Just reset my WaniKani level all the way back to 1

I decided to take the plunge and completely reset my WaniKani level. It stung a bit, but in the long run, it’s for the best.

At some point in 2021, I had reached level 30+ (I want to say level 33, but I don’t exactly recall). However, I didn’t feel like I had retained a lot of the kanji or vocabulary, and decided to reset back down to level 10. This past week, I got back up to level 23, but upon burning some older kanji and vocabulary, I felt like I hadn’t REALLY learned them. I had become a bit too reliant on using add-ons, and was being a tad over-generous on counting mistakes as “typos”. So, I reset all the way back down to level 1.

I’m also using other methods to study and review kanji in conjunction with WaniKani (the “Kanji Study” app is brilliant). As such, I will still be studying the “more advanced” kanji on the side while climbing my way back up through the WaniKani levels. There will be a lot of repetition, especially in the first several weeks, but I feel like by reseting back down to 1, I will really be able to backfill those knowledge gaps and solidify my foundation.

That said, for people considering reseting their level, going all the way back down to level 1 may not be right for everyone. You can just check by level where you feel you are a bit shaky and reset accordingly.


I did the same because i stopped using the app for a while i would recommend clozemaster for some sentence mining.


I just did the same a few days ago! Albeit I was only level 13 but I had the exact same reasons about wanting a stronger foundation. がんばって!


I did this a few months back. One big advantage is being able to actually read the usage examples and sample sentences. It has been worth it for me.


Also recently restarted. Had gone down to 10 a while back but then lost the drive so stopped altogether. Got reinspired recently and going from scratch. Restarted Bunpro too. That’s a good idea about maybe reading the example sentences this time through.


I reset from 60 back to 1 at the start of the year, sometimes you just need to rebuild your foundations instead of trying to build on crumbling stone


I think there’s a perfectionist trap in here somewhere where you always want to remember everything perfectly - but it’s a fact of life that you forget things if you don’t see it a lot. Really solidifying material happens more through seeing it in the wild IMHO.


This. You will never remember them perfectly. Language learning isn’t a perfect thing.

If anything, in order to solidify them further, one should be reading a lot of native material (which is painful if you don’t understand it, but it works and could prove to be more efficient for the purposes of really becoming proficient at recognising kanji than resetting frequently).

My biggest recommendation would be for you to add reading to your daily regimen if you can find the time. It’s a lifesaver as far as cementing recognition abilities.


I did the same about 1 year ago, I felt like I didn’t remember half of the kanji. Which was not surprising after neglecting kanji studying for a long time. Starting again still feels like a great decision to me, as I am still learning enough from the lower levels.

I do sometimes try to read news articles or fFacebook posts in Japanese, but I do intend to take reading more seriously in the near future.

I reset from 60 to 20 a few months back, and I’m glad I did. Re-learning is much easier than learning, I feel like everything actually sticks and my accuracy is much better than it was before. I’m also faster at making mnemonics and doing reviews, and getting through levels much faster and more consistently. So the second time around should probably be much easier the second time around.


I did the same thing on November 3 - was at level 25 for an eternity. Before I reset, I was deciding between resetting to level 10 or reset completely. Turns out that quite a few kanji / vocabulary that I don’t recognize entirely, even though I probably burnt a lot of them.



I resent as well, but because it had been years since I last actually logged on to Wanikani. Much has changed in my absence. There used to be no example sentences, no common patterns, no pronunciation examples. I think the max level was 50 as well. Got to make it through this time as as I am primarily studying so as to inspire my daughter to not complain about her Japanese homework(She was born in Japan to a Japanese mother).


Im still only on level 7 so I have never reset. But as far a supplementary learning content I have lots of scources that i use regularly.

I started using Lingodeer back whenever it was a free app and you could tip the developers “a cup of coffee”. My account has been grandfathered in to some sort of lifetime access membership much like Wanikani has.

The app itself has taken me from literally only knowing hiragana to being able to comfortably Converse in Japanese at a very basic level.
It does its best to be really comprehensive the learning tips give you an in English lesson on grammar and conjugation and culture.
It does not teach Tameguchi, and it also includes in it’s example the ‘o’ particle, that an actual Japanese person would not enunciate and spoken conversation but would write down for an exam.

It’s lessons are bite-sized enough that a busy mom like me can find 5 to 10 minutes at a time to do a small lesson or review and feel like I’ve come away with something new.

There’s no energy gimmick that some other apps have of oh sorry you’ve used up your resource and cannot study anymore unless you pay for extra.

Tldr: Lingodeer isnt perfect but super comprehensive.

Lingo Legend:
I recently acquired this app and it is not good for having consistent access to explanations of content, the voice actor or voice recording person for the app sounds a little stiff or nasally I’m not really sure how to explain it but not as good as the male and female voice recordings in wanikani.

It is good however for discovering new phrases and immersing you in a Dungeon Crawler feel. Also it gives you the option of skipping the hiragana, Katakana, and intro to grammar levels. Originally I skipped the beginner levels to see how really the real content would be and was really enjoying it. I decided to return to the earlier levels to up my standing in the global ranking system and found that learning the moji was a tracing/writing exercise when you first learn the characters. That was a nice experience to be able to trace the character one time and then just have the character come up again for multiple choice / true false questions.

There is a global ranking system where you can see each month how much ‘content’ you have learned, compared to other users of this app, who are learning all sorts of other languages Korean Spanish French you name it. The system gives you up to three stars per ‘training session’ ie review or Dungeon battle.

There is a pay to play option in which you can pay for unlimited energy and premium Avatar customization items. The items do not give you an advantage during the dungeon battles they are purely for looks.

Tldr Lingo Legend: if you like dungeon crawling games this gives you a Dungeon Crawl motivation while reviewing several aspects of the Japanese language.

Is a anime website that is for educational purposes it has study tools and personalized decks of phrases or sayings and toggleable subtitles I usually watch anime now with Japanese Subs and rewatch my favorites with no English subs at all. You can even take quizzes based upon episodes of shows where you have highlighted phrases from the show that you’d like to learn and study.

It’s not perfect however because the romanji spellings, are usually pretty inaccurate. The hiragana and Katakana spellings are on point. Also the total catalog of available anime to watch is not very expensive they have a few really popular titles but for the most part they are not so popular anime.

Tldr Animelon: not perfect but pretty good for immersion exercises

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As someone who reset to level 1, what advice would you give to someone who is still on the single digit levels?

A couple people have touched upon it, but to echo the sentiment, I would suggest making sure you are reading in conjunction to going through WaniKani. WaniKani is a supplement to reading, not the other way around. While it may be used to introduce you to new kanji and vocabulary, it’s ultimate purpose (IMO) is to reinforce what you’re running into while reading. I would argue to the degree that if you only had 15 free minutes on any given day, and had to pick between WaniKani reviews and straight reading, I’d go with the reading if possible. Of course, this varies by person, though.

I know that for many people, they get trapped in the SRS rabbit hole (whether it be going through WK reviews, Anki reviews, flashcards, etc). Too much focus on SRS without balancing it with actual reading may end up making things a bit more difficult in the long-term.

That said, try to keep your reviews at a manageable level. If the choice is spend only five minutes doing your reviews a day vs not doing anything at all (no reading, nothing), if you can, spend those five minutes doing reviews.

Not sure how high up you got before resetting to 1, but if you are looking for recommendations on what to read, I think ‘Yotsuba&!’ and ‘Flying Witch’ are good entries. If you already have a bit more exposure to Japanese, NHK Easy News (free) and Satori Reader (paid) are pretty useful. Satori Reader is useful because it has built in tools to help you understand and retain vocabulary.


I’m gonna add that Satori Reader has a bunch of free content, so I’ve been “reading it” for 2 years without paying. And also, it’s my favorite for increasing listening comprehension…

I was thinking today… maybe I should start doing what my SRS buddy said…“Every time I miss one, I have to write it 10 times in my notebook.”
He was pretty smart…

Good luck to everyone with the studies!


I’m going to do the same.

I just re-activated vacation mode from May 2021. I did some reviews (Level 14) and could still remember some things, but going to take the plunge. I kept at Nihongo studies - took classes, etc - but also had big life transitions and was just burnt out.

Level 1 - here we come!


Agreed. WK just pins the word in place as an outline, it’s up to you to colour it in through using the language. As long as you have the general concept of a word, you’ll be fine. I found what really strengthens vocabulary is having a mesh in your mind of a word‘s antonyms, synonyms and some form of visual imagery for it.

Sometimes I get as low as 70% accuracy, but it hasn’t stopped me from reading novels, blogs, and using it in my daily life.


I have kind of a hybrid approach to things. While yes, it sucks when you don’t REALLY know the stuff you are allegedly passing through all the addons, you also kind of gotta accept WK is not supposed to be your only source for seeing these Kanji. I read a lot and do the Flaming Durtles anki-style thing, but am brutally honest when I just don’t know. However, if I am close enough in meaning, I don’t beat myself up over it and just move on because I don’t wanna be here forever.

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I reset to Level 2 a few months ago, and yet to see Burn.

It was a hard decision. To begin with, I don’t trust the depth of Wanikani much; though I trust SRS to some extent.

I am glad I did, though; because I chose well how to adapt.