SRS App/Website

Because of Wanikani i fell in love with SRS systems, and realized how powerful they are. It got to the point that i’m trying to find a very similar app to Wanikani that instead allows you create custom decks. I’m hoping to start learning geography, food names, phrases, jokes, concepts and many more by using SRS.

I know i can achieve all that with Anki, but it looks mega boring and not user-friendly. I’d love some gamification like Apprentice/Guru levels on WK and somewhat aesthetic look of the website/app.

Do you know anything similar to what i’m talking about?


Do you know Quizlet? It looks much prettier than Anki and has games for studying and stuff. Not level groups, though, if that is important to you.
I’ve used it for vocabulary in several languages, so have my kids, who have also used it for other school subjects. There are lots of user made decks you can import, too.

ETA: I do prefer Anki these days, though, because the integration with Yomichan and thus Netflix etc. and automatic card-building that includes sentences and audio is so extremely useful.

I wonder how long it’ll be before VegasVed shows up to enlighten the masses about the virtues of :stuck_out_tongue:

On a more serious note, there are a couple of options you could explore. If the interface of Anki bothers you (which, don’t get me wrong, it does me as well) then you may like Mochi, a very similar system, which looks about a trillion times better than Anki but has much of the extended functionality removed.

Also, forgot to note: you can make your Anki look a bit nicer by grabbing some styles, although tbh I’m not too sure how those work.


:eyes:. I’m here.


To be honest, @Alphaz604x, what you have described is actually Kitsun. It’s almost as if I made another account and made this thread just so I could comment and tell you that Kitsun is actually really what you’re looking for. (it really does fit the bill)

Also, Kitsun is cheap.

Also, I’m not affiliated with Kitsun and make nothing by promoting it.

Also, Kitsun is awesome.

Also, no, I did not make another profile just so I could make this thread and bestow the glory of the K upon you.


Steps up to mic, straightens tie, clears throat, taps mic. “This thing on?” Murmurs of assent. Clears throat again. “Kitsun good.” The crowd excitedly begins to talk amongst themselves, many holding bated breath. “Anki…” A hush falls over the crowd, rapt attention held. “Bad.” Suddenly, the crowd goes wild, screaming their praise, running over each other to hug a loved one. Whistles of elation are heard and many are seen sobbing. World peace is enacted in acknowledgement to this monumental speech that knit the world together.

True story. Not sponsored, but I hope to make affiliate some day. Praise Kitsun!


Why am I crying…

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please never leave the forums

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Using Kitsun for core 10k deck. Worth every cent.

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Damn, Kitsun actually looks pretty good, need to figure out how to add cards cuz that seems a bit complicated, but looks promising. Thank you guys for replies!

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I’d be happy to jump on chat with you on Discord if you drop your user tag here. It’s really quite easy, especially if you want to make cards with Jisho entries :wink:

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Another vote for Kitsun ^-^


I still think Anki is a very worthy contender.
Anki gives me total control over my decks, I can take community decks and modify them to better suit my needs, intermixing them with my own decks.
Anki let’s me easily export my decks to share with others or to backup before I make sweeping changes.
Anki is free (except for the iOS app which iirc costs $20 or so once off).
Anki let’s me modify it completely with plugins - I’ve started writing my own to automate parts of my workflow and to allow me to better control it fully using my voice.
Anki has cross platform apps (afaik Kitsun iOS app is in beta, otherwise they’re a website).
Anki runs offline - whether that is a weekend away from reliable internet or a month long holiday I can keep using Anki fully offline on any of my devices (laptop, tablet, phone).
Anki is open source and can be worked on by any developer, so it’s continuation isn’t dependent upon a single or small set of individuals (bus factor).

Anki is ugly and can be a pain to get used to, but under that is a powerful widely used open source system. For me the benefits of Anki made it worthwhile learning how to use it considering it’s mostly a once off time investment.

In the end the best tool for you is the one you can stick with long term, so if Anki’s UI is a deal breaker for you and you want to pay for an off the shelf solution then Anki probably isn’t for you.

If you’re happy with the price of Kitsun and the potential lock in, and if you value a modern UI and are happy with primarily using a website online, then it’s probably a fine solution for you - I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the trade off you were making.


