Rebirth of Mothra III (1998)
The strongest enemy, the final transformation. (最強の敵、最後の変身。)
Rebirth of Mothra III (モスラ3 キングギドラ来襲, is a Mosura Surī Kingu Gidora Raishū, lit. Mothra 3: King Ghidorah Attacks)1998 tokusatsu kaiju film and the final entry in Toho's Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. It was released to Japanese theaters on December 12, 1998.
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Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Okihiro Yoneda
- Written by Masumi Suetani
- Produced by Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Toshiyuki Watanabe
- Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi
- Edited by Nobuo Ogawa
- Assistant directing by Masaaki Tezuka
- Special effects by Kenji Suzuki
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Megumi Kobayashi as Moll
- Misato Tate as Lora
- Aki Hano as Belvera
- Atsushi Ohnita as Yusuke Sonoda
- Miyuki Matsuda as Yukie Sonoda
- Takuma Yoshizawa as Shota Sonoda
- Kyohei Shinozaki as Shohei Sonoda
- Ayano Suzuki as Tamako Sonoda
- Koichi Ueda as Principal Kocho
- Atsushi Ohnita
- Miyuki Matsuda
- Takuma Yoshizawa
- Ayano Suzuki
- Kyoko Donowaki
- Hironori Okajima
- Toru Kodama
- Yoshinobu Yano
- Wataru Takeda
- Makoto Fudano
- Kensuke Kikuchi
- Hiromi Watanabe
- Maki Taniguchi
- Harumi Yoshitoshi
- Kaori Yanagioka
- Chiharu Tsuji
- Yoko Midorikawa
- Mika Iketani
- Futoshi Tanifuji as Elementary School Teacher
- Kazunori Shigeki
- Naomi Kusumi
- Kariko To
- Katsuya Takamatsu
- Tomisaburo Horikoshi
- Masaaki Morita
- Hideo Usui
- Osamu Okado
- Kimie Suzuki
- Hiromi Suzuki as Teacher Watching TV
- Sayaka Yamaguchi
- Shiro Namiki as Newscaster
- Hoei Project, Gekidan Himawari, Theatre Academy, Tokyohoei Television, Gekidan Tohai, Central Kodomo Talent, Central Kodomo Gekidan, Tokyo Jido Gekidan, Nihon Jido as Child Extras
- Tsutomu Kitagawa as King Ghidorah / Cretaceous King Ghidorah
Weapons, vehicles, and races
According to an interview with special effects director Koichi Kawakita, Toho planned to produce a new film featuring King Ghidorah as early as December 1995. The film was initially planned for release in 1999, but King Ghidorah was eventually worked into Rebirth of Mothra III in 1998. Toho considered introducing another new kaiju for the film as the antagonist, which was to be fire-themed. However, Toho ultimately decided to use a popular existing monster instead. Originally, Rodan was to be the villain, while Mothra Leo would have traveled back in time to medieval Japan rather than the Cretaceous period. Other dropped concepts included explicitly tying King Ghidorah to Nostradamus's "King of Terror" prophecy, and naming the monster as Desghidorah's father.
- Main article: Rebirth of Mothra III/Gallery.
- Main article: Rebirth of Mothra III (Soundtrack).
- Mothra 3: King Ghidorah Attacks (literal Japanese title)
- Mothra 3: Invasion of King Ghidorah (Mosura Surī: Kingu Gidora no shin'nyū; alternate Japanese title)
- Mothra: King Ghidorah Returns (Mothra: King Ghidorah kehrt zurück; Germany)
- Japan - December 12, 1998
Rebirth of Mothra III premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel on May 31, 2003, the same day as Rebirth of Mothra and Rebirth of Mothra II, although they had already been released on DVD three years prior. Sony planned to include the film in its 2009 Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection DVD set, but ultimately removed it. Aside from a stint on the free online streaming service Crackle, TV airings remained the only legitimate way to see Rebirth of Mothra III in the U.S. until 2014, when the trilogy was released in a Sony Blu-ray set with Japanese and English audio options.
Rebirth of Mothra III grossed ¥850,000,000 in Japan, a lower figure than the first two entries in the trilogy.
While the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy is held in low esteem by kaiju fans overall, they generally consider Rebirth of Mothra III to be on par with Rebirth of Mothra. The 2007 readers' poll conducted by G-Fan produced a 5.9 out of 10 rating for the film, ranking it 42nd among 49 kaiju films surveyed, but still the highest in the trilogy. By the 2014 poll, its rating was essentially unchanged, lowering to 5.8. This time, Rebirth of Mothra surpassed it with a 6.2 score. In a 2013 Toho Kingdom poll, 43% of respondents named it their favorite in the trilogy, compared with 53% for Rebirth of Mothra and 5% for Rebirth of Mothra II.
King Ghidorah's design and portrayal routinely garner praise, as do the battle scenes. Targets for criticism include the uninvolved human cast, a convoluted time-travel story, and the low-quality CGI and dinosaur effects.
Toho DVD (2006, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by special effects director Kenji Suzuki, message from producer Shogo Tomiyama, behind-the-scenes tokusatsu footage, featurette with special effects cinematographer Keiichi Sakurai, trailers and TV spots, featurette focusing on Keizo Murase, Shinichi Wakasa, and Masaaki Tezuka
Sony Blu-ray + Digital HD (2014)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Subtitles: English, French
- Special Features: Four trailers for Rebirth of Mothra, four trailers for Rebirth of Mothra II, three trailers for Rebirth of Mothra III
- Notes: Packaged with Rebirth of Mothra and Rebirth of Mothra II. The English subtitles reflect the dub, not the original Japanese dialogue.
Toho Blu-ray (2017)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by special effects director Kenji Suzuki, message from producer Shogo Tomiyama, behind-the-scenes tokusatsu footage, featurette with special effects cinematographer Keiichi Sakurai, trailers and TV spots, image gallery, featurette focusing on Keizo Murase, Shinichi Wakasa, and Masaaki Tezuka
- Notes: Packaged with Rebirth of Mothra and Rebirth of Mothra II.
- Despite being replaced as the villain of the film, Rodan makes a brief appearance on the screen of a Sega Dreamcast VMU, after a child playing Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly is abducted by King Ghidorah.
- In this film, King Ghidorah became the second kaiju to make his debut in the Godzilla series and later appear in a film without Godzilla, after the Giant Octopus.
- Rebirth of Mothra III was the first Toho kaiju film made without the involvement of producer Tomoyuki Tanaka. A framed photo of Tanaka appears in the Sonoda family's house as a tribute.
- It was also the first Toho kaiju film since 1984 without Koichi Kawakita as the director of special effects.
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