Is it realisitic to plan to finish 60 levels in 2 years?

Asknig mainly because of the Christmas sale. I see that yearly subscription fee is $89, while the lifetime subscription fee is $199. So, if I am able to finish 60 levels within 2 years, I actually only need to pay $178.

I am new to WaniKani but not new to learning Japanese. I am quite confident in grammer, and can read Japanese manga with help of a dictionary. I want to get to a point where I can read manga without using a dictionary, so I joined WaniKani.

One big advantage is my first language is Cantonese (Chinese in writing system) , so it is actually very easy for me to write Kanji as the shape are nearly identical (in a way where German and English are using nearly identical set of character). Onyomi of the character is also somewhat similar to Cantonese (but kunyomi will be totally different) and meanings are also guessible.

I have joined around 2 weeks ago and I guess I am able to unlock level 4 within this week. Do you think it is realisitc for me to finish 60 levels in 2 years? Should I go for the lifetime plan or year subscription?

Thanks for the reply, but I see that many reply seems to suggest 2 years is enough to reach level 60. My target is not just reaching level 60, but to burn every vocabs. Is 2 years a realistic time for that?

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People finish in 1 year, 2 is certainly realistic, but it depends on being able to do your reviews every day and not make too many mistakes.

I’d say $20 is not worth the rush or possible loss, and you can always keep using it after.


60 levels over 2 years is about 12 days per level (ignoring the post-60 reviews to finish leveling all items to burned). I have seen examples of people leveling up every 7-9 days consistently (it is certainly possible), but I wouldn’t call this “realistic” for the average user. You never know how well you’ll do on the higher levels or if you will be able to maintain steady motivation for the entire duration (I myself took like 400+ days combined break here and there). I personally think this is a bad bet to make to save 21$, as you won’t have to worry about any changes in pace with lifetime.


If you buy the annual in January, I think you’ll get it taken off next year’s lifetime sale price
so you could buy annual now, see how feasible it looks in a year, then go to lifetime if you think you need it then

I wouldn’t recommend rushing through wanikani in about a year. I did it in about 1 year and 2 months, but thats far from knowing all the kanji. The problem that will emerge is, that you will have a lot of reviews per day (about 450 at some point), which is really exhausting over time.

Take your time and enjoy the process of learning. 2 Years isn’t enough to completely finish (burning) WaniKani


That’s not how it works. You only get prorated for the remaining time. Otherwise you’d basically get the whole year for “free”.

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If someone bought annual 6 months before the sale, how much would be taken off?

As much as half a yearly subscription is worth, which I don’t know of the top of my head.

I get it now
I thought it was just based on the last one you had at time of purchase
(so if you were on monthly for 12 months it only took one month off, but if you had been on annual it took the 12 months off)

… well there goes my plan

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Chances are that you will have far more problems with japanese than the price of it. Are we really discussing 20 bucks for two years?


Definitely lifetime.

Adding on to this, it’s also just a matter of total invested time. If you check out level 60 celebration posts, many of us included stats that display the time we took per level and in total. In my case in particular, the stats say I spent around 390h of reviews and 94h of lessons over the span of 523 days, and that meant on average about an hour spent everyday on WaniKani for the sake of simplicity. That’s conditioned by how fast you’re able to level up consistently, which is at the same time conditioned by your retention rate and being lucky enough that the items you fail are not the ones that make you level up (kanji).

I was on a monthly plan, I preferred it that way because it made me aware of the money I was investing and motivated me to push forward with resolve, and because I could quit and stop paying the next month if I wanted/needed to. In the end I ended up paying about lifetime price on sale. I don’t regret it at all because I had no plans to use WK after a couple months at Lv60 nor I plan to return to it, but it was only possible because the longest I took in a level was 19 days and that was only once, the average level up was between 8 and 9 days.

Coming from Cantonese you will probably have a high retention rate already, I can only guess. It comes down to how much time you can and want to invest daily. If the difference is going to be $20, honestly I’d probably just get lifetime and take pressure off myself in case I need to take breaks or a situation comes where I simply cannot invest as much time any more.


Since you just joined and if you want to stick with it then I would recommend purchasing the lifetime early and then taking it easy and not trying to finish in the fastest time ever. I too am sure that your previous knowledge of Kanji will be a great advantage which I didn’t have. I finally finished after 2.5 years, paying the monthly fee throughout the process, I wanted to purchase the life time 2 years ago but some personal problems came in the way.

In some ways, 12 days per level might not be really rushing (while 7 days each is).

But then, I wouldn’t say rushing is a bad thing either.

I’d say planning for 2 years, and subscribing annually, is realistic; even if you ended up taking 3 years or something. This is providing that you have enough basics to immerse in native materials. (Otherwise, manage to memorize well; which is going to be worse than immersion, anyway.)

I have come to conclusion of not preferring monthly.


Yes but life happens. So unless you have an unbelievably stable life with no setbacks possible and that $22 will make or break your language acquisition, I suggest the Lifetime sub. You never have to think about it again.

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Of course life might also happen in a different sense and result in you abandoning Japanese study or ending up switching to doing it in a non-WK way six months in…


This is also a very real possibility. And probably more likely. I guess I’m talking to you as someone who has been studying and just needs the kanji learning method.

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Two years is doable, especially if you have some prior advantage.

However, worth at least as much as the kanji app is the forum, which either already contains, or will contain within minutes of you asking, any Japanese language question you might have.


If you already know Chinese characters, part of what Wanikani does (help you break them down and recognize them more easily) you have already covered. So you just need to learn the kun readings and vocabulary, plus any on and meanings that may be different. Taking into account that you also must have some basic vocabulary since you are confident in grammar and can read on your own (dictionary or not), Wanikani may not be as hard for you as it is for others. It also may not offer you as much as you think it will. Finishing Wanikani in no way means you won’t need to use a dictionary any more (I use mine constantly). It only means that you’ll confidently recognize a good portion of the kanji you encounter, and will possibly know how to read them and have a good guess at their meaning. There’s still a lot of kanji you won’t be taught here, and most of your vocabulary you’ll get through reading, not through Wanikani. What I’m driving at is, you may well finish Wanikani before 2 years, but it’s also possible you’ll stop feeling you need it even before you reach level 60.

I can’t advise you what to do, just stating what I think is worth considering. The price difference between two years and lifetime is small enough that I’d probably go for lifetime in your case, if only for peace of mind. On the other hand, if you end up using it for a year or less, then decide Anki or another method is better for your goals, then having only paid for one year will have been better in the long run. I guess the question is, is Wanikani what you need, given your familiarity with kanji shapes and meanings, if not their kun readings?


I would say for someone with that background finishing in two years is very doable, but go for the lifetime anyway. That way you’re still covered if life makes you put things on hold for a while, and can keep reviewing after 60 long enough everything has time to stick in your brain.