Follow TV Tropes


Series / Taiyo Ni Hoero

Go To
Taiyō ni Hoero! (Kanji: 太陽にほえろ!; which roughly translates as Howl at the Sun!) was a long-running Japanese Cop Show starring legendary Japanese action star Yujiro Ishihara as Superintendent Shunshuke Todo of the fictional Namemagari Police Station in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. The show aired on the Nippon Television Network from 1972 to 1986 for 718 episodes and was produced by Toho, the same company which gave the world the Godzilla series and many of Akira Kurosawa's films.

These days the show is considered to be the prime example of the Japanese Cop Show, having codified many conventions in the genre, as well as being a vehicle for many of its cast members. The best example of the latter would be Yusaku Matsuda, who earned a role in the series early on as Detective Jiipan (or Jeans) and would later become a top-draw star in Japan and earn a role in Ridley Scott's Black Rain.

The show earned a short-lived Sequel Series, Taiyo Ni Hoero Part 2, which ran for 12 episodes from 1986 to 1987 on the same timeslot. The show later had fourReunion Show specials in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001.


Taiyo Ni Hoero provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Detective Gori was this, being the squad's go-to marksman.
  • Anyone Can Die: The show became infamous during its time for this. By the end of the series, only Yujiro Ishihara's character was the last member from the original cast still on the show.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Detective DJ spends the entirety of his debut episode playing mind games with episode's serial bomber criminal while pretending to "help" him. It eventually pays off when he finds out why the man's going on a bombing spree and it leads to his arrest by the episode's end.
  • Butt-Monkey: Detective Bogey. His debut episode consists of him being a practical bullet magnet while his appearance in the opening credits montage even had him handcuffing himself and holding his gun the wrong way.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Detective Scotch and Detective Mommy. The former was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot and the latter was a case of Promotion to Opening Titles.
    • Advertisement:
    • Detective Chosan left in Episode 520, but returned for guest spots and came back for the sequel series, and later the Reunion Shows.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • Chosan, of all people, despite his age, usually took down criminals by tackling them, thanks to his rugby experience. This proved useful in booking the criminal in Episode 520, who despite having a weapon, disarmed him, and had the advantage of a good ten years' youth over him, ended up getting handcuffed by the 60-year old cop, who had a bullet wound in the shoulder.
    • Rocky in his debut actually tore off the door leading to the squad's main office. He can also physically manhandle any criminal who gets in his way without help.
  • Country Mouse: Both Rocky, who hails from Hokkaido, and Detective Sneakers, who's from Okinawa.
  • Credits Montage: The opening. Notably evolved over the years thanks to its ever-revolving cast.
  • Da Chief:
  • Todo, his friend Takayuki Nishiyama, played by Godzilla veteran Akihito Hirata, and Todo's Distaff Counterpart replacement in Part 2, Asako Tanamura.
  • Yama-san and Tachibana also served as this when Todo took his leaves, though as they were detectives and not Superintendents.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In the second series, Todo was replaced by a female Superintendent, Asako Tanamura, while it was mentioned that Todo had been promoted and reassinged.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Detective His Highness is run over by a truck just before he could pick up his girlfriend in Episode 414.
    • Detectives Macaroni and Bogey both get stabbed ignominiously and die without their co-detectives to comfort them.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Detectives Rocky, Texas, and Gori all get shot up pretty badly. However, Rocky manages to save a couple of animals from being blown to bits when the culprit he's chasing throws a bunch of dynamite, Texas ends up busting a gun-running ring alone, and Gori guns down ten thugs before getting shot, and he even summons the strength to put his handcuffs on the shooter before he dies.
    • Detective Bonn gets shot to death by a gang of jewel thieves, but he manages to pull off a Taking You with Me with three of them, and gets to call Boss one last time to tell them of his location.
    • Yama-san gets shot in the gut by a culprit, but it ends up as a Mutual Kill when he also gets one on his attacker.
    • Scotch arrests a culprit, plays Russian Roulette with him, all while he's suffering from a bullet wound that's causing him to cough blood. He wins, places the handcuffs on the perp before coughing up blood one last time and is brought to hospital by Gori, where he dies.
  • Friendly Sniper: Played with, when concerning Gori. While he's a little rough around the edges he's not so bad when you get used to him.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Rocky's most defining trait, being an outdoorsman by nature.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Happens when the cast goes on a Vacation Episode.
  • Gentle Giant: Detective Rocky. He's a head taller than most of the cast, is freakishly strong (He can tear off doors from their hinges!), and is a genuine Friend to All Living Things.
