|“||If the world lives to see another century, please remember what Mothra did for you and the planet you live on.||„|
Mothra (モスラ?) is a giant divine moth Mosurakaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1961 serialized novel The Luminous Fairies and Mothra, which was adapted the same year by Toho into the film Mothra. Mothra made her first appearance alongside Godzilla in the 1964 Godzilla film, Mothra vs. Godzilla.
Mothra's major distinction among Toho's library of kaiju, aside from being the first female monster in the Godzilla series, is her benevolent nature and relationship to mankind. While other monsters like Godzilla frequently menace humanity with their very existence, Mothra fights to protect humanity from monsters that threaten it. Mothra is accompanied by two miniature twin priestesses named the Shobijin, who speak to humanity on her behalf. However, Mothra has still wrought destruction herself, though this is only to rescue her Shobijin when they are kidnapped or when she is under the control of the Kilaaks.
Mothra made her onscreen debut in her own film, where she laid waste to Tokyo and New Kirk City in her quest to recover the Shobijin and return them to Infant Island. Mothra returned in Mothra vs. Godzilla, where she traveled to Japan to battle Godzilla when he threatened her unhatched egg that had washed ashore there. Mothra was killed in the battle, but two twin larvae hatched from her egg and carried on her battle against Godzilla, eventually triumphing over him. One of the larvae died sometime afterward, but the surviving one took her mother's place as the goddess of Infant Island. Mothra was soon called upon to defend Earth against the evil King Ghidorah, and managed to recruit both Godzilla and Rodan to her cause. Mothra eventually matured into an adult and rescued her people from Letchi Island after they were kidnapped and enslaved by the terrorist group known as the Red Bamboo. By the end of the 20th century, a larval Mothra was contained on Monsterland, only to be released when the Kilaaks took over the island and assumed control of the monsters. Mothra was soon freed from Kilaak control and fought alongside the other Earth monsters to kill King Ghidorah once and for all and defeat the alien menace.
Mothra was reintroduced in the Heisei series film Godzilla vs. Mothra, where she fought alongside a dark counterpart named Battra to defeat Godzilla. After the Godzilla Heisei series ended, a standalone trilogy of films focusing on Mothra was released from 1996 to 1998. This trilogy introduced Mothra Leo, Mothra's son who would go on to star in the trilogy's second and third entries following his mother's death. Mothra made an appearance in the third entry in the Millennium series of Godzilla films, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, as one of the three Guardian Monsters, who defended Japan against Godzilla. Mothra returned two films later in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., where she and her twin larvae supported Kiryu in his battle against Godzilla. In Godzilla: Final Wars, Mothra aided Godzilla in his battle against Monster X and Gigan, and sacrificed her own life to destroy Gigan. Mothra made a cameo through a cave painting in the film Kong: Skull Island, the second entry in Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.' MonsterVerse, and has been announced to appear in the upcoming film Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019, the sequel to Legendary's Godzilla from 2014.
This is an overview page. To view information on specific incarnations of Mothra, please visit the Mothra incarnations subpages.
- 1 Name
- 2 Design
- 3 Personality
- 4 Origins
- 5 Incarnations
- 6 History
- 6.1 Showa Series
- 6.2 Heisei Series
- 6.3 Get Going! Godzilland
- 6.4 Godzilla Island
- 6.5 Millennium Series
- 6.6 MonsterVerse
- 7 Abilities
- 8 Mothra's Fairies: Shobijin, Cosmos, and Elias
- 9 Filmography
- 10 Video Games
- 11 Comics
- 12 Gallery
- 13 Sightings
- 14 Roar
- 15 In Other Languages
- 16 Trivia
- 17 Videos
- 18 References
- 19 Comments
The name "Mothra" is the suffixation of "-ra" (a common last syllable in kaiju names) to "moth." Since the Japanese language does not have dental fricatives, it is approximated "Mosura" in Japanese. Originally, Mothra's name was approximated in English as "Mosla," but it was later corrected to "Mothra" by the time of the release of her debut film. In the American dubbing and various posters for Mothra vs. Godzilla, Mothra is also referred to as "The Thing." She is among Toho's most popular characters, primarily among female fans, and she has appeared in every Godzilla film era. Toho even honored Mothra with the title "Queen of Monsters" for the soundtrack and home video releases of Rebirth of Mothra, illustrating her proximity in status to Godzilla himself.
In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the guardian monster Mothra's name is spelled in kanji but pronounced the same: 最珠羅? (Mosura).
Since her first film, Mothra has been depicted in various stages of the lepidopteran life cycle: Mothra's mammoth egg is decoratively colored in blue and yellow waves. The egg hatches into her larva, a massive brown, segmented caterpillar (resembling a silkworm) with glowing blue, sometimes red, eyes. In rare circumstances, twins may emerge from the egg. The caterpillar eventually spins a silken cocoon around itself (the pupa stage), and from this cocoon the imago (adult) Mothra emerges, a gigantic moth-like creature with brightly-colored wings. Mothra's life cycle—particularly the tendency of an imago's death to coincide with its larvae hatching—echoes that of the Phoenix, resembling resurrection and suggesting divinity.The Luminous Fairies and Mothra, Mothra had a design more reminiscent of a swallow, her head also being more like a butterfly's. Her larval form was segmented, similarly to the way she would be portrayed in her first film appearance, but had longer legs and possessed a more caterpillar-like face.
In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Mothra is portrayed with purple eyes, although her eyes are normally blue.
Despite having wrought destruction worthy of any Toho kaiju, Mothra is almost always portrayed as a kind and benevolent creature, causing destruction only when acting as protector to her worshipers on Infant Island or to her egg, or as collateral damage while protecting Earth from a greater threat. Mothra is usually accompanied by two tiny priestesses or fairies (often called Shobijin—Japanese for "small beauties") who also speak for her.
Mothra's origins have somewhat varied from film to film, but she is always portrayed as a benevolent and ancient creature that possesses some level of divinity.
