WaniKani gatekeeping

Heisig’s book doesn’t incorporate vocabulary in its method like WK does. When you are learning vocab later, you are not doing it primarily to reinforce kanji, you are doing it to acquire vocabulary and understand Japanese first and foremost. Which is different from WK where the primary purpose of its vocabulary is to reinforce kanji learning.

Honestly I am too blind to see that continuous support. All I saw is a redesign of a dashboard. For such a price I would expect:

  • more sensible mnemonics (I have to remake 60%+ mnemonics currently)
  • similar kanji being properly shown and not me searching for them
  • no broken mnemonics when す represents a suit, then suddenly changes to sue (have to fix it all the time now).

This price may be alright for you, european guys. But for Russia this price is a bit stressful to pay.

p.s.: and nobody fixed an issue when during lessons user notes aren’t being shown. So much for a continuous support. And no, I won’t accept an argument about a “small team”.


I never understand the complaints about the time limits after level 3. You know what you are getting with WaniKani and there are many other options that are free or one time expenses to help people learn Kanji. If you do not like the style that WaniKani teaches then do not keep paying for it and switch to a different source for learning kanji.

I personally find WaniKani’s approach the most effective with the way I learn so the value is there for me personally. My current review queue is 2000+ cards per week even with clearing them everyday, so the idea that there is not enough content here, and they are dragging it out is really silly.

1 Like

It’s not like the vocab that wk uses is special, you can choose vocab of your liking at any point when learning kanji. The goal has always been to learn vocab, just that kanji get in the way of that so it helps to get an idea of the kanji in the words you want to learn first instead of just memorising the vocab as a whole.

1 Like

I think the reason for this may be that the number of radicals learnt from lvl 14 reduce in number.As fewer new radicals are learnt,mostof the kanji in the level will comprise of radicals that are already learnt(as you need to know the radical to unlock the kanji).Hence a lot of kanji are unlocked all at once.Maybe this is intentional(Iam inclined to believe that the creators of wanikani spent a lot of time designing the levels) or maybe this is just because the number of radicals is far lesser than the number of kanji.

1 Like

True, but level 14 is the first level where the number of radicals per level drops to below 10 (and stays that way). Fewer radicals per level means fewer initially locked kanji. I think it’s just the point where the OP noticed the amount of initially locked kanji.


I agree that there are PLENTY of areas that wanikani can still improve on (the mnemonics especially). However, from when I started wanikani two+ years ago, it’s come a long way. I used to only be able to do reviews on the computer, there were no voices, and the user scripts now are much more useful (albeit that falls on the users and not the wanikani creators).

I pay in Yen – which isn’t a great conversion either. Is the Russian equivalent substantially more because of conversion? I’m no expert on currency.

In any case, I still find it hard to believe that the amount paid is unreasonable. In America, you could pay for a month of wanikani with an hour of minimum wage work. Do you not think the wanikani program is worth an hour of work each month?

How much do you think wanikani SHOULD be?

The vocab on WK is chosen to compliment the kanji. As such WK lacks a lot of words that are usually written with hiragana, etc. The goal on WK is not to learn vocab, the goal is to teach you kanji so that you can start reading texts in Japanese and learn Japanese that way.

Also, if you want to learn vocab, kanji is of course helpful, but not strictly necessary. There are many, many words I already knew before I got to learning the kanji they are written with and of course there’s furigana and tools like Rikaichamp and KanjiTomo.

1 Like

Low vages of the eastern europe make it troublesome.

Now WK is ~700 rub for a monthly subscription.
If you take data from the internet from year 2019, then in the capital average wage would be ~90k rub and ~42k rub elsewhere.
With 42k per month you get 2100 rub per day. So you would need 2.6 hours of work to pay for WK.
If we take some lowest tier wage people with 20k per month, then it would mean 5 hours of work for WK.
What does this all mean? God I wish I knew, I am bad at finances, but these breakdowns to small portions of time make it look less dreadful. Anyways 700 rub per month just for a kanji learning resource is painful for my eyes.

