Mothra (モスラ?, Mosura) is a giant divine moth kaiju created by Toho Studios that first appeared alongside Godzilla in the 1964 Godzilla film, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and first appearing in the 1961 Toho film, Mothra.
The name "Mothra" is the suffixion 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. In the American dubbing and various posters of 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.
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.
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, she 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.
HistoryInfant Island, a race of natives dwell, praying day and night to a mighty god. Bathing her mythical spirit with praise and utmost devotion to her greatness. It was not until the encroachment of man, did the natives know of death, suffering, and evil. Ransacking the island, a group of pilfering thieves, stole a pair of six-inch high women, the Shobijin priestess that lived on the grounds. The islanders tried to fight back, but against guns they held no power. With tear soaked eyes, and blood dripping lips, the head priest crawled to the temple. His voice echoed in mournful cries, as at last the giant egg, which had been housed inside, broke. Lifting into the cavern of the darkness, Mothra was born. Feeling the Shobijin's cries, the huge caterpillar made it way towards Tokyo. Destroying homes, ships, and countless millions in property, Mothra crawled. Days passed before finally she reached the heart of Tokyo. There, Mothra met with the military's full might. Tanks and rockets were shelled against the huge insect with unrelenting fury. Sensing that her current form was too slow, the caterpillar climbed Tokyo Tower. However, her mass was far too much for the structure, and the metal sentry collapsed. Taking care of the advantage, Mothra began to spin her silk. The milky white strains fallen about her form, and forming a huge while cocoon within hours. What the people of the world had viewed with her Larva form, was nothing compared to what lied in waiting of the egg. Dawn rises on the new day, and Tokyo beholds the view of the temporally halted monster, Mothra. Concealed in her cocoon, the Japanese public fears what devilish tricks the beast might show. But the military is already well and ready to take advantage of the immovable creature. Bringing in two Heat Ray Guns from the Rolisican government, they plan to hit the creature while it was helpless. Hours tick by, before finally the atomic cannons were fired. Blazes a thousand times more powerful than any star, stream from their metallic like barrels, and burned into the cocoon. Causing the flammable material to turn into a flaming inferno. Man's technology transformed the once soft womb, into a charred husk. Japan breathed a sigh of relief, until the truth revealed itself.Muffled cried lifted from the prison, followed by cracking. Pieces of the shell fell away, showing to the world a new evolved Mothra. Resembling an adult moth, the creature spread its wings and took off. The hurricane force winds from her flapping, sent cars and people flying. Screeching on last time, the winged insect flew to New Kirk City. A place that held her fairies. Human conflict arises before the twins are taken from their captors and giving back to their protector. Saying goodbye, Mothra and the sister girls left, flying back to their island in peace. With the rampaging Godzilla decimating half the countryside of Japan, a small band of reporters journeyed to Infant Island in hope that the Shobijin will hear their pleas. Their calls almost went unheard though, because of the interference of the island natives. They were extremely reluctant to let them see their beloved goddess after humanity's lack of cooperation in returning Mothra's egg, which had washed ashore on Japan. However, the gigantic deity summoned for them, and through the communications of the Shobijin, an agreement was brought. Mothra, though weak in her current state, would journey to Japan to face Godzilla. Unfortunately, if she did leave, and was triumphant, she would not have the strength to return. So, lifting from her cavern shrine, the monstrous insect carried the prayers and wishes of the world on her wings. A few days passed before the angelic monster reached the mainland and forced a war with the roaring nuclear menace. The adult Mothra fought, and dragged the reptile from her uncased egg. Her children would not fall prey before this murderer. Few witnessed the selfless struggle that Mothra gave Godzilla that day. The deity used her wings to keep Godzilla to the floor, until Godzilla burned her wings, badly wounding Mothra. The goddess retreated, flying back to the demolished Happy Enterprises and coming to rest on her egg in a final bid of strength. Mothra, the benevolent deity, was now dead. It was up to her flesh and blood kin to finish what she started. With the death of the adult Mothra, mankind looks towards the gigantic egg in hope, which had washed upon the shores of Japan. Greedy corporations, such as Happy Enterprises, had kept the egg in a huge fiberglass cage. Only the intervention of the gigantic moth saved the unborn child from the creature Godzilla. Now, the dead mass of Mothra laid still on the egg. The Shobijin twins prayed to their sleeping god. Begging for redemption against the evil of Godzilla. It wasn't long before their wishes were heard. Birthing from the egg, two grub like larva crawled forth to challenge the nuclear menace. The newborns swam to the creature, and combined their power to over come the King of the Monsters. Rage frothed from Godzilla, though he could do little to release it, as he was entombed in the bindings of the caterpillar's web. Then, he toppled into the sea, sealing the avenged wrath of the babies for their murdered mother.
