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Kagayake! Taiyou Sentai! Sun! Vulcan!
Taiyō Sentai Sun Vulcan (Solar Squadron Sun Vulcan) is the fifth Super Sentai series, which aired from 1981 to 1982.
Three soldiers from the Guardians of World Peace (GOWP) are assembled to become Sun Vulcan. Their mission: to defend the world from the machinations of the Machine Empire Black Magma.
The only Super Sentai entry that continues the storyline from the previous show, it featured the first animal-themed team of rangers, as well as the first sword-wielding red ranger. It is also notable for having the Sentai team with the fewest members (with just three full-time heroes instead of the usual five) and the only one without a female ranger.
- Ryūsuke Ōwashi (Vul Eagle I): The original Hero; an Air Force Officer. He leaves to research Space Shuttles in America, and is replaced by...
- Takayuki Hiba (Vul Eagle II): The new Hero and Master Swordsman.
- Kin'ya Samejima (Vul Shark): The Lancer; a Naval Officer.
- Asao Hyō (Vul Panther): Strong Bumbling Eater, and Army Officer.
Their allies include::
- Commander Daisaburō Arashiyama: The Mentor. The weapons expert and commander of the Sun Vulcan team. Designed the team's mecha and was prepared for anything.
- Misa Arashiyama: The daughter of the Commander. She became a temporary fourth member of sorts for one episode when she fought Red Rose Mask as White Rose Mask.
The main units comprising Black Magma are::
- The Omnipotent God: The real Big Bad
- Hell Saturn: The supposed Big Bad.
- Queen Hedrian: Once the Big Bad from the last series, now the Back from the Dead dragon.
- Amazon Killer: The Dark Chick.
- Zero Girls: The Amazon Brigade.
- Inazuma Ginga: The Starscream - Amazon Killer's former assistant. Is on the run from the Space Police.
Recurring Super Sentai tropes:
- Animal Motif: First Sentai team to have one.
- By the Power of Grayskull: "Sun Vulcan!", or their individual names.
- Chest Insignia: The sun-shaped badges on the Sun Vulcan suits. The team also makes use of the belt buckle variant, featuring images of their animals on the belts.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: As the only Sentai teams to consist of only three members during the show's entire run, the colors for the members are red, blue and yellow, the same set of colors that would be used by every later Sentai team that started off as a trio. However, the codenames are animal-based rather than color-based, with "Vul" (not "Vulcan" or "Sun") being used as the head word.
- Combination Attack
- Cool Airship: The Jaguar Vulcan
- Cool Bike: The Shark Machine and the Panther Machine.
- Cool Car: Vul Eagle's Sand Vulcan jeep.
- Crossover: Subverted. Even though it's set in the same universe and shares the same lead villainess, the show never had an actual crossover with Denziman despite hints of the show heading in that direction.
- Finishing Move
- Five-Man Band: Averted Trope for obvious reasons, since there is only three of them. Unlike JAKQ Dengekitai and the later Choujuu Sentai Liveman, there were no additional members to round out the missing two. Commander Arashiyama and Samejima both fill some of The Smart Guy's role, while Misa is The Chick, but they don't fight alongside the Sun Vulcans.
- Home Base: The Vulcan Base. It gets destroyed mid-series and replaced by the New Vulcan Base.
- Humongous Mecha: The Sun Vulcan Robo, the first Combining Mecha in Super Sentai, which is composed of the Cosmo Vulcan jet piloted by Eagle and the Bull Vulcan tank co-piloted by Shark and Panther.
- In the Name of the Moon: Kagayake!  Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan!
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Vul Eagle is the only Vulcan who pilots an individual mecha. After Hiba replaces Ōwashi, Eagle also starts using a sword in battle, becoming the only Vulcan with a Weapon of Choice.
- Monster of the Week: The Machine-Lifeform Mongers.
