CREATURE FEATURE : Destroyah
Destoroyah (デストロイア Desutoroia), alternatively Destroyah, or Destroyer, is a fictional Japanese monster from the Godzilla Franchise appearing only in the 1995 film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and in some of the Godzilla video games. He originated as a colony of Precambrian crustaceans that had been awakened and mutated when the Oxygen Destroyer was detonated to kill Godzilla in 1954 (Godzilla). Hedorah may be the inspiration for Destoroyah, since both go through four stages in their life cycles or their gradual metamorphosis.
A possible reason that the name "Destroyer" isn't commonly used in various markets is because the word itself could not be trademarked. It is referred to as "Destroyer" in the dubbed version of the film, while "Destoroyah" is Toho's official name for the character.
Destoroyah grows quickly and adopts several appearances throughout the film, including its micro form 3-mm, insect-sized, 2-meter, and 18-meter crab-like forms, a larger aggregate crab-like form, a bat-like flying form, and a bipedal 120-meter, demonic final form. Though Destoroyah may seem to be enormous, he is actually the same size as Moguera, SpaceGodzilla, Mechagodzilla 2, the millennium versions of Gigan and Hedorah, Monster X, and surprisingly Biollante.
Destoroyah first emerges as his small, crab-like form that ends up escaping from the possession of numerous scientists due to the careless actions of a security guard. He makes his way into an aquarium and kills many of the fish. He eventually escapes and grows into its 2-meter form, destroying a bridge and then hiding in a factory. The Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) sends in numerable soldiers to attempt to destroy the creatures, but their assault rifles cause no damage to them, who badly wound and kill a number of JSDF. Eventually the JSDF attacks them with flamethrowers, badly wounding the aggregates and causing them to retreat. It becomes known that the aggregates are vulnerable to extreme heat or cold.
The JSDF deploy a squadron of Maser Tanks and missile batteries armed with Ultra Low Temperature lasers (ULT Lasers) and cooling shells. When the aggregates emerge again, they begin bombarding them with the freezing barrage. It seems to be working against the creatures, until they all converge on one position and merge into one giant monster. The giant aggregate then transforms into a giant bat-like form and flies away.
When trying to think of another way to defeat the destructive monster, the JSDF decides to try to lure Godzilla to Destoroyah. They reluctantly agree to the plan, despite protests from the psychic Miki Saegusa, and decide to lure Godzilla Junior to Destoroyah, knowing Godzilla will follow. Miki and another psychic fly out to Junior and use their psychic powers to make him change his course for Tokyo. When Junior arrives, Destoroyah attacks him in his flying form. Junior is battered by the stronger monster, until he manages a lucky shot and brings the flying form down. Destoroyah quickly recovers, attacking Junior in his giant aggregate form. Destoroyah pins Junior beneath his massive body and tears into his skin with his double jaw, injecting him with micro-oxygen. When all hope seems lost, Junior fires one last blast at Destoroyah, knocking him into the air. Junior then fires one final radioactive blast, sending Destoroyah flying and crashing into a factory.
When Godzilla finally arrives in Tokyo, the final form of Destoroyah rises from the fires of the factory. The vile behemoth takes to the air and flies toward Godzilla and his son, striking Godzilla to the ground and grabbing Junior in his massive claws. He flies high into the air and drops Junior, sending the young godzillasaur plummeting to the hard ground. Destoroyah then blasts Junior with its micro-oxygen beam, killing the young dinosaur.
Godzilla rises from the ground, enraged by Junior's death. Destoroyah lands and bellows at Godzilla, challenging him to a final battle. Destoroyah proves to be a powerful and vicious opponent, even for Godzilla in his most powerful form. He batters the monster king with bursts of micro-oxygen rays and pummels him to the ground with his mass. Destoroyah then wraps his tail around Godzilla and drags him out to sea, dropping him in the ocean. Godzilla returns to shore and unleashes his full fury upon Destoroyah, blasting Destoroyah multiple times with his red spiral atomic breath and causing the demon to spurt vast amounts of blood and finally explode. Destoroyah quickly counter attacks in his multiple small aggregate forms. As they swarm upon Godzilla, the monster king is overwhelmed by the mass and unleashes a powerful nuclear pulse, destroying the aggregates.
