Click to see a cake

Today is not only exactly one and a half years since i started using WK, but its also more importantly the day i learned the last kanji on WK! So two reasons to celebrate today :tada:
(actually i hit 5000 burns today too, so i guess three things to celebrate? wait i didnt plan this :laughing: )


I was 25 when i started learning japanese, working as programmer 30 hours a week from home (corona times), while finishing last few classes for my IT masters degree also from home (sadly studying japanese was more fun than working on my thesis, so im still not there! but all classes are done and my thesis is almost complete, so i plan on finishing in January!).

While stuck at home for almost a year, i was pretty bored already, when i remembered one day that few colleagues from work were learning languages (German, Spanish) mainly through duolingo for fun - this intrigued me but i didnt really care about those languages enough, but which language would interest me?

I definitely spent close to 5000 hours on watching anime with eng subtitles (yea i know, sad, dont judge me haha :laughing:) and i really liked how the language sounds, plus theres also bunch of games, manga, novels or shows that either havent been translated or might be more interesting in japanse and very different culture i might understand more if i learn the language - so i decided to try Japanese duolingo. This quickly led to a serious studying which is more described in my japanese progress log. Sadly those thousands of hours on anime didnt give me as much as one might expect since ive been just reading english subtitles the whole time and havent really tried to get meaning out of japanese, but i feel like it gave me pretty good listening skills and hunch if the word sounds familiar or even if the sentence sounds plausible.

I also grew up bilingual (sadly two slavic languages, so not really hitting the life jackpot), and very early in my childhood i learned English mainly through videos and games (thanks runescape! not only will i not fall for scams thanks to it, but it also taught me english). Knowing three languages might gave me slight advantage with learning another language, but im not sure if this can be scientifically proven or if thats some bro science, those 5000 hours of anime might have very well been more advantageous to me haha.


After 1.5 years of learning Japanese (starting with WK and grammar both at once):

  • N3 oficially passed (149/180)
  • WK level 60
  • Genki 1 and 2 completed
  • Quartet 1 (N3 textbook) completed
  • All N5, N4 and N3 grammar points learned on Bunpro
  • Pokemon Shining Pearl completed fully in japanese (kanji mode - no furigana)
  • Good chunk of Breath of the Wild completed in japanese (about half of it is my guess?)
  • Many shows rewatched without eng subs - haikyuu, hajime no ippo, diamond no ace
  • Several volumes of manga read - yotsuba, eyeshield 21, detective conan
  • 23 conversional italki meetings with native almost completely in japanese completed

I do love graphs and statistics, so i hope you do too because you are in for a ride!

first half done in 7-9 days per level, second half a bit slower on purpose with 9-12 days, more on this in the section about my WK progress strategy below. Unsurprisingly this created both average and median just under 9 and half days.

I did reviews every single day, it averages to 191 reviews per day totalling 300h spent
I did lessons almost every day, more on that again in progress strategy below, it averages to 16 lessons per day (of that about 4 kanji lessons per day). It says 30h spent, but i think this statistic is just for testing the items since i have many days with just 20sec measured? so more if we calc in reading stuff about new items, i would guess closer to 60-90h.
Ive also tried to guess how many sessions per day i did, when i set 15min session limit (if there is 15min of no reviews, then the next review is next session, this is to prevent calculating bathroom break or short distraction as new session - not accurate to calculate time spent though, for that i had 2minutes set as session limit which is more reasonable) i got to about 7.5 average daily session.

sadly couldnt keep up with being 90%+ on everything due to kanji reading, but i still feel this is pretty solid outcome considering i was failing items i couldnt remember quick enough.

Split of items during the journed and what ive finished with.
It does look like all my item groups stayed mostly the same, but if you look closer, i used to have about 500 guru and 600 master items early on, but this very slowly over time changed into 800 guru and 800 master, you just cant avoid new leeches and kanji that resembles something youve already learned. That said im happy that my apprentice items always stayed around 100, but ouch that guru stack.

My daily reviews and time spent doing them stabilised pretty early on on about 200 reviews taking 40 minutes (reviews graph shows type of items - radical,kanji,vocab. Time graph shows level of items, black is total for both graphs)

Here you can see my slowly crumbling accuracy, do note that this is combined “correct item” accuracy (unlike the divided reading/meaning accuracy above), meaning even if i got only one of those wrong in a review, it is considered failed item, similarly to percentages you see at the end of your review session (again graph showing types of items with black being total)

Not quite sure whats going with level 52, it might just be a spike in transition from master to enlighten where most new leeches show up for me, ill have to check that later to confirm this. But all my homies hate level 21, i feel like every time i see someone post this graph, its the level 21 haha, probably due to jump to more abstract kanji like Blame, Clause, Duty, Evaluate, Occasion, Task and a lot of very similar vocab - i guess it wouldnt be proper intro into death levels otherwise.

For sneaky BunPro statistic most people dont care about here, even though i have found bunpro about 100 days later than wanikani, its apparent from days studied that i havent been checking there every day, i usually skip few days here and there, sometimes even weeks, but i always return and im glad i do! So far i managed to learn all N5, N4 and N3 points on there


before starting (or even deciding on) WK, i read through few posts on WK forum, mainly of course jprspereiras ultimate guide (if you havent read that one yet, just stop reading this and go there, it will be more useful, i promise!), but also few smaller posts of various speeds to understand how level up works, which scripts felt useful, what were peoples frustrations, what they said they regreted, etc… I wasnt interested in max speed of waking up at 4am for reviews or editing answers on key items so i can level up faster, i just wanted to go fast without sacrificing my daily life or other fields of japanese (it actually surprised me how many lvl 60 posts mentioned just N5 grammar knowledge, sometimes not even that, despite level 60 being more than enough kanji-wise for N2).