Though they did triumph on the battlefield, one of the larva perished. The remaining one, however, was given peace, and was worshiped day and night by her people. It was not until another year did humankind again plead for her help. It seemed that an awakened tyrant, a golden king of terror, was devastating the lands. The cosmic entity was dubbed King Ghidorah, and humanity begged for a savior. However, Mothra could not defeat the demon alone. She would have to convince the newly awakened Rodan and Godzilla to join her side and defend the Earth. Unfortunately, the ancient animals were waging their own war between themselves, and would not hear her begs. So, even knowing that death would greet her, Mothra crawled on alone and fought King Ghidorah. The plan was completely insane and suicidal, but her courage managed to stir something. Godzilla and Rodan were moved by the youth's bravery, and decided to put aside their differences. Soon they joined her side, and forced the cackling horror back to the cold, dark, recesses of space.Years pass as the champion Mothra, now in its life cycle, bears a child of her own. Much smaller than its ancestors, this larval Mothra finds itself inhabiting Monsterland an artificially maintained island for the world's monsters. However, the arrival of an alien force known as the Kilaaks throws the utopia out of balance, as they take control of the island's inhabitants. Mothra, now a mercenary of the alien race, is first sent to destroy Beijing as part of a global assault. Later, as the Kilaak's war enters its second phase, Mothra joins Godzilla, Rodan, and Manda in the annihilation of Tokyo. Thankfully, the Kilaak's deplorable technology is eventually duplicated on Earth, and, with the destruction of the Kilaak's Moon base, the monsters now enter the control of humanity. The hostile alien race makes one final bid for success, as they send their ultimate weapon, King Ghidorah, to defeat Earth's monsters. Joining the counteroffensive, Mothra and the rest of Earth's defenders easily fight back the space demon, killing the beast once and for all. With King Ghidorah no more, and the Kilaakian laid to rest, Mothra once again returns to Monsterland to live out the rest of her days in peace.
Infant Island, a tropical oasis in the Indonesian Archipelago, was bombarded with massive waves following an asteroid collision in the early 1990's. The torrential climactic shift in the area revealed an enormous egg buried in the side of a hill. An expedition was soon sent to the island to investigate the climactic changes, and it so happened that this small trio discovered the egg during their search of the tiny isle. Even more bizarre, a pair of twin fairies called the Cosmos appeared near the egg. They revealed that over 12 millennia ago, an advanced civilization created a device that could control the weather. The Earth created Battra in order to counter this action, and the guardian Mothra did battle with the creature. Battra was laid to rest in the north seas while the climate controller was destroyed. The land flooded, and Mothra and the Cosmos survived in the mountains. The Cosmos also revealed that Mothra and Battra had reawakened, due to the new dangers facing the planet. Kenji Andoh, a member of the expedition and an employee of the Marutoma Corporation, suggested that the egg should be transported back to Japan in order for it to be properly preserved. The Cosmos put their trust in Andoh, and the egg set sail toward the mainland.As the ship traveled the long journey to Japan, a powerful pillar of bright blue energy ripped through the surf. Godzilla emerged and approached the colorful orb. In order to keep their vessel safe from Godzilla, Takuya Fujita cut the tethers to the ropes to the egg's transport. Afterward, the egg began to crack and glow. The turquoise eyes of an adorable caterpillar emerged from the broken shell. The larva rushed into the sea to avoid Godzilla's heat ray, and found her way behind the monster. She bit the trunk-like tail, but Godzilla tossed the moth aside. Mothra began to spray her silk at the beast, but she was thrown back yet again by his thermonuclear ray. The persistent insect leaped at the creature, but the massive monster again repelled the diminutive worm. It appeared as though Mothra was in dire straits, if not for the jagged hump that suddenly appeared in the distance. It was the Battra larva, and though it used its horn to maliciously toss Mothra aside, it grappled with Godzilla, unknowingly giving Mothra a chance to escape. As Battra and Godzilla pulled each other under the sea and eventually into a lava flow beneath the Earth's crust, Mothra prepared to return home to safety.
