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Godzilla vs. Mothra

, released as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth in the U.S., is the 19th installment in the Godzilla series of films. The movie was released theatrically in Japan on December 12, 1992. It was directed by Takao Okawara from a screenplay by Kazuki Omori, produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka and Shogo Tomiyama, with special effects provided by Koichi Kawakita. This would be the fifth time that Mothra would appear in a Godzilla film, and the first time to appear in the Heisei Godzilla series. This movie also introduced the monster Battra, and reintroduced the Shobijin as the Cosmos. This would also be the only movie that Battra would appear in, though he would later appear in later video games. It was also the third movie to include Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa. This would be the first time for a character to be featured in more than two Godzilla films. For this movie, Akira Ifukube increased the tempo of the Mothra song, and also added string arrangement. His score won him a Japanese Academy Award.

This would also be Mothra's final appearance in a Godzilla film until the Millennium series, other than a brief reference to her in Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, in which it is inferred that Mothra may have accidentally caused the creation of Space Godzilla by unintentionally carrying his scales or DNA contained in Godzilla's blood or saliva on her body. Biollante is also named as a possible culprit for Space Godzilla's birth.

Plot

In 1992 a few months after Godzilla defeated Mecha-King Ghidorah, a large meteor hurtles towards Earth, and lands in the ocean, causing many natural disasters, such as typhoons, and awakens Godzilla. One particularly large typhoon is monitored over the Pacific ocean. This typhoon uncovers a giant egg from underground. The next day, a young man named Takuya Fujita is caught stealing an ancient artifact, and is sent to jail. Later, the Japanese Prime Minister arrives with Takuya's ex-wife, Masako Tezuka, with a proposal: Explore an island in the sea with Masako and the secretary for the Marutomo company, Kenji Andoh, and become a free man. Initially, Takuya refuses, on the basis that he's to be released in another week. But after his ex-wife informs him that his sentence has been reconsidered, he agrees.

The trio then sets sail. After arriving at the island and exploring it a bit, they find a cave behind a waterfall. Inside the cave, they discover ancient paintings, including a picture of two giant insects fighting one another. While studying them, the sun shines through a hole in the wall, shaped like a cross inside a circle. The light points to a small opening in the cave, where they come upon the giant egg. After taking a small sample of the outer shell, the three hear a pair of voices, which informs them that the egg belongs to Mothra. After searching around a bit, the voices' owners show themselves,. They explain that they are the Earth's Cosmos, and that they keep the Earth's natural order of things in balance.

The Cosmos also tell them a story of ancient origin. Thousands of years ago, an advanced civilization once existed, and for a time, the Earth's Cosmos was in perfect order. However, the scientists of this civilization tried to control the Earth's climate by creating a weather machine, so the Earth created the Black Mothra, named Battra. Battra then destroyed the weather machine. However, afterwards, Battra became uncontrollable, and started to harm the very Earth that created it. Mothra was then sent in to stop Battra. Mothra then fought a fierce battle with Battra, who eventually lost. However, in the course of this battle, the civilization was totally destroyed by both the fight, and by flooding caused by it. Battra and Mothra then lay in rest. Battra in the Northern Sea, and Mothra on Infant Island. But due to the recent changes in the atmosphere due to pollution and Global warming, Mothra's egg has been uncovered, and the Cosmos fear that Battra has awoken as well.

At this time, Battra is already headed toward Japan. Japanese forces try to stop him while he is still swimming towards Japan, but are unable to do so. He makes landfall, and burrows underground, headed for Nagoya. While this was happening, Andoh put a call through to his boss, Takeshi Tomokane, the head of the Marutomo company. Makoto then ordered a freighter sent to Infant Island to pick up the egg, planning to exploit it. Andoh explains to Masako and Takuya that, contrary to Takeshi's true intentions, his boss intends to protect the egg, and the Cosmos agree to let him take it. They also volunteer to go with them back to Japan.

