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Definitely. The Wanikani vocabulary is there to reinforce the kanji readings, not to equip you to start reading so you need to acquire vocab elsewhere as well if you want to read even simple texts:)


There’s various answers because everyone is different, sorry! Brace yourself for it being really hard, and decide to give it a go anyway, is my advice :slight_smile: It depends on a few things including how much work you do outside wanikani (eg on grammar) and, more importantly, your perseverance/ stubbornness in the face of being overwhelmingly confused by something brand new.

My experience was that if you’re willing to spend more than an hour of effort for every single page looking things up and puzzling things out like a crime scene detective, then it’s entirely possible to start with really easy manga from about level 10 or so. You won’t know most of the kanji, you won’t know most of the grammar, but press on anyway. I can’t recommend the wonderful book clubs on these forums enough to help you dive in. Once you start reading and seeing progress, then it does get better.

Anime in real time is going to take a fair bit longer because you need to do it fast as well.

Wanikani teaches you vocabulary to reinforce the kanji (rather than vocab for the sake of reading or speaking) so the order you will learn vocab here is not exactly from most common to least common. There’s also at least a hundred super common words typically written in kana only -so not on wanikani- that you’ll need to know to read nearly anything, but you can pick these up from a textbook, through grammar study or by looking them up as you read. Good luck!


When starting to read, your vocabulary and kanji knowledge won’t be the limiting factor. You need to know grammar for that. Think about it: you see a bunch of unknown words in a text, but if you recognize the particles between them and the inflections, and see “oh, this looks like a verb in the volitional form”, “oh, this is an adjective in the past form”. It’s easy to look up new words and kanji. makes it trivial (and if you read shounen manga everything will have furigana anyway). Recognizing how the words relate to each other, now that’s the hard part. Learn grammar if you want to read, learn lots and lots of grammar. If you reach around N3 level, you’ll start being comfortable reading simple manga.

The vocab here has only one role: to reinforce the kanji you learn. It’s not sorted by frequency or anything, nor usefulness. There’s many WK words that I have never encountered in the wild. That said, they are helpful to teach kanji readings. You need to use a separate vocab resource, maybe a version of the 6k deck from iKnow.

Just doing WaniKani is insufficient for learning Japanese. WaniKani will just teach you to recognize kanji and words. You need to learn grammar, practice listening and speaking, and learn different vocab outside of WaniKani too. I used for that myself, other people use Anki or Memrise, there’s also which is a nice alternative.

That said, you don’t have to do everything at once if you don’t want to, it depends on your goals. There’s people here who do only WaniKani until level 60 and only then start learning grammar, for example. If you’re fine putting off your Japanese learning by a year or two, that’s also something you decide. Alternatively, if you don’t want to read, but rather only speak the language, then you don’t really need to learn kanji. Luckily in the digital age, you can skip learning to write kanji by hand. Traditionally that’s the biggest time sink for learning the language, repetitively filling notebooks with the same kanji over and over again. With WaniKani that’s a thing of the past, at least. At the very least, try to progress with grammar alongside WaniKani, that’d be my advice. Grammar is absolutely necessary for learning the language either way, so you may as well get started with it.

There’s always some discussion on resources here on the forums, I suggest you look at here to begin with:


I meant anime while pausing not really in real time as i would be able to read that fast for now.

My main interests would be reading and listening, rather than speaking and writing on paper.

So as far as i understand it i would need to use multiple resources between kanji/vocab/grammar and the likes.

Thank you all for the informations, i’ll look into the other resources and then choose.

I started last year and made it to level five before decided I needed to focus on school more and set Wanikani aside. But this year I’m hoping to be more balanced and so I restarted from Level 1. Most things are very familiar and it’s been easy so far, but I must admit, I don’t remember this word at all! Has it always been here and I just forgot? Or is it newer for level 1?

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They added a lot of content over the last year, including this particular vocab item. You can find more information on what exactly was added in the content addition posts they’ve made on the forum here, for 力いっぱい the addition was announced in these posts:

For 力いっぱい specifically:

General update:


Thank you! Good to know I didn’t just completely forget ever seeing something!

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This is a bit of a weird question and I’m probably just overthinking it, but I’m one of those people who decides to keep a cap on how many apprentices they have, and when they reach that cap, they stop doing lessons. Right now it’s at 130 and sometimes I feel like there are days where I just don’t do any lessons at all. Is this more of an accuracy problem where I’m just not getting my apprentices to guru accurately enough, or is it just that my cap is too low?

I would say potentially a little bit of both.

Personally I don’t work with a cap at all, so maybe I’m misunderstanding.

If you feel that you can do the apprentices easily (disregarding actual accuracy for a second) and are hungry for more after each review session, you might want to up the cap. However, it also depends on how much of your apprentice words are of levels before your current one. If it’s all apprentices from 3 levels back, that’s the problem you’d want to tackle first. No change in cap is needed at all in that case, since solving the root problem frees up ‘supply’.

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Generally I find this is more of an accuracy problem, but when I’m having that, it’s usually more that I’m failing Guru items and knocking them back into apprentice (or failing burns, knocking them back to guru, and then failing some more).

At a rough cap of 100, with a hard cap of 120, I can usually do at least 5-10 lessons/day - sometimes more like 15-20, but occasionally I hit a patch of guru items that turns out I didn’t know that well that really inflate my apprentice for a bit while I sort them back out. That’s usually when I can’t do any lessons

Another thing to factor into whether to do lessons when you’re at/near your cap - are your 130 apprentice items mostly apprentice 1/2 and going to be coming up tons, or are they pretty much all apprentice 4, and just waiting to move up to Guru? To me, that changes the workload breakdown a bit - if I have 95 apprentice 4 items and 10 apprentice 3, I’m going to do some more lessons, even though I’m technically at my cap. If I have 20 apprentice 1 items and 30 apprentice 2 and 50 apprentice 3 - no thanks, I don’t think I need more lessons right now, those apprentice 1/2 items are going to be coming up a bunch more times in the next 2 days.

Remember the apprentice cap thing is really to manage your workload - if you are finding that with 130 apprentice, you have time/energy for more work, think about increasing it. If you’re finding that when you have that many apprentice, if you had to do more reviews, it would be difficult, it’s probably the right cap and the ‘no lesson’ days are telling you to keep working on some accuracy and give yourself a chance to catch up.


Thank you (and Yorbon) for the detailed answers.

I feel like it is more of a problem with accuracy than anything, after reading your responses. If I’m accurate and focused, not only does it make apprentices gurus faster it also makes it so the act of SRS itself is easier. I don’t hate doing SRS but I’d also like to keep it that way. I think I need to develop the ability to recognize “yeah, this particular set of vocab is a problem so let me take a better look at it”. Wanikani also isn’t the only SRS I do (I do and Bunpro as well) so that’s a factor as well. I guess accuracy has always been my demon (sometimes I can get 90% and sometimes I get 60%) so I’ll work on it more.

Yeah, sometimes my accuracy is trash too - I think I have a whole bunch of leeches right now that are just cycling up and down from guru to apprentice that I should really take a more focused approach at - but, since my current goal is ‘read some stuff’ and not ‘level up in WK particularly quickly’, I admit to just not worrying about it. I was annoyed when I levelled up the other day - I wanted to get through more of last level’s vocabulary first. (Yes, I’ll just chip away slowly at the lessons, practically it doesn’t matter, but I find it more encouraging when the pile of lessons at the start of the new level is smaller).

To be completely honest here, an accuracy of 60% for me would be too low even on incidental basis (i’m personally frustrated if it’s any lower than 90%). Maybe in this case it’s not just the reviews, but also the mnemonics you use when learning them. Perhaps good to just relearn some of them if you keep having trouble with a specific set of kanji or vocab. But that’s something you can maybe play around with to see what works.

I think I am just going to have to keep experimenting with ways to improve my accuracy. Thank you for the advice.

Hello. I am level 4 and I was wondering what would be recommended manga reading material to just get used to reading at or around this level. My ultimate goal right now is to be able to read LNs at the source. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

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Usually the bigger barrier to entry into manga is grammar knowledge rather than kanji or vocabulary - it’s easier to look up words than grammar, and many manga (particularly shounen and shoujo) have furigana on all kanji to tell you the reading, which makes it easier to look them up. I don’t know where you are on your Japanese learning journey - so I’m going to point you to some resources for beginners, and if you’re looking for something else, please ask!

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend looking at The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List! to help you find a resource for more grammar and vocabulary. WaniKani gives you lots of specific vocabulary to help you learn kanji, but it’s not always the most practical beginner vocabulary (because a lot of common, conceptually simple words have fairly complex kanji)

If you know some beginning grammar (or are like me and like to hit your head against things that are too hard for you repeatedly until something sticks), よつばと!is a common recommendation for beginners because it features mainly every day vocabulary. Fair warning though, it uses lots of casual grammar, which often is not what you learn first in grammar in general. I find Flying Witch uses more polite grammar, which is helpful for learners, and can make for an easier read (I didn’t personally find it that interesting, but it was relatively readable).

My main rec for starting in on reading native material would be to check out the Absolute Beginners Book Club to look at past choices, which would have a reader populated vocabulary list, along with threads for the chapters where people have asked and answered questions. This can be super helpful for starting reading, and often if you post a question, even on a long dead thread, someone will come along and answer it for you.

I know it’s not exactly what you asked, but that’s the best insight I have for you - if you really want to read soon, and have high tolerance for frustration, learn some grammar, and then hop into native material and be prepared for it to take a long time to read anything (I’m currently sitting at 15-20 minutes per page of my first light novel - but more like 30 minutes per chapter of a manga - depending on the amount of dialogue). Look up a lot of stuff. Ask lots of questions. Try to memorize more vocabulary.

Good luck!


Is there a script you can use to drill answers you got wrong in a review (like how you can use a quick study for everything you got wrong in

I find doing this helps me a lot in kitsun, would love the same option on WK. Preferably something I can try and use on mobile since that is where I do most of my reviews.

There is a separate webapp that you can put your API key into - BishBashBosh: Cram Apprentice 1 items and recent failures - unsure if there are also scripts available.


Tyvm! This seems to be exactly the functionality that I was looking for and it’ll work on mobile.

I’ve been here for only a few days so far, and should be done with learning the level 1 kanji soon, and after finishing most of them I already have 32 vocabulary words to learn. It feels like a lot, so I feel it’d be good to ask sooner rather than later, but what kind of pace I should be going at while using WaniKani? How many lessons should I go for at once, and how many reviews should I do each session?

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