Mothra 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: (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.
Showa series Edit
Mothra was first discovered on Infant 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.
Mothra vs. Godzilla Edit
Mothra's egg washed up on the shores of Japan when it washed off Infant Island. 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 to defeat Godzilla. Mothra attacked Godzilla, but she was defeated by the King of the Monsters. She was then killed, but her egg hatched into two twin larvae, who then continued to battle Godzilla. The young Mothras managed to drive Godzilla back out to sea, and they then returned to Infant Island.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster Edit
Mothra returned again in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in her larve form once again. One of the larve from the previous film seems to have died. Mothra was called upon to stop King Ghidorah and persuade Godzilla and Rodan to attack him. After a failed attempt at trying to get Godzilla and Rodan to cooperate, Mothra decided to take on King Ghidorah herself, but she failed, and Godzilla and Rodan 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.
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster Edit
Mothra returned briefly near the end of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, where she briefly fought Godzilla and saved the natives of the island from the Red Bamboo Organization after the island was set to self destruct.
Destroy All Monsters Edit
Mothra returns in Destroy all Monsters as a monster living on Monsterland. She is taken over by Kilaakian mind control and is sent to attack Tokyo with 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.
Heisei series Edit
Godzilla vs. Mothra Edit
Mothra returned in the Heisei series with Godzilla vs. Mothra. 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 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 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.
Rebirth of Mothra Edit
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.
Millennium series Edit
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.
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Edit
Mothra appeared as one of the three 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.
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. Edit
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, 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.
Godzilla: Final Wars Edit
Mothra appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars, where she helped defeat 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.