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.
- Main article: ReoMosuImago.
Mothra's appearance in the Rebirth of Mothra series bears much of a resemblance to her Showa and Heisei era incarnations, however, some slight differences are present. These include a general increase in her overall fuzziness, and some slight modifications to her wing aesthetic.
Despite having wrought destruction worthy of any Toho kaiju, 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 (often called Shobijin—Japanese for "small beauties") who also speak for her.
Additionally, this Mothra also had a parental care for Mothra Leo, risking her own life to save him.
In Rebirth of Mothra, it is established that Mothra is the last living member of an ancient race of giant guardian moths that defended the Earth throughout its history. Sharing a special connection to the diminutive Elias race, both they and Mothra's kin were largely exterminated by Desghidorah's original attack against the Earth approximately 65 million years ago. In her old age, Mothra lived in solitude with two of the last remaining Elias on Infant Island, and with the last of her strength summoned forth an egg to continue her legacy after her death.
Historyspace monster called Desghidorah arrived to destroy the Earth. This three-headed demonic dragon was forced to deal with resistance in the form of a species of highly advanced, enormous moths, which were 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 Moll and Lora remained benevolent defenders of the Earth, Belvera became twisted and vengeful following her race's demise. These tiny fairies, along with one final Mothra, remained in solitude on Infant Island for countless millennia.
In order to preserve her legacy, Mothra summoned an enormous egg, however, she became physically exhausted from the ordeal. Shortly afterwards, a logging company in Hokkaido uncovered the tomb where the Mothras had sealed Desghidorah 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, planning to use it to destroy mankind. Mothra was summoned to stop Desghidorah, which was absorbing the life out of the forests.
Mothra fought her hardest to stop Desghidorah, but was simply too old and frail to carry on the fight. Moll and Lora reluctantly prayed to the egg, causing it to prematurely hatch into a larva named Mothra Leo. Mothra Leo arrived to assist his mother, but Desghidorah grabbed Leo with his teeth and bit into him. Mothra rescued her son and destroyed a dam, causing Desghidorah to be buried in a flood of water. With her enemy distracted, Mothra carried Leo out over the sea, but her strength failed and she fell into the water. Mothra struggled to stay afloat, as Leo desperately tried to hold her up above the surface, but to no avail. Mothra sank underwater and drowned, leaving Leo to carry on her legacy and stop Desghidorah. Leo then swam to a remote island to transform into his imago stage and continue the battle.
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 powder now had a different effect, and now acted as a cloud of mirror-like scales, which would allow beam weapons to repeatedly rebound before striking the target, effectively making them impossible to miss.
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.
The Heisei version of Mothra had some differences. She can fire a beam of energy so called Ultra-Sonic Beam from her antennae, and fire arcs of lightning from her wings, or keep it in her body to release to another through touch.
In the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, Mothra's priestesses were the Elias; the Elias differ from earlier incarnations in that they are not mind-linked twins but individual persons, Moll 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.
List of appearances
- Rebirth of Mothra (First appearance)