This is more of a curiosity, and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask or meta would be better (but I didn't find any appropriate tags there), but lately while watching anime with Japanese subtitles I noticed there are a lot of words or expressions marked rare or unusual in dictionaries; I see them in one anime, maybe in just one episode, then I never see them again; I guess they are used also in other places, but it seems to me they are used far far less than others. Some examples I jotted down for this question are 飼い殺し, 気に障る, 癇に障る, 親身になって, よからぬ, 回し者 and so on.
I spoke with a friend of mine, with a degree in Japanese and enough skill to live in Japan and watch anime without subtitles, and she said that she encounters a lot of words she doesn't understand, but infers from context and sound (like hearing 「てんめい」 while a character is speaking about a store, and understanding it means "store name" from てん/店 + めい/名), enough that without being able to infer them she would find difficult to follow anime.
It's a while I'm wondering about the number of words used in Japanese (or at least in anime), and I got a feeling that Japanese (or at least anime) uses far more words than English shows and English anime translations; and in Japanese there are very specific words (like 飼い殺し), and a lot of words from the same general concept (like all the ways to say "Eat", or "Speak", or "I"), which reinforces my feeling.
This got me thinking: is this something normal also for native speakers? On one hand, they are native speakers, so they are constantly immersed in the language; on the other hand, if a word is rare enough it's not easy to remember it, despite being native. I'm pretty sure there are words in my native language I forgot just because I don't get to use them often enough, and I'm sure it happened in English (which I use every day, but it's not my native language).
I found some interesting answers on the topic of non-standard or invented workds (like this and this), but they doesn't really answer my doubt, which is more on rare but existing words and expressions.
Edit: It seems my question wasn't clear, sorry about that. In English and my native language I (almost) never have to infer words meaning from the context, while I found people with good Japanese skills saying they have to do that - and quite often. Given also that I have a feeling Japanese uses more words than other languages as English, I was wondering if this "I don't know this word, but I get it from context" is something that is normal also for native speakers. I'm not sure if this is fit for SE, if not I apologize, but I wasn't able to find an answer elsewhere so I tought about trying here.