Foreground video, background video, foreground audio, background
audio, twisting double-meanings that take a few extra seconds to
parse (& the good stuff won't slow down for you), and the occasional
"I missed that entire scene because I was still laughing so hard
from the previous one."
Add to all this (for those of us who don't (yet) speak
Japanese), subtitles. Right now, I know enough japanese to
catch bits and pieces of spoken dialog. This then gives me 1-2
audio-dialog, 1 visual-dialog, and 1-2 video tracks to attempt to
follow. That's up to five raw channels. In addition, the audio
channels and the subtitle channel are presenting the same information
not only in different languages (with different connotations &
alternate meanings), but also through different senses.
You get to have fun decoding the audio signal & decrypting
the video signal completely independently and allow them to meet
in the middle, & play off each other...
And that's not even getting into the content coming through those
channels, which can be deep
than your average human can keep up with in realtime
This is what makes anime head-filling. This is why anime is
unique, and why it can be so nifty.
I'm almost afraid to continue my studies in Japanese. If
I continue on, I will no longer need the subtitles, and will lose
a channel of content.
Subtitles do not detract from anime, they enrich it.