Level 3 Purgatory

Kind of weird and a little bit irrationally creepy that WK tells you that you are Level 3 until you subscribe so you think you are mysteriously stuck in this dark Level 3 limbo for way longer than is justified, but as soon as you subscribe you are magically Level 4. I don’t even know how to interpret this, but it is remarkably frustrating.

What would be the possible benefit to WK for doing this? There must be something. It seems that it would motivate a lot more subscriptions if you told a person when s/he is ready to be Level 4 already so s/he can subscribe for more. Otherwise it just delays those valuable subscriptions for no discernable reason. All there is is a notice that you have “just reached” Level 3, and never a mention that it’s time to move on with a subscription.

Before everybody tells me that I should have checked this or that, or that I needed to guru a certain percentage of kanji, or whatever, I’ve checked all that and I passed those levels long ago. And definitely WK told me I was Level 3 until the second I subscribed, whereupon I instantly became Level 4.

I’m already drinking the Wanikani Kool-Aid and buying into their infuriatingly slow pace of progression, because I think their unique strategy will work in the long run and for the long term (even though I already know many kanji at higher levels), but this was a wholly unnecessary delay.

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If you’re level 4, the system will allow you access to level 4 items. You’re only able to access these same items after subscribing.

I don’t know mate, but to me it makes a lot of sense the way it is.


That’s just a UI thing though. There’s nothing stopping the developers from showing level 4 on the screen and still restricting you so you can’t get items you haven’t paid for. And I agree with the OP that this would make more sense.


Doesn’t every account over level 3 that isn’t subscribed default to 3?

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I think they changed that, at least visually

You mean on the forums? Yeah, I noticed that. But I didn’t see any reason for them to change the main site presentation.

I think @taiho7777 means that maybe for some people it would be confusing? Usually services will tell you something like “Hey, you’ve reached the maximum of what you can do with your free account, do you wish to upgrade to premium?”.

Or am I misinterpreting?

I also remember getting frequent emails. There isn’t a “hey, gonna subscribe?” email? That seems like it would be an oversight.

It’s OK. That wasn’t really my point. No problem.


Maybe I’m misremembering, but I remember being surprised that it turned to level 4 before I subscribed because I thought it would stay at level 3.

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Again, really obvious once you’re past it, but not so much beforehand.

On the forum or the main dashboard? The forum currently displays the level you’d be at if you subscribed, so it should say 4 immediately.

The main dashboard. I don’t think I had found the forum at that point

They do (or did, anyway) send an email when you’re ready for L4+ (quoted below). Wasn’t there a banner in the dashboard UI saying something to the same effect? It’s been a while…

It’s always possible something went wrong just for the OP, because we do occasionally see “help I subscribed and I’m still behind the paywall” topics, so things in general don’t always go without a hitch. But that would likely be a one-off thing.

A couple of days before I was about to hit level 4 I was offered a discount coupon. So I was, “well thank you.” That actually made me pay for an annual subscription instead of a monthly one (which believe me, I couldn’t have afford a couple of months so far… Which might have made me left the site at level 10). When I hit level 4 at least here in the forums I was told I was level 4, im reading that it has changed and I also don’t understand why. But I’d say don’t think too much about it. This site helps, I bet you that you wont feel anymore that it’s slow before reaching level 10. At my current level, I’m having 200+ items to review daily. You’ll feel it when enlighten items come back. And I’m sure I’ll feel it again when burning items come back.

So yeah, I’m sorry you feel this way but well now that you’ve decided to pay just focus on it.

I would have liked to get such an email, but didn’t. And the only banner is the one telling you that you “just reached” Level 3 and would eventually have to subscribe.

Again, I feel dense for sitting on my hands for so long waiting for notice, but there it is. Not all of us can be smart.

Don’t worry, I’ve already signed up. I do wish there was some way to jump ahead, because I’ve learned a good number of kanji by other methods, but I’ll believe in the system…

Wise words, Ninkastmin. Thank you…

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As you can understand, allowing users to jump ahead could brings some problems: they wouldn’t be familiar with the made up radicals that Wanikani offers and it would be hard to evaluate which level would be the ideal for every user. There’s also the vocab situation.