Even though i was against “editing answers on key items so i can level up faster”, I still used Double-check since day 1 for typos and close enough meanings (strictly and never for close enough readings) as i feel like the frustration without it would be too big and later Lesson Filter for more smooth daily rutine (again, just to smooth it, not to abandon vocab).
Another quality of life scripts i used and i can recomend are

  • ConfusionGuesser (quicker way to know what mistake i did, did i mess up kunyomi and onyomi, is it rendaku, is it reading of similar kanji - which?),
  • Similar Kanji (adds more similar kanji on their page so you can see all the differences between some confusing groups like 午牛 etc)
  • Jitai (font randomiser, good to not rely on one exact shape, helped me a lot to not be confused when reading kanji outside of WK, sometimes its not just about it having a bit different shape, but sometimes lines are connected in one font while there is a gap in other and that can really mess you up if you arent prepared)
  • Heatmap (nice streak counter and heatmap of lessons and reviews done, whats not to like with that one?)
  • Leech Trainer (adds option to train leeches - items you keep on messing up, i havent done it as much as i should have but i believe this is more helpful tool than the native recent mistakes one)
  • Ultimate timeline (adds graph for incoming reviews on top of WK page, more useful than native Review Forecast i feel like)
    Not a script, but websites WK Stats and WK History also helped a lot with checking how level ups and accuracy are going and for that dopamine of completing whole sections of JLPT/Joyo grades.

I didnt have exact daily schedule of doing WK, i just did all my reviews in first few hours after waking up and then learned X new items, usually in time for me to see it twice in reviews the same day (4 and 12 hours after learning), if i was extra busy i wouldnt do lessons or just do few (especially on vacation). Then throught the day did as many reviews as i could, some days i checked in basically every single hour as i was at home anyways, some busier days i just had just one big late session to try to at least not spill anything to the next day (not always successfuly), but i did reviews every day and every single day i reduced the number of reviews to 0 at least once. I never felt like vacation mode was neccessary as i always had at least half an hour to kill and do reviews, but its something people should consider more as returning to hundreds of reviews seems like the biggest quitting reson here, even just one day of not doing them can snowball pretty badly.

I did also use phone app on my android phone, first i started with Flaming durtles, but later i switched to Jakeipuu, which i was more happy with (but it has frutratingly long loading time on opening sadly and i still kept Flaming durtles for the offline mode for doing reviews in train with bad reception or for other rare occassions where i was without wifi and data for some reason), doing WK on phone is must have for those aiming at faster rate and accessing the website (without scripts) from mobile browser is just too janky and frustrating.

Now for how i decided on how many lessons ill do:

  • level 1-5, i still wasnt sure how busy i would be in the future so i mostly did all of lesson at once / as much as i could (like 73 lessons on my lvl up to 4), i dont really regret this as otherwise i would be quite bored, but it did cause some very hectic day few months later, but dont do it for more than first few levels!
  • level 6-8, experimenting with all kinds of lessons per day, 25 per day seemed best at that time as anything more didnt really help with speed, so whats the point of doing all of them at once?
  • level 9-15, mostly 25 lessons per day, some days less depending on whats left (this is where i started to use lesson filter for reordering, at this time only to do radicals asap)
  • level 16-25, almost always 20 lessons per day - i found out that by reordering stuff more, i could save some vocab unlocked at the end of last level to when ill be low on lessons in the second half of following level, thus making daily lessons more stable (about 7 kanji and 13 vocab, then up to 20 vocab as all kanji are learned) while still progressing at the same speed (do note that i always did vocab, it was just few days later than it would be usually, i was never left with 2 levels old vocab, dont refuse to use this script just because “you dont want to cheat and ignore vocab”, its useful for much more than that!)
  • level 25-54, almost always 15 lessons per day - with burns starting on level 23 for me and the fact that i could read so much now (almost N4 grammar-wise too), i felt like the best thing is to keep my strategy of fixed amount of items per day, but just slower. I didnt want to make 250+ reviews per day the norm, so instead of 7+13 i was doing i changed to 5+10 (with radicals on top of that on levelups and 15 vocab when i ran out of kanji). This change moved my level up speed from around 8-9 days to around 10-11 days, which helped me continue with about 200 reviews per day. I cant even preface how much im glad i did this move!
  • level 54-60, move from 5+10 to 5+8 and then at the end even to 5+5 as there is less vocab in last few levels and im struggling a bit more with those, often having to research at least a word or two every day as i dont even know the english meaning. This wont affect the level up speed at all, just stabilise the number of lessons and leave me with 70 vocabs at the end instead of 30-40 i expected originally (which ill do slowly over the next two weeks). Despite some people celebrating their 0 available lesson count, i hate when i run out of vocab as that means i could have distributed it more evenly.

