How far can I go with Wanikani + GENKI 1 and 2?

I’ve recently started using GENKI 1 (actually I didn’t finish lesson 1 yet). I am just curious, will I be able to work with native material? Like reading stuff, maybe watching anime? Or is it just the beginning, and I will need other books and stuff? By the way, English is not my native language and I didn’t “study” a lot; I used to watch and read stuff until I achieved a “decent” level. But it seems it doesn’t work this way with Japanese.


It will have you start reading manga but with struggle (depending on your tolerance for searching things you don’t know).

Mhm, Portuguese is much closer to English than to Japanese (I guess your native language is Portuguese based on your username :stuck_out_tongue: ). We also get much more exposure to the English language that it’s hard for Japanese to even compete.


Sure it does. But your initial gap is much larger in case of Japanese. Hence, you need to study to the point you can use Japanese source to develop further.

Kanji is painful because you can’t read anything in Japanese unless you know at least the common ones. WK will get you to being able to read kanji just fine.

But to read Japanese you also need to understand grammar, otherwise you will struggle to parse sentences even if you know the kanji. I don’t think Genki teaches you enough grammar but it’s a good start. You need to continue to actively learn grammar from other sources.


Yes, my native language is Portuguese :grin: . It’s nice to know that I will be able to read some manga.

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I feel really lucky to have found WaniKani. I don’t know if I would have the discipline to learn kanji all by myself. Thanks for the insight.

would you recommend starting with genki or minna no nihongo after achieving level ten of wanikani and having learned both hiragana and katakana? from what I read, genki is simple to understand at the beginning (since it has the “progression” from english to hiragana etc but only gets you so far, however so many people recommend to start with genki and then move on to minna no nihongo, but with limited budget to spend I’m wondering which way to go (as both books can be quite expensive by themselves)

I’m only level 10 on WK but I’ve covered Minna No Nihongo 1 + about half of Minna No Nihongo 2 in uni classes in the past and I can already translate some manga panels for friends and I also understand a lot of sentences when I watch anime. I think if I was level 60 on WK and I had finished Minna No Nihongo 2 (I’m assuming MNN and Genki are equivalent) I would be able to understand most simple manga and anime.

You should also look into Japanese From Zero

I’m not as familiar with minna no nihongo as I am with Genki, but as far as I know they both cover the same information (but in their own different ways). If choosing between those 2, I’d go with Genki (getting the workbooks might be a smart option too). If you’re really tight on your budget, I’d recommend you to check Tae Kim’s Guide to see if it works for you (again, covers the same info as genki and minna). It’s free and online.

(Choose the Grammar Guide, not the Complete Guide)

There’s also Japanese Ammo with Misa if you’re okay with watching videos. Here’s her playlist (she has much more):

The first video might seen a bit raw, but the quality really ramps up after half a dozen videos.


If you want to see what Genki I and II are like, I recommend checking out this playlist. It covers Genki I and II, and I’ve personally been using it without the textbook. If you want to purchase a physical copy, I’d recommend going through this to see if the content is what you’re looking for. However, I think this playlist has enough information and is so well done that I haven’t needed to purchase the textbook along with it.


Hello, I’m currently working through Genki and feel like it’s a good starting piont to get into grammar. It has a lot of exercises as well as listening and reading parts.

I absolutely agree with @Elysiium - that playlist is amazing!

When I went through a chapter I’ll watch the video from the previously mentioned ToKini Andy Genki playlist to revise the points. He gives more in depth explanations and provides multiple example sentences. That’s one part where Genki is a little lacking but it’s easily supplemented through this playlist!

After that I put the grammar points I learned into BunPro to revise them over the next days and then work on the Genki exercises via Seth Clydesdale’s study resources. I do make sure to check if the Textbook has additional listenings (most from the textbook are missing on Seth Clydesdale’s page, most from the workbook are on there though).
If I’m still not certain about something or want to revise an earlier point I’ll check my Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.

I’m pretty sure that you can learn everything that’s in Genki from other resources online but I actually like working with it since it has a structure, trains reading and listening and gives you a good amount of “beginner” vocabulary that is immediately useful.

You have to decide if a textbook / workbook is the right thing for you or if working with free guides and youtube playlist is more your style.


Thank you so much!
These playlists actually sound like amazing resources, will defo check it out.
I definitely want to use a textbook, as I remember how useful it was for me when learning English and Spanish, having the structure and progression of it helps me a lot as I tend to be quite lazy (the main reason I decided to join this community - I am afraid of stopping Wani Kani in the middle because of lack of self-discipline).
I’ve asked about the level 10 thing cuz that’s what they saind in tofugu’s guide, to get a textbook at around level 10, but reading about genki I felt like i can do it earlier? level ten would be for minna no nihongo (I find it interesting since it is mainly learning Japanese from Japanese and having a translation textbook in Portuguese, my native language - not a priority since I live in the UK and basically speak English better then portuguese at this point).
I’ve been watching anime in Japanese for about 10 years now, so am quite comfortable with the language when hearing it and can understand some key sentences. I also always watch movies in their native language… So yeah, really looking into actually understanding the language and its structures.
I literally started studying the language a week ago, still in level 1 (started WK for real on Friday), so I know I’m in the level where it all still seems too easy <_> But after wanting to learn this for so long and finally starting, I really want to actually do it, So yeah, if you have any tips for self-discipline I’m all years! haha
But very much looking forward to being part of this community and embarking on this new step!


Honestly, it’s your choice. But I feel like Genki can be started much earlier, I started at level 4, and I am covering chapters easily.

You can absolutely start earlier, I started working on Genki shortly after I started WaniKani and I am noticing that a lot of kanji you learn here are used in the textbook.
Especially the first two Genki Chapters focus more on hiragana / katakana so if you’re familiar with them you can jump straight into it.
I do work on Genki a bit slower compared to WaniKani (currently I’m working through the chapter 5 exercises and am level 7 on WaniKani) but that’s a personal preference.
I think that if you have leveled up some more on WaniKani you have an easier time with some Kanji and vocab - it basically gives you a head start - I personally did not feel that I needed it though.
I think the same applies to other textbooks or grammar resources, having a bigger understanding of Kanji will give you an advantage, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still start grammar.

To self discipline I can just say:

  • Pick one thing and stick with it. If you like a certain textbook or playlist, keep doing it.
  • Build a routine and do your reviews daily.
  • Start and never stop.

You can totally use Genki without being far into Wanikani.

Just have a look with how slowly they teach the Kanji. You’re supposed to know the ones used in the “reading” sections at the end of the book, not all the ones in the chapters. They’re there to ease you in, but not to be studied all at once.


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