The Difficulty Level Guide Of Everything Japanese

1 starVery Easy (Level 10-20)

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2 starEasy (level 20-35)

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3 star

Intermediate (level 35-45)

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4 star

Hard (level 45-55)

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5 starVery Hard (level 55+)

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*Level refers to what level you can enjoy it, not necessarily understand all of it.
*Add to this list in the comments below or through the monthly exchange thread.
*Figure out your level in detail here, here or here.

Last Updated – 5/12/2016


1 star

Anime

1. チーズスイートホーム (Chi’s Sweet Home)
2. 日常 (Nichijou)
3. 夏目友人帳 (Natsume Book of Friend)
4. うさぎドロップ (Bunny Drop)
5. ルパン三世: カリオストロの城 (Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro)
6. 幻想魔伝 最遊記 Requiem 選ばれざる者への鎮魂歌 (Saiyuki: Requiem OVA)
7. おもひでぽろぽろ (Only Yesterday)
8. プリキュア (Pretty Cure ・ PreCure)
9. ポケモン (Pokemon)
10. 遊戯王 (Yu-Gi-Oh)
11. フューチャーカード バディファイト (Future Card Buddy Fight)
12. ひめチェン!おとぎちっくアイドル リルぷりっ (Lilpri)
13. 一週間フレンズ (One Week Friends)
14. はなまる幼稚園 (Hanamaru Kindergarten)
15. ドラえもん (Doraemon)
16. こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所 (This is the police station in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika)
17. 俺物語
18. アンパンマン (Anpanman)
19. ふるさと再生 日本の昔ばなし (Hometown Rebuilding: Folktales from Japan)
20. ハイキュー‼︎
21. のんのんびより (Non Non Biyori)
22. となりの関くん (My Neighbor Seki)

Book

  1. まよなかの魔女の秘密

Drama

1. GTO ジーティーオー (Great Teacher Onizuka)
2. セーラー服と機関銃 (Sailor Uniform and Machine Gun)
3. 野ブタ。をプロデュース (Producing Nobuta)
4. タイヨウのうた (Song of the Sun)
5. 暴れん坊ママ (Wild Mother)
6. Stand UP!!
7. マイボスマイヒロー(My boss, my hero)
8. 太陽と海の教室 (Homeroom on the Beachside)
9. 未来講師めぐる (Future Teacher Meguru)
10. アテンションプリーズ (Attention Please)
11. ハンマーセッション (Hammer Session)
13. 人に優しく (Be kind to people)
14. マジすか学園 (Seriously High School) Season 1
15. リバウンド (Rebound)
16. 美男ですね (Handsome Guys)
17. 泣くな、はらちゃん (Don’t Cry, Hara-chan)
18. おひとりさま (All By Myself)
19. さばドル (Aged Idol)
20. イタズラなKiss~Love in Tokyo (Mischievious Kiss)
21. 孤独のグルメ (Kodoku no Gurume)
22. スイッチガール Switch Girl!

Manga

1. よつばと! (Yotsuba&!)
2. 最強伝説黒沢 (The Legend of a Strongest Man – Kurosawa)
3. ドラえもん (Doraemon)
4. 林檎と蜂蜜 (Ringo to Hachimitsu)
5. ポヨポヨ観察日記 (Poyopoyo Observation Diary)
6. アフロ田中 (Afro Tanaka)
7. Tomorrow―陽がのぼる街 (Tomorrow – The Town Where The Sun Rises)
8. Dr. スランプ (Dr. Slump)
9. 国立艦隊ようちえん (National Fleet Kindergarten)
10. 花君と恋する私
11. Tokyo Mew Mew
12. からかい上手高木さん 

Movie

1. 曲がれ!スプーン (Go find a psychic)
2. トワイライトシンドロームデッドクルーズ (Twilight Syndrome Dead Cruise)
3. 好きっていいなよ (Say “I love you”)
4. さんかく (Triangle)
5. Doraemon Stand By Me
6. 箱入り息子の恋 (Blindly In Love) 

Variety Show

1. あいのり (Love Ride Around The World)
2. 横山由依(AKB48)がはんなり巡る 京都 いろどり日記 (Yui Yokoyama’s Kyoto Diary)
3. YOUは何しに日本へ (Why Did You Come To Japan?)
4. ニンゲン観察 – モニタリング (Human Observation – Monitoring)

Video Game

1. 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ (Super Smash Bros)
2. リズム天国ゴールド (Rhythm Heaven)
3. ダンボール戦機 (Little Battlers eXperience)
4. Super Monkey Ball 2
5. ポケモン アルファサファイア
6. 初音ミク Project mirai でらっくす (Hatsune Miku Project Mirai Deluxe)

Visual Novel

1. はないらっ!(Hanahira!)
2. ぷよぷよ通(メガドラ版)


2 star

 

Anime

1.  ヴァンドレッド (Vandread)
2.  ペルソナ4 (Persona 4 the ANIMATION)
3.  蟲師 (Mushi-Shi)
4. 灰羽連盟 (Habane Renmei)
5. アール・オー・ディー ザ (Read or Die OVA)
6. バンパイアハンターD (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust)
7. パプリカ (Paprika)
8. ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデンアニメーション (Persona 4 The Golden Animation)
9. 我妻さんは俺のヨメ (Wagatsuma-san Is My Wife)
10. 中二病でも恋がしたい! (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions)
11. 月刊少女野崎くん (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
12. ばらかもん (Barakamon)
13. Hunter X Hunter
14. けいおん (K-On)
15. バクマン(Bakuman)
16. Working!!
17. デンキ街の本屋さん (Denki-gai no Honya-san)
18. 遊戯王 5D’s (Yu-Gi-Oh 5 D’s)
19. メタル侍
20. 凪のあすから (A Lull in the Sea)
21. Clannad Afterstory
22. 極黒のブリュンヒルデ (Brynhildr in the Darkness)
23. ママレード・ボーイ (Marmalade Boy)
24. Aチャンネル – A-Channel
25. らんま1/2(Ranma 1/2)
26. 結城友奈[ゆうき・ゆうな]は勇者である
27. NANA
28. 桜蘭高校ホスト部
29. 輪るピングドラム (Mawaru Penguindrum)
30. 平成天才バカボン
31. 東京マグニチュード8.0 (Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)
32. 猫の恩返し (The Cat Returns)
34. あずまんが大王 (Azumanga Daioh)
35. ワンパンマン (One Punch Man)
36. ソラノヲト (Sound of the Sky)
37. Cardfight ヴァンガード G ギアースクライシス編
38. シゴフミ (Shigofumi)

Book

1. 君が見つける物語 series (Stories You Find For Yourself)
2. キッチン (Kitchen)
3. 悪夢のクロゼット (The Nightmare Closet)
4. 悪夢のエレベーター (The Nightmare Elevator)
5. わたしを離さないで (Never Let Me Go)
6. ドアD (Door D)
7. スイッチを押すとき (When I push the switch)
8. スピン (Spin)
9. 一リットルの涙 (A litre of tears)
10. おジャ魔女どれみ16 (Ojamajo Doremi)
11. いばらのかんむり (Crown of Thorns)
12. ジャングル大帝 (Jungle Emperor)
13. 悪夢の六号室 (Nightmare Room 6)
14. 玩具修理者 (The Toy Repairman)
15. 四つ話のクローバ
16. パーフェクトフレンド
17. 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison)
18. 犬と私の10の約束 (10 promises between my dog and I)
19. 僕のゲイ恋日記
20. 鈴木ごっこ (Let’s Play Suzuki)
21. サバイバー (Survivor)
22. D町怪奇物語 (Mysterious Stories Of D City)
23. ゴブンノイチ (One Fifth)
24. この世でいちばん大事な 「カネ 」の話 (A Conversation About The Most Important “Money” In This World)
25. 魔法の宅急便
26. 強運を引き寄せる !魔法の 「口ぐせ 」リスト  (Attract Good Luck! The Magic Habitual Phrase List)
27. ライフワーク」で豊かに生きる (Living A Fulfilling Life Through Your “Life Work”)