I know theres plenty of people that are basing the amount of lessons they can do of their apprentice/guru count, which probably isnt a bad idea, but i myself have never used that to limit it (then again my peak apprentice count was around 130 and mostly around 100 since i was doing reviews really often, but my guru stack wasnt nice at the end), i was purely in the habit of doing x lessons every day. If you are limited on time, you might want to consider this strategy or even combination of both.

Last thing i want to touch upon here is speed of doing actual sessions of lessons/reviews. I fall into the camp of “if i dont know what it is in first few seconds, i input something incorrect and move on”, which i can recommend as i feel like it helped me a lot with deciding quickly what it is (super helpful when reading for fun or for JLPT if you are into that), despite lowering the accuracy in early stages significantly - in my eyes if it takes long time to come up with answer, then i obviously could use some more practice and thats exactly what i get with failing it, its not something you should feel down about, its really just using the advantages of SRS system into feeding you more often what you need to see more often.
It looks like i averaged about 200 reviews per 40 minutes, meaning i went through 10 answers (5items - radicals are insignificant at this point) per minute or 6 seconds per answer - considering typing also takes second or two (or more on phone), this was really as rapid as i could go. The mentioned ConfussionGuesser really helped with this as i usually knew exactly which mistake i did as soon as i answered and didnt even need to open up info (i would open it if i failed second time in the session or if i had no clue, like with new items)
Similarly i learned to just blaze through lessons too, i believe i was doing those in just a few minutes every day, not paying too much attention to the whole text, mostly just skimming for mnemonic if i didnt guess reading correctly instinctively. I believe in the strategy that it will eventually stick or it will annoy me into reading it properly after i fail it a few times, i cant recommend this one as much as the reviews speedrun, because i think this was just my laziness of actually reading the explanations and that they might actually be useful? :smiley:


Beware! This is the longest (and possibly a bit boring?) section where i basically have a log every time i changed learning strategy/tool or i achieved some milestone

WK day -14 (level N/A)
Before i started anything serious i downloaded Duolingo just for fun, it wasnt all that useful, but it was fun to keep the streak and battle in the leaderboards. It did teach me some things, it was pretty nice for kana especially, but it really lacked with teaching kanji properly and explaining grammar points more.

WK day -4 (level N/A)
After few days of duolingo i was pretty familiar with hiragana, katakana and some random words, but i couldnt piece out why is the sentence structured like that and kanji were merely random pictures to me. I started to google few things i was curious about, which made me think that this would actually be pretty sick hobby to start during the lockdowns and that i could do more than just kill 10minutes per day on there with better resources. It took me few days to research all the stuff people use, i mainly read through reddit, WK forum and other, more shady places like some personal blogs or youtube gurus (nearly fell into hole of endless research and not actually starting! beware of that) and decided that ill buy Genki books and Lingodeer and try using Anki and Wanikani to see what i like more.

WK day 1 (level 1)
Started grammar at the same time as WaniKani, i dont think kanji really helps with early grammar as everything at the start is kana only or has furigana, but i do understand why some people might want to wait with one to not get overwhelmed (although even then i would rather start with grammar first and then add WK after some time if thats the case).
I did Lingodeer more randomly than Genki and Wanikani and for me it was sadly waste of money as i finished only the N5 tree and half of N4 there, it explained grammar pretty well, but it didnt have the addicting nature of duolingo that i would want to visit it every day, which is what i was hoping to get since people seem to group it into same type of tool as duolingo.

WK day 6 (level 2)
I really disliked Anki interface and i was very hesitant on which deck to chose, so i decided to stick with WK for now and use Anki later just for vocab as WK isnt primarily aimed at that (spoiler - i actually never did as i knew the more common vocab not on WK from textbook or general use of language and i didnt want to learn vocab made of WK taught kanji before i learn it there).
I also started using KaniWani around this time which is just reverse WK for vocab (eng → jp), but i quit that on level 8 as it was getting increasingly frustrating with similar meaning words and i decided i would much rather spend that time elsewhere (grammar mostly). If needed in the future, there are some eng → jp anki decks better suited for this as WK vocab just isnt meant for this. Although i dont think its optimal, if you can stick with it it will no doubt improve your outputting abilities, just beware that some vocab on WK is there for reading practice, its not actually a primary way how to say something, so dont rely too much on WK knowledge with outputting.

WK day 15 (level 3)
Through WK forum i found few people on discord with similar level and goals, so i actually had someone to practice speaking, go over lessons together, etc (usually 1h per week, one week textbook practices, second week workbook). Most of those fell of since, but ive made few very good friends and it helped me a lot with sticking to the schedule. I really didnt plan to be part of any group or to output in general, but this really was great choice at that time. (Spoilers from the future :sunglasses: - two people stuck with me for all textbook studying so far and we are still meeting regularly and discussing a manga together).
Also around this time i found out ToKini Andy channel on youtube which i used in addition to Genki, really big help with the textbook! I should probably go and donate something to him since i leeched this hard without ever buying anything hahaha (not a big fan of any influencers patreon / subscription).

WK day 107 (level 15)
Discovered and started using Bunpro - with Genki 1 nearing the end, i felt like grammar was my weakest point, i did understand all the points fairy well, but Genki workbook just wasnt enough to produce it without errors and to distinguish similar things, Bunpro filled this need perfectly, although i never ended up using it daily without fail as i did WK. Note that aside of being SRS learning tool, this also became my first choice of searching for grammar i encounter, something like jisho was for vocab.