Without the giant egg he had promised to procure, Kenji Andoh kidnapped the Cosmos and handed them to his boss instead. The twin fairies called to Mothra for help, and the mammoth moth inched its way through the endless miles of sea toward Tokyo. As Mothra plowed through the military's defensive procedures, Takuya Fujita absconded with the fairies and attempted to sell them for profit. His ex-wife Masako Tezuka, a member of the expedition to Infant Island, and his daughter pleaded with him to release the fairies, for Mothra was destroying Tokyo in her attempts to rescue her beloved twin fairies. The Cosmos were released, and they ordered Mothra to halt her advance. The obedient Monster turned around and began her long trek home, but she was suddenly fired upon by the military. The military ceased fire when they learned that there were people in the vicinity, but Mothra looked very ill following the assault. She trudged over to the Diet Building, where she raised her head into the sky and shot her silk into the air. The silk gently formed into a soft, protective cocoon. Mothra was about to metamorphosize.
Wrapped in a blanket of silk, Mothra transformed inside her cocoon. She had come to Japan to rescue her beloved Cosmos, and began her retreat when she learned of their safety. The military, however, fired on the larva. When a cease-fire was issued, Mothra looked very lethargic. She slowly made her way to the Capitol, and wrapped herself in a protective cocoon.
Meanwhile, the pressure of the magma flow beneath Mt. Fuji began to reach a critical level. Suddenly, Godzilla emerged from the volcano. It was believed that the menace had died in an erupting lava flow beneath the sea, but it turned out that he merely swam through the molten rock to his present location. The saurian shadow, pulsing with anger, began his descent toward Yokohama.As Godzilla was emerging from his fiery tomb, the furry shell of Mothra's cocoon began to stretch and tear. Two beautiful, cerulean pools pierced through the night, as a pair of plush wings began to unfold. Mothra began to fly into the night, for it was her duty to destroy her dark counterpart: Battra.
It was thought that Battra had died earlier in a lava flow in the ocean depths, but the reddish glow on the surface of the sea burned a flame of doubt on this assumption. Battra rose from the surf and immediately transformed into its imago form in a blaze of energy. It sought to destroy its mortal enemy Mothra, and flew toward the mainland.
At Yokohama Cosmo World, the park goers gazed into the sky as Mothra and Battra clashed above the city. Battra pursued Mothra with his deadly eye beams, and in the process, the indifferent insect caused the collapse of the Yokohama Bay Bridge. Mothra crashed into the ground, and her archenemy's eye beams continued to fire. Before Battra could continue the onslaught, though, he was suddenly distracted by another monster; Godzilla had arrived on the scene. Battra, recognizing the threat that this new entity posed, proceeded to fire his eye beams at the nuclear menace. In the process, the dark moth destroyed the Yokohama Landmark Tower, sending the once proud structure crashing onto his furious foe. Battra flew to the ruins where Godzilla lay, but the devious creature beneath the rubble released his nuclear pulse. Godzilla regained his balance and tossed Battra into the distance. A nuclear ray quickly followed the physical assault, and Godzilla's foe was rendered incapacitated.
