Originally appearing in her own movie, Mothra has since been part of all three of Godzilla's genres (Showa, Heisei, Millenium) and the Godzilla Island television spin-off as well as briefly breaking free again to star as the main character in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy.
Although most commonly an enemy of Godzilla, she has fought alongside him against other monsters such as King Ghidorah and Gigan. Her role also varies from film to film, with her originally just protecting her own followers on Infant Island to later defending Japan and the entire planet in later movies.
Although she has caused great destruction in the past, 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 (called Shobijin, Cosmos or Elias depending on the movie) who also speak for her - translating her language and that of other monsters so that humans can understand.
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 vs. Mothra, in the Heisei series and the twin-larvae and Kiryu in the Millennium series. A 1992 survey also revealed that Mothra was Toho's most popular kaiju among women.
Physical Appearance and PowersEditSince 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 the movie GMK, Mothra is shown to have indigo/purple eyes in her adult form.
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 larvae, 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. She could also charge up her energy in a high speed ramming attack known as a 'Flash Dash', which she used against Desghidorah.
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 abdomenin a shotgun style, 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 - returning to Infant Island during the film credits.
Showa EraEditMothra was first discovered on Infant Island in 1961, where natives to the island worshiped her as a goddess. Invaders from the mainland 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, and she tore down Tokyo Tower, and she formed her cocoon. Despite the attempts to destroy her cocoon with experimental Atomic Heat Rays, she emerged from the cocoon in her Imago form and laid waste to New Kirk City in Rolisica. She was eventually given the Shobijin back - been summoned to the airport by the church bells all ringing and her symbol been painted on the runway. She returned to Infant Island with her Shobijin to live out her life in peace.
3 years later in 1964, Mothra's egg washed up on the shores of Japan when it washed off Infant Island due to a hurricane. The owner of the land where the egg was found quickly bought the egg, and planed to turn it into an exhibit to cover his loses. The Shobijin wanted to return the egg to Mothra, but they were almost killed by the CEO of the company that owned the land. They then warned them of Mothra and how she would come take the egg by force. Soon after Godzilla was awoken from his sleep on the bank, the Shobijin were convinced to send Mothra (who was old and likely would die in battle) to defeat Godzilla. Mothra attacked Godzilla, but she was defeated by the King of the Monsters. She passed away as a result of age and injury, but her egg hatched into two twin larvae, who then continued to battle Godzilla. The young Mothras managed to cocoon Godzilla with their silk and defeat him, before returning to Infant Island. Some time after, one of the two larvae passed away.
When the space monster King Ghidorah began to attack Japan later that year, Mothra's Shobijin (who had taken on the role of ambassadors) suggested that Mothra would try to stop King Ghidorah, but also persuade Godzilla and Rodan to aid her in defeating the evil dragon. With little option due to King Ghidorah's attacks, the government agreed. After a failed attempt at trying to get Godzilla and Rodan to cooperate, Mothra decided to take on King Ghidorah herself, but she was badly outmatched before Godzilla and Rodan - moved by her courage - joined the fight. After a long and tough battle the three Kaiju managed to drive King Ghidorah away, and the three retired to heal their wounds, with Mothra and the shobijin returning to Infant Island once again. Some time on, the Mothra Larvae coccooned into an adult.
Infant Island was later attacked in 1966 by a terrorist organisation called the Red Bamboo, who stole many of the inhabitants to be used as slaves. In response, the Shobijin lead the prayers and pleas to Mothra to help rescue the inhabitants. After assisting two Japanese men who were dealing with the same problem, they ventured out once more on Mothra to the island where the Red Bamboo were located to evacuate their allies as it was about to be destroyed in a nuclear explosion triggered by the Red Bamboo. Thanks to Godzilla (who had defeated both the Giant Condor and Ebirah previously), Mothra was able to easily reach the island without threat of attack from the Red Bamboo's monsters.
Although Mothra had to briefly battle Godzilla, she was able to carry her people to safety - returning to Infant Island with them while Godzilla also escaped the island before its destruction.
In the year 1999, Mothra was living with other kaiju (Godzilla, Minilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Baragon, Manda, Gorosaurus, Kumonga and Varan) on 'Monster Island'. When an alien race known as the Kilaaks invaded and took control of all the monsters on the island, Mothra was sent to attack Beijing before later being involved in a joint monster attack with Godzilla, Rodan and Manda on Tokyo. When the humans broke the mind control over the monsters, Mothra and the other monsters united against King Ghidorah (sent by the Kilaaks as a ditch attempt to ensure victory against humanity) - managing to kill him. Following their victory, Mothra and the other monsters returned to Monster Island.