WK day 120 (level 16)
Registered to N4 which is to take place in roughly 4 months mainly as motivation to get quicker to the place where i would be able to use japanese for having fun with media and not just to rely on textbooks and learning apps. Taking JLPT in december was my goal pretty much from beginning, but i didnt know what those levels mean and whats realistic, now that i commited and registered to one it really gave me a good deadline to aim for.

WK day 137 (level 18)
Finished Genki 1, immediately started with Genki 2 with a bit faster pace to make it before JLPT.

WK day 243 (level 31)
Finished Genki 2, this was also day i planned to take N4 JLPT exam, but it got cancelled in my country, so i just did mock test which i passed pretty comfortably (96/120 vocab+grammar+reading and 56/60 listening), so i just considered myself to be at N4 level.

WK day 244 (level 31)
After N4 and half of WK done, i started doing much more things outside of textbooks, i joined absolute beginner reading club on WK (which sadly wasnt my kind of manga so i dropped out after 5 chapters, but good experience, thanks for people who organise those! seriously check them out), i started playing pokemon shining pearl in japanese, i rewatched few anime that can be enjoyed even if i dont understand all the stuff (mainly sports one hit that spot, i again really enjoyed Hajime no Ippo and Haikyuu - about 100eps combined of those those with just jp subtitles in the following two months).

WK day 271 (level 33)
After about a month of taking break from leaning new grammar, ive started Quartet textbook. Decision to continue with this instead of with more common choice Tobira was mainly thanks to youtuber ToKini Andy making (free) videos on those lessons explaining it in depth with lots of examples, which ive used together with Genki and Bunpro for some time and i really wanted to continue with those, the fact that its from the same publisher as Genki helped too as i was happy with Genki.

WK day 316 (level 37)
Finished the Pokemon Shining Pearl fully in japanese, much later than expected, but i finished it after 33h of gameplay talking to as many people as i could endure, not the most enjoyable way to play haha, most npc just spit out noninteresting random things. No grammar problems, however i needed to have jisho ready to search for vocab, surprisingly lot of kanji i havent seen yet even being in second half of WK.
After some thinking what to play next, i decided to risk playing Breath of the Wild in japanese and if too much, i might switch to english later (as ive never played it before and wanted independantly of my japanese studies), secondary choice was Ni no Kuni.

WK day 323 (level 38)
Registered to N3 which is to take place in roughly 4 months, this wasnt as clear decision as that N4 one half a year back as i didnt really need/want motivation to go faster, it was hosted in more distant place and none of my friend registered for this one, but i really wanted to try that since i was still salty about the N4 being cancelled and i didnt want to risk winter again as who know which new variant of covid could again emerge and cancel it.

WK day 334 (level 40)
Registered on italki to train speaking. Speaking was never my main goal when i started as my main focus was just consuming media, but reaching the level i never even expected in 5 years - let alone less than 1, i thought why not go all in with the language? It might open some doors in the future and if i ever bite the bullet and travel to Japan, i wont be as embarrassed.

WK day 365 (level 42)
Nothing special, but its exactly 1 year since starting, yeeey.
Also pretty good spot to say i wont do any fast levels quicker, i dont see much point in increasing my daily workload for more and more niche kanji. I even think its better to slow down (and focus more on grammar or immersion) or even end here than to speedrun it. You know, Im something of a completitionist myself, so i dont plan on straight quitting, just continuing as before for now, but if i notice the workload increasing, im slowing down…

WK day 399 (level 46)
Less than two months before N3 exam, i decided to try first mock test to know what to focus on more. I surprisingly actually passed this mock test, although i was just 4 points away from failing the reading and grammar also wasnt the best. While there were plenty of vocab i didnt really know in those readings, think the biggest problem was time, after my time ran out i still tried to read through it and just 10 minutes more would really help.
section 1 - 36.7/60 (vocab 23.7/32, grammar 13/28), section 2 - 23/60 (reading), section 3 - 48.5/60 (listening), total - 108.2/180

WK day 448 (level 50)
Less than week before N3 exam, everything went as planned, quartet 1 is nearly finished, i should know basically all kanji, ive had plenty of reading practice and although i havent finished N3 section on bunpro, im on 152/219 which is not bad at all. Time for round 2 of mock test
section 1 - 39.7/60 (vocab 25.7/32, grammar 14/28), section 2 - 45/60 (reading), section 3 - 55/60 (listening), total - 139.7/180
While small improvements with vocab, grammar and listening are nice, that reading change is just massive! Feeling much more confident after this, exactly what i needed.

WK day 453 (level 51)
Day of JLPT, surprisingly i managed to learn (barely) last two N3 kanji on WK two days ago, and mock tests were looking all right
I felt even more confident about vocab and reading than with mock tests, but i felt my otherwise very strong listening turned into mess, probably from being too tired already and the quality of speakers not being even close to listening with nice headphones. Theres about 80% chance i passed i think (worried mostly about overall points, not really about any section).
If i ever have to travel to other country for JLPT ill rather book a hotel than wake up before 5am haha what was i thinking.

WK day 465 (level 52)
Finished Quartet 1. Still just about 71% done with N3 grammar points learned on bunpro and even some learned not really solidified, ive decided to take some time before starting Quartet 2. The extra time will hopefully be spent on immersion as ive still yet to finish BotW, have quite a few anime ive been watching and we are planning to start reading Detective Connan manga with friends, which definitely wont be easy.

