Full Japanese Course Wanikani Style?

Good day to everyone. For a while I’ve been using Wanikani and I must say that its practicality and effectiveness go beyond my comprehension. I want to start learning Japanese grammar, but I don’t know which service should I turn to. A while back I bought the books Minna no Nihongo, but in my lifestyle, sitting on a desk and practice Japanese writing while studying grammar is not an option. After all, I don’t think spending so much hours into Japanese calligraphy would help at all.

Hence, I’ve been looking a Japanese complete course in the style of Wanikani. Something that is able to explain me the theory behind Japanese grammar, with frequent reviews and levels. Mobile and tablet support is a must. I was wondering if anyone knows of such a service or platform?

I’ve been investigating some of the topics in the forum and I’ve found some resources that, for one reason or another, they don’t help my cause. Renshuu is just an exercise databse (which is implied in the name, and it would be ace if it had some theory), Marugoto Online its a mess on smartphones and tablets, and Bunpro tries very hard (this is service is close to what I’m looking for), but “feels very cheap”.


Well, the reason why WK is such a good product is because it solves the problem in a very effective way, compared to other tools. This is also precisely why the closest you’ll get to what you want for grammar is Bunpro. They launched last September or so, so they still have a lot of potential to show off.

The thing with Bunpro is that you can’t just read the example sentences and think you understand the grammar points (like a lot of people do). One needs to read the links recommended (and more). Take notes, write your own example sentences, etc.


The WK team is also working on another project called EtoEto which will be an SRS-based grammar site – it’s been in the works for some time though and it’s unknown when it will be ready for release (The first rule of WK: we don’t ask about EtoEto :durtle_the_explorer:)

It’s a rather large feat though and creating something like that and ensuring its quality will take some time :crabigator:

So as it stands, there are no sites similar to what you’re looking for out there (yet), and though you mentioned you didn’t like your impression of Bunpro, I do highly recommend it as an effective tool for getting a healthy grammar routine in place.

Using its features and supplementing with additional reading and writing your own sentences for practice/reinforcement of grammar points can still prove to be largely beneficial if you don’t want to go the textbook route :slightly_smiling_face:


Indeed, bunpro shows a lot of potential. The fact that they launched on september explains why everyone feels so raw. I can’t wait to see it develop into a strong grammar tool.

Yes, I’m aware that grammar is ten times more complicated than Kanji, as it relies in logic and structure. Yesterday I found all that extra information bunpro offers when they teach you in the flashcards, but everything still feels a little bit chaotic. I’ll try to stick with bunpro as much as I can bear.

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Have you tried Lingodeer?

It’s beautifully constructed, has great audio and it’s free! At the moment I’d say it only covers up to around N4 level grammar or the Genki books. I emailed them to say that I’d completed all the lessons and that I’d love it if they had more advanced grammar in the pipeline. They replied saying…

“Yes, in about three months you will see a lot more content in the Japanese course. Please stay with us. :)”

I honestly believe that if Lingodeer covered everything that’s in Bunpro it would probably be one of the top 5 things that have been created in the 21st century.

Bunpro’s excellent but I just don’t enjoy it using it. I need to be spoon-fed information with pretty colours :joy:


Glad to know indirectly of such a senstivie topic around de WK community, Thanks for the heads up.
Yes, I am quite aware that what I am asking is something pretty difficult; most of the services feel like Duolingo with a twist, which is not bad to be honest. Services like Marugoto Online give you little accomplishments in little time, but given my story with Japanese (this is my 3rd time trying to study it), it bores the hell out of me and feels very casual.

I do love what Bunpro is trying to do, but I feel it has some glaring flaws right from the start. In my opinion, the UI is a little bit chaotic. Simpler colors and a clean presentation would help a lot (again, like WK does). But yes, for the last couple of days I’ve been relaying into Bunpro as it is the closest thing to what I want. I believe that if I combine the services of Wanikani, Renshuu, and Bunpro I can get a more or less crash course on Japanese with mobile support and free of Japanese calligraphy or written exercises. .

