French director Jean-Pierre Limosin has made four features, but in recent years has concentrated on documentaries. He originally planned to shoot Tokyo Eyes in France, which may account for the film's odd rhythms and disorienting feel. A peculiar combination of Nancy Drew mysteries and noir send-ups, the movie is a pleasant but modest item geared towards cult audiences.
Tokyo is baffled by 'Four-Eyes,' a shooter who has been attacking victims seemingly at random, in bookstores, public baths, batting cages and parks. Roy (Tetta Sugimoto), a police detective, is obsessed with the case, ignoring the demands of his 17 year old sister Hinano (Hinano Yoshikawa). Bored by her job in a beauty salon, and hurt by her brother's indifference, Hinano decides to pursue the case on her own.
Hinano spies a youth surreptitiously videotaping passengers on a commuter train. On a whim, she follows the boy to his apartment in the Shimokitazawa district. Later, she persuades her co-worker Naomi (Kaori Mizushima) to accompany her as she tails her subject through his neighborhood. When the boy confronts her in a deserted alley, Hinano allows him to take her to his apartment.
K (Shinji Takeda), as the boy calls himself, turns out to be a software designer and musician who likes video games. He seems harmless, but after Hinano leaves, she secretly follows him to a bookstore. She watches through a window as K pulls a gun on a surly clerk. Hinano turns away in shock when K opens fire.
Hinano debates with herself whether or not to tell her brother about K. While she knows he is Four-Eyes, part of her is convinced that he wouldn't really hurt anyone. Over a series of dates, Hinano gives K a haircut, dances with him on a commuter train, and gets him into a trendy nightclub.
Hinano confronts K in his apartment after he shoots a surly bouncer at the club. He shows her how he's modified his pistol so that it won't fire straight. His Four-Eyes alter ego is more interested in scaring people than in actually hurting anyone. But K's theories about humanity are put to a test when a yakuza (Takeshi Kitano) tries to get back the gun he loaned him.
Tokyo Eyes has its share of charming moments, especially when winsome Hinano Yoshikawa tries to be a detective. But the film is just as liable to detour into long passages in which little of note occurs. At other points, the plot veers into puzzling tangents that don't quite add up. Among the oddities is actor-director Kitano (the subject of a Limosin documentary), who delivers an idiosyncratic turn in what amounts to a cameo. Still, the film's calm, quiet tone and outsider's point of view give unexpected depth to what ends up a slender but enjoyable story.