WaniKani Update

My WaniKani update of my progress over the last year of learning kanji and vocabulary using the site.

WaniKani Update – Is it worth it?


Well, it has been almost a year since my WaniKani review. A year ago I was level 30; I made it halfway through the 60 levels in about 14 months. In the past 12 months, I have made it to level 52. Can I get to level 60 by the end of the year? It will be a close call. And, in the meantime, WaniKani has been adding a few kanji and vocabulary the last few months. So, they do keep updating the program.

Here is a snapshot of my full progress, from a script called “WaniKani Heatmap”.

WaniKani Review Heatmap

As you can see, I have a rough patch from about January 2020 to September 2020. Still didn’t do that many reviews through April 2021. But, I’ve started gaining steam. The darkest blue is over 200 reviews, the square with the red outline in September 2021 is today. The squares with the white outlines is when I leveled up. There is data prior to October 2018, because I had started prior to that, but I reset in October 2018. You can see in my lessons heatmap below that is the day I started over. So, I am going on over 3 years to finish WaniKani.

Don’t worry, you can do it in a little over 1 year if you set your mind to it. Also, if you use a script to reorder your learning and always learn radicals and kanji first, when they are available. In order to level up in WaniKani, you only have to ‘learn’ the radicals and kanji of each level, you don’t need to learn the vocabulary to move to the next level.

WaniKani Lesson Heatmap

You can see above that I really was not learning anything new in early 2020. I started picking up the pace in April of this year. As you will see below, I could finish by the end of the year if I wanted to. Especially if I ignored much of the vocabulary.

Here is a snapshot of my current status:

WaniKani Current StatusAnd here are actual days spent on each level. Again, 2020 was a rough patch. Pretty busy at work.

WaniKani number of days on each level

Is it worth it?

Well, it depends on what your goal is. I think WaniKani has definitely been worth it for me. I am learning Japanese on my own, and I think it is very beneficial to be able to read real Japanese. The more I can read, the more I can immerse and learn the language. Many WaniKani users say they slow down after level 50, as the kanji you learn after that are not that frequent and are not that necessary. I don’t know, but I think that I will get some good use out of lazy, laziness, instigate, help, bay, boil, lamp, cook, mysterious, scream, wash, constant, compensation, bath, disaster, shop, soil, practice, proud, stupid, dawn, grieve, distant, nearby, cold, give, lonely, squeeze, still, suffocate, ship, sew, friendly, and evil just to name of few of the more than 300 kanji from the last 10 levels. I hope you have enjoyed this WaniKani update.