At this point, Battra reaches Nagoya. He burrows up from under the ground, and wreaks havoc throughout the city, and destroys it. The Japanese weapons are powerless against Battra, who destroys them using his eye and horn beams. After Battra's conquest, he burrows back underground. At the time the attack ended, the freighter is already out at sea, carrying the egg back. As they are sailing, an atomic breath shoots up from the water. All the crew runs to the edge of the boat, gazing at it. Takuya soon identifies it as belonging to Godzilla. Realizing the freighter was not fast enough with the egg attached, he runs down to the cables holding it. Andoh follows him. When he finally reaches the cables, Andoh tries to stop him from releasing them. At this point, Godzilla has surfaced, and is heading toward the egg. Andoh and Takuya have a fight aboard the ship. Takuya eventually manages to beat Andoh, and proceeds to release the egg. After this is accomplished, everyone watches Godzilla. However, rather than immediately destroying it, he continues towards it. The egg then hatches, and a Mothra larva crawls out. Mothra leaves the lift just in time to avoid Godzilla's atomic breath, which destroys it.

The two then begin fighting. Eventually, Mothra is cornered behind the ship. She then uses her silk webbing attack on Godzilla to immobilize him but it fails to stop him. However, Battra soon appears, and joins the fight. First he attacks Mothra and sends her flying as she tries to escape. However, one of his beams hits Godzilla, angering the mutant dinosaur. Godzilla then attacks back at Battra, with Mothra caught in the middle. The two continue to fight above water. Mothra finally gets a chance at escape, and takes it, heading back to Infant Island. However, Godzilla and Battra are still going at it. The battle is taken underwater, where it only gets fiercer. Eventually, the force of the battle causes a giant crack in the ocean's floor to open up, spewing massive amounts of magma, and opening a giant plate along the ocean's floor. This crack swallows up both Godzilla and Battra, who continue fighting even after they are fully submerged.

After the battle, Takuya, Andoh, Masako, and the Cosmos stay overnight at a hotel. While Andoh is drinking, Masako and Takuya have a discussion about the day's events, and about their history together. The three then head to bed. The next morning, Masako awakens to discover that the Cosmos have gone missing, and immediately wakes up Takuya, who immediately realizes that Andoh took them back to Marutomo's president. The two take a flight back to Tokyo, where Masako meets up with their daughter, her sister, and Professor Fukazawa. They explain to her that the problem with the earthquake was so bad, that it's creating a large fault along the Philippine Plate. While they talk, Takuya leaves the airport.

Masako then goes to the government to try and get them to buy the Cosmos back. They offer Takeshi Tomokane all they can afford, but he refuses it all. While this is happening, the Cosmos, trapped in a room, call out to Mothra for help, who heads out to Japan to save them. The next day, Marutomo employees discover the Cosmos are missing, and suspects the government of stealing them. Meanwhile, the government discovers that Mothra is on her way to Japan. While they are not certain of how Mothra will behave, they feel they must prepare for the worst. They set up a defense force, and put up a blockade that, if passed, would force them to send in fighters. Mothra crosses the blockade. The fighters are sent in, but can not stop her.

The next day, Masako sets out with both her daughter, and telepathic Miki Saegusa to find the Cosmos. After driving throughout the city, Miki finally hears the song that the Cosmos are using to call Mothra. She leads them to a hotel, where the child finds Takuya, who is in possession of the Cosmos, and trying to sell them. While all this is happening, Mothra is heading through the city, directly towards the hotel. After his daughter begs him to release the Cosmos, and his ex-wife berates him for taking them, Takuya concedes, and lets the Cosmos free. The Cosmos then tell Mothra to leave the city, and not to hurt anyone else. Mothra turns around, and heads back. The forces attack again, but stop when they realize that Masako and the others are in the hotel. Mothra, behaving strangely, heads for the Capitol building, where she rests against it. A crowd soon gathers to watch what will happen next.

Mothra starts building a cocoon around herself. While she does this, Miki has a telepathic sense. Godzilla is alive, and has just surfaced from Mount Fuji. The Japanese government soon confirms this. Mothra, meanwhile, breaks open from her cocoon, in her adult form. She then flies away from the building. The Cosmos explain that, since she is now in her adult form, she will go to find Battra and destroy him. Battra, meantime, escapes from the magma, and surfaces. He then transforms into his adult form too, and flies toward the mainland.

