Kitsun, do you have experience with it?

A while back someone in another post recommended Kitsun to me. I signed up for one month, but haven’t fiddled with it much, and the price for lifetime is quite steep, $199.

As a long time Anki user, I wonder if the price is worth it. Anki isn’t the prettiest, but it gets the job done. Still, I was wondering if any of you use it, and if it really is better or more enjoyable to use compared to Anki.

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Using Anki alongside the Migaku dictionary add-on and some tweaked settings, it does everything I could ask for when making cards myself. I also like the add on to keep ease at a certain percentage so I’m not stuck in review hell.

With that said, I cannot think of a reason why I would use kitsun over it. Anki is confusing for about the first hour or two, but if you watch a simple video on the settings and get some feedback from others, one solid afternoon of learning results in a lifetime of easiness. That’s a trade off I’m willing to make to be honest, also because with the Migaku dictionary add on, I’m able to customize my cards to my liking. I can add pictures, English translation from a dictionary of my choosing as well as a J-J translation of my choosing, AND I can add audio for said words.

When all of that is free, why would I pay $200 for something else? If you ever have any questions whatsoever related to anki feel free to chuck me a message or something, more than happy to help out. My friend swore off anki after initially trying it, but after I spent like 30 mins with him he’s now loving it.

Also with the cost of Bunpro you also get access to the vocab SRS which I feel like (based on beta progress) would offer more than Kitsune would when you factor in all of the example sentences.

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its ok. i use it for the 20k deck but i hibernate a lot of the words as i already learned them from wanikani. i never built my own deck i just stick with anki for that.

it does teach you a lot of vocabulary that other apps might not and i like the fact that it gives example sentences so you can really get a feel for the context of words and some grammar points. you can also obviously practice speaking a little by shadowing the audio files. review sessions sometimes feel like a grind as each word often has four or five reviews, if that makes sense? so it will ask you for the english definition, kanji > hiragana, an audio interpretation of a single word, an audio translation of the example sentence, and the example sentence in written form. for each word. it probably does drum it into your head more effectively but it sometimes feels very slow going, especially when there are 20,000 cards in the deck

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I’ve heard of the Migaku dictionary add-on, but I don’t have it installed. It sound pretty helpful since I’m looking up more words in the J-J dictionary.

I’ve used Anki for…a really long time, but I feel like I also haven’t used it to it’s full potential. I do make my own cards and add pictures and examples, and last year I converted an entire collocations book into it. But yeah, you sound like an aficionado, so some tips couldn’t hurt.

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Thanks for the information. Well, if it’s something that hasn’t been able to replace Anki maybe I’ll just stick with Anki. But yeah that is quite a bit of words.

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Just headed home now so I’ll shoot you a message later with some details of stuff I use, etc. But yeah the dictionary add on is really useful when making your own cards. It isn’t like a requirement or anything, but it helps make things as simple as possible. I’m a sucker for stupid stock images so that’s half the fun of using it too hahaha.

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I love Kitsun. I’m using the 10K deck, the N5 vocab deck, and the Yotsuba vol.1 deck. No problems with it at all. And it’s fast (I find Bunpro often very slow to switch to the next card).

I’ve never used Anki, but I believe it has to be downloaded to your computer? Is that right? The advantage of Kitsun then is that it’s all done online. Great for a Chromebook user like me.

It’s true that with the vocab cards here on Bunpro, perhaps Kitsun isn’t so necessary. But personally I’ve decided not to do vocab here, but keep Bunpro for just grammar, Kitsun for vocab, and WK for kanji.

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Anki has a program for computer, a web page (which literally no one uses) and also a free app for android and a paid one for iphones.

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Kitsun user here, I use the platform quite extensively as my primary study resource and found the money invested was well worth it . If you have specific questions, happy to answer best I can.

