Wanikani Shortest Possible Completion Time

If I am to use Wanikani everyday and always finish all of my reviews and lessons each day, how long would it take to complete Wanikani (also assuming that I don’t make that many mistakes on my reviews)? I have heard people say it could take about a year and a half, but I was just curious as to what the fastest time possible is. Thanks :slight_smile:


You can bribe @koichi and get to levell 60 immediately!


In theory, the quickest time to complete each level is 7 days, except for levels 46, 47, 49, and 50-60, which (again, in theory) can be done in 3.5, since they contain few or no radicals.

So at one week per level for 46 of the level, and 3.5 days (half a week) for 14 of them, it is technically possible to complete it in 54 weeks, if you literally did every review and lesson the second it came up and never got an item wrong.


As is mentioned in other threads, it might be better to monitor your progress with:

I am moving at a pretty good clip and haven’t used any other 3rd party tools yet to accelerate my timing. I’m sure others will say this too but each person has an idea of what they would like to do, but life does crop up from time to time (as well as sleep cycles) slowing down even the most dedicated WaniKani’er (?)


It’s nowhere near that strict. It’s true that for most of the time you have to do your radical lessons when they come up, so that they unlock the second wave of kanji in the minimum time, but you can do the rest of the kanji at a leisurely pace throughout that week as long as they are done by the time the second wave ones are done. So you could get them all wrong for 3 days nonstop if you wanted to.

And the time of your next review is equal to your review time rolled back to the start of the hour plus whatever interval you’re on. So you could wait 59 minutes to do your radical lessons and still be perfectly on time. It’ll roll back to the start of the hour and then add 4 for the first review, effectively making your time to that first review 3 hours 1 minute.

So only a tiny percentage of all of your lessons and reviews have to be done at particular times to maintain that minimum, and any time a critical review comes you have a whole hour to do it with no loss of time.


How many reviews can you do per day? Do you use scripts, e.g. Ultimate Timelime? If you do all radicals and Kanji at best possible time, plus all correct, it would be around 1 year and 2 months.

For humanly thingy, check out “Team speedy speedy” thread.

And also, any interval one day or longer has an hour deducted (for instance 1d is actually = 23hrs), this gives you enough leeway to not have to do crazy stuff like wake up in the middle of the night to keep on schedule (as some people like to suggest).

I did my reviews at 6am, 11am and 6pm each day and this was enough to keep the 7 day schedule.

In general, you can make do with twice a day except for days you unlock something where you’ll need to review 4ish hours after the initial lesson.

The 3.5 day intervals I couldn’t do optimally though, since that does require you to get almost all of the kanji right on the first go. Still, failing them once only pushes it to about 4 days.

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Ah ok, I sort of get it, but I do have a few questions. Let’s say I have just reached a new level. If I reorder the lessons such that the radicals are done first, am I right in saying that will now unlock the round two kanji or something? If so, what’s the benefit of this anyway? Would I be able to get all of the first round kanji wrong as many times as I want before, so long as it’s before the second round kanji are up for for review? + Can you actually go up levels without doing vocab, because I feel like I hear people saying stuff like that, but I don’t think it has ever happened for me (maybe I have just never had the opportunity, because I am only level 3 nearing level 4).

Also, if I took more than an hour to do the radicals, what would happen? Would may reviews be delayed by like over a day, or just an hour something? Sorry for all the questions, I am just a bit confused.

If you use reorder and do the radicals first, you won’t immediately unlock the new kanji, you’ll just maintain the minimum level up time. And yes, since you have to wait for the second wave of kanji to come, you don’t need to do the first wave lessons right away, or you can get them wrong before the second wave comes.

Yes, you never have to do a single vocab lesson to move on. Even for level 1. You could reach level 60 without having done a single vocab lesson.

If you take more than an hour to do your radicals or any of their reviews, then you’ll finish the level in longer than the minimum level-up time. That’s all.

There’s actually a bug that makes it possible to reach level 60 and burn everything in 60 days.

How? <I won’t do it probably>

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I guess it was inevitable someone would ask, hehe.
But I’m not going to say how it works. I don’t want to be responsible for whatever creative abuse people might come up with. The method for doing it is pretty obscure, and only works under very specific conditions, so I never bothered reporting the bug. But also, it came in handy on my free-level test account for testing my burn-manager script, so I didn’t have to risk messing up my progress on my main account.

You are making me even more curious!

(ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻━┻


Ah ok, I think I mostly understand now. When you said that you could the first wave lessons and get them wrong before the second wave, what precisely do you mean? Do you mean that so long as I do the first wave lessons AND get them correct in the reviews before the second wave comes in, the minimum time will still be achieved? Also, does the second wave of kanji is unlocked / comes as a result of one having done the radical lessons (but just in such a way that it happens after a few days). Thanks so much for the help (I think I am finally beginning to understand how this works)

I hope it’s OK if I answer.

When a radical is guru’d, the kanji that use it are unlocked. Guruing happens when you answer correct four times in a row. This takes roughly half a week because the intervals are as follows:

Apprentice 1 -> 2: 4 hours
Apprentice 2 -> 3: 8 hours
Apprentice 3 -> 4: 23 hours
Apprentice 4 -> Guru: 47 hours (2 days - 1 hour)
Total: 82 hours = 3 days 10 hours.

For instance, when you guru 广 (level 3 radical), you will unlock 広 (level 3 kanji)
Once unlocked 広 also needs to be guru’d before you level. This follows the same timeline as above.

Also, as you can see, this means the optimal time per level is 6 days, 20 hours. This means if you shoot for a week per level, you have 4 hours leeway, so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night or be super worried about reviews taking longer than one hour etc.


Levels 1 & 2: 70 hrs (I think…)
Levels 3-45, 48: 164 hrs
Levels 46, 47, 49-60: 82 hrs

Total: 140 + 7216 + 1148 = 8,504 hrs.

Or, 354.3 days, or 10 days less than a year. This is down almost 1,400 hours, or 58 days from previous estimates because of the reduction in the final kanji study interval last year.

Although, if you want to avoid setting your alarm for the middle of the night, and are otherwise super disciplined, a reasonable estimate would be 3 days for levels 1 and 2, 7 days for standards, and 4 days for the late ones, meaning a total of 370 days, a little less than a week over one year.


Ah, I get it now. Thank you ever so much :slight_smile:

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Thanks a lot for the figures. That makes a lot of sense :slight_smile:

I think there’s an estimate in the FAQ or guide? Something like 1-2 years?

I level up once every 8 days. I think the pacing is good for me. I still have time to study grammar almost every day. Besides Japanese, I work 7 hours a day and do 4 hours of physical activities a week. I have been studying 2-3 hours since the beginning of January including weekends and holydays. If you really want to rush, you can level up once every 7 days, but for me that is definately not worth it. If I dont get a better job that forces me to work harder and have less time for japanese, I will reach lvl 60 in the first quarter of 2018, 1 year and 3-4 months to complete. If you want to rush things, its fine. Its really motivating for me, but make sure you study grammar and vocab (outside wk) aswell. For reference, here is my progress so far: