Mothra (モスラ, Mosura) is a giant divine moth kaiju. The undisputed Queen of the Monsters, this Mothra first appeared in Mothra I: Godzilla Against Mothra, where she engaged in a battle against Godzilla. Though she fought bravely, this Mothra was defeated and destroyed by Godzilla.
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. Originally, Mothra's name was approximated in English as "Mosla," but it was later corrected to "Mothra".
However, in this Mothra's case, her nickname "Elder Mothra" comes from the Shobijin explaining her old age.
This Mothra is very different from the previous and later designs. For example, this Mothra looks more like a hornet and Moth hybrid. The eyes are purple instead of the usual blue, the legs are much longer and the wings are pointier.
On the wings, it has a similar pattern to Rainbow Mothra but with purple on the top, yellow in the middle, and red on the bottom instead of orange on the top and green on both the middle and bottom or all seven colors of the rainbow, like on Rainbow Mothra.
Mothra's chirps are actually Anguirus's roars sped up. This is most evident during a scene in Mothra I: Godzilla Against Mothra where Mothra is hit by Godzilla's atomic breath and moans in pain, emitting a sound that is almost identical to Anguirus' roar.
Despite having wrought destruction worthy of any Toho kaiju, Mothra is portrayed as a kind and benevolent creature, causing destruction only when acting as protector to her worshipers on Infant Island or 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.
This Mothra, along with her child, were the last of their kind living on Infant Island.
Mothra I: Godzilla Against Mothra
In Mothra I: Godzilla Against Mothra, Mothra had already laid an egg but had also grown old and became physically exhausted from the ordeal.
Somehow, Mothra's egg washed up on the shores of Japan when a typhoon carried it away from the shores of Infant Island. The egg was bought from the citizens of the area where it was found and planned to turn it into the main attraction. The Shobijin came to Japan to request the egg's return, only for them to be almost captured them as well. The Shobijin escaped and met with a group of sympathetic humans, warning that when the egg hatched the larva would cause much destruction and death while searching for food and attempting to return to Infant Island on its own. When the Shobijin's allies met with those who bought the egg, they refused to return it and wanted to buy the Shobijin instead. The Shobijin then returned to Infant Island with Mothra.
When Godzilla emerged in Japan and began heading for the incubator holding Mothra's egg, the three humans who helped the Shobijin traveled to Infant Island, which had been devastated by nuclear bomb tests. They asked the Shobijin for Mothra's help in defeating Godzilla, but they refused. However, Mothra herself, who was living out the last of her days on a sacred rock, agreed to help and flew to Japan, knowing she would never return.
Mothra arrived in Japan just as Godzilla reached Mothra's egg and attacked him. Engaging in battle with Godzilla, Mothra perched atop the Yokohama Landmark Tower and flew at Godzilla, firing poisonous stingers at him and scratching his face with her claws. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at Mothra, but she avoided the blast, which struck and destroyed the Landmark Tower instead. Mothra used the gusts of wind from her wings to knock Godzilla off his feet and tried to slash him with her claws. Mothra even simply knocked Godzilla over, but she was too feeble to injure him. Mothra released poison powder from her wings against Godzilla, but Godzilla simply blasted her with his atomic breath, causing her to fall on top of her egg, due to her old age.
The Shobijin and the Infant Islanders began to pray for Mothra's egg to hatch. Finally, the egg hatched into a larval Mothra, who attempted to defend herself from Godzilla. The larva managed to communicate with her mother, but Godzilla noticed them. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at the larva, only for Mothra to fly in front of the beam, sacrificing herself for her only child.
Powers and Abilities
- Energy Blasts: Mothra can fire explosive, v-shaped blasts of energy in rapid succession from her antennae.
- Hurricane Lightning: Mothra can release arcs of white lightning bolts from her wings.
- Energy Conduction: Mothra can keep energy in her body to release to another via touch as well as release it as strands of lightning fired from her wings.
- Excel Dash: Mothra can perform an enhanced melee attack by charging herself with blue fiery energy and flying at mach 80. Once striking an opponent, it will cause explosions and conduct lightning-like energy.
As an adult, her wings can (and generally do) create gales, which can 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.
Mothra was able to shoot poison darts from her abdomen, but she lacked both her hurricane-force winds and her poison powder.
Her final strategy is to emit "scales," a yellow poisonous powder that can usually asphyxiate an enemy. However she only uses that attack when she knows she is going to die, this is speculated, because the extreme loss of scales will cause her to lose flight.
Mothra's powder was able to redirect both energy and physical projectiles back to their original senders.
Mothra is one of the most powerful psychics in the Toho universe. She uses 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.