Review Madness

Hello you guys! This is my Wanikani Monogatari.

I’ve been using WK since Sept 2015 and just reached level 47. The thing is, I had a huge break of about 5 months where i was barely touching WK, through levels 24 to 26 (157 days to go through those three levels, to be exact, did not use vacation mode ever) and boy am I still paying the bill!!

I then averaged about 9 days per level since, but using a WK app to push radicals and kanji to the beginning of both lessons and reviews and ignoring vocab entirely.
This last October my dashboard was roughly: 1600+ review 650+ lessons. Yes.
So, I grinded away at the reviews, then the lesson and finally by the end of November I had done it! 0 + 0, for the briefest of moments. Come December I had 1000 review looking back at me again. And I was powerless.

This March I finally got around to grinding again, did the 0+0 again, about 3 weeks ago, and now I’m standing with 979 reviews + 91 lessons. I have 936 Apprentice items.

I just read how some people were saying that the keep an eye on the number of Apprentice Items so it stays around a certain number, but 936 it’s still a bit baffling.

So what I’ve always done is ignore vocab lessons as they piled up, thinking I would only do them when i got my reviews to 0, as I did on these last two grinds. As I’m reaching level 50 though, I’ve now started doing them immediately as they become available for the following reasons:

  • Roughly half of them are straight up On’yomi and/or Easy Meaning;
  • Some vocabs actually use as Meaning of Reading Explanations examples from previous levels vocabs, such as “You’ve Learned OYOBU before!” and I’m like “no I haven’t”.;
  • And most importantly, I’ve found that the learning the vocab is the thing that really glues the Kanji and its patterns and nuances in the back of the skull.

So my tip is obviously: “Don’t spend too many months just learning and reviewing radicals and kanji to level up, as the reviews will never go away.”

I’m standing with 979 reviews + 91 lessons. I have 936 Apprentice items. On a good day I can do about 400 reviews, only to come bite me again the next day. Has anyone experienced something similar? Am I doomed for Life? Can someone shine some light on this crispy burnt soul?

I’m optimistic though, I’ve come this far, 13 more levels and the lesson will stop, if nothing else.
Will it have been the proper WK experience? Probably not. Love it like hell, though. I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been for WK this “learning Kanji”, or “Japanese” at all, for that matter, would have been just a fad that I’d had quit by now. I can’t now quit though. I’m in way too deep now. Thanks Crabigator.


with enough persistence (and not doing ANY lessons until that damn apprentice pile is down o.o geez) you could slow down your reviews. Many people have been in the same boat, and many make it out.

I believe in you!

Thanks :smiley:

Either way: doing Just Review or Doing ALL Lessons, it’s hell. And I might just burnout again.
Maybe the answer is simply stop leveling up at all for a while, in my case (Not unlocking Radicals and Kanjis). :frowning:

Thats actually exactly what I would suggest XD Thought youre a monthly/yearly, so that probably isnt the best idea, is it? :confused: if I was in your boat I would stop doing all lessons and only do reviews until my apprentice is way waaay lower, but you have a bit of a time limit, so…

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If you’re that backed up, doing any more lessons is, well, to be blunt, stupid. you are going to have to sit down and slog out some of those reviews,push them up the food chain. the more you move them up the longer the time, the less reviews, I’m probably a bit more hyper about it, but I do my best to keep my apprentice to less than 150 at any one time, so I don’t get overwhelmed. I would suggest, doing 50ish reviews, twice a day if you can, order them by level lowest to highest, that way you get your feet back under you and as you get the reviews to a more manageable level you can slowly add in lessons, but i’d keep that to like 10-20 a day. The script you’re using even goes as far as warning you to not do that… Now, you know why.

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I am aware I’ll end up spending a lot more money in the long run. I pay monthly, on purpose. I considered a lifetime subscription on both Christmas season sales. I just know if i go lifetime I’ll end up giving up of forgetting about it out delaying it etc…
I actually find WK very cheap for its value and the monthly keeps me going. But if I keep like this I’ll reach level 60 with 2500+ apprentice vocabs (or burnout before that) so maybe it’s for the best if I freeze leveling up for a month or so.

Ah, clever :stuck_out_tongue: In that case, if you dont mind paying, I would do that. I got my apprentice pile of 200 down in just about a week, so im sure you could get yours down pretty fast

Well actually it only warns me about the Ignore function, but you’re right. I guess I spent too much time thinking I’d face my review pile “tomorrow”. I just never had though about it in terms of Number of Apprentice Items and I was only focusing on leveling up, while focusing on the Kanji as well. But the vocab is so helpful to REALLY learning the Kanji.

I’ll tell you what. I’m gonna keep being stupid and doing it all, always hoping to bring em down, always unlocking until level 50. If i fail to bring apprentices to at least 200 by then I’ll freeze leveling up for a month. Now I have people judging me, maybe that’ll do :smiley:


If you really don’t like the huge waves of reviews, I’d recommend never blasting through a ton of reviews in one sitting… because then it’ll come back in a wave. So yeah! Do 50 a day, or a few at a time, as much as you think you want in a given day, with your monthly subscription as a limiting factor.

Though what do I know, still pretty new, and the thought of 900 reviews sounds exciting to me actually…


You’re not wrong! :smiley:

After some consideration I’ve decided to freeze leveling up all together. After posting my story I realized there’s no need to rush. I 'm barely doing any reviews, I could be close to burning out. And it would be nice to eventually go back to use wanikani like a regular person: level by level.
That said, is there a way to reorder my review on chrome by SRS so i can grind only the Apprentice items if i feel like it?
On my pc i have no extensions or userscripts avaliable. To reorder reviews/lesson and other tricks I’ve always used the Wanikani Mobile app which has a ton of scripts included.

there are scripts for chrome that are available, check the forums here, List
I use a reorder script, that can be set up by level, and or type, which would be close to what you’re after I think. if you are comfortable setting up scripts it shouldn’t be an issue, I wasn’t and had it in right on the first try.

900 reviews not sexy at all. 900 apprentice items not sexy at all. already got em down to 500 though

I feel you - I also am probably biased. Before starting WaniKani I used Quizlet to drill vocab, and would sit down and do about 500 words in a sitting. Also I started KaniWani the other day and having 10 levels backlogged was magical…

Anyway I recognize that is not a common reaction :wink:

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Useful advice. I started doing the same thing (pushing back my vocab until I felt like a binge day) and saw how insanely fast it piles up. Just did 200+ lessons in the last 3 days (I learn them in sets of 15-40 then self-review all of them on the recently learned page until they’re consolidated enough to not forget when reviews come around four hours later). I can’t even imagine having nearly 1,000 apprentice items though. I’m going to learn from your pain and cut this habit early. :stuck_out_tongue:

Gotta say though, you’re already level 48; you’re clearly dedicated to learning Japanese and nothing can stop that now if you stay motivated. Take a week or two to clear out that apprentice pile before even thinking about more lessons, mate. Good luck!

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Only learning kanji without learning how they are used in vocabs is useless anyway. It’s like learning how the letter “E” is read but never learning words that use the letter “E”, such as “enter” or “well”.

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I hear you bro. Vocab so important.

Hello guys, thanks for the input. So only about a week later without leveling up I cut my apprentice items down from 979 apprentice items to 132, 36 of which are level 48 kanji+rads I unlocked yesterday, and 163 lesson to unlock, and only 209 in the next 24 hours (1654 Gurus, though).
So it was definitely a wise choice.
It’s waay more manageable. Thanks for the help. Imma wait another 24 hours and probably my apprentice list will go even lower then back to leveling up again. This time the way Koichi meant us to use. Level by Level.
So if anyone ever finds himself in the same spot, or heading towards it, I hope you find this post to see there’s hope for you.
I just wonder if those Gurus will haunt me in a few days in massive batches :expressionless:
I wonder if it’s already over.
@Kyuui13 thanks bro. I was blind but now I see



heh, You’re welcome, but its こんにちは So you know, and you would, if you had done your vocab :grinning: And yes they will come back and bite you in groups, but it is what it is, pacing yourself now however will start to spread that out a lot.