Mothra (モスラ, Mosura) is a giant moth goddess and the most common recurring monster in the Godzilla series besides Godzilla himself. Unlike most other monsters in the series, Mothra is always on the side of good. Mothra's first film appearance was in the 1961 film Mothra. Since then, she has appeared in every era of Godzilla films along with a Mechagodzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.
As a larva, Mothra resembles a giant brown caterpillar. When she enters her imago stage, Mothra resembles a giant multicolored butterfly with large blue lensed eyes.
Mothra is an ancient moth goddess that resides on the tropical paradise Infant Island. She serves as the guardian of a group of natives on the island and is usually spoken for by two tiny twin priestesses called the Shobijin (or the Cosmos or Elias). Mothra is an immortal deity, and despite having died multiple times she is always reborn through her egg. Mothra has protected the planet many times from monsters like King Ghidorah and sometimes has been put in conflict with Godzilla. Other times, Mothra has worked alongside Godzilla in order to fight off alien invasions.
Mothra hatched from her egg on Infant Island when the greedy Rolisican entrepreneur Clark Nelson kidnapped the Shobijin and brought them to Tokyo. Mothra swam to Tokyo and slithered through the city, causing mass destruction. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces used advanced heat ray tanks against Mothra, forcing her to build a giant cocoon on the Tokyo Tower. Mothra hatched from the cocoon in her imago form and flew to New Kirk City in Rolisica, where Nelson had escaped with the Shobijin. Nelson was shot and killed by police, and the Shobijin were freed. A group of humans drew Mothra's sacred symbol on an airfield, where she landed to recover the Shobijin. Mothra and the Shobijin then returned to Infant Island to live in peace.
Mothra vs. Godzilla
After a fierce typhoon ravaged the Japanese coast, Mothra's egg washed up on shore in Japan. The greedy corporation Happy Enterprises claimed the egg and placed it as the centerpiece of a theme park the company was constructing. The Shobijin came to Japan to plead for the egg's return, but the company's owners refused, instead wanting to capture the Shobijin as well. When Godzilla suddenly rose from the ground and attacked Japan, three humans went to Infant Island to plead for Mothra's help. The islanders and the Shobijin refused, but Mothra herself agreed. Mothra attacked Godzilla with all her strength, but was easily killed. The people of Infant Island prayed for the egg to hatch, which it did, revealing two twin larvae. The larvae pursued Godzilla to an island, where they avenged their mother's death by trapping Godzilla in silk and sending him tumbling into the ocean. The larvae then returned to Infant Island with the Shobijin.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
One of the Mothra larvae died shortly after the battle with Godzilla, but the other lived on and took her mother's place as the goddess of Infant Island. When King Ghidorah arrived on Earth, Mothra departed for Japan, hoping to convince Godzilla and Rodan to join her in battle against Ghidorah. Godzilla and Rodan refused, being too preoccupied fighting each other. Mothra attempted to battle Ghidorah herself, but was blasted aside by his gravity beams. Godzilla and Rodan were moved by seeing Mothra's courage, and attacked King Ghidorah. Together, the three monsters drove Ghidorah back to space. The Shobijin and Mothra thanked Godzilla and Rodan for their help and returned to Infant Island.
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
Mothra, now grown into her imago form, slept while the terrorist organization Red Bamboo abducted and enslaved several natives of Infant Island. Finally, her people's prayers awakened Mothra and she flew to Devil's Island to save the enslaved natives. Just after defeating Ebirah, Godzilla noticed Mothra and challenged her to battle. Not wanting to fight, Mothra knocked Godzilla over and recovered her people before flying away.
Destroy All Monsters
In the year 1999, a larval Mothra was one of the many Earth monsters being held on Monsterland. When the Kilaakian invaded, Mothra was sent to attack human cities while under mind control. She attacked a train in China and later appeared in Tokyo along with Godzilla, Rodan, and Manda. When the humans broke the mind control, Mothra joined her fellow Earth monsters in battle against King Ghidorah on Mt. Fuji. When Ghidorah was knocked to the ground, Mothra covered him in silk while the other monsters stomped him to death.
Godzilla vs. Mothra
Mothra was an ancient deity that kept the balance of nature. When humans created a weather-controlling device, the Earth sent the Black Mothra, Battra, to punish them. Battra did not stop at destroying the device and intended to wipe out all of humanity. Mothra fought Battra for years until she defeated him and laid him to rest in the Bering Sea. Centuries later, a meteorite collided with Earth, awakening Battra. Mothra's egg was unearthed as well. A group of explorers attempted to bring the egg to Japan by boat, but were attacked by Godzilla along the way. Mothra hatched from the egg and tried to fight Godzilla off, but was tossed aside by Godzilla. Suddenly, Battra arrived and attacked Godzilla, giving Mothra time to swim away. Mothra's fairies, the Cosmos, were captured by the Marutomo company and called for Mothra to save them. Mothra arrived in Tokyo to find the Cosmos, but was attacked by the military. Mothra built a cocoon on the Diet Building and metamorphosed into her imago form. Mothra then flew to Yokohama to battle Battra, who had also entered his imago stage. Their battle was interrupted by the arrival of Godzilla. Just before Godzilla could kill Battra, Mothra saved him and the two moth guardians joined forces against Godzilla. Mothra and Battra were able to neutralize Godzilla and carried him out to sea. Godzilla bit Battra's throat and killed him, forcing Mothra to drop both monsters in the sea. The Cosmos later reveal that Battra was destined to destroy a meteor headed for Earth, and that it was now Mothra's duty to stop it. Mothra then flew into space to intercept the meteor.
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
Mothra sensed the evil monster SpaceGodzilla heading to Earth, so she sent Fairy Mothra to Earth to warn humanity of his arrival.
Rebirth of Mothra
Mothra was the last of an ancient race of giant moth guardians and resided on Infant Island with her fairies, the Elias, and her egg. When the evil space dragon Death Ghidorah was awakened, Mothra tried to battle him. Mothra's son Mothra Leo hatched from the egg prematurely to join his mother in battle, but she was killed. Enraged, Leo transformed into his imago form to avenge Mothra's death and stop Death Ghidorah.
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Mothra was an ancient goddess that was slain by Japanese warriors thousands of years ago. Mothra was entombed underwater and her soul was prayed for by the warriors in the hopes that she would return to protect Japan one day. Centuries later, Mothra and her fellow guardians Baragon and Ghidorah were awakened by the prophet Isayama to stop Godzilla from destroying Japan. Mothra first appeared at a lake in her larval form and built a giant cocoon on the water. She then emerged from the cocoon in her imago form and flew to Yokohama to battle Godzilla. She was joined by the recently awakened Ghidorah, but even the two guardians' combined might could not stop Godzilla. Mothra was destroyed by Godzilla's atomic breath, but her spirit entered Ghidorah, turning him into the Thousand-Year-Old Dragon, King Ghidorah. Godzilla destroyed King Ghidorah as well, but the three guardian monsters' spirits entered a wound on Godzilla's shoulder, causing Godzilla to ultimately blow himself up.
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Mothra sent the Shobijin to Japan to warn that as long as Kiryu remained active, the souls of the dead were disturbed. They warned that if the first Godzilla's skeleton was not returned to the sea, Mothra would be forced to declare war on humanity. The humans did not listen, and Kiryu's presence attracted Godzilla to Japan once again. Mothra flew to Tokyo to fight Godzilla off, prompting the government to send Kiryu to aid her in the fight. Mothra's twin larvae on Infant Island hatched and swam to Tokyo to join the battle as well. Godzilla knocked Kiryu out of commission and aimed his atomic breath at the larvae, but Mothra flew in front of the beam and was destroyed. The larvae angrily encased Godzilla in silk while Kiryu re-entered the battle one last time. Godzilla was eventually defeated, and Kiryu took him back to the ocean. The larvae then returned to Infant Island.
