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252: Signal of Life (2008)

252: Seizonsha ari (original title)
A massive earthquake strikes off mainland Japan causing the temperature of the Pacific Ocean to rise meteorically, leading to a massive storm to hit Tokyo and for it to be inundated with ... See full summary »


Nobuo Mizuta


Yoichi Komori (screenplay & original story), Nobuo Mizuta (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Hideaki Itô ... Yuji Shinohara
Seiyô Uchino Seiyô Uchino ... Shizuma Shinohara (as Masaaki Uchino)
Takayuki Yamada ... Makoto Shigemura
Yû Kashii ... Saki Umino
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûichi Kimura Yûichi Kimura ... Keisuke Fujii
Satoshi Matsuda Satoshi Matsuda ... Ippei Aoki
Minji Minji ... Kim
Masahiko Nishimura ... Akio Kogure
Yôichi Nukumizu Yôichi Nukumizu ... Haruo Tsudanuma
Sachiko Sakurai Sachiko Sakurai ... Yumi Shinohara
Takafumi Sasai Takafumi Sasai
Hideyuki Satô Hideyuki Satô
Katsuhiko Shimizu Katsuhiko Shimizu
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto ... Tetsushi Mashiba
Masataka Tsutsumi Masataka Tsutsumi


A massive earthquake strikes off mainland Japan causing the temperature of the Pacific Ocean to rise meteorically, leading to a massive storm to hit Tokyo and for it to be inundated with water. Later the largest typhoon in recorded Japanese history hits Tokyo. The Tokyo Fire Department and its team of crack rescuers swing into action, and shortly after they do, a distress call arises from an underground subway station - with repeated indications of the rescue code, 252 252, and the exclamation "We Have Survivors." It soon becomes apparent that the local rescue squad must attempt to save the survivors, doing so at the expense of their own lives and safety. Written by Nathan Southern

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

6 December 2008 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

252 Signal of Life See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Realistic Approach To Disaster Flicks!!
16 December 2019 | by Movie-MisfitSee all my reviews

Inspired by a real-life rescue event, 252: Sign Of Life is at times a pretty stunning disaster (and survival) movie that is huge on scale and delivers a very realistic view on the intensity and drama involved in such an event!

Japan is no stranger to disaster and destruction of its cities. From Godzilla to Ultraman, and from the devastating bombing of Hiroshima to the equally unfortunate Tsunami of 2011, the poor people of the Nippon island have had some hatefully bad luck...

In 252 however, there are no monsters this time. Disaster is brought down hard on the people of Tokyo as a mega-typhoon hits them flooding the city with tidal waves, taking lives with giant hailstones, leaving many residents dead or stranded and then some. One such team of people are a bunch of strangers stuck in the washed out subway tunnels - two of which are a father, Yuji Shinohara, and his deaf-mute daughter, Shiori.

Luckily, in some respect, Yuji is a former member of the Hyper Rescue Squad who tries to guide the unwilling team to a safe spot and work on finding some rescue from above. At the same time, unfortunately, the typhoon gets even worse!

I liked 252: Sign Of Life. While those who are used to the big, brash, fast moving CGI filled Hollywood disaster flicks such as 2012, San Andreas, Geostorm etc may find things a little more modest and slow moving here, it is for good reason. The film focuses on the reality of the problem from the melodrama of the fire crew and their rescue attempts, to the plight of the people both those who are trapped, and those who are safe.

That said, the film does offer plenty of visuals to enjoy from tidal waves to the flooding of Tokyo, the destruction of the city and subways, and much more! The sets are incredible looking and well used in bringing more tension and realism to the story, and the super cute Ayane Omori who plays Shiori, steals pretty much every scene she's in helping deliver a pretty emotional ending...

Overall: At times intense and heavy on drama, but 252: Sign Of Life proves to be a more believable disaster flick than most Hollywood offerings...

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