In the Showa era, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Rebirth of Mothra, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. and Godzilla: Final Wars, Mothra is the guardian goddess of the remote Infant Island in the south Pacific Ocean. There, she is perpetually reborn through an egg and is worshiped by the island's natives. She is spoken for by two miniature telepathic fairies, called either the Shobijin, Cosmos, or Elias.
Mothra's origin is gone into in greater depth in Godzilla vs. Mothra. This film explains that Mothra was the guardian of the ancient world, protecting all life on Earth from threats. When an ancient civilization created a climate-controlling device, the Earth became offended and created a dark Mothra, called Battra, to destroy it. After destroying the device, Battra proceeded to eradicate the entire civilization and sought to exterminate all of mankind, believing humans to be a blight on the planet. Mothra challenged Battra and defeated him, sealing him away in the North Sea. Following this battle, Mothra and the Cosmos, the only remnants of the ancient civilization, took up residence on the remote Infant Island, where they lived in peace for the next twelve thousand years.
In Rebirth of Mothra, it is established that Mothra is the last living member of an ancient race of giant guardian moths that defended the Earth throughout its history. In her old age, Mothra lived in solitude with the Elias on Infant Island, and with the last of her strength summoned forth an egg to continue her legacy after her death.
In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Mothra's origin receives its first major alteration. In this film, Mothra is one of the three Guardian Monsters and the Goddess of the Sea. In ancient times, Mothra and her fellow guardians Baragon and King Ghidorah were slain by Japanese warriors. Mothra was laid to rest under Lake Ikeda while the warriors who slayed her prayed for her soul, that she would return one day to save Japan. Thousands of years later, the prophet Hirotoshi Isayama awakened Mothra by transferring the souls of Japan's honorable dead into her, so that she and the other Guardian Monsters could together stop Godzilla.
These are incarnations of Mothra that have their own pages or subpages devoted to them.
- First Generation Mothra (Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla)
- Second Generation Mothra (Mothra vs. Godzilla through Ebirah, Horror of the Deep)
- Third Generation Mothra (Destroy All Monsters)
- Heisei Mothra (Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla)
- Parent Mothra (Rebirth of Mothra)
- Mothra Leo (Rebirth of Mothra through Rebirth of Mothra III)
- Mothra 2001 (Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack)
- Mothra Imago 2003 (Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.)
- Mothra Larvae 2003 (Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.)
- Mothra 2004 (Godzilla: Final Wars)
- MonsterVerse Mothra (Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
HistoryMothra was first discovered on Infant Island, where natives to the island worshiped her as a goddess. Invaders from Rolisica took over the island and stole the Shobijin. The natives went to a temple, where a giant egg was held. The egg hatched into a larva, called Mothra, which swam across the Pacific Ocean and destroyed the Orion Maru as she journeyed north towards Japan to save the Shobijin from the humans. She destroyed Tokyo while trying to find them, then tore down Tokyo Tower and formed her cocoon. She emerged from the cocoon in her imago form, having been inadvertently helped by the army's Atomic Heat Ray Guns. She went to New Kirk City, and was reunited with the Shobijin at an airport runway after destroying a large portion of the city. Mothra then flew back to Infant Island with the Shobijin to live in peace.
Japan when a typhoon carried it away from the shores of Infant Island. Kumayama, the owner of the company Happy Enterprises, bought the egg from the citizens of the area where the egg was found and planned to turn it into the main attraction of his upcoming amusement park The Shobijin came to Japan to request the egg's return, only for Kumayama and his financier Jiro Torahata to try and capture them as well. The Shobijin escaped and met with a group of sympathetic humans, warning that when the egg hatched the larva would cause much destruction and death while searching for food and attempting to return to Infant Island on its own. When the Shobijin's allies met with Kumayama and Torahata, they refused to return the egg and wanted to buy the Shobijin instead. The Shobijin then returned to Infant Island with Mothra. When Godzilla emerged in Japan and began heading for the incubator holding Mothra's egg, the three humans who helped the Shobijin traveled to Infant Island, which had been devastated by nuclear bomb tests. They asked the Shobijin for Mothra's help in defeating Godzilla, but they refused. However, Mothra herself, who was living out the last of her days on a sacred rock, agreed to help and flew to Japan, knowing she would never return.
Mothra arrived in Japan just as Godzilla reached Mothra's egg and attacked him. Mothra used the gusts of wind from her wings to knock Godzilla of his feet and tried to slash him with her claws, but she was too feeble to injure him. Mothra released poison powder from her wings against Godzilla, but Godzilla simply blasted her with his atomic breath, causing her to fall on top of her egg and die. While Godzilla continued his rampage across Japan, the Shobijin and the Infant Islanders began to pray for Mothra's egg to hatch. Finally, the egg hatched into two twin larvae. The larvae followed Godzilla to Iwa Island and attacked him there. While the larvae were much smaller and weaker than Godzilla, they used their size to hide behind rocks and sneak up on Godzilla, spraying him with silk. Eventually, Godzilla was trapped in a silken cocoon and fell over a cliff into the ocean below. Victorious, Mothra's larvae and the Shobijin returned to Infant Island.
In 1972, a single Mothra larva was living on Monster Island with a large number of other monsters. It is unknown whether this larva was the offspring of the second generation Mothra, or itself the third generation Mothra.Earth itself and leading it to create Battra, a dark version of Mothra. Battra destroyed the device, but soon went beyond his purpose and attempted to destroy all of mankind, seeing them as a blight on the Earth. Mothra tried to stop them, and the two moths engaged in a titanic battle that destroyed the ancient civilization. Mothra defeated Battra and sealed him away in the North Sea, while Mothra and the Cosmos relocated to Infant Island to live in solitude. In 1993, an expedition sent to the island by the Japanese government encountered the Cosmos along with Mothra's egg. The Cosmos explained the story of Mothra and Battra to the explorers, and warned that the meteor that recently struck the Earth could awaken Battra. The Cosmos agreed to allow Mothra's egg to be transported to Japan, but en route the barge carrying it was attacked by Godzilla. The egg hatched into a larval Mothra, who attempted to defend herself from Godzilla. Eventually, Battra arrived in his larval form and knocked Mothra aside, attacking Godzilla instead. Godzilla and Battra were eventually swallowed up by a volcanic fault and presumed dead, while Mothra returned to Infant Island and the Cosmos were secretly captured by one of the explorers, Kenji Andoh.