One thing that may not have been mention in Kitsun, is that you can run the same Jisho search tags. So if you want to run #words #med, it does the exact same search in Kitsun to create cards. As of now, there are several solid published geography, food and phrase decks which have been refined using the community feedback loop to help keep content polished. The ‘known’ word system in Kitsun is a pretty powerful tool to deck filtration to have all words in one place and to parse texts for percentage know in the reader tool (I put up a WK deck filter recently if interested). I probably could have skipped WK and used Kitsun exclusively for this reason alone had I not started later…I suspect why there is review on Tofugu :laughing:

I use the app pretty heavily and I I’d say it is far more of a finished product than many other apps I’ve used. The only major thing the app can’t do is certain card edits ATM, which I expect is forthcoming. But the platform can be run as a progressive web app (which works excellent) so there is no reason to run it off a browser. I use both, but generally major important editing I would do for desktop anyways.

The bus factor is an interesting topic because it relates to WK as well. At best, we get a lot of creative scripts and builds to ‘hot rod’ your study platform. At worst, there is no obligation from anyone to maintain these tools…and some of these tools not just niceties, but essential to make life livable. Some may remember on an ios update a few years, Allicrab app got dumped entirely but luckily Tsurukame after some work got fixed…but there was a real threat that WK would have to be run in browser mode without any script capability for iphone (I would have dumped the platform even though mid-stream since an app basically essential to do WK for me).

On the Kitsun side, Neicudi has built several of my platform requests and has helped me directly (and many others for that matter) on immediate issues either for troubleshooting or how to make better decks. So there is a customer service inherit to the subscription that oversees the platform that I find of value. Likewise, there is a vision for the platform’s future coming from a single developer which thus far I’ve only seen as benefit because I think they have done it brilliantly.

I won’t say Anki is crap like read before, especially for users who contribute to the platform and I see some amazing tools that have been developed…it has come some ways since years back, I just never had the patience to work with fully. Obviously it’s helped many users and the playground to develop your own tools is what users prefer or have a background to do so, I can see why some prefer it.

But I never considered Anki free just for the time investment in the on-board experience alone…and then the daily UI of time spent on ease of use which adds up. I still see lengthy tutorials on basic functions where that time could invested somewhere else, presumably studying. For an SRS tool that I spend a ton of time on and need to keep my sanity, I find it pretty small in comparison to many other things; I could presumably replace all my other SRS platforms with it. But of course it’s not for everyone and I’m not a developer that would want to spend time making plug-ins or add-ons that some enjoy doing so in Anki…I just want to study but to each their own on what you can stick with, whatever works!


TL;DR: largely agree, time spent studying with a tool that works and you can stick to is the key factor to consider.

(Seriously asking)
Out of interest, I’ve wondered if Kitsun lets you ‘drastically’ modify community decks?
Can you take a community deck and remove half the cards and change the prompts?
I tend to find any shared deck in Anki is never 100% what I want, so being able to rework them is very important to me, maybe it is less so to others.

+1, I primarily use Anki (and WK) on desktop, mobile apps are only for sneaking in reviews in more convenient locations but I’ve been trying to reduce that.

For a long time I was WK hesitant because of this, eventually I was won over and I see 2-3 key differences which boil down to “With WK I am paying for the content, it just happens to come with an optional platform, and I can take the content out with me if I want”.

longer form on points for Wanikani
  1. In Wanikani the value to me is the content they’ve written (radicals, mnemonics, structures through levels).
  2. Wanikani has an API which lets me pull out all the data I could want, so I’m not locked into the platform.
  3. Wanikani has a large and active user scripts and app community.

(1) I was drawn in by Tofugu allowing other websites to use their audio, sharing their content made me want to support them.

(2) this is the biggest one, this means I can always escape back to Anki (or Kitsun etc.) if one day I decide WK isn’t for me.

I paid for WK lifetime access so that if I ever do pull the content out (strictly for my own personal Anki use only) I would have still paid for it.

With Kitsun it feels more like I would be paying for a platform (+/- service).
A lot of this comes down to Kitsun having features which I perceive as DRM, which is not something I want in my SRS tool (I pay for content legally so I want complete control over it).

This is important to me from an accessibility point of view, I have RSI and frequently need to tweak and change how I use a computer - I don’t want my study to be trapped inside a UI which I can’t change if I need to (see below).

Agreed, if WK were only a website that would seriously diminish its value to me, they lucked out in that 3rd parties wrote apps & scripts for them >.>

(although this was enabled by WK exposing a powerful API, which Kitsun does not).

I completely understand this value, my primary issue there is the perceived content/platform lock-in, they should absolutely be able to derive an income from their work and I appreciate them being active.

(I’ve recently started funding the Talon Voice developer through Patreon for similar reasons).

Anki is ugly, I often wonder if people are scared off by the UI and think it is more complex than it is.
Wanikani was easier to start, but since then I’ve spent countless hours reading the various WK guides on these forums.

But overall, mostly fair.
Kitsun has a much richer feature set out of the box than Anki, so it’s absolutely a given that the initial Kitsun setup time will be much lower than getting an equivalent feature set in Anki.

Just to clarify, for most of my Anki usage I didn’t bother with plugins (neither writing nor using), only in the last few months have I started to write my own plugins largely due to accessibility (RSI flaring up).

accessibility and plugins

Recently my RSI flared up so I had to seriously reduce keyboard usage.

IOS Voice Control 99% worked out of the box with Anki, I only had to add some commands to make the grading buttons easier (which took a few minutes of figuring that out, but it was all on IOS Voice Control side).
Presumably the Kitsun IOS app will be able to do / eventually do the same here.

On my computer I was able to setup a 3rd party voice control solution (Talon Voice) which let me control the Anki app immediately (as I could use it to send keyboard shortcuts).

Since then I’ve written some simple plugins to offer betters voice commands (e.g. “Jump to vocab” or “Jump to grammar” to switch Anki decks more efficiently).

By ease-of-use do you mean missing functionality which slows you down? or the ugly UI getting in the way daily?
If it’s the former than that might come down to Kitsun out-of-the-box being much more feature rich, and Anki plugins being more of a mixed-bag.

If it’s the latter then I don’t see it personally, although my tolerance for UI is skewed as I’m a software dev.
I’ve ‘taught’ people Anki who were initially put off by the ugly UI - most report that once they got over the initial “scary ugly looking UI from the past” that it’s been no problem.

Agreed, time spent sharpening tools is often time better spent studying.
Lots of the Anki community (and the larger Japanese learning community) try to over-optimise their study tools, so there is a lot of content out there about how to use Anki “the best way”, but honestly that can be largely ignored.

Absolutely agree, if you’ve been able to stick with Kitsun and find the value trade off works for you then I’m honestly happy :smiley:


The ‘copy cards to another deck’ is on the priority feature request so expect soon. But if improving, generally the community feedbacks are accepted…there is a feature loop where the community card are previewed by the author to accept/modify/accept. You can also add private notes as well. Of course Anki or word list imports, you can do whatever you like as a personal deck.

You can hibernate anything you want, set the SRS details and filter based on a number of setting depending on preference. There are a number of layout features that users can utilize in their deck settings, the authors just need to enable which isn’t difficult to do. If you have a specific example, I may be able to answer better.

yeah, same here

I’ve posted quite a few decks on Kitsun and try to make them best I can. I don’t feel I need compensation for making them though, largely because the card generation feature does most of the heavy lifting even though I will customize for certain content get it what I want. These are things I’m using anyways and if anyone can benefit and improve upon, it’s mutually beneficial I find. How is the market on Anki decks, are alot of deck creators getting compensated?

Personally, I felt more locked by the platform here since I couldn’t choose exactly what I wanted to study; can’t study B unless you study A first or take on a reorder script. I had to get to level 50 to finish N3 content…that never made sense to me. I mean, I waited but only have a big pile of lesser used vocab to tackle down first without much logic on the order at all. But the sentence are a gem and under appreciated, the mnemonics works but to a limited extent in my experience but they made the system fun, which is hard to do. The levels help keep a motivation for many users. But a Eng->Jp should built into the system as a single SRS platform, which I can do in Kitsun easily. And the synonym builds are way over simplified and missing content unlike Jisho-based dictionary builds, something that is needed in a Eng->Jp platform as well. I also adapted to a writing kanji deck I made, I have found this is way more efficient in dealing with visually similar kanji rather than dealing with mnemonics or trying vocab reinforcement that need context (or over depending on collocations or vocab itself within reading content)

For number 2, I’ve never seen anyone get rejected for requesting their deck material back on Kitsun to end their subscription and have their material back for items they created so it can be done. One potential issue is their dictionary card system is proprietary and very easy to make content, so one could easily use their service temporarily and then just take their content to a free service…there is no business model there. I suppose you can do the same here on WK, just don’t get a dopamine release w/ a funny email and a level’d up avatar, lol otherwise the content can better control on an individual platform.

Oh, interesting! I imagine WK is bummer for RSI or keyboard work in general. I looked at some voice command videos and it seems as long as their keyboard shortcuts you can make voice commands rather easily, which is in Kitsun so I imagine no issue, Talon as well. That is a good tip for voice command, thanks for sharing! I generally avoid keyboard input unless have something specific to practice for, should be a native feature here.

For example, I can open any new deck and see what I know and don’t know immediately; it has a known base for my content. Ease of use of creating content is important to me as well. And I can vocab mine in the wild via extensions which I know Anki can do as well. Their subs2SRS feature (sub2kitsun) is intuitive how to use as well. The community loop on deck improvement is important to me too, many edits can be done in realtime for content we share to improve it. It’s even an issue on WK, improvements are made but it not apparent who is recommending what and it has to go to discussion with the moderators which may or may not get accepted week or months down the line. I suppose the aesthetics are important for anything you spend alot of time with, so the front end does impact the experience to some extent…or the very least, logical mapping of the platform for use. It’s also important that I have the same tools on all my workstations, I don’t like having to set this up locally every time as most of the native features have what need…I’m not sure how this is with Anki but getting all my script settings for WK on various workstations was a bit cumbersome.

I suppose if one is savy with a developer background, it can be fun to toy around with much like here. I can see the appeal of making tools for sure. I would have to spend to much time to get what I really want and there are far more talented developers that can streamline that experience far better than I could ever imagine, so I don’t have reservation paying into that but I can see why others do.

And same with Anki and if it works for you and many other users, it’s all personal journey in the end (I use plenty of Anki decks on Kitsun as well :grin:). I respect the platform for what it can do (which is alot) and the talented people have brought to elevate the platform. Obviously many of those with a CS background are very comfortable with it as well.

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I do like the idea of that feedback cycle in Kitsun (and the ability to more easily manage updates to decks), but I tend to want to make destructive / layout changes to shared decks which I don’t think anyone would want me to upstream.

The part I’m not clear on is this distinction between community decks and personal decks, as AFAIK you are not allowed to export the former but can specifically request exporting the latter, so it seems like that distinction is being used for IP ownership or similar.

If it is for IP ownership then its DRM and I’m not a fan, if it is to lock people into the platform then I’m very uncomfortable, but it is pretty much impossible to tell these apart.

I tend to pretty freely mix my decks together, and try to modify the shared and personal decks to have a very consistent feel, which I think wouldn’t work in Kitsun.

oops sorry I realise my original phrasing was poor.
What I was trying to say is that the developers of Kitsun deserve to make money for the work they do, as I was worried that my statements could be taken to mean otherwise and wanted to clarify.

I personally wouldn’t charge for my decks and prefer to use decks which are free, sometimes I will give a small tip to deck creators if they do a lot of work or I find myself regularly using their decks or engaging with them.

There are deck creators who charge money and supposedly offer higher quality decks, but I tend to make my own decks for most of my content (often from WK book club vocab decks, or my own reading), personally I don’t really see the need to buy into someone else’s deck ecosystem (yet?).

I get that, for a long time I was frustrated at WK because of this and didn’t want to use it, it took repeated nudging from a friend for me to seriously try it, and even after that I was grumpy/frustrated for a while.

I eventually kind of changed my position by reflecting on what I actually wanted WK for, for me personally I want WK to be a supporting element of my study rather than the core.

I regularly add new Kanji vocab to Anki above my current WK level, as my Anki tends to focus on reinforcing words I’ve encountered in reading (or pre-learning words I am about to encounter).

AFAIK the deck exports from Kitsun are only for personal decks, and they are CSV and don’t include progress. I’d be interested in knowing if they included media, but I’m assuming/hoping they have some mechanism to include images/audio in the export.
AFAIK it was also a manual process where you had to email the dev, which seemed like unnecessary friction. It’s possible that my understanding on this is out dated.

