I have mentioned before that you should never, ever use English subtitles when watching a Japanese video. Watching something with English subtitles is the same as watching something with English audio. Unfortunately, you often find great Japanese content with English subtitles that can’t be removed. This is a very common problem with online streaming content such as Japanese movies on Netflix, or most things on YouTube.
You may think to yourself, “Well I just won’t look at the bottom of the screen and I’ll be just fine.” You can usually go a few minutes like that, but you will give in to temptation. Look down once and you’re done.
Solution: open a folder or small program. I usually use notepad. Minimize it so all you see is the bar. Then position it over the subtitles.
Video with subtitles:
Video with subtitles blocked:
It does slightly get in the way of the actual video, but so do subtitles. It is much more preferable than having the constant urge to dip your eyes towards the bottom of the screen.
I’ve never really had the problem using a TV, since DVDs and Blu-ray have the option to disable subtitles, but I suppose you could tape a small strip of paper along the bottom of your TV to cover it up.
Movie screenshots from: Big Dreams Little Tokyo