Resetting from level 29 to Level 1

So I’ve been using WaniKani for around 6 years now and only got to 29th level. I’ve been pretty obsessed with it before the quarantine, doing reviews multiple times a day, but kept on burning out due to never-ending reviews.

I even had a thread on it here: How fast should I be progressing?

Around 6 months ago I put WaniKani on vacation and it’s been the longest time ever for not doing any reviews. I tried to get into learning Japanese through other means, like Anki, MochiCards and others… But I’ve realised that since putting WaniKani on hold, I just didn’t have the same gusto when it came to my progress with vocab (I do still learn Japanese weekly with a private tutor)

Yet thinking of the 400 items in review, that I couldn’t clear for months on end before going into vacation mode, makes me not wanting to go back. So with that in mind, I decided to finally pull the trigger and reset to Level 1

I plan to follow @jprspereira method that he suggested me years ago, which will look like follows:

  • Learn 10 new items per day
  • 3 review sessions a day
    • 9am → [learn 10 new items here]
    • 1pm
    • 9pm
  • Aim for a level up every 7 days

With this speedy approach, I am hoping to not be overwhelmed and instead move quickly. I also plan to not follow my previous approach to trying to burn everything and instead focus on learning new stuff instead and worry about reviews less.

I am hoping this will let me go through the wall that was level 30 and finally reinvigorate lost passion for learning new kanji daily. Hence wanted to start this topic to get me both motivated even more and have some sort of diary like log of my progress… cause it is quite scary to reset a 6 years of progress


Interesting plan. You might want to ramp up the new items per day to 15. The vocab is one of the most useful things you can learn, and it cements your readings. Doing just 10 a day is 70 a week. Each level has more than 100 items. You can almost learn all the items in a week if you do 15 items a day.


I’m surprised you are going all the way back to one but I heard some people were pretty happy with that decision (it’s just not for me even though I just came back from a 3 year break). I wish you the best of luck! :four_leaf_clover:


I don’t understand why you can’t clear 400 items. You know you don’t have to do all of them at once right? At 100 a day that’s only 4 days’ work, 50 a day won’t take too long either.


I think with this approach you could aim for a level up every 15 or so days, not 7 :thinking:

Even though, that kind of pace is quite an improvement from what I can see in your first try :innocent:

1 Like

I might increase the amount - I’ve fluctuated between 5 and 10 items a day, and I remember that 10 was challenging, but at the same time I felt like I was progressing really fast. So it felt like a good place to start again

1 Like

I can and I have cleared 600 items before. But I also know that I’ve been in a review hell for about a year, before I went on a break - and having no progress, just extensive burnout from trying to keep up with review items. So as I kept on failing to get back into the good cadence with reviews / lessons, I felt like resetting would be a drastic attempt to start anew and set things right - as well as get back the enjoyment of progressing smoothly

1 Like

haha my math is probably off - I didn’t really check it. For now I’ll go with this plan, see what is the cadence of leveling up and adjust accordingly. 7 is the really fast, so starting with 15 and maybe getting to 10-12 eventually would be a good place to be anyways

1 Like

Have you considered doing what I did & resetting back just a couple (in my case, 28 to 22) levels?

Then, you can use userscripts and review the old levels when you think it fits in & resurrect items you get wrong.


I was going to mention something similar - a smart way to address review hell after a break might be to use something like the item inspector userscript so you can see exactly where your leeches are and where things might be getting unfamiliar. If you can recognize everything up to even level five or ten, that would save you months of waiting for the srs.

I also just recently came back from a 2/3 year hiatus and found this to be super helpful but I’m sure you can judge your comforts and capabilities the best. Regardless, I wish you luck!!