Andoh brought the Cosmos to his employer, the Marutomo Company, who planned to exploit the tiny fairies as a publicity stunt. The Cosmos prayed to Mothra, who left the island to recover the Cosmos. The JSDF tried to fight Mothra in the ocean as she approached Japan, but failed to halt the larva. Mothra came ashore in Tokyo, unintentionally leaving a trail of destruction as she searched for the Cosmos. Masako Tezuka, her daughter Midori and Miki Saegusa recovered the Cosmos and brought them to Mothra, causing her rampage to cease. Unfortunately, the JSDF opened fire on Mothra with artillery, wounding her. Mothra crawled to the National Diet Building and encased herself in a cocoon. Meanwhile, Godzilla surfaced from the crater of Mount Fuji while Battra reappeared in the ocean and transformed into his imago form. As both Godzilla and Battra approached the Tokyo area, Mothra emerged from her cocoon in her imago form and flew off to stop Battra. Mothra and Battra clashed in the skies above Yokohama, with Battra overpowering Mothra and causing her to crash to the ground in the Minato Mirai 21 district. Before Battra could kill his light counterpart, Godzilla appeared and attacked them both. Godzilla proved to be more than a match for either moth, subduing Battra and nearly killing Mothra before Battra came to her aid, realizing that Godzilla was a far greater threat. Mothra saved Battra and temporarily knocked Godzilla down. Mothra communicated with Battra, and they decided to put aside their differences to defeat Godzilla. Mothra and Battra joined forces, firing their various beam attacks in tandem against Godzilla. Godzilla was subdued, and Mothra and Battra grabbed him, carrying him out over the ocean. Godzilla bit into Battra's throat and fired his atomic breath, killing him and forcing Mothra to drop both monsters into the sea below. Mothra placed a sacred seal over the water and reunited with the Cosmos at Haneda Airport. The Cosmos revealed that Battra told Mothra that a larger meteor was going to strike and destroy the Earth in 1999, and it was his duty to stop it. In the event of Battra's death, Mothra agreed to destroy the meteor instead. Mothra and the Cosmos bid farewell to the humans and flew into outer space, preparing to intercept the meteor before it could reach Earth.
While flying through space to intercept the meteor that was destined to hit Earth in 1999, Mothra became aware of an evil extraterrestrial clone of Godzilla called SpaceGodzilla that was heading to Earth with the intention of killing his Earthling counterpart and conquering the planet. Mothra sent a Fairy Mothra to Earth, where it revealed itself to Miki Saegusa and transformed into a projection of the Cosmos, who warned Miki of the impending to disaster and stressed the importance of Godzilla in defending the planet. When SpaceGodzilla was ultimately defeated by the combined efforts of Godzilla and G-Force, the projection of the Cosmos reappeared to Miki and congratulated her on saving the planet.
It was also speculated by U.N.G.C.C. scientists that SpaceGodzilla's creation may have been due to Mothra unwittingly carrying some of Godzilla's flesh into outer space following their battle, allowing it to be pulled into a black hole and released through a white hole, where it was exposed to supernovas and mutated into a crystalline lifeform.space monster called Desghidorah arrived to destroy the Earth. This three-headed demonic dragon was forced to deal with resistance in the form of a species of highly advanced, enormous moths, which were known as Mothras. These moths were the protectors of the Elias, a race of tiny, human-like beings, who inhabited the planet. After the ensuing battle, Desghidorah was defeated and sealed within the Earth, although a great deal of life on the planet Earth was lost. Three Elias: Moll, Lora, and Belvera, were all who were left of their once prosperous civilization. Though Moll and Lora remained benevolent defenders of the Earth, Belvera became twisted and vengeful following her race's demise. These tiny fairies, along with one final Mothra, remained in solitude on Infant Island for countless millennia.
In order to preserve her legacy, Mothra summoned an enormous egg, however, she became physically exhausted from the ordeal. Shortly afterwards, a logging company in Hokkaido uncovered the tomb where the Mothras had sealed Desghidorah long ago. When the seal that had bound the creature was removed from the area, Moll and Lora fought Belvera for control of the artifact. Belvera prevailed and managed to release Desghidorah from its rocky tomb, planning to use it to destroy mankind. Mothra was summoned to stop Desghidorah, which was absorbing the life out of the forests. Mothra fought her hardest to stop Desghidorah, but was simply too old and frail to carry on the fight. Moll and Lora reluctantly prayed to the egg, causing it to prematurely hatch into a larva named Mothra Leo. Mothra Leo arrived to assist his mother, but Desghidorah grabbed Leo with his teeth and bit into him. Mothra rescued her son and destroyed a dam, causing Desghidorah to be buried in a flood of water. With her enemy distracted, Mothra carried Leo out over the sea, but her strength failed and she fell into the water. Mothra struggled to stay afloat, as Leo desperately tried to hold her up above the surface, but to no avail. Mothra sank underwater and drowned, leaving Leo to carry on her legacy and stop Desghidorah. Leo then swam to a remote island to transform into his imago stage and continue the battle.
- Main article: Mothra Leo.
- Main article: Mothra Leo.
