybe.)

It does feel a bit weird to jump into the thread when it’s halfway through the season, but I know no one will mind. Just the opposite, they’ll probably like to see more people participating.

Elsewhere, somehow I didn’t realize it, but on my frequency spreadsheets, the column for the number of items left to learn was mistakenly showing the number of items I had already learned! Once I corrected the formula, the actual numbers of words left to learn are much lower.



Yotsuba dropped from the incorrect value of 419 words left in my target range (words that appear at least 15 times in the series) to 19. Suddenly it feels like I’m actually making progress with vocabulary =D


After quite a length of time doing only my non-Apprentice WaniKani reviews, focusing on only reviewing Guru and higher, I have hit an unexpected milestone:


I repeatedly failed to recognize enough Guru+ items that I had so many cards fall into Apprentice that it’s up over 600 now…

To celebrate, I added 29 cards to Anki, something I’ve been slacking on.


Another recent milestone is I now know 100% of the words that show up at least 15 times in よつばと!.



Re. growing Apprentice stack:


I guess now you know the group of Guru+ that were weak and can now be strengthened? I would feel overwhelmed by a stack of 600 Apprentice… but I suspect that you will clear them through Guru faster than you think, because they don’t tend to fall deeply into the apprentice levels ???


Anything that falls into Apprentice is currently going into a black hole as I’m not doing Apprentice reviews. I’m only reviewing Guru and higher (since going back I don’t remember how long).

It seems like I should have cleared out all my Guru by now as I haven’t done lessons in two to three months, but here are my current stats:

Once my Guru are empty, I’ll see about doing some Apprentice VI’s.

Part of what makes it difficult is that most of these words are ones that never come up in anything I read. For example, 究極 showed up five times out of about 60,000 words in Sailormoon and hasn’t shown up in any other manga I’ve read or am reading that I’ve run through OCR. (I still have a bunch I need to run through OCR, though.) Since I finished reading Sailomoon some time ago, it seems I won’t be encountering this word much any time soon, outside of WaniKani reviews where I get it wrong each time because I don’t remember the reading and/or the meaning.

The good news is that I’m still constantly (albeit slowly) learning new kanji and vocabulary from my manga frequency lists.


It’s a very different approach to WK than what I’m doing. But I expect it will be more relaxing for you on “the back 9” (second half of the game, from golf). I’m going into this second part with Guru Master Enlightened each never below 600-ish. And I’m knocking “known” ones back down regularly.
Like you said, you need to know what you will USE! The higher levels are a mix of common and uncommon words. For example, I am shocked that 彼女 is WK37!
I sometimes wish (as with Anki), you could simply toggle “off” some that are never in the materials that you read. (to deal with “later”) (For me, “later” never comes LOL)


It’s a lot easier to create Anki cards when I’m being intentional about it.


Upon reading my first manga in Japanese, a few pages in I encountered the word 情報(じょうほう). Learning the reading + meaning was easy, but this was pre-WaniKani for me, so I didn’t learn the kanji while reading that volume.

Fast-forward about four years later, I feel like I’ve learned and forgotten the kanji several times.

I don’t know what it is about this word that I have trouble with its kanji.

But looking at my list of most frequent word to learn next across multiple series, it looks like it’s about time for me to tackle 情報 (hopefully) once and for all.

I’ll admit that when I realized three items all showed 情報, I found each series that had 情報 coming up in the next 15 or so words, and I focused on learning those to get 情報 as the next word on as many series as I could.

The orange frequency column tells how frequent the word to the left is in the series, and the blue color is telling how frequent the word 情報 is in that series.

And speaking of 情報, I learned recently that I can move my threads to a different board. I thought I’d tried that in the past and couldn’t. Looks like my study log will be moving out of campfire soon, and will finally be indexable by search engines!


Wow, considering your penchant for collecting data, 情報 feels like a word I’d think you would know by heart haha. There’s really no telling which words any given person will find easy and struggle with though. Hope your increased focus on Anki goes well for you - I probably should make cards for mine more consistently but for now I’m mainly focusing on getting through new stuff on WK


Previously, I wrote a script that lets me see (for example) if I watched an anime with subtitles, and I learned every kanji in one episode’s subtitles before moving on to the next episode, how many new kanji would I be exposed to in each episode?

It’s a very unrealistic scenario, but fun to look at.

I thought, why not try this with manga?

I don’t have anything set up to go by chapter, but going by volume is simple enough to fit into my existing code. This also means that kanji on the cover, in notes, on ads for other manga from the author, in copyright notices, etc. get counted. Additionally, a small number of misparsings may exist, which would slightly inflate the numbers.

Here are some results:


Volume New Kanji
Volume 1 419 kanji
Volume 2 141 kanji
Volume 3 125 kanji
Volume 4 114 kanji
Volume 5 82 kanji
Volume 6 52 kanji
Volume 7 64 kanji
Volume 8 68 kanji
Volume 9 41 kanji
Volume 10 47 kanji
Volume 11 67 kanji

(I’d love to see a per-chapter listing, but I don’t want to have to manually write out the start/end page numbers for over 100 chapters.)


