I am new to learning Japanese. It seemed daunting to me, but I wanted to do it anyway.
After reading many reviews on Amazon. I started here. Everyone talked about how quickly this book got them going and I must say it is very true. I had a week of fall break and ordered this book. At the end of the week I have completed the book.
As I went about it from the beginning, I was thinking, "This isn't going to help me memorize the Hiragana." But as I went on the repetion of the quizzes brought me into a quick memorization. By the end, I was able to complete a word search in hiragana and could tell/write the sound for any of the symbols and vice-versa.
The great thing is that you can set your own pace. There's no rush of a classroom. Just go along as you get each section. You can do it in as short a week if you like. Or you can take a month.
I would recomend this book to anyone who has never studied japanese.