Fun fact: what you can't read is divided by 2 every 10 levels

Starting to have some troubles keeping the pace recently, I wondered at which level would I stop.
Then I noticed that every 10 levels I divide by 2 the chance to encounter a new kanji !

I got the percentages from and they are pretty similar for Twitter, Wikipedia, Aozora and Online News.

In the end I think I will go up to level 60 and beyond ! :smiley:


Nice. Didn’t expect it to match an exponential decay curve quite that closely. :slightly_smiling_face:


This got me wondering what the chart would look like for a few things. Based on the stats setup I already have, the charts I put together are “can read” rather than “can’t read”.

As expected, all the curves look fairly similar.

Note: These charts begin at level 5. They are based on total kanji included in the material, not unique kanji.



Your Name

Kiki Books



GochiUsa Volume 1

Rental Oniichan Volume 1

Anime Subtitles


Kiki subtitles

My Neighbor Totoro subtitles

Porco Rosso

Laputa subtitles

Sailormoon subtitles

Video Games


Pokemon Alpha Sapphire


This is a cool chart. This is said nowhere but I guess the chart is about knowledge of the kanji, not the vocabulary. We still need to learn the words outside of Wanikani.


In fact, I was thinking “If I stop at lv 30 I will only do half the work and still be at 87%. Is it really worth it so spend double the time to only get 11% more ?”
That was not very motivating.
Then I took it on the other way and realized that dividing by 2 what I can’t read every 10 levels is way more motivating ! :smiley:
I find it interesting than in most of your charts there is a bump between 40 and 50 and then a stagnation between 50 and 60 even if I would like to have the exponential graph appearing on them to help the comparisons and the motivation :slight_smile:

Yes you’re right we still need to learn the words but we can at least recognize the kanji, guess a probable reading of it and don’t need an OCR to look for vocab made of them in a dictionary !


Level 30 is a time where you recognize A LOT of Kanji. But 75% Kanji knowledge is still horrid, it means you need to look up every FORTH KANJI and that is not counting vocabulary and grammar points.

So it is absolutely worth it to learn more and more Kanji. They just help in every way.


This is so cool, thanks for doing it! I need to reach level 10! :joy:


This is very insightful. Thank you! Knowing that at level 10 I’ll already be able to identify so many kanji is reassuring.


For those who are sub-level 10, I’d like to take a moment to temper your expectations. The last thing anyone wants is for you to become disillusioned upon completing the big one-oh.

Things you’ll need to understand Japanese:

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Kanji (for reading material without furigana)


You can’t properly understand what you read without knowing at least basic grammar. WaniKani doesn’t cover grammar, so be sure to find a source, and to start learning grammar, as soon as possible.

If you feel you’re not ready yet (maybe you’re still getting used to doing daily WaniKani lessons and reviews), you can hold off on grammar a bit. By the time you reach level 10, if you haven’t started learning grammar, you’ll want to start.


There are plenty of vocabulary words that WaniKani doesn’t teach, even though it teaches you the kanji. (This was touched upon earlier in this thread.) For example, you learn 見 (see) at level 4, and you learn 学 (study) at level 5, but WaniKani doesn’t teach 見学(けんがく) (learn from observation). The けん reading for 見 isn’t taught until level 9.

There’s also many vocabulary words written without kanji to learn.


Finally, knowing 50% of kanji typically means you’ll keep finding sentences half-filled with kanji you don’t know.

This sounds discouraging (is sort of kind of really is), but so long as you have the right expectations once you complete level 10, it needn’t be a sudden shock.

Below are some examples of manga panels and what levels WaniKani teaches the kanji used in them. Remember, just because WaniKani teaches the kanji, it doesn’t necessarily mean it teaches the words.



  • 待: Level 12
  • 人: Level 1
  • 私: Level 6
  • 地: Level 6
  • 元: Level 3
  • 一: Level 1
  • 緒: Level 38
しろくまカフェ bis


  • 食: Level 6
  • 共: Level 11
  • 食: Level 6

You’ll have to learn (とも)()い outside of WaniKani.



  • 今: Level 3
  • 度: Level 9
  • 狙: Level 37
  • 本: Level 2
  • 当: Level 5
  • 頑: Level 14
  • 張: Level 23


  • 今: Level 3
  • 銃: Level 39
  • 突: Level 26


  • 私: Level 6
  • 発: Level 9
  • 表: Level 9
  • 終: Level 10

  • 逆: Level 28
  • 読: Level 10

I’m coming up on level 10, and even just hitting level 7 or so was super exciting for me as I realized I was able to identify a really large chunk of the kanji in Genki 1’s chapter overviews (table of contents? The bit at the front with a list of all the new kanji for that chapter) even though I’d only learned kanji from WK. I really wish I’d known about SRS years ago!


Probably slightly related to this phenomenon?


@UdonMagoo Probably… I have no idea. So many possible links, causes and relations, my brain melt at half of the video xd

@ChristopherFritz I noticed that 俺 (おれ : I, me) is taught at the lv 44 so that might explain the little hop we can see in some of your graphs :slight_smile:


The one thing that seems to be forgotten regarding the language portion of that law is that many of the most common words are used in a grammatical fashion. And, those can be used a myriad of ways.

So, ultimately, I’d take this thread as an acknowledgement that fewer kanji need to be looked up, but you may still have to look up the meanings of the words themselves. Possibly even many grammar structures.

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