After Godzilla fails to revitalize his fallen son, the grief in his heart causes his Nuclear meltdown to begin to go critical. The JSDF quickly dispatches the Super X-III and the maser tanks armed with freezing lasers to stop Godzilla's meltdown. As Godzilla continues to mourn his son and his nuclear heart begins to overheat, Destoroyah returns again. The evil beast strangles Godzilla with his tail and then throws Godzilla away from his son and prepares to battle again. Godzilla rises, and his dorsal fins and dorsal plates begin to melt and as the meltdown begins. The overload of power causes Godzilla's ray to increase in strength to immeasurable levels beyond infinity. Godzilla then unleashes his breath, increased in power by his meltdown, which blasts Destoroyah apart and decimates the landscape around it. As Godzilla begins to melt Destoroyah notices and being fatally wounded by Godzilla's Red Spiral Destruction Of Death Atomic Breath tries to escape from the meltdown by flying into the air to die elsewhere. However, the JSDF and Super X-III blast out its wings while it is distracted. Destoroyah then plummets towards Godzilla, and misses him just by a few meters. At this point, because of the extreme change in temperature from both the freeze weapons from the JSDF's attacks and the extreme heat from Godzilla's meltdown, Destoroyah explodes and evaporates into a cloud of micro-oxygen that quickly vanishes, killing him for good.
Powers and abilities
Destoroyah is considered by many to be Godzilla's ultimate foe, a title that is only shared by a handful of other monsters, such as King Ghidorah, Spacegodzilla, and Mechagodzilla. This is because Destoroyah could survive multiple hits from Godzilla's red spiral atomic breath, an attack which instantly killed most enemies in only one shot. Destoroyah also made Godzilla fight extremely harder than in any other movie, only when Godzilla was almost at his meltdown was Destroyah completely outmatched and fatally wounded. Destoroyah is quite possibly the most powerful evil monster ever created, and an exceptionally evil villain, having shown to enjoy killing other life forms. In fact, he is the only villain in the entire Godzilla franchise to succeed in killing Godzilla's son, a feat that many other Godzilla villains never attempted or achieved.
Like Hedorah, Destoroyah is a composite life form formed from trillions of near-microscopic organisms and thus possesses vast capacities to adapt and regenerate. The base organism resembles a miniature horseshoe crab barely larger than a speck of sand. Trillions of these creatures would later combine to form Destoroyah's aggregate form which manifested as several man-sized crustacean monsters which were reminiscent of the Alien. When threatened by the JSDF, the creatures merged again into a larger aggregate form and then into its winged bat-like form. After being wounded by Godzilla Junior, Destoroyah regenerated into its demonic ultimate form and would later temporarily separate into its aggregate form in an attempt to overwhelm Godzilla during their battle. It appears that when the individual Destoroyah organisms fuse, they all die if the resulting creature is killed before it can split up into a smaller form and reform, this is shown when Godzilla fatally wounds Destoroyah by blasting his exposed floral pattern on his chest and Destoroyah breaks up into a smaller form but when the Super X-III and Godzilla blasted out his wings the Super X-III used the ice laser and froze it at a microscopic level, he couldn't separate and thus all the Destoroyah organisms making up the final form were killed.
