:durtle_hello: Let's Durtle the Scenic Route 🐢

Leveled up to 17 the other day without realizing. After nearly 100 days on 16 lol.

Things have heated up vis-a-vis moving to Japan, so I’ll probably be cleaning up vocab and then on level 17 for a while too.


OMG I have over 1000 burns too lol.


Very smart putting it as a link on your 60! :durtle_noice:


It took roughly a month and 5 days, but I made it to level 32! Not all level-up emails are equal and this one was really good! It said this level will teach genuinely helpful kanji such as 卵 (egg), 机 (desk), 汚 (dirty), 興 (interest), 欲 (want) as well as including a message from a level 60 user about when you are faced with a huge wall of reviews: “700 reviews isn’t achievable, but 7 batches of 100 reviews is.” It’s actually motivating :>

(blurred the contents because I know some people like to keep the level up emails a surprise!)

Not much else to report - these days I’m mostly just doing wanikani reviews/lessons, bunrpo reviews/lessons (with supplemtary grammar YT videos), and reading 天国大魔境 (alone) and 小さくオオカミの森 (with the WK book club) when I can :slight_smile:

happly SRD scenic route durtling :turtle: !


I honestly find 100 batches to be much too big also. Preferably under 30. When I got big ones I did 20-30 at a time (could be divided within the same hour, so get all the way down, but needed a bit of a break)


It’s been a few years. I’m definitely taking the scenic route now.
I’ve just finished my second year of Arabic classes and it’s a lot of fun. Arabic is my main focus, but I just can’t live without those sweet sweet kanji :slight_smile: I’m just going to have to reduce the dose, so I don’t burn out.


Second report of my lovely journey up the mountain. I’ve been meeting a lot of other lovely durtles along the way.

I haven’t made much progress on my burned items, but my master and enlightened are getting there.


You where right, @wct ! I’ve managed to get it 2.5 times lower than it initially was. Now it represents me a bit better, as it usually takes me a month or a bit more per level. The scenic route indeed!

Had a slight hiccup during March and April, but I’ve recovered nicely. Hopefully, I can pull through this exam period without losing steam. And I found out how to change the colours of the heatmap! It’s much prettier now.

See you on the road, durtles ^^


Just leveled to level 14! :partying_face:

Spent 41 days on level 13, which is somehow exactly the same amount of time that I spent on level 12 :joy: At least I’m consistent… at durtling, I guess?

My intention now is to take on level 14 a bit faster. My accuracy has been quite high lately and I feel confident enough to take on a higher workload than before. However, I am moving to a new city soon (again :upside_down_face:) and hopefully starting a new job at said city (if I can find one), so that will probably interfere with my studying. Potentially I might end up spending 41 days on level 14 as well :joy:


Yay! I finally made it to level 31 and the Hell levels! :partying_face:

I’m half way there!!!
:mount_fuji: :crabigator: :triangular_flag_on_post:/【:six: :zero: :end:!】:wavy_dash: 。。。 :wavy_dash: :rainbow: :cherry_blossom: :turtle: <sniff, sniff! >/【:three: :one: Welcome to HELL! (Last Rest Stop for 30 Levels!)】:wavy_dash: /【:three: :zero::wavy_dash: 。。。 :wavy_dash: :checkered_flag: /【:zero: :one: Welcome to PLEASANT!】

This one took me 35 days. Still going relatively slow compared to usual, but there’s less ‘backlog’ of upcoming scheduled reviews now, so I should be able to maintain this pace with less pressure than last level, and eventually my upcoming reviews should settle down to match my current pace.

Hope y’all are doing well! :smiley:.


Wow have you discovered any issues trying to keep up learning multiple languages with different writing systems?


I know this question has been asked before, but how did you get the yearly reviews heatmaps? (and congrats! Keep going!)


Thank you ^^
Currently taking a small break to get through exams, and then back to durtling.

The heatmap is a function created by the Wanikani Heatmap script, with instructions on how to get it here. But if you have no user scripts before this, you’ll have to incorporate Tapermonkey into you browser, with a nice guide here.

For more info on really nice scripts, I recommend visiting chapter 7 of this really complete guide to level 60.

Hope this proves helpful ^^


Hey friends! I have a question for anyone who would like to contribute to a little survey.

What’s prompting me

I just got finished slogging through another ‘review swamp’ – where I had too many reviews coming in day by day, and I stopped doing new lessons, instead only doing reviews steadily day by day, until I was able to finally get my review stack back down to a happy little pile :poop::sweat_smile:. Then I started doing new lessons again, and of course I started increasing my daily/weekly # of reviews incoming.

But I think I’ve – once again! – done too many lessons for my own good, even though I did space them out over several days and weeks. Now my daily incoming reviews are floating up at around +100, and my current upcoming weekly reviews are already up to around +650-ish.

That’s too much for my personal preferred pace! I think I’d rather be at something like +400 per week, or maybe even down to +300. But I keep getting into these cycles of doing too many new lessons (leading down the road to too many reviews per day/week), then pausing all lessons until I get my reviews back under control, and then doing too many lessons again!

