Should I Reset to Level 1?

Hey all, I’m not sure what I should do. I started Wanikani when Covid started and worked my way up to level 13 (at a moderate-slow pace) and stopped about 7 months ago because life happened. I want to get back into things, so my question is should I reset from level 1 or use a reorder script to manage my hefty stack of reviews and struggle going forward for a while? I didn’t do any Japanese study in those 7 months so I’m definitely rusty right now. The plan right now is to start Wanikani again (reset or reorder) and start Genki 1. Thanks for the help!


What I did in a similar situation is I used Reorder Ultimate 2 to order the reviews by order of level (increasing). When I hit a wall in terms of memory retention this was the level I reset to. This procedure worked fine for me.


I think resetting is a good idea. Maybe not necessarily level 1, even level 2 or 3 would be better, just check what was learned in those levels and see if you still know them or not.


did you forget your burns?

Even active users forget their burned items. It’s really common, especially when reading level 60 posts. I think burned items are supposed to stick in memory for about a year, but it would be better if someone familiar with the SRS research could chime in here. Regardless, the first few levels worth of items are so easy and common going all the way down to 1 probably isn’t worthwhile. Since you’re coming back from a break some textbook grammar review might be good enough to cover some of the kanji/vocab.

Anyway, I’d second prouleau’s advice. If you’re worried about the burned items specifically try using scripts like item inspector, self-study quiz, ect. to put in some extra practice/review here and there.


I got to the same sort of spot earlier this year and reset back to level 1 and it was honestly the best thing in the world for me. I was having some major burn out drama (life - as you say) and I know resetting can seem wasteful if you can tick all those items off in your head but for me, going through those earlier items and absolutely slaying them even after ignoring anything for 6+ months was great for my psyche. That low hanging fruit of “I can actually do this” was such a positive reinforcement that helped get my groove back in a big way.

So I think it’s really going to depend on how you approach this mentally as to what is the right answer for you - do you feel like resetting to zero is letting yourself down, or a clean slate with a chance to knock it out the park?

Ultimately there’s no wrong answer, it’s all going to come down to your feelings I think - either way, you got this!


I’m not sure you need to reset (of course, if you really want to, you can). The system will adjust to fit your knowledge, so if you make a mistake, it will bump the kanji down to a lower level, aka “review at higher frequency” level. So it doesn’t really matter if you reset or not, because it will (eventually) review the kanji you’ve already learnt anyway, and it will keep on adjusting the frequency of reviews based on your responses. I think, if you’re coming back from a break, the main thing is doing reviews consistently, whether that’s only 5-10 kanji a day or whether you feel like doing more than that is up to you. And you don’t need to tackle new lessons before you feel ready to either. This is my opinion though, you do what you prefer.


I think for srs it can depend on memory. I forget things pretty fast so some words just do not stick well and there are some burned words that i thought i should know but forgot within months. I’d say most of my burned words are totally fine but usually they are words I see quite a bit when reading, which is something that’s proven to help a lot with memory. So someone that doesn’t read or interact with media can have a different experience then someone that does a fair bit of reading and whatnot. I’m not a researcher or teacher so don’t take any of this as a hard fact, i just know i’ve noticed a lot ever since I starting self-teaching a language.

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First of all, welcome back!

I think it would be a good start to look at the individual levels. I would never jump back to level 1, because I was so annoyed by how slow things started. Especially with the radicals. But I would take a look at the individual levels, maybe you still know the kanji from level 5 or 6? Then I would jump to that level, and not straight to 1. You can always go further back, but never jump ahead again.

Sometimes a new vocabulary pops up for me that uses a kanji, which I have already burnt, but totally forgotten. I do go and resurrect said kanji. And from time to time I do have a look at my burnt items and I resurrect them, because yup, you forget some of these bastards.

But also resetting is absolutely no shame. And when studying, you often do have to take a few steps back to make a big step forward in the end.

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I think this is what I’ll go with. Thanks prouleau and everyone else who responded here!