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Giovanni

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If you were looking for the character in the games whose Japanese name is Giovanni, see Earl Dervish.

Giovanni
サカキ Sakaki
FireRed LeafGreen Giovanni.png
Art from FireRed and LeafGreen
Age Unknown
Gender Male
Birthday August 1
Eye color Black
Hair color Black* Brown*
Hometown Viridian City
Region Kanto
Relatives Silver (son)
Madame Boss (mother, anime)
Trainer class BossRBYFRLG/Rocket BossHGSS
Gym LeaderRBYFRLGB2W2
Generation I, III, IV, V
Games Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black 2, White 2, Stadium
Leader of Viridian Gym
Badge Earth Badge
Specializes in Ground types
Member of Team Rocket
Rank Boss
Anime debut Battle Aboard the St. Anne
English voice actor Ed Paul
(EP015-AG132, DP080-present)
Craig Blair
(DP002-DP043)
Japanese voice actor Hirotaka Suzuoki
(EP015-AG132)
Kenta Miyake
(DP002-present)

Giovanni (Japanese: サカキ Sakaki) is the head of Team Rocket, and formerly served as