Nihongo Master was founded in 2011 by software engineer Taylor Dondich. Not dissimilar to JapanesePod101, Nihongo Master is a web service that offers Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Japanese online lessons. All lessons, and there are literally hundreds of them, are interactive and include an elaborate (vocabulary, grammar, and kanji) drill system, quizzes tied to an repetition/achievement system, audio files featuring native speakers, and a 'leaderboard' that ranks the most studious members of the Nihongo Master community (based on daily, weekly and all-time scores).
The site's main part is the "Classroom" section, divided into three skill levels
- Introductory: 41 lessons covering hiragana, katakana as well as basic phrases and vocabulary
- Beginner: some 150 lessons covering the grammar and the vocabulary as well as the kanji needed to pass the JLPT N5
- Advanced: 75 lessons covering everything needed for the JLPT N4
The introductory are free. All other levels are paid (20 USD/month, 100 USD/6 months, 160 USD/year) and offer additional features, such as premium lessons, personal study lists, practice writing sheets, and custom vocabulary drills.
The "Community" consists of a forum (with groups and teams), a Questions section and a live Chat system.
The "Dictionary" section is basically a simplified J/E-E/J dictionary. Simplified indeed, as it does not seem to permit kanji input.
Many lessons are based on short manga episodes, something that might certainly appeal to younger students of Japanese who are used to reading Japanese comics.