Hitomi no Naka no Houmonsha
1977 / 100m - Japan
Mystery, Fantasy
The Visitor in the Eye poster


June 15, 2022


Obayashi does Tezuka's Black Jack. I'm familiar with the character, not so much with the setup of the franchise, but it is safe to say that Obayashi's take is a pretty peculiar one. Black Jack is only a secondary character in this story, a mere catalyst and observer. Regardless the film's origins, Obayashi crafts another fun little genre bender.

Chiaki is a gifted tennis player, but she hurts her eye during a match. Chances are she'll never be able to see again through that eye, so her boyfriend comes up with a solution. He finds a donor eye, and together they go to Black Jack to get the operation done. Things get weird when Chiaki suddenly starts getting visions through her new eye.

There's no House-like kookiness here, but it's definitely an odd enough film. A mix of several genres, blending mystery and romance with a dedicated live action anime vibe. There are some memorable moments, the core mystery is fun and the pacing perfect. Fans of Obayashi would do well to seek this one out.