Mothra, understanding the futility of the current battle strategy, shot Godzilla with her antenna beams and descended to meet Battra. They communicated and agreed to cooperate. Mothra began to revive Battra, but Godzilla interrupted the process. The determined moth left Battra to fight her true foe. She reflected his attacks with her glimmering scales, but the terrible titan's nuclear pulse sent the majestic moth crashing underneath the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel in the theme park. Godzilla fired a blast at the Ferris wheel, and it began to tilt and fall toward the immobile creature. Battra caught the amusement ride just in time, and sent it crashing into Godzilla instead. Regaining her composure, Mothra created a bright shield of energy around Godzilla as her ally fired his eye beams at the monster. Godzilla continued to fight on, and in the process destroyed the Yokohama Grand Intercontinental Hotel. The reptile's reign of terror was finally over, however, when the monster was sent crashing into the ground. Mothra and Battra communicated once more, and they made a pact. The former latched onto Godzilla's tail as the latter grabbed onto Godzilla's head and neck. They slowly lifted the detestable behemoth into the air, and they carried him out to sea. However, Godzilla sank his teeth into Battra's neck and used his thermonuclear ray on the creature's wound, which was flowing most repulsively with yellowish blood. Eventually, Battra's eyes lost their glow; the creature had died. Mothra is unable to go any further, and is forced to release Godzilla's tail, sending her ferocious foe and her late ally into the depths of the sea. The majestic moth sealed the area with a special energy, and departed for the mainland.
It so happened that the year 1999 was going to bring an asteroid plummeting to the planet. Battra was going to be the one to destroy the massive meteor before it collided with Earth, but since he had died in the battle with Godzilla, Mothra would have to halt its approach in his stead. After all, the two monsters had made a solemn pact. After saying their goodbyes to humankind, the Cosmos departed. They joined Mothra and flew into space, for they were about to save the Earth yet again.space monster arrived to destroy the planet Earth, the monster goes under the name of "Desghidorah". This three-headed demonic dragon was forced to deal with resistance in the form of a species of highly advanced, enormous moths, which are 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 the benevolence of Moll and Lora was undeterred, Belvera became twisted and vengeful due to the mass extinction of her race. These tiny fairies, along with one final Mothra, lingered on for thousands of years.
In order to preserve her legacy, Mothra gave birth to an enormous egg, however, she became physically exhausted from the ordeal. Shortly afterwards, a logging company uncovered the subterranean prison of the demonic dragon that had ravaged the Earth 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, in order to exact her warped plans for destruction. Mothra was summoned to halt the demonic dragon, which was absorbing the life out of the environment. She fought a long and difficult battle to repel her ancient adversary, and in response to her declining strength, her young larva, Mothra Leo, prematurely hatched in order to assist his mother. Though his energized silk seemed to turn the tide of battle in the favor of the protectors, Desghidorah sank its teeth deep into Mothra Leo, and Mothra became desperate. She quickly airlifted Mothra Leo to safety, and in order to keep Desghidorah at bay, she lured Desghidorah into a dam. With Desghidorah distracted by a wall of raging water, Mothra carried her offspring to safety. Unfortunately, Mothra's wounds, age, and exhaustion were ultimately too much. Her strength failed, and she plummeted into the sea below. Mothra Leo attempted to save his beloved mother, to no avail. Angered, Mothra Leo created a cocoon and began to change into his imago stage. Desghidorah had to be defeated, his mother's death couldn't be in vain.
Mothra was brought back 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. In GMK Mothra was one of the three Guardian Monsters that defended Japan from a possessed Godzilla.
A small group of eleven young cyclists arrived at Lake Ikeda in Kagashima. Though their intentions seemed harmless at first, their demeanor began to quickly turn sour. The deviants ransacked a local store. Even worse, when a barking dog irked the troublesome teens, they heartlessly prepared to do away with the poor pooch. Amidst the chaos of the break in, an odd antiquity was overturned. The humanoid statuette fell on its side, and the reveling vandals prepared to hand the artifact the same fate as the animal they had shoved so carelessly into a cramped receptacle. As this insanity continued, a mysterious old man watched the situation from the edge of a dark forest.
The laughter and revelry continued to echo into the night as a boat departed from the shore, bent on a malicious mission. The vessel was suddenly overturned, and the helpless humans were quickly tugged into the deep, one by one. The mortified onlookers stood speechless as what appeared to be an enormous boulder broke through the surface of the once placid lake. Mere moments passed before the terrible truth was realized: the enormous object was a monster! A piercing roar bellowed from the creeping creature as it barreled its way closer and closer to the shore. The shrieking silhouette struck panic into the hearts of the onlookers. Mothra, as the ancient Guardian Monster was called, killed each and every one of them by entrapping them in her silky cocoon. The lucky pup managed to escape this terrible fate. Like a blanket, the abominable arthropod enshrouded herself in her own silk, for she needed to metamorphosize in order to confront the approaching danger.
