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Giovanni (Pokémon)

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So! I must say, I am impressed you got here. Team Rocket captures Pokémon from around the world. They're important tools for keeping out criminal enterprise going. I am the leader, Giovanni! For your insolence, you will feel a world of pain!
~ Giovanni

Giovanni (in Japanese: サカキ, Sakaki) is a recurring major antagonist in Pokemon and the leader of Team Rocket, and is the main antagonist of the anime. Giovanni is also the father of Silver.

In The Games

Rocket Rises

Giovanni first appears in Pokemon Red, Blue, Green and Yellow versions, as well as their remakes FireRed and LeafGreen as the main antagonist and the boss of Team Rocket. He is also revealed to be the final Gym Leader, the strongest of them all. Giovanni manages business at the Rocket Game Corner from his Hideout and later leads a hostile takeover of Silph Co. in Saffron City (desiring to steal their technology, including the powerful Master Ball). After he is defeated by the player for the third and final time, Giovanni disbands Team Rocket, finding himself unfit to command his follows, and leaves to better himself as a person and a Pokemon Trainer. The journals in Cinnabar Mansion hint at a similar creation story for Mewtwo as shown in the anime, hinting that Giovanni was involved with that project in the games as well. It is later revealed in HeartGold/SoulSilver that he only left to become stronger and lead Team Rocket once more if it ever made a return.

Rocket Returns

In HeartGold & SoulSilver, it is revealed that Giovanni had been training at the Tohjo Falls. During the new Team Rocket's broadcast from the Goldenrod Radio Tower, he decides to return to the team and lead them once again, but is engaged by a time travelling Ethan/Lyra (at the same time that Ethan/Lyra/Kris is fighting Executive Archer). Ultimately defeated, Giovanni leaves, his dreams crushed once again, just as Archer disbands Team Rocket's remnants.

The World Competition

Giovanni returns in Black 2 and White 2 as a participant of the World Tournament, he uses a mixture of his old Pokemon and some new ones.

In The Anime

Giovanni by Gilbertman

Giovanni in the Anime

Giovanni is the true main antagonist in the Pokemon anime series. He is the boss of Team Rocket. Unlike his henchmen, he does very little and has a small to minor part on the show, although Rocket agents often have him in mind when they plan something. Giovanni appears in a cameo near the beginning of Mewtwo Strikes Back during his attempted control of Mewtwo, and is the secondary antagonist of Pokemon: the First Movie, and the main antagonist of Mewtwo Returns.

Little is known about him, but he apparently inherited his position as the boss from his mother called Madame Boss. The organization has apparently been a family business (it is unknown if his parents were the founders of Team Rocket or if its history dates back to his ancestors). He and his family have been using the evil organization to collect Pokemon for a powerful army to conquer the world. Giovanni is a power hungry, ambitious boss. He can be sophisticated and calm one moment, but angry and rude the next, though he has a great deal of cunning and seems to be fairly intelligent.

He is also the leader of the gym in Viridian City, both in the games and the anime. This wasn't revealed until late in the games which could be the reason they never showed his face clearly and altered his voice up until his appearance in the episode "Battle of the Badge" (the episode in which Ash and Gary try to win the Earth Badge).

One of Giovanni's plans for greater power was to control Mewtwo, a powerful altered clone of Mew. He hired some scientists to find Mew's DNA to create this clone. The scientists agreed, as their leader wanted to research the secret of restoring life itself, and succeeded in cloning Mewtwo. Mewtwo did not want to be controlled, however, and destroyed the lab, killing the scientists. Giovanni approached Mewtwo in his helicopter and told them that they were partners. He put special armor on Mewtwo to subdue and control his powers, and used the Psychic Pokemon in battle, defeating all challengers with ease. One such victim at Viridian City Gym was Gary Oak. However, unknown events involving Mewtwo caused Giovanni to give him an "emergency assignment", conveniently when Ash Ketchum was on his way to Viridian City Gym, leaving agents Jessie, James, and Meowth in charge. Ash was able to defeat them and get the Earth Badge.

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A pokemon scene banned in the U.S.

When Mewtwo realized that Giovanni never intended for him to be his equal, he destroyed Viridian Gym. Mysteriously, Giovanni survived without a scratch. However, in the TV special Mewtwo Returns, Giovanni found Mewtwo again, and tracked him down to his hiding place at Mt. Quena. He threatened the lives of the cloned Pokemon to force Mewtwo to submit. But he also planned to use the mountain as a new base of operations to build an army of the strongest Pokemon in order to take over the world. Giovanni weakened Mewtwo with two machines, and, as his will was too powerful to be controlled. With help from Pikachu, Mewtwo was able to destroy the machines, although he was hurt rather badly. Ash threw him into the spring to heal him, and the Psychic Pokemon returned stronger than ever and moved the spring under the mountain so that Giovanni or anyone else could not destroy it. Mewtwo decided to erase only the memories of those who were his enemies, thus Giovanni and all members of his Team Rocket army (except Jessie, James, and Meowth, who had helped the good guys at the end, wanting to foil Giovanni's favored agent Domino) forgot about Mewtwo entirely. They found themselves in the middle of nowhere and Giovanni commanded them to withdraw, with the strange feeling as though he has been utterly defeated.

