Wanikani recapitulation

Reached level 50 recently, decided to quit wanikani.
My final thoughts:

  1. Burnt items are not burnt. If you burn kanji 2 years ago, and you don’t use it, there is a good possibility you forgot it.
  2. You don’t practice writing kanji, and to memorize it it really helps to practice writing too
  3. This system of being forced to do your tests everyday is pain in the ass. Sometimes I want to study Japanese grammar and don’t feel like doing kanji, sorry, you must.
  4. On higher levels, it often takes 2-3 hours a day to clear all tests, sorry I don’t have 2-3 hours for kanji every day

I think user should decide about the pace of studying. I don’t want to get 500 tests on my list if I missed 2 days and didn’t go on holiday mode.

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Everyone does go at their own pace.

Many people keep their apprentice items below a certain level and thus never have a large amount of work. Of course, they take longer to complete the overall system.

No one forces your pace.

As for burned items, sure… they do fade away. But the idea is that you start reading and whatnot from that point, thus encountering them naturally and keeping them alive.

But anyway, it’s not going to work for everyone obviously. You have the option to come back any time, so maybe you’ll give it another go in the future.


You have to read. You have to use the language you’re learning. If you don’t use it, your brain will discard it.

But if you don’t use it, what are you even learning for? I’m more or less your same level, and I’ve just managed to read two entire light novels. It was hard work but I literally saw WaniKani kanji in every page. And now i won’t forget them.

As for the number of reviews… I suffer from WaniKani fatigue too every now and then. I just got vacation mode for the weekend and come back refreshed on Monday or Tuesday. It helps!


I think the review items you’re accumulating are just a result of the pace you impose on your own… after something like a month of not adding any lesson, my reviews went down a lot, I’ve keep doing my lessons at a slower pace and that hundreds of reviews haven’t been an issue anymore.

on the burnt item system… well yeah , it’s an illusion. But actually great thing that exist, specially given the intervals on WK keeping those items forever would add a great workload in the end. Like leebo mentioned, you’re supose to do something with the kanjis you learn… it’s a use it or loose it thing.

On a tangential topic. Few days ago I was watching a video by one of the guys promoting the AJATT method of learning (yeah, the one talking shit against WK), and he admittedly told that his proposed method for learning kanji (RTK1) left people with only a blurred image of every kanji in the end… that could only be cemented by immersion, and why not doing RTK again when massive exposure had crack in some time later (basically much more vocab was attained).
So in the end, it’s not a flaw in the system… they (WK / RTK) are kanji awareness tools, nothing more or less.

I’m considering doing RTK (more suited for writing) after WK. No plans of burning all items once I reach level 60 either as personally I hate WK early intervals too :sweat_smile:

In any case, I think you’ve reached a very high kanji base, so changing your routine (and ditching WK) it’s nothing terrible either.
I would love to see you posting and telling more about life without WK and cons / pros with another kanji routine afterwards. :+1:


I don’t follow, could you explain what you mean here?

I’ve also been considering doing RTK sometime soon myself. Would love to be able to freely recall kanji, instantly differentiate minute differences, and identify isolated kanji without context. I also wonder if a more exact knowledge of kanji might help reduce reading fatigue or increase reading speed…

Oh, sorry, maybe that didn’t came out so clear .
The video was about Ajatters doing RTK, but due to the lack of exposure (basically reviewing just kanji during 3-4 months) in the start they were coming out with only a blurred image of kanji that after some massive exposure was able to be improved with a second run of RTK, since they could now put much more context, for example using now japanese words instead of english words for the meaning.

Since I will like to learn how to write kanji I plan doing the RTK 1 book after WK and by then work through it in a monolingual fashion as well , with kanji to japanese keyword + writing practice.

Anyway, I think expectations on WK are sometimes too much IMO. It’s not like you can check the kanji item as learned even after WK or any other method. More like an overview of what you will be encountering in your journey through the language :man_shrugging:

I’m just surprised it took you 50 levels to realise all this.

I got to 28 a while ago and then gave up due to a lot of the issues you described. After about 6 months I couldn’t remember a single thing and felt like I’d forgotten everything. Funnily enough, once you get back into it however everything is still there.

Congrats on you decision and let us know.