If I’m allowed to do a little bit of ranting, I have no clue as to why Minna no Nihongo series hasn’t developed an online platform. I mean, the material and the structure is all well made and done; by investing a little bit you could have the same quality on a virtual space (I can’t even understand why there are not any ebooks), which I am no expert on the subject but I’m sure most of the language learning is spinning towards the mobile virtual platform. The fact that they still rely on a physical CD for all the listening exercises speaks volumes of how outdated the people at Minna no Nihongo are.


I reckon it’ll be worth the wait. I bet they could release it now but they just want it to so good it blows everything out the water.


I know it will be! The Tofugu team has been fantastic and they’ve really made a difference in the unique niche of the online Japanese-learning community ^^

Future learners will have a nice package of kanji + grammar when it does come to fruition :slightly_smiling_face:


You’re right! In fact I don’t think it’s too dramatic to call them pioneers. I love WK. I love the articles they write. They’re a top bunch :bowing_man:


Ugh. Do not even get me started on this. On the one hand, I could barely be happier with WK (though it would be nice to have real timelines for features and revamps, and as someone who’s bought into the model, it would be nice to look forward to levels beyond the ones that currently exist), but on the other hand, the way EtoEto has been handled really grinds my gears. I really don’t understand how a project can be announced without any idea of a timeline. Waiting is not a problem. Waiting blindly is extremely annoying.


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I did but didn’t get into it. Because of your recommendation now, I’m going to give it another shot :smile:

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I should work for them :joy:

True that. Reminds of when I had to walk somewhere with my Mum as a kid. Are we there yet? “Just after the end of this street.” You said that five streets ago!!


Bullseye good sir/maddam! This is exactly what I was looking for (and for free!), and it would had flew out of my radar as it logo and name screams “Duolingo clone” Just as a fun fact, thee information they give you is straight out of Minna no Nihongo, also most of the structure and the order of topics is the same. It’s just a shame it’s short in its content, hopefully this gets developed into a full time learning tool.

Still, I am rooting for Bunpro and EtoEto (but from what I can grasp, EtoEto release date is far from close).

I believe the secret behind WK success is the fact that is a tool to learn Kanji for foreign, rather than a tool to learn Kanjis for Japanese elementary students (which im sure 90% of Japanese courses in the world follow the Japanese way of teaching). We need more tools to learn Japanese made by foreign for foreign.

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I know, right?? Everyone’s favourite price!!

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Yeah, I hope that when they told me more was in the pipeline that they mean at least taking you past N3.

I reckon the Japanese education system should adopt WK’s model. Those kids are native speakers so remembering readings should be a piece of cake for them given that they think, hear and use those sounds 24/7. They could probably learn all the kanji even faster than us using the system.

Thank you for this! I kept seeing that icon floating around in the Play store, but was dismissing it as a Duolingo ripoff… which, I like duolingo for other languages, but the Japanese course is lacking at best.

I just did the first few lessons on LingoDeer though, and I can see right away that I had jumped to a conclusion about it far too quickly. I’m going to add it to my routine as I begin to delve into grammar. Woohoo!


True dat. I used it and it helped me with the basics but I outgrew it after 6 weeks or so. The one thing I like about it is the way they turn words and grammar particles into little lego blocks to be rearranged in sentences, it really works for me.

I’m a bit curious now how the EtoEto team reacts to Bunpro. If Bunpro is not at all similar to what EtoEto’s concept is, then they will proceed as before. But if EtoEto was designed with cloze questions like Bunpro, then it may present a big challenge for the further development of EtoEto. After all, the imperfect product that is available now beats the perfect product released a year from now.

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I know really very little about EtoEto, but my understanding is that it is intended to be much more substantial and ambitious than BunPro. I think I remember reading that they wanted to focus heavily on shadowing, for example.

I’m sure it’s at least a mild concern, but where BunPro is simply trying to be SRS for grammar (+ bringing together grammar explanations into one place), EtoEto is trying to be the complete package - an online textbook.

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I love WK’s method too, so I’ve been moving through a grammar textbook and making a TON of anki cards from it. But honestly Anki is so bad I’m about :ok_hand: this close to writing my own SRS app.