Kitsun or Iknow?

I don’t know if this topic has been discussed before, (if so, sorry) but I’m wondering what would be better.
I want to study vocabulary with a srs system apart from wanikani but I want to use only one (primarily for a question of time).
I like the idea of making my own cards with kitsun, but I spend a lot of time in public transport (almost two hours every day) and that means a lot of time with my phone. Maybe Iknow is more phone-friendly, since it has an app?
What do you think guys?
Thanks for your reply!

Ps: Apologies for my English, I’m not a native speaker

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Haven’t used kitsun. I’ve had an iKnow membership for many years. It’s great.

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The iKnow app is pretty well designed, but Kitsun works really well on mobile (web view) too. Kitsun would only be a problem if you lose service a lot during your commute since you need internet access.

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And even still, you can do reviews on Kitsun without connection, as long as you have your reviews loaded. What you have to do is load reviews while you still have connection and then you’ll be able to do them without it. Once you finish reviews, you’ll receive a popup saying that it’s waiting for connection so that it can “send” those finished reviews to Kitsun. It’s not 100% perfect, but it works for me very well.

Apps are on Kitsun’s plans for this year as well.


I use Kitsun, and I love it!


i used to use iknow. it’s well-made, but it costs money, and for mere vocab learning, i’d prefer something free these days.

iknow are the creators of the “core” decks btw, their decks are all over the place.

I use iKnow, and its offline mode has always had issues for me (and only got worse following some updates). It only properly loads pending reviews if I’m online. At that point, I can do the reviews offline. If I finish the reviews while online, it’ll show how much better/worse I’ve gotten on cards, but if I’m offline when I finish, that information is not retained/displayed when I sync online. (And the “consecutive days reviewed” only works if you sync your reviews at least once a day. If you’re offline for more than 24 hours, your “X days reviewed” count resets to 0…)

In other words, from my personal experience with iKnow (using it nearly daily for over three years), it sounds like Kitsun and iKnow are equal in respect to offline use.

iKnow used to have a lifetime membership option for purchase, but I think they got rid of that about a month ago. (Existing lifetime members retain their lifetime membership, but it’s no longer an option for new users.) If they didn’t have lifetime as an option, I likely would have stuck it out with Anki.

What I like best about iKnow is the variety of ways that a card is presented. You may be given the kanji and need to input the reading, or be given the reading and need to select the kanji from multiple choice, or you’re given kanji and reading and need to select the English from multiple choice. (Edit: Another is a sentence in Japanese and English, with a Japanese word missing that you select from multiple choice.) There are audio options as well, but I have those disabled since I review on the bus without headphones. There are other ways to learn as well, such as sentence builder, but I never use anything other than the main SRS flashcard reviews.


I’m personally a big fan of iKnow. It replicates the SRS function of Wanikani/oragnizes your study for you, but is more robust than Wanikani (and most other vocab apps?) in what it quizzes you on.

Its sole disadvantage, IMO, is that I don’t think it’s truly accessible for people starting from scratch. If you’re lower-intermediate and looking to pick up more vocabulary as a routine, though, I’d really recommend it.

It is another subscription (or lifetime purchase) on top of WK, but if you personally enjoy the way WK is structured, I think it’s a fairly worthwhile combination.

Edit – Oh, apparently they may have nixed the lifetime option. I’d still look into it though.


Looks like you can get a lifetime of Kitsun for about 14 months of iKnow. What is iKnow, a library of pre-made decks build into scheduled courses?

I’ve only made my own decks within Kitsun though the pre-made decks appear to be high quality and well made. For making decks, it’s the easiest I’ve seen. The default layout designs are very simple to use and the Jisho card generator makes it very convenient to add new words and ton of synonyms. If you are creative deck builder, there are plenty of custom layout options to play with. I haven’t used the sub2kitsun but it appears more convenient to use compared to anything else on the market. The productive input (via WK styles and/or KameSame style) personal vocab lists is really what got my attention as a superior learning method compared to some non-input opinion polls (though I’ve used non-input for some special decks if I just want a classic flashcard format). And if you really want to use Anki content, you can upload it into Kitsun as well though I had some trouble on a geography deck so some formats may not translate. The browser on mobile has worked just fine for me as well. Neicul is a wizard too and is proactively improving the platform by the minute.