Both imago and larval Mothra appear in the 1994 and 1996 educational Get Going! Godzilland OVAs. In these OVAs, Mothra is one of the more mature and caring residents of Godzilland, and raises her two twin larvae there. Mothra is viewed as a motherly figure by the other kaiju, and is addressed by them as "Mosura-San," being the only adult. In the hiragana episode, Mothra finishes watering her garden, and decides to invite the other residents of Monster Island to a picnic. Godzilla and Anguirus both arrive late, and reveal that they couldn't read Mothra's invitation, so Mothra decides to teach them about the hiragana alphabet. Mothra presents the kaiju with various objects and animals, and teaches them to sound out their names with hiragana characters.
In the addition episode, Mothra helps Godzilla, Gojirin, and Baragon rescue Anguirus from Mechagodzilla, who has kidnapped him to force him to be his friend. Gojirin reveals that she is hungry and the kaiju decide to eat before traveling to the volcano where Mechagodzilla brought Anguirus. Mothra and Rodan help the kaiju add the number of items of food they have, allowing them to learn addition. On the way to the volcano, the monsters are stopped by a large group of ants, who angrily stab Godzilla with spears when he attempts to scare them away. Mothra talks to the ants, and learns that the kaiju were walking over a field of flowers, and the ants were trying to stop them. The kaiju then proceed to the volcano, where Mechagodzilla forces them to take part in a game show where they solve addition problems in order to rescue Anguirus. After the kaiju complete the game, Mechagodzilla begins to cry, and Mothra comforts him. Mothra convinces the other kaiju to let Mechagodzilla be their friend, and they all then take part in a song about addition.
In the series Godzilla Island, Mothra is a resident of Godzilla Island along with Earth's other monsters. She has two children, a son named Mothra Leo and a daughter named Baby Mothra. Following Mothra's death, Leo grew into his imago form and watched over Baby Mothra, protecting her from enemy monsters like Battra.
Mothra appeared in three of the Millennium series films, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. and Godzilla: Final Wars, making her the only monster besides Godzilla himself to appear in more than two films in the Millennium series.(最珠羅?) was a legendary beast from ancient MosuraJapan and was known as the Goddess of the Water. Ages ago, noble Japanese warriors slayed Mothra and laid her to rest under Lake Ikeda. The warriors prayed for Mothra's soul, in the hope that she and the other guardian monsters, Baragon and King Ghidorah, would rise again one day to defend Japan.
In 2002, a group of teenagers disturbed Mothra's shrine after robbing a convenience store near Lake Ikeda. Mothra awakened and pulled the teenagers underwater, wrapping their bodies in a cocoon of silk. Mothra then encased herself in a cocoon which sat on the lake's surface. When the prophet Hirotoshi Isayama called upon the guardian monsters to stop Godzilla, Mothra emerged from her cocoon and flew to Yokohama to battle him. Mothra perched atop the Yokohama Landmark Tower and flew at Godzilla, firing poisonous stingers at him and scratching his face with her claws. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at Mothra, but she avoided the blast, which struck and destroyed the Landmark Tower instead. Ghidorah arrived shortly afterward and joined forces with Mothra against Godzilla. Godzilla easily overpowered both monsters, knocking Ghidorah unconscious and sending Mothra flying into a railroad track after she deflected his atomic breath from striking Ghidorah. Godzilla turned his attention to the JSDF's battleships in Tokyo Bay, but Mothra flew behind him to take him by surprise. However, Godzilla turned his head at the last moment and fired his atomic breath at Mothra, vaporizing her. Mothra's life force flowed into Ghidorah's body, reviving him as the Thousand-Year-Old Dragon, King Ghidorah and giving him an advantage in the fight.
When King Ghidorah was ultimately killed by Godzilla, the spirit of all three guardian monsters flew into Godzilla, causing him to sink underwater and allowing the Satsuma to fire a D-03 Missile from within Godzilla's body, opening a gaping wound on his neck that ultimately caused Godzilla to destroy himself when he fired his atomic breath.
When a second Godzilla attacked Japan in 1999, the Prime Minister of Japan and the Minister of Science and Technology discussed how ever since the first Godzilla attacked Tokyo in 1954, giant monsters have often raided the country. One such monster was Mothra, who attacked Tokyo in 1961.Japan, prompting two fighter jets to try and shoot her down. Mothra was unaffected by the jets' missiles and continued flying to Japan. Mothra landed near the home of Shinichi Chujo, a man who had helped reunite Mothra with her Shobijin in 1961. The Shobijin appeared to Chujo and asked him to tell the government to scrap the Kiryu project, which utilized the remains of the first Godzilla as a weapon. The Shobijin claimed this was a crime against nature and the sanctity of life, and that Mothra would be forced to declare war against humanity if the first Godzilla's remains were not returned to the sea. They also promised that Mothra would take it upon herself to defend Japan from Godzilla. When Chujo told his story to Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi, he regretfully told Chujo that the government could not afford to scrap the project, as too much had already been sacrificed for it. When Godzilla appeared in Tokyo, Chujo's grandson Shun used school desks to recreate Mothra's symbol and summon her to Tokyo. Mothra engaged in battle with Godzilla, but due to her old age was easily overwhelmed. Igarashi ordered Kiryu to be launched to aid Mothra, and the machine entered the battle as well. Godzilla defeated Kiryu, while Mothra's egg on Infant Island hatched into two twin larvae. The larvae arrived in Tokyo to communicate with their mother, but Godzilla noticed them. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at the larvae, only for Mothra to fly in front of the beam, sacrificing herself for her children. Enraged with grief, the larvae attacked Godzilla, distracting him while Kiryu was repaired. Kiryu soon re-entered the battle, defeating Godzilla by using his drill hand to open a previously-inflicted wound on Godzilla's chest. Mothra's larvae encased Godzilla in silk, leaving him trapped and helpless. Rather than kill Godzilla, Kiryu overrode his programming and carried Godzilla out to the sea, sinking them both in the Japan Trench. Mothra's larvae swam back to Infant Island with the Shobijin, content that the souls of the dead could now rest in peace.
