I've hit the wall

Just sort of a pity party that I don’t think people outside of the community would understand.

I knew a bunch of kanji before I started wanikani. And so while I’ve been doing it on and off for the past two years, a lot of the reviews and vocab were relatively easy for me. I wasn’t having to memorize that much new information.

The past few levels the number of unknown kanji was steadily increasing, but now I’ve hit 38 and am failing so hard. I just can’t remember them or any of the vocab from 37. I learn best through failure so I’m sure it will work out, but I’m feeling a little sad because I’m not as “brilliant” as I was.

So wah. Excuse the pity party although if you want to join me you are more than welcome.


Forgetting is for sure a part of learning, thats the whole point of SRS. I would not beat up on yourself too much. Just cant give up got to keep trying. :smiley:
Wish I could offer better advise lol.


Just one question…who are you? Our WaniKani members are known for their courage!!!

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with your situation. The more you study the harder it becomes so I wouldn’t be surprised to see you struggling even more.

Who cares if you are brilliant or not, what matters is the result. If you make it to level 40+ then it’s better than being brilliant and stopping WaniKani at level 39.

Ignore that “little voice” inside your head that tells you “you are not good enough”, look at me I am only level 2 and I try my best to not give up. Now don’t disappoint me, I am waiting for that level 40 on your icon!


I feel you! I just started on the 50s and for the first time it feels like the kanji just slip away. Every time I review it feels like stuff I’d never seen before.

But as others have said, that’s how you learn! Every time you “fail” one you’ll get to know it more and more. Eventually it’ll stick. I know it truly feels lame, but there’s no shame in getting stuck for a bit in a level if that will make the learning stick. Take your time, don’t feel bad about staying at level 38 for a while (it’s pretty high already!) and if it helps… review in advance. Go into your level page and read the kanji every now and then to keep it fresh in your memory.

Good luck :wink:


You are already able to read 90%+ of the kanji that can be thrown at you in the wild. In the second half of WK it is all about leveraging the kanji knowledge you already have and focus on the differences between kanji.

If you struggle because you learned your kanji “by rough shape” and now that strategy breaks down because more kanji with tiny differences appear, you should use my similar kanji script by reviewing the recent levels and specifically look for the differences of the new kanji. This helps to reinforce both old and new kanji.

If you have problems remembering the readings you should also leverage semantic-phonetic compositions with my other script. In the second half of WK you get ~2/3 of the On readings for free, and I can often at least read kanji I forgot again and remember kanji from vocabulary. You can leverage the kanji you already know, you just have to check how the puzzle pieces fit together.

In any case you might need to absorb new information so the going will be slow for a while, but you can start breezing through the rest of WK again once you learned some more tricks.


I’ve encountered this situation a couple times throughout my short time on WaniKani, and it’s usually because I’m overworked or tired. I don’t give myself enough time when I’m well rested and awake to study. I’ll just take my time and rest for a bit and come back when I’m feeling better. I don’t do reviews or learn anything new when I’m tired or know I’ll be tired when the first reviews come around.

I feel like the first two review sessions are the most important to learning, so make sure you can do those right as soon as they come in. I’ve noticed that if I wait a few more hours (or am not able to access WaniKani for those hours due to work or whatever), I have a VERY hard time remembering what I learned. If I do the 4 hour and 8 hour reviews IMMEDIATELY when they appear however, I usually get around 90-95% right and don’t have too many problems remembering. The items that I didn’t review immediately when fresh have come back to haunt me… Most of them ended up back in Apprentice even after hitting Master. ^^"

Try to focus on remembering the radicals to the Kanji… I also sometimes have a tendency to try and remember them by shape and balance. This presents a problem with similar kanji, of which there are many. For example, I had problems differentiating between 湯 and 陽.

Other than that, just keep trying and keep your spirits up! It’s going to be difficult but you’ve already come so far! You’re almost 2/3 of the way through! All difficulty can be overcome with time.

Best of luck!


“Walls only appear in front of those who can overcome them.”

Get back at it, senpai!


i’d say just take your time, people feel like they’ve got to rush through the levels as fast as they can to make sure they feel that progress is being made, when in reality all the information they’re receiving is fragmented. I’d say just recap what you have previously learnt consistently before going onto the next batch of lessons.

just breathe and let it flowww, you’ve got this

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Try to find actual Japanese articles that use these words and try to puzzle your way through them. They’ll be easier to remember once you have some context to place them in.


The levels past 40 or so became very difficult for me, so I took a lot of time to just review and not worry about leveling up quickly. I took lessons very slowly when I did. At this point leeches started to become a pretty huge issue for me - still are, in fact! I really consider myself a terrible mesmerizer, but here I am. I think the last 20 levels or so mostly took over a month. It may take a while, but if you can reach level 38, you can reach level 60!


Sometimes, people will avoid doing something difficult because they are afraid to fail , because that would mean they’re not special or, as you said, brilliant. Nobody is special, ok? If you are not failing, you’re not challenging yourself and not moving forward.

