Rebirth of Mothra III (1998)

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Mothra Films
Rebirth of Mothra II
Rebirth of Mothra III
None
Rebirth of Mothra III
The Japanese poster for Rebirth of Mothra III
Directed by Okihiro Yoneda
Producer(s) Shogo Tomiyama
Written by Masumi Suetani
Music by Toshiyuki Watanabe
Distributor TohoJP
TriStar PicturesUS
Rating Not Rated
Box office ¥850,000,000[1]
Running time 99 minutes
(1 hour, 39 minutes)
Aspect ratio 1.85:1
Rate this film!
4.40
(83 votes)

The strongest enemy, the final transformation. (最強の敵、最後の変身。)
„ 

— Tagline

Rebirth of Mothra III (モスラ3 キングギドラ来襲,   Mosura Surī Kingu Gidora Raishū, lit. Mothra 3: King Ghidorah Attacks), is a 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.

Plot

Belvera breaks into an ancient temple and unlocks a massive-by-her-standards box. When her sisters Moll and Lora confront her, she calls forth and seizes three triangular jewels from the box. Hopping onto her steed, Garugaru, she teases a power called the Elias Triangle. As Belvera leaves, Moll and Lora call Fairy to tackle Garugaru, causing her to drop two of the gems. Belvera lets them go, warning they'll be necessary for the "King of Terror." The gem reading "Courage" fits onto Moll's sword, causing it to glow orange and elongate, but "Wisdom" fails to work on Lora's sword. Moll concludes it was meant for Belvera.

A meteor explodes as it enters Earth's atmosphere. Returning home to his family that night, Yusuke Sonoda reports that the skies are full of shooting stars. One lands outside Katsuyama. As it glows orange, dirt and debris around it rises into the air. The next morning, the Elias find little left of the meteorite. Fairy scans it and finds that it dates back to the time of the dinosaurs. The monster that emerged begins abducting children from their schools. Belvera, flying into a classroom suddenly devoid of students, names the menace: King Ghidorah. The Sonodas' eldest son Shota, who has stopped going to school, slips past the police blockade of the crash site.

Moll concludes that Ghidorah plans to exterminate humanity just as he did the dinosaurs. She and Lora call upon Rainbow Mothra to stop him as he attacks a city with shockwaves. The children he snatched reappear in a giant dome near the crash site. A soccer ball one throws at the dome instantly dissolves, sparking a panic. Shota watches Ghidorah land next to the dome and peer inside. Just then, Mothra attacks, but an invisible barrier around Ghidorah blunts all of his rays. He fires Gravity and Antigravity Beams in response, badly injuring him, then stomps her into the ground. Mothra is helpless as Ghidorah throws him into the air and sends him flying with another volley of Gravity Beams. Moll and Lora try to distract him, with Fairy firing her antennae lasers, only for one of his head to glare at Lora and place her under his control. She tries to strangle Moll and they both tumble from Fairy towards the dome.

Triumphant, Ghidorah continues abducting children, including the Sonodas' other children, Shohei and Tamako. Tentacles shoot out from the dome, ensnaring Belvera and Garugaru. More target Shota as he spots his siblings in the dome, but Fairy, now only carrying Moll, repels them. The Sonodas learn of the dome's location on TV and realize they can reach it through a nearby wind cave which serves as Shota's hideout. He leads Moll through the cave, and they find Mothra resting on the other side. Inside the doom, the mind-controlled Lora crosses blades with Belvera, using her "Love" jewel to extend her sword.

Mothra tells Moll that the only way to defeat Ghidorah is to travel through time back to Ghidorah's first attack on Earth, 130 million years ago, when he was significantly weaker. Moll sings to power his journey, as he shifts into his Aqua Mothra form, then Light Speed Mothra. Her strength fading, she gives Shota her sword and tells him to make Lora see the light again before turning to crystal. He dares Ghidorah to capture him, and the monster obliges. As he arrives inside the dome, it begins to fill with acid. In the past, Mothra stops Ghidorah from eating a Triceratops. The younger Ghidorah has no shield, and as Mothra rains down attacks, the Ghidorah in the present begins to feel pain. As she holds her sword to his throat, Shota tells Lora that Moll's last request was for her to help Mothra, and she returns to her senses. Her sword fuses with Moll's, causing Belvera to realize the Elias Triangle refers to her and her sisters. She attaches the "Wisdom" jewel to her sword, then merges it with the others.

Mothra shoots off part of Ghidorah's tail; an alarmed Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex watch as it burrows underground. But the younger Ghidorah is still a formidable opponent, and his fireballs begin to wear Mothra down. As he nears death, Lora's song gives him strength. He paralyzes Ghidorah with Excel Shining Field Rainbow powder, then carries him into the active Mt. Fuji. In the present, Ghidorah and the dome both vanish. As Lora and Belvera mourn Moll, three Primitive Mothra larva come upon the fallen Mothra and cocoon her. Suddenly, Ghidorah bursts out of a meteor in the present again, having regrown his body from the tail Mothra shot off. The Sonodas can only watch as he abducts the children again. With Mothra's whereabouts unknown, Lora and Belvera battle Ghidorah themselves on Fairy. As they do, Mothra's cocoon bursts out of a hillside and opens to reveal his new form: Armor Mothra. Ghidorah is completely outmatched: his Gravity Beam have no effect and Mothra even drops him to the ground with a ram. After slicing one of his wings off, Mothra energizes himself and flies through Ghidorah, causing him to crystalize and explode.

