Reasoning behind level group names?

My first time posting to the forums! I tend to lurk in the forums more than I post, but I couldn’t seem to find a post mentioning this topic anywhere, so I guess I’ll ask.

The levels seem to be grouped into groups of 10 with a header ( 快 PLEASANT, 苦 PAINFUL, etc.) What’s the reasoning behind choosing these specific names? Are they just random names, or do they represent something about the experience of the levels within the categories? (If so, I’m in for a great time…)


Pleasant: the kanji in these levels have low stroke count and are conceptually simple

Painful: the reviews from the first two levels are starting to pile up, plus you’re starting to learn grammar

Death: enlightened items from four months ago are coming to haunt you, begging to be burned

Hell: kanji meanings become quite complex and abstract

Paradise: you have now learned more than 97% of the kanji used in NHK Easy News

Reality: thanks to your grammar lessons and all the kanji you’ve learned, now you can read almost anything that the average Japanese person can read


Is this how they were named originally, or is it a coincidence that the naming of each category lines up like this?

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I guess in theory yes… :sweat_smile:


Mostly. “Reality” didn’t exist at first - the last ten levels were added later.

To be clear, by the way, there’s no particular importance behind the names at all. They’re just WaniKani’s own shorthand, and noone else in the world uses them. With is to say, “coincidence” doesn’t even enter into the conversation.


Wait so wanikani also starts teaching grammar in the upper levels?

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No, he meant “thanks to the grammar that you definitely studied on the side from another source, because you’re a good student of Japanese”.


Pope Nicolas VI gets direct revelation from The Holy Crabigator


There may be a statistic that shows this is the level where most people who make it past the free levels tend to quit or reset.


I wouldn’t doubt it. That’s where I almost fell of the wagon too.

(sweating), if I have started burning during Painful, do I have a better chance, statistically, of not quitting?

I seriously study about 4 hours a day (okay, I count about 2 hours of watching anime as studying, tee hee. I do watch it without subtitles sometimes, at least.)
FYI: I am relearning Japanese, so I have a foundation in grammar, which I learned in college, many, many years ago. I was never good at memorizingg kanji, so being able to read is an exciting new development!

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Same story here, studied Japanese 10 years ago. I am focusing on kanji now, the grammar is still good enough to understand what’s going on. So it’s just about the vocabulary and kanji for me.

The first 15 levels were a breeze, hardly any new words, I knew many of them already; then it became interesting and then from level 24 on frustrating. XD
Damn, so many leeches and mixing up and “I knew that one a long time ago”. But I can now read Japanese manga again without much looking up, so if you already started with watching anime, it will keep you motivated. I would also suggest some mild reading, so you do not only hear vocabulary, but also see kanjis and maybe become friends with some. The good thing is, the more kanji you learn, the more you recognize them in the wild and that really makes me want to continue.


Now, why isn’t this your username??


I thought in Paraside you are proud of yourself after all this hard work done. Then you’re hit by Reality: Nope, you are still not that good, and there is still much to learn. Even if you’re done with Wanikani, you’ll never be done with Japanese. Hell and Paradise do not exist, and Death was fake. Good luck with the wicked Reality :smiling_imp:


That’s good and scary to hear. I’m already learning lots of new words at level 18-- lots of formal words I never learned, and synonyms for words, so maybe I’m already past “interesting.” Anyway, thanks for your words of encouragement.
Now that I think about it, when I learned Japanese in school, we only ever learned the most conversational synonym. I now know way more words for “friend” (or something similar) than I thought would exist!

I’m planning to join one of the Wani Kani Forum book clubs coming up. Such a good idea! Shared dictionary work should make it way more pleasant. It took me a number of years to read the last Japanese book I read, on account of constantly having to look up words.


I always figured the group names were a reference to Divina Comedia and Dantes’ portrayal of the path through hell to heaven - with a twist. :thinking:


According to this diagram from this thread, there seems to be a significant dropoff at arround 21 - 25:

Yeah, I’m feeling the pressure right now, I’m almost 24 and my accuracy went a good chunk down.


Ah, it’s long been believed that there was a sharp drop off around that range, but there was a more recent thread somewhere which looked at the stats in more detail, and found the drop wasn’t all that statistically significant. I’m completely failing to find that thread in the search right now, though…


If you’re thinking of my scrape of the forums then that graph actually seems to come from there


What? I don’t see a drop off in the 21-25 range…