Drama

1. プロポーズ大作戦 (Operation Love)
2. リセット (Reset)
3. 1リットルの涙 (1 Liter of Tears)
4. エジソンの母 (Thomas Edison’s Mother)
5. LOVE GAME
6. 貧乏男子 ボンビーメン (The poor boys)
7. 流星の絆 (Bonds of the Shooting Stars)
8. ブラザービート (Brother Beat)
9. アットホームダッド (At Home Dad)
10. バンビ~ノ! (Bambino!)
11. フリーター、家を買う (Part-Time Worker, Buy A House)
12. 花より男子 Season 1 + 2 (Boys Over Flowers)
13.ホーリーランド (Holy Land)
14. ハガネの女 (Woman of Steel) Seasons 1 + 2
15. 日本人の知らない日本語 (Japanese that Japanese people don’t know)
16. モテキ (Period of Popularity)
17. FACE MAKER
18. ROOM OF KING
19. 雨と夢のあとに (After The Rain And Dreams)
20. 正義の味方 (Ally Of Justice)
21. 大切なことはすべて君が教えてくれた (Everything Important, I Learned From You)
22. 歌のおにいさん (Song Brother)
23. ぎらぎら (Dazzle)
24. 崖っぷちのエリー (Edge of the cliff Eri)
25. スクラップ・ティーチャー(Scrap Teacher)
26. GTO (2014 version)
27. 昼顔~平日午後3時の恋人たち (Hirugao ~ Hejitsu Gogo Sanji no Koibitotachi)
28. ごめんね青春 (Sorry Youth)
29. 深夜食堂 (Shinya Shokudo)
30. まほろ駅前番外地 (Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi)
31. ノーコン・キッド (No Con Kid)
32. マンハッタンラブストーリー (Manhattan Love Story)
33. グッドラック!! (Good Luck!!)
34. 最高の離婚 (Saikou no Rikon)
35. オレンジデイズ (Orange Days)
36. 私が恋愛できない理由 (The Reason I Can’t Find My Love)
37. mother
38. Bitter Blood
39. パパとムスメの7日間 (7 days of dad and daughter)
40. 五星戦隊ダイレンジャー
41. グッドモーニング・コール (Good Morning Call)

Manga

1. ハイスコアガール (High Score Girl)
2. Hunter x Hunter
3. ニセコイ (Nisekoi: False Love)
4. とらドラ! (Toradora!)
5. 斉木楠雄のψ難 (Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan)
6. 戦勇 (Senyu)
7. デトロイト・メタル・シティ (Detroit Metal City)
8. NGライフ (NG Life)
9. そらのおとしもの (Heaven’s Lost Property)
10. Claymore
11. ドラゴンボール (Dragon Ball)
12. パセリ伝説水の国の少女 (Legend of Paseli: The Girl From Water Country)
13. 僕はビートルズ (I Am The Beatles)
14. 僕だけがいない街 (The Town That Only I’m not In)
15. ホーリーランド (Holyland)
16. 日本人の知らない日本語 (The Japanese The Japanese Don’t Know)
17. ボーイズオンザラン (Boys on the Run)
18. 探偵レボリューション (Tantei Revolution)
19. ベイビィ☆LOVE (Baby Love)
20. 声の形 (A Silent Voice)
21. ダイの大冒険 (Dragon Quest)
22. 甘い生活 (Sweet Life)
23. 幽☆遊☆白書 (Ghost Files)
24. バクマン(Bakuman)
25. 猫マンガ ねこまき (Cat Manga)
26. 秘書艦長月ちゃん (Secretary Fleet Girl Nagatsuki-chan)
27. アホガール (Aho Girl)
28. 貧乏神が! (Good Luck Girl!)
29. 神のみぞ知るセカイ (The World God Only Knows)
30. かんなぎ (Crazy Shrine Maidens)
31. 悪の華(The Flowers of Evil)
32. 日々ロック (Daily Rock)
33. 漂流教室
34. デッドマン・ワンダーランド 2
35. 日本人のちょっとヘンな英語
36. ホイッスル!
37. Cardcaptor Sakura
38. Wandering Son
39. 小林さんちのメイドラゴン (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
40. 実は私は (Jitsu wa Watashi wa | My Monster Secret
41. 干物妹!うまるちゃん (Himouto! Umaru-chan)
42. Love so life
43. ぱぱきき
44. 史上最強の弟子ケンイチ

Movie

1. カイジ 人生逆転ゲーム (Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler)
2. バトル・ロワイアル (Battle Royale)
3. クワイエットルームにようこそ (Welcome To The Quiet Room)
4. なくもんか (Nakumonka)
5. ステキな金縛り (Suteki na Kanashibari)
6. 亀は意外と速く泳ぐ
7. SURVIVE STYLE 5+
8. ディアフレンズ (Dear Friends) 

Variety Show

1. ほこ×たて (Spear versus Shield)
2. 世界の果てまでイッテQ! (Go to the edges of the world!)
3. ネプ&イモトの世界番付  (Nep and Imoto’s World Ranking)
4. スクール革命! (School Revolution!)
5. ニンゲン観察バラエティ モニタリング (Human Observation Variety Monitoring)
6. 世界一受けたい授業 (The Most Useful School in the World)
7. ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで
8.VS嵐
9. バナナスクール (Banana School)
10. ドキュメント72時間 (72 Hour Documentary)

Video Game

1. ゼルダの伝説 時のオカリナ 3D ( The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time 3D)
2. 妖怪ウォッチ (Youkai Watch)
3. ポケットモンスター X・Y (Pokemon X/Y)
4. とびだせ どうぶつの森 (Animal Crossing New Leaf)
5. マザー2 ギーグの逆襲 (Mother 2 – Earthbound)
6. さくらももこのウキウキカーニバル (Sakura Momoko no Ukiuki Carnival)
7. ガイア幻想紀 (Illusion of Gaia)
8. 電波人間のRPG FREE (Denpa Ningen no RPG FREE)
9. ポケットモンスター オメガルビー・アルファサファイア (Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire)
10. Persona 4 the golden
11. 超次次元ゲームネプテューヌ Re;Birth 1 – “Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1”
12. カエルの為に鐘は鳴る
13. キングダム ハーツ HD
14. ドラゴンクエストIX (Dragon Quest IX)
15. ポケモンオメガルビー (Pokemon Omega Ruby)
16. メダロット Dual
17. 妖怪ウォッチ
18. マリオ&ルイージRPG3! (Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story)
19. デート・ア・ライブ (Date A Live)

Visual Novel

1. クラナド (Clannad)
2. Katahane


3 star

 