WK day 478 (level 53)
Finishing 4 volumes (35 chapters) of non trivial manga in 4 days without being frustrated at all.
Ive had a lot of free time while traveling to visit family abroad and since Detective Conan is weekly scheduled with friends (no rushing) and i was in sports anime craze (im normally not THAT into them, i promise!), i picked eyeshield 21. Diving that much into it is something i didnt expect this soon (most of the time offline as well, so just offline vocab dictionary to help me), especially since this isnt rereading something ive seen before and i didnt even knew single rule of american football before starting!

WK day 503 (level 56)
JLPT results are in! Not sure why i felt bad about the listening part, i actually crushed the whole exam and passed with better score than any of previous mock test. Very nice surprise!
section 1 - 42/60 (vocab+grammar), section 2 - 51/60 (reading), section 3 - 56/60 (listening), total - 149/180

WK day 542 (level 60)
Yea, thats it, level 60! Not the fastest run, not the slowest run, i think its ideal for my circumstances! The thing im really proud about is not the speed, but consistancy - never falling off and never getting impatient and changing the speed unnecesarily, so ive managed to do lot of japanese related stuff on the side without WK overtaking all the time ive had (common occurance ive seen with speedrunners). That said i was pretty lucky not to have any big obstacles in my life and obviously enough of free time, so dont beat yourself if you fall off!

WK day 549 (level 60)
Last kanji learned - day of writing this post, ubeliavable to know 2074 kanji! Although theres 258 more N1 kanji and god knows how many hundreds on top of that that ill have to eventually learn, im glad WK doesnt have more levels like some people suggest haha, the rest will have to be learned through immersion and mining.


Now this is something ive not seen basically anyone address, but i think it can be useful to others and i was curious myself!

WaniKani - 2x yearly = $178
Lingodeer - lifetime = $100
Bunpro - yearly into lifetime on sale = $132
Genki - 2textbooks, 2workbooks, answer key = $170
Quartet - 2textbooks, 2workbooks = $140 (note - still havent used quartet 2, so have something in advance)
Satori reader = $52 (on and off)
JLPT (N4+N3) prep - mock tests, training material = $100
JLPT (N3) fee + ticket to the testplace = $85 + $30
italky = $322
total = $1309

For less tangable costs
Netflix and Crunchyroll (jimaku-player tampermonkey script for adding jp subtitles there) for imerssion, but i was paying for both even before learning, so i cant count those in.
Few (digital) manga purchases, mostly stuff i wanted anyways and trying it in japanese was just killing two birds with one stone + this is pretty negligent category compared to rest as it didnt even exceed $50
Lastly i didnt own nintendo switch before starting to learn japanese and choice of japanese games on there helped with decision, and although i probably wouldnt commit to it otherwise, ultimately i cant really put this into “learning expenses”, can i? That feels like some elaborate tax evasion :smiley:

Is it too expensive? Even though its definitely more than i expected before i counted it, i still wouldnt say so, before italki it divided into about $55 per month which i feel like isnt all that bad for productive hobby. Even with quite expensive italki on top of it here and there, it was roughly $73 per month.
Of course, nothing is really neccessary and i can see how people are able to study just fine with minimal/none expenses (biggest hit for me would be grammar i think, especially beyond N4, thats where good free resources are getting scarce, Bunpro would probably be my number one thing to keep followed by textbooks).
The only purchase i would say i regreat is lifetime lingodeer, its not that its bad app - explanations are quite good and together with genki textbook it made learning the basic concept easier, but i was hoping it would carry me longer and be addictive like duolingo, i should have just tried month or two instead of impulse buying something on sale, oh well. I also wish i used Satori more, it seems like such a cool application, but sadly every time i subscribed i just couldnt get too far into it (and nowdays i can read or watch stuff that interests me more, so im not really interested in trying it again).


I honestly think this is the best way how to learn kanji. I wouldnt be here till the end if i didnt think so after all.
Is it perfect or neccessary? Of course not, theres a lot of things i would change on it (i am including small rant below) and i cant even really recommend it to anyone that sees $100 as a lot of money as i think it could be invested into resources that are harder to replace with free alternative, this really is just small quality of life improvement in one aspect on language learning. However if you can spend it (and liked the first three free levels), go for it!

Remember that even if you dont chose wanikani, their forums are free to use so come visit (i mean you are reading this so i guess you are visiting already? :smiley: )! Its about the only (usually) non toxic place to discuss learning japanese and asking for advice or to find people you can relate to! :slight_smile: Also there are book clubs that can help A LOT to get into immersion - its a scary thing to try tackle on your own for the first time.

The one advice i would give if you end up doing Wanikani is - dont neglect other parts of the language! This tool with its level progression is somehow superb at making people think leveling up is all that matters, but really theres a lot of stuff to do outside of Wanikani. I see quite often that people celebrate their level 60 and it turns out they havent done much/anything besides WK.
While that is still huge accomplishment, level 30 even with N5 grammar and few hundred kana only words offers so much more than just level 60 alone in my opinion, so if you are limited on time to spend on japanese, do try to incorporate more of grammar/vocab studying and later of course immersion instead of just trying to go as fast as possible on WK with the thought that everything else will be easier once you are done with it. If you are set on speedrunning WK - which i totally get, please at least reconsider the speed after 20-30 levels as thats when reading becomes really viable and the benefits from WK begin to slowly shrink.


Time to hijack this already too long thread to also complain!
Dont worry, we have all seen threads complaining about stupid context sentences or lack of functionality i do agree with lot of those. Some things shouldnt have to be scripts, especially not the really basic things like double check script or reordering script, but lets not focus on those topics as thats tends to just create toxic threads and i dont think those things will really change anyways, im at least glad we have this super awesome API we can do lot of things with ourself and great community of people who make scripts… for fun? :heart:

Instead i want to focus on other problem ive had and havent really seen any discussion, which i feel like could be realistically adressed?
My biggest pet peeve with WK are some some mnemonic, no, im not talking about stuff like cock not sounding anything like かく, while it would be nicer to have somethng better, im fine with that, i just need some image in my head associated with some sound. Im talking about one mnemonic having two readings, some exaplmes are:

  • なわ - 縄 “right now (なわ)”
  • なお - 尚 “right now (なお)”
  • はず - 外す " it has (はず) to be"
  • はす - 蓮 “The sacred lotus has (はす)”
  • わす - 忘れる “Wait, what was (わす) the reading?”
  • わず - 患う “I was a Ra (わずら)”
  • す - 吸う “You decide to sue (す)”
  • すう - 数 “It’s because someone sued (すう)”
  • さく - 作 “puts them in a sack (さく)”
  • さき - 岬 “get rid of your old meat sack (みさき)”
  • く - 区 “that’s the cookie (く) district”
  • くき - 茎 “You brought cookies (くき)”
  • はか - 量る "the hacker (はか) "
  • はく - 白 “to hack (はく)”

In my mind hack and hacker are basically the same image, so asociating them both with the same thing is not helpful at all AND They even have estabilished はか mnemonic used in 墓 “New Zealand All Blacks to do the Haka (はか)”, so why not use that (even though i had to google what haka is)? Ok, maybe that one is just me since once is a person and other acitvity, but i cant really justify the rest of them

On oposite side, sometimes one reading has multiple mnemonics and while thats mostly fine and sometimes other mnemonic makes it more memorable for that case, there are instances where one would be fine and the other one is just… really bad? Like we learned reading for 幅 as habanero (はば) and the only other instance of はば reading in 阻む used “habbah habbah habbah (kind of like hubbah hubbah)”, seriously? Its not even remotely useful mnemonic so why not reuse habanero again?
And while im ranting about random screeches not being proper mnemonic, i wouldnt mind if 災い got some better mnemonic too, “Say it along with me: Wahhhhh! Zaahhhh! Waahhhh! (わざわ)” just isnt cutting it, i know its hard to come up with something, but random screeches, really?


I still own and plan to use Quartet 2 in the future together with Bunpro to get me to N2. Since im waiting for a friend to get ready for N3 exam in December, that part will probably start early next year. I do plan on taking that JLPT too, i might try in the July 2023, but i doubt ill get good enough with grammar and vocabulary in time, so December 2023 is more probable. I dont have much plans after that, but eventually N1 will have to come in into play i guess since i like my deadlines and certificates ill never actually use, no plan on what kind of resources ill do for that, ill probably have to get a 新完全 for that :smiley: (that said i think ill keep N1 in reserve for long time sice i like to aim at something and i dont want to lose big goal - and no, i dont plan on doing kanken haha, then again, noone really plans on doing that early in their studies)

Now for what i plan to replace WK with? Of course ill mainly immerse more with time ill get! Sometimes i forget why i even started this whole journey, but i like watching/reading/playing japanese things and havent learned japanese just for fun of learning a language hahaha!
Does that mean there wont be any SRS replacement? No, few months back i thought about jumping on premade anki deck (i saw mention of core 10k with flags for what is in WK, so i could easily exclude those and end up with like 6k items), but then i realised i learned lot of stuff already, be it from textbooks or immersion and that any premade deck would just be annoying to go through with not much benefit to me and that ill eventually need to bite the bullet and start mining my own stuff.
Ill probably just stick with just WK reviews for month or two before starting to mine, but its something i will have to do if i want to improve and good thing is that the more i watch/read, the more stuff i can put into anki, so i cant fall into the trap of doing so much SRS/studying that there is no time left for fun and immersion. Ideally i would want to limit it to like 20 minutes a day (about half of what WK is taking now), so its never really taking considerable amount of free time for me.

For which specific things i plan to immerse with

Manga - if i finish/get bored of Eyeshield 21, ill probably hop onto Fire Punch or Grand Blue
Games - after im done with BotW, ill try Ni no Kuni.
Anime - I still dont feel extra confident about watching something new as im easily frustrated with low comprehension and pausing the video to dissect subtitles is significantly more annoying than searching with manga, so i might again rewatch something ive seen with english subs ages ago so ill limit the pausing just to when i have no clue or when i encounter some unknown vocab multiple times.

And of course there has to be a cake! I knew if i made one myself it wouldnt be edible, so i ordered a special one in WK theme and oh wow, i really didnt expect it would look this good!

Other angles of the cake

edit: its a delicious choco cake!

Thanks for reading! I spent more time than i should writing this, so do let me know what you found the most interesting so i dont feel like my time was completely wasted! (and i do hope noone is bored enough to read all of it, go do your reviews or something :laughing: )


Congrats and welcome to the level 60 club!


