WaniKani "Kanji Rush" (Boss Rush) mode

Hello everybody :wave:

I had an idea for a new mode within WK, hopefully this is the best place to post. I did search for similar ideas but could not find any on the forums.

Would welcome any feedback (positive/negative) :nerd_face:

Where I got the idea

So recently, “From Software” announced a new boss rush mode in the upcoming October DLC for Sekiro (隻狼). Anyone who plays these types of games will attest to the fact that sometimes you wish you could just fight the bosses all day long.

While playing Sekiro it’s easy to think about the persistence required to beat bosses for the first time and how they get easier over time with focused and consistent effort. Our brains recognise their patterns like how our brains recognise the kanji, so why can each kanji not just be a new boss for us to defeat? (The same with grammar points!) Reviewing words in WK is great and all (like exploring the world surrounding Ashina in Sekiro) but sometimes you just want to go head to head with a kanji and slug it out.


A mode within WaniKani where you go head to head with kanji readings and meanings (on and kun) until the review criteria is met.

i.e. you can go head-to-head with all the kanji of levels 1-5 (or any levels of your choosing) or even review all the kanji of levels 1-60 in one sitting. But only the kanji, no vocab or radicals.

Step 1 - Review criteria
Before you start kanji rush mode you can set the criteria for the session:

  • Which WK level’s kanji to include
  • Whether only burned kanji are included
  • On and/or kun readings to be included
  • Meanings to be included
  • All on and/or kun readings must be added to move to next kanji
  • etc. Not exhaustive! Post your ideas below :wink: :sweat_smile:

Step 2 - kanji rush
This does not have to look like the standard WK review screens, and can look entirely different (and would do so anyway depending on how users have set up their game in step 1). It would be great if progress was saved should you leave the computer and wish to return at a later time.

Step 3 - Upon completion
You receive a breakdown screen at the end of kanji rush to let you know how you did. This is purely a revision exercise so it will not affect your standard review cycle within WK. Unless people want to be competitive and add a timer?!

This is a bad idea!
This might not be for everyone, but I know this is going to be a benefit to me, especially after burning all the kanji. You may also think this is not necessary for non-burned kanji as you are cheating the SRS system, but we are all reading Japanese textbooks everyday right?! So why not have the option to choose. This should be a supplement to our studies, just like how this conjugation tool is a good supplement to learning conjugations.

There are other tools out on the market that do this
I would love to know if there are! Although surely there would be some benefit to this linking to your WK level and burned items?


Thanks for reading!


I wish wanikani would provide extra modes like that outside of the standard vanilla experience.

Of course you can do this kinda stuff with scripts, but a official experimental area would be cool too.

I had this idea of a “wanikani hard mode”, where you do a placement test before beggining, and it would allow you to skip a bunch of levels!


I’m going to link the big effort post I made about this forever ago:


This would be a good opportunity to introduce an ICU for leeches. Clearly, the mnemonics don’t work, and rote doesn’t cut it. Attacking them from different angles is extra important.

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That’s an awesome idea!

Thanks for sharing. That was a thorough and researched piece and makes me feel even more like this could be a good idea for supplemental learning. Nice work :smiley:

So maybe that could be one of the filters for starting kanji rush; “ICU leeches only” mode.


The problem with something like this is that the keywords for components (radicals) and kanji WK use are not really standardized at all. Almost certainly someone who didn’t go through the lower levels wouldn’t know to call 頁 “geoduck”. So when such a person ran into the lesson for, for example, 頂 and it’s going on about geoducks that’s gonna be a real hard one to memorize.

I think a better “hard mode” would be to make more levels “fast levels” so they can be completed faster. It would make it easy to rush through the levels where you already know most of the content, and for people with a lot of time to study it would significantly speed up the WK experience. Right now in the 20-30s the level pace seems very artificial, because many of the radicals have already been taught as kanji. For example I can’t learn 背 yet because I haven’t learned that 北 is the radical for north. Even though I learned that 北 is the kanji for north in level 3…

I think if they excluded these excess radicals and just let kanji themselves be used as componenets, many more levels would become “fast” levels which would make the experience a lot harder. But I don’t think there’s a downside to this other than the risk that people burn out and stop paying. Also they wouldn’t make as much money if people could finish faster lol.


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