Mothra (モスラ?, Mosura) is a giant divine moth kaiju created by Toho that first appeared alongside Godzilla in the 1964 Godzilla film, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and first appeared in the 1961 Toho film, Mothra.
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. 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.
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.
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, 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 larvae, called Mothra, and she journeyed to Japan to save the Shobijin from the humans. She destroyed Japan while trying to find them, she tore down Tokyo Tower and formed her cocoon. She emerged from the cocoon in her Imago form, having been inadvertantly helped by the army's Atomic Heat Ray Guns. She went to New Kirk City, and she was given the Shobijin after destroying most of the area. She returned to Infant Island to live her life in peace. Godzilla, Rodan, and Manda. After the mind control is broken, Mothra helps the other Kaiju in the battle against King Ghidorah by firing her web from a distance with Kumonga. Battra arrives, and she swims away. After finding that the Cosmos have been stolen, she heads to Japan and starts to look for her fairies. After finding them, she forms her cocoon and changes into he Imago form. Battra and Godzilla soon arrive in Tokyo, and the battle begins. Mothra fights off both monsters, but Battra sides with her to defeat Godzilla. The two knock Godzilla unconscious and fly him out to sea. Godzilla awakens and kills Battra, and Mothra mourns her fallen brother. She is then sent out into space to stop a falling meteorite from hitting the earth. 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.guardian monsters, the goddess of water, in Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack.
Mothra (最珠羅?, Mosura) hatched from her cocoon and flew to Yokohama to battle Godzilla. She fought as hard as she could, while aiding King Ghidorah. She was quickly killed by Godzilla's atomic blast, but her life energy was transferred to Ghidorah who used her power to become a more powerful version: King Ghidorah. Later on, after King Ghidorah was killed, she along with the other two guardian spirits, Baragon and Ghidorah, entered Godzilla's body when he was at sea which stunned him long enough to allow General Tachibana to burrow his way out of Godzilla after internally firing a D-03 missile, an explosive drill. This eventually destroyed him when he tried to use his atomic beam again after it burst out the inflicted hole in his shoulder and finally caused Godzilla to vaporize himself from within.the bones of the original Godzilla were not returned to the sea, and Mothra would defend Japan from Godzilla if the bones were returned. Japan denied this warning, and Godzilla was seen in Tokyo. Mothra was summoned to fight Godzilla, and she was defeated quickly. On Infant Island, Mothra's egg hatched into two larvae, who went to Japan to finish the fight with Godzilla. Kiryu was deployed, and it saved Mothra from destruction. The larvae arrived to save their mother, but she sacrificed herself to save her children. The larvae fought Godzilla and managed to encase him in silk, trapping him long enough for Kiryu to bring him out to sea. The larvae returned to Infant Island, with the souls of the dead now at peace. Gigan. She first battled him thousands of years ago, and managed to defeat him by trapping him underground. She was called again to help Godzilla in his battle with Monster X. The Xiliens sent Gigan to destroy her, and she was momentarily defeated by him. She fought again when she saved Godzilla from Gigan and Monster X, once again attracting the attention of Gigan. Gigan shot her with blades from his chest, and blasted her with his laser. Thinking she was dead, Gigan lowered his guard. However, the two blades he shot at Mothra flew back at him and cut his head off. Mothra then took this opportunity to attack Gigan, ramming him while she was on fire, destroying Gigan's body. During the end credits, Mothra was seen flying back 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. 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 condtion 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 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. 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 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 Gameboy 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 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.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.
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 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."
ComicsGodzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, however she is teased in issue #3, where the Shobijin appear watching Battra on a television screen and express their concern over recent events.
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.Rulers of Earth #1 in a panel when Dr. Kenji Ando was explaining Megazoology in a convention in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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 arrive at the Monster Islands with Mothra's larvae and explain that Infant Island was recently attacked by Battra, who was under the control of Minette and Mallorie. They tell Steven Woods that Mothra was killed in the battle and the entire island was destroyed, with only them and the larvae escaping.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.
In Other Languages
Mothra's name remains the same across many languages employing the Latin alphabet.
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: 
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