I just wanna take a moment to say “thank you for creating this guide” (and with “take a moment” I mean “write half a book”. Sorry in advance for the wall of text, but once I start rambling it’s hard for me to stop).
I discovered WaniKani about 2 Years ago. There is no special story behind me wanting to learn Japanese, it’s pretty much the most cliché motivation ever. I watch anime and read mangas. Well, it’s not just that I guess, I am also interested in the country Japan, it’s culture, it’s people, it’s history and ofc. in learning another language altogether (Trust me, I am not that big of a weeb… I think…). And not just another language, but also a language that is so entirely different from what I am used to.
I grew up in Germany and learned French and English in school, but none of those are really that distinct from my native tongue. It’s (mostly) the same letters, similar rules, they sound similar, etc… Japanese is just so unlike anything western, with multiple “alphabets” to learn (hiragana, katakana, kanji), very different grammar rules all while sounding entirely different as well.
When I first started using Wanikani, I was very surprised by how fast I was able to learn new vocabulary (as probably everyone here was in the beginning). On top of that, everything is made with so much love, there are puns everywhere (which is like the best thing ever) and you even get a personalized little postcard explaining what you will achieve during the first 20 levels, all with a little Japanese text you’ll be able to read once you hit level 10. I was captivated by everything right away. I started learning, motivated as hell, without reading any guides or community posts. I was able to reach ~lvl 10 until it became just too much. I couldn’t keep up with my reviews anymore, Abitur was approaching fast (German sort of school finals) which led me to reset my account and ultimately give up on the whole thing.
Now, 2 years after all that, I wanna give it another try. This time, I know what I am getting into. This time, I did my research, installed some scripts (some of which are so crazy like holy), and am ready to strive for that sweet 60. Your Guide really helps a lot. Not just in understanding how the system works, but also in preparing for a structured learning process. When I first used Wanikani back then, I just did my lessons and reviews as I found some free time, often even during class or while sitting in the bus/train (which may be okay for doing reviews, but for new lessons, those are certainly the wrong environments). This time, I am actually gonna have proper preparation with a proper schedule, all thanks to your guide.
Of course, I haven’t really started yet, and I have to admit that my life still isn’t as sorted out as I wish it to be. I am sure I will reach those days where I wanna give up again, where life just doesn’t wanna play along, but this time, at least I hope, I’ll remember why I started doing this and be strong-willed enough to carry on.
Should all this work out, and if I don’t forget about it, I’ll post here again in about a month from now (following your “1-month-later challenge”). Until then, thank you for creating this guide, you’re really helping out a lot! ^^