The Reset: I burnt out at level 60

I have recently also reset from level 60. All the way down to 1. Turns out the ability to read kanji deteriorates rapidly when you don’t use it.

Was pretty confident at recognizing almost all of the kanji on WK, but now I can read maybe a 100 or so. Seeing a kanji that you know you should know, but you don’t is quite a downer.

Hoping to get to level 15-20 this time and spend time reading things on a regular basis.


Reached level 60 almost four years ago and was on your same situation, then started resetting by 10 levels and it wasn’t getting any better (at lest for me, it works for some folks), so I went back all the way from 30 to 10 and now I’m taking it super slow, learning from my mistakes and actually enjoying it instead of rushing to the goal. Before I also did all the 100 vocab lessons in one go, now I do 20 a day. It really does get better, learn from your mistakes, don’t give it up.


Well, that’s the scariest thing I’ll read today. Thanks for the advice! I’ll use it or lose it!


Hey, I get how you feel about it… Being so passionate about something that you end up burning yourself out over it just to later miss out on so much just because you feel jaded! I had this with art for more than a year or two actually… And now I’m finally also getting into the groove!
It’s a pretty tricky place to be though… Because if you force and wear yourself out too much you’ll be back into burnout and have to experience the painful shit again, but at the same time you kind of know that if you don’t have that push, you (or at least I know) that I’m going to do jack!
Anyways, glad you’re doing better and back in the game!


Ive managed to get over 3k reviews on wanikani and l.5 k done on kaniwani over the past 2 weeks :sob:
Shit is draining haha

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Sorry to hear about your burnout. I’ve experienced burnout hard in so many areas of life in the past, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. …

… In fact, since I’ve burnt out on so many things in the past, I’ve even adapted the metaphor to something more like: It’s not even a marathon, it’s more like a pleasant stroll in the park!

In other words, if it’s not enjoyable, then maybe I need to slow down even more, reduce the stress factor, and tap into the natural motivation of something just being fun to do!

With that in mind, I found a thread on these forums for like-minded folks called :durtle_hello: Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route :turtle:, and I frequently recommend it (i.e. the ‘philosophy’/idea behind it) for people who are dealing with burnout or just plain old fatigue. Worth checking out, IMHO.

I had a similar burnout/reset story when I reached level 28 some time ago, and I detailed how I came to my decision to reset here: After a long absence, I reset (to level 7), and I’m glad I did. Overall, I think resetting is often a very helpful thing to do, especially if reviews become daunting, overwhelming, or even painful.


I think I was sort of in the opposite situation, but still similar.

I started doing Japanese studies at university, which included a rather intense language program. After four years, combined with the pressure of other classes and deadlines, I finally had a burn out. I decided to take a gap year during the pandemic, but the result was that I sort of developed anxiety for anything that was even remotely related to Japanese. The longer I didn’t do anything with the language, the more I lost confidence in the skills I’d acquired over the past years.

I’ve only recently gotten back the courage to study Japanese again and Wanikani was perfect for a gentle reintroduction to the language. I was at level 8 when I left Wanikani behind before starting university, so this allowed me to get back into Japanese at a beginner level, without getting overwhelmed. I have JLPT N2 and I would say I was at a decent intermediate level at the time I started my gap year, so the levels I’m doing now are easier than what I’m used to. But that’s exactly what made it possible for me to ease back into it.

My take away from all this is basically that Wanikani works best as a supporting tool, preferably to a more intense method where you actively use and write the kanji and vocabulary you’ve learned, the way I did at university and during my exchange in Japan. It’s a nice thing to have on the side when your “real studies” are a bit too much and you need an easy win. But yeah that only works if you take it easy, because if the reviews keep piling up, that takes away the relaxing aspect.

If you feel like you’re burning out, take it slow and set more achievable, easy goals. Having those little wins will motivate you to keep going and once you recover you energy and mental strength, you can pick up the pace again.