Anime

1. キノの旅 (Kino’s Journey)
2. ウルフズレイン (Wolf’s Rain)
3. 黒子のバスケ (The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays)
4. アール・オー・ディー ザ・ティーヴィー (Read or Die TV)
5. モンスター (Monster)
6. あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない (Ano Hana)
7. ラーゼフォン (RahXephon)
8. サマーウォーズ (Summer Wars)
9. 時をかける少女 (The Girl Who Leaped Through Time)
10. 王立宇宙軍 オネアミスの翼 (Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise)
11. ナルト (Naruto)
12. ワンピース (One Piece)
13. るろうに剣心 (Ruroni Kenshin)
14. ノーゲーム・ノーライフ (No Game No Life)
15. ヘルシング (Hellsing)
16. デッドマンワンダーランド (Deadman Wonderland)
17. カゲロウデイズ (Heat Haze Days)
18. ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
19. 変態王子と笑わない猫 (The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat)
20. ログ・ホライズン (Log Horizon)
21. ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生 (Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc)
22. アカメが斬る (Akame ga Kill!)
23. ソードアート・オンライン (Sword Art Online)
24. Unlimited Blade Works
25. 境界の彼方 (Beyond the Boundary)
26. ノラガミ (Noragami)
27. 鋼の錬金術師 (Fullmetal Alchemist)
28. カウボーイビバップ (Cowboy Bebop)
29. 魔法少女まどかマギカ
30. FLCL
31. 甘城ブリリアントパーク (Amagi Brilliant Park)
32. 結城友奈は勇者である (Yuki Yuna is a Hero)
33. 鉄腕バーディー DECODE (Birdy the Mighty: Decode)
34. 生徒会役員共 (Seitokai Yakuindomo)
35. 異能バトルは日常系のなかで (When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace)
36. ダンジョンに出合いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか (Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon)
37. トリアージx (Triage X)
38. 東京喰種トーキョーグール (Tokyo Ghoul)
39. ストライク・ザ・ブラッド
40. 未来日記 future diary
41. キルらキル kill la kill
42. 狼と香辛料 (Spice and Wolf)
43. 神秘の世界エルハザード (El-Hazard: The Magnificent World)
44. げんしけん – Genshiken
45. エンジェルビーツ (Angel Beats)
46. 暗殺教室 (Assassin Classroom)
47. GOLDEN BOY さすらいのお勉強野郎
48. 涼宮ハルヒちゃんの憂鬱 The melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan
49. レッドデータガール
50. 犬夜叉
51. ソードアート・オンライン II (Sword Art Online II)
52. 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
53. 風立ちぬ (The Wind Rises)
54. アニメンタリー 決断 (Animentary: Decisions)
55. ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 – ファントムブラッド (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Phantom Blood)
56. ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 – スターダストクルセイダース (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders) 57. ガールズ&パンツァー – Girls und Panzer

Book

1. 悪夢の観覧車 (The Nightmare Ferris
Wheel)
2. 甘城ブリリアントパーク (Amagi Brilliant Park)
2. 悪夢のドライブ (The Nightmare Drive)
3. 悪夢のギャンブルマンション (The Nightmare Gambling Mansion)
4. リアル鬼ごっこ (The Chasing World)
5. キノの旅 (Kino’s Journey)
6. 夢を叶えるゾウ (Wish Granting Elephant)
7. 美女と野球 (Beauty And Baseball)
8. 白馬山荘殺害事件
9. 夢を叶えるゾウ 2 (The Wish-Granting Elephant 2)
10.  夢を叶えるゾウ 3 (The Wish-Granting Elephant 3)
11. イン・ザ・プール (In the Pool)
12. 督促OL修行日記 (Collections Office Lady Training Diary)
13. 陽気なギャングが地球を回す (A Cheerful Gang Turns The Earth)
14. 死なない生徒殺人事件 (The Undying Student Murder Incident)
15. 死ぬかと思った (I thought I’d die)
16. 山椒大夫
17. メイドインアビス
18. アムリタ (Amrita & Immortality)
19. 人生がときめく片付けの魔法 (Gain An Exciting Life Through The Magic Of Decluttering)
20. 人生はニャンとかなる (You’ll Somehow Meownage To Get By In Life)
21. 地図で読む「国際関係」入門 (An Introduction to International Relations)
22. ぱぱのいうことを聞きなさい!
23. 六畳間の侵略者
24. ログ ホライゾン
25. 遊びに行くヨ!
26. 女王ゲーム (The Queen’s Game)
27. 雨の日も、晴れ男 (Rainy Day, Sunny Attitude)
28. 学問のすすめ 現代語訳 (An Encouragement of Learning – Modern Translation)
29. 無職転生
30. 青の炎
31. 人生はワンチャンス! (Life Is One Woof Chance!)
32. そして生活はつづく (And Life Continues)
33. 幸せな経済自由人の60の習慣 (60 Habits Of Happy People With Financial Freedom)
34. いつか海に行ったね (I went to the sea sometime)
35. 海の友情 (Friendship on the Sea)
36. 陽動ミッドウェー海戦 (Diversion: The Battle of Midway)
37. お金のIQお金のEQ (Money IQ, Money EQ)
38. 本気になればすべてが変わる (If You Become Serious, Everything Changes)

Drama

1. 夢をかなえるゾウ (The Wish-Granting Elephant)
2. 電車男 (Train Man)
3. 結婚できない男 (The Man Who Can’t Get Married)
4. まっすぐな男 (Straight Man)
5. ドラゴン桜 (DragonZakura)
6. うぬぼれ刑事 (Conceited Detective)
7. 池袋ウエストゲートパーク (Ikebukuro West Gate Park)
8. 働きマン (Working Man)
9. あしたの、喜多善男〜世界一不運な男の、奇跡の11日間〜 (Kita Yoshio’s Tomorrow, The World’s Unluckiest Man and His Miracle 11 Days)
10. ブラッディ・マンデイ Season 1 + 2 (Bloody Monday)
11. ロス:タイム:ライフ (Lost Time Life)
12. ロト6で3億2千万円当てた男 (The Man Who Won 320 Million Yen In Lotto 6)
13. 幸せになりたい! (I want to be happy!)
14. エンゼルバンク (Angel Bank)
15. Priceless
16. 絶対彼氏 (Absolute Boyfriend)
17. プロポーズ兄弟 (Proposal Brothers)
18. 白い春 (White Spring)
19. ファーストキス (First Kiss)
20. Gold
21. Hero 2014
22. 仮面ライダー (Kamen Rider)
23. 黒ヤギが眠れない (Black Goat Can’t Sleep)
24. すべてがFになる (Everything Becomes F)
25. Nのために (For N)
26. 勇者ヨシヒコ (Hero Yoshihiko)
27. リバースエッジ 大川端探偵社 (River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha)
28. 非公認戦隊アキバレンジャー (Hikounin Sentai Akibarenjaa)
29. 薔薇のない花屋 (Bara no nai Hanaya)
30. プライド (Pride)
31. 戦う!書店ガール
32. ハチミツとクローバー
33. アンダーウェア (Underwear)

Manga

1. るろうに剣心 (Ruroni Kenshin)
2. ロザリオとバンパイア (Rosario + Vampire)
3. 学園黙示録 (High School Of The Dead)
4. 進撃の巨人 (Attack on Titan)
5. 闇金ウシジマくん (Loan Shark Ushijima-kun)
6. ガン ブレイズ ウエスト (Gun Blaze West)
7. アイアムアヒーロー (I Am A Hero)
8. アカメが斬る (Akame ga Kill!)
9. 聖☆おにいさん (Saint Young Men)
10. 弱虫ペダル (Yowamushi Pedal)
11. 暗殺教室 (Assassination Classroom)
12. 東京喰種トーキョーグール (Tokyo Ghoul)
13. ナナマル サンバツ (Nanamaru Sanbatsu)
14. ソードアートオンラインプログレッシブ (Sword Art Online Progressive)
15. ビッグオーダー(Big Order)
16. 未来日記
17. 学級法廷
18. コンビニの清水
19. レイヴ (Rave)
20. 吹雪、がんばります! (Fubuki Will Do Her Best!)
21. ゼルダの伝説4つの剣 (The Legend of Zelda: Four swords)
22. コンビニの清水 (Konbini no Shimizu)
23. コタローは一人暮らし (Kotaro is living alone)
24. ReLIFE
25. 神々の山嶺 (Summit of the Gods)

Movie

1. インシテミル 7日間のデス・ゲーム (Incite mill)
2. 青い鳥 (Blue Bird)
3. サマータイムマシンブルース (Summer Time Machine Blues)
4. ガチボーイ (Wrestling With A Memory)
5. 百万円と苦虫女 (One Million Yen And The Bitter-Bug Girl)
6. 舞妓Haaaan!!! (Maiko Haaaan!!!)
7. 笑の大学 (Warai no Daigaku)
8. 硫黄島からの手紙 (Letters from Iwo Jima)
9. その時歴史が動いた (Moments that Changed History)
10. 怪盗グルーの月泥棒 (Despicable Me)
11. さよなら歌舞伎町 (Sayonara Kabukicho)