Destoroyah's primary weapon was a micro-oxygen ray fired from his mouth which could vaporize organic matter and was even capable of penetrating most metals. Despite this, Destroyah's micro oxygen spray wasn't able to dissolve Godzilla's hide. All of Destoroyah's forms possessed the ability to fire the ray but its aggregate form was also equipped with a pair of extending secondary jaws that injected the micro-oxygen directly into an opponent's bloodstream. In its final form, the horn projecting from Destoroyah's forehead had the ability to generate a blade of energy powerful enough to cut through even the strongest monster flesh. The aggregate forms were equipped with spiked claws similar to those of a praying mantis while Destroyah's flying and ultimate forms possessed a tail tipped with a grappling pincer that was strong enough to even hold Godzilla. It also has incredible physical strength befitting its monstrously huge size, able to drag Godzilla along the cold ground while flying. In the video game Godzilla: Save the Earth, Destoroyah has freezing breath for a special ability, which is ironic, because in his film appearance, he is vulnerable to ice.
The Oxygen Destroyer was a fictional weapon that appeared in the 1954 film Godzilla. It was an extremely powerful chemical compound that was able to completely dissolve Godzilla and wipe out all life in the Tokyo Bay. It was also the only weapon that was truly effective against the monster.
Unintentionally discovered by Daisuke Serizawa during his experiments, the Oxygen Destroyer dissolved oxygen in water which instantly reduced any and all organic life within range to its skeletal frame. While it's never explained how removing oxygen causes such a destructive reaction, since the laws regarding the conservation of mass state that matter and energy can't be destroyed but only converted into another form, it is possible that the Oxygen Destroyer actually converts oxygen into an entirely different element with highly corrosive properties. In the film, Serizawa was hesitant to use his discovery for fear of the damage it would cause and political implications therein, but ultimately relented when he realized Godzilla was the greater threat. But to prevent the formula from being perverted into a wholesale weapon of mass destruction he destroyed his research documents and subsequently took his own life.
In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), it is revealed that the Oxygen Destroyer awakened and mutated Precambrian life forms that lived in Tokyo Bay that would merge to form the strongest Kaiju ever recorded (taking Godzilla at the peak of his power, Godzilla Junior and Super X combined to finally destroy him) Destoroyah.
In the continuity of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), it is disclosed that the use of the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954 was never made public and the defeat of Godzilla had been officially credited to the Japan Self-Defense Forces. This was done to spare the then newly established Self-Defense Force from public scorn after its inability to defeat the monster militarily.
Stock footage from the first Godzilla film was also used in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S..
CREATURE FEATURE : Anguirus
Anguirus (アンギラス Angirasu) is the second Kaiju (Japanese giant monster) to appear in the Toho franchise. Anguirus appeared only a year after Godzilla in the 1955 Toho film Godzilla Raids Again. Though being the first monster Godzilla ever fought, he has allied himself with the King of Monsters on several instances against more dangerous threats, eventually becoming his most trusted ally.
Anguirus is a quadrupedal giant or irradiated dinosaur that resembles an Ankylosaurus, but much larger. His head can resemble that of a Ceratosaurus. He has several horns on the top of his head and a single horn above his nose. His face is long and drawn out and has rows of long, jagged teeth, like a crocodile. His carapace is studded with long, sharp spikes. Anguirus' tail is covered with spikes and makes up most of his body length. His hind limbs are longer than his forelimbs, and he can stand up on them to his full height, though he generally walks upon all fours. Anguirus has a particularly strange brain, for he has not one but five, one in his head which controls all of his organs, and one above each one of his limbs, each brain most likely controls the limb they are above. This gives Anguirus an advantage in battle, for he can react much quicker than most Kaiju. Anguirus first appears in the Showa continuity as brown with yellowish spines, these colors are later changed in the Millennium series to light gray, with orange spikes and horns.
Powers and abilities
Anguirus is armed with sharp teeth, claws, horns, spiky tail, and a spiky carapace. Although an aggressively tenacious fighter, Anguirus lacks ranged capability compared to some of Godzilla's other allies and opponents. Nevertheless, regardless of how much stronger his opponent might be, Anguirus never retreats from a fight without first taking substantial punishment. Also in most of the Godzilla video games Anguirus fires a sonic roar from his mouth, although he is never seen doing this in any of the Godzilla movies.
