Wanikani is vindictive against the user


I don’t envy your work situation. I’m glad you were able to get something out of this thread that can improve your experience on WaniKani.


I’m pretty sure that even colour blind people can tell the difference between white background and black background…


Not the modern kind


There’s an android app that’s quite good. If you’re commuting passively (by train for example) you can get some reviews done. I’m sometimes doing reviews while waiting in line with my groceries. That might address your problem with being too busy. There was a period I had to drive my car to work and I couldn’t keep up with WK at all…
As for messing up it was same for me, I messed up meaning/reading a lot. Now I see I’m only messing up kanji vs vocabulary sometimes. Didn’t really do anything about it, it just came naturally. Hang in there!

edit: I’m inclined to say frequency is more important than quantity of reviews done. You can always be buried neck deep but as long as you do it every day you’re moving forward. I seem to have a similar problem, I’m drained from keeping a work/family balance and seeing those numbers raise is so discouraging, I’ve caught myself skipping doing WK just because I knew I can’t finish all. That’s a road to nowhere town in failure state. And still, knowing that, it’s so hard to fight the feeling.


Keep in mind that the goal of reviews is to determine whether the user can recall items or not. Therefore, taking a correct answer of the wrong kind as an incorrect answer is a false review result.

The developers could probably easily measure how much this occurs, and decide whether to address it based on that data. (Personally, it doesn’t affect my results too much, it’s more of an annoyance. But without data we’re all just guessing.)


I dunno the act of memorizing and recalling information requires some level of focus and it is better for the user to adapt to checking their input rather than the app holding the users hand more than it already does, but customising your experience to tailor it to suit your needs is what scripts facilitate, and there is an ignore script for this purpose. Making these dumb errors early helped me become more careful and my review sessions to be more focused and serious.


My new goal is to be able to be in those unfocused situations and still get the right answers. Have to train a new autopilot, so I’ve come to accept my errors.


If you do it early it becomes the autopilot, you have to kind of eat it to then but it’s worth training yourself to be careful and double check imo. I have a busy schedule too, I work 50 hours a week but weird hours like 5pm to 2am etc, I get it’s hard to do this stuff when you’re busy. But if you commit to focus and set aside even a bit of time daily it is possible to get through it reasonably without mass errors, typos and frustrations. I am fortunate in that I get periods through work where I can do reviews so they don’t really build up to more than 20 in any one session, other than the first lot in the morning, so I do them piecemeal throughout the day (nearly hourly actually) and it makes the whole thing a lot more managable. I just do that instead of scrolling fb or whatever other people do when they flick through their phone in spare moments.

EDIT: and yes, I do nearly all my reviews on my phone in a browser, yes it’s probably slower than typing but at the same time because I have to check everything I write since typing on a phone is hazardous this has forced me to be more careful and check my answers and I actually prefer it to the more error prone computer review sessions I occasionally indulge in.


That sounds all very familiar (although I don’t have kids; I can’t imagine adding any more responsibilities to my life as it is… ).

I also have less free time that I would like to have and often have busy work days that won’t let me do reviews at all during the day. Since I still want to finish WaniKani in the foreseeable future and also want time to study other resources, getting my reviews done in an efficient way is a priority for me. I know that not everyone will agree about my approach but I don’t care and want to share it with you anyway. This is not a game and I’m “cheating” – we should not forget that the gamification is a nice aspect to have and to keep us coming back but in the end we are not here to “win” but to learn Japanese.