Variety Show

1. なるほどハイスクール (“Ahh, I see” High School)
2. テラスハウス(Terrace House)
3. 嵐にしやがれ
4. ニノさん
5. 池上彰のニュースそうだったのか!! (Ikegami Akira’s News – So That’s How It Is!)
6. マツコ会議 (Matsuko’s Conference)

Video Game

1. ファイナルファンタシーX (Final Fantasy X)
2. テイルズ・オブ・ヴェスペリア (Tales of Vesperia)
3. ルーンファクトリー4 (Rune Factory 4)
4. 真・女神転生IV (Shin Megami Tensei 4)
5. レイトン教授VS逆転裁判 (Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
6. シェルノサージュ・オフライン (Ciel Nosurge – Offline)
7. 艦隊これくしょん (Kantai Collection)
8. 戦場のヴァルキュリア (Valkyria Chronicles)
9. ファイアーエムブレム覚醒 (Fire Emblem Awakening)
10. シャイニング・レゾナンス (Shining Resonance)
11. ケイオスリングススシリーズ (Chaos Rings series)
12. 極限脱出ADV 善人シボウデス (Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward)
13. Borderlands 2
14. ゼルダの伝説 ふしぎのぼうし (Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap)
15. Romancing Saga
16. ゼノブレイドクロス (Xenoblade X)
17. Virtue’s Last Reward
18. Dream Club 0
19. ファイアーエムブレムif (Fire Emblem: Fates)
20. ソフィーのアトリエ / Atelier Sophie
21. ペルソナ3 (Persona 3)

Visual Novel

1. フェイト/ステイナイト (Fate/stay night)
2. 東京バベル (Tokyo Babel)
3. Robotics;Notes
4. Fate/Stay night
5. Muv-Luv Extra
6. Code: Realize ~創生の姫君~
7. ひまわり (Himawari)


4 star

 

Anime

1. 突破天元グレンラガン (Gurren Lagann)
2. 空の境界 (Kara no Kyoukai/The Garden of Sinners)
3. サイコパス (Psycho Pass)
4. 空の境界 (The Garden of Sinners)
5. ファイナルファンタジーXIII (Final Fantasy 13)
6. Samurai Champloo
7. 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ – Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Book

1. 電車男 (Train Man)
2. ソードアート・オンライン (Sword Art Online)
3. 密室の鍵貸します
4. 密室に向かって撃て!
5. 完全犯罪に猫は何匹必要か?
6. 交換殺人には向かない夜
7. 中途半端な密室
8. ここに死体を捨てないでください!
9. 同志ロボットよ!(Comrade Robots!)
10. 空中ブランコ (Trapeze)
11. 小説家の作り方
12. 2
13. 反応しない練習 (Practice Not Reacting)
14. ウケる日記 (The Funny Diaries)
15. 狼と香辛料
16. たった1日で声まで良くなる話し方の教科書 (A Speaking Textbook That In Just 1 Day Will Even Improve Your Voice)
17. ノーゲームノーライフ / No Game No Life
18. 人間失格 (No Longer Human)
19. 僕が18年勤めた会社を辞めた時、後悔した12のこと (12 Things I Regretted When I Quit The Company I Worked At For 18 Years)
20. 脳が冴える15の習慣 (15 Habits To Keep Your Brain Sharp)
21. 挫折を愛する (Love Failure)

Drama

1. ハケンの品格 (The Pride of the Temp)
2. トリック (Trick) Season 1, 2, 3
3. 夜王 (King of the Night)
4. 闇金ウシジマくん (Ushijima the Loan Shark)
5. 上海タイフーン(Shanghai Typhoon)
6. スマイル (Smile)
7. クロサギ (Black Swindler)
8. 曲げられない女 (The Unbendable Woman)
9. 傍聴マニア09 (Trial viewing mania)
10. 君といた未来のために (For The Future Where I’ll Be With You)
11. ライアーゲーム (Liar Game) Season 1 + 2
12. モップガール (Mop Girl)
13. リッチマン、プアウーマン (Rich Man, Poor Woman)
14. 私の部下は50歳 ( My subordinate is 50 years old)
15. ラブシャッフル (Love Shuffle)
16. 東京ラブストーリー
17. 僕のいた時間
18. 下町ロケット
19. 坂の上の雲 (Clouds Above the Hill)

Manga

1. エンゼルバンク (Angel Bank)
2. 宇宙兄弟 (Space Brothers)
3. テルマエロマエ (Thermae Romae)
4. デスノート (Death Note)
5. テラフォーマーズ (Terraformars)
6. 銀の匙 (Silverspoon)
7. 自殺島 (Suicide Island)
8. STEVES
9. とある科学の超電磁砲 (A Certain Scientific Railgun)

Movie

1. GOEMON
2. イキガミ (Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit)
3. 謝罪の王様 (Apology King)
4. テルマエ・ロマエ (Thermae Romae)
5.  聯合艦隊司令長官:山本五十六 (The Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, Isoroku Yamamoto)
6. みんなで学ぼう!日本の軍閥 (Let’s Study Japanese Military Clique Leaders)

Variety Show

1. 爆笑 大日本アカン警察 (Explosion of Laughs, The Japanese “No Good” Police)
2. モヤモヤさまぁ~ず2 (Murky Summers 2)
3. ホンマでっか!? (Really!?)
4. 人生が変わる1分間の深イイ話 (Deep Stories That Will Change Your Life In One Minute)
5. そこまで言って委員会NP (Committee on going too far)
6. しゃべくり007 (Speaking Agent 007)
7. ガイアの夜明け (The Dawn of Gaea)

Video Game

1. ファイナルファンタジーVI (Final Fantasy 6)
2. 逆転裁判 (Ace Attorney)
3. エンドオブエタナテイ (End Of Eternity)
4. 英雄伝説 軌跡シリーズ (The Legend of Heroes – Trails series)
5. 信長の野望: 創造 (Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence)
6. アルノサージュ (Ar Nosurge)
7. テイルズオブヴェスペリア
8. 英雄伝説:閃の軌跡 (Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki)
9. 龍が如く0: 誓いの場所
10. 艦これ改 / Kancolle Kai

Visual Novel

1. Muv-Luv Ultimate
2. Muv-Luv Alternative
3. Planeterian
4. 戦女神ZERO
5. グリザイアの果実  Le Fruit de la Grisaia


5 star

 

Anime

(Recommend something!)

Book

1. 舞面真面とお面の女 (Maitsura Matomo and The Masked Woman)

Drama

1. 逃亡弁護士 (Fugitive Lawyer)
2. 黄金の豚 (The Golden Pig)
3. 仁 (JIN)
4. ビギナー (Beginner)
5. タイガー&ドラゴン (Tiger and Dragon)
6. 弁護士のくず (Worthless Lawyer)
7. カバチタレ! (Legal Quibbles!)
8. 特上カバチ! (Special Legal Team!)
9. ビッグマネー 浮世の沙汰は株しだい (Big Money!)

Manga

(Recommend something!)

Movie

(Recommend something!)

Variety Show

  1. ワールドビジネスサテライト (World Business Satellite)

Video Game

(Recommend something!)

Visual Novel

1. 装甲悪鬼村正 (Full Metal Daemon Muramasa?)
2. ディエス・イレ (Dies Irae)



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Adam

Adam

Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.

Comments

The Difficulty Level Guide Of Everything Japanese — 117 Comments

  1. This is so awesome, thank you! So much better organisation, and i love how all the media are grouped by Stars and then Media type. Exactly what I wanted ^.^

    As for one that I can’t see on the list: Manga – Yotsubato (1 star).

  2. I’ll add a few (Feel free to delete this once you’ve got ’em)

    Manga-
    ニセコイ (Nisekoi: False Love) – 2 Stars

    Drama-
    イタズラなKiss~Love in Tokyo (Mischievious Kiss) – 1 Star
    GTO (2014 version) – 2 Stars

    Game-
    ファイナルファンタシーX (Final Fantasy X) – Gameplay: 2 Stars, Story: 3 Stars
    テイルズ・オブ・ヴェスペリア (Tales of Vesperia) – Gameplay: 1 Star, Story: 4 Stars

    For games, I feel like there’s a big difference between what you need to comprehend and enjoy the gameplay, vs what you need to comprehend and enjoy the story. Thus I’ve given them separate ratings for each element. If you feel like that won’t mesh with this list, you’re welcome to average them :)

    • How good is michievous kiss! Definitely a 1 star rating. I’m only 6 Episodes in, such an easy watch and it’s nice to comprehend a story. That probably contributes to me liking it more than other stuff I’ve seen in Japanese.
      I haven’t watched the 2014 GTO but I did watch the 2012 re-release. That was probably around 2 stars from memory, though it slips back into 1 star from time to time. I’m curious to see the original release now.

      I’ve played final fantasy 10, been meaning to get the re-release in Japanese for my Vita. Sounds like it’ll be a challenge to comprehend some of the language, might put it off for a while.

      It’s hard to rank things sometimes. I’ve been playing the new tomb raider on xbox one and whilst a lot of the conversations between characters are around 2 stars, the overarching plot is around 3 stars.

      Metal gear Solid Ground zeroes felt way out of my league for the little I’ve played. Little premature to give a rating though.

      • Oh yeah Mischievious Kiss is great. Even my wife got sucked into it – I’ve been feebly attempting to live-translate for her, which is pretty fun :)

        And I dunno, I think we’re at a pretty similar level and FFX has been a blast for me so far. You should give it a try IMO – especially since you’ve played it before in English. You may have to look some words up, but others you’ll get just from repeated exposure in context. I guarantee you will have memorized the word for “Summoner” within the first couple hours :P

        @Adshap: If we’re derailing your post too much, feel free to give James my email =)

  3. Where’s all the 少年漫画/アニメ? Naruto, One Piece, Shingeki no Kyojin?? Personally I think they should be 2-3 stars alongside Rurouni Kenshin; I’m level 30-40ish and can understand them with relative ease.

  4. Both of these are visual novel games.
    装甲悪鬼村正 (Soukou Akki Muramasa) (Full Metal Daemon Muramasa?)
    ディエス・イレ (Dies Irae)

    They should both be 5 stars, they both contain some pretty complex japanese.

  5. I have big struggles doing it like this. I don’t know… sometimes these levels just don’t fit to me… probably because I am not really a fan of level based things ( Even in games ^^ ).

    A language may look huge if you look at it from distance, but I created for myself a way to make it clearer. I created a list of language areas that use more or less a specific vocabulary. Let me show you this list…

    Manga/Anime language
    News (News/Newspaper) language
    Movie language
    Book language
    Game language (May be deleted because it doesn’t seem to make a big difference to Manga/Anime language)
    Internet slang
    Little other areas that aren’t that big

    It doesn’t mean that I will go through a strict list and just go further when I’m done.
    It’s rather like little battlefields I try to master and If I notice I get bored I just change the battlefield and come back later.

    I take the areas first I like because I learn much more in that way and it becomes easier to start in areas I don’t like a lot. Even though the vocabulary may be different… it’s still the same language and you will find always certain terms in every area (particles, common words etc.) and this makes it even easier for me. That means that every area I more or less mined out makes me directly better in other areas!

    There are even a few more areas I created for myself but they are either not very interesting for me or seem to be too difficult without a good basement of Japanese. So I don’t consider them until I got enough interest or a high level for them.

    • You also have to consider the difficulty level of the material as well, even though a game like ディエス・イレ, would come under “Anime/Manga/Video games” in your classification, it uses an extreme amount of “vivid” vocabulary, such as 空前絶後, 老若男女, and 生き体, which are hardly words that you will encounter in every game you play or anime you watch.

  6. I can add more to this.

    Anime:
    ペルソナ4 ザ・ゴールデンアニメーション (Persona 4 The Golden Animation) 2 stars
    ノーゲーム・ノーライフ ( No Game No Life) 3 stars

    Manga:
    とらドラ! (Toradora!) 2 stars
    ロザリオとバンパイア (Rosario + Vampire) 3 stars
    学園黙示録 (High School Of The Dead) 3 stars

    Games:
    ゼルダの伝説 時のオカリナ 3D ( The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time 3D) two stars
    妖怪ウォッチ (Youkai Watch) two stars
    ポケットモンスター X・Y (Pokemon X/Y) two stars
    とびだせ どうぶつの森 (Animal Crossing New Leaf) 2 stars
    ルーンファクトリー4 (Rune Factory 4) 3 stars
    真・女神転生IV (Shin Megami Tensei 4) 3 stars
    レイトン教授VS逆転裁判 (Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) 3 stars

    Note: With the exception of Pokemon and Rune factory all the other games I listed have furigana.

  7. I’m surprised Death Note is not on here, it’d probably be about 3 stars. As well as 「わたしを離さないで」the novel – about 2 stars.

    • No need to be surprised. These are just what I and others on this site have reviewed so far. This list is still very early in its infancy.

      I’m gonna raise Death Note up another star, because I know many people have trouble with that due to all the detective vocabulary.

  8. Thanks for the list. This’ll be really helpful to refer to later.

    In regards to anime, I’m watching Lilpri at the moment which is probably a level 1. Also I’ve finished Isshuukan Friends and Hanamaru Kindergarten which I’d probably also classify as level 1.

  9. This is fantastic–I might finally be able to read a novel in Japanese after timidly restricting myself to manga and the local Japanese newspaper for so long.

    One I watch/read a lot of that isn’t here is Doraemon–one star, probably, for both the manga and tv series.

  10. I noticed that the Hunter X Hunter manga was on there, but the anime wasn’t, I’ve been watching the anime and I would say it is probably 2 stars.

    As for games I’ve been playing ダンボール戦機 W, It always has an objective marker so you can never get lost, and it has furigana to making looking things up easy, I would say it’s a 1 star.

    • アカメが斬る Manga and Anime both three stars, kind surprised they weren’t on here yet. Easily my favorite current series.

  11. Sword Art Online. 3 Star. Convos during the fight scenes are pretty easy but the strategy meetings are a bit more complex. Also, I’d say that season two is quite a bit harder than season one due to all the necessary gun lingo.

  12. Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions is on the Level 2 Anime list twice. Number 10 seems to be correct, while Number 15 seems to have the wrong title.

  13. For both manga and anime, I would recommend バクマン(Bakuman), I’m not sure what level it is but I would think 1 or 2 stars.

  14. J-Drama 半沢直樹 (Hanzawa Naoki) should be added as well.
    It was a huge success when it was released in 2013 and there will be a second season sometime in the future.
    The level might be 5 as there are many business/banking terms and the main character speaks quite fast in some scenes.

  15. 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ is on the list twice, once under the 2 Star Anime section and once under the 3 Star.

    ガイア幻想紀 is on the Video Game 2 Star list twice. Number 9 seems to have the correct title, while Number 7 seems to have a typo.

    ポケットモンスター オメガルビー・アルファサファイア needs better English capitalization.

    勇者ヨシヒコ (Yoshihiko and the Demon King’s Castle?) is missing an English translation.

    • Thanks for pointing out those mistakes. I often times just copy and paste what is in the recommendation exchanges every month, so it ends up causing the occasional double or typo. But I’ll try to be more careful.

  16. ☆☆ 我妻さんは俺のヨメ (Wagatsuma-san Is My Wife) is a manga.