Here is what I like and made the investment well worth it:
  1. The UI architecture is very well made to something I enjoy on a regular basis with a native app that works very well. And I don’t need a millions scripts to hot-rod my setup to keep it functional or livable. The customer is service has been excellent, I’ve had a lot of firsthand to help design or configure what I wanted…and several of my requests have been built too as there is singular vision to experience as smooth as possible.

The platform very is intuitive, no ‘training’ period required. The Subs2Kitsun feature took me about 5 minutes to figure out…no long tutorial like when I looked at subs2srs. I don’t like seeing a scripting environment that is necessary to keep the platform livable…WK went in this direction as well; script gets abandoned and unsupported, no Eng->Jp within platform and 3rd party app broke down to go extinct and I need a custom setup for every workstation…ugh.

I don’t have much of an Anki experience to compare to though. I find that users with a programing background like the degrees of freedom to ‘play’ with it along w/ the ‘free’ part and it’s got a lot very cool features, no doubt Anki has gotten better with an amazingly clever community…it’s a powerful tool to do amazing things, I won’t say ever Anki is bad.

But my time is valuable and not free…the tutorials I see to set things up turned me off, I really don’t want to spend alot of time configuring or make or learning programming toy when someone who programs full-time and can make a platform a millions better than I could imagine…I just want to study language efficiently and this where I find value in the platform. I’m not that competent with CSS but I can a fake a few things and the Layout template to design and make alterations is fairly easy within Kitsun, enough for me to get what I want. It’s the same reason why I use BP, it’s built and maintained…I’d probably pay double what they charge because the user experience is important to me.

  1. The community decks have community feedback loop designed to keep the content as polished as possible. The 10k deck for instance has had many community edits, more so than anything you would get in the ‘free’ version.

  2. The vocab SRS platform is far more mature than than anything I’ve seen thus far. The native ‘Known’ system is pretty robust; I can just jump from deck to deck easily to filter already studied content very easily. This central ‘hub’ to have all my progress consolidated works on the Kitsun Reader which parses your known content…and Reader feature to make flashcards is very easy as well. I can just manage content very easily and I have alot of layout choices and alter easily. I don’t see anything comes close to this on a native platform level and easy to use.

  3. I can make dictionary-built cards very easily w/ synonym and audio build out. I think shared ~20,000 cards not include the wk filter deck 9k or personal content which would be +10k more… and I’m just a single user. I try to content quality high but compare this something like WK which is really a 8800 deck for $300 that includes mnemonics, level avatar and regimented course many happily pay for. So if putting cost to content ratio, it does very well.

Make the content I want, and doing it fairly easily is important to my study methods. I’ve don’t it various ways, not just dictionary build outs. The cool part is that the community has helped my own decks improve via the feedback loop.

If curious, here are some of the community decks I've share that have helped with my study journey, just to show the flexibility of system to get study content you want.

Grammar Deck N5-N1 I already discussed on this BP thread
日本語会話お決まり表現 180
The Lost WK Levels: 61-70
Japa-Slang
Kanji Writing Deck
Kiki’s Delivery Service
ハイキュー!!
N2 Tango
City and Prefecture Word List: Japan
WaniKani Known Kanji & Vocab Filter
福島弁
四字熟語

  1. If you really like you Anki tools addons like Migaku, you can still use them along with the Kitsun experience. I’ve imported plenty of Anki decks. And I’ve mined plenty via my extension as well.

  2. It’s an active platform, with many updates. They are foreseeing on another major update this coming year, details pending.

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I tried Kitsun for a little more than a month.

I like the variation of the cards, you can listen, translate to japanese and translate from japanese. Also the deck I used I like it. But it is too strict when writing the solution, wanikani for example allows multiples answer and with wanikani I think using kitsun is kind of redundant, I prefer using different types of learning tools instead

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For the reasons @s1212z listed, I love kitsun. The known words + Anki compatibility, is especially useful for me. I like the idea of just chipping away at a 10k type deck, but I when I take classes (e.g. an N3 JLPT Class atm), there is often a set of associated vocab, so I find the Anki deck someone has made, import it and am able to quickly hibernate the words from that deck in the big 10k. I also like the UI quite a bit and while I’m sure an Anki setup could be made very nice as well, it isn’t worth my time.

