Background, and to give some relevance:
I started Wanikani back in 2020, took a small 429-day break, came back and climbed a 2000+ review wall. After which, I made a huge decision to drop (most) everything in my life that was not Japanese. The main reason for this was because I had a way of talking myself into procrastinating. For example, I would do my 20 lessons in Winikani and then say that I should take a small break to let them “sink in”, so I would play Runescape for a while (IronMan BTW ). Then, somewhere along the way, it would switch, and I would take a break from Runescape to study Japanese. Eventually, there was no Japanese, and I would just play Runescape. This happened over and over again with different games, shows, hobbies, you name it.
That was until I took the (crazy?) plunge and deleted all the apps on my phone that were used to waste time (ex: YouTube, Reddit, Spotify, Amazon) and restricted my browsers so that I can only visit 3 sites (WaniKani, BunPro, my favorite Japanese podcast site.) Once I did this wow, did my life change. I created a schedule for learning Japanese that includes how and when I would do my lessons for the day (20 WaniKani, 10 self-made Anki cards, 2 BunPro lesson.) I also started going to the gym every day, spent more time with family, got a routine sleep-wake cycle. It was just a positive upward spiral that I never saw coming. However, this leads me to my next point.
While putting more time into Japanese I realized that I knew NOTHING. Obviously, an exaggeration. But it felt that way when I started to watch anime with only Japanese subtitles and ESPECIALLY when I started to read. On one page I could come across 10 unknown kanji and 50 unknown words. If I was doing 10 Anki cards a day just this one page would take me 6 days to get though. Then I had to factor in when those words and kanji would come up in WaniKani. If it was in just a few levels, should I wait and do them then? What if the kanji is in WaniKani but the word is not? What if a word is made up of 2 kanji that I have never seen before? One that appears in just a few levels and on that shows up at level 50? It seemed like there was an infinite number of situations that would happen like this. And its not like BunPro where I can just add the lessons to my reviews and move on.
But what really made conclude that Japanese is insane was when I would know all words in a sentence but not have a single clue about what they were trying to say (edit: in the beginning, this is very rare now). This made me realize that I need to put most of my time into immersion (shocker). My main goal is to be able to read any book that I want without a dictionary and actually enjoy what I am reading. I know that if I stay on my path I’ll eventually get there (Insert something about this is a marathon not a race blah blah blah ). Moreover, WaniKani has been a big part of the reason that I was able to get this far in the first place. So, when the thought dropping it to focus on other areas came up, I got kinda #spooked. However, when WaniKani is over here teaching me words like 河豚(fugu, heard of it before? I never had.) while ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ(classroom of the elite) is teach me words like 自業自得 (Reap what you sow. #CoolAF) It really gets me thinking.
So that’s why I’m here, to hear what you all have to say. What do you think the best route for me going forward is? Continue with my set up that I have right now? Drop WaniKani and learn stuff as I come along it? Or a mix of something else? I honestly Love WaniKani and know that I works for me, but I’m just unsure if its the best path. Thanks for any advice you can give.
(Edit) TLDR: learning a lot of kanji and Vocabulary that is either in later levels in WaniKani or not in WaniKani at all. Should I drop it and just learn stuff as I come across it or not.