I’m looking for some information on how to better-control my incoming reviews by better-controlling my # of new lessons I do in a given time period.

Click to read the gory details of my thinking on this, or just skip ahead to 'The Survey'

The variables

I don’t use any scripts (just too much overhead/maintenance/etc. for me; nothing against them for others to use, of course!), so I’m trying to work with the information available from the standard WaniKani Dashboard. Specifically, these are the ‘variables’ I’m looking at:

  • Main study buttons
    • Number of new Lessons currently available
    • Number of queued/stacked Reviews currently available
  • Stats from the Extra Study interface
    • Number of Recent Lessons, and Recent Mistakes
  • Level Progress (e.g. “2 of 33 Kanji passed”, requires recording both the 2 and the 33)
  • Review Forecast
    • Number of Incoming Reviews for: Today (one number, the remaining incoming, depends on time of day); each of the 6 days after today (six numbers)
    • The total number of reviews forecast at the end of these 7 days, the Weekly Total
  • SRS Stage Counts
    • One for each stage: Apprentice, Guru, Master, Enlightened, Burned
    • But particularly the Apprentice count
  • Item lists
    • The number of Critical Condition Items currently in the list

There’s also the ‘variable’ which is something like “How fast/slow would I like to be going?” in terms of, say, the total number of weekly incoming reviews I would like to be upcoming in my forecast.

The Question I’m Trying to Answer

I’m not sure how relevant each of these various variables are for determining, “Should I do more lessons now, or wait?” But that’s ultimately the question I’m hoping to answer for myself.

I think for the purposes of this survey, I’ll whittle down the different variables to the ones I have a hunch are the most important for my purposes (which purposes depend somewhat on my own style/method of Durtling the Scenic Route, so maybe other people would be interested in different variables; I don’t know). I’m going to try to focus on:

  • Incoming Reviews for the next 6 upcoming days (not counting Today, since it depends on the time of day you check it)
  • Weekly Total of reviews forecast for this upcoming week (which happens to include the number of items currently in one’s review stack; but it’s just the lower-right total on the Review Forecast)
  • Number of Apprentice items (since they are most obviously affected by doing new lessons)
  • Number of Guru items (since they are on the scale of one or two weeks)

Maybe later I will look closer at other variables which might also play a noticeable role, such as: Number of Lessons Available, current Level Progress, Desired ‘Speed’, etc. But for now, I think it might be better to keep the number of variables relatively small, making them easier to keep track of and/or report.

My hunch

My current hypothesis is that there will be a pretty straightforward relationship between Apprentice Count (and maybe also Guru Count) and one’s current ‘Weekly Speed’, in terms of the sum of the number of upcoming reviews in the next 6 days (not counting Today). In other words, I’m hoping that simply by aiming to maintain a certain Apprentice Count (and maybe Guru Count), over a sustained period of time, then my Weekly Speed will settle into a more constant, predictable rate.

</ end of gory details! >

The Survey

So, I’m hoping some of you might contribute (in a reply comment) your own current stats from your Dashboard page, so that I might get a better sense of which of these variables I should be keeping an eye on, and how things might work differently for different people and their different styles of Durtling.

Here’s an example from my own current dashboard of the stats I’m looking for:

Apprentice Count Guru Count Today (Day 1) Tomorrow (Day 2) Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total Forecast
57 455 +52 +102 +101 +103 +102 +94 +75 650

So, if you’d like to contribute, please post your own stats from your current dashboard. If you quote this post, you can get a copy/paste of the text of my example table above and just plug in your own numbers. Thanks in advance!

Oh, also! If you’d like to mention how you manage your own pace, whether with scripts or without, including how you might use any of the other variables I talked about in the ‘gory details’, please feel free to do so. I’m not locked into this initial hunch/hypothesis. Always looking for different ways of doing things. :sweat_smile:


Take my numbers with a pinch of salt, the third slowest durtler.

I don’t have more than 25 items in Apprentice at any given time. Recently I’ve been hitting 0 in Apprentice before I think to do lessons.

I think the best pace is whatever keeps you feeling motivated.

Apprentice Count Guru Count Today (Day 1) Tomorrow (Day 2) Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total Forecast
10 37 +11 +1 +16 +14 +8 +4 +4 58
1 Like

Thanks! :partying_face: The more data the merrier! :smiley:

Here’s mine! Obviously take my numbers with a pinch of salt as well, haha, because I haven’t done any new lessons since reaching level 60 a month ago :joy_cat:.

Lately, I’ve been getting just over 100 reviews a day.

Apprentice Count Guru Count Today (Day 1) Tomorrow (Day 2) Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total Forecast
55 479 +80 +99 +81 +78 +79 +79 +101 597

I have a lot of accumulated leeches, and just a lot of harder content from the later levels just in general, which is why my apprentice count is so high despite not doing any lessons recently.