The main scripts I’m using for this purpose is:

  • The reorder script: I use it 1.) so that I get radicals and kanji reviews first so that if I’m too busy to get all reviews done, I get at least those item types out of the way so that I don’t slow down my level up speed. 2.) I also set it up so that the meaning always comes first and reading comes second; that way, the issue that was mentioned in the original post disappears; I also have to recall an item only once instead of twice
  • Anki mode script (modified version with buttons): this way, I only have to press a button instead of typing; I get to decide which items I mark as wrong, it is significantly faster, no typos, no thinking about the right synonyms (which I find difficult sometimes since English is not my native language); when installed on an Android device, you can also quickly get some reviews done conveniently on a mobile device which has made it much easier for me to keep up with my reviews. On some especially bad days when my brain is fried and I had a 12 hours work day with nothing but problems to solve and fires to put out, I might even go through the vocabulary reviews and mark everything as “pass/good” (except the burn reviews; I never cheat on burning items) That gets me back down to 0 reviews, I still get some exposure to the items and on the next day I can start fresh without 200 or 500 reviews staring at me when I wake up (which can lead to a fun mix of frustration/anxiety/procrastination).

I know that this means that I’m learning the items on WaniKani in a bit less detail than someone who does reviews in a random order and types the answers. On the other hand, if I was doing that, I would either be going super slow (at least for me that is bad for motivation since it feels like I’m not making progress) or it would take a significantly larger amount of time to do my reviews. That would be time that I can’t spend on other types of studying. I’d much rather have some time left to read and watch stuff and come across WaniKani items that way than spending all my time on WaniKani.

I also use some Anki decks and I’m approaching them in a similar way (partially inspired by this article:
https://vladsperspective.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/optimize-your-anki-youre-overtesting-yourself-on-too-few-cards-make-huge-gains). I have the core deck set up so that I have the listening sentence on the front of the card and I only have to get the reading right. I also have a couple of decks with content that I’m interested in that was generated with subs2srs or voracious and these cards have a screenshot, audio and text on the front and translated meaning on the back. That means that I’ve set them up to be as easy as possible and I can go through a lot of cards easily and with a low level of frustration. The only two buttons I use 99% of the time are “pass” (with interval modifier set to 0; this is basically my “fail” or “hard” button) or easy (for anything that I know; no matter if it really was easy or not). This makes it possible for me to go through a lot of different content quickly and be exposed to high frequency items that way instead of in the same context again and again. There are a lot of days where I don’t feel like I have the energy to read a book or watch something but I can always jump in and do a few of these Anki cards.

All in all, I feel like I’m at a pretty good state when it comes to my “time & energy put in” vs “language progress being made” ratio.


I find this a bit frustrating, too, which is why I have a script installed to let me retry mistakes.



I type in the wrong thing a lot or type the wrong Kana and press enter quickly. I don’t blame WaniKani though. I blame myself for rushing or not double checking after typing. It isn’t WaniKani’s fault we rushed or didn’t pay attention. We need to either slow down or check our answer on the screen before entering. You shouldn’t feel like you need to rush, because you are supposed to be doing WaniKani at your own pace. It isn’t a race. It is based on our full understanding. We want to actually learn. It is a whole new language.

I have a very busy life too; so I understand. We want to get our reviews in! But don’t move on to new lessons if your Apprentice pile is too large. Wait until you can get it down to add new items in. I’m learning this as I approach Level 5. I’m not too far ahead of you.

As far as looking up from the keyboard. You kind of have to? Don’t blame WaniKani. If you were on any other website, you would kind of have to look up from your keyboard too? No? I think it would be the same on any other learning site.

Anyway. Don’t give up! Keep at it! Take a minute to slow down and make sure the answer is the right Kana before pressing enter! I know that is what I need to work on!

Good luck!


You must not let your brain run amok!


What iansacks said
Touch typing is a very useful skill to have in general, give it a go. It’ll also stop you from giving yourself a stiff neck from moving it up and down all day from looking to the keyboard to the screen. I don’t think I’d ever get my reviews done by looking at the keyboard.


I’ve had similar problems to OP. Wanikani marking “correct” answers wrong gets frustrating very quickly. Paying 100% attention is not a solution for me either. When there are 200 reviews, about 80% are really trivially easy, it is very frustrating for me to go slow. Paying full attention, especially when I feel that I don’t need to, fatigues me very quickly as well.

