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Series: Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan aka: Taiyou Sentai Sunvulcan
Yes, there's no ladies in this team, and the team number will never grow to five. Just this once, we swear.
Kagayake!* Shine! 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.
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 Characters: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 permanently 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Unlike other Sentai series, they actually explain why the villains are specifically targeting Japan in #13. In this case, while they do have the capabilities to cause global incidents, Black Magma targets Japan in order to obtain the cache of geothermal energy located there that they need to power their arsenal.
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.