Edit: One additional thing I thought of. Many of the popular decks are WaniKani aware, meaning they have a tag, so I can just quickly hibernate all vocab being handled by WK so there isn’t duplicated efforts.

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It really comes down to cost versus convenience.
Personally, I went with Kitsun because I didn’t have a good initial Anki experience.

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I’m also a big fan of Kitsun. I like the interface, integrations, and the 10k deck is excellent.

They have also had Christmas season discounts, during which I bought my membership at one point. Probably not so exciting considering it’s February, but if price is the only thing holding you back it’s something to consider once that time of year comes by again.

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Amen. Kitsun is easily worth the money when you consider all the features it includes and the active development.

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I meant for BunPro too (& Kitsun):blush: Never mind the onboarding experience, just the sheer number of hours we all use these systems…actually, I’d rather not look at that number!

But ‘value’ is all relative and respect to the Anki wizards out there. Money-wise, cost is different for everyone; from cash-poor students to weaker international currencies that don’t favor well and makes it a big expense, that is entirely understandable. It would worth considering for platforms to keep the affordability a bit more level (eg. student discounts or scale to currency a bit…of course it’s a business too, not everything should be free or pirated when someone put earnest work in to make a product that has value).

If you decide to give it another go, it could have just been a settings issues like ‘allow typos’ or ‘give typo warnings’ would need to be enabled. Generally, I have found the misspelling forgiveness to be around the same as WK…and certainly no reason to redo WK words you already know, that can be filtered out in your decks as well.

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If it’s a custom deck then you can add answers in there. I added ‘such that’ in for そういう as there was a mismatch between BunPro and Kitsun that was starting to erode what little sanity I have left.

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If you don’t use WK, yes, it is a good vocabulary learning app also not only for vocabulary, also for grammar or japanese expressions.

I don’t think I will give it another go to Kitsun, it is okay that they fixed my issues and I would recommend for other people, but in my case I the only learning tool I am missing now is one to practice Japanese speech.

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Thanks to everyone for the replies. As a long time Anki user I find it hard to make the transition. You regular Kitsun users really seem to like it though, and find the steep price tag justifiable. I have no doubt of it’s usefulness.

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Heard about Anki for years but haven’t looked into it yet. I use Kitsun because I joined in their beta phase when it was free and enjoyed the decks people made. I’ll probably look into Anki when I get a chance since I’m only on monthly Kitsun. My biggest hurdle now in communicating efficiently in Japanese is vocabulary so I’m digging up every resource I’ve used in the past to keep learning. However I’m already running into some issues with community-made Kitsun decks, such as people leaving out the “vocabulary” field for kana words but not kanji words, so sometimes the card literally shows nothing and it asks you to enter the reading so you have to skip it. You either have to submit fixes or turn off that type of quiz which is annoying. A deciding factor for me to switch to Anki though would probably be whether the katakana deck is as good as the Kitsun one.

Edit: This is a creator issue, but right off the bat I can say I strongly dislike how many decks are configured as traditional honor system flash cards. When learning a language, I want to learn how to pronounce the word, spell the word, and what the word means – practicing all those aspects individually.

Many decks just focus on meaning and don’t require any input. For some of these, I can create new card types and convert them to input cards if the creator properly segregated the data into fields. However, for example, there’s a katakana deck with ~4K words, but the back side is all one field with the part of speech, meaning, and romanized pronunciation. To convert that to a typed card, I’d have to either segregate all that data myself or be forced to type all that data exactly as it is on the card for Anki to consider the input correct. Otherwise, I have to leave it as just a flash card and click a button to say, “Yup, I got it right” which doesn’t help me learn anything whatsoever.

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This should be an easy fix, which deck is it? Most decks can type if preferred so not sure the reference.