I've been taking screenshots of my item distribution numbers and workload chart every couple weeks. Here's how the post-level-60 life has been treating me, haha:

After having completed all lessons (May 12, 2023):

June 1:

June 19:


I’d say something like 5 lessons a day might get you in the ballpark of what you’re wanting? I’ve said my piece on this before, I think, but I’d personally recommend doing a steady number of lessons a day if you want consistency (reducing down if needed if the leeches start catching up to you), rather than going solely by apprentice and guru numbers. Those won’t take into account past lesson binges, which will be the main source of unpredictability.

Thanks to doing a consistent number of lessons a day, I never felt that my own daily review counts were unpredictable or inconsistent. I always knew what to expect every day.


I recall you making this point on more than one occasion, and I do agree with you that it is probably the best way to achieve very predictable consistency. It’s just that it requires more discipline than I am currently able to muster (I won’t go into why – it’s a long story! :sweat_smile:). I agree that Apprentice/Guru is going to be an oversimplified (and thus less accurate/precise/predictable) gauge than your system, but I still want to try to see if I can figure it out as best as it can go, since it is a bit more flexible/adaptable for my current style/method of Durtling.

All that said, I won’t forget your point, and will re-evaluate in the future if my current approach can’t be patched up as I’m hoping.

In regards to doing something like 5 lessons per day: I already know for sure that even that would be too fast for me. That’s because I’m currently adding lessons in batches of 5, and I am definitely doing fewer than one batch per day.

Part of the issue is that I’m also continuing to do a ‘Rolling Reset’ (as explained before upthread), and so quite a few of my Apprentices come not from new lessons, but from unburning/resurrecting previously burnt items. [BTW, I’m currently up to level 20 in my Rolling Reset! :partying_face: Currently re-burning items at about level 16.]

If I do end up going for the Consistent # of Lessons Every Day approach in the future, I think I would have to reduce my batch size and go with something even as low as 1 or 2 lessons per day. Perhaps as high as 3, but even then I’m not so sure. I would probably also have to do a similar thing with the Rolling Reset, limiting myself to a fixed number of Resurrections per day, probably also on the order of 1 to 3 -ish per day.

1 Like

Oh yeah, that’s honestly probably most of the reason for your problems. You’re adding a considerable amount of work by doing that, which adds a lot to the daily review churn. It might be worth reevaluating if the benefits you’re getting from the rolling reset are worth the downsides. I think you might have better luck spending time with those items outside of WK, like reading/watching native media.

Apprentice Count Guru Count Today (Day 1) Tomorrow (Day 2) Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total Forecast
36 310 +10 +91 +13 +25 +33 +63 +43 268

I just leveled up today (lv14) so I’m supposed to learn 20 items later, but I’m sharing the state of things right now. I try to learn between 10 and 35 items every other day depending on the ease of the new words or if the kanji are known from elsewhere, if all are new I usually go 10 by 10.
Also, if I’m close to over 100 Apprentice I stop learning new items altogether.

February and March had a lot of crowded days and that will be annoying pretty soon, lately I’ve been trying to space things a bit more evenly but still some days are a bit full, specially when I have a cluster of vocab I already know I just move on and try to get it done “quick”.

As I progress through levels and I learn more and more new words I want to slow down and go 5 by 5 or 10 by 10 so I can easily recall the words. I already have a couple of leeches from past levels I think but nothing too bad yet. The transitive/intransitive versions always get me.

Hope this is useful! :durtle_megane:


No, the rolling reset isn’t the problem. [It’s only an ‘issue’ with regards to why I couldn’t go with 5 lessons per day.] Even if I wasn’t doing the rolling reset, I would still have to balance how many new lessons to do in a given time period. The rolling reset just gives me the option to do an un-burn rather than doing a new lesson. The end result of both actions are virtually the same.

In fact, since resurrecting a previously burned item – by definition – adds an item I’ve already mastered once into my SRS schedule, the amount of ‘work’ for those items is substantially less than for entirely new lesson items. So, substituting a resurrected item in place of doing a new lesson actually makes my future reviews easier overall!

Since I’m not concerned with completing levels at some particular rate, only with doing a certain number of reviews per day/week, it really doesn’t have any impact on my workload, whether the items I’m adding to my SRS reviews come from new lessons or from resurrected items.

You’ve mentioned this also in the past, but again, my style of Durtling is a bit different than yours and with a different emphasis. I’m more of a perfectionist (for good or bad, and I admit it’s mostly bad, but it’s an ingrained part of me, not so easily changed), so I just feel better having gone through the items an extra time, proving to myself that I really do know them and didn’t just ‘get lucky’ with some of them, passing them even though I only ‘sorta knew them’.

And I’m a bit shy in terms of getting started reading. That’s just the way I am. I can’t force myself to jump into something I don’t feel ready for yet. I get too frustrated when I have to look up every second word (or more) for even a basic manga. Nevertheless, I have noticed that my studies have already dramatically improved my ability to read Japanese I run across in the wild: YouTube video titles, comments, and descriptions, for example.

My real concern with this survey is truly just to find a more stable ‘guideline’ for judging “Should I add more items to my SRS schedule now, or hold off?” than my current strategy.