Also, this :point_up: is pretty good advice. Usually, people don’t care about their well-being (which plays a huge part in the learning process). If they’re not scoring 90%+, then they must use the self-study script and review more. Just take care of yourself; don’t go faster than you can take, so just you can have lvl 60 bragging rights (:roll_eyes:).

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Everything changed for me when I started learning about kintsugi (金継ぎ) - to summarize, I’m celebrating the scars of failure these days :slight_smile: To cut a long story short, I took a few months break from WK and it’s taken me a few months to get back on track regarding progress. It’s taken a while for me to get back on track and during this time of consolidation, I’ve started imagining my kanji as an analogy of broken plate, where the cracks occur where the kanji that were never robustly cemented in my brain. For example, I was always confusing 従 with
徒 … and so seeing that as weak point, had to notice the difference between these characters … kind of like marking them as characters that I know I need to focus on that little bit more whenever I encounter them. Now, I usually smile when I see them … as it reminds me of something that used to trip me up, drop my plate and see it break … where as now kanji like this are becoming the ones seem more beautiful for having been the ones that I’ve had to purposefully apply neural cement … and celebrate them by applying pretty gold dust. So, in summary … it was just a shift in attitude towards failure that learning about kintsugi helped me with :slight_smile:


Just a random question, what do you mean by “leeches”? I’ve seen this word a couple of times here and I am not English…help!

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A leech is:

So an item that you systematically get wrong.

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Okay thanks a lot!

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Heh, so, you too have experienced The Curse of Level 37… I’ve spent about a year on that level before finally giving up and resetting to level one :sweat_smile:
You, however, made it to level 38… Maybe, you can do without a reset… On the other hand, a reset might be a good option for you too - not necesserily to level 1, but to the last level where things were relatively easy… Also, I suggest taking notes on kanji - that’s what I’m doing now; it seems to help…
Anyway, whether you’d manage to go forward without a reset or not, best of luck to you! At first try or at second, but you’ll definitely reach level 60!

P. S. @terraki さん、@toafk さんを打たないでください!
壁でも、痛みが好きではありませんね。 :sweat_smile:

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Thanks dudes, it was good to get the frustration off my chest.

@SuperLuxDeluxe you really have some great advice. It is always harder to remember new items if I saw them later in the day or when I’m tired. I had never thought before though about how important the timing of the SRS actually is. That is, how much it helps to see the new item after 4 hours and then 8 more hours.

I think I’m a little different than many people on here because I don’t use the the mnemonics really except on vocab. Such as, it get TEDIOUS to keep getting 退屈 wrong, and I am NOT(ification) going to keep getting 催告 wrong. I’m also doing okay with just looking at the overall shape of the character because I am used to memorizing Chinese ones that way. So I am familiar with the actual meanings of the radicals (like てへん, 扌) and that helps with remembering what sort of idea is being references.

It’s just these latest levels are not fitting into my knowledge matrix of Japanese and it’s frustrating to be confronted with my actual limit. And it’s a reminder that I need to spend more time reading Japanese books. Lord knows I have enough of them :frowning:


While I’m doing the lessons on my phone, I screen capture all the new ones. I also try to guess the definition, based on the different radicals used. If the mnemonic trick doesn’t help, I create my own. Then I review them many times by covering up definitions and readings–useful time burner, when waiting in line. Before doing a review I go through my screencaps again. I have poor short-term memory due to many concussions, so my method stores it in my long-term memory. You probably won’t need as much reinforcement of information. Hope that helps, best of luck!

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For me that happens when I go so fast. When I actually don’t do a million lessons at once and pace myself and look at the rune and see the parts that make up the rune the RADICALS. sometimes I ask my roommate and boyfriend to look at them and they tell me really funny things that they think the kanji parts remind them of and then I end up remembering it better. Also kanjidamage helps me remember harder ones lol Then once i learn similar looking ones by heart i can recognize them instantly and its amazing

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First of all, I totally feel ya (even though I’m 30 levels below you). I am half japanese so I already knew a bit of vocab. When I started seeing slightly new stuff, it kinda freaked me out and I had trouble “memorizing them” even though deep down I knew that the stuff I had learned in wani kani was already technically “memorized” since I’ve been seeing / hearing a lot of it for most of my life. I really wish my mom would’ve made it a point to put me through japanese school when I was a kid though but oh well - never too late!

That being said, I think one important thing to reiterate is that you don’t HAVE to get them right the first few times. If you want to learn, you’ll eventually learn whether you make mistakes or not. Also, try not to beat yourself up so much - especially over things you’ve never encountered. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re not under any time crunch (unless I’m missing something).

Take it one step at a time if you have to, then you’ll start regaining speed again. I always notice that towards the beginning of a level, I’m constantly making stupid mistakes but that just comes with learning new things of any kind.