I’ve considered it, but one of the other motivations behind this - is to review a lot of burned items I have. In my day to day learning of Japanese, I tend to notice that I forgot a lot of basic things, that are supposed to be burned. So going from the start, would give me an opportunity to refresh my memory on the mnemonics of things that I never get into review anymore. Instead of unburning a bunch myself


Let’s say you’ve forgotten so much that you forgot 50% of the kanji. That still means you remember half, so you’d be spending time reviewing lots of kanji you already know (also means those levels will feel a lot easier)

Obviously, if you don’t remember level 21 at all but you remember level 1 almost completely, that would certainly influence things. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Of course, if you’re willing to put in the time to do this, at least you won’t regret your decision since you’ve already decided this is acceptable. :wink:

I made the same decision a couple of months ago (level 23 → level 1). I had forgotten too many burned kanji and I was so behind on reviews that I was basically re-learning any kanji that would come up. I was barely managing to get 50% during review sessions and I wasn’t doing them every day so even the ones that should have been re-learnt and reinforced drifted away again.

I will say, I was terrified of losing the progress I had made, I felt like it would mean I failed, but as I’m working through all of it again, I’m so glad I made the choice. There are new vocabulary in previous levels that I never got to see because I never did lessons due to the massive review queue and there are old ones that I never saw in practice (because I didn’t practice enough reading) that I completely forgot existed.

I tried the userscript route originally of just testing myself on burned items and on leeches, but the results were bad enough I figured I needed to go back to square one. Around the same time, I also started taking private Japanese lessons so that worked out well!

If you have lifetime, or are financially-stable enough to do it, I do recommend it!


wow, great to see someone who did the same. And successfully at that, it seems. I am not too fussy about going back to square one and losing ‘months’ of progress, as I feel like I almost wasted years with the state I got into anyways. So it’s a small price to pay, if it helps me get back onto my feet and eventually go past level 30 again, without being in a really bad place in terms of the review queue.

So let’s see, excited to start tomorrow


Best of luck to you!

One tiny side-note, I noticed as I went through lessons now, that there are a surprising number of words that I recognize from having gone through them previously and that makes certain levels go by much faster than others. Sticking to a number of lessons a day is good to keep reviews in check, but maybe make the rule: 10 lessons that you didn’t immediately recognize from your previous progress. That way you’ll have faster levels (like 1-3) and slower levels as you get closer to where you were originally.


I was only at lvl 8, but I had a review pile of 1000 and every time I looked at it I closed the page. So now I’m back at 1 (because it’s better to start again than do nothing) and I think I’ll stick to a plan similar to the one you outlined. Though I will do it at 8, 12 and 8.


I did 20 items a day for a long time, averaged 8 days per level. Because 8x20=160 is in average how many items are in a level (lvl 1-30).
(The 3 times review sessions you describe is also how I went :))

So 10 items a day is about two weeks per level. I think it is a very nice pace, and since you will know a lot of the kanji you should enjoy it a lot more than the first time :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve started to realise that language learning (especially English → 日本語 ) is a long haul thing. I think it’s better to learn everything rather than bombing through as fast as possible, especially since vocab is probably the most important thing to learn

a while ago I started learning 20 items each weekday and taking the weekends off to review, trying to keep my apprentice level items <= 100. my answers are correct like 80% of the time according to wkstats, so I’m levelling up about every two weeks.

I think starting with a rhythm in mind is a really good idea; it’ll help you out in the long run.

がんばる!! :muscle::muscle::muscle:


Yup, now that I started, I am thinking it’s going to be closer to 20 a day, as I can go a lot faster through earlier items. When I start hitting those that I don’t remember as well, I will slow down, but hopefully I’ll be able to get through 10-15 levels quite fast and then get to a consistent, but fairly fast pace still as I get closer to where I left off


After doing it for over 6 years, I know this reality very well indeed. The problem for me that I stalled in my kanji / vocab in general, and stopped making pretty much any progress for the past year, due to review hell. While I was still learning other things, I want to get back to the place where I did consistently learned new vocab every day, as when I was doing it, I felt like I was making the most progress in my Japanese studies. Time will tell how this turns out

1 Like