Earth from an alien monster known as Gigan, defeating him and entombing him off the coast of Hokkaido. In the year 20XX, the Earth Defense Force recovered Gigan's mummified remains, drawing the attention of Mothra and her Shobijin. The Shobijin appeared to several members of the EDF and warned them that Gigan was evil and could awaken, but promised that Mothra would appear to defend the Earth. When the alien force known as the Xiliens took control of Gigan and an army of monsters and used them to conquer the planet, Mothra flew to Tokyo to aid Godzilla against Gigan and Monster X. Mothra saved Godzilla from being double-teamed by the enemy monsters, then confronted Gigan once again. Gigan fired two razor discs at Mothra, but she used her reflective scales to avoid them. Gigan responded by blasting Mothra with his laser beam, causing her to erupt in flames. Believing himself victorious, Gigan turned around only for his head to be sliced off by his reflected razor discs. Mothra, still on fire, flew into the headless Gigan and exploded, seemingly killing them both.
The film's end credits show an unharmed Mothra flying back to Infant Island, although it is possible this is simply unused footage and not meant to suggest Mothra survived her battle with Gigan, similar to how footage of Hedorah destroying Tokyo is also shown during the end credits.
|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.|
After their adventure on Skull Island, Monarch members Houston Brooks and Lin San showed James Conrad and Mason Weaver a cave painting of Mothra, along with paintings depicting Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah, as proof that the inhabitants of Skull Island were not the only monsters in the world. Unlike the other three monsters, Mothra was entirely white in color and surrounded by worshipers in her painting.
Mothra was confirmed to be appearing in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, along with Rodan and King Ghidorah, on July 26, 2014. It is unknown whether script revisions and director Gareth Edwards' departure from the film have altered this plan.
Mothra has proven to be a formidable adversary in combat: In larva form she may use her silken spray to wrap and immobilize an opponent, and has a knack for biting and clinging to foes' tails. In imago form her powers vary widely from film to film, including very animalistic scratching and dragging, incorporating several bolt and beam weapons in the Heisei era, and often concluding with a poisonous yellow powder (or "scales")—her last defense.
Mothra is one of the most powerful psychics in the Toho universe. She use this power benevolently, to communicate with humans, or defensively, to destroy her enemies. As suggested earlier, Mothra is assumed to be divine and draws many parallels to the Phoenix, which makes her one of the more powerful kaiju of the Toho universe.
As a larva, Mothra sprays her opponents with a stream of silk as a ranged attack (to entrap or disorient an enemy). She is also able to use her mandibles to inflict a painful bite, which is strong enough to allow her to hold onto opponents for some time. As an adult, her wings can (and generally do) create gales which tear apart buildings and send other kaiju flying. Her great bulk of a body is commonly used to her advantage in battle to slam into opponents (both in larva and adult form), and her surprising levels of strength can help her to drag and even lift monsters like Godzilla. Her final strategy is to emit "scales," a yellow poisonous powder that can usually asphyxiate an enemy. However she only uses that attack when she knows she is going to die, this is speculated, because the extreme loss of scales will cause her to lose flight.
The Heisei version of Mothra had some differences. She could now fire a beam of energy from her antennae, and fire arcs of lightning from her wings, or keep it in her body to release to another through touch. Her powder now had a different effect, and now acted as a cloud of mirror-like scales, which would allow beam weapons to repeatedly rebound before striking the target, effectively making them impossible to miss. Battra easily took advantage of this condition to attack Godzilla by repeatedly firing his Prism Beams, allowing them to strike Godzilla over and over again, with the rebound effect negating any chance of the prism beams not hitting their target. Ironically, Godzilla's Nuclear Pulse wasn't reflected by her mirror and she was thrown back, possibly because her mirror can't reflect energy attacks if it is able to pass around her mirror. In the Heisei era, Mothra is also able to use her scales multiple times without any loss of her ability to fly.
In GMK, Mothra was able to shoot poison darts from her abdomen, but she lacked both her hurricane force winds and her poison powder. In both Tokyo SOS and Final Wars, Mothra's powder was able to redirect both energy and physical projectiles back to their original senders, but some individuals believe that the powder of the Final Wars incarnation of Mothra instead has the ability to cause a short-circuit in electronics. As seen in Final Wars, Mothra has the ability to counter enemy beams not only by reflecting them, she can also use them to attack via her kamikaze attack with which she kills Gigan and survived.
Mothra is usually accompanied by two tiny priestesses or fairies (often called Shobijin, Japanese for "small beauties") who also speak for her. For Mothra's first three film appearances these twin fairies were played by the Peanuts. In Mothra they demonstrate telepathic abilities, within speaking range with people and over great distances with Mothra. They explain that while they call to Mothra in prayer and in song, they and Mothra are also connected on some deeper level beyond their control, and it is this connection that impels Mothra to find them no matter where they are. These qualities are part of the continuity of all subsequent Mothra appearances. In Mothra vs. Godzilla the Shobijin also demonstrate teleportation, when trying to escape from Kumayama and Torahata. In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster the girls translate not only Mothra's chirps but an entire conversation among three daikaiju. Decades later, in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., two other Shobijin (portrayed by Masami Nagasawa and Chihiro Ôtsuka) demonstrate telekenesis as well.
In the Godzilla films of the 1990s, Mothra's priestesses (played by Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa) identify themselves as Earth's Cosmos, who claim to have been created by the very life force of Earth, along with Mothra and Battra. The Cosmos speak not only for Battra and Mothra, but for the living Earth as well. The Cosmos say that Battra was first created by the Earth to balance the ecosystem, which was disrupted by the climate-altering device of an advanced civilization, 12,000 years ago. However, Battra proved to be a little too enthusiastic about its task, and not only destroyed the things of man, but of the natural order as well. The first Mothra was then created to restore the true balance, and stop Battra's rampage. The Cosmos revere both Mothra and Battra as two different divine forces of nature. They act concerned when Battra is injured, and are pleased when Mothra finds a nonviolent method of stopping Battra, "making friends," as they say in the film. They know when Battra has awoken, and what his tasks and motivations are, but Battra does not appear motivated to seek them out, unlike Mothra, who seems compelled to protect them, and talks to them directly.