  • In-Series Nickname: In the show, everyone refers to each other by a nickname given to them by the rest of the squad. This was another one trope the show pioneered, to the point that it got Self-Parodied in-series when Detective Doc debuts. He ends up getting everyone's nicknames wrong.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Gori, Jiipan, Blues, Sneakers, and Gypsy. They're introduced as hot-headed loners with mean streaks, but as the show progressed, they each became a little less rough around the edges and some even earned their own Love Interests. Blues himself would later get have a son.
    • Scotch, after witnessing his partner getting shot to death by a criminal, was described as a "lone wolf". However, is run on the show still showed flashes of humanity as he got along well with Boss and Gori.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • One episode where a busjacker takes the squad all over Tokyo with a bomb.
    • Another is where a young punk takes Boss hostage.
    • The Series Finale has one detective be kidnapped who almost bleeds to death after being shot.
    • Episode 236 arguably takes the cake. Gori is taken hostage by a criminal he's escorting back to Tokyo while they're in a flying helicopter.
  • Killed Off for Real: The show pioneered this trope for Japanese Cop Shows and it became one of its more infamous trademarks.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The cast had an ever-revolving number of detectives on duty, partially because most of them got Killed Off for Real.
  • Long Runner: One of the longest Japanese Cop Shows in history. It's actually the second-longest in terms of an uninterrupted run with 718 episodes. Special Mobile Investigation Team is longer with 801 episodes, while the longest overall is Buchou Keiji or Chief of Detectives, which ran from 1957 to 2004, with a few breaks in-between.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Boss is called so because he's Da Chief.
    • Chosan translates as "Pops", and is called so due to his age.
    • His Highness because of his good looks.
    • Rocky got because of his dream of climbing the the Rocky Mountains.
    • Sneakers because he wears sneakers.
    • Doc because of his medical training.
    • Mommy because she's a mother to twins.
    • DJ because his real name is Jun Dazai.
    • Additionally, Yama-san and Toshii-san (as per Japanese convention) are called so by their younger peers being the older and more experienced cops.
  • Mountain Man: Rocky hails from a mountain village in Hokkaido.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Sneakers delivers several to Bonn's murderer and his bosses in his debut episode.
  • Number Two:
    • Detective Yamadera, alias Yama-san was this to Todo before his death in Episode 691.
    • Later, Detective Tachibana, played by Ishihara's Real Life Heterosexual Life-Partner Tetsuya Watari would take up this role.
  • Old Soldier: Detective Nozaki, who's affectionately nicknamed "Chosan" or "Pops".
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Detective Reiko "Mommy" Iwaki (nee Hayase) started out as a semiregular role as a policewoman and Rocky's love interest, then wife, and was Put on a Bus after her husband's death before she became a regular.
  • Professional Killer: The squad deals with one in Episode 233, whose target is a JSDF general attending his daughter's wedding.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Five detevtives were lucky enough to leave the show alive, namely Detectives Shinko, Chosan, Sneakers, Gypsy, and Duke. Downplayed with the latter four since they showed up for guest spots in later episodes.
    • Played with Scotch left the show in Episode 244, and broke the ongoing curse for "the new detective will get killed" before returning in Episode 399. Sadly, he died in Episode 456.
  • Before her Promotion to Opening Titles, Mommy served as a semi-regular until Rocky's murder. She would return permanently in Episode 546.
    • Happens to Boss in the sequel series, as Ishihara's health had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer work.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Rocky and Mommy were dating for a significant amount of time in the series before they got married in Episode 420.
  • Spoiler Title: Happens if a major character will die or gets Put on a Bus in the episode.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Detective Shima, aka "His Highness" and Detective Scotch, both were quite the lookers in their runs on the show. Scotch in particular was fond of UK-bought clothing and added to his handsome nature.
  • Thanking the Viewer:
    • When Ishihara came back after his first leave in Episode 489, he thanks the viewers for having supported him through his illness and surgery before the episode begins.
    • The Series Finale, where a small message was typed on the screen at the very end:
    14 years and 4 months... thank you very much for all the support!
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Whenever a new detective appears, he's usually paired up with the one who came before him, assuming the latter hadn't been Killed Off for Real beforehand.
    • Boss and Yama-san were this as well, until the latter's death.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only two female detectives were ever part of the main cast, Detectives Shinko and Mommy.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The episode previews are particularly guilty of this, especially as the show aged.
  • Vacation Episode: The show went to Hawaii twice, apparently to coincide with Ishihara's yearly vacations in Hawaii. There were also episodes where the cast went to Australia, Okinawa, Canada, and France.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: