Why not learn new words in kanji right away? This is the way I am learning japanese, I learn a kanji, try to guess what it means and why it is written like that and not the other way, and then it's much easier to memorize the meaning of this kanji, I mean not the translation, but the real meaning, the state it calls for. So I see Tokyo not as a bunch of symbols, but as an eastern capital, and the same with every word.
That's a valid option, but I'd rather get used to pronunciation first and hiragana is just much more stable at that. You can memorise it in a short period of time while learning kanji is practically never ending. Getting into it straight away will hinder the process. Speech defines language, writing is just transcribing speech. Using a mobile app already assumes seeking the easiest way possible, but you can always find your own sources to learn kanji. Maybe it should be an option here though.
This is not about the Japanese language but about transcriptions of Japanese names into the Latin alphabet. This is something that we do as non-Japanese people, to enable us to write Japanese names in a way that non-Japanese people will be able to read them. It is not part of the Japanese language or the Japanese writing system.
I feel the same way, I can recognize a few kanji but that's only because I've studied them outside of Duolingo... I feel like I'm missing something, none of this was in the "theory" part, nor verbs like sunde which means live or even います... Should I get like 3-4 levels on all the previous before continuing?