    Here’s some to add:

    ☆☆ Working!! – anime
    ☆☆ デンキ街の本屋さん (Denki-gai no Honya-san) – anime/manga
    ☆☆ アホガール (Aho Girl) – manga
    ☆☆ 貧乏神が! (Good Luck Girl!) – anime/manga
    ☆☆ 神のみぞ知るセカイ (The World God Only Knows) – anime/manga
    ☆☆ かんなぎ (Crazy Shrine Maidens) – anime/manga

    ☆☆☆ 甘城ブリリアントパーク (Amagi Brilliant Park) – anime/novel
    ☆☆☆ シャイニング・レゾナンス (Shining Resonance) – video game
    ☆☆☆ ケイオスリングススシリーズ (Chaos Rings series) – video game
    ☆☆☆ 結城友奈は勇者である (Yuki Yuna is a Hero) – anime
    ☆☆☆ 鉄腕バーディー DECODE (Birdy the Mighty: Decode) – anime
    ☆☆☆ 生徒会役員共 (Seitokai Yakuindomo) – anime/manga

    ☆☆☆☆ 空の境界 (Kara no Kyoukai/The Garden of Sinners) – anime
    ☆☆☆☆ 英雄伝説 軌跡シリーズ (The Legend of Heroes – Trails series) – video game

  17. I saw someone added ドラえもん (Doraemon), so I was surprised this was missing as it’s right on the same level, maybe even easier:

    ☆ アンパンマン (Anpanman)

  18. Hi there! How would you judge the difficulty level of Crayon Shin-chan and Blackjack (manga, and anime)? They seem fun but maybe beyond my level.

  19. Thank you for this list! It is very, very helpful! Maybe this show could be added?(The link to the recommendation exchange post is broken, so I’ll write it here.)

    ☆ ふるさと再生 日本の昔ばなし (Hometown Rebuilding: Folktales from Japan) Anime

  20. Missed the recommendation so here’s some recent ones.

    暗殺教室 Assasination Classroom anime manga 3 stars
    サイコパス psycho pass anime 4 stars. I know it’s on here already but with all the detective and technology vocab I think it should be bumped up.
    ソードアート・オンライン light novel series 4 star, helps if you’ve seen the anime.
    異能バトルは日常系のなかで when supernatural battles became commonplace anime 3 star
    遊戯王 5D’s Yu-Gi-Oh 5 D’s anime 2 stars
    ダンジョンに出合いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか Is it wrong to to try and pick up girls in a dungeon anime 3 stars
    トリアージx Triage X anime 3 star
    東京喰種トーキョーグール Tokyo Ghoul anime manga 3 stars

  21. I’m not sure if it’s rude to ask this here (?), but I wanted to know if anyone could rate “Daily Lives of High School Boys” and “Ouran High School Host Club”? They’re two of my favorite anime, and I’d love to learn with those. Just, not when they’re so hard they leave me in tears to try… :)

    • I’ve only re-watched the first episode of Ouran in Japanese so far, but based on that it felt like a mostly 2 and sometimes 3. Especially since you already know the story, it should be a great opportunity for you to learn, even if you’re still missing a lot of words.

  22. Video Game:
    信長の野望: 創造 (Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence): ****
    Grand strategy game set during the Waring States period. Figuring out what the menu buttons do is difficult in and of itself.

  23. I just played Virtue’s Last Reward. Its 2-3 stars [Excluding all the Scientific Vocabulary, which even natives can’t understand]

  24. What would the difficulty level of Super Danganronpa 2 for psp be, and would the menu’s gameplay and story all be different levels or same, I’m really wanting to play it but I don’t have a vita so I can’t play the english version, so if anybody could helpfully answer this question, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Try searching for “Japanese Recommendation Exchange” in the site search. There is usually a monthly post with lots of recommendations with star ratings.

    • This specific post is not, because as Jesper said, the updates now come in the form of the Japanese Recommendation Exchange posts. When I organize the recommendation posts (I do this yearly), I’ll probably add them into this post.

  25. This is really hard for me to gauge for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way it is setup. However, some of the really hard (4 star) videos I find to be more on the easy side, and the lesser (2 stars) to actually be kind of hard. I guess it depends on the movie/anime though. The super high pitch characters are almost next to impossible for me to understand even the english equivalent, haha. So i’m not really sure on how to measure on where i am. Do i need to be able to understand 100% of what is said to be able to say “yes im in the level 20/40 range” or just be able to understand whats going on as a whole? I feel like if i did this for English (my native language) I would be in the high 20s/30 range lol.

    • I think for 1 or 2 stars (Level 15 to 30), it means that “This show is simpler than others out there. Even if you don’t understand everything, you will be able to get some decent entertainment out of it.”

  26. This is so distressing. Decided to look at GTO because it was one star and found that I couldn’t understand any of it. If thats one star then I need to put in a lot more work into listening practice!

    Still loved it because its GTO obv

    • Dont worry ive had this exact same problem and noticed that this level thing isnt entirely accurate. I recently watched the first two episodes of kaliedo star and understood everything apart from a word here and there, yet ive watched and listened to gto several times over the last couple years and still cant follow a lot of the dialogue, maybe gto is really about two stars or maybe kaliedo star is just really easy i dunno

    • I think it is given a 1-star rating because it is easy to follow the general story, not necessarily because someone at the “1-star level” will understand everything being said.

      I remember reading Yotsubato awhile back at an earlier point in my studies and I was a little distressed that there was plenty in it that I did not know. Fortunately, it just pushed me to study harder. Looking back though, I think it would have been good for me to know that just because someone is in that “very easy/level 1-20” range doesn’t mean they are going to know everything that they come across in a “1-star” ranked material. It just means it is probably easy to enjoy and to learn something from.

    • Yeah the star rating only refers to “how difficult is it to understand this well enough to follow the action and enjoy it”. It doesn’t mean 100% comprehension (sometimes not even 33% comprehension!)

      It’s also more of an average, as difficulty of material can vary from episode to episode or chapter to chapter. Most of Yotsubato is pretty simple, but one of the chapters in the second volume is all about recycling, global warming, and carbon dioxide. Bit of a jump up from visiting the beach and catching bugs. Nothing to feel bad about if you don’t really “get it” when the adults are talking (neither does Yotsuba ^_-).

      Point being, as long as you’re enjoying the things you’re reading/watching/playing, I’d say try not to be too hard on yourself if you miss some finer details. Those will come to you in good time =)

  27. Can anyone tell me what the overall star rating for Higashino’s novels are? I’m thinking a four myself, but I’m also certain I’m wrong.

      • Figures, I’ll have to continue my “intensive” skimming.

        BTW, is there any way someone can write an article about vocab used in buying used items (esp. books)? I feel like this is something quite a few people can use…

    • He’s written so many, where would one begin?!

      I’ve only ever read one of his books (assuming you mean Higashino Keigo), and it was one of his first – 白馬山荘殺害事件. I didn’t really rate it as a mystery novel, but then he was just starting out as a writer. I found it fairly easy to follow the plot and all the twists, and I fully understood the trick to the murder and the motive, so I would probably rate it as a 3 star.

      If you want a recommendation for murder mysteries, I suggest Higashigawa Tokuya’s loosely-connected 烏賊川市 Series – great plots, complex murder mysteries, and hilarious black comedy moments.

      密室の鍵貸します
      密室に向かって撃て!
      完全犯罪に猫は何匹必要か?
      交換殺人には向かない夜
      中途半端な密室
      ここに死体を捨てないでください!

      I’d rate them all about 4 star.

  28. Hi, I’m new here. Has anyone ever played the higurashi no naku koro ni visual, or rather, sound novel? I’ve always love Japanese’s colorful subcultures, food and stuff, excluding the harsh ways of life they’re living. However it’s this one novel that I absolutely must reread it in it’s revamped and fully voiced PSVita Version.

    Can anyone rate for me “higurashi no naku koro ni”‘s difficulty? Also any help pointing me to the “absolute necessary” kanji characters and vocabs that are, well, vital in order to understand most normal conversations or text in japanese would be enormous help for me

    Thanks! :D

    • As a rule of the thumb, 95% of Visual Novels are 3 Stars (Including Higurashi). You won’t be able to understand everything, but it would at least be enjoyable.

      Unhelpful Answer- There is no such list, you have to experience it for yourself.

      Helpful Answer- “Absolute Necessary” means “at the very least” and not “everything”.OK? You fine with that?
      RTK is a good place to start for Kanji. About 3000 cards for normal conversations (excluding cultural references, news, names of people, place, vegetables). So upto JalUp Advanced.