Godzilla: Final Wars
In ancient times, an evil alien monster named Gigan attacked Earth. Mothra defeated Gigan, and his mummified corpse was buried in the Earth. When the Earth Defense Force unearthed Gigan, Mothra's Shobijin warned the EDF that Gigan would be reactivated. When the Xiliens began their invasion, Mothra left Infant Island to aid Godzilla in the battle. Mothra saved Godzilla from being double-teamed by Monster X and Gigan. Gigan focused his attack on Mothra while Monster X grappled with Godzilla. Gigan launched shurikens at Mothra, but she avoided them by using her reflective scales. Gigan then blasted Mothra with his eye blast, setting her ablaze. As Gigan celebrated his victory, his shurikens, reflected by Mothra's scales, came back and cut off his head. Mothra seized the opportunity and flew into Gigan, blowing him up. Mothra then returned to her island during the ending credits.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Mothra will appear in the upcoming film Godzilla 2. Her role is currently unknown.
- Supersonic Flight - Mothra can fly anywhere from mach 1 to 5 and usually flies around mach 3. Mothra can create powerful wind gusts using her wings.
- Scales - Mothra can drop reflective "scales" from her wings that act as a 3-D mirror, reflecting opponents' projectile attacks back at them. The scales also have a poisonous effect on enemies. Using the scales diminishes Mothra's flight ability, and for this reason it is usually used as a weapon of last resort.
- Antenna Beams - Mothra can fire laser beams from her antennae.
- Stingers - Mothra can launch a barrage of poisonous stingers from her thorax.
- Kamikaze Attack - After being set on fire, Mothra can charge at an enemy and explode, destroying both herself and her opponent. So far she has only ever used this attack on Gigan.
- Immortality - Mothra is an immortal goddess with similarities to a phoenix. Despite having experienced death on multiple occasions, Mothra is always reincarnated through an egg that she lays through divine methods.
Mothra has a severe weakness against enemies' energy-based attacks, which can burn her wings or cause her entire body to set on fire. Mothra uses her scales to compensate for this weakness, but overusing the scales takes away Mothra's ability to fly. As an adult, Mothra cannot breathe underwater and can be drowned.
Mothra begins her life as a giant brown larva that hatches from a large blue egg.
Mothra can transform into her imago form after hatching from a cocoon.
- Before her film debut, Mothra first appeared in a short story called The Luminous Fairies and Mothra. Toho adapted this story into the screenplay for the movie Mothra.
- Mothra has been consistently found to be the most popular monster in the Godzilla series next to Godzilla himself. She is one of only three monsters to appear in all four eras of Godzilla films, along with Rodan and King Ghidorah.
- Mothra was the first monster from a standalone film to be absorbed into the Godzilla series. In Rebirth of Mothra, she became the only monster to appear in a standalone film after being absorbed into the Godzilla series.
- Mothra was going to have her own standalone film entitled Mothra vs. Bagan in 1990, but due to the poor box-office performance of Godzilla vs. Biollante, Mothra's next film appearance was postponed.
- Mothra was not originally intended to appear in GMK. Her role was originally filled by Anguirus, but Toho forced Shusuke Kaneko to incorporate Mothra and King Ghidorah into the screenplay, leading to the removal of Anguirus and Varan from the film.
- Special effects director Koichi Kawakita originally wanted Mothra to be killed at the end of Godzilla vs. Mothra and come back in the next film as MechaMothra.
- Mothra was slated to appear in the cancelled film Godzilla vs. Garugan and work alongside Godzilla and Anguirus against a new robot monster called Garugan. Toho did not want to have to construct a brand-new Mothra prop for this film for budgetary reasons and heavily re-worked the film into Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, dropping Mothra for King Caesar.