Fell off the wagon, how to restart?

I’m at level 11, with level 12 unlocked but untouched.

I was progressing well and happily enjoying my lessons and reviews, although they were getting to be a bit much at times (100 a day?). Then my life got very busy and the daily reviews got to be too much. I dropped to doing only a few reviews a day and stopped doing new lessons. 100 reviews became 200, then 300, then I stopped trying altogether beyond 20 reviews here and 50 there to try to start again. That was 2 months ago.

Now I have over 600 reviews and 128 lessons. I stopped new lessons altogether so I don’t get further in the hole, but I cannot get more then 50 reviews in before getting tired of it and quitting for the day. I also feel like I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned before, although I do tend to somewhat remember after getting it wrong once or twice.

Anyway, looking for advice on how to restart? Power through and spend a few hours to get the full 600 reviews knocked out? Standardize I’m doing a certain number a day until the review list shrinks? Also without doing new lessons it feels like I’m just sitting still and it’s not much fun anymore.

Overall, feels pretty defeated. Halp.



Hi there,

I don’t know much about dealing with massive review piles, but you can try…

  1. …to use the reorder script and do earlier levels first. That way you can get a better feeling of what level you should reset to, if it must come to it.
  2. If you aren’t already, get the timeline script to see the upcoming review schedule. This can help prevent unexpected increases in the review count as you’ll already see them coming. Mainly a motivational thing, but can also help you set up your review schedule.
  3. Do reviews in small chunks. Aim to get your reviews to 0, but not in one sitting (spreading them out can help prevent abnormally large waves in the future). This is not to saying to do only a little bit every day, but to do a little bit, a lot of times every day (how effective this feels can be improved by knowing how many new reviews will be added onto your review pile in the future. See tip 2). On the web app, use the wrap up button during reviews to force it to be only 10 at a time. I recommend using a mobile app (Flaming Durtles on Android is very good, can’t say anything about the iOS alternative) as well; this allows you to review whenever you have a bit of free time, and thus more opportunities to chip away at your current review stack. Once you smash your current review stack an app is great help in keeping up with reviews.
  4. Progressing with a large review stack is tricky and can worsen your situation, but I think it is manageable with reorder script. It sounds like you still have level 11 vocab in your lesson queue. You can try forcing your reviews to be backwards, that is, to feed you level 11 reviews, especially kanji, first, so that you get up to speed with that (if you like using the WK radicals for the kanji, it could also help to force review those first, or do some radical self-study). Once you feel comfortable with the level 11 stuff again, you can try taking small batches of level 11 vocab lessons (I like 4 at a time). When you do reviews, reorder so that the newest stuff comes first. That way those new items won’t get lost in your current review pile and you’ll be able to progress all the while still hitting the older reviews. Hopefully this keeps you encouraged as both your lessons and review numbers slowly but surely shrink. Don’t do too many new lessons before you’ve gotten your review count under control and review schedule more or less normalized.
  5. purely motivational advice: doing reviews can be a lot of not fun, make sure to take mental breaks. If you’re starting to feel burnt out, go back to whatever it is that made you study Japanese in the first place. Maybe you’ll randomly encounter a vocab word you just reviewed, or subconsciously try to piece together a word you haven’t seen before but know the kanji for.
  6. Listen to others more experienced for their advice as well.




I heard about self quizing script. I don’t have an idea how it work because i never used script before.(i do wanikani in my phone). I think maybe you want to do the quiz after you put on a vacation mode starting from level 1 up to your current level. It might take couple days( or weeks) but it is better than missing enlightment or burned review and wait 2~3 months. Good luck

I was getting way behind and losing motivation after I got busy with school work. I was around level 15 at the time. I tried multiple times to get back on the wagon with 500+ reviews waiting. I was not able to get going again. Once I hit 1000+ I decided to restart.

So far I’ve been keeping up with the reviews. I’m also more aware of how many lessons I do at a time. I’m keeping a good pace so I don’t get overloaded with tons of reviews.