The people on the shore of Lake Ikeda gazed with curiosity at the enormous cocoon that sat motionless in the calm waters. The Guardian Monster Baragon had been ruthlessly slaughtered by Godzilla in the Owaku Valley in Hakone, and the despicable beast was now inching its way closer and closer to Tokyo. The sun set over Lake Ikeda, and Baragon's replacement quickly grew inside the shell of her protective pupa. An expressionless face suddenly tore its way through the protective coating, and two purple gems stared deep into the night. Mothra, the second Guardian Monster, climbed atop her broken cocoon, and her membranous wings began to materialize into a beautiful rainbow of vibrant colors. Her wings moved with a smooth motion as she prepared to take off. Into the sky she soared, prepared to confront her saurian foe, Godzilla.
As the final Guardian Monster, Ghidorah, appeared near Mt. Fuji, Mothra arrived in Yokohama. Mothra landed atop the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the nation's highest skyscraper. She peered down on the dimly lit metropolis, seeking the creature she was awoken to exterminate. Godzilla and Mothra exchanged chilling roars. The mammoth moth started to glide gracefully from the pinnacle of the building. She swam on the breeze, gently and elegantly boasting her prowess in the sky. Grace soon gave way to raw power as the mystifying monster fired her projectile stingers into Godzilla. The organic daggers exploded on contact, but they managed to cause only minimal damage. The monster king countered this stinger barrage with his heat ray, and Mothra swiftly picked up speed to escape the speeding stream of searing-hot plasma. In the process of escaping the nuclear hellfire, Mothra led the beam straight into the Landmark Tower. In a flash, the once proud symbol of human ingenuity became a towering inferno. In the chaos, Mothra managed to silently descend behind Godzilla and latch tightly onto the skull of the nuclear menace. When Ghidorah appeared on the scene, Mothra humbly retreated to allow the third Guardian Monster to enter the fray. The intelligent insect managed to again align herself silently behind Godzilla while he was preoccupied with Ghidorah, but alas, the blunt blow of Godzilla's tail sent the moth flying into a furious tumble. She regained her balance and soared again into the sky. Ghidorah was suddenly knocked unconscious by the superior, surging strength of his sadistic enemy. As Godzilla attempted to fire a final radioactive ray at Ghidorah, Mothra came to her fellow Guardian's defense and took the full force of the powerful beam. With both Mothra and Ghidorah seemingly defeated, the military fired on the lumbering leviathan. Unfortunately, the self-defense force did not last long against the horrendous heat ray. Upwards of ninety percent of the counteroffensive was destroyed by Godzilla's wrath, and it seemed as though nothing could be done to gain an advantage over this cyclopean creature.
Her wings ablaze, Mothra rose from the ruins of the city. Her expressionless face gazed deep into the twisted soul of the radioactive reptile. She approached Godzilla from behind, but Godzilla was prepared. He turned and fired the full force of his thermonuclear breath, dematerializing the once majestic moth. Mothra's energy swirled and started to descend upon Ghidorah. His eyes opened, and the final Guardian Monster returned in full furious force as King Ghidorah.Kiryu's design. They beg Japan to return the original Godzilla's bones to the bottom of the sea and promise that Mothra would take Kiryu's place in defending Japan against Godzilla, and if Japan does not, then Mothra would declare war on humanity. When Godzilla attacks Japan, Mothra arrives before Kiryu to fight Godzilla. However, Godzilla overpowers Mothra and Kiryu arrives to fight Godzilla but is also defeated and must undergo repairs. Meanwhile, on Infant Island, two twin Mothra larvae hatch from Mothra's egg, and rush to help their mother. The twin larvae hold Godzilla off as Kiryu is being repaired. Godzilla attempts to use his atomic breath against the larvae but Mothra sacrifices herself to save her children. Just in time, the humans repair Kiryu, who stabs Godzilla's chest with a drill. Godzilla roars in pain, and the larvae begin to bind him up in web. However, Godzilla's roar re-awakens Kiryu's soul. The cyborg grabs hold of the web-binded Godzilla and secures themselves with cables. Kiryu then uses his boosters and carries Godzilla and himself out to sea. Gigan. The two monsters battled thousands of years ago over the fate of Earth, and Mothra ended up being victorious over her cybernetic foe. Several millennia passed, and the mummified remains of the cyborg kaiju ended up displayed in an EDF stronghold for further investigation. While confined, the creature is studied by a team of scientists. Among them is Paleontologist Hachiro Jinguji, who makes the startling discovery that the creature, despite hosting advance technology, is in fact 12,000 years old. A sudden voice chimes in to confirm this, as the interior of the EDF lab appears to melt away into a cave. Before the group, that includes Jinguji and Biologist Miyuki Otonashi, two tiny fairies, known as Shobijin, are spotted lying on a small pedestal. The Shobijin explain that Gigan did arrive on Earth thousands of years ago and was fought into submission by Mothra. The fairies then reassure the group that Mothra will retain its role as the Earth's guardian, before the cave dissipates to reveal the interior of the EDF lab again.
Later, after the Xiliens have initiated a series of attacks, Mothra answers the Earth's plea for help and arrives in Tokyo ready to fight. Once there, Mothra attempts to attack the Xilien's latest monster, Monster X, who was battling Godzilla. However, the Xilien leader, spotting Mothra's descent into Tokyo, dispatches a repaired Gigan to do battle with its ancient foe. The two kaiju fight fiercely, slamming their bodies into one another in mid-air, until Gigan gains the upper hand by cutting Mothra's wing with his new chainsaw hands. With Mothra apparently in defeat, Gigan turns his attention to Godzilla, and begins slashing at the monster with his new hands, as Monster X holds the nuclear leviathan in place. The pair's advantage is short lived, however, as Mothra comes flying back into the battle, striking down both Monster X and Gigan simultaneously with her wings. Gigan directs his efforts back at Mothra, utilizing more of his upgraded arsenal as he unleashes two, razor like, discs at the winged monster. Gigan's attack proves futile, however, as Mothra effortlessly dodges the two discs. Gigan continues the assault, though, and lets loose with a discharge of his shotgun like laser beam, which ignites his ancient foe into a smoldering fireball. Gigan, pleased with his success, turns his back to the downed moth. However, the cybernetic kaiju made a fatal miscalculation as the two razor discs, malfunctioning due to Mothra's scales, boomeranged back at the monster, decapitating Gigan. Then, out of the smoke and flames, a burning Mothra ascended at her foe in her breath, colliding with the robotic monster and causing an explosion that destroyed the cyborg. This "kamikaze" attack is Mothras most powerful weapon, amazingly, though, she survives it, as seen in the credits, and flew home to Infant Island.
Mothra has proven a formidable adversary in combat: in larval 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 has had the ability to 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's sprays her opponents with a stream of silk as a ranged attack (to entrap or disorient an enemy). She also uses her mandibles for a close combat bite. (Mothra has a habit of biting opponents'; tails, although it is rarely effective and, predictably, is usually self-defeating. It's usually used as a desperate attempt at stopping a creature much larger than itself.) 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 hopefully asphyxiate an enemy.However she only uses that attack when she knows she is going to die, this is thought, because the extreme loss of scales will cause her to lose her 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. The powder now had a different effect; It would act as a 3-D mirror to trap energy blasts, making them rebound over whatever was inside the cloud of powder over and over again. This proved very effective in turning Godzilla's own atomic breath against him. The powder could also be used as an instrument in team-based strategies, as it was shown that Battra had deliberately fired his prism beams into the powder cloud (while Godzilla was surrounded by it) so that his beams would rebound inside the cloud for a short time before finally striking Godzilla, 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 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 on Final Wars Mothra has the ability to counter enemy beams not only with reflecting them she can use them to attack with 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 ability, 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, a "Black Mothra" (as described in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth) or Battle Mothra (as described in the Super Godzilla video game manual). 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, made in the late 1990s, Mothra's priestesses were the Elias; the Elias differ from earlier incarnations in that they are not mindlinked twins but individual persons, Moll (or Moru or Mona) 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, (who were the twins from Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys) in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
- Mothra vs. Godzilla
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
- Destroy All Monsters
- Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
- Rebirth of Mothra
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
- Godzilla: Tokyo SOS
- Godzilla: Final Wars
- Monster's Fair
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
- Kaiju-Oh Godzilla
- Godzilla: Domination!