- Make My Monster Grow: Present, and accounted for. Like last year, the monsters activate it for themselves (almost always right after the Vulcan Ball.) Reverting to human size is possible, but it doesn't happen much.
- Mooks: Machinemen. Also Mecha-Mooks.
- Elite Mooks: Dark Q, androids that can mimic human appearances.
- Mookmobile: The Hell Fighter jets.
- The Movie
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase: The series doesn't really have one for the next episode previews, but the narration at the end of each episode tends to end with similar encouraging phrases.
- Regular Caller:
- The Smurfette Principle: The Vulcans themselves were an all-men team and the closest thing the show had to a heroine was Commander Arashiyama's daughter Misa, who dons the disguise of White Rose Mask for exactly one episode.
- Theme Music Power-Up
- Transformation Name Announcement: "Change! Sun Vulcan Robo!"
- Transformation Trinket: The Vul Brace.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Cool Sword: The Vulcan Sticks.
- Improbable Weapon User: Like Goranger, the Sun Vulcan possess two sports balls that are used as finishers:
- Vulcan Ball: A volleyball.
- New Vulcan Ball: A trio of (American) footballs that merge into a spiked volleyball.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Hiba possesses one of his own.
Tropes specific to Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan:
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Mid-way through, the Sun Vulcan Base is destroyed, necessitating its replacement with a new one.
- Arm Cannon: Used by the robot impersonating Dr. Uemura's daughter in Episode 11.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Hyō pulls one of these off in episode 15.
- Crazy Prepared: Commander Arashiyama definitely was, he took out a Dark Q that was attempting to escape with a trapdoor placed in a hallway. Not to mention the incident mentioned above.
- Catch the Sun: As in the opening theme's lyrics.
- Dancing Theme: The team dances to the Image Song "Kagayake! Sun Vulcan" in a few episodes. The dance moves are actually consistent between uses too.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: One episode's plot involves shooting an aspiring baseball star with a laser that makes him stronger, but makes him extremely aggressive, and weak if he doesn't receive annual treatment. What little subtlety is lost near the end, where he's transformed into a crazed beast-man.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In addition to having the fewest rangers out of all the Sentai shows (with only three full-time members at the same time instead of five), it is also the only show without a female ranger (not counting Misa's one-episode tenure as the White Rose Mask), as well as the only show where the red ranger was replaced during the middle of its run.
- Elemental Powers: Not as prominent as some seasons, but the Sun Vulcans do have elements associated with them, via special attacks with their Vulcan Sticks.
- Elemental Punch: Sun Vulcan Robo's Fire Punch attack.
- Enemy Civil War: Inazuma Ginga kills Hell Saturn, but Hell Saturn returns as a ghost, at which point Omnipotent God reveals himself.
- Expositron 9000: The evil plot in episode 43.
- Expy: Yukie Kagawa (Amazon Killer) played a similar character named Amazoness in Toei's Japanese Spider-Man series.
- Fake Defector: Hiba's friend in episode 44.
- Follow That Car!: Samejima and Ōwashi pull this in episode 10, when following Hyō on a date the commander believes was set up by Black Magma. Then they realize that their driver's a Dark Q, and the cab's booby trapped.
- Freudian Trio: The only one to compose an entire Sentai.
- Ego: Ōwashi (#1-23) and Hiba (#23-50).
- Superego: Samejima
- Id: Hyō
- Genetic Memory: Taken advantage of by the Time Monger to make a mechanic relive his pirate ancestor's memories so Black Magma can find out where the pirate hid his treasure.
- Gratuitous Spanish: The Cockroach Monger has a propensity for this.
- Henohenomoheji: Snack Safari chef Sukehachi uses one in place of his signature in episode 28.
- I Surrender, Suckers: The heroes finally thwart Black Magma by pulling this ruse.
- Ms. Fanservice: Misa, whose legs get a lot of (well-deserved) screentime.