(The following events are unrelated to the Showa Era, as the Heisei era is a reboot of the Godzilla franchise - ignoring all but the original 1954 Godzilla film).In 1992, on the remote Infant Island, a storm washes away a giant egg from a hillside. The company that owns the island then sends an investigation team to discover any damage, and the egg is found in the process. The team then meet a pair of minature women who identify themselves as Earth's Cosmos. Explaining that a giant moth called 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 egg is transported back to Japan, but is interrupted by Godzilla and in the process. The battle causes the egg to hatch into Mothra, and she attacks Godzilla. Mothra flees when 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 is seemingly injured by military fire and so forms her cocoon before changing into her 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 after Mothra saves Battra from one of Godzilla's attacks. The two knock Godzilla unconscious and fly him out to sea. Godzilla awakens and kills Battra with a fatal bite to the giant moth's neck, and Mothra mourns her fallen brother. She then heads out into space to stop a falling meteorite from hitting the earth - which will completely annihilate all life on Earth if not stopped.
At some point in her journey, she released thousands of 'Fairy Mothras', with one been sent to Earth to deliver a message from the Cosmos. In the park, Miki Saegusa is thinking about the "T-Project", a plan which she wasn't sure of, which was to control Godzilla with her psychic powers. Just then, a nearby tree's leaves started glowing, and so did her earrings, which had the symbol of the Cosmos. From the tree came out a Fairy Mothra. The Fairy Mothra faded to the Cosmos, who told her that SpaceGodzilla was going to try to kill Godzilla, and wanted her to somehow help this monster get defeated. The Cosmos disappeared, leaving Miki, who now thought it was necessary to join the project.
Fairy Mothra appeared later when Miki was on Birth Island. The Cosmos warned her that everyone needed to work together to defeat SpaceGodzilla. After SpaceGodzilla was defeated by Godzilla and M.O.G.U.E.R.A, Fairy Mothra came back again. The Cosmos thanked Miki for saving the world, and Fairy Mothra returned to outer space - flying around Earth.
Rebirth of MothraEdit
(The events of the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy are not related to the Showa or Heisei eras, nor do they acknowledge the 1954 Godzilla movie. Instead, they take place in a separate continuity in which Godzilla does not exist).Millions of years ago, a 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.
(The following events are unrelated to the Showa or Heisei Eras, nor to each other, as the Millenium era is almost all films that are reboots of the Godzilla franchise - ignoring all but the original 1954 Godzilla film).Mothra appeared as a guardian monster in Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack. She was the Goddess of Water and she took part in the final battle with Godzilla. Mothra 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 King Ghidorah, who used her power to become more powerful. When King Ghidorah was killed, her spirit - along with Baragon's and King Ghidorah's - passed into Godzilla and reduced his boyancy, causing him to sink into the water.
In Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S, Mothra was first seen flying over Japan when she was attacked by the Military. The Shobijin warned the Japanese Government that Mothra would destroy Japan if the bones of the original Godzilla were not returned to the sea (as their removal for use in creating the Mechagodzilla known as Kiryu had disrupted the balance of nature and was the reason Godzilla was attacking). They added that 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 (his memories of his past as the first Godzilla awakened) to bring him out to sea. The larvae returned to Infant Island, with the souls of the dead now at peace.
In Godzilla: Final Wars, it was revealed by the Shobijin that Mothra first battled Gigan thousands of years ago, and managed to defeat him by trapping him underground. She was called to help Godzilla in his battle with Monster X, near the end of the Xilien invasion and after Godzilla had defeated or killed numeorus monsters under the alien's mind control. The Xiliens sent an upgraded 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 fire, destroying Gigan's body. During the end credits, Mothra was seen flying back to Infant Island - having survived her battle with Gigan.
Mothra appeared in the book Godzilla: Project MechaGodzilla - a prequel to the Godzilla Anime Trilogy and a sequel to the book Godzilla: Kaiju Apocalypse. She was the guardian of a tribe living in the Amazon Rainforest known as "Mothra's Children".
According to Legendary Pictures, Mothra - along with fellow monsters Rodan and King Ghidorah - is due to appear in the 2018 sequel to GODZILLA (2014).
- Mothra (1961)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla
- Ghidrah, the Three Headed Monster
- Godzilla vs. Ebirah
- Destroy All Monsters
- Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
- Rebirth of Mothra
- Godzilla Island
- Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (GMK)
- Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S
- Godzilla: Final Wars
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth - Comic
- Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019) - Upcoming Movie