Should I just restart?

I honestly don’t know what to do at this point because every time I try to get back into learning I stop after a few days and just get kind of upset looking at how far I had gone but then randomly stopped. It’s been almost 100 days since I last did a review and now I’m up to 1000 reviews. Something tells me I should just let it all go and restart because I feel like there’s gaps in my knowledge, but there’s another part of me that can’t think of starting from the beginning. I don’t know what to do :frowning_face: :sweat:

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Are you 100 % that you really want to learn this? Or is it that you wish you would be more motivated, but are not? And: Do you have a stressful job that hinders you or do you in theory have enough spare time?


Work your way through the reviews instead of restarting. Each answer (correct or not) will provide you with the lesson information to refresh your memory. Use this as a knowledge assessment and motivation to pick things back up! This is a learn at your own pace platform. Get back up to speed on your time and don’t let the number of reviews bog you down! You can do this!


I am in a similar situation. I installed the Reorder Ultimate 2 script and i am doing my reviews little by little in order of increasing levels. The early levels are manageable. When I hit a wall this is the level i will reset to.

You need not reset all the way down to 1. You may reset only the problematic levels.


I restarted recently after two years away. By that point I’d forgotten most of the vocab so I just hit the nuclear button. As others have suggested you may not need to if you’ve only been off the boil for a few months. But even if you do reset, all is not lost! I think I got to level 10 last time around. So I’m going well this time - but I’m also taking it more seriously than before. I’m having weekly lessons, Genki, extra vocab via Anki, trying to watch Japanese films/TV. As much as I hate it, I think with nothing else on lockdown has afforded me the space to develop some good study habits. Anyway, best of luck!

Reset two levels and see what your review queue looks like. You can then work through those reviews and clear a smaller queue before starting lessons again.

You can get those two levels back in less than a month once you start lessons so it should be a decent compromise.


I went through something like this, when I started I got to level 8 and then dropped wanikani because I wasn’t capable of focussing
Two years later I had 800 reviews so, what I did was trying to learn bit by bit, studying by myself what I had learn on every wanikani level and then doing the reviews
I don’t know if this will work for you but I’m already on level 13 and I thought I wouldn’t be able to relearn the 8 levels or to do the 800 reviews
I know it seems like a lot but if you do it slowly, bit by bit, maybe you’ll be able to do it without restarting
Also, there’s nothing bad on restarting I guess

I think you are asking yourself the wrong question. You should ask yourself first “Am I determined to learn Kanji or not?” or “Do I have time to do it right now?”. Otherwise it would come back to this point again soon.

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In the end, the point is to learn Kanji / Japanese, right? I wouldn’t stress about how far you’ve gone in the system, just do what is best for you to learn. The number next to your name only means so much.

Personally I would probably tackle the review pile to see what stuck from before, but if starting fresh is going to get you back in the groove, go for it!

To me it very much feels like this :frowning: . I think to give you better feedback, @gooober , we would need to know a little more about your situation, your motivation to study Japanese, etc. WaniKani is great for learning kanji and some vocab, but it’s only one facet of the language.

Also, if it’s a case of struggling with staying motivated in general, you’re definitely not the only one these days so don’t feel bad about it :slight_smile: .

There’s lots of good advice here about how and whether to tackle the backlog or reset. I won’t add to what’s already said, but it sounds like you could also use some motivational help for regular daily reviews.

The general wisdom is that it takes three weeks to make something a habit. That pretty much jibes with my experience.

No matter how you tackle the backlog, I’ll share some motivational advice that’s helped me tremendously:

  • Decide on a time of day and duration for your reviews that will work for you almost every day. Ideally, pick a time when you’ll have energy and will likely be free of distractions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s first thing in the morning, the last thing before you go to bed, or any time in between: Just tell yourself forcefully that that hour (or whatever) is for WK reviews and only for WK reviews. Be convincing.

  • Acquire a dedicated physical calendar and a red felt-tip pen. Display the calendar prominently wherever you expect to do your reviews.

  • Every day you do some reviews, make a big red X through that day on the calendar. It doesn’t matter if you do one review or three hundred. If you do at least one review, you get an X.

  • Play DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN. Try to make that string of big red X’s as long as possible.

  • Decide on some small reward for yourself (coffee or snacks work great, but web surfing, tv, adult beverages, or whatever also work). Reward yourself whenever you review a significant number of items. Bask in the glory of that long unbroken string of big red X’s while you enjoy your treat. Try to only reward yourself after accomplishing your daily goal.

That’s it. The first time you achieve an unbroken 3-week string of red X’s, you’ll almost certainly discover that it’s become a habit and you’ll feel strange if you don’t do your reviews at that time.

The rather awesome heatmap user script will automate the calendar for you, and is definitely worth installing even if you follow my advice above and go the manual route. But nothing beats the visceral satisfaction of physically marking a big red X on a paper calendar. I’m also a fan of the workload graph extension to the heatmap to see a graph of how many reviews you’re doing on average.

Lastly, real life trumps. All the motivational tricks in the world can’t prevent the occasional lapse. Never be too hard on yourself for breaking the chain, but try to make your reviews a habit.