- Godzilla: Kaiju Daikessen
- Godzilla (Arcade)
- Godzilla: Giant Monster March
- Godzilla: Archipelago Shock
- Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact
- Godzilla Trading Battle
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
- Godzilla: Save the Earth
- CR Godzilla 3S-T Battle
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii and PS2)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash
- Godzilla: Pachislot Wars
- Godzilla On Monster Island
Mothra appeared as a summonable monster in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee. A Mothra-shaped icon, when picked up, calls in a "Mothra Air Strike", where she flies around the arena firing her antennae beams at all monsters besides the one who got the item. She does little damage with each attack, but it builds up. Mothra can be chased off if hit with a beam weapon, but this is difficult to do. However, 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 fight that Godzilla must battle in Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact.
Mothra became playable once again in the sequel, Godzilla: Save the Earth. Players start as Larval Mothra, who is slow and has high defense and moderate attack. Larval 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 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 a 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.
Godzilla: Unleashed BioHeight: 20 meters
"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 larva, 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."
Mothra is one of two playable characters in the 1988 Nintendo game Godzilla Monster of Monsters (the other playable character being Godzilla.) In this game Mothra fights by firing red fireballs/energy blasts from her head, and by flapping her wings and releasing her pollen/scales on enemies below.
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 adult and larval forms appear in the game.
Godzilla Unleashed stats
- Attack: 50 %
- Defense: 63 %
- Speed: 25 %
- Weapon: 38 %
- 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.
- 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 comedy show Saturday Night Live.
- Mothra causes destruction when the fairies are in danger.
In Other Languages
Mothra's name remains the same across many languages employing the Latin alphabet. Other translations of the name include:
- Bulgarian: Мотра
- Chinese: 魔斯拉
- Serbian: Мотхра
- Yiddish: מאָטהראַ
- Mothra was the first Toho opponent Godzilla faced that did not debut in the Godzilla series but was instead 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 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 victory by an insect over Godzilla were the Mothra twin-larvae in Mothra vs. Godzilla in the Showa series, Imago Mothra and Imago Battra in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth, in the Heisei series and the twin-larvae and Kiryu in the Millennium Series.
- Toho had intended to follow Godzilla vs. Biollante with a revival of Mothra in her own spin-off film, Mothra vs. Bagan, for 1990 release. 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 daikaiju among women, an observation which inspired Toho to again revise its plans, abandoning a proposed sequel to King Ghidorah in favor of a Godzilla–Mothra feature. Following the end of the Heisei Godzilla series, Toho produced a trilogy of Mothra films, known in the U.S. as Rebirth of Mothra. Mothra thus became the first Toho daikaiju to lead its own films after its incorporation into the Godzilla franchise.
- Mothra is one of the few monsters that appeared in all three eras of Toho's tokusatsu daikaiju eiga.
- Mothra was the first bug kaiju in the Godzilla series
- Mothra is one of the few forms of insect life form that appeared in the entire series, others being Kumonga, Kamacuras, Battra and Megaguirus.
- Ever since her first appearance, Mothra's high-pitched chirp has been nothing more than the roar of both Rodan and Anguirus, sped up beyond recognition.
- Like Rodan, Mothra starred in her own film before fighting and later befriending Godzilla.
- In most of her movies Mothra was always killed either by Godzilla or a Ghidorah.
- Despite being a frequent Godzilla ally, Mothra, in most movies, was Godzilla's foe. She became Godzilla's ally in two Godzilla movies in the Showa series, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Destroy All Monsters, and was only Godzilla's ally in Godzilla: Final Wars. However, there are reasons why Godzilla and Mothra teamed-up in only three movies.
- In Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla only fought Mothra because his role in the movie was originally meant for King Kong, as the creature never met Mothra before.
- Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. all technically took place in different timelines. Coincidentally, these films have Godzilla as the main antagonist, just like Mothra vs. Godzilla.
- Mothra has her own theme song, which she shares with Mothra Leo.