Volume New Kanji
Volume 1 737 kanji
Volume 2 226 kanji
Volume 3 163 kanji
Volume 4 107 kanji
Volume 5 81 kanji
Volume 6 73 kanji
Volume 7 75 kanji
Volume 8 51 kanji

Even if you’re not learning every kanji as you come across them, these lists emphasize just how monumental a task it is to read one’s first native material, especially if your vocabulary is small at the time.

You’re hit with a large volume of “unknowns” right at the start, but over time the amount of new kanji (and vocabulary) you’re being exposed to (at least within a series) drops off.

Of course, since most people are not learning every kanji/vocabulary as they come across them, there will be many repeated items that the reader has forgotten and needs to look up again, so the dropoff in new material over time doesn’t mean the same dropoff in lookups.


And speaking of first-time readers, how about the oft-recommended Yotsuba?

Volume New Kanji
Volume 1 485 kanji
Volume 2 122 kanji
Volume 3 123 kanji
Volume 4 103 kanji
Volume 5 68 kanji
Volume 6 43 kanji
Volume 7 73 kanji
Volume 8 47 kanji
Volume 9 58 kanji
Volume 10 31 kanji
Volume 11 42 kanji
Volume 12 53 kanji
Volume 13 36 kanji
Volume 14 38 kanji
Volume 15 34 kanji

Manga Progress

To date, I’ve completed 32 manga volumes this year.

This puts me at half of what I completed reading last year. This is below where I’d like to be for manga. I plan to increase my reading over the summer, using the summer read-every-day thread to post my progress.

名探偵コナン (8 volumes completed)


My top manga read this year has been 「名探偵コナン」. I honestly didn’t think I was ready for it yet, and here I’m more than halfway through volume 9.

Just keep reading, keep learning vocabulary, keep learning grammar, build your stamina, and you go from “there’s no way I can read this” to “this is actually pretty easy” before you know it.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I read these volumes in English several years ago.

I’m still waiting for the day I can read 「ハヤテのごとく!」 without being completely lost and worn out (even having seen the subtitled anime years ago). Who knows, after all these text-heavy pages of 「名探偵コナン」, maybe that day will come sooner than I think.

But my primary goal, for now, is to reach where I left off in reading Detective Conan in English (volume 61). If I can manage 15 volumes per year, that’s just four years!

好きな子がめがねを忘れた (5 volumes completed)

My progress on this series has really slowed, as I reached the end of the available series. I started 2022 at volume 4, and volume 9 just came out.

I’ve really been enjoying the series. The first two or three volumes are just kind of so-so (below average) as it seems to be disconnected episodes of situations based on the title (the girl the main character likes keeps forgetting her glasses, which she can barely see without).

However, a few volumes in the composition shifts more toward crafting a slow-moving story with the main characters and it became much more interesting and enjoyable from there.

Since I rate an “average” story (for me) as three out of five stars, I’d say this one started out as two stars and became a solid three stars.

からかい上手の(元)高木さん (3 volumes)


This is my “something easy to read” to take a break after reading a whole chapter of Detective Conan.

I learned recently that this series has a different artist from the main Takagi series. I didn’t even notice! But it does help explain how the author can have so many series running concurrently.

それでも歩は寄せてくる (3 volumes)

This is my “is it possible to read this in less than two sittings?” entry.

At least it gets a new release fairly often!

恋に恋するユカリちゃん (2 volumes)

As I worked my way through this series, I was unaware it ended at five volumes.

I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to see more events in the Takagi world. The story beats are quite different, so it’s always worth checking out the free previews of the five volumes before committing to buy.

現代魔女の就職事情 (2 volumes)

This series I felt was always on the edge of being something better, but just didn’t quite make it there.

I suppose it does at least weigh in as average for me. The series did do a good job of tying up all lose ends without being rushed in the final volume.

俺物語!! (2 volumes)

Start of 2021:

End of 2021:

I managed to stretch 「俺物語!!」 out quite a bit, but it was hard to put down the last volume, and I finally finished it today. That means I’m ready to start reading orange with the book club in a week!

(Of course, now I wish there was more of 「俺物語!!」 to read.)

キラキラ100% (1 volume)


This series came out in the early 2000s and it shows. (Not meant as a complaint, just an observation.)

I think the main issue for me reading this series is that the art style sometimes leaves me confusing one character for another, which gets me confused with what’s going on. Then I figure I’ll read something less confusing for a bit, and I don’t get back to it for long stretches of time. I think the solution here would be to read at least one page every day (and if I read more, all the better).

It also doesn’t help that I’m not really one for the typical “high school romance” genre. I do want to at least complete volume 3 before I decide whether to continue the series.

ちいさな森のオオカミちゃん (1 volume)

My next ABBC nomination, but not until I’m running fewer book clubs.