He's still in the control of Team Rocket, and through its agents the organization continues to expand into other regions outside of Kanto and Johto. Ash and his friends haven't disbanded Team Rocket yet, although they have confronted Giovanni twice: Once in Mewtwo Returns, and once in the Black and White series.

Giovanni BW

Giovanni in Pokemon Black & White

In Black and White, Giovanni decided he wanted to take over the Unova region and use it as Team Rocket's base of operations for conquering the rest of the world. After promoting Jessie, James, and Meowth and sending them to Unova in BW01, he learned that there was another secret criminal organization operating in that region already. He hoped the trio would be able to draw them out of hiding, knowing their experiences with rival gangs of other regions in the past. In BW02, he told the trio to go catch new Pokemon in order to help them with their endeavors. He called them again at the end of BW04, telling them that their first mission assignment is to go to Striaton City. Once the trio arrived in BW05, they contacted Giovanni as instructed, and he proceeded to give them orders to investigate the Dream Yard in order to obtain it's mystical Dream Energy. When Team Rocket got the Dream Energy and sent it back to Giovanni in BW06, he had his scientists run tests with it, which ended up picking up an identical energy signal coming from the Desert Resort. This was the core of the Meteonite, a celestial rock filled with mystical energy that smashed into Unova ages ago.

Giovanni realized that this Meteonite was the key to Team Rocket's great mission, so he led an operation to obtain it. He did so by sending Pierce and Dr. Zager to Unova in order to assist the surprisingly efficient Jessie, James, and Meowth. Finally, the Meteonite was found underneath the Desert Resort in BW022. When told of this, Giovanni got on his plane and flew to Unova in order to spearhead the operation to obtain it.

12997895360097

Giovanni at Relic Castle

Arriving at the Desert Resort in BW023, he led his troops to Relic Castle, where they uncovered the Meteonite. Seeing it made Giovanni realize the full extent of its solar power. He and Team Rocket took it to a large building in Castelia City, where many wealthy and powerful people of Unova were gathered for a masquerade ball. Team Rocket crashed the party and Giovanni explained to the captive guests that the Meteonite could expand and grow in both size and power until it could become an artificial sun. The sun could be sent into the sky and would shine even at night, it's rays putting the Pokemon of Unova under Giovanni's control. However, it's power could also create an imbalance in the weather and energy flow, and cause many natural disasters that could tear the region apart. He used this threat as a bid for extorting total control of the Unova region, but at the start of BW024, the rival organization known as Team Plasma attacked the building and swiped the Meteonite from Giovanni. Before retreating back to Kanto, Giovanni sent Jessie, James, and Meowth to pursue Team Plasma to the Desert Resort in order to take back the Meteonite. This effort ended in failure, as the Meteonite got destroyed by Ash's Pikachu. Though this story is known of, the two episodes in which it transpired have yet to be aired due to being postponed in light of the disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011, which had similarities to the destruction shown in the episodes.
800px-BW097

Giovanni possessed by the power of The Reveal Glass

After a long absence following the events of the conflict with Team Plasma (leaving Jessie, James and Meowth to free-lance, back in their unique white uniforms), Giovanni returned in BW097, making a brief appearance in the office of his Kanto HQ, presumably having been called by Dr. Zager about Meloetta's song. He flew his plane back to Unova in BW098, spearheading Team Rocket's "Operation Tempest," a mission to capture Meloetta and use it to take control of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus to conquer Unova. For the first time in the history of the series, he battled against Ash directly, with Giovanni's Persian defeating Pikachu. He then captured Ash, Pikachu and Meloetta and escorted them to the ruins in preparation for the next stage of the mission, using the recording of Meloetta's song to summon the Reveal Glass in the temple. At the beginning of BW099, he used the Reveal Glass to summon the Kami Trio and transform them into their Therian Formes before setting them against Ash, Iris, Cilan, Ridley and Cynthia. who stood in the way of his conquest of Unova. However, during the battle, Meloetta was dislodged from the mechanism controlling the trio's power, and after looking directly into the Reveal Glass when blasted by Pikachu's Electro Ball, Giovanni became possessed by the power and went insane, declaring against his followers' wishes that he would instead destroy Unova instead of conquering it. But when he was saved from a possibly life-threatening explosion by Jessie, James and Meowth, the possession was broken. On Dr. Zager's advisement he then ordered a full retreat from the Unova region and was last seen flying off in his plane to return to Kanto with Jessie, James, Meowth and Dr. Zager.

He reappeared in BW125, where he congratulated Jessie, James and Meowth on their good work in defeating Team Plasma before telling them to continue doing their best for Team Rocket.

Giovanni XY

Giovanni in the XY series.

Giovanni appeared in BW144 in his new design, alongside Matori. After once again praising Jessie, James and Meowth for defeating Team Plasma, he wanted to know what Pokémon they had brought back from him from the Decolore Islands. With Jessie and James having nothing to show for their time, Meowth quickly improvised and claimed that the Pokémon Jessie and James had used in Unova were for him, and he accepted them.

Giovanni appeared in the second episode of the XY anime series, where he listened to the Trio's report about their activity in Kalos region. Jessie, James and Meowth proposed to search for rare and new Pokemon in this region, and the boss agreed, noting that gaining new powerful Pokemon is of utmost importance to the goals of Team Rocket. He would later charge the three of them with contending with Team Flare and their plans for Zygarde.

In the Manga

Pokemon Adventures

Giovanni FRLG Adventures

Giovanni in Pokemon Adventures

The manga differs greatly from the show and the games. While he's also gym leader and boss of Team Rocket, he appears to be far more ruthless and influential that in the manga and the games and has several other gym leader as subordinates. He takes a big role in the manga and appears several times.

His main goal is to find his lost son Silver (who was abducted by the Masked Man) and to make him the heir of Team Rocket. In the end, however, it's revealed that his true motivation is to see and reunite with his son one more time before he dies (he has a serious illness that wasn't specified). After Silver accepted him as his father he's sent to Silver's hideout to recover.

In HeartGold & SoulSilver chapter, For the most of this chapter, Giovanni's whereabouts were unknown as he had gone missing after Silver returned to his secret hideout. During the battle with Arceus, Petrel attempts to escape from his insane leader, Archer. When he does, he disguises himself as the Team Rocket leader, only to be attacked by Giovanni's Ursaring. There, the real Giovanni, along with Pryce and Lance, appear in order to combat the three legendary Pokémon that would threaten the Johto region. While Pryce goes after Dialga and Lance faces Palkia, Giovanni battles Giratina with his son's Ursaring. Pryce reveals that after he returned from the crack in time, he encountered Giovanni at the Ilex Forest, who was looking for Celebi so that he could get a cure for his disease. When Giovanni saw Pryce, he immediately attacked Pryce and would have killed him if it weren't for the intervention of Lance, who told them of the events going on at the Sinjoh Ruins. Although reluctant, Giovanni agrees to help and has Ken, Al, and Harry guard the Ilex Forest while Celebi searches for the herbs for his cure. Eventually, his disease gets the better of him, preventing Giovanni from continuing the battle against Giratina. Immediately, Silver steps in and attacks Giratina to defend his ailing father. After Arceus is calmed down and the three Pokémon leave, Ken, Al, Harry, and Celebi arrive with the cure to Giovanni's disease. The cure works, and Giovanni becomes completely healthy again. Now cured, Giovanni decides to lead Team Rocket once more, as he still has some evil in his heart. He offers Silver a position in Team Rocket, but Silver declines and promises to change his father's evil ways one day. Giovanni accepts his son's decision and tells him to grow stronger under Lance and Pryce's teaching in the hopes that they will battle someday.

Giovanni later appeared in Hoenn during the Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire chapter saving Red, Green, Blaise, and Amber with Team Rocket's airship after they were nearly killed by Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. Later it was revealed he could use Mega Evolution, which allows him to transform his Beedrill into Mega Beedrill.

Although he's ruthless he's still an excellent trainer with an exceptional knowledge of ground-type Pokemon and even wrote a book about it called "Mysteries of the Earth". He was also the first to discover that Rhydon could evolve. His birthday is August 1 and his bloodtype is 0.

In Pokemon Origins

Origins Giovanni

Giovanni in Pokemon Origins.

Giovanni appears in Pokemon Origins (a special based of Red and Green) as an antagonist, he first meets the protagonist, a young Pokemon Trainer named Red, at the Rocket Hideout, and later encountered again at Silph Co. after Team Rocket had taken over the building. Seeing Red's arrogant and determined attitude to stop Team Rocket every time, Giovanni decided to put him in his place, and battled Red's Charizard with his Nidoqueen, winning easily before escaping with a helicopter, declaring that Red could never understand what he was hoping to achieve.


