What level should i be at before i try to practice kanji from games and reading?

wkstats.com has a chart showing what wanikani level correlates with what % of kanji you will recognize over a range of materials, including news, books, and general frequency of usage.

Kanji-wise, I would say at level 20-30 you should know enough kanji for reading to be less of a struggle, but still a challenge. Also, you’ll be able to find a lot of useful vocab using kanji you already know.

As for reading, the problem is also that less kanji doesn’t necessarily mean stuff is easier to read, because you’ll see kanji words spelled out in hiragana or even katakana.

For manga and games it’s a good idea to watch tons of anime to get accustomed to casual speech which is common in manga. Also, focus on grammar and vocab is super important.

Unfortunately, manga can be a mixed bag in general, because you’ll see characters speaking in slang, female characters using very feminine expressions (ちょうだい, かしら, etc.) or various sorts of ojousamas using keigo and humble speech. So one’s grammar and familiarity with various speech pattern has to be pretty good for reading to be less of a struggle.

Yes, and I bought them because they were so gorgeous. :sob:

One of their best and most classic series! Then read X to continue the Subaru/Seishirou saga :wink:

I can second the Bookwalker suggestion - afaik they will freely sell Japanese digital content to overseas users. I’ve never had any trouble at least.

You can also use a forwarding service like Tenso to get a free Japanese address. If you use this as your address on Amazon JP, you should gain full access to the content in the Japanese Kindle store. Some people have had their access restricted after a while of doing this, so your mileage may vary, but I’ve not yet (fingers crossed) run into this issue either. I also use a VPN and some other precautions to minimize my odds of running into this issue.


I will accept the challenge to begin games and manga only at least after I close the N4 group in WK, which is level 28.

I just got a glance on grammar points (from N5 to N2) which also is necessary to understand sentences, otherwise, only with kanji and vocab it is almost impossible to comprehend dialogues.


You can try to read here and there a bit. My “daily reading” are often the “News” on the Nintendo Switch. They appear if you have a Japanese account on the console :joy:

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Not sure if this is what you meant but just to point out that getting to N4 grammar will be super helpful for starting reading but waiting until WK level 28 really isn’t necessary. I think even the Wanikani level up emails start giving you nudges to start reading at level 20 and depending on how much tolerance you have for looking things up (which tbh you’ll have to do a bunch regardless) you can definitely start earlier, especially if you’re participating in book clubs like a few folk have suggested.

sorry. I disagree. I started watching anime with japanese subtitles, zero english. Waiting till I was past Level 40 has made it real fun because of my strong foundation. no struggles whatsoever. and I believe Koichi answered this question himself with his companion ebook. you are welcome to purchase that to help with applying all that you’ve learned.


I debated with myself for a while as to how to respond to this. The arrogance you’ve displayed in other posts has made me hesitant to engage with you at all. I had originally written out a lengthy and somewhat insulting rebuttal, but I’ve long since passed the point where entering into petty arguments with internet narcissists is interesting to me, so I’ll simply concentrate my original post down into the following three statements:

  1. I’m happy to hear of your success, but that’s certainly not the experience for the average Japanese learner.

  2. Reaching level 40 (or even 60) on WK alone is not sufficient for anyone to read anime subtitles in Japanese with “no struggles whatsoever”. Unfortunately, basic kanji recognition and a passive vocabulary of 5-6k words just doesn’t cut it, but don’t we all wish it did?

  3. If other people are able to get some useful information from your posts, that’s great though.