Which level to reset to?

Hey everyone,

The past few years I’ve been slowly making progress with wanikani and I’m at level 31.
I took a break starting August 2022 because my physical health started getting worse. It hasn’t gotten much better but I want to try starting up wanikani again anyways.
Before starting again I want to make sure to adress a problem I was stuck with first. The last two years I did about 2 levels each year. I still did wanikani each day but I just got stuck in a loop of not remembering the difficult words my brain didn’t want to hold. My reviews to do I brought to 0 every day but to keep that manageable I thus rarely learned new ones. This demotivated me a lot and definitely contributed to taking that break and never coming back.
Knowing I struggled a lot before my break I want to restart at a lower level, and am even debating starting at lvl 1 because I feel like I lost a lot of my knowledge. But that also feels a bit excessive.
So I was wondering if anyone has any tips on where to go from here.

Thank you!

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There are two procedures that can help you that I can think of.

  • Procedure no 1: you can try to install a reordering script and reorder your reviews by level. Then you do your reviews in a number you can manage each day. When you hit a wall in terms of remembering the items this is the level you should reset to.

  • Procedure no 2; you can try installing the item inspector script. Then you select the All Learned Items table. Then you go over the items reciting the meanings and readings aloud and check your answers by moving your mouse over the item to display the information in the popups. When you hit a wall in terms of remembering the items this is the level you should reset to.

Which procedure you choose is up to you. Both will work equally well. The Item Inspector will force you to look at all items including the turned ones…The reorder script requires you to look only at the items you have reviews so it is less work to get your answer but you don’t look at the burned items, only those you have pending reviews.


My typical method is largely somewhere between the two that @prouleau suggests, but I’ve always adopted it when I’ve been buried under a thousand or so reviews and therefore it may not be strictly relevant. I shall share it though in case anyone else has a similar issue:

I use the Wanikani Ultimate TImeline to show me the reviews I have waiting sorted by level brackets. I then reset to the level that will reduce the number of reviews I have to a comfortable amount. Typically there’ll be items, especially after a long time, that are sat at Master or Burnt and therefore won’t be contributing to your regular reviews in any appreciable way.

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If you really can’t remember some words through WK after going through them multiple times, try finding external resources with the words in different context.

Often seeing the word in the real world helps make it make sense. Our brains are not really good at memorizing stuff in the abstract, but they’re very good at connecting various concepts and experiences together.

Personally I’ve made an Anki deck for my leeches, with examples taken from outside WaniKani. This deck is also “backwards”: it prompts with the English meaning and I have to remember the Japanese word.

I found that it helped significantly. Of course since I only update this deck when I struggle with something there are very few words in there, so it’s very quick to review (I must add like two words per level on average).

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I wanted to reply to you thanking you for your help.
I tried procedure no 2 and realized I only started remembering things below level 10. So sadly very little of the information was still there in my brain.
I then started to debate if resetting to level 8 or something was still worth it, or if I would just start over all fresh and clean. In the end I chose that because I had too much fear of missing out on items on lower levels I had forgotten too. So even though I did restart at level 1, your method did help me figuring out what I wanted so thank you for that!

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