Congratulations on reaching level 60!!!

That cake looks really great!
me want some :drooling_face:
but is it real?

Sticking through to end is definitely not easy. I also loved reading your progress log to see your methods develop as you continued through WaniKani and I can certainly learn a thing or two from your journey. You’ve inspired me to reach level 60 for sure!

Good luck with your future Japanese studies :blush:


That is one impressive cake!!


Very impressive to have done so much in so short a period of time. I don’t know how you managed to do so many lessons per day!

You’re definitely proof that multiple sessions per day is better than just one (as long as you keep up with it).


Thanks fot this very interesting post. I admire your consistancy over all that period.

For sure you win the right to enjoy a cake. And it’s a wonderfull one, well done.
I hope you can take a picture of the inside of the cake before eating everything :birthday:


Thanks for the post. I loved the stats. How did you do that? Are those stats found on Wani-Kani, or did you make them yourself?


Thanks everyone for kind messages :slight_smile:

Im sure all cakes are lies! im glad the post motivated you and thanks for making the WK history page, made the journey better for me! :slight_smile:

ill be sure to edit in photo of whats inside later today (probably more lies :laughing:), but havent sliced it yet to find out.

Oh yea, i think that move from one to two-three sessions per day is huge for SRS timing reasons (especially if you hit the timing for apprentice items, waiting 4h or 24h on new item makes a big difference), but obviously thats not possible for everyone. While 7 per day is certainly even better, its probably not that big of a deal compared to 3 in terms of SRS timing, its still much easier to do few sessions of 30 reviews thruoughout the day than one of 150 (+ this is really big luxury i had during the lockdowns and work from home period :smiley: )

Theres multiple sources:

  • For the level ups and current status / accuracy i used (you need to have API for that that you can generate on wanikani page under account - API tokens, then just paste the generated token into the webpage)
  • For the blue/red Reviews/Lessons chart i used Heatmap script [Userscript] Wanikani Heatmap (here you can also find out link to get the script and hopefully all the info you need to get scripts working in the first place, it does take a few minutes to set up tampermonkey and Wanikani Open Framework, but after you are done with that all scripts are just question of few secionds :slight_smile: )
  • For the level difficulty - error percentage i used extension of heatmap above called Workload graph [Userscript] WaniKani Workload Graph
  • For the rest - SRS item info, revews per day, time spent on reviews per day and review percentage graphs i used webpage WK History where similarly to WK stats you need to paste API into

Impressive cake!

Congratulations on reaching level 60 as well!


Congratulations and that cake is truly a work of art! :astonished: :crabigator: :durtle_noice:

Well, as dessert you might give this one a try! :wink: Really well done in getting to the end! :clap:


Thank you for this super thorough analysis of your Wanikani journey! As a newbie, it is always great to be able to learn from people with level 60 experience, and it is amazing to see how much someone can learn in just a year and a half (when adding in other materials, of course)! Would you mind sharing what you plan on doing next in your language journey?


Hi Nirgan and congratulations on your achievement! You deserve the cake, which looks absolutely awesome! :flushed:

Funny coincidence: we are level 60 brothers! Today I also reached this milestone in wanikani (however, not the last kanji like you did, so it is a bit different). I will not hijack your thread with it though, since I am planning to make my own “soon”… :sweat_smile:
Oh boy, this will be a wall of text as well… Maybe I should just steal your template for it? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

A few random remarks: totally agree with zeroing out reviews and not doing vacation mode. I think that being as consistent as possible and doing every day without excuses is a very efficient strategy. 200 reviews per day and 40 minutes looks like a top speed to me! Surely no speedrun, but absolutely fantastic. I am really impressed you kept it up and found the time to immerse yourself with even more Japanese Language material. Big respect for such endurance and consistency! :open_mouth:

I agree also with your rant about the mnemonics. I am afraid, I need to write about that aspect in my thread as well. They are sometimes incredibly smart but could be better (and more consistent) in other places… :roll_eyes:

I took a few interesting suggestions from your post (about the Youtube channel, apps, and so on), so that is definitely useful. I would be interested to know how Anki is working out for you? You wrote you found it not so nice in the beginning, but now you are returning to it? Any recommendations/experiences here?

Also, how is your reading/gaming/listening coming along? Do you often stop to check things or do you just let it immerse you and be content with getting the gist of it?

Have fun celebrating! Don’t speedrun the cake though… :smiley:


If you mean japanese related, then ive hinted on my future plans at the end of my post - mainly immerse more and after WK reviews settle down, ill start mining stuff into my anki deck - meaning watching/reading stuff and picking something i reckon is worth learning (not yet known and not too rare), i havent yet settled on the way how to do this, but yomichan (which is the extension i use to quickly get meaning of words - you just hover over the text) should natively support so ill probably just let it auto create it and not customise it too much

Besides this mining im starting N2 grammar early next year (Quartet 2 + bunpro) in preparation for JLPT N2 next year. After that i dont really have any solid plans, but using shinkanzen N1 book seems like solid choice to slowly get to N1 level while just maximalising immersion and enjoying the possibilities.