Good luck to anyone who’s struggling with their studies and motivation! It’s not a nice place to be in, I know, so remember to be kind to yourself above all :blue_heart:


I was rushing a little bit but now I am going a little slow exactly to not burnout right at this level,

I am taking now more than a month to level up and I better be like this than throw away everything I worked hard everyday doing reviews for 1,5 years.


I’m happy for you that you feel empowered for resetting. Burnout is a real problem, one I’ve feared since the beginning because it’s blown up in my face in the past. Since day 1 of Japanese I’ve been careful to not study too much on any given day and now nearly 3 years later I can confidently say if I hadn’t done this, I’d be a mess right now.

I just started WK a few months ago and wow it is intense. I have great respect for people who have done WK since the beginning of their journey, I’m not sure I could’ve done it.


Best of luck! I’ve recently reset from level 60 as well, back to level 20 in my case. After taking a whole year off of WaniKani, I realized how much I had forgotten because I wasn’t reading nearly enough. I was really worried before resetting, I was just so proud of my level 60 circle and I was worried that I would give up somewhere along the way and never get it back (kind of a stupid concern, since it doesn’t matter at all) and I was especially worried I would burn out. I was getting pretty tired of daily reviews when I was in the mid to late 50s, especially since I was getting like 500 a day.

I actually found that it wasn’t an issue, at least not yet. I’ve been much more focused since the reset, my accuracy is much higher, I get through piles of reviews much faster and I’ve definitely found a passion for learning that I haven’t felt in a long time. Good luck to you, I hope you have the same experience!


This is exactly why I have been going slowly so I don’t burn out.


I’ve reset twice over the years, the highest i got was level 18, but I let reviews build up for years and forgot so much that i couldnt get back on track - so now, taking it slow. 10 lessons per day. It may take me years, but it will be far more manageable!


Sounds like you’re doing fine. It’s not a race. Go at your own pace and do what suits you. I’m still not past level one, and my interest and motivation are pretty much zero after several years of trying. I’m impressed that you’ve got so far.

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It is so nice to know there are other people who have been in my situation and were able to progress. I am hopeful for the future!

I have noticed this. I’m just going to jump into reading instead of putting it off forever. Same thing happened with English when I was a kid. I procrastinated doing it until a friend of the family introduced me to the Magic Treehouse series, and I fell in love with reading. I need to find something in Japanese that gives me the same reading energy!


So true! I changed my mindset when I saw this a few months ago.

I don’t know who made the graphic, but I love it!


If you need somewhere to start, I think what really helped push me over the edge was just forcing myself to read satori reader. It has lots of helpful explanations that helped get grammar concepts to stick, and ultimately improved my basic reading comprehension to the point where I could do ok reading things that were centered toward children and young adults.

You might be shocked how hard it all seems at first, but it gets easier with time. But you probably know this first hand if you had to learn English as a second language too


Okay cool, I’m on the right path then. I have satori reader, so it sounds like I just gotta get myself to use it every day. It really is hard, but if powering through is what it takes, then it’s worth it.
Also, I probably worded something wrong because English is my first language, I just hated reading at first haha :joy: But I like it now, so maybe I’ll have a similar experience with Japanese


My regret after level 60, was I wasn’t reading enough, and let my memory decay. The truth is it is difficult to evaluate myself in hindsight; but reading too few, being simply able to read some manga and novels, isn’t going to cut it.

Also, a part of rushing through WaniKani, to the end (and continued a little in Anki), was also about avoiding grammar. They have to learnt eventually, anyway. Otherwise, if all else fail, why not just bite the bullet, and read in “studying mode”?

Without levels, it feels like learning without destination, but it’s reality. Picking a destination as far as the horizon goes, and picking the next destination after the horizon changes, are just what needs to be done. Otherwise, it’s just dreaming, without seeing the way.


So beautiful, this must sound amazing in Japanese xD

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That was beautiful.

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