Book Club Progress

  • からかい上手の高木さん (3 volumes)
  • おじさまと猫 (1 volume) [former book club]
  • 幸色のワンルーム (1 volume) [former book club]

The former book club items I haven’t made much progress with, but it’s hard to say whether that’s because they aren’t keeping my attention enough, or if Detective Conan is keeping my attention too much.



What does it look like to do something daily—every single day— for over three years, then forget one day and not remember for a month?


The same thing happened to me with iKnow some years ago. I had been doing daily reviews for a long time, then I forgot one day and iKnow didn’t come to mind even once until six months later.

This came up because I realized recently I had gone a few days without utilizing Anki. I normally keep it open on my computer but must have accidentally closed it. Out of sight, out of mind.

(Coincidentally, this also happened at work… I had a process I did daily for over a year, forgot one day in April, and had a supervisor whose unit is affected by it recently ask if that process isn’t being done anymore. It was the one daily process I didn’t have a reminder set up in Outlook for…)

Elsewhere, I’ve created my first Migaku frequency list.

At the bottom-middle of this screenshot is the frequency section, showing this word’s frequency in slice-of-life anime, shounen anime, and the first nine volumes of Detective Conan.

I probably know most of the five-star words for Detective Conan by now, but there are plenty of four-star words I don’t know yet. (More stars = higher frequency.) This makes it easy for me to see which ones are high frequency when I do lookups while reading.

Since I can’t enable/disable frequency lists per book in Migaku, for now, I’ll create lists only for the longer series I’m reading. This is mostly Detective Conan, but I’ll probably create one for Orange since we’re on volume one in the book club and I have the first six volumes indexed.


Sorry to barge in here, but I wanted to ask if you still have the “Sound sisters” Anki deck you mentioned in this thread. ChristopherFritz's Study Log - #241 by ChristopherFritz
I’m asking on behalf of another learner (I don’t really need it myself). It seems it’s not available at the original source anymore and it’s hard to track down any copies.

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The deck is still available if you sign up for CureDolly’s newsletter. However, because of CureDolly’s passing, I don’t think anyone would object to me putting a link to bypass that:

Let me know if this link doesn’t work for you (or the aforementioned learner), and I can see about uploading a copy somewhere.


Thanks a lot, the link seems to work for me. I’ll see if I can pass it on to the other learner.
If you think it’s an issue you can remove the link from your post.


Anki Update

I’ve given my Anki deck a huge overhaul:


All leech cards have been deleted.

For vocabulary cards, this doesn’t mean much.

For kanji cards, it means my Google Sheet that tracks my known kanji per various manga series just had a bunch of numbers drop.

This is useful because I can re-target leeches that are common (high frequency) in series I’m currently reading (while ignoring the ones that were common only in series I have finished).

Vocabulary Cards

All vocabulary cards not created from my manga frequency lists have been deleted.

These were generally a mix of words I knew very well (no use reviewing them), and of cards that would be leeches if I didn’t unintentionally have settings on my old deck that discouraged cards from becoming leeches.

I’d say this will free up half an hour a day for me, but I stopped reviewing this deck months ago because I was spending half an hour a day on words I know very well and leeches that were dissuaded from being marked as leeches.

Instead, this means I no longer need to see that number of pending reviews (which was up to the 400s now) from growing further.


It’s nice seeing only 0’s again.

(The “Migaku” deck is where my frequency-based cards reside.)


I did this on my phone.



I blame Grammarly for probably correcting a typo incorrectly.

(Either way, the cause was me miskeying =P )


My days with Japanese continue satisfactorily.

I get in my manga reading every day, even if it’s just a little on some days.

I usually get my Anki reviews in.

I occasionally add sentences to Anki but I’ve reached the point where the words I add only show up a few times across several manga volumes.

As I give advice to new learners here and there, I’m reminded how grammar tends to repeat more often than specific words (as many different words can be used with the same grammar). I think I should swing the pendulum of learning more strongly back in the direction of grammar.

I occasionally look through Bunpro and mark off known grammar, and read up on some other grammar, but it doesn’t stick just to read about it. There’s plenty of grammar that, while not necessarily uncommon, I might not see it for a few days or more. That gives me plenty of time to forget it.

There’s always SRS for grammar (something Bunpro has right there), but I’ve found that SRS for grammar doesn’t work well for me.

Current plan: Continue to utilize Bunpro to look up random grammar, but also put together examples from manga. This is something I used to do a lot on my Japanese learning blog, but it’s a hassle to go through all the steps for posting there.

I need something where I can paste in Bunpro’s grammar explanation, then quickly and easily add in manga examples.

The less friction, the better.

For that, a note-taking application seems well suited.

This should also help with grammar that I’ve “learned” through immersion, but haven’t really read up on to learn the nuances.

Since I use a Synology NAS, I figured I’d give their notes application a try.

It’s a little finicky (it wants to keep setting the font size to 10pt in tables), but it seems like it might work out.