No matter what way you look at it, learning Kanji will be a tough task. Just know your not alone and it’s been done before by non-native speakers. In Japan students learn Kanji through huge amounts of repetition over years of schooling, we on the other hand don’t have this time, we cannot depend merely on repetition to learn. Books like Remembering Japanese Characters help us speed up the process through learning Mnemonics, a memory assisting system that utilizes imagination, stories, and imagery. There are many other options for Kanji books, this is just what I was able to get as a hand me down.
Though not required, I would highly recommend purchasing this work book if you buy the Genki 1 Text book. The work book capitalizes on the lessons from the text book, and helps you hone your skills through lots of practice. It also includes a dvd for listening practice. I would recommend buying the work book new, since you will want to write in your own answers in the the pages.
Probably the most well known the Japanese text book, and for good reason. Genki covers a wide array of topics including: grammar concepts, vocab, culture, and Kanji. It’s a great staring point for a Japanese learner, and in College 101-103 classes as wells as by many self studies over seas.
I would recommend trying to find this book used since it’s in the $50-$60 range brand-new.