The Japanese government is terrified. They want to avoid the apparently inevitable meeting of the three monsters, so they devise a plan. They set up a force directed out toward the ocean, which would lure Godzilla there. However, the force is easily defeated, and Godzilla proceeds on his original course. Meanwhile, Mothra and Battra meet up at Yokohama Cosmo World, and proceed to battle. The battle is long, and hard, but eventually, Battra hits Mothra with a beam, and she crashes into the ground. At this point, Godzilla shows up. Battra, remembering their last fight, decides that Godzilla is a more important target, and attacks him instead. However, Godzilla soon defeats Battra, who crashes into the ground as well. At this point, Mothra has regained enough strength to fight again, and she charges Godzilla with her antenna rays and collapses a building upon him. With Godzilla temporaily disabled, Mothra flies towards Battra, and lands in front of him. She gives him some of her life energy as the cosmos sing and glow amber, and Battra revives.

The song is interrupted when Godzilla emerges from the rubble and roars in irritation. Mothra takes off and flies at him. Godzilla manages to push her away, but she quickly comes back. This time, however, she tries a different approach. She uses her paralyzing spore attack to immobilize Godzilla and refract his atomic breath. For a moment Godzilla is trapped. However, he uses his nuclear pulse, which knocks Mothra to the ground. Godzilla then fires his atomic breath at a nearby ferris wheel and attempts to collapse it onto Mothra and crush her. Battra however flies up and grabs the ferris wheel, carrying it and crashing it into Godzilla.

The two fly off to fight Godzilla. Godzilla puts up an excellent fight, despite that he is outnumbered. Eventually Mothra uses her spore attack once again. Battra fires his beams and strengthens the spores. Finally Godzilla is overwhelmed and falls to the ground. Battra and Mothra hold a brief conversation, and then set out to carry Godzilla back into the ocean. Godzilla is still strong enough to resist. He swings his tail to prevent Mothra from grabbing it, and takes a bite into Battra's neck, crushing through Battra's armor, causing Battra's blood to spill everywhere. Mothra shocks Godzilla's tail and both moths manage to get a good hold and carry him away. Over the sea, Godzilla uses his atomic breath one last time, killing Battra. Mothra then drops the two monsters into the sea and gives up her battle with Godzilla, and after sending a shimmering light across the ocean where Battra and Godzilla fell, she flies back to Japan.

The next morning, Mothra is sitting at an airport, and the Cosmos are holding a conversation with government officials, Masako, Takuya, and their child. Apparently, Battra had been waiting around for many years for a large meteorite that would hit the Earth in 1999, totally destroying it. Battra was going to stop the meteorite, but was killed by Godzilla. Mothra, in their previous conversation, had promised that she would stop the meteorite from landing. The Cosmos then join Mothra, and the three fly off into space to divert the meteorite.

Cast

Actor Role
Tetsuya Bessho Takuya Fujito
Satomi Kobayoshi Masako Tezuka
Megumi Odaka Miki Saegusa
Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa The Cosmos
Takehiro Murata Kenji Andoh
Saburo Shinoda Professor Fukazawa
Akira Takarada Jyoji Minamino
Makoto Otake Takeshi Tomokane
Kenpachiro Satsuma Godzilla
Hurricane Ryu Battra Larva

Box office

The film sold approximately 4,200,000 tickets in Japan. Not only was it the most popular film of the Heisei Godzilla series, but it was the most popular Godzilla film since Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, It remains the fourth most-attended Godzilla film in Japan, the second biggest film in Asia, and the third in Europe during 1993, behind Jurassic Park.

DVD releases

Columbia TriStar

  • Released: November 10, 1998
  • Aspect Ratio: Full frame (1.33:1)
  • Sound: English (2.0)
  • Supplements: Liner notes
  • Region 1

External links

Notes and references

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