Following my update at reaching level 5 on WaniKani, here's a brief check-in at level 11. Would've been level 10 but I completely forgot about it.
Why am I still doing this?
It seems to be going well so far. I don't want to give up yet, at any rate.
Admittedly, I'm not supplementing this with as many conversations as I wanted to be having. While I go forwards with each level of WaniKani, in terms of speaking I feel like I've gone backwards. It may soon be time to take private Japanese lessons to make sure this stuff's really sinking in.
At level 5, I was still finding it easy. I predicted it was going to get tough after level 10. There's been a noticeable increase in difficulty as far as 11, but it isn't huge. Where I was passing reviews with a 95% score, now it's sometimes 93% or 92%.
New, unfamiliar kanji are starting to catch me out. I'll occasionally see one flash up on screen and say 'oh, what the heck is that?' out loud.
The strange naming of radicals continues, with Sauron, Geoduck and Wolverine.
What's been unlocked - and what's still to come
There's still a mix of words I already knew and some brand new vocab being unlocked with each level. I'm also finally seeing kanji for words I could only recognise when spoken.
Seeing as I got my predictions for level 10 so badly wrong, I have no idea when it'll just become all new material. There is a LOT left to cover.
Continuing to find the time
Since arriving in Japan and upping my reviews to twice per day, I've been ploughing through levels compared to before. I reached level 5 in 2 months. Can't have been at more than 6 or 7 when I got here. So that's 5 more levels in barely 5 weeks. Twice daily is working well.
The number of reviews I have to do in each session has obviously decreased. Occasionally I'll go out for a night, forget about it and log in for 150+ reviews. That's not as fun any more.
I'd still recommend WaniKani to people thinking about learning Japanese. However, at this point I can cite several caveats. Think of it as one ingredient in a balanced diet.