      • It could just be my luck, but I’ve seen a lot of variation in VN games based on subject matter. “School Life” stuff seems to exist more in the 2-Star range, but when I played a game with heavy sci-fi/fantasy elements it was much closer to 4-Star. Something in-between like Robotics;Notes is about 3… Then I tried Planeterian and that was easily 5-Star+.

        That said, based on what little I know of Higurashi’s content, 3ish star difficulty is what I’d expect going in. That should at least be approachable given a year or so of study (which at a moderate pace is RTK + ~2-3k sentence cards – pretty close to Manan’s recommendation). The resources and Walkthrough on this site are great for helping you figure out how to get to that point – and of course the people here are pretty good about answering questions as well =)

        Good luck with your studies!

        (PS: You may want to consider changing the first part of your handle to “JP” or something. I’m not sure how it is in other countries, but at least in America the term “Jap” is widely seen as derogatory toward those of Japanese descent due to its historical use as a racial epithet.)

        • Thanks for the suggestions, Manan and Matt! So this RTK you are referring to is the Anki deck right? Or is it the book in amazon? Also if I’m going to use Anki, I think I would have to buy the 24.99 version since I don’t have much time at home these days.

          Also I think the best approach to learning a language is finding something you’re interested in the language and once you get the grasp of the basic readings and essential vocab you start reading the content of the subject in that language. I figure visual novel would do me justice here since even if i can’t read the kanji I still can repeat what the characters say and try to translate it from the pronunciation.

          My another question is that would very basic grammar understanding and tons of vocab and kanjis allow me to understand texts? I have this kind of mindset so correct me if I’m wrong here. :D

          Also English is my second language and said mindset has allowed me to study English with relative ease.

          Thanks!

          • Both, actually. RTK is the name of the book, and this site offers an “RTK Mod Deck” designed to save you the trouble of creating your own flash cards while studying the book.

            And yeah I think your approach is sound. I mostly play video games, and it’s working well for me.

            However, the jump from English grammar to Japanese grammar is dramatic. It’ll take substantial study effort to get to the point where you understand the grammar well enough for it to feel intuitive. Fortunately, going through the sentence card process (and in particular, the J-J transition process) really helps in that regard. And of course, picking up vocab is a long-term ongoing effort, as I’m sure you already know from picking up English =)

            I’ll also stress that with Japanese, connecting vocabulary to Kanji is extremely valuable. It allows you to pick up on many patterns you may have otherwise missed, and will ultimately enable you to guess the meaning and reading of many new words the first time you see them. It also helps with distinguishing homophones (try looking up こうてい in the dictionary sometime – I think it has 22 entries?), and serves as an anchor for vocabulary retention. It’s a lot of up-front effort, but don’t neglect your Kanji ^_^

          • -Anki is FREE on android (if you have one).
            -Visual novels are the main reason I started learning Japanese, because lets face it, it’s very rare to see a quality visual novel getting translated.
            –I hope this won’t discourage you, but you need you need to know this.
            –Everything you said IS spot on, if you change “grasp of the basic readings and essential vocab” to “grasp of 80% readings and advanced vocab” i.e. ~5000 cards.
            -In my experience, the “learn from immersion/being in wild” methods are good in theory, but fall apart in practice. Although immersion does wonders at an intermediate level, it could only serve as output, a display of your progress at beginner phase. You need to understand 90% to pick up 10%.

            -At level ~22, I tried to read Steins;Gate with a Text Hooker and auto import Anki. Hilarious fail. There were mixtures of informal speech, formal speech, made up vocab, real vocab etc. I mean, if I had continued , I might eventually would have understood it, but that understanding would cost a great deal of effort and be limited to the medium. I was not able to separate the useful from the useless and recognize patterns (a skill I had taken for granted in English). After 3.5 months of using JalUp decks, I am able to do just that and Steins;Gate is faaaar easier than it was. It is at this stage, I believe, you should immerse in the wild.

            -Watching TV shows was how I developed my English skills too. But, since I already knew 90% of the words being used, I was able to pick up the rest of the 10%.

            -Don’t get me wrong. I am not attacking Immersion. It is the most valuable tool at your disposal, but you MUST level it. Otherwise it would lead to disappointments and failures.

          • Thanks for your suggestions! I’ve been really busy so I was late to replying your comments.

            Matt, how much grammar do I need to know to understand most normal conversations? I’ve study a bit of grammar from my university’s elementary Japanese class but I’m graduating soon so I won’t be taking more of those.

            And Manan, The Jalup dacks you’re talking about are the ones that can be bought on this website? I don’t have an android unfortunately so I might have to buy Anki on my Iphone.

            • So for your goal (tackling a ~3 star VN), you’ll need Grammar *knowledge* roughly equivalent to 2 years of university classes. However, university classes are really slow, so it’s actually realistic to get through that level of material in ~2-4 months on your own. The JALUP Beginner deck (or equivalent) should get you there.

              Beyond Grammar “knowledge” though, is the matter of building your ability to understand it intuitively without constantly stopping to think it through. That takes time to train up and, IMO, the most effective way to do that is to spend some time with monolingual flash cards (ex: JALUP Intermediate – which I strongly recommend because it’s fantastic).

              So overall, if you self-study with the JALUP materials, you’re probably looking at ~4-8 months, depending on your current knowledge and rate of progress through J-J. Once you get to the point where you’re comfortable understanding explanations of what things mean *in Japanese*, you’ll have a pretty good shot at A) Enjoying RPGs and moderately difficult VNs and B) Learning words in context, or being able to isolate and look them up without too much difficulty.

              That said, I encourage you to wade in and start trying to play things as soon as you finish the “Beginner” level grammar. Even if you hit a brick wall and retreat for a couple months, it’ll give you a sense of how much progress you’ve made and how much further you need to go. Also, even once you’re able to start enjoying native media, try not to be too lax on your actual studies – you still have a lot to gain by continuing with the Advanced deck and beyond, or by starting to build your own deck using vocab from the stuff you’re reading/watching/playing.

              Good luck! =)

            • @JpNovelLover
              Exactly what Matt said.
              Aim for 10000 sentences!Best of Luck!

        • Oh, it’s nice to see Robotics;Notes being specifically mentioned… Alright, so out of curiosity, would you say that after going through JALUP Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, one would be close to being able to work their way through reading Robotics;Notes? Thanks!

          • Yeah, if you start it after finishing Advanced, you should be able to follow the general flow of the plot, and a large portion of the character interactions (あきちゃん最高!^_^). A lot of nuance will still get lost, but you’ll be able to enjoy the overall story and a good chunk of the humor.

            Things that will help you get more out of it:
            -Having completed RTK (even if the readings of unknown words are a mystery, you can often guess their meaning based on RTK keywords and context)
            -Being familiar with the story from another source (like having watched the anime or played the game previously in English)
            -Looking up unknown words that are used frequently (you’ll probably pick up some obscure technology vocab in the process, but it’ll be easy to remember because you see it often while playing, and it’ll help your reading flow more smoothly)
            -Allowing yourself to skip particularly difficult sections when you’re feeling totally lost/frustrated (like when an old government person gives a needlessly complicated explanation of something that’s not that important anyway)

            Good luck! =)

            • Thanks! I feel like I finally have a (somewhat) short term goal to work towards! I’ve owned R;N since its release, it was supposed to be something to aspire to be able to read but it always felt so far off. I did watch the anime, but I still want to read the VN. If it’s anything like how Steins;Gate was, the VN is chock full of “extra” content that didn’t make it into the anime, so that’s exciting! How useful are the TIPS in R;N?

  29. Hi there, fantastic site, I take the opportunity here to thank everyone for sharing their experience.

    Another great video game I haven’t seen on the list :
    Borderlands 2 ☆☆☆

  30. Tokyo Ghoul anime is listed under Manga. Jonathon probably meant that both the anime and the manga are three stars.

  31. I dont have a recommendation however I was wondering what level would Gaki no Tsukai, more specifically, Downtown no Gaki no tsukai ya arahende (ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで) Variety Show would be? I know it is way above my level but this is what I enjoy watching (without subtitles, of course) in my free time, so I was just curious!

    • It depends on what they are doing. Downtown and other members of the show speak in heavy Osaka-Ben. However, the skits are fairly visual, making it easier. For conversation by itself probably 4 stars. For visual skits, maybe 2.

  32. Planetarian is NOT 5 Stars in rating. Like, it’s one of the easier Visual Novels I’ve ever read. Sure it’s 5 stars in “rating” (and in emptying your tear ducts, and it deals complex stuff which requires *some* specialized vocabulary (which is necessary as it is a Sci-Fi), but difficulty level is at most a 3. There are a few words that are too advanced, but they have loan word furigana. Here’s a video of it in action:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMSQIpwruw

    • Maybe for someone who’s really into novels & VNs? I dunno, I find it reasonably difficult (but manageable) even at a mid-50’s level, and I utterly failed trying to make sense of it in the mid 30’s. For me it’s at least a solid 4 (based on the rating scale above), but I think getting other opinions and averaging them in is valid as well.

      • It think 4 should be a great average, but I’ll still stand by my 3 star rating. Atleast Planetarian is readable and uses Hiragana! Many Visual Novels do not even use hiragana for artistic purposes and it reads like chinese. The fact that Planetarian , Dies Irae and Muramasa are in the same linguatic category seems wrong. The latter two are popular for being toughest VNs (native people have trouble reading them, lots of obscure vocab, sometimes reads like chinese), while the former is a…key title. At level 4 we have Muv-Luv Alternative, and Umineko, which are still way tougher than Planetarium due to the fact that they are linguistically and logically complex.So, Planetarium could either be easier of level 4 VN, or tougher of level 3 VNs.

  33. Today, I was enlightened. I was watching doraemon even though my Japanese is nowhere near enough to grasp everything, then I was watching an episode about multiplying cream puffs. I didn’t understand everything that was said but I was really absorbed in it and actually laughed quite a lot without even realizing that I didn’t understand everything. It was like watching regular tv, I just enjoyed it and forgot that it was even Japanese. That was a really fun experience and I hope I keep on having them.

    • I’d recommend watching the movie “Stand by me Doraemon” with Japanese subtitles. It’s basically a whole summary of the series, and the language used in this movie is easier as compared to series.

  34. I’ll add to the Novel list
    3*
    ぱぱのいうことを聞きなさい!
     ハリーポッターと。。。
     六畳間の侵略者
     ログ ホライゾン
     遊びに行くヨ!
    4*
    狼と香辛料

    漫画
    2*
     love so life
    ぱぱきき
     ケンニチ 最強の弟子
    銀の匙
     

    • Thanks very much. Will add on next update.

      I also didn’t realize that ログホライゾン was a novel (I enjoyed the anime… for the most part). Will have to check it out.

  35. There’s a few anime I’d like to watch, but I’m trying to sort them by how difficult they are. Can someone rate Revolutionary Girl Utena, Full Metal panic! or Planetes?

    I’m watching the Fruits Basket anime and I think it’s 2, maybe 3 stars. I miss most of the plot-heavy conversations, but it’s still enjoyable.

    I’m only a couple episodes into the Cardcaptor Sakura anime but it’s very fun and easier than Fruits Basket, so probably 2 stars.

    I’m around level 20.

    • I think I saw Full Metal Panic many years ago, and I remember there being a lot of military terminology raising up the difficulty a bit, so I’d say 4 stars. Not sure on the others.

    • Semi-wild guess since it’s been many moons since I watched it, but I’d say Utena is around 3 stars? There are some weird words/phrases, but due to the structure of the show there’s a ton of repetition, which is actually pretty awesome for listening practice.

      I’ll bet you could enjoy it to some extent at level 20, but there’s only one way to find out!

      It’s a crazy (and awesome) show though — definitely check it out at some point if not now.

  36. By any chance how many stars would lord of the rings be? I know Adam mentioned he read it somewhere. Would that be 6 stars? I find the book pretty slow reading in English and im a native lol

  37. I’d like to ask, pretend I know every vocabulary word in Japanese. What grammar level jalup deck wise to enjoy final fantasy? Because according to what I know, these ratings are based on grammar and vocabulary knowledge.

    • I think it’ll vary depending on a number of factors, but for what it’s worth…

      I actually got a lot of value out of re-playing Final Fantasy X while I was ~halfway through the Intermediate deck. However, I’d also played it in English previously, so that helped me to avoid getting stuck/frustrated if I didn’t understand something.

      If you want to play a Final Fantasy (or equivalently complex) story-heavy game that you *haven’t* played previously, I’d suggest being most or all of the way through Advanced to make it more manageable.

      Also, fantasy RPGs use a lot of “archaic” grammar to give flavor to certain characters’ speech styles (often knights, nobles, deities, etc). The JALUP decks cover some of this, but most of it you have to pick up as you go. While it’s kind of intimidating at first, you’ll get used to it as you see it over and over, and just kind of learn the patterns by osmosis.

  38. 月刊少女野崎くん (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) is listed three times in the 2-star Anime section.

  39. Can I have this added? I don’t know how to grade it but here:
    -I’ve almost finished jalup beginner
    -The only things I don’t understand is vocab, the game’s grammar is completely understandable
    -It uses kanji that I don’t know the reading for yet but I can tell what they mean
    -I would say I understand 40-60% of it but I do enjoy it, I just need to look up vocab

    The game is Mario & Luigi RPG 3 (マリオ&ルイージRPG3!), I assume if someone were to finish Jalup Intermediate and the JRPG themed deck, they could easily tackle this game with no trouble. So I assume one star and a half? Can someone much more experienced grade this based on what I provided or if they played it before too.

    Localized in the US as:Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

  40. Where do you guys find your unsubbed anime? I am having a hard time finding them in (you know where).

    • Crunchyroll for me. Most videos, at least from the last few years, have the option to disable subtitles by right-clicking the video.

  41. I found Cardcaptor Sakura easy to understand. Even though I didn’t understand most of the dialogue, I could understand enough to follow the plot and enjoy watching it. Maybe 1 star?

    Also, what is the difference between numbers 13 and 17 under 1 star anime? :3

  42. Recently I’ve been watching Flying Witch and I think that one might be good for beginners. I’m still pretty beginner-ish myself and was watching with subtitles, but I did pick up a lot of words in the latest episode. I’d say it’s 1 or maybe 2 stars, since I remember one scene in an earlier episode where one character speaks in a different dialect.

  43. After rewatching it, I suspect that 坂の上の雲 (Clouds Above the Hill) should be bumped up to 4 stars.

  44. I’m struggling really hard to read Re:Zero Web Novel/Light Novel . Could someone gives an estimate on what level this series fall onto?

    P.s. I notice that this guide lacks a lot of Web novels/ Light Novel categories e.g. Overlord, The rise of shield hero, Hataraku maousama, Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru…, KonoSuba, etc.

  45. Hello,

    I was wondering how the following light novels compare in terms of difficulty:

    1) GJ bu
    2) Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
    3) Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
    4) Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

  46. I’ve been watching and really enjoying the drama Legal High. It’s maybe a two star? It’s not as if it’s all easy to understand but even though it’s a legal drama it’s lighthearted and funny and the story is told in a very visual way so even if you don’t pick up many words you can still follow and enjoy it.

    (And there’s a lot of repetition of some simple words like “shachou” and “ningen”)

  47. I have a few anime that I didn’t see on your list:
    -Shakugan no Shana
    -Watamote
    -Madoka Magica (including the movies)
    -Tokyo Mew Mew anime

    Also, the L*DK drama. I have never watched it but I have heard it is good for beginners.

  48. Sorry for double commenting but I remembered a few more:
    -Lucky Star
    -Love Live
    -Yuri on Ice
    -Free
    -Cardcaptor Sakura
    -Shugo Chara
    -Sailor Moon
    -Sailor Moon Crystal
    -Fairy Tail
    -My name your name (movie)
    -Ergo Proxy

    If any of these are already there and I didn’t see them I apologize >.<

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