Pokémon is more than just a video game or franchise at this point. After Pokémon made its debut in 1996, people went poke-crazy for these cute RPGs. Ask people across the world and they will probably have memories of playing the games or watching one of the TV series. Rumors say that if you shout the opening line of the original anime opening that at least five people will answer your call with enough enthusiasm to excite a Snorlax.
You cannot talk about Pokémon without talking about Team Rocket, the organization that wants to take over the world and steals Pokémon. Jessie and James are icons of pop culture and their antics will live on in the hearts of kids and adult-kids everywhere. But what about Team Rocket's CEO, Giovanni? Jessie, James, and Meowth talked about him so much that surely there must be something interesting to the man.
Giovanni, the head honcho who hid in the shadows and petted his Persian Pokémon. Shrouded in mystery, he commands his underlings from above and takes powerful rare Pokémon for his own. Giovanni has headed multiple dastardly attempts to take over the world. He is even a gym leader in his spare time. But what else is there to this mysterious boss? Is he really a force to be reckoned with? Or is he more grounded than we give him credit for? Dive on in with me and we'll discover everything we can about the elusive Giovanni of Team Rocket.
24 Why Does He Approve Of Team Rocket Going After Pikachu?
It is a tale as old as time; Ash and his friends are out on their journey when, shocker, Team Rocket shows up. Jessie, James, and Meowth try to pull off an elaborate scheme to catch Ash's Pikachu, but ultimately end up blasting off again. The question is, Team Rocket aim to take over the world and catch all Pokémon. Surely Giovanni should consider this quest a waste of time by now? Wouldn't it be more efficient to ask them to catch other Pokémon and let Pikachu go? He is not even that strong - don't @ me.
23 Giovanni Is Not The Founder Of Team Rocket
Now I know this is logical when you look at the facts, but I did not know this until now. It has been assumed by many (including me) that Giovanni was the founder.
However, it was revealed in a Drama CD that Giovanni's mother, known as Madam Boss, was a head of the organization before him. So he just inherited Team Rocket from his mother - very appropriate for a mob boss.
22 Giovanni Dated Ash's Mum In The... MUSICAL?!?
Did you know that Pokémon has a live-action stage musical? Yeah, same. It was called Pokémon Live! and was briefly performed in the West. In the show, Ash's mum, Delia, confessed that she had dated Giovanni when they were young and was in his gang for a time, but left after she met Ash's biological father. Wow, way to go Delia! Now, the show is not canon by any means, but it is interesting to think about.
21 Why Does Giovanni Use Ground Type?
While Pokémon are awesome creatures with unique skills and abilities, they do have weaknesses. One type can be stronger than another type and some attacks can be weaker than others.
Our man Giovanni is a huge fan of ground types, which makes sense considering his background of almost being the first gym leader. Ground has high health and defense, which would be great except for the fact that Ground types are weak to Water, Grass and Ice types.
20 Remember That Time That He Got Possessed?
During Unova’s Survival Crisis, The Reveal Glass caused more problems than solutions for Giovanni. He wanted to use it to control others, but instead, it backfired on him and possessed him. The Reveal Glass possession causes him to suddenly change his mind about taking over Unova and want to destroy it instead. He even does an Elsa and flashes some ice moves around.
Our pals Jessie, James, and Meowth save him, showing us that their failures can actually help out sometimes. On waking up from the mind control, Giovanni decides to high-tail it out of there - good call, Giovanni.
19 Giovanni Rejects Some Pokémon (For No Good Reason)
Team Rocket is all about the notion that all Pokémon exist to benefit them; that’s why they are constantly after trainers. Over the course of the series, Jessie, James, and Meowth have brought Giovanni Pokémon in person for his inspection, such as Togepi and Yanma. However, he rejects them both. Why would you do that if all Pokémon are a means to an end? Surely you can do something with them, like selling them? Come on, Giovanni, you’re supposed to be a businessman.
18 Theory: Maxie Is Related To Giovanni
This theory is in no way confirmed, but look at them both side by side and tell me you do not see it. Maxie looks a whole lot like Silver, what with the red hair, red iris’ and pale skin. Maxie also has Giovanni’s eye shape and creepy villain mannerisms and behaviors. It makes sense that Maxie could be Giovanni’s grandson since he is a mob boss.