In his first appearance in Godzilla Raids Again, it is explained that Anguirus' is capable of moving incredibly fast in spite of his bulk due to his brain extending into his chest and abdominal areas, allowing him to react more quickly. He is able to lunge at his opponents with massive leaps and is also capable of burrowing substantial distances. Two of his more impressive attacks involve jumping backward to impale his opponents on his spiked carapace In Godzilla vs. Gigan and his vise-like bite; the most famous example of the latter being when he faced King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters where he latched onto one of King Ghidorah's necks, his grip holding firm even as his opponent took flight.
In Godzilla: Final Wars, Anguirus was redesigned with the ability to curl himself into a ball and propel himself forward with tremendous speed. The Final Wars version also possessed a spiked tail club like a real Ankylosaurus, though he was not witnessed using it in combat.
According to the English subtitles of the 1955 Japanese language film Godzilla Raids Again, Anguirus (spelled "Angilas" in that film) was properly called an "angilosaurus," (which in Japanese is pronounced roughly the same as "ankylosaurus"), a dinosaur described as "one of the stronger dinosaurs that lived in the prehistoric era." It's described in a textbook by Polish world animal specialist Plateli Hondon as "one of the few creatures that had a thorough hatred for war-like predators," which explains Anguirus' eagerness to fight Godzilla. The dinosaur angilosaurus lived (according to the film) from 150-70 million years ago, and its remains were affected by the same hydrogen bombs that awoke Godzilla. In the English-dubbed version of Godzilla Raids Again, the name of the dinosaur is pronounced ""ANG-will-o-Saw-rus," and given the sub-moniker "Killer of the Living." They ruled the Earth at one time, according to the film, then disappeared suddenly. From an unnamed textbook in the movie (the same book that in the Japanese language version was written by Hondon), a scientist reads that these creatures (the angilasaurs) may return from hibernation due to radioactive fallout. Anguiras is said to have "brains in several parts of his body, including the head, abdomen, and the chest."
Anguirus was the first enemy that Godzilla ever faced. Godzilla and Anguirus battled in Osaka, and after a fierce struggle Godzilla won with a bite to the neck and incinerated Anguirus' body with his atomic breath.
Anguirus was re-introduced (in a brand-new costume) in the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters as an ally of Godzilla living with him on Monster Land, a man made habitat for all of earths monsters. This costume was re-used throughout the remainder of the Showa series, and Anguirus continued in his capacity as Godzilla's ally. He helped Godzilla repel the space monsters, Gigan and King Ghidorah, in 1972 (Godzilla vs. Gigan). He and Godzilla returned to Monster Land. The island was disturbed by nuclear bomb tests in (Godzilla vs. Megalon). The ground beneath Anguirus cracked. Rodan, perched on a mountain above, toppled down on top of Anguirus, forcing both of them underground into a massive split in the earth, both monsters disappeared.
Anguirus tunneled his way to a snowy region, where he witnessed Mechagodzilla's first emergence in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla . He followed Mechagodzilla underground to Japan where he reviled himself to call upon Godzilla, and engage Mechagodzilla in battle. However, Mechagodzilla was too powerful for Anguirus, and severely injured him, breaking his jaw in a bloody display. Anguirus was forced to retreat underground, although he managed to tip off humanity that this Godzilla was not the true Godzilla.
After a 30 year absence, Anguirus made a return in the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars as a controlled monster of the Xiliens. He appears in Shanghai, and tramples everything in his path, then engaged the flying UN battleship, Karyu. The Xiliens appeared suddenly and teleported Anguirus and the other monsters away. They told the humans that they eliminated the monsters to save Earth, but this was soon discovered to be a ruse, the Xiliens were controlling the monsters. In Shanghai, the Xiliens use their fighter ships to attack the Karyu. While the Karyu was distracted, Anguirus jumped and curled himself into a ball, crashing into the ship at its midpoint. Karyu went spinning in the air before colliding into the Oriental Pearl Tower.
