Second Anniversary


So I just wanted to A) wish everyone a happy and fulfilling New Year: 明けましておめでとうございます!

And B) take a moment to reflect on two years here on WaniKani. I started more or less on a whim just before New Years at the end of 2017. I’d been learning Japanese for quite some time, but I’d resigned myself to not worrying about kanji. Kanji was too difficult. I could read a few basic ones but easily got overwhelmed. This made reading basically anything in Japanese a struggle.

But I plunged in and I enjoyed the system. I persevered, raced to the cake, and by February of 2019, I achieved my goal of reaching level 60. I actually did have cake and it was good. I was just over one year of paid membership. I bought one more year to finish everything.


I took a little break. Life got a little unexpectedly complicated. I served a rather long time on a jury in a criminal case from the beginning of March to the end of May. I had a lot to think about that wasn’t kanji.

I tried to force myself to get back to it, but I gave in to the rut, and watched the reviews pile up.

“Hey, Sezme, your lessons and reviews are waiting!”
Lessons: 508 – Reviews: 3277


Now after a several-month break I was intimidated to return. How many kanji and vocabulary items would I even recognize? Did I really learn anything at all?

Luckily, Santa Koichi tempted me with the lifetime membership special sale for those level 60 people who still feel somehow unfulfilled (me!). I was planning to start again after the new year anyway, but this was the motivation I needed.

I’m in it again, and with total humility I’m trying to squash those leeches. Honestly, there are still some level 3 kanji that continue to give me trouble. I’m getting roughly 50% right in my review sessions now, but it’s only that high because I’m using the reorder script and starting with the easiest ones first.

On the positive side, I think taking a long break like this will help me confirm which unburned items I really know and which have fallen through the cracks.

I do hope to burn everything some day. I got up to level 60, so I must have it in me. Now it’s just a matter of perseverance yet again. And I wish the same to all those of you who are new, and those who are not so new and struggling. Persevere. 頑張れ!




Adding a point I forgot to mention in the first place. I was racing flat-out to get to level 60 in something close to a year. I was able to do it because I stuck to my schedule, and I was able to bend my home life and my work life and my outside life around that schedule. The only times I got a little behind was during a couple of vacations. But I more or less caught up. By the end, though, I had gotten behind in my vocabulary reviews and vocab lessons. Those short levels (basically 50-60) are killers because you need to memorize twice the kanji in the same amount of time if you want to go flat-out.

Ultimately, it left me rather burnt out, and also it was such a relief to get back to normal life without constantly watching the clock or getting up at 5am on certain days just to learn or review a certain number of kanji. So this is something of a caution to those who are going as fast as they can. Burn out can defeat burning (as in burning WK rad/kan/voc items). I don’t necessarily regret going at the pace I did. It was fun and I enjoyed the friendly competition with members of the community (hello @Ninkastmin and @Naphthalene, et al!), but it does leave a mark. I kind of wanted to do a lengthy victory post after reaching level 60 with my thoughts and advice. But I just couldn’t do it. If I think of anything useful, I’ll put it here at some point. But not tonight.


I feel your pain, you really got to keep at it haven’t you? I normally get high review scores, but today I was away all day and busy and went to the cinema, came back at 11pm, no reviews done :frowning: I hit the review button and raced to keep my streak, but alas, my memory had gone completely and got like an low 80% review and didn’t hit my kanji to level up. I thought, how can this happen from not doing my normal am review? Good luck smashing those kanji again!

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I know the feeling. 2/10, would not trade life for kanji knowledge again.

:wave: welcome back!


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