About the items you mentioned, you can choose not to complete all the quiz items to slow down the peace.
Burnt items are not burned. it is all up to you. For instance, when I first saw the 風 here, it was already burnt. (thnx Naruto…)
Good part of WK is feeding us with lots of content and guide us. Rest is up to you…


Can you explain? In what sense are you forced to do your tests everyday? :confused:

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At higher levels, I get about 200 reviews a day, I need around 2 hours to do them. If I don’t do them, tomorrow is 400. So it means tomorrow I need to spend 4 hours to do it. If you have a job or other obligations, it is a lot of time, and I was doing it for 3 and the half years, and it is not fun and I want to continue my studies at my own pace. So for kanji I will not quit, i will more focus on flashcards, where I can also practice writing and choose how much time i want to allocate for that.

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You have 71 apprentice items, so I’m not sure where the 200 reviews per day are coming from.

I’m sure some days there are 200, but every day?

Also, 2 hours for 200 reviews?

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That’s roughly the amount of time I need on my phone.
(Never actually did 200 in one sitting, but I did 100 the other day, and it took me 50 minutes)

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Well, yeah, the phone is a horror show, but in that case people are generally using time they wouldn’t otherwise use, like riding a train.


I usually do 50 items in 30 minutes, then I take a break. If you have better memory (some people do), you can do it faster. I can’t. Sometimes I have 60% correct answers, sometimes 90%, if you are always 90% correct you will get less reviews next day.

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You should definitely do reviews on the computer. I usually do about 200 in 25-30 min, but on phone it would indeed take forever. Not to mention lots more mistakes.

But as people above mentioned, you need to read, or else it is no point doing reviews…

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How much do you read? I got burnt out in the upper levels myself and took a long break to just focus on grammar and reading about stuff that interested me. Learned a lot and I found that by the time I came back, I could remember way more than I expected. Reading, preferably every day from a variety of sources, helps immensely. You have a lifetime account so there’s nothing really stopping you from going into vacation mode and focusing on other things for awhile.


Is this a list about you or WK? I feel it’s mostly you.

  1. If you don’t use it then you don’t need it. That’s fine. If you want to remember it make sure you use it. WK can’t help you there other than giving you more reviews which you seem to be arguing against.
  2. WK doesn’t make you write, or do anything, if you don’t want to. If you want to write the kanji then write them. There are many here that do.
  3. WK is a total pain - it’s meant to be as learning kanji is a total pain. As you said in point 1 if you don’t use the kanji you will forget. WK makes you do that. If you don’t want to learn them don’t bother. If you have other study methods you are free to do them instead.
  4. See points 3 and 1. If you don’t have time then you can’t study. If you want to study make time.

I get your point on pace. I don’t know the maths and psychology behind the SRS system in use and I’m sure there are various systems that are effective that, I guess, some sort of pace system could be used to implement. That said, I think most people know what they are getting in to when they sign up to WK and do the free levels. Another option might be a “reverse X days” or something for when the reviews pile up. Again though I’m not sure how this affects the SRS.

It’s been tough at times and I’ve reset a few levels and holidayed a couple of times when it got too much. I did that though as I felt I wasn’t devoting enough time and I knew I hadn’t learnt the kanji on those levels sufficiently well to warrant moving on. Ultimately that’s what it’s all about. I know going at a slower pace with a book wouldn’t work for me and I know I know a load more kanji than i used to because I can read things I couldn’t before.

To be fair you sound pretty burned out and you should probably just consider having a break from WK before deciding to quit it (unless your motivations are below zero, then quit asap).
I think it’s pretty clear you don’t practice Kanji writing on WK (unless you do it yourself), but I fail to see how this is surprising since it’s not a feature offered by WK. Also you can decide to take it very slow with the reviews and push more items up the SRS before moving forward. I mean who cares if you only keep doing reviews (slowly) for a month straight? I don’t get it why / how you feel forced to do things nobody is really asking you to do.


I don’t read too much. Simple didn’t have time. But now I made time. I will try to practice what I learnt. Got some Japanese short stories, so will read them. But you are right. Might come back one day for the rest :slight_smile:

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The problem is if you have time to practice Japanese if you spend 2 hours on kanji every day. 3 -4 hours every day? Sure if you don’t work. If you are full time Japanese student, then it is fine. Full time job? well…

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