Anguirus, King Caesar, and Rodan are pitted against Godzilla at Mt. Fuji. He successfully defeats all three monsters. King Caesar, Anguirus and Rodan are then left in a heap at the base of the mountain. Godzilla did not kill his fallen foes as a nod to their status as allies of Godzilla during the Showa era. This is in contrast to the remaining majority of the monsters seen in the film, all of whom, aside from Zilla, were enemies of Godzilla during the Showa era, and were slain either by Godzilla, the Gotengo, or the mutants who were part of an anti-monster task force near the beginning of the film.
Anguirus is very popular with Godzilla fans. In a G-Fan magazine poll for favorite monster, Anguirus won 3rd place behind only Godzilla and Gamera. Part of the reason is that the monster is a very loyal ally of Godzilla in "Destroy All Monsters" and "Godzilla vs. Gigan".
Godzilla Raids Again
Destroy All Monsters
Godzilla's Revenge (Stock Footage)
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon (Stock Footage)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Godzilla Final Wars
Behind the scenes
During the existence of the character there have been three official Anguirus suits. The first and second were constructed under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. After the release of Godzilla Raids Again Toho was looking to release the movie to western audiences but was having trouble finding a distributor. AB-PT pictures, an American distribution company was producing their own movie, The Volcano Monsters, shortly after the release of Godzilla Raids Again. AB-PT attempted to incorporate the monster footage of Toho's film into their own but had little success. They struck up a deal between the two companies, a Godzilla and the original Anguirus costume were shipped to Los Angeles to film some additional scenes. Due to financial problems with AB-PT studios the company collapsed and its assets were absorbed into other production companies. The original Anguirus suit remains missing. The second suit, created for color filming, was built in 1968. The design had no radical changes from the original aside from some modification on the thickness of the spines and arrangement of the teeth. For Godzilla Final Wars a third suit was built incorporating modern sculpting methods and animatronics. The final suit is darker in color and somewhat more streamlined and biologically realistic in design.
Anguirus has been played by multiple actors throughout the Godzilla movie series.
Godzilla Raids Again (First Suit Version) - Katsumi Tezuka
Destroy All Monsters (Second Version) - Hiroshi Sekita
Godzilla Vs. Gigan (Second Version) - Yukietsu Omiya
Godzilla Vs. Megalon (Second Version) - Yukietsu Omiya
Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (Second Version) - Momoru Kusumi
Godzilla Final Wars (Third Version) - Toshihiro Ogura
CREATURE FEATURE : Barugon
Barugon (バルゴン) is a monster featured in the second Gamera film, 1966's Gamera vs. Barugon, (better known as "War of the Monsters" stateside.) Barugon is not to be confused with the similarly named Toho Kaiju Baragon. The similarity in name is probably a coincidence, as katakana only offers a limited number of three syllable combinations. They are both similar to ground-like dinosaurs.
Barugon is a gigantic quadrupedal reptile, with sharp teeth, a long horn on his snout, smaller horns above his eyes, and a long whip-like tail. He has two rows of short spikes running down his back, which begin to glow when the creature is ready to attack. Barugon also possess a very long, stiff tongue with a clubbed tip, and has blue blood.
In ancient times the Barugon egg was placed in a cave on his native island. Hundreds of years later an expedition to the Island to get the egg (thought to be a giant opal) was undertaken. The egg was then taken back to Japan to be sold. As the ship docked in Osaka one of the sailors left it under an infrared lamp meant to cure his jungle foot fungus to go play poker. While gone the lamp incubated the egg and it hatched into a baby Barugon. It then grew to full size causing the boat to explode. Barugon then headed into downtown Osaka. Rampaging the military atempted to destroy it with a missle strike but barugon destroyed it with his rainbow ray. The Radiation of the ray atracted Gamera. The two titans clashed and just when Gamera got the upper hand Barugon froze him solid. The military and Gamera out of the way Barugon left Osaka and headed for Tokyo. The miliary tried to lure Barugon to a deep lake knowing he would drown in fresh water with a large dimond on two occasions the second attempt applying infrared light. Both failed. Just as all hope seemed lost Gamera burst from his icy prison and began to fight barugon in round 2. Gamera succesfully killed Barugon by dragging him into the deep lake and drowning the giant once and for all.
Powers and Weaknesses
Barugon has three major powers. One of them is his extendable tongue. His tongue has a the ability to fire out like a giant battering ram. Zedus also has a similar tongue, but it has a spear-like point. His second power is an icy spray that he can fire from the end of his tounge. It was strong enough to freeze Gamera solid for eight hours. Barugon's final power is the ability to use the spikes on his back to project a rainbow out of his back that can destroy a whole line of missles, as seen in War of the Monsters.
Barugon has a deadly weakness to fresh water. In the movie, they kept him under restraint with artificial rain. In the final fight with Gamera, Barugon is drowned by Gamera in a deep lake. Barugon is also attracted to shiny objects. he was almost lured into a lake with a diamond on a boat with an infrared light shining through it, but he used his tongue to grab the diamond and walk away unharmed.
Barugon's name is sometimes stated by some Toho fans as an edited copy of of one Toho's kaiju, Baragon, but looks like Anguirus.
Barugon was considered by the film makers of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe to be Gamera's opponent before Gyaos was ultimately chosen.
Barugon is Gamera's very first enemy.
Barugon is also the first ancient monster in the Gamera series.
CREATURE FEATURE : Mothra
Mothra (モスラ Mosura) is a kaiju, a type of fictional monster who first appeared in the serialized novel The Luminous Fairies and Mothra by Takehiko Fukunaga, Shinichiro Nakamura, and Yoshie Hotta. Since her film début in the 1961 film Mothra, she has appeared in several Toho tokusatsu films.
Generally regarded as female by English-speaking audiences, she is a giant lepidopteran with characteristics both of butterflies and of moths. She closely resembles an Inachis io, or a European Peacock Butterfly. The name "Mothra" is the suffixation of "-ra" (a common last syllable in kaiju names, viz. Hedo-ra, Ghido-ra, Ebi-ra, Goji-ra(Godzilla)) to "moth"; since the Japanese language does not have dental fricatives, it is approximated "Mosura" in Japanese. In the American dubbing of Mothra vs. Godzilla, Mothra is also referred to as: "The Thing". She is occasionally an ally to Godzilla but more often than not engaged in conflict due to his anger toward the human race. Mothra holds the most victories against the "King of Monsters." Mothra has never defeated Godzilla on her own, however. In each of these victories, Mothra had an ally; its own twin in Mothra vs Godzilla, Battra in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, and Mechagodzilla in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S..
Film have depicted Mothra in various stages of the lepidopteran life cycle: Mothra's mammoth egg is brightly colored in blue and yellow waves. The egg hatches into her larva, a massive brown, segmented caterpillar (resembling a silkworm) with glowing blue—red when angry—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. Despite having wrought destruction worthy of any Toho daikaiju, 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. She has also fertilized her own eggs.
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. Also, Mothra is given a short origin story in the Heisei series, with the Cosmos explaining that Mothra is a genetically engineered creation of the Cosmos made from fusing the remaining life energy of their race with a common lepidoptera.
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 aggressively, 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.
Mothra has become one of Godzilla's more challenging opponents, having achieved the greatest success rate in battle save Godzilla himself: She has once rid of Godzilla in imago form, and twice Godzilla has fought her to the death only later to be bested by her newborn larvae. Mothra has never beaten Godzilla alone (in her Imago Form). Godzilla was defeated by Mothra twin-larvae in Godzilla vs. Mothra in the Showa Era, Imago Mothra and Imago Battra in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth in the Heisei series, and the twin-larvae and Kiryu (MechaGodzilla) in the Millennium Series.
