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When a handful of people not only survive a shipwreck but also several
days on Infant Island virtually unharmed, this is a major miracle, since
Infant Island is supposed to be highly irradiated. So reporter Ten Fukuda
(Frankie Sakai) & photographer Michi (Kyoko Kagawa) decide this would
be a major story & try to persuade scientist & linguist Chuzo
(Hiroshi Koizumi) to mount an expedition to Infant Island & try to
make contact with the natives who apparently live there.
It isn't easy to persuade him, but when the expedition finally falls
together, the reporters are in for a disappointment: Rolisikan rich man
Nelson (Jerry Ito) has taken the lead of the expedition, allegedly on
behalf of the Rolisikan gouvernment (after all, Infant Island lies
somewhere in Rolisikan territory), & not only does he seem liek pure
evil n first sight, he also expressly eyxcludes the press from the
expedition ... only Ten womehow manages to sneak aboard, & learns from
Chuzo that Nelson is not only bullying the press but the scientists as
Soon, the expedition encounters 2 tiny twin fairies, the Cosmos (Emi
Ito, Yumi Ito), who appear to be quite friendly ... but that doesn't keep
Nelson from wanting to capture them (for a show he plans to put on,
actually. Only the natives of Infant Island, who appear out of nowhere,
prevent his evil plans ...
But of course, while back in Japan, Ten & Chuzo try to figure out
some of the inscriptions found on Infant Island & come up with a thing
called Mothra, Nelson goes back to Infant Island, captures the Cosmos, but
this time he has brought several gunmen with him who simply shoot down the
nativeswho try to prevent them ...
One of the dieing natives though has enough life in him to call on
Mothra, which turns out to be ... a giant egg ?
In Japan, Nelson puts the Cosmos on display in a cheesy stageshow,
during which they sing a few musical numbers - & his argument always
is, could they sing if they are unhappy ? What he doesn't know though is
that their singing causes the giant egg to hatch, & out of it emerges
... a giant caterpillar (about 300 feet long, one character guesses),
& the caterpillar immediately leaves Infant Island heading for Japan.
Meanwhile, Chuzo, Ten & Michi try their best to persuade Nelson to
set the Cosmos free, or free tehm themselves, but to no avail, & the
authorities refuse to help them in their cause because they dont't want to
jeopardize their diplomatic relations to Rolisika. Meanwhile Mothra is
closing in on Japan, destroying everything in its path & surviving one
army attack after the other virtually unscathed. & even while Mothra
makes its way through Tokyo, & the relation between the giant
caterpillar & the tiny fairies becomes clearer & clearer, the
gouvernment hesitates to take any steps against Nelson the Rolisikan
It is not until Mothra spins a cocoon around herself next to Tokyo
Tower that an arrest warrant for nelson is issued ... but by that time,
nelson has already fled country for Rolisika, with the Cosmos in his
Rolisika meanwhile has shown sympathetic to Japan's plight & send
some top of the art atomic cannons which are now used against the cocooned
in Mothra, & it looks as if the cocoon would burn to cinder ... until
a giant butterfly emerges from it, just stops long enough to blow away the
atom cannons with a single beat of its wings, then takes off to Rolisika.
Nelson has thought himself safe in Rolisika, but all of a sudden not
only is the country (& he, too) threatened by Mothra, but also public
opinion has turned against him, & when an angry mob catches him, with
the Cosmos, they almost try to lynch him, & when he wants to shoot his
way out, he is shot by the police ...
So now the gouvernment has gotten hold of the Cosmos, but how to
communicate to Mothra that they merely want to give them back ?
To this end, Chuzo, Ten & Michi, those closest to the Cosmos, are
invited to Rolisika, & soon they come up with a plan relying on (of
all things) Christian symbolism & church bells to calm down Mothra
& hand her over the fairies, who then fly back to Infant Island, &
Rolisika (as well as Japan) is saved ...
Of all of Toho's & Inoshiro Honda's monster movies, Mothra
is quite possibly the most humane - for once, the monster is right, while
everybody (well, not everybody) else is wrong. The film might be a bit
cheesier than Hoda's earlier films, but to avoid an all-out kitsch attack,
Honda would balance it all out with the usual massive destruction scenes
(the scenes where Mothra simply blows away cars & tanks are especially
beautiful) & a human subplot that is more accomplished & more
interesting than usual for Toho monstermovies.
The film would be successful enough for Mothra to return 3 years later
in Mosura tai Gojira/Godzilla vs Mothra (actually a bit of a
remake of Mothra, with Godzilla thrown in), before Mothra would
become a trusted sidekick in many Godzilla
films. In 1996, Mothra would actually get her own series. However, most
later entries into the Mothra series would either be rather
mindless monster bouts or actual kitsch fests, & none would reach the
quality of the first Mothra.