How has WaniKani changed over time? How will it change in the future?

I’m level 4, been here since October and I love WaniKani so far. I’m really curious about how the service has changed over the years and what you know or expect is coming down the pipeline. Has more vocabulary been added? Will there be new features? Fewer features? I really want to know!


There used to be only 2048 kanji. They added a few kanji and vocab a couple months back. For the most part, the content seems to be pretty fixed though. Every once in a while, they’ll remove a vocab that isn’t pulling its weight (I think two or three total have been removed in the time I’ve been here, the last year). You can also look at the past Content Updates threads here to get an idea of what has been changed.

However, the API changes they announced appear to presage much more ambitious changes, including changes to the way the SRS itself works.


In addition to this, at some point, there was a big radical overhaul and lots of the names and mnemonics changed. They also made the content pages available for people who aren’t subscribed, but that doesn’t really impact the learning experience haha


I’d say that it is very much a “work horse” type of site as in it just does this one thing- teach kanji and a limited amount of vocab in support of that goal. Vocabulary seems to be a stumbling block for many new users but its real function, as it relates to this site, is to help you learn Kanji readings. Therefore, WK encourages users to use other resources for further language learning.

And in terms of features, as you look through the community threads, plenty of users have created many scripts and other content to tailor their experiences.


There was a very big content update in September last year, I think, where they changed a lot of the radical names and mnemonics, Added a bunch of kanji and vocab, too. Then sometime after that they added new audio to the vocab, by professional voice actors, male and female. Before that I think the audio was Koichi?


Remember when there was a big uproar over the WaniKani logo change, and general site layout change about a year or so back?

Then there was the addition of the timeline and the cute pictures for the lessons/reviews.

They changed the voices awhile back too. I can’t remember if it was always male & female or a random mish of both.
I do remember that the old female voice used to say 札 super enthusiastically.

Have I become an old member already?
When did that happen??


Now I wish I could hear Koichi’s audio.


Yeah, that time when the community nearly started a riot and almost virtually burned down the Tofugu HQ:
ah, everything is different!
so now they announce all the changes to the site, because they rolled this one out silently and alot of people just came back to their dashboards after a reviews session and the homepage refreshed and they were like AAAAAAA CHANGE and just lost it. everyone calmed down after a few days tho.
They also removed the links to the lattices from the dashboard, now only people who were there know they existed
Kanji lattice:
vocabulary lattice:
They used alot of resources, so less people using them as regularly made it easier on the servers.
You can find major updates by finding threads complaining that scripts are breaking generally. the dashboard overhaul broke alot of scripts, and the API change did too, so naturally people went to complain about it as a first port of call instead of waiting for it. there’s also content updates that happen regularly for minor changes and bug fixes.
I do remember a changeover between voice actors from one voice for one reading to a male and female voice of much higher quality and audio for all the vocabulary readings, although i joined just after the content overhaul so i don;t know much about that. the only traces of it you find is if you take a randm guess and type “mullet” instead of “cliff” or some other old name of an item it is marked right even though it’s not listed as a name.
As for the future, i heard Koichi is planning on releasing a textbook called EtoEto that works alongside Wanikani for grammar and not wanikani kind of stuff.


Thanks for the links to the lattices. They are quick and useful “inspirational” overview of my progress :+1:

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I think the community has changed a lot. When i see very old threads it seems like the chat is much more “adult” lol. Also i think the mnenonics have changed a few times and there’s also the UI changes and implimentation of the forecast feature from a few months ago


Moar @Kumirei!


Yes. And new kanji too! For example, when I joined in 2016, there was no 喉 - then it was added. Another one that comes to mind at once - is 叩。

Many radicals were renamed once (I hope this particular thing won’t happen again though, it was quite problematic to relearn them even though they are better then the previous ones).

Mnemonics get changed for better ones from time to time too.


I’m really looking forward to this one.

In other words, yes, WaniKani keeps getting better, it’s truly a great resource!


I had not seen that post. Thank you! It is really great to see how things have changed and continue to improve.

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Old mnemonics were more remarkable for me (because they were more offensive… )


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