Should I restart Wanikani entirely? (after 1-2 year hiatus)

Hello friends,

I really need your help in deciding whether I should reset my progress within Wanikani. I’ve been thinking for days!

I haven’t studied in an extremely long time. I’m at level 20 and I have 1633 reviews to go through and 1080 lessons.
Additionally I use Torii SRS where I also have over a thousand reviews to go through.

Now I read that people recommend reordering the reviews (Reorder Omega) in a way that the reviews occur by level, and do 100 reviews per day (you can’t do that in Torii SRS however).
That way you can slowly gain back progress and when you stumble at a certain level you can reset Wanikani to that level. Is that really the best solution? What should I do in Torii?

Another question I have in case I reset, should I write down all the vocabulary (again) and is it worth using Kaniwani?

EDIT: Yet another question I have is should I use reorder omega at all? For example the speed demon preset. Is it harmful to memorizing or is it fine?

Thank you so much, have a blessed day!

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Probably yes to KaniWani, but more yes to writing sentences with the vocab you learn, for instance in the Sentence a Day thread.

No to writing in general, unless it helps you remember the words somehow.

Writing entire sentences for every vocab I learn is an enormous task… I’m not sure I have the time. Nor is learning to write a priority for me but rather memorizing. Why is it so beneficial? What do you mean by sentence a day?

Thank you for your reply.


I think it’s a matter of preference really.

Resetting allows you to do the lessons again, which makes it possible to plan out how many items you get to review and so on. It’s a clean slate which some might find a more calm experience and to overtake a huge pile of old reviews.

If you do go for a reset, I would first check out the first 10 levels and just read through some items and see for yourself it you feel like you know these or not.

I think it’s makes sense to reset to a level that isn’t 1 or 2, but perhaps 5-6? (depending on how you feel about items) and then to manually unburn any burnt items from the first levels if you feel that’s necessary/helpful.

This is mostly to avoid it feeling tedious for you when retaking past ground.


I really don’t know if reseting would be useful to you, because I don’t know your Japanese comprehension level. Levels 1-20 are the most common characters. They are the 20% the makes up like the 90% most used Kanji. So you could reset to make sure you learn them well. Or you could just go read some books/news and get exposed because most of them all all over already.

When I came back after a year plus hiatus I reset from 51 to 33ish. This was useful to me because 33-51 are rare enough that I forgot them and wasn’t running into them during my hiatus because I wasn’t reading about atomic bombs.

You could look at the reviews as your lessons though. I do 100 reviews a day any way. So you could do 100 a day until you catch back up. Depending on how hard you study you could catch up in 16 days compared to 20 weeks… So… It’s up to you…


I would recommend reordering the reviews by WK level and start from there. While also limiting yourself to maybe 100-150 max reviews a day. I came back recently from a 1.5 year break and I was able to catch up in 2-3 months. If I reset from 20 to 0 it would probably take 6-8 months instead


I think it might be an enormous task now, but once you get into the habit, it becomes easier. Also, that way you practice expressing yourself in Japanese, which I think is relevant in the long run.

You don’t have to write the sentences on paper, I mean writing in general. Check the Japanese Sentence a Day thread on the forums, for instance.

I think it depends on your success rate on reviews now. If that’s super-low, like near zero, I would either reset or pre-study before attempting the reviews. If you’re pretty good on accuracy except for the apprentice/guru ones, then probably just doing 100-300 reviews a day is going to get you back in the saddle a lot faster. If you reset too low and that makes it too easy and boring, you won’t keep it up.

Also I wouldn’t attempt to get both SRS systems current at the same time or re-start kaniwani yet. I’d bring them back one-by-one, only trying to recover the next one when the previous one is back to reasonable workload.

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If you’ve got 1000+ lessons, that means you’ve missed nearly 10 levels worth of vocab. That pushes me towards the reset some levels camp.