If you mean learning any other languages, then no im not planning on learning any other, i would be a bit interested in other asian languages (korean and chinese), but since i know i have to have stuff that interests me from there to immerse, that wouldnt work out and it would end up forgotten just like german i learned in school and never used since, i would rather just polish japanese to no end :smiley:

Oh! I stole all the spotlight haha, my bad :laughing: big congratulations as well! Feel free to be inspired by anything ive done here, ill make sure to read it! - im quite interested in others fresh takes now that i can see stuff from the top and im not just clueless beginner for a change :slight_smile: So far im glad we have some of the same remarks :slight_smile:

Sadly i cant really give much input on the anki thing, firstly i think i didnt have it set up correctly and didnt understand what are all those buttons and settings so i quit after just few days (this was about the same time as starting WK)

Then around level 20 i tried anki again this time with tango N4 deck to prepare me for N4 exam better, i learned from my mistakes and watched few jp youtubers set up their anki and explain what easy/hard buttons does, how to set intervals, etc
This had slight success in that i did 20 days with 20 new items, but i fell off really quickly after that - i think premade decks just arent good match for me since i was too annoyed about being presented stuff i already know or stuff that uses kanji ill soon learn on WK. Also i wasnt biggest fan of ankis daily intervals (this probably could have been altered slightly more to WK style if i tried a bit more?)

Now this will be the third time im trying to be friend with anki - this time without premade deck, just mining stuff (probably will use yomichan autoimport to anki via one buttons click), as mentioned in the post ill wait a bit before starting since im still a bit encumbered by WK reviews.

So really the only advice i can give here is watch some youtube videos on it so you understand better what works how and try to pick premade deck carefully / mine your own stuff.

For easier type of manga like eyeshield right now im usually reading one chapter in 20 minutes and checking dictionary maybe two times in the meanwhile as its pretty clear from context even if i dont know some word. A bit harder manga like detective konan is closer to 30 minutes per chapter now and i try to jisho all words im not sure on, because overseeing something in a crime investigation could make the whole thing confusing - so usually like 10 lookups (i assume this will get lower as i get more accustomed to detective/crime words and jargon)

For anime im usually just watching something ive already seen years ago so i know major plotpoints and i rarely stop it even if i dont understand, only when i really want to dissect it. For games i tried way too hard with pokemon and learned that its not worth on some side conversation, so now im basically just hoping i understand what to do for side quest and jisho only when its the main quest related - i usually play with laptop on the side so i can do it really quickly without really taking me out of immersion.


Congratulations on level 60! Also that’s a really nice cake. I was planning on getting one made for level 60 too, when the time comes, but I imagine it’ll be expensive so it probably won’t look as good. Incidentally, how expensive was it to get that made?

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Well first, congrats!!!
And thanks for writing all this! I actually just read the whole thing and it makes me feel really good! Sounds like I’m a lot like you :slight_smile: a programmer, early 30s, and I have a special place in my heart for Slavic languages.
A lot of things you said resonated with me, I basically have the same WK strategy and use the same resources! So far Genki 1, and to follow 2, and quarter, with bunpro. I also tried some other things which I dropped like you and for the same reasons x)
So feeling as we are so aligned, it’s really nice to read about the rest of the journey and how successful it turned out! It’s exactly what I’m hoping for myself and sounds like it can become true!
So thanks again, super inspiring, and hope you continue to have fun with Japanese and enjoy this new super power that you have!

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Unfortunately i have to dissapoint you as this was done by a family friend, so it was criminaly cheap even with a big tip. Also comparing our prices to those in the US would be a bit misleading anyways since everything is considerably cheaper here - if this wasnt by a friend, my original guess was around $60 maybe? but as i said, it ended up much cheaper :smiley: i think if you google custom cakes in your area, you can find some good approximation for the amount of detail and price you can expect. I do hope to see more WK themed cakes here even if its something really simple like kanji writing on top of it or 2d picture of crabinator :laughing:

also if anyone was curious i edited the post to include the insides, its a simple, but delicious choco cake :smiley:

Oh, lot of similarities indeed! Im glad my results can be so inspiring for you, ill keep an eye on your log to see how your journey is going, maybe eventually youll discover a tool that might interest me for a change :slight_smile:

I originally felt like the post was a bit overdone and perhaps major waste of time, but seeing this motivate so many of you really made it worth it :slight_smile:


That cake was a lie though… :scream_cat:
Well, the cake was very real, just finished it recently (froze most of it, and had to eat it before it got too old)
But I reset 10 levels and are only 56 at the moment =P

Also, DANG!!! That cake (OP) is AMAZING!!!


Is it weird that I want a Crabigator cake for my birthday now? Lol


I literally just had breakfast and now I’m hungry again. That cake looks so good


Congrats on making it to 60!

And what an amazing looking cake too! Do you mind if I share the pictures with rest of the team? :crocodile::crab:

Thanks for the feedback too, I’ll share that with the content team. Good luck with the rest of your Japanese learning journey and once again, what a wonderful cake!


Oh the author of licorice chocolate cake themself! Thanks, but you made the cake yourself, so i cant even compare with my bought cake, wish i could do something edible myself, maybe i can pick up baking as hobby if i get sick of japanese one day haha :laughing: Hopefully you can enjoy the nice view on level 60 soon again :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing the feedback with the team! Now it would be a bit rude to let you only share negative stuff, you should definitely show the cake to everyone too if they arent yet sick of seeing crabinator related stuff every day :smiley: :smiley: