After being adapted into other languages, the Pokémon craziness spread like wildfire. In a fictional world where Pokémon roam the Earth and fight alongside humans, almost anything can happen. In the anime, Ash sets out on a journey to catch and train Pokémon so he can eventually battle the Elite Four. He met friends along the way, but there were also forces who provided obstacles for him. Most notably, Team Rocket has been there at almost every turn to terrorize towns and steal Pokémon. Ash does the right thing and attempts to stop them, since he's pure-hearted. Under the direction of their boss Giovanni, Team Rocket has been instructed to steal Pokémon without decency.
It's easy to overlook the character of Giovanni based on his appearances in the show. Directly and indirectly, however, he has been a definitive force behind foul play in the Pokémon world. Giovanni is smart, and not just in comparison to the kids he is terrorizing. Motivated by greed, power, and pride, Giovanni wants to collect all the rare Pokémon in the world.
When Giovanni is not secretly the head of Team Rocket, he acts as the leader of Viridian City's Gym. If a trainer can beat his powerful ground Pokémon, they will earn the Earth Badge and will likely have received the last badge on the list of Kanto badges. Unfortunately, Giovanni is not at his gym for much of the game since he is too busy committing evil atrocities.
This list contains 15 Dark Facts About Giovanni. Sometimes the truth can be disturbing.
15 Started From The Bottom
Giovanni was not always evil. In most respects, when he was young, he was like most children; innocent and eager to learn. As a small boy, Giovanni came across an injured Persian in the forest that he quickly rushed to the Pokémon Center. This Persian would later become his Pokémon and closest friend. It is the same Persian that we frequently see alongside Giovanni in the Pokémon anime. Giovanni nearly prevented his Persian from being sold by a doctor in this version. From these acts, we can discern that Giovanni was kind as a young boy since an action, such as saving an innocent Pokémon, is far from evil.
Very little is known about this mysterious man’s backstory aside from this. It would be extraordinary if Pokémon Origins featured episodes based on Giovanni’s early life. There are still many questions left unanswered!
14 An Adult Who Terrorizes Children
Something is amiss when a grown adult has nothing better to do than to terrorize children. Time and time again Giovanni and the forces of Team Rocket have sought to capture all Pokémon in existence through shady methods. Naturally, each Pokémon trainer tries to catch Pokémon so they can reach their potential as a trainer, but Giovanni and Team Rocket’s methods are just plain wrong.
Jessie and James have an ongoing plot where they try to capture Ash's Pikachu, something that Giovanni has approved. On several occasions, they nearly succeeded! When Ash started his journey, he was ten years of age. Misty and Brock also had similar ages. Something about this corrupt businessman plotting to steal Pokémon from children is seriously disturbing.
13 Leader Of Team Rocket
Each generation of Pokémon games has contained an evil organization that creates barriers for their protagonists. In Pokémon Sun and Moon we faced off against a new group named “Team Skull;” and in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald we met Team Aqua and Team Magma. This onslaught of evil organizations would never have begun if it weren’t for the initial appearance of Team Rocket in the first generation of Pokémon games.
Headed by Giovanni, Team Rocket has caused much mayhem in video games and anime. Giovanni’s orders are almost always dark by nature, and he deems illegal methods as an acceptable means of accomplishing them. Giovanni could be labeled a mob boss, in charge of a profoundly corrupt crime syndicate, because of their acts.
12 Treats Jessie And James Like Garbage
Jessie and James are two of Giovanni’s most loyal workers. They will do anything he says and will go to extreme lengths in order to do so. Despite following his every command, once guarding his room in Team Rocket base, and gifting him Pokémon such as an Amoonguss and Woobat, Giovanni will say horrible things to Jessie and James.
It is clear that Giovanni is a strict man who believes he has no time for cynicism or excuses. He merely wants to capture all rare Pokémon in the world by any means necessary. Jessie and James put up with Giovanni since they genuinely want to please him. Judging by their dazed fantasies of them pleasing their boss, they admire his intelligence and power.
11 Attempted To Steal The Master Ball
Giovanni’s attempt to steal the Master Ball involved taking over Silphs Company's headquarters in Saffron City and keeping its president under hostage. The Master Ball is capable of catching any Pokémon in one throw and is extremely valuable.
It has been hypothesized on Reddit, by user mboy94, that Giovanni wanted to steal the Master Ball in order to capture the evil Pokémon that is Mewtwo. In Pokémon Blue, Yellow, and Red, Mewtwo is situated deep in Cerulean Cave and is level 70. Since Giovanni was one of the leading people behind the cloning of Mew and the resulting creation of Mewtwo, it would seem as if he wouldn’t ignore Mewtwo’s presence. In this theory, Giovanni would have stolen the Silph Scope so he could catch a ghost Pokémon, which would have been “super effective” against Mewtwo. Conspiracists speculate that it's possible Giovanni had good intentions the entire time. What do you think?
10 Holding Him Hostage In The Haunted Tower
In the Pokémon world, Mr. Fuji is an old man who resides in Lavender Town in the Volunteer Pokémon House. There he treats and houses abandoned and weak Pokémon. Giovanni is the evil man that led the group behind the taking of Mr. Fuji after Mr. Fuji tried to intervene on his takeover of the Pokémon Tower.
After a message reached Mr. Fuji, explaining that the terrible forces of Team Rocket had taken over the Pokémon Tower, he attempted to go there to convince them to leave. He was instead made a hostage, and it becomes the job of the protagonist to rescue him.
Mr. Fuji did not always live in Lavender Town. He used to live on Cinnabar Island, was known as Dr. Fuji, and was one of the lead people behind Mewtwo’s creation. The world of Pokémon Blue, Red, and Yellow is riddled with subtle details that unveil a greater plot at play.
9 A Sinister-Looking Cat
If movies have taught us anything about villains, it’s that they commonly have a sinister-looking cat that they will pet while sitting on a throne or chair of better quality than everyone else in the room. A great example of this is Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. Dr. Evil’s character is based on villainy stereotypes, and he has a cat named Mr. Bigglesworth. Other examples of villains who owned cats were The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Filch from Harry Potter, Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget, and Gargamel from The Smurfs.
Perhaps it is a stereotype that is a bit dated since plenty of nice people own cats, but we can’t help but receive a chilling feeling when we see Giovanni sitting on his chair while stroking his Persian Pokémon.
8 Rarely At His Gym
What could be worse than rarely being at the Gym you are supposed to be the head of? Giovanni is easily the most frustrating Gym leader for players since he is seldom there when you want to battle him. Although Viridian City is the first Gym you pass on your journey in Pokémon Red and Blue, it is the last you badge you obtain because, for most of the game, it's empty.
As a Gym leader, Giovanni is a formidable foe. In Pokémon Black and White 2’s Pokémon World Tournament, we battled Giovanni once again. His Pokémon consisted of Rhyperior, Golem, Nidoking, Marowak, Sandslash, and Nidoqueen. His difficulty as a gym leader would definitely have proven to be too much for a new Pokémon trainer, but it is a little odd that he rarely seems to be there.
7 Hey, Can You Steal That For Me?
An ongoing plot of the Pokémon series involves Jessie and James attempting to steal Ash’s Pikachu. Ever since Jessie and James fixed their eyes on Ash’s Pikachu, it’s almost like they fell in love with it. This does seem a bit weird since Pikachus commonly appear in Viridian Forest. Putting plot holes aside, this idea of them stealing a ten-year-old named Ash's Pikachu is a bit crazed, to say the least.
Jessie and James do not only try to steal Ash's Pikachu. They both have a goal, handed out from Giovanni to steal all Pokémon possible, especially the valuable ones. Using his mass army, it would seem more effective if they just went out and tried to catch Pokémon. Jessie and James end up gifting very few Pokémon to their boss. It’s yet another plot hole of Pokémon, but then again, maybe they just aren’t very good at being criminals.
6 He Hides In The Shadows
In a significant portion of early Pokémon anime episodes, Giovanni only appears for a brief time surrounded in darkness. Rarely are creepy businessmen, who hide in the shadows, anything but pure evil in animated series. In Giovanni’s first appearance in Pokémon and a few later episodes, Giovanni’s appearance was masked with voice distorter.
Villains in animated series will hide in the shadows for various reasons. They may be trying to conceal their identity, be deep in thought, or the creators of the show may have just placed them in the shadows for dramatic effect. When Giovanni is not in the shadows, he can be in a well-lit room and behind a desk or in a laboratory of some sort. Judging by his patterns, we can conclude that Giovanni is one bad dude.
5 A Secret Hideout
Approaching evasive Team Rocket members, who are walking around Celadon City, will give you little information but may provide subtle hints for the whereabouts of their hideout. Giovanni is the leading force behind the secret lair of Team Rocket. It would seem that a mysterious organization that has a hideout would have to be evil. After all, what group would need to meet in secrecy if it wasn’t motivated by foul practices?
In Team Rocket’s Game Corner Hideout, they have numerous henchmen guarding its premises and use the hideout as a location to administer and formulate plans. Inside you will actually encounter Giovanni and face him in battle. “They’re important tools for keeping our criminal enterprise going,” says Giovanni when referring to Pokémon. Yuck! “For your insolence, you will feel a world of pain!” Give me a break.
4 An Attack On Goldenrod Radio Tower
Goldenrod City is home to the Goldenrod Radio Tower, a tower responsible for broadcasting radio stations to the entire region of Johto, and is also a place where you can win prizes. In order to gain rewards from the Goldenrod Radio Tower, you must listen to Buena’s broadcasts from 6 PM- 12 AM and wait for her to say a password. Using this password, you can redeem a prize. These prizes include Rare Candies, Full Restores, and vitamins.
Giovanni’s corruption has no limits, and in the second generation of Pokémon games, we were once again faced with Team Rocket when they assumed control of the Goldenrod Radio Tower. Giovanni lacks ethics and is far too powerful. He'd be considered one of the most evil men of all time in the real world.
3 The Lost Scene
Pokémon is no stranger to having deleted scenes. Several scenes were aired in the original Japanese version that were deemed inappropriate and excluded in North America. The Pokémon anime is also no stranger to containing wild fantasies and delusions. Jessie, James, and Meowth constantly daydream about their boss.
In an unusual Pokémon scene in the “Beauty and the Beach” episode, Meowth is daydreaming about Giovanni covered in honey at the beach while wearing a speedo. Pokémon are attracted to the scent of this honey and lick it off his body! An unclothed Giovanni being licked by Pokémon while covered in honey was seen as potentially offensive and was removed from the North American version of the episode.
2 I Am Your Father
The second generation of Pokémon games contained massive improvements in gameplay and detail. It also contained a rich story with several memorable characters. At the beginning of Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, a peculiar red-haired boy is standing outside Professor Elm’s Pokémon Lab. If attempting to talk to him, he will say “…What are you staring at?” and will then kick you several feet away. We don’t actually learn that this red hair-haired boy is Giovanni’s son until later Pokémon generations.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, there's a clue that says “Giovanni’s kid has red hair.” In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remake of Gold and Silver, there's a flashback that involves Giovanni abandoning Silver because Silver is defeated by Trainer Red. Interestingly enough, Silver caught an Ursaring with one of Kurt’s Heavy Balls and gave the Ursaring to his father, Giovanni.
1 Supervillains, Assemble!
Giovanni once again returns in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon! He (along with villains from previous Pokémon generations) forms a new organization named Rainbow Rocket. With Giovanni as the leading figure behind this organization, we know it is genuinely evil. Leaders such as Lysandre from Team Flare, Ghetsis from Team Plasma, Archie from Team Aqua, and Maxie from Team Magma are all bosses who are a part of Rainbow Rocket.
The success of Pokémon Sun and Moon and critic’s favorable reviews are positive, to say the least. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have drastically improved the game, making it a worthy upgrade for diehard fans. At the risk of spoilers for those who haven’t played the game, we won’t go into further detail about the context of this dark organization. All you have to know is that that they're terribly evil and immensely powerful.