- Mythology Gag: The experimental weapon that the Guardians of World Peace are working on in episode 44 is Battle Fever Robo, complete with the BF symbol on the chest.
- There are also a few elements brought back from Himitsu Sentai Goranger, such as the secret entrance to the base being in a diner run by their commander, and the yellow ranger liking curry.
- Names to Know in Anime: Takeshi Watabe and Shozo Iizuka both play roles in the series.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: HELL SATURN. Sounds inviting, doesn't it?
- Orcus on His Throne: Hell Saturn, obviously, but Queen Hedrian is pretty lazy for a Dragon: in twelve episodes, the two times she does anything are out of selfish greed.
- Power Fist: Sun Vulcan Robo occasionally pulls one out for some "iron fist whack-a-mole".
- Production Foreshadowing: Inazuma Ginga is a fugitive who is being sought by the Galactic Union Police. The Galactic Union Police is the same organization that the title character in Space Sheriff Gavan works for and Shozo Uehara, the main writer of Sun Vulcan and all the previous Sentai shows, left Sentai after this series to become the main writer of Gavan.
- Pun-Based Title: The English word "Sun" is a homophone for the Japanese word for "three" or San. Hence why the team is composed of three members instead of the usual five (Sun Vulcan = "Three Vulcans") and why they never got any additional members (it would've ruined the pun).
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Ryūsuke Kawasaki wanted to end his acting career with Sun Vulcan and willingly choose not to renew his contract with his casting agency mid-series. His departure was planned ahead of time.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The "suspense" music is from the Japanese Spider-Man.
- Retool: The Vulcans get a new field leader, a new nemesis, a new home base and a new cook in #23.
- On a more minor note, Black Magma shifts tactics over the course of the series, relying less on infiltration with the Dark Qs and more on overtly attacking people. When they do need to blend into human society, they instead disguise the Zero Girls and Amazon Killer rather than building androids.
- Robot Kid: Black Magma builds one of these in #11, and again in #19.
- Secret Identity
- Shout-Out: When posing, the three of them mimick using a bow. The bow and arrow are attributes of Apollo, the Greek god of the Sun.
- Sleeping Single: Professor Kosaka and his wife in #9.
- Space X: The monster in #27 was created from a "space mosquito."
- Spell My Name with an "S": The Big Bad's name has been spelled as both Hell Satan and Hell Saturn.
- Spit Take: Hyō does this with some water in #10, when a girl he's just met asks him on a date.
- Super Senses: The Sun Vulcans' Vulcan Eye ability allows them to see perfectly in the dark, or view distant objects perfectly. Similarly, the Vulcan Ear allows enhances their hearing to the point where they can "hear a pin drop from 10 kilometers."
- Super Strength: Occasionally demonstrated by the Sun Vulcans, such as Vul Eagle bursting through a wall in #7.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Hiba to Ōwashi and Amazon Killer to Zero-One.
- Talking Animal: Misa's robotic dog, CC.
- Technopath: The monster in #6, Kikai Monger.
- Theme Naming: The surnames of all four Vulcans reference their corresponding animal motif.
- Ōwashi = Big Eagle
- Samejima = Shark Island
- Hyō = Panther
- Hiba = Flying Feather
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Vulcans often use their Vulcan Sticks as throwing weapons.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Unlike other Sentai series, they actually explain why the villains are specifically targeting Japan in #13.
- Villain Song: "Super Woman Zero Girls" by Kaori Kumiko. A very different flavor of villain song.
- We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: One episode has Black Magma editing videos of their battles with Sun Vulcan to make it look the Vulcans are attacking civilians, then using the footage to turn some kids against the heroes. No one suspects it's fake.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Asao doesn't like dogs. More literal to the trope name, #17 introduces a friend of Samejima's who can't stand snakes.
- X-Ray Vision: One application of the Vulcan Eye ability. At one point the villains actually try to counteract this by building androids out of a special material so that they look human even with this vision.