In the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, Mothra's priestesses were the Elias; the Elias differ from earlier incarnations in that they are not mind-linked twins but individual persons, Moll and Lora. They are also seen to have an older sister, a dark Elias called Belvera. In addition to accompanying Mothra, the Elias would also ride smaller offspring called Fairy Mothras. Mothra would reprise the role of ancient guardian, though with only a passing homage to the Cosmos, in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
- Mothra (1961)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) [stock footage]
- Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984) [stock footage]
- Adventure! Godzilland (TV 1992-1993)
- Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
- Get Going! Godzilland (1994, 1996)
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
- Rebirth of Mothra (1996)
- Godzilla Island (TV 1997)
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) [stock footage]
- Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) [cave painting]
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) [filming]
- Monster's Fair
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters
- Godzilla: Domination!
- Godzilla: Great Monster Battle
- Godzilla (Arcade)
- Godzilla: Giant Monster March
- Godzilla: Archipelago Shock
- Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!!
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour
- Godzilla: Trading Battle
- Godzilla Generations
- Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
- Godzilla: Save the Earth
- CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii and PlayStation 2)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
- Godzilla: Pachislot Wars
- CR Godzilla: Descent of the Destruction God
- Godzilla On Monster Island
- Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
- Ace Combat Infinity (Tokyo Martial Law online mission)
- City Shrouded in Shadow
Mothra appeared as a summonable monster in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee. A Mothra-shaped icon, when picked up, calls in a "Mothra Airstrike," where she flies around the arena firing her antennae beams at all monsters besides the one who retrieved the item. She does little damage with each attack, but can add up. Mothra can be chased off if hit with a beam weapon, but this is difficult to do. Mothra is playable in the game's Game Boy Advance counterpart, Godzilla: Domination!, and was also playable in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!. She was also a boss in Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact.
Mothra became playable once again in Godzilla: Save the Earth. Players start as a larval Mothra, who is slow and has a high defense and a moderate attack. Larva Mothra can use her Silk Shot to immobilize foes, and can spear with her tail and roll around the arena to attack. Pressing R2 and L2 at the same time causes her to metamorph into adult Mothra. Trading speed for defense and attack for weapons, Mothra relies on long-range assaults and a good strategy. She can reflect most beam weapons away from her, and stun opponents when getting up or with a greenish mist. Mothra is unique in that she does not enter Rage Mode, instead she treats the Rage power-up as Health and Energy Recover.
Mothra is also playable in Godzilla: Unleashed, and played similarly to Save the Earth, but to morph into adult form, the player must press A, B, C, and Z at the same time instead of R2 and L2. Mothra appears in Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters. In early missions she is an enemy, but in later missions will appear as a friendly unit if her egg is found (being near the egg heals her). Both her adult and larva forms appear in the game.
Weight: 28,000 tons
"Mothra is a guardian of the earth, and only exists to defend the earth from pollution, corruption and devastation. Mothra begins life as a giant larvae, with a barbed tail and a web-spinning snout. Once danger threatens, however, Mothra cocoons herself and transforms into her flying adult form. As an adult, Mothra creates powerful gusts of wind from her wings and create clouds from her scales to reflect energy attacks. Although her wings appear frail, Mothra is a very capable melee opponent, using her superior mobility to strike her opponents quickly and then retreat. Mothra is devoted to rooting out the crystal corruption, and abhors monsters who absorb their energies for personal advancement."
- One tap: Bite
- Two taps: Headbutt Rush
- Tap: Tail Blow
- Up + Tap: Jump Bite
- Tap: Quick Dash
- Tap: Thread
- Roar + Tap: Thread Barrage
- Tap: Tumble Frenzy
- L1 + L1/R1 + R1: Left Right Roll Dodge
- One tap: Rotating Feather Attack
- Two taps: Charge
- Tap: Gliding Ram
- Roar + Tap: Powder Emission
- Tap: Climbing Revolution
- Tap: Ultrasound Beam
- Roar + Tap: Ultrasound Beam Combo
- Tap: Wing Rotation Attack
- L1 + L1/R1 + R1: Left Right Dodge
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Mothra.
Mothra is featured in the upcoming survival RPG City Shrouded in Shadow, developed by Granzella and Bandai Namco for the PlayStation 4. She will appear on the game's second stage in her imago form, and will do battle with Battra.
Mothra Imago in Monster's Fair
Mothra Imago's Sprite in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
Mothra Larva in Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
Mothra Imago's Sprite in Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
Mothra Larva in the Godzilla Arcade Game
Mothra Imago in the Godzilla Arcade Game
Mothra in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's icon in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's character box in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's battle sprite in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra Larva in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's Japanese sprite in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's Japanese icon in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's Japanese character box in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra's Japanese battle sprite in Godzilla: Domination!
Mothra Larva in Godzilla: Save the Earth
Mothra in Godzilla: Save the Earth
Mothra Larva in Godzilla: Unleashed
Mothra Imago in Godzilla: Unleashed
Mothra Slot Machine Icon from CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
Mothra Larva in Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)
Mothra in Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)
Mothra Larva 1961 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Mothra Imago 1961 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Mothra Larva 1992 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Mothra Imago 1992 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Mothra Imago 2003 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Mothra in City Shrouded in Shadow
ComicsGodzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, however she is teased through the presence of the Shobijin in issue #3, where they express their concern over recent events when watching Battra on a television screen.
Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths. She appears on Monster Island in the first issue, where she saves human protagonist Detective Makato Sato from being killed by Godzilla. In the later issues, Mothra arrives in Tokyo along with several other monsters from Monster Island to retrieve the Elias, who have been brought there by Sato as part of his plan to end the criminal operations of the Takahashi crime syndicate. Once the Elias are saved, Mothra and the other kaiju return to Monster Island peacefully.
