Need some advice on japanese material

Dear WaniKani Community,

Due to my previous experiences learning the English language, I intend to improve my japanese by playing japanese games, taking meaningful sentences as crutches for grammar and words alike. Obviously, I quickly learned by starting up a random japanese game, that japanese is a completely different beast to English, meaning I’ll have to start probably around where I started with English ten years ago. As I should have expected from the start, to be honest, considering that Japanese seems to have little crossover with western languages in general.

My question, therefore, is what level of Wanikani should I expect to require to play the following games/series, ordered in expected difficulty:

Kirby (From Triple deluxe onwards)

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 1/2

Persona 3/4

Final Fantasy 4

Fire Emblem 6/7/8

Tactics Ogre: Let us cling together.

Additionally, do you happen to have any further recommendations, in particular between Fire emblem and Tactics Ogre? If the English translations are anything to go by, then the Jump in difficulty between those two is going to be harsh. Furthermore, should any of them be reordered?

By the by, if you happen to have recommendations for the Grammar levels I should aspire to before starting any of those games, those would be greatly appreciated, as well as any other recommendations, with difficulty in mind.

I thank you for your time!


It’s not only grammar, honestly. In games fully in Japanese you will likely see any of the joyo kanji without furigana if the game doesn’t offer it. That’s a much bigger issue than grammar I feel. From personal experience I would say something like N3 grammar and N2 kanji should make it more comfortable. Also, N3-N2 vocab.


If games can hold your interest, a good place to start may be the N# Grammar videos on Game Gengo. He uses examples from video games that uses the grammar point. The main downside is that his pronunciation can feel a bit off but from the ones I’ve seen the examples are usually voiced so it’s not that big of a problem.

If you’re willing to learn through the game as if you’re studying, you can “play” them sooner but N4 grammar is probably the baseline you want, to not be completely lost.

Is there a specific game you really want to play? It might actually be better to work backwards from that game if there is.
OR if there is a game that you know well enough that you can play even if you dont understand 90% of the text, that could be your starting point also.

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