I was actually close to giving up because life stress just made it compelling to eliminate something that just frustrates me a lot.

The good news is that Double Check has eliminated the problem entirely for me. I actually ended up using it rather liberally, to the point where other people may feel it’s “cheating”, but I’m following my own rules along the lines of:

  1. I’m most forgiving to myself with apprentice and decreasingly forgiving as the level goes up.
  2. If the answer I typed was technically correct (English synonym, typo, etc.), I’ll let it slide.
  3. If I typed the wrong answer because I was rushing through a whole stack of easy ones and didn’t realise that one wasn’t so easy, I’ll let it slide if I can immediately think of the right answer.
  4. If I mixed up Kanji/Vocab etc., I’ll usually let it slide.

(My mood also affects how likely I am to cheat)

In some ways this probably breaks some of the SRS, but I don’t really care. Being able to rush through the easy ones removes a lot of pain for me and doing Wanikani reviews becomes a relaxing/pleasurable activity that I actually look forward to doing. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a hell of a lot faster.

Because I’m unforgiving on the higher levels, I will learn all items 100% correctly eventually, they just may take an extra rounds up and down levels compared to normal.

After doing this for a while my propensity to “cheat” actually decreased a lot. There are more and more sessions where I use it strictly for typos/synonyms and not for other sources of error.


Hrm, I think being more forgiving of apprentice items is a mistake though, made for the desire to go faster leveling wise at the cost of actually learning the material. We can all say “yeah I knew that” after we see the correct answer but that’s not really the point; and redoing the items sooner while they’re newer is the point of the regularity of apprentice items and why getting them wrong at that level hurts your overall learning the least.

Also keep in mind that an English synonym for a word is not necessarily a Japanese synonym for a word, words tend to have specific nuances or uses. Sure sometimes they line up but that isn’t always the case; I tend to check an alternative dictionary before entering in synonyms just in case it’s my misunderstanding the specific case in which a word is appropriate or used rather than wanikani just not having enough synonyms.

Ultimately as someone else said to me, the goal is to learn kanji not to score points so if it works it works, do what you like. But making it easier on yourself might not work out best in the long run. I dunno. Maybe it will work out best if the alternative is quitting. I don’t really think it’s “slow” though, I just bashed out about 50 reviews in 10 mins because the double check is so ingrained now that it doesn’t take more than a second per item, but it does keep me from making dumb mistakes.

I always thought it was better to just not make the mistakes rather than to constantly make them, “redo” and unmake them, and it’s probably just as fast not having to retype stuff. Getting stuff wrong is frustrating, so the solution is to use a script that makes it so when I get stuff wrong I can just undo it? That doesn’t work for me, but if it works for you all power to you.


Just to clarify, my intent with that part of the rule is not to speed of leveling (I’m not fast at leveling at all).
But with an apprentice item it will soon come up again and so the cost of the mistake is smaller.
I also find it most effective to learn in a more “fuzzy” way first and then zoom in on the details later. My subjective impression is that this lowers the rate at which leeches appear but I might be wrong on that point.

To be honest, I don’t trust Wanikani to get nuances right. It’s more about knowing enough to get the gist of a sentence. It’s a stepping stone to being able to read native material.

The time saved is on all other items. Yes, ideally I would just not make mistakes, but I’m bad at that.
I actually sometimes type a correction immediately after typing the answer, because I realised the correct answer but I can’t stop myself from typing it.
(I like to think of my mind as a cargo train)


Ohhh it’s funny because the colorblind won’t know you’re mocking them. Seems tasteful.


Along the lines of the 1x1 script, I really wish WaniKani had a single page for entering both reading and meaning at the same time. I don’t understand the reasoning behind separating them; they are inescapably linked.

Then if you get both wrong, it drops back two levels as it does now. If you get just one of the two things wrong, it drops back only one level. I’d pay for a script that did this.


i hope you realise that you used 2 paragraphs to write “why it be like this”