Israeli Libat Rosenstock, 17, speaks perfect English. Of course she does. She learned it from Japanese films.
Not just any Japanese films, mind you. Her English came from speed-reading the subtitles on the anime cartoons she devours.
Anime, for those not in the know, is Japanese animation. You've probably seen it around - huge-eyed characters with tiny mouths and elfin features, often taking on dragons or evil sorcerers with their fantastical magic powers, or massive, lethal samurai swords.
Anime has a lock on so many young Israelis that a satellite channel now broadcasts the animated films round the clock.
And when hundreds of fans gathered at Israel's first national anime convention at the International Convention Center in Tel Aviv on Sunday night, the air had a decidedly teen feel to it:
The noise is quite overwhelming, most it coming from a stage at the far end of the room, on which three young men are performing. They're obviously a hit, most likely because what they turn out to be playing are the theme tunes from popular anime cartoons. Below them, a hundred or so people are singing along - in Japanese. It sounds very impressive.
"This is our love in life," says Libat, one of the event's co-organizers. Libat, who looks quite fabulous a blue satin number, has come dressed as one of her favourite characters, who I think is called Shuuichi.
I get the feeling that pretty, smiling Libat is the Kylie Minogue of the Israeli anime world. When she steps on stage for her own excellent performance of a Japanese theme song, there are actually screams. She is also mobbed afterwards and I have to extract her from the hall to have an uninterrupted conversation.
Libat explains that she got into anime through the insanely popular Pokemon cartoons, which first appeared in Israel about five years ago.
Hooked by the series about a little yellow alien (Pikachuu) and his friends, she became more engrossed in anime and consequently Japanese culture itself.
The anime crowd, she confides, pepper their conversations with Japanese words. I myself came away with a couple of very useful words - baka, which means stupid, and kawai, which means cute. Presumably for use in the phrase: He's soooo kawai! What are you, baka?
Actually, there is not just one anime crowd in Israel, there are lots of communities, all with forums and chat rooms and scores of Hebrew web sites devoted to anime.
Many of the communities' members found their way to north Tel Aviv for the exhibition.
Libat and her co-organizer, 17-year-old Chen Weiss, are reticent about giving an exact figure of attendees, but make a rough estimate of 600 plus. "Not that we did a survey," says Chen, but asserts that if that many make it to the convention, then there are at least several thousand anime fans in Israel.
Not that the exhibition is overly lavish. A few stalls bearing a plethora of anime books, videos, comics and posters, interspersed with a line of computers for game-playing, are all that is on offer. But the crowd seems more than satisfied.
In one corner is a table heaped with pencils and paper, and a group are busy drawing manga images. Manga is the style of drawing that the anime is based on (I think).
Some of the drawings being produced are amazingly good. I corner Tomer from Caesarea, who also tells me that he became interested in anime through watching Pokemon cartoons. He shows me some of his drawings, which are beautiful and a lot more sophisticated than those of small banana-colored ET wannabes. He says that he prefers to draw humans, and I can see why.
Feeling emboldened, I ask Tomer and his friends if they have ventured into the world of hentai - anime of a more adult nature. Cartoon porn, in fact.
They all laugh, in a slightly embarrassed way. Oh no, they eventually assure me. "Too grotesque," says Tomer firmly. But then again, they are teenagers, and a couple of them do seem to know a little too much about it to be as innocent as they claim.