YMMV / Mothra

  • Adaptation Displacement: Mothra is based on an obscure serialized novel called The Luminous Fairies and Mothra. That novel was actually produced by Toho to aide in the development of the film.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Some might consider the Shobijin as this. They're sweet little twin fairies who know that their singing will bring a giant moth to their rescue at the inevitable risk/cost of hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. Nevertheless, they keep singing.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Nelson, the main villain. Thanks to Jerry Ito's performance as a cruel and greedy person, Nelson is remembered among Kaiju fans as a great human villain.
  • Faux Symbolism: Mothra's a life-death-rebirth entity with a symbol resembling a shining cross.
  • Tear Jerker: The theme of atomic destruction and Jerry Ito's superb portrayal of cruel greed and callous disregard for the island tribe and their culture (let alone all the people inadvertently hurt or killed by Mothra in her search) make this one of the saddest kaiju films of all time, although it ends happily.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Whether unintentional or not, Mothra was responsible for the death of thousands of people and destroyed many cities. It's clear that the ending is meant to come across as happy since the humans happily gave Mothra the Shobijin back and gave a heartfelt farewell to them. Instead, Mothra comes across as a Karma Houdini for not answering for what has happened; as do the Shobijin.
    • Shobijin can come across as this. While we do feel sorry for them being captives by Nelson and are clearly remorseful for whats happening, the truth is that they summoned Mothra knowing the danger she will bring.