The oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata (Walker) is a serious pest of agriculture that does particular damage to Gramineae crops in Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Metamorphosis is a key developmental stage in insects, although the genes underlying the metamorphic transition in M. separata remain largely unknown. Here, we sequenced the transcriptomes of five stages; mature larvae (ML), wandering (W), and pupation (1, 5, and 10 days after pupation, designated P1, P5, and P10) to identify transition-associated genes. Four libraries were generated, with 22,884, 23,534, 26,643, and 33,238 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for the ML-vs-W, W-vs-P1, P1-vs-P5, and P5-vs-P10, respectively. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of DEGs showed that genes regulating the biosynthesis of the membrane and integral components of the membrane, which includes the cuticular protein (CP), 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), and juvenile hormone (JH) biosynthesis, were enriched. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis indicated that DEGs were enriched in the metabolic pathways. Of these DEGs, thirty CP, seventeen 20E, and seven JH genes were differentially expressed across the developmental stages. For transcriptome validation, ten CP, 20E, and JH-related genes were selected and verified by real-time PCR quantitative. Collectively, our results provided a basis for further studies of the molecular mechanism of metamorphosis in M. separata.