Giovanni is considered to be the most popular villain to grace the Pokémon universe. This criminal mastermind has entranced fans with his remarkable cunning and resiliency. In spite of his henchmen’s blunders (namely the trio) he’s accomplished a number of goals and obtained power no matter the setback.
Even the most avid fan may not be aware of this man’s backstory, level of influence, and key personality traits that make him a compelling foe for Ash and the gang. Here are some facts about the brains of Team Rocket that you may not know.
10 Keeps Tabs On Other Criminals
Giovanni is aware of the threat other criminal organizations pose to him and as a result is frequently involved in their affairs. He has dedicated his organization to opposing and disrupting the works of Team Plasma, Team Flare, and Team Galactic on multiple occasions.
Considering Team Plasma sought to be the only humans with Pokémon, Team Flare wishes to create an entirely new world, and Team Galactic tried to summon the devil of the Pokémon world, Giratina, to recreate the universe, it’s understandable he’d want to stop their plans from interfering with his goals.
9 Behind The Creation Of Mewtwo
After Team Rocket managed to retrieve a hair from a Mew, Giovanni directed Dr. Fuji to create a clone using the hair and human DNA. The result was the incredibly powerful Mewtwo who was meant to serve Giovanni in order to dominate other trainers and capture various Pokémon, but ultimately escaped containment.
Many fans believe Giovanni was trying to recapture Mewtwo in the Pokémon Blue/Red games. The assault on Mt. Moon was an attempt to find another Mew, stealing TM Dig to aid the search for fossils at Mt. Moon, stealing the Silph Scope to capture Ghost Pokémon capable of taking on a powerful psychic, and stealing the Masterball in order to capture it.
8 Owns Pokémon Island
In an episode from the anime Ash and the gang survive the sinking of the S.S. Anne and find themselves on an island full of giant Pokémon. They turn out to be machines built for a themepark owned by Giovanni.
It’s unclear what the purpose of this island is, whether it’s a ploy to steal Pokémon, provide a source of income for the organization, develop robotic warriors, or if it was for Giovanni’s personal amusement. In either case it’s apparent the casinos have been doing well for him to afford to build such a place.
7 Soft Spot For The Trio
Throughout the anime series Giovanni is shown to lose his temper, but he never lets his emotions dictate his decisions. In spite of the numerous failures by Jessie, James, and Meowth to follow orders he lets them return to their missions over and over again.
It could be that he’s touched by their desire to recover Pikachu for him, it could be he saw their potential which would lead to their promotion to Advanced Agents, or it could be he feels guilt over the role Team Rocket played in the death of Jessie’s mother.
6 Talented Trainer
Giovanni has proven himself to be a talented Pokémon trainer time and time again. In spite of using a team of mostly ground types, which is known to have a double weakness, he has won numerous battles. The fact that he’s a gym leader speaks volumes about his skills.
Sure he loses to kids throughout the game series, but this could be attributed to his monotype team and if he had a mix of Pokémon he’d be a serious adversary. It’s not clear why he doesn’t diversify his team, but if he ever did it would be bad news for his opponents.
5 Has A Son
In Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen it was hinted that Giovanni had a son who had red hair. The mystery behind the offspring of the criminal mastermind wasn’t revealed until Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver. After the player embarks on a trip through time it’s revealed that Giovanni’s son is the player’s rival, Silver.
When Giovanni lost to the player in Pokémon Blue/Red it drove him to isolation and he effectively abandoned his kid. This caused Silver to loath Team Rocket and motivated him to become a powerful trainer to avoid becoming like his father.
4 He’s Honorable
Say what you will about his business practices, kidnappings, and general lack of decency, but even this mob/yakuza boss has a sense of honor. After being beaten in a fair Pokémon fight Giovanni will cease operations and bow out, regardless of who his opponent is.
Not once has he attempted to cheat in battle or gone back on his word no matter how a fight turns out. Even for all his scheming and plotting to rule the world he will abandon those efforts if they prove dangerous to mankind. Examples of this include the Unova events when he was freed from possession by the Reveal Glass and the steps he took in Pokémon Blue/Red after Mewtwo proved too powerful.
3 Pokémon Are Tools
Part of what makes him a villain is the disregard for the well being of Pokémon. To him these powerful creatures are nothing more than tools, meant to be wielded, shaped, and forged in the fires of combat to better serve him.
It’s why he refused to see Mewtwo as an equal and why he tried to fuse the three legendaries in Unova. Interestingly the one exception to this is Meowth whom he permitted to join the trio and become an agent. Perhaps it’s the underdog story of Meowth overcoming his basic nature to become more human or his soft spot for cat Pokémon.
2 Persian Is His First Pokémon
Speaking of which the first Pokémon Giovanni ever owned is the Persian seen at his side in the anime and the one on his team in the games, despite it not being a ground type. As a young boy Giovanni encountered the injured Persian and tried to help it. The Pokémon bit him, but Giovanni refused to give up on it.
After repeated attempts to befriend and bond with the poor creature the Persian would end up becoming his beloved pet. Persian would serve as a faithful companion and powerful fighter that defeats Ash’s Pikachu in battle.
1 Never Quits
No matter how many setbacks Giovanni encounters or how many children defeat him in battle, he always comes back stronger and more determined. After Team Rocket’s numerous failing he scrapped the organization and re-branded as Team Rainbow Rocket.
After seeing his empire crumble, he not only rebuilt, but was able to hijack Ultra Wormhole technology, gather powerful criminals from other worlds, and convince them to follow his orders in his world. Giovanni is an underdog with some serious teeth.