What level marks the beginning of the intermediate wall in WaniKani?

Hello fellow WaniKanians. I believe that this is my first post on the WaniKani Community forums. Like the title says, my question is, at what level can I expect to hit the intermediate wall of Kanji/Vocab?

If this question has been asked, (I was not able to find it) then feel free to delete this post.

So far, I have not done a good job of pacing myself, and have burned out a couple times, and had medical issues that kept me away at one point as well. I was doing all of my reviews and lessons as they came available (from day one), so burnout hit me hard starting out. I am currently at level 9, and have just started all of the level 8 vocab. So far, from reading other’s advice on this forum, I am keeping my apprentice items at around 100 and currently have my guru at around just under 300 but will not let them go over 500. I spent a good month just getting caught up to a manageable flow, I think it is a lot easier so far. Also, I am starting to read レンタルおにいちゃん volume one. I have read almost two chapters out of it (looking up lots of words) over the past few days, and it is starting to get a little easier I think. In addition, I’ve read the first 60 pages of Tae Kims guide twice. Once by myself and a second time with a buddy of mine who is also learning the language. In general, so far I have bounced back and forth from one resource to another, be it Genki, graded readers, various phone apps etc. I’m considering japanesepod101 because the videos are so well done. Also Japanese Ammo with Misa’s videos have been helpful along with cure dolly’s videos.

I am open to advice on improving my Japanese studies and look forward to being a part of the community here.


Thanks for posting!
I’m also wondering what intermediate Japanese looks like in general.

Curious to what the community says.


I hear the first 5-10 levels are the hardest. But then I read about people saying the intermediate wall and how challenging it is. But it would be good to know about when the transition will take place.


What they’re usually talking about is the dropoff of users around the 20’s.

It’s usually due to a host of factors:

  • burn reviews start coming around more frequently
  • around 6-8 months is usually about the longest most people can sustain a change in their lives
  • high lesson volume in the early levels leads to massive review counts
  • interest starts to wane

So it’s not so much difficulty as it is the realization of what you’ve really signed up for. Sustaining something over 1-2 years takes a lifestyle shift as you have to fit this thing into your existing life for the long term.


When you say “burn reviews,” do you mean items going from enlightened to burn? Or are there reviews from items that have already been burned? It was my understanding that when something is burned, you don’t ever see it again…?

Thanks for explaining :slight_smile:

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Yup, that one. The name of the review is usually based on the next level. So an enlightened review is from Master to Enlightened.

Burn reviews usually come around 6 months after you first learn an item and you will start seeing a lot of the ones from your early levels around levels 15-20 depending on your leveling speed.


Ok (Few) :sweat_smile:

I have right at 234 burned items right now. But using wanikani is becoming something I look forward to everyday, so I don’t think I will quit it all together. Its easier (so far) to keep going at a steady pace then to stop for 5 months and have to re-learn everything again after vacation mode is disabled.

Edit: spelling


I recently started burning items. I have been getting 150+ reviews each day.
I have been behind like 4 days and i need to finish 100 reviews. In the last 24 hours today I have done:

It gets tough. I’m going to be deticating a lot more time into WaniKani. In my opinion, levels around 5-15 weren’t that bad but you just gotta memorize the kanji decently and you’ll be fine.

Forget to mention, I have been going full speed and finishing each level every around 7 days. It will probably look less crowded for you. It all depends on the person and how much time they wanna deticate to WaniKani. I just want to get familirized with all the vocab and then strengthen the vocab and kanji. I will start resurrecting kanji & vocab


Hi MrBaboo, thanks for posting the forecast. About how many lessons a day did you do to get to where you are now? And about what did your apprentice and guru pile stay at during the beginning levels?

Edit: Ok, thanks for the level up speed details.

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I would say I roughly did ~15 lessons per day, prioritizing the kanji.

I’m probably going to increase it to 350 and then wait till it goes down to 280 and continue.

(i got 181 reviews remaining, which im going to finish now.)


For me the intermediate wall began couple levels ago (around 35-36). But my case might be a bit different from most, as I actually started using wanikani after three years of formal Japanese education in university (out of which one year was spent studying in Japan). I had couple hiccups in 20s, but mostly due to burn out or midterm/finals period in university . But around mid 30 levels the amount of kanji I already know has lessened and with it my accuracy rate and motivation also lessened slightly. I can read most shounen manga without dictionary (even if there are words I don’t know, I usually able to figure it from context), can read light novels, but am slow and need more support from dictionary.


Wow! That is fast I don’t know that I could keep up with that pace.

Hi, uzumaki! That’s awesome! I also have a lot of manga that I would like to be able to read someday. About what level did you begin to be able to notice that you could read SJ manga without a dictionary?

Seriously though, slow down unless you want to meet the same fate as me. You’ve got lifetime, there’s no rush, this is not a race.

These days I don’t do new lessons unless my apprentice count is under 100, which gives around 150-200 reviews per day, so I’d recommend deciding how many reviews you’re comfortable doing daily, and keeping your apprentice count at roughly half that.


i highly recommend you start using self-study quiz, it will save you a lot of review time

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Do you mean the self study quiz script?

yep, the userscript.

I currently use it for my burnt items but not for the rest of the items, because I think it is ruining the purpose of the SRS.


Probably Level 20-21. You will finish all of N5 and over 95% of N4 Kanji by then, following which are N3 Kanji, where the radicals become more and more complicated.


Haha, that looks like a wall to me. That is good to know about the half reviews, thanks!