Great question. I may cause some wrath with the reply. So let me reply in an evasive way. I would be satisfied if I saw a sum of 200-300 rub there.
p.s.: did you know that in russia PC games cost 30$ and not 60$ like everywhere else? There is a reason for that. Should be at least.

1 Like

Ooof – that conversion is super rough. Definitely in the questionably worth it --> not worth it category for the software. 2.6 - 5 hours… Ouch. I always try and think of money in terms of “hours worked” because it helps me decide if want I am buying is worth it or not…

On the upper end of your 200-300 rub desire (300 rub) that’s a bit less than half of what you’re paying now (~700rub). Interestingly, 2.6 hours of work (the average you quoted) is a little over double the amount of work we have to do in America to pay for wanikani. Hence in America, we’re paying around 300-350 rub for wanikani!

Man, conversion rates really suck. I’m sorry for being insensitive!

Excuse me, have you heard of our lord and saviour GABEN?


For sure

Don’t hold back, we are discussing real issues here and exchanging data. I was interested to know how do you feel when struck with those bills as well. At least that price hits me so hard that I will never skip a day of WK ever.


Have you looked into Kitsune?

I don’t think they have a WK deck, so you’d have to make one, but they have the option for input.

1 Like

OP, I don’t think that is the case. Correct me if I’m wrong but even from Level 1-14, the amount of kanji you unlock for each level is also split into two. I don’t recall all of the kanji for a level being unlocked at the same time ever.

Not because you can learn all the kanji in one batch though. The SRS timing is just faster.


I didn’t forget that you are paying. This is a service and that’s how services work. Since your dissatisfied, I was suggesting you stop using the service so you can stop paying.

We definitely don’t see eye to eye on this because I don’t see this as gate keeping. Trying to convince someone else is a better use of your time.

1 Like

I am enlightened to this dishonest business practice.
Please refund my lifetime subscription now. I will do all 2000 kanji in 1 day instead.


Ryou Flash Cards is also free and effectively does the same job as WK but without structuring it on radicals and mnemonics. If money is really an issue, this might be a better option, though I cannot speak to its quality in the long term. I tried it out and it’s not as bent on teaching you the most common readings–that part is a little wishy-washy for my liking.

If OP really wants to learn the kanji at their desired pace, they can look at the level list on WK and select them to add to their queue in Ryou. It’s a little more work, but then again part of what you’re paying for with WK is the convenience.


To the people who think they should fly through all the content in Wanikani as fast as they want;
I challenge you to open any book and treat it as an SRS system. (I don’t have stats but probably one book based for adult reading has at least 1500 unique kanji.) Read until you find a word you can’t read, circle it and look up the reading, keep on reading and be in shock as the word comes up two sentences later and you completely forgot how to read it again. If a complete newbie tries this out they would probably take a year to finish the book and learn almost nothing from it despite witnessing almost all the kanji on Wanikani.

I think I really found value with what Wanikani taught me, it may have been slow but comparatively it was extremely effective at what it was supposed to teach me. Now I can go to Kindle purchase Japanese books on world history, music and psychology and not be too heavily burdened with kanji I’ve never seen before or forgot how to read. Most importantly I am now able to more effectively learn through immersion about not only Japanese but actually be able to learn more about topics through Japanese (which learning about history has become my main driving force for immersion now). So thanks Wanikani for the slow and steady approach by making it less of a slog than it could have been and opening the floodway for more interesting and immersive content!

PS: I have graduated computer engineering and personally detest the fact that you think just because you think you’re smarter than everyone else you can do it in a 1/4 the time. Thanks for diminishing the study and effort that I put myself through for 4 years and make it sound like I and many other people were fools because we couldn’t learn four years worth of calculus in 4 months. Next time I see my doctor I’ll make sure to let him no that he was an idiot and could of done it in a semester, I’m sure he will appreciate it!


Please don’t post links to WK Anki decks