Why the levels are named like this? (Pleasant, Painful...)

Why are the WaniKani levels named like this? (Pleasant, Painful, Death, Hell …)

I am studying daily and hugely excited to go premmium, and got curious about this nomenclature. Would it be like… the first level is really easy, and from there, things are going to be increasingly hard to the point you fell like in the hell. Did I get it right?


Yes. Although it is possibly a bit exaggerated.


That might just be the logic behind it, but you will see that all the levels are pretty enjoyable if you follow a regular schedule.

Good luck!


I mean yes it definitely gets much more difficult but the increase is gradual and if you are consistent and make a habit of doing reviews everyday it will be easy to do. Eventually there will be lots of more difficult kanji and more reviews coming in because you’ll have a larger backlog but it is manageable. The names ARE a bit exaggerated.

Make a habit of doing wanikani daily early on and maintain it and you’ll do well.


I’ve seen a few times, people say that 21-30 are the hardest but I’m not sure if that’s correct. I’ll be leveling up to 31 in 2 hours and while 21-30 was difficult, it wasn’t as hard as I had thought it was going to be.

Hopefully this remains true for 31-40


Right, but if you get through hell, you’d get into the Paradise!
And after that you will be ready to face the Reality!


Ironically, however, from what I’ve heard, 51-60 tend to be the least used in reality out of all the kanji on WK.


It likely just has to do with the fact that it follows a story line. The monolith is all about death symbols and resurrection. Perhaps it goes something like this:
Pleasant: Normal Life
Painful: Call to adventure
Death: Something goes wrong
Hell: Things get really bad
Paradise: Protagonist gets through it
Reality: Reconciliation and readjustment.

I always thought they were just making a story out of it. Unfortunately, WK is anything but a story, most levels feel the same, even though the kanji are more complicated and nuanced as you go up. Your brain just gets used to it. :slight_smile:


I think they’re just meant to be fun little milestones for flavour, and to help make you feel like you’re progressing. If you have consistent study habits, you won’t notice any real spike in difficulty (I didn’t notice any and my habits aren’t exactly flawless!). Plus, the best past is that you emerge from Hell into Paradise.

Yeah, they seem like just a metaphor for passing through to the other side. While it does get harder, it’s more about consistency rather than difficulty.

The Great Wall at level 21-30 is mostly the fact that the honeymoon period is over. 6-8 months is about how long most people usually stick to a new hobby, and that’s the point that the daily and long term commitment start to really sink in.

It definitely doesn’t happen for everyone, but a significant number of users never make it past that point.


Death has been the death of me 3 times! :rofl: (reset)
And I am enjoying Paradise! <3

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