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I’m about where you’re at, but a few levels lower. I fell off the wagon for the entire month of December and am now working my way back. I had 550+ reviews and 123 lessons when I came back. O.o;;
The Reorder Ultimate Script is my best friend right now. I started from Level one, and did all my reviews. Level two, and do all the reviews. Continue doing Level 1 reviews as they show back up, start level 3 reviews. The Reorder script also allow you to take them in bite-sized chunks. If you hover over the buttons, it’ll tell you how many reviews are in each category. 100 radicals, 200 kanji, 35 level 1, turn off kanji and you can see there are 85 level 6 vocab, etc. So I skipped the large number of level 6 vocab (and level 5 all together), and decided to do the much smaller number of level 7 instead today. I’ll work level 6 tomorrow. As for lessons, they’re on hold until I can zero out my reviews and my number of Apprentice reviews drops to something manageable again.
As to the number of reviews you’re doing per day, multiple session a day helps. Do some in the morning, some after work, some in the evening, some on your cell phone when you have a few minutes. You can’t reorder the ones from the cell phone, but at least they’re getting done. And if you can only get 50 done a day? Who cares? Do 50 everyday and eventually your pile will be manageable again. Or more likely, you’ll start recognizing them more regularly and the number you can do each day will increase as they get easier. I only managed 37 my first day back, then 50, and now I’m at 130. I’ve been back 5 days and I’m still at 230 reviews. Maybe I can get 15 more done before bed!


just power through it, 600 isnt as much as you may think, you could get through it in an afternoon. At level 11 you could just do 100-200 a day and it’ll disappear.

Also not to scare you or anything but wanikani really kicks into high gear and it’s not uncommon to have days with 200-300 reviews. If you’re finding 100 is a lot make sure to take your time levelling up to not get overwhelmed


If it makes you feel better, I’m currently in a similar situation, except that I fell off the WaniKani wagon at level 15. I recently came back to a whopping 1400 reviews after almost a year off. Currently working my way through the backlog and have it down to 993 reviews. On the upside, I’ve been gone so long, I don’t have any new reviews accumulating on top of my present collection. I’m just picking away at the pile, slow and steady. I won’t start any new lessons until I’ve got my backlog erased.

I don’t plan on restarting, since I have a decent handle on the early kanji. I stopped using WaniKani for almost a year, but I kept up on my Japanese studies. However, I found that other methods of learning kanji didn’t stick with me as well as using WaniKani so I’m hoping to expand my kanji vocabulary again by getting back into the SRS habit. It isn’t easy to do 100+ reviews every day, but the results are worth it. I recommend checking out userscripts. They are very handy to customize your WaniKani experience. The Reorder Script and Double-check are some of my favorites for making my reviews more personalized. And the Ultimate Timeline is highly useful for anticipated review-heavy days.


Either you power through the reviews, or you reset to an earlier level.
I would suggest powering through the reviews, if you can find the motivation,
because resetting will, surprise, set you back ^^
People have defeated review stacks of 4000 before, in 2 weeks or so.
Consider that reviewing isn’t so different from doing lessons, you’re strengthening your knowledge of Kanji. And if you have trouble with certain items, just take a good long look at them and their mnemonics again, as if it was the lesson again. That’s what i do constantly.

You can also do separate training of leeches (items you have trouble with), so that they don’t come back so often, with the WaniKani Self-Study Quiz script and then getting the additional filters for it, which includes leech training. But that might mean more reviews of course, if you train more than leech reviews coming back.

Maybe try to listen to this for motivation:

(Recently featured in this video)

All the way!


You need to do more reviews, maybe do smaller chunks spread over the day. This is helpful for two reasons:

  1. This will be a start to a better daily review schedule so you can tackle more reviews over the day without burning out.

  2. You delay your reviews, so you don’t get it all back tomorrow.

Next you’ll want to do more reviews than you get tomorrow, because otherwise that stack will keep growing you’ll forget more items as they’re still on your review pile and you’ll get more items in your apprentice and guru piles, so yeah doing 50 reviews will be not as effective.