Giovanni as a boy

Giovanni as a boy.

Giovanni appeared once more as the Viridian Gym Leader. Giovanni accepted his Gym challenge, but Red claimed that he would battle him as the enemy of all Pokémon, instead of a Gym Leader. Hearing this, Giovanni put aside his usual Gym Leader battling team and took out his strongest pair of Pokémon, contained within Ultra Balls. The first one was Rhyhorn, which single-handedly was able to defeat four of Red's Pokémon before drawing with his Hitmonlee. During the battle, Giovanni started actually feeling excited, and wondered why he was feeling that way. When he saw the pose Red took while sending out his Charizard, he finally remembered his childhood passion for Pokémon and battling, and wondered how he could have ever turned into a person who only treated Pokémon as tools for business. After Red's Charizard had defeated Giovanni's last Pokémon, Rhydon, Giovanni offered him the Earth Badge as a proof of his victory. Red, however, refused to take a Badge from the Boss of Team Rocket. Seeing this, Giovanni turned to his minions, informing them that from that moment onwards, Team Rocket would be offically disbanded. He then turned back to Red, now offering the Badge to him not as the Boss of Team Rocket but as the Viridian City Gym Leader. Red accepted the Earth Badge and left, heading for the Pokémon League.

As his battle with Red had reminded Giovanni of how Pokémon could be taken as fun rather than business, he decided that he wanted to find a new path for himself and his Pokémon, without being the Boss of Team Rocket any longer.


Giovanni's Pokemon

Trivia

  • It is revealed that Giovanni is the father of your rival; Silver in Pokemon; Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver.
  • There have been rumors that Giovanni might be Ash Ketchum's father in the anime, since he and Delia had a thing in the past. If the rumors were ever proven true, that would make Silver Ash's (half) brother.
  • His manga counterpart from Pokemon Adventures has a connection to the Virdian Forest (where people who are born there are granted special powers) similar to the protagonist Yellow of the Yellow chapters and Lance but it is unknown what his special power is.
  • In earlier episodes, Giovanni's face is never seen, until Battle of the Badge. This, along with his Persian, gives him a resemblance to James Bond's arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Dr. Claw.
  • Giovanni is also the only criminal boss in the anime to have shown to have Pokemon of his own, not just controlled legendary Pokemon at some point. 
  • Despite being the main antagonist of the show, Giovanni has little screen time, Ash Ketchum instead facing his subordinates Jessie and James.  He has only ever directly faced Ash in a two-parter late into the Black and White series, although the two also met briefly in Mewtwo Returns!


 
Pokémon Villains

Teams
Team Rocket ( Giovanni | Proton | Petrel | Arianna | Archer ) (Anime only: Jessie | James | Meowth | Dr. Zager | Butch | Cassidy | Dr. Namba | Madame Boss | Domino | Tyson | Iron-Masked Marauder | Pierce ) (Manga only: Lt. Surge | Sabrina | Koga | Will | Karen | Carl | Sham | Carr | Sird | Orm )
Team Aqua ( Archie | Matt | Shelly | (Manga only: Amber )
Team Magma ( Maxie | Tabitha | Courtney | (Manga only: Blaise )
Team Galactic ( Cyrus | Mars | Jupiter | Saturn | Charon ) | (Manga only: Sird )
Team Plasma ( N | Seven Sages ( Ghetsis | Zinzolin | Rood | Gorm ) | Colress | Shadow Triad )
Team Flare ( Lysandre | Malva | Aliana | Bryony | Celosia | Mable | Xerosic )
Team Skull ( Gladion | Guzma | Plumeria )
Cipher ( Greevil | Evice | Ein | Lady Venus | Nascour | Miror B. | Dakim | Lovrina | Snattle | Gorigan | Ardos | Eldes | Hexagon Brothers )
Manga Villains
Lorelei | Bruno | Agatha | Lance | Mask of Ice | Carl | Carr
Other People
Silver | Lawrence III | Annie (Pokémon) | Oakley (Pokémon) | Phantom the Pirate | Dr. Yung | Hunter J | Baron Alberto | Zero | Grings Kodai | Marcus (Pokémon) | Damon (Pokémon) | Ninja Riot | Marilyn Flame | Argus Steel | AZ | Jarvis
Pokémon
Mewtwo | Deoxys | Yveltal | Rayquaza | Team Skull (Mystery Dungeon) | Snover | Dusknoir | Unown | Primal Dialga | Darkrai | Giratina | Arceus | Zekrom | Reshiram | Kyurem | Red Genesect | Genesect Army | Munna | Malamar | Spiritomb | False Groudon | Shadow Lugia | Giant Tentacruel | Evil Togepi | Hoopa Unbound

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