Godzilla: Ongoing #6, where she saves a family from Godzilla in California and convinces the monster king to leave the area. The Shobijin then appear at a conference with the United Nations to warn of an impending invasion by the space monsters Gigan, Hedorah, SpaceGodzilla, and Monster X. In issue #9, Mothra battles Monster X in New York, but is defeated.
Mothra appears in The Half Century War #3 as one of the many monsters battling in Ghana in 1975.
Mothra in Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3
In Rulers of Earth #4, Mothra fought Destoroyah with Godzilla by her side. She was gravely injured and had to be assisted by her twin larvae. After the fight with Destoroyah, Godzilla bids farewell to Mothra and she is carried back to Infant Island by her twin larvae. Mothra is then seen in Rulers of Earth #9, resting on Infant Island with her twin larvae. The Shobijin remark that Mothra may never recover from the injuries she sustained in her battle with Destoroyah.
In Rulers of Earth #19, the Shobijin arrived at the Monster Islands with Mothra's larvae and explained that Infant Island was recently attacked by Battra, who was under the control of Minette and Mallory. They told Steven Woods that Mothra was killed in the battle and the entire island was destroyed, with only them and the larvae escaping. Shortly after, Battra arrived at the islands with Minette and Mallory, intent on finishing the job. However, before Battra could kill Mothra's larvae, the Trilopods arrived, attacking Battra and the other monsters on the islands. The larvae escaped capture by the Trilopods and remained on the islands. After the Trilopods and the Cryogs were defeated by the other Earth monsters in Los Angeles, Mothra's larvae were seen cocooning themselves on a security monitor on the Monster Islands.Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Manda, and Anguirus. The grandfather later recalls that some of the people in his village pray to Mothra to bring them good fortune. Later, Mothra herself actually appears and joins the battle between Godzilla and Biollante. After Godzilla incinerates Biollante, he blasts Mothra in the wing with his atomic breath, forcing her to retreat.
Later, Arata's grandfather hypothesizes that Mothra was protecting Biollante so that she could restore the Earth, while Godzilla wanted to destroy her to prevent humanity from ever being able to hurt him again. While Biollante regenerates, she attracts Megaguirus and her swarm of Meganula. The giant dragonflies try to feed on Biollante, but Mothra arrives to battle them. Mothra and Megaguirus clash in the skies, and the Meganula swarm onto Mothra. Mothra knocks the Meganula aside with her wings and prepares to attack Megaguirus again, but a sudden blast of Godzilla's atomic breath separates the two monsters. Mothra and Godzilla do battle, but Mothra is badly wounded by repeated blasts from Godzilla's atomic breath, shredding her wings. Mothra fights bravely but is defeated when Godzilla blasts her with his hyper spiral ray.
Following the emergence of Destoroyah, Mothra flies back into battle to assist Godzilla against the demonic creature. Destoroyah vaporizes Mothra with his micro-oxygen beam, but is subsequently destroyed by the combined efforts of Godzilla and the regenerating Biollante. Though Mothra gave her life in the battle, Godzilla returns to the sea to leave mankind alone, while Biollante begins the process of restoring the greenness of the Earth. Meanwhile, a larval Mothra hatches from a colorful egg, with another identical egg next to it beginning to hatch, showing that Mothra will be reborn along with the rest of the world.
Two larvae later appeared along with an adult Mothra at the end of the fourth issue, alongside Rodan, Anguirus, Biollante, Zilla and King Caesar as they crossed through the inter-dimensional border while Mecha-King Ghidorah was fighting Godzilla. In the following issue, where the monsters were now joined by Hedorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah attacked one of the Mothra larvae, leading its parent to attack the cyborg monster herself, leaving him vulnerable to Anguirus' attacks. She then turned her attention towards Godzilla and attacked him alongside Rodan. Later, after Mecha-King Ghidorah was defeated by Godzilla, all of the monsters were left behind as the humans left the Earth as it became covered by tiny robotic cells that served as interdimensional doorways.
A photograph of what appears to be a cave painting of Mothra was taped to a map in Houston Brooks' office in 2012.
- Main article: Mothra/Gallery.
- In episode 40 of the Kimagure Orange Road anime TV series, the cast are making an amateur movie referencing certain elements from Mothra. They use the Kasuga family cat to play the part of a giant monster heading towards Tokyo with a final confrontation at Tokyo Tower and the Kasuga Twins playing the part of lost princesses that the monster is seeking. The twins even sing to the monster in order to calm it down and they ride on the monster back to their island paradise.
- In the Rumiko Takahashi series, Urusei Yatsura, Mothra, along with other kaiju co-stars, make multiple background cameos.
- In the Love Hina anime, Motoko has a dream where Mutsumi Otohime appears as two tiny versions of herself who sing to summon a giant version of Tama-chan in a similar fashion to how Mothra is summoned by her fairies.
- Mothra has a brief appearance in an episode of The Simpsons where Godzilla is attacking the plane the family is on along with Gamera and Rodan.
- A song by We Are Scientists, released on their 2002 LP Safety, Fun, and Learning (in that Order) is titled "Mothra Versus We Are Scientists."
- In Class of 3000 Mothra and Godzilla made a few appearances.
- Mothra is the name of a track on the Nosferatu album by The Stranglers' lead-singer and guitarist Hugh Cornwell and Captain Beefheart percussionist Robert Williams.
- The Toe Jammers wrote a song about Mothra, in which Godzilla sings Mothra a letter he wrote that begs for her forgiveness.
- During the events entailed in Silent Hill 1, the lead protagonist, Harry Mason encounters a large larva that he must fight. Later on, it is shown to have evolved into a very Mothra-like giant moth, who seeks revenge.