I literally just resubscribed to wanikani after finishing level 60 a few months ago, because I could see that I was forgetting things once I was no longer doing reviews several times a day. I reset to level 30 thinking that that was about when I started to make more and more mistakes, and I’ve just gone back and reset all the way down to level 10 because so much was unfamiliar. That was with only a gap of a few months and I’m also doing much more grammar and reading practice than I was before.

If you’ve been away for more than a year, I’d say to go for it and reset entirely. Not just because it will lower the review count, but also because I just did a bunch of lessons and there’s a ton of vocab that I definitely don’t remember being taught that early on. Wanikani updates and changes things all the time, so with that long a time to be away it would be very different from what you remember.

Also, if you were only level 20, you don’t have too much progress to lose. I’ve reset 50 levels worth of progress that took almost 2 years to complete, so even if you only do reviews once or twice a day you’d probably catch back up to level 20 in a relatively short time.

I’ve never used Torii or any add-ons (I’m not good enough with technology for that) so I can’t offer any advice as to whether it would be useful. I can say that having just reset I still have access to the recent study, mistakes and burned items, so you’ll be able to practice what you’ve already done, with the benefit that it doesn’t count in your reviews and lessons.

Furthering other comments, physically writing things down is useful if its how your brain works to remember kanji and vocab, but depending on the reason why you’re learning Japanese, it probably isn’t necessary. If you’re just aiming to be able to understand written or spoken Japanese then you probably won’t have much of a need to write it yourself. From my experience the general consensus is that you really only need to learn to write if you plan to actually live or work in Japan. If you want to use daily sentences then just typing it on your phone or laptop should be good enough. There’s also lots of forums on here for daily practice if that’s your thing as well.

Long post but hope that helps at all!

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Thank you!

Just to give another perspective: I was in a similar situation and did not start over. I had around 1300 reviews and hadn’t studied in a year and a half.

I worked through the backlog by using the “Extra Study” (now “Recent Mistakes”) feature. I also started using KameSame. Producing the Japanese from the English helped me make fewer mistakes during my WaniKani reviews.

My strategy was to reduce my reviews by 50 per day. If I started out with 800 reviews, and saw that another 75 were scheduled throughout the day, I would try to do 125 reviews first thing (the 50 I was trying to shave off the total plus the 75 that would be added). More reviews would be added because of mistakes I’d make in the first round, so I’d do another round in the evening to get the total down to 750.

I think I hit my sweet spot doing 175-200 reviews a day. Initially my accuracy was embarrassingly low: 25-30%. That’s where the extra practice/recent mistakes and KameSame came in. I did the extra practice immediately after each round, and KameSame whenever I found a few minutes. Soon, my accuracy jumped to 85-90%. Still a lot of mistakes, but good enough to make some progress.

I didn’t do anything fancy with reordering, and I didn’t do any new lessons during this time. The new lessons did add up, so the next level took a while, but I didn’t see any benefit to plowing through new material until the backlog was cleared. I think it took two to three months to catch up.

Whatever you decide, good luck! Decide on a (relatively) sustainable plan and keep at it.


I thought WK wasn’t ordered by how commonly the characters occured?

It’s not, there are kanji in the 40s that are also widely used, but I think until level 30 (not 20) you’re still learning around 80% of the most widely used Kanji. Still doesn’t mean you can read fluently but you’ll start recognizing a lot of kanji.

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It is and it isn’t, Even though each level you are learning some unfrequent ones you still finish N5 before N4 before N3, etc.

You can read:

  • 90% of the 500 most common kanji by 24,
  • 90% of the 1000 most common kanji by 38,
  • 90% of the 1500 most common kanji by 53,
  • 80% of the 2000 most common kanji by 60,

But I still stand by what I said because the 500 most common characters are exponentially more common the 500-1000, which in turn are more common than 1000-1500. Unless you are reading something about fiscal responsibility then of course they will use more complex financial kanji.

I would say it isn’t specifically ordered by how commonly characters occur but it also didn’t complete ignore it either.