~ The Level 15 Curse ~

So this is a phenomenon, huh? No wonder I’ve been feeling a lot less drive to do WaniKani lately… :confused:

Thankfully I’ve not let my reviews pile up too high… yet…

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wow, so it really is a thing? I thought i was just an idiot who couldn’t get the dang word right.

@anon63218666 @Jnk1296 Yep it’s totally a thing, and unfortunately unless you really work at them they keep coming back. Seriously 具合 has been the bane of my existence for so long. I see it, and “is it case? condition? circumstance!?” and I ALWAYS guess case and IMMEDIATELY know I’m wrong and it’s something else. But one day I will remember!


I can TOTALLY help you with 具合, way back when i first started learning japanese i found this video on youtube called “easy japanese basic phrases 2” and i watched it a bunch, it’s not long and it is just native speakers saying basic phrases. and some of them made me laugh the way they emoted, and the host girl was really cute so i watched it a bunch at first. and one of the phrases was “具合が悪い” and i don’t know if it was how the speaker said it, or whatever, but it stuck in my head…odd, because warui did not, and i only recently got that one down.

maybe it’ll help you get that leech off of your back. and always remember it’s condition, because your case can’t be that you feel sick, but your condition can :slight_smile:


What’s a good third party script for leaches?

I have KEEP MISSING 欠かす over and over and over.

I probably won’t MISS 欠かす again but it would be nice to by systematic.


These two are good for taking on leaches.

Also if the second one isn’t working, try this fix around that one of the user’s found


Can confirm 14 at least is a pain in the arse level. Glad to see this topic actually, makes me know I’m not alone :smiley:

Wanted to spend the weekend clearing out some of my leeches, but got hit with a mother of all migraines yesterday… still have a headache. Now I have 120 reviews in the queue and another 75 hitting between today and tomorrow. Never mind my houhou queue… Damn health, always getting in my way.

Oh well, came this far, won’t let it stop me. If I have to slow down, I have to slow down, but I’ll never stop.


Honestly same. I spent 140 days on levels 16 and 17 combined :no_mouth: Only 11 on level 15.

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I’m wondering if anyone knows or has heard of the reasoning behind the disappearances?

I have no idea why they left Wanikani, but if I do end up leaving is just because ever since I started reading stuff in Japanese (mostly manga) I find that it works better for me to learn kanji and vocab that are on the stuff that I read over the stuff that is in wanikani.

Plus, the more and more that you read, the more you cover the Wanikani kanji and vocab list, making it not as useful to finish it. So I assume that not everyone that left was just because of loss of motivation, but it could also have been because Wanikani stopped being as useful for them. At least if I end up leaving Wanikani, that will be the case for me.


I don’t know much about this curse, but I will mention that I already knew about 98% of the kanji taught in the first ten levels. I learned many new vocabulary terms, of course. I seem to know about 80% of the Painful kanji. Things aren’t gonna be so smooth-sailing for me soon, but I’ll manage.

Something similar happened to me at level 13. I think I had 500+ reviews once which lead to a long hiatus. We can see the result of that experience… Keep pushing through when you get back and you should be fine.


I did the reviews the same night I posted the comment. I’m coming back maybe today, but I think I have maybe 100 rev-

Jeez. Better so my reviews tonight!!

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I’m almost sure he did it in 1 year and 1 month :stuck_out_tongue:

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Do not let this one word to kill your motivation, we all have been there… think that some words are less useful than others and if your goal is to live in japan it is safe if you just add as synonym the bad word or self-correct it with the ignore script… what it is important is that when you are using the japanese in context you do are learning the actual meaning. WK words are mostly a practice for its readings.

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How much can you actually read? which grammar level do you have? which kind of material?

If I try to play a videogame in Japanese I am between UIs which make language unnecessary and games with complex story modes and mechanics which might require me to translate almost every second sentence… (killing all joy).

Yeah, that guy just blitzed through everything. I did it in 18 months and I still felt overwhelmed from time to time, especially near the end. @Leebo must’ve literally lived Japanese. Maybe he started his mornings with Japanese alphabet soup…you know, you are what you eat and all that.

And not to mention @rfindley, who I hope will donate his brain to science when he kicks the bucket, so we all can learn his secret of how the heck he finished Wanikani from start to finish without making a single mistake (or was it literally a single one?).

But let’s not compare ourselves to gods. :wink:


I’m not the person you asked, but I’ll chip in here anyway.

