Questions about learning in general

The first animes I had used for studying are: Isshuukan friends, my neighbor totoro, shirokuma cafe and natsume’s book of friends. Especially the first two are fairly easy, but this does not mean that you will understand them right away. It actually took me lots of active practice to understand most of it. After those anime, I used whatever I was interested in. In general, I would recommend to start with slice of life, as it teaches less foul language than e.g. fighting. Also, the difficulty does not matter too much, if you use the right mining strategy: Absolutely make sure to only use easy parts for your active studies and skip everything that is too hard. More on the mining strategy here (outdated though).

…doing the jlab beginner’s course / genki / any other starter resource? Unfortunately, my honest answer is: You will understand very little. Here’s my experience: After learning the basics, I studied with around 250 episodes of anime, maybe more. In addition to the 4k flashcards I had already in Anki, I mined around 15k more flashcards from tv shows and throughout the whole process, there was always a lot of stuff I could not understand. Especially when only listening to this without reading the subs. So decent fluency in listening comp will take a huge effort, but it’s worth it.

Technical questions

Change this in the deck options (not the general settings): It’s called: don’t play audio automatically.

If you want to turn the vocab cards into English -> Japanese, you can exchange the front/back templates. If you want to do both Japanese -> English and English Japanese, you need to add a second card type and exchange front/back templates on that type. You can add a new card with the options button on the right (see first image). Afterwards, you should move the English -> Japanese cards to a new deck (second image).

Switch front / back template:

Move English -> Japanese cards (only if you created a new card type):