It has definitely happened that had too many reviews to do at once, I used the wrap up button to quit and took a break at those times. Then was ready, I would tackle other batch of reviews.

You gotta be patient with it and cut it up in smaller goals. Suppose you had 777 reviews, then my goal is not deplete this at once, first I want to get it under 750. Then you could take a small break and try to get under 700. After that I’m done for the day. You get back at idk 737 reviews and you break it down in smaller goals again, first get under 700 and then you take a break. Then you move to the next goal depending on how well you do with your current batch. Get under 650 or under 600 reviews. And you keep repeating that. Not only is that cutting down your reviews bit by bit, you will also be able to clear larger stacks in one go by shifting your goals. Now when you hit 0 reviews you can give yourself some rest. The next day after you hit 0 your goal is hitting 0 again. Don’t add new lessons until your apprentice pile is under a 100 items and add them in small chunks as well. I try to add 25 lessons whenever it’s convenient for me, but maybe you do better with 10 to start with. Your next goal would be to keep hitting 0 reviews and try to add lessons when there’s room for it, until you hit 0/0. Then you make a screenshot and post it in the 0/0 thread to mark your victory.

Good luck!


and if you want some inspiration, Mashira did 1700 reviews or so in a few days. Granted, she’s very motivated, you don’t need to go that hard ^^


Since you’re lifetime and you feel like you’ve forgotten a lot of the material already, I’d suggest resetting. It’s not that much content and you’ll feel more confident learning it the second time around (speaking from the perspective of someone who once reset back 24 levels).

Note: you don’t need to go back to level 1. Maybe try going back 5 or 6 levels and seeing how that feels


Yeah 3434 in 4 days… But that’s just KW, they go twice as fast :stuck_out_tongue:
My advice: just go. Don’t be discouraged by numbers. Just put in the time.


600 really isn’t as bad as it seems. Just start picking away at it, doesn’t need to be some massive session doing all of them. 20-30 in a sitting, go do something else, do another 20-30.

Set yourself a goal or pace to knock these out. Be down to 500 tomorrow, 400 the day after that, etc. Yes you will get a lot wrong but that’s fine.

Then after you get the reviews down to 0 for the first time, it will probably take a week or two to get your apprentice count back down to a point where you can take on new material.

It’ll take a while but it’s very doable. Small steps.


Well, I used the reorder script to start with the oldest reviews and then just muscled through. Took maybe 2 days of work here and there to get all the way down. The painful part isn’t just the motivation, but how the recollection drops after time. I’m amazed how many I got wrong. I hit about 65%. Missing 1/3 is pretty demotivating, but I started picking them back up quickly. I’m more motivated to stick with it and keep going.

My only struggle now is I’m not sure when I’ll feel like it’s a good idea to do the next lesson. Any thoughts on that? How do you make sure you take it in a measured fashion?


65% seems pretty amazing to me for something you haven’t looked at in a long time!
Imagine studying for a test, then stopping 3 months before it. Wtih 65%, you’d probably pass.

A common practice is only doing lessons when you have less than 100 apprentice items. Not sure about the exact numbers, but i think you’ll keep your daily reviews below 150 or even 100 that way. It depends how many daily reviews you can take, of course.


I fell of the wagon over Christmas. I did 3 months of just reviews (which is quite a long time, I admit).
I started with lessons again last week and have been doing 10 a day since then. It’s been going pretty well. What I did was just do reviews every day even though I could only manage a few. Some days I could do more than others, but I tried every day. Eventually, all that was left, was my leeches. That was also around 50. And most of those are now gone. I still have a few left.

Right now, I’m trying to keep my apprentice under 50, but that’s very hard. If they reach 70, I do self study to make sure I get them right next time and they don’t keep coming back to haunt me.
I’m finally progressing again. But perhaps it would have been easier for me to just reset back 2 levels. Whether you do that or not, you can get back on the wagon and continue onwards and upwards to level 60.

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