- A common enemy in the Legend of Zelda series is a giant poisonous moth known as Mothula, an apparent play on Mothra's name.
- In the Pokémon anime, Giratina has Mothra's chirps and screeches.
- Mothra looks strikingly similar to the Generation III Pokémon Beautifly, even having an almost identical color scheme.
- The Pokémon anime makes a direct reference to Mothra through Caterpie. In an episode a giant Caterpie attacks a city similar to Tokyo and it evolves into Metapod while on a tower similar to Tokyo Tower.
- In the Generation V Pokémon video games, Volcarona (a giant, fire-controlling moth Pokémon) is likely to have been influenced by Mothra.
- At the end of the Mad Cartoon Sketch: "Linkong", the Shobijin from 1961's Mothra (plus their various appearances in several Godzilla films) appear, narrating the epilogue and summoning Mothra Washington. Mothra flies on-screen, with authentic chirps.
- In the Sonic X anime, the giant moth Mothmacin is a reference to Mothra.
- In the Kirby series, a parody is seen in the anime. A monster named Mosugaba and the small twin girls were known as the Twin Nuts.
- Mothra is part of a miniskit in the comedy show Saturday Night Live.
- Mothra makes a pseudo-cameo in Legendary Pictures' Godzilla. When Joe and Ford Brody are searching through the ruins of the quarantine zone, the word "Mothra" can be seen printed below a glass terrarium. Also, in Ford's classroom, there is a diagram featuring several moths and butterflies, the largest of which has Mothra's coloration.
- In August of 2014, the 1998 film was mocked by RiffTrax Live, which was created by and shares many of the former members of Mystery Science Theater 3000. During the riffing, they made witty references to King Ghidorah and Mothra.
Mothra's chirps are actually Anguirus's roars sped up. This is most evident during a scene in Godzilla vs. Mothra where Mothra is hit by artillery and moans in pain, emitting a sound that is almost identical to Anguirus' roar.
In Other Languages
Mothra's name remains the same across many languages employing the Latin alphabet.
- Bulgarian: Мотра
- Chinese: 魔斯拉 (Mó sī lā)
- Italian: Watang, Mattra, Pulluk
- Serbian and Russian: Мотхра
- Yiddish: מאָטהראַ
- Mothra was the first Toho kaiju Godzilla faced that did not debut in the Godzilla series but was instead incorporated into and absorbed by it, becoming one of the series' recurring characters.
- Mothra has become one of Godzilla's most challenging opponents, having achieved the greatest success rate against him in battle. She has once overcome Godzilla in imago form, and twice Godzilla has fought her to her death only later to be bested by her newborn larvae. It should be mentioned that Mothra has never beaten Godzilla alone in her imago form. The only victories by Mothra over Godzilla were the twin Mothra larvae in Mothra vs. Godzilla in the Showa series, imago Mothra and imago Battra in Godzilla vs. Mothra in the Heisei series and the twin larvae and Kiryu in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. in the Millennium series.
- Mothra was the first kaiju fought by Godzilla to be female, the first one to be an insect, and the first one capable of flight. She was also the second insect kaiju to appear in a Toho film, predated only by the Meganulon from Rodan.
- Mothra is widely considered to be Toho's second most popular kaiju behind Godzilla, due to her numerous film appearances both in and outside of the Godzilla franchise. Toho has even given Mothra the title "Queen of (the) Monsters," a counterpart to Godzilla's "King of the Monsters."
- Toho had intended to follow Godzilla vs. Biollante with a revival of Mothra in her own spin-off film, Mothra vs. Bagan. However, following the unimpressive box office performance of Biollante, Toho discarded the project in favor of another Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. A 1992 survey revealed that Mothra was Toho's most popular kaiju among women, an observation which inspired Toho to again revise its plans, abandoning a proposed direct sequel to King Ghidorah in favor of a Godzilla–Mothra film. Following the end of the Heisei Godzilla series, Toho produced the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. Mothra thus became the first Toho kaiju to lead its own films after its incorporation into the Godzilla franchise.
- According to an interview with Kenpachiro Satsuma, Koichi Kawakita originally wanted Mothra to be killed in Godzilla vs. Mothra and appear in a sequel as MechaMothra.
- Mothra is one of the few monsters that has appeared in the Showa, Heisei, and Millennium Godzilla series, and she is slated to appear in Legendary's series of Godzilla films as well.
- Despite dying frequently in her film appearances, Mothra has only ever been killed by Godzilla and Desghidorah, though she did seemingly kill both herself and Gigan instantaneously in Godzilla: Final Wars.
- Although Mothra is one of Godzilla's most frequent allies, she has only been his ally in the films Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Destroy All Monsters and briefly in Godzilla: Final Wars. In all of her other film appearances alongside Godzilla so far, Mothra has been his enemy.
- In addition to her appearance on Monster Island via stock footage in Godzilla vs. Gigan, Mothra can be very briefly seen during the film's final battle, dropping down from a bridge while Godzilla walks towards King Ghidorah. This 'cameo' is unintentional, a result of the film's extensive use of stock footage from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and other Showa Godzilla films.
- Though Mothra is in general a female kaiju, there have been male members of her kind. In Rebirth of Mothra, Mothra has a son named Mothra Leo, who goes on to star in the next two films of the trilogy. Mothra Leo reappears as Mothra's son in Godzilla Island, where he has a sister named Baby Mothra. Sometimes, Mothra's twin larvae possess different genders. In the Godzilland merchandise line released in 1984, one of Mothra's larvae is depicted as a boy and the other as a girl. Merchandise for Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. differentiates the two larvae from the film as male and female, with the male having darker colored skin and longer tusks and tail projections than the female. During production of the film, the male larva was nicknamed "Taro" by the staff. The American dub of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster refers to the larval Mothra as male, however this only applies to the dub and all other official translations refer to the character as a female.
This is a list of references for Mothra. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
Showing 15 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.