After nearly 2 years it is done. Level 60 has been reached and only the last kanjis and vocabulary need to be pushed to the Guru level to consider Wanikani formally done - whatever that means.
Progress was neither fast nor slow, really, just consistent for the most part. Every morning commute, every evening commute I would start up the Flaming Durtles app and do my thing. Sometimes I did a little extra when I had time to spare. I had the goal to always keep about 100 items at Apprentice level and go from there so I wouldn’t get flooded with reviews in the end. I must say that approached worked wonderfully for me.
My accuracy dropped from 95%+ in the beginning to ~70% in the end. With that drop and the items restriction I was not able to realize the theoretical gain of the later “fast levels”. The accuracy drop can mainly be attributed to a lot of similar kanjis and lots of synonyms that my brain was unable to untangle easily. My motivation in part also dropped when I had to pull through the 30-40 range and thus my thoroughness when doing reviews and lessons was less than desirable. In the 50 range my motivation rose again, the goal within reach. Though it got a little tainted when the finishing line was moved a little farer up in the last months due to the newly added items.
But, I pulled through anyway, always having the goal to obtain reading fluency in Japanese after having spent one year at 東北大学 in 仙台 in 2009/2010 during my studies.
During my kanji review I definitely noticed my previous experience of learning about 500 kanji somewhat and the most common one I could recall very easily. I thought my grammar would be fine for that, but the example sentences taught me I don’t really know a thing. NHK Easy News is exactly that easy, as soon as I switch to the regular news I kinda can work through it. But it is still really hard.
So that is probably the next step on my journey: Revising all the grammar I learn, and all the grammar I didn’t as well. I will allocate my WaniKani time to try out https://bunpro.jp for that. Then obtain some more advanced reading material and get familiar with original content. Maybe I will pursue a JLPT test, but I fear my listening comprehension is far of the mark.
As I don’t want this to only be an experience post but also some kind of discussion I would be interested in your post-Wanikani experience and what option I could have - with limited time - and in a purely for fun way to further pursue language fluency.
In total, I must say it was a very enjoyable ride though with bumps all the way. But if I can pull through without much other exposure to Japanese - to be honest other exposure was nearly nonexistant - so can you.
Thanks for supporting Japanese as a foreign language.