At least from my perspective.
So I saw someone complain about why we include the notes here instead of, say, in-episode, or alternatively sub in such a way that notes are completely unnecessary. Unfortunately, this is the best compromise we’ve got. It’s pretty clear that using notes in the actual episode can be distracting, and the point of subtitles is to give the viewer as close to the original experience as possible. Moreover, most things that we need to note (and honestly, we note more than we need to) can be figured out with context anyway.
For example, you can run into a lot of trouble when trying to translate food names. Most people know that onigiri means “rice ball”, not jelly donut. Sushi is a fully fledged loanword. But what about okonomiyaki? Being literal and saying “fried stuff you like” is not only wrong but also misleading. So what do you do? 1) Leave it, and either do or don’t note it as you see fit. 2) Do a simple localization to “pancake” and let the viewer figure out that it’s not quite accurate? Maybe 3) Get as close as possible and say something like “cabbage pancake”? Honestly, though we may each have our own preferences there’s no magical best way that everyone will agree to.
Here at Mezashite we will 9 times out of 10 opt for the first option. Those of you with some knowledge of Japanese culture will understand right away, and most of the rest of the viewers will understand through context. In Kiniro Mosaic I’m pretty sure we left kokeshi untranslated, and put a note on the site. Fortunately, even if you don’t recognize the word you should be able to pick up it’s meaning pretty quickly from the images they show you.
That’s probably about it. Maybe Etoce will have something to add later, or maybe he’ll actually finish the rant he’s writing right now.