The power of the API in WK for me is also more than just an export, I (or someone else) could hack together a different WK frontend and use that to study rather than the main website (the WK API allows making changes, rather than just reading). This is what enables 3rd parties to write mobile apps for WK.

Yeah, having to type out vocab is a mixed bag.

There is also Lipsurf which has special features where you can speak the answer to your WK reviews in Japanese instead of typing them out, but the WK functionality is locked behind a subscription ($3-4/month) and only works in Chrome, I set it up the other day to try test it but couldn’t even test the WK features without paying so I gave up on it for now.

I haven’t yet used Talon much with WK yet, as I’d need to figure out a better solution for typing out the answer than dictating each character one by one. I had tried to use Mac’s Japanese dictation, but it emits Kanji which Wanikani refuses. I bet there will be a bunch of WK plugins to help me, just need to get around to finding them.

ahh yeah, the known words feature of Kitsun is cool.
If I were importing more decks it’d be a bigger issue, but for now I tend to make my own decks - either from manga / anime I’m consuming, or sometimes by looking over WK vocab sheets.

I have been thinking about finding a better way of parsing through entire game scripts to generate cards from, so I could see Kitsun having some cool features in that space which would likely help, today I came across Lapis (wk forums, website) which looks promising too.

For Anki this is a bit easier than WK scripts, as I can put all of my plugins inside a system for synchronising files across machines (I use Git, but it’s basically like Dropbox except less user friendly).
Since I’m a developer I already have a lot of things I want to sync between machines so I’ve already paid the upfront time cost to get this working. I get how having it all on a centralised website could be a big win.

Thanks for taking the time to reply and being so friendly and polite, I was initially worried about posting in this thread as I didn’t want to risk inciting passionate users :smiley:

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Thanks for checking it out. This is actually something I’m working on. All the subsystems are in place in Lapis so it’s only a matter of time (we have a huge backlog). What I had in mind is giving it a book I already read (or an anime/game script, etc), and specify some options to auto generate cards. A more ambitious system would be to only generate cards for i+1 sentences. I would love to talk more if you have more thoughts about it.

I’m of the opinion that cards should be very personal, so I’m only thinking of features that go with that mindset. This is one of them.


I can see where you are coming from, especially since you have established methods of modifying published decks, particularly with specific templates. But it may be a potential feature in the near feature to copy community decks for personal modification, if it gets released I’ll post back here.

I think conceptually from a community deck perspective, if one decides to publish a deck (which no one is forced to do of course), it’s now a community effort to maintain it and update it. I think this is getting referred to as ‘locked in’ but I don’t feel that way personally. Some decks have had many edits so arguably, it’s now community ownership at that point for the coordinated effort to improve it which I would have to agree but others may and that is ok. One could see the problem that community decks could get copied just off a trial period and then it’s up on an Anki forum 20 minutes later. Likewise, publishing copyrighted content is overseen before publishing. One could technically rip WK’s content and post it as community deck but likely wouldn’t be allowed and I respect it’s not undermining WK’s model (which it could do, but won’t). On the other hand, I see alot of content on Anki where it circumvents ownership, even recreated WK platforms with no oversight so there should be some intellectual property protection IMO.To be fair, I do see deck creators on Anki that try to respect proof of ownership as well or some semblance encourage purchases. Hypocritically, I’ve checked out decks on Anki that probably take more liberties on sharing content than they probably should, :scream: (I’m guessing probably we all have done the same)

Ah, gotcha

:+1: I think this is a good as a ‘thanks’ to the creator and try to encourage solid deck. From what I’m getting from this, whether WK/Anki/Kistun, community is super important for solid content and tools (or at the very least just some encouragement on the grind)…something I entirely underestimated in my early efforts. Luckily, many share the ‘pay it forward’ approach, if I can do something in a small way like post a deck, I try to do it even though I’m not a developer wizard like many here.

Sound like the anki-mode script w/ shortcut could work the same as your anki setup. But if you get the full dictation going, that would be pretty neat as well.

Lapis looks to have some nice features as well, unique too. I should take a peek :eyes:.

Interesting, that makes sense. I see how you can customized this if built already

And same to you, thx for the great conversation! I think there is room for all these platforms and it’s very interesting to hear how others setup their custom study routine to work for them and what they feel is important to them, so thank you for sharing! :slight_smile:


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