Mothra is the only kaiju other than Godzilla, Junior, and Mecha-King Ghidorah to appear in more than one Heisei Godzilla movie as she appears in Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla when she sends her Cosmos and Fairy Mothras to help out Miki. In the Heisei Era (1984–1995), Mothra gained her own series of films dubbed in America as the Rebirth of Mothra series (Rebirth of Mothra, Rebirth of Mothra II, and Rebirth of Mothra III). In Japan, the series is simply called the "Mothra Series"(Mothra, Mothra 2: Adventure Under the Sea, and Mothra 3: Attack of Grand King Ghidorah). These series are not connected to the Showa, Heisei or Millennium Godzilla movies and are standalone films aiming towards children. The movies start off as the last Mothra puts the last of her energy into a new egg. From this egg hatches Mothra Leo.
Mothra Leo is supposedly, and regarded as, male, as opposed to the pure female Mothras before (though the English dubbing is inconsistent, going back and forth between "she/her" to "he/him", even "it", and therefore its gender is left ambiguous). It also has "ever-increasing energy" which allows it to absorb energy from other sources to become stronger. The 10,000 year-old tree in Rebirth of Mothra allowed Mothra Leo to change into its imago form as "Mothra Leo", thought to be the most powerful Mothra of all time. Mothra Leo gains several forms throughout the Rebirth trilogy, such as Rainbow Mothra, Aqua Mothra, Light Speed Mothra, Armor Mothra, and Eternal Mothra.
In this series Mothra battled three opponents: Death Ghidorah, a flora-destroying horned beast with three heads; Dagahra, a toxic dragon-like sea creature; and finally Cretaceous King Ghidorah/Grand King Ghidorah, who comes back to Earth to feed of the life force of Japan's children.
In Godzilla Final Wars, Mothra once protected the world in ancient times from the space monster Gigan (this scenario echoes from the Heisei series of Godzilla films where Mothra was portrayed as an ancient defender of the earth and battle Battra, there are also similar cave-drawings of these two events). After being summoned by her Shobijin to help the Earth in a 21st century assault, Mothra flew over Tokyo to aid Godzilla in a battle against Monster X. The Xilien wouldn't let that happen, though, and they sent an improved Gigan to stop Mothra. Mothra is quickly dispatched by Gigan. Mothra quickly recovers and attacks Gigan and Monster X. Gigan resumes his battle with Mothra, using its laser vision beam, turning Mothra to a wall of fire. As a final effort, a burning Mothra flies towards Gigan, and both kaiju are destroyed in a kamakaze attack by the lepidopteran deity. Mothra does survive and she returns to Infant Island at the ending credits. This is the first time imago Mothra returns home directly after a battle involving Godzilla, excluding her brief appearances in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.
Unlike the majority of other Toho daikaiju, which are usually performed by stunt actors in a large costume, Mothra has always been operated mechanically as a wire controlled marionette, remote controlled robotic prop, or a combination of the two. Her characteristic chirp was created by speeding up the roar of Anguirus from Godzilla Raids Again. Mothra is known for her habit of dying somehow in many of the movies she has appeared in.
Toho had intended to follow 1989's Godzilla vs. Biollante with a revival of Mothra in her own spin-off film, Mothra vs. Bagan, for 1990 release. However, following the disappointing box office performance of Biollante, Toho discarded the project in favor of another Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). A 1992 survey revealed that Mothra was Toho's most popular daikaiju among women, an observation which inspired Toho to again revise its plans, abandoning a proposed sequel to King Ghidorah in favor of a Godzilla/Mothra feature. Following the end of the Heisei Godzilla series, Toho produced a trilogy of Mothra films, known in the U.S. as Rebirth of Mothra (1996–1998). Mothra thus became the first Toho daikaiju to lead its own film(s) after its incorporation into the Godzilla franchise.