The stuff you mentioned are two extremes, but there are plenty of games that position themselves somewhere in the middle. I’ve played quite a few games in Japanese that have a lot of story and dialogue, but weren’t a chore to play through because they used mostly common vocabulary and grammar. Level-5:s games are great for this (I’ll always unironically recommend Girls RPG, but I’d imagine Youkai Watch, Inazuma Eleven and Professor Layton would be plenty managable). Another good one is Ever Oasis from Nintendo. Tons of dialogue, but the only real hard parts are names of minerals and crafting materials.

On the other end of the spectrum you have games that are difficult either because 1) they have no furigana and use a lot of complex, scientific or made-up words. 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors is a good example, but it’s designed and written well enough that it’s still doable, or 2) they have no furigana, use a ton of rare kanji for flavour and also use fantasy, science and military vocabulary, as well as dialectal grammar and archaic or faux archaic grammar. Sen no Kiseki III is an example of one of few games that I’ve basically given up on because it’s almost impossible to understand anything anyone says without looking up 4 kanji and 5 words per sentence (especially in the briefings, oh god the briefings).

To, uh, sum up, you should find games that interest you, that have a lot of dialogue but fit in the first spectrum, not the last. They’re there.


Vacation mode though! D: It’s very useful in preventing this from happening!

Sometimes I watch games trailer’s in youtube and think “yes! I can with this one!” then it ends up having much more complexity of dialogues… for example zelda botw seemed easy in the trailer (also the first 30 minutes of gameplay). After I purchased it I found it much much harder to follow what was going on and I could not pause the gameplay to better understand things… also no furigana (I didn’t expect that from nintendo games)

I would like details on 5-persona’s games which you found easy… the ones you mentioned seem oriented for kids. One 5-persona’s game which I find interesting is the “ni no kuni 2” but as most of RPGs seems to have lots of complex vocabulary and dialogues. I guess I should start with simpler things but it is a but challenging to find things of my interest with not much kanji/simple grammar.

Watching the trailer is actually not a bad idea, but as you noticed yourself, sometimes it’s not completely indicative of how easy/hard a game will be to compherend for a non-native.

Auto-advancing cutscenes and/or dialogue will definitely make comprehension much more difficult, I agree. I have troubles with that too, my brain just can’t parse fast enough. The only way to improve this is to improve one’s listening skills though (reading speed helps too, if you have full subtitles, of course).

Some Nintendo games do have furigana, such as the aforementiond Ever Oasis (developed by Grezzo, but published by Nintendo).

All of Level-5:s games have furigana as far as I can tell, regardless of the audience they’re aimed at. Girls RPG, for instance, may look cute but it’s actually rated CERO C (15 and up), so it’s aimed at teens. That’s a game I found perfectly fine most of the time. A Japanese learning pal of mine told me Youkai Watch was essentially at the same level, so I got that one too, just haven’t gotten to it yet. Judging from screenshots and trailers, it at least seems to me that most of the Level-5 games I mentioned hold a reasonable, yet challenging level for an intermediate learner. As for Ni no Kuni 2, I haven’t tried it, but if it’s anything like the first (which I played in English), it would probably be quite tough.

But let’s be realistic for a second here, and realize that simpler dialogue and concepts generally means aimed at a younger audience (this is true for the US and EU markets as well). That doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed by adults, though. I’m 33 years old but loved playing Ever Oasis, for instance. If you like visual novels, there are a ton of those that are set in modern times, and don’t have a heavy sci-fi or fantasy aesthetic but are still aimed at adults. I mentioned 999 earlier, but that’s just an example of a challenging, yet completely doable and rewarding experience even at a somewhat lower level. I played through it last year, and just as a comparison, I passed the N4 last summer, so it’s not like I was (or am) a Japanese grammar god or anything.

When at a somewhat low level language wise, you have to find a balance between comprehension and frustration. Unfortunately, a lot of the more interesting games that are aimed at older audiences, will have more complex grammar, vocabulary and stories overall. I don’t think you should play games you have no interest in just because they may be easier to compherend (same reason I don’t think people should read kids’ manga or picture books just because they’re easy), I’m just suggesting broadening horizons a bit. And don’t be afraid to shelve something you find interesting for a later date; I did this with Time Travelers, because the frustration outweighed the fun I had with it, which severely hampers both enjoyment and the learning you get out of it. I’ll return to it at a later date, hopefully better prepared.

As a side note, the reason I keep mentioning furigana is because the absolutely most frustrating thing, at least to me, is having to look up kanji readings all the time.

Wow, that was a whole lot of words again…