Is WaniKani Free?

WaniKani is free until you reach Level 4. While that may not sound like a lot, finishing Levels 1-3 is actually quite useful for someone learning Japanese. With these levels alone, you get:

A (School) Year’s Worth of Kanji

Although it varies class-to-class, many first year Japanese students don’t learn more than ~100 kanji in their first year. Using WaniKani, it’s possible to learn this many kanji (not to mention ~200 vocabulary words) for free in a few weeks.

Even if you don’t plan on continuing WaniKani, getting through the free levels before you start your Japanese class will get you so far ahead your teacher will accuse you of cheating on your kanji quizzes (this is a real story from an actual member). Go ahead, we won’t feel used. The Crabigator AI isn’t that powerful yet.

55% of the Kanji Needed for JLPT N5

If you’re studying for the JLPT N5, the first three free levels of WaniKani will give you around 55% of the kanji you need to know for the test. Level 5 gets you around 80% of the way there. Level 10 nearly 100%. While we’re sitting around throwing out random stats, just know that you’ll know 61% of the kanji that a Japanese first grader learns in a year. Japanese kids learn so slowly. Learn more random stats on

Enough Time to Verify if WaniKani is Effective

More important than any of that, though, is you’ll be able to see if WaniKani’s mixture of mnemonics, SRS, and ordering are a fit for you. We’re a mere human-crabigator hybrid just like you, so we understand that not every learning system can be a fit for everybody. But, three levels is enough time to get a feel for the spacing and timing of the SRS. You’ll be able to experience first hand if the mnemonics help you to memorize more, longer.

If you don’t want to continue with WaniKani, that’s fine. Send us an email and we’ll help you to find something that fits your learning style. On the other hand, if you want to continue with WaniKani, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account to access Level 4 and above.