Essentially, but with built-in testing for kanji-reading, sentence-completion (typed input), English-to-Japanese matching, Japanese-to-English matching, and listening. All vocabulary is also introduced with at least one recording of a context sentence, which I think is a big help. (The kanji-reading and sentence completion, though a benefit for learners with some experience, are also why I said it may not be suited for complete beginners. Being able to identify kanji components and knowing at least basic grammar patterns will help those aspects of review feel both smoother and more beneficial.)

That’s all just in its core review function. It also offers quick matching features to cut down on built-up queues and sentence-arrangement quizzing.

I haven’t used Kitsun to compare it to; just clarifying what it offers.


I’ve been using iknow and I’ve just started using kitsun.
I think Iknow is great and I’m going to keep it even if I’m not lifetime. I had tried this year ago and it was too advanced for my level at the time but it’s great for an intermediate learners.
Words I’m learning with it are sticking, maybe it’s the variety of questions…from whole sentences to quick test on listening and writing.
I’ve started kitsun because everyone here was saying how it was easy compared to Anki but actually I’m not finding it so easy to use if you want to do your own deck with simple cards…
I find Anki to be quicker (that’s only my feeling maybe). I imported my deck form Anki (which was a simple exposure deck) but I can’t find a way to change effectively it’s layout :cold_sweat:.
I’m using it also with the 10k deck trying to suspend all the wanikani items but I can’t find an easy way to do that.
The whole deck is great though.

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Kitsun is probably more versatile, especially if you want to create you own deck. Sharing the deck, collaboration, card feedback is also a strong point (though I hope the community keeps on growing). If you are just in for the decks there is no reason not just to use Anki.

For mobile support it really depends on the layout of the deck, I’m thinking of creating a deck for Kitsun where you are shown similar kanji and you just tap them (because I hate typing on mobile).


Tap them for what purpose? Select the ones with the same reading or something like that?

I’m still considering what to ask, something that has a single answer, and a small grid of kanji to choose from. Maybe English gloss → kanji, or kun+on.

But Neicudi probably has to implement some additions for me again, it would be too easy when the answers always appear at the same position in the grid.

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Wow, thanks for all your replies!

Both of them look great, it’s hard to decide.
Maybe Iknow is better at teaching the 6k core than Kitsun? Or if it depends on the person and I can’t assume this?

It really depends on what you want. iKnow offers more review options for the Core deck, but you’re quizzed on them randomly and some may be detrimental. For example, you’ll sometimes get multiple choice questions (which I think is bad) with iKnow, but never in Kitsun (just talking about the Core 10k deck here). On the positive side, iKnow will sometimes quiz you on the example sentences themselves, whereas Kitsun doesn’t. (It could if the deck creator added that, but you can’t right now as far as I know.)

Another difference is that Kitsun is more predictable. It has defined stages like WaniKani. iKnow on the other had has more of a scatter approach (this is offered optionally in Kitsun as well) and does some kind is +/– offset for the SRS to add randomization. Which one is better depends on how you like to learn.

Overall I wouldn’t say one is better or worse than the other for the Core 6k/10k content. They’re just different.


One more thing I forgot to mention. iKnow quizzes you on only one aspect each time (meaning, reading, listening, etc.), whereas Kitsun quizzes you on all of them every time (you can exclude quiz styles you don’t like if you want). This was the thing that I liked least about iKnow, personally. I think it was intended for simplicity, but sometimes I felt like I was advancing the items in the SRS just by getting the easy (e.g. multiple choice) questions right.


It look like that kitsun fit more with my learning style. I think i’ll go for it.


i don’t think multiple choice is bad. it emulates your experience with kanji conversion while typing. it diversifies the testing, which is useful, because you can never guess what iknow will want from you next, making you think on your feet (which i believe is the reason it’s so effective).


That’s interesting. There are sentence recognition and comprehension cards included in the 10k on Are you referring to something else for quizzing the sentences? I’m not familiar with how iKnow does it.

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