Unlocks super slow?

Is it me, or is there some ulterior motive behind making it so slow? I just started but I read that after reaching level 3 you need to pay for the service so if it makes you go slow it makes you pay more. Am I right? Or is it actually getting faster after level 3 and I don’t feel like I’m getting ripped off?


@Chiryuu, it must be your lucky day. There are answers to your questions already written down:

This chapter might be specifically what you’re looking for, but do yourself the favor and read the whole thing.

I collated some memes people made about this last time someone asked. Should give you an idea about how the community feels about the workload :upside_down_face:

@zEUs_Japanese just realised two of them are you…good job :+1:
this definitely wasn’t a shameless attempt to get more people to like that post :unamused:


Don’t worry. I found the first level very slow, too, I even complained about it here in the forum because I had to wait for 2 days because of one typo. But soon enough, you will have a lot of reviews waiting for you. This is my schedule for the next 1.5 days (and those are quiet days):



Nice, thank you! Those really are the pride and honor with which I carry myself on these forums.


WaniKani is blisteringly fast at the higher levels. You can level up at 3 days per level basically from level 43 on.

They purposefully speed up levels 1-3 because you have no reviews now and you can go a little faster because you brain isn’t over loaded. The speed of WaniKani is purposefully set at the speed you brain physically can learn.

I’m learning 25 new items a day at level 4, only two weeks ahead of you, and completing around 110 reviews a day. At level 30 I’ll still be learning 25 items a day but completing around 250 reviews a day.

Absolutely no one that has paid feels that WankiKani is going too slow. Overwhelmingly fast is more likely a problem.


On average in the later levels I got about 400 reviews everyday.
Most people can’t go full speed once it speeds up, definitely not an ulterior motive :slightly_smiling_face: :heart:
Just be patient, it speeds up quite quickly.


Thanks for answering, I see your point though in my case I’m around JLPT 3-4 so most of these early things are already known to me… and I wish I could skip things that I actually know and go into the unknown regions. I wish there was function like “learnt in the past” so it’s marked as highest level from the start.


The order of WK is not actually JLPT, it’s loosely based on kanji complexity. You’re probably gonna learn 1-2 new kanji every few levels at the start.


You might want to try KameSame which has a number of different modes and ways to study, and has a “placement test” option that can knock out a bunch of stuff. I don’t consider it a replacement to WK though more of a supplement, but might be worth a look:

1 Like


Welcome to WaniKani!


I started around the same place as you. You’ll learn new stuff soon enough, fear not. I don’t know how good you are at kanji coming to WK, but I really appreciated the review since it was definitely my weakest area, and if you stick with it once you have 200 reviews/day you will come to have appreciated the gentle introduction.

In another vein, I wonder when we’ll get a “Master List of ‘Unlocks Too Slow’ Threads” thread.



Don’t worry it about that. Why do people never read how Wanikani functions or look into the forum before posting this question? If you look for the word slow in the forum you’ll find at least 60 threads about that (https://community.wanikani.com/t/the-im-going-to-start-my-own-thread-about-something-that-has-had-countless-threads-before-it-thread-turns-out-there-is-only-49-going-to-japan-threads/12766)


I don’t remember if i complained when i started. (Because first two levels took me 8~9 days i think lol)
Well i started with only hiragana (i kinda went fast on katakana so i don’t know them very well)

1 Like

N4/N3 is not that much kanji in the grand scheme of things. For sure the first few levels are a bit annoying, but with previous knowledge you can clear them fairly quickly. I was also N4/N3ish when I started, and I think it took just 1 month and half / two months to catch with my initial knowledge. (Roughly the first ten levels). That’s just for kanji because for vocab level 10 is about 1000 words and there was a LOT of words I didn’t know in them.


If you’re curious, you can see all the kanji for levels 1 through 10 over here. (I think non-subscribers can also see that page?)

You’ll also start learning vocabulary words in a couple of days, so you won’t be bored. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yeah? :laughing:


I said you CAN, not you should… do you boo boo.

1 Like

In addition to what everyone else has said, another reason to pay attention to the early levels is that the mnemonics build on each other. Even if you could skip ahead to level 10, you wouldn’t know about Jourm and Mrs. Chou and all the other recurring characters, which would be unnecessarily confusing.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.