Mothra sheds his armor, becoming Eternal Mothra, and combines his power with the sword to revive Moll. Belvera departs on Garugaru, telling her sisters it doesn't matter if they don't agree with each other. With the dome gone, the children rush to be reunited with their parents, including the Sonodas. They wave goodbye to the Elias and Mothra.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

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


Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, vehicles, and races

  • Elias
  • Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III Helicopter

Development

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.[2] 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.[3][4] Other dropped concepts included explicitly tying King Ghidorah to Nostradamus's "King of Terror" prophecy, and naming the monster as Desghidorah's father.[5]

Gallery

Main article: Rebirth of Mothra III/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Rebirth of Mothra III (Soundtrack).

Alternate titles

  • 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)

Theatrical releases

  • Japan - December 12, 1998

U.S. release

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.[6] 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.

Box office

Rebirth of Mothra III grossed ¥850,000,000 in Japan, a lower figure than the first two entries in the trilogy.

Reception

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.[7] By the 2014 poll, its rating was essentially unchanged, lowering to 5.8.[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.[9]

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.

Video releases

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)

Videos

Trailers

Japanese Rebirth of Mothra III trailer
Japanese Rebirth of Mothra III TV spot

Trivia

  • 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.
  • Plush toys of Tails and Sonic appear in Yusuke Sonoda's truck and attached to a fan in the Sonodas' house, respectively.

References

This is a list of references for Rebirth of Mothra III. 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: [1]

  1. Rebirth of Mothra III on Japanese Wikipedia
  2. Koichi Kawakita Interview II - davmil.org
  3. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books, 2012. Pages 260-263. ISBN 9784864910132.
  4. Rebirth of Mothra III Encyclopedia. 1998. Page 84, "Kenji Suzuki Interview." ISBN 4766931165.
  5. John LeMay. The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films. Bicep Books. p. 246. 2017.
  6. HK and Cult Film News - Return of the Classics: Another Exclusive HKCFN Interview with Sony's Mike Schlesinger
  7. G-FAN Magazine Index: G-Fan #79
  8. G-FAN Magazine Index: G-Fan #105
  9. [1]

Comments

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avatar

The H-Man

one month ago
Score 0
Is there any specific reason why the title is "Rebirth of Mothra III" on the site? I thought the common practice was to use the official export titles when possible: in this case, it uses the Arabic numeral 3.
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Astounding Beyond Belief

one month ago
Score 0
Huh. I'll cling to the back cover of the Sony Blu-ray as justification for keeping the title as is, because I'm not sure I could handle seeing Rebirth of Mothra II and Rebirth of Mothra 3 next to each other.
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GojiKaijuFan06

one month ago
Score 0
Usually, Mothra's enemies only destroy like one or two things. Then King Ghidorah comes along ad destroys Sapporo, Tokyo, and tons more stuff.
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AngiraBlu

2 months ago
Score 0

"Other dropped concepts included explicitly tying King Ghidorah to Nostradamus's 'King of Terror' prophecy, and naming the monster as Desghidorah's father."

(*sigh*) ..... Imma be honest, this has kinda...well, I was gonna say "bugged me." And I was gonna say "bothered me." ... OK, both words are too strong to use. But now I got nothin', so I digress. Point is: Does ANYBODY even see this being even possible??? I mean, WHO'S THE MOM??? The fan-made Queen Ghidorah??? Then again, if he is KG's kid, then he's probably in a transitional stage. Like, a stage between Cretaceous KG and Modern-Type KG (*but for Desghidorah*), where he gained more power and attacks.
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AngiraBlu

2 months ago
Score 0
(*sarcasm on the QG part, btw*)
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G&G-Fan

5 months ago
Score 0
  • Lists dinosaurs as monsters*
Bruh
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G&G-Fan

5 months ago
Score 0
That first part is supposed to be bolded but whatever
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よくたわごと

8 months ago
Score 0
This is honestly to me the most unique and interesting of the Mothra films, however it certainly isn't the best
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Kraikein

18 months ago
Score 3
Very odd that the original idea was that Rodan would be fought in the Edo Period, yet the final film has King Ghidorah being fought in the Cretaceous Period. Wouldn't it make more sense if it was the other way around?
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MINEZILLA

22 months ago
Score 2
King Ghidorah.... in a Mothra film? What?!?!
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Green Blob Thing

42 months ago
Score 2
So like the Gamera trilogy, this trilogy features a new monster for the second film and then features a pre-existing character and a variant of that character in the first and third films? I'm not sure what to think of that.
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