As a larva, Mothra sprays her opponents with 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.) 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. She only uses that attack when she knows she is going to die, though, 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. 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. 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 the Mothra Trilogy, Mothra displayed a wide use of energy-projection abilities; ranging from triple prismatic beams from her forehead, to energized tackles, to her Sun Strike Buster, a very potent attack that comes from the sky like a sacred lightning bolt. Mothra Leo, her offspring and successor, shared her energy powers and also possessed the ability to gain alternate forms as a means of adapting to his opponent's fighting styles.
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.
Mothra's Fairies (Shōbijin, Cosmos, and Elias)
Mothra is usually accompanied by two tiny priestesses or fairies, often called the shōbijin (小美人, "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 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 SOS, two other shobijin (portrayed by Masami Nagasawa and Chihiro Ôtsuka) demonstrate telekinesis 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—a "Black Mothra" (as described in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth) or "Battle Mothra" (as described in the Super Godzilla video game manual). 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, made in the late 1990s, Mothra's priestesses were the Elias; the Elias differ from earlier incarnations in that they are not mindlinked twins but individual persons, Moll (or Moru or Mona) 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, (who were the twins from Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys) in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
The fairies' famous song "Mosura No Uta" ("Mothra's Song") was written in Indonesian, though the Shobijin often sing Japanese approximations to the original lyrics. The song was composed by Yuji Koseki. Other verses and entirely new songs (in Japanese) have been added by various composers over Mothra's film history. The Shobijin have also been portrayed by Pair Bambi (Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster) and Megumi Kobayashi and Sayako Yamaguchi (the Mothra Trilogy).
There are many other Mothra songs that have been used over the years all the way from the Showa series to the Millennium series:
"Mahara Mothra" - Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964), Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
"Sacred Springs" - Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964), Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
"Mothra's Song" - Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)
"The Song of Prayer" - Rebirth of Mothra (1996)
"Mothra Leo" - Rebirth of Mothra (1996)
"Haora Mothra" - Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998)
Outside of Kaiju Films, the Mothra Songs have received a lot of popular acclaim and have been performed by many musical groups as well as individual artists.
Covers by musical groups:
"Mothra Song " – Deja Vu
"Mothra Song" – All-Male Japanese Choir
Broadway: Mothra is given mention in the song "Two by Two" in the musical Book of Mormon. Two characters are assigned their mission in Japan, and they exclaim "Japan...Home of soy sauce..and Mothra!"
Heavy metal band Anvil has a song about Mothra on their 1982 album Metal on Metal.
Canadian artist C.J. Harder has a song called Mothra, a track of his Fear Of A Digital Planet album. The song has recurring child vocals, singing Mosura No Uta.
Mothra's character and personality
Mothra's character/personality has developed substantially over the years. For instance, when she appeared in her first movie, she only protected her own people on Infant Island and did not care for the entire world like the later Heisei and Rebirth versions did. In the Heisei Era, Mothra became the environmental savior as well as the human savior of the Earth—which means that she was the guardian of the planet as stated by the Cosmos in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. In the Shinsei series though, Mothra reverted back to her original self as she was in the Showa series. Mothra is an unusual kaiju (in the Toho universe—Gamera fulfills this role in his own long-running series) in that she battles on behalf of the betterment of the Earth, and for years has continued to establish that pureness of heart in her character. In the trilogy, Mothra even sacrificed her own life for the sake of other guardian monsters.
Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964)
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) (stock footage)
Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
Monster Planet Of Godzilla (1994)
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) (also as "Fairy Mothra")
Rebirth of Mothra (1996) (also as "Mothra Leo")
Godzilla Island (1997)
Rebirth of Mothra II (1997) (as "Mothra Leo", "Rainbow Mothra", and "Aqua Mothra")
Rebirth of Mothra III (1998) (as "Rainbow Mothra", "Light Speed Mothra", "Armor Mothra", and "Eternal Mothra")
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) (stock footage)
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
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