There’s just one tiny problem.
Silver and Maxie’s ages do put a small hole in this particular theory. But it is still cool to think about. Wonder if we will ever get a concrete answer?
17 How Is Silver Giovanni's Son?
Remember that red-haired kid from Pokémon Gold and Silver that treated his Pokémon like dirt? I remember thinking he was crazy but just using his Pokémon like tools to help him on his missions. It turns out that he and Giovanni and are actually be related. However, fans had to wait until Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver to get an official confirmation. In these games, there is a side quest involving Celebi that can show you a cutscene of Giovanni walking out on his own son, who was confirmed by Nintendo to be Silver.
16 Why Is He A Gym Leader In Gen I?
As we mentioned earlier, Giovanni is both the head of Team Rocket and the final Kanto gym leader. Now, no shade here - a healthy balance between work and life is important. But he is never actually at his gym. In Pokémon, gym leaders typically live in their gyms so that they are ready for any challenges from young trainers. However, Giovanni is always away from his gym and has had people fill in for him while he is away. If he has no time for it he cannot be there to potentially steal kids’ Pokémon; this would be no good for his business.
15 Team Rocket’s Secret Hideout Makes Zero Sense
Giovanni is a man who works in mysterious ways. We know that he is rich and likes to build things like the theme park to help Team Rocket achieve their goals. It is rumoured that he is the one who built their secret hideout or was at least involved.
Now, Giovanni cares about his image and staying under the radar about his off dealings. But here’s the thing - if you have a secret hideout for company business meetings that is a huge tip-off that something is going on with your company.
14 Giovanni Holds Performance Evaluations Of Team Rocket Members (But Gave Jessie And James Great Marks)
Shocked? So am I. Performance evaluations are a smart move for businesses, but the world of Pokémon seems so removed from our own that it surprised me. Revealed to the general public on the official Pokémon website, the files on various Team Rocket members’ performances in Pokémon Yellow. No names are mentioned, but their member number, location in game and mission are stated. They are rated from F to A based on performance and will be due for re-assessment ‘in another 20 years.’ Guess who scored top marks - hint: we know them very well.
13 Why Does He Not Have To Approve Every Team Rocket Mission
So, we have a pretty good sense of who Giovanni is. This mysterious boss has a cliche agenda and is all about secrecy. In fact, he is so busy being off the radar that Team Rocket often operates without his approval or presence.
Talk about a massive oversight.
Now, if I were a billionaire evil head of an organization and wanted to take over the world, I would be pretty paranoid. Someone could stage a coup in your absence, or rob you or steal valuable information. Just saying.
12 He Is A Player Support In The Card Game
Giovanni is a man who is determined to achieve his goal of conquering the world and owning world-class Pokémon. He never does anything unless it results in personal gain. With all this in mind, why would he be a player support in the XY-BREAKthrough set? His card is called Giovanni’s Scheme and he presents a choice: draw cards until you have five in your hand or have your Pokémon’s attacks increase for this turn. Making it difficult for you is a signature move, but why help you at all?
11 Making Mewtwo Was Ridiculous
Mew, a small Easter egg in Red and Blue, is said to possess the genetics of every Pokémon in existence. Team Rocket have tried to catch Mew for years, with Jessie’s mother getting close. Giovanni wanted Mew’s powers for himself, so he attempted to create a clone of Mew, known as Mewtwo in Pokémon: The First Movie. This completely backfired on him and Mewtwo became self-aware. Although this advance in science could be considered valuable, surely it would be more effective to go after existing Pokémon.
10 Meowth Has A Crush On Giovanni??
Jessie, James, and Meowth have made no secret of their desire to please Giovanni. They have had multiple daydreams of his reaction to them bringing him their latest target and they have even brought him Pokémon in person for his inspection.
Too much information, Meowth!
Sometimes, however, Meowth took things a little too far. One banned episode features a daydream in which Giovanni is shirtless, covered in honey and being licked by various Pokémon.
9 He Is Literally The Opposite Of Santa Claus
In his quest to claim all Pokémon for Team Rocket's nefarious schemes, Giovanni regularly commissions his lackeys to attack young Pokémon trainers in order to steal their Pokémon. Either that or they would go to areas highly populated by Pokémon and inevitably battle young trainers for the Pokémon. Surely it would be more efficient and cost-effective to simply go to Pokémon nests and take those before attacking twerps who could get in the way. Are there a limited amount of Pokémon?
8 Giovanni Owns The Team Rocket Theme Park (For No Good Reason)
After the Battle Aboard The S.S. Anne, the S.S. Anne gets stuck in a storm and sinks. Ash and his crew and Team Rocket work together to escape the ship, which leads us to the iconic Island of the Giant Pokémon.
A child at heart or crooked businessman?
These 'giant Pokémon ' turned out to be robotic Pokémon in a theme park called Pokémon Land owned by the Team Rocket company. Giovanni invested billions of his own fortune into making these robots. You don't typically associate mob bosses with theme parks.
7 His Battle With Team Plasma Destroyed A City
Over the years a fair few Pokémon episodes have been censored or even outright banned for various reasons. During the 2011 Black and White series, there are two perma-banned episodes regarding Giovanni’s search for meteonite stones from the Unova region. During this mission, Team Rocket clashes with Team Plasma and the Meteonite causes disturbances that threaten to destroy Castelia City.
During the time that these episodes would have aired, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster also happened around that time. These episodes, despite being considered important to the plot, where shelved out of respect for the victims of those disasters.
6 Holding Mr. Fuji Hostage
Mr. Fuji is an old man who lives in Lavender Town’s Volunteer Pokémon House and takes care of sick Pokémon. The man loves Pokémon and honestly why would you hurt a man like this? When he heard that Team Rocket took over the Pokémon Tower, he immediately marched over there to convince them to halt their plans.
It’s as if they needed another reason for the player to confront Team Rocket.
However, Giovanni ordered for him to be held hostage and the player needs to rescue him as well as defeat Team Rocket. This makes no sense. If this old man is such as problem you could not let him into the tower.
5 He Is Rude To Jessie And James
Jessie, James, and Meowth constantly go above and beyond for Giovanni. They adore everything about him and only want to hear praise from him. They work so hard that they even won an A for Outstanding on the Team Rocket Performance Evaluation. These guys are dedicated. Despite this, Giovanni has talked down to them multiple and times and been incredibly rude to these people who are supposedly his best employees. Not cool, Giovanni. I honestly want to start a petition to promote Team Rocket.
4 Hiding In The Shadows To Reform Team Rocket
When we meet Giovanni in the earlier episodes, he is always shrouded in darkness. Maybe he’s flash a wicked grin or bark some commands and then would quickly bail out. He’s very secretive and is not about using a voice masker to hide his identity.
When he was being an active antagonist during the climax of Black and White, he was out in the open for all to see. However, after being defeated by Red/Ash, he goes back to the shadows after either disbanding Team Rocket or going to make Team Rocket stronger (depending on if you saw the series or played the game.)
3 He Used To Be A Kind Kid...
No-one is born cruel. As a child, it was revealed in the manga series How I Became A Pokémon Card that he nursed a young injured Persian back to health.
He's an unexpected hero!
Not only this, but he also saved it from being sold off by a crooked doctor. The best part? That same Persian is the one that he uses in the Gen 1 games. How cute is that?
2 He Was Going To Be The First Gym Leader
For those of you who are a bit rusty, Giovanni is the final gym leader of the Kanto region as well as the leader of Team Rocket. However, things almost turned out a little differently for him. Ken Sugimori released early pictures on his Twitter account on 2015 showing original gym leader designs for Pokémon Red and Blue. In the image, you see Jessie, Misty, and Brock but in the middle is a surly kid who looks a lot like Giovanni. The eyes look exactly the same as Giovanni’s. The number one underneath his image is proof that he was planned to be the first gym leader in Red and Blue.
1 Giovanni Has A Nendroid (Trust Us, You Wanna Catch Them All)
You may have heard of Nendroids before, but if not let me catch you up. Nendroids are cute small figurines of anime and TV characters that you can display in your home. Giovanni is neither cute nor small and his one looks kind of goofy, so this is very out of character. Why would he allow another company to profit when the money could go towards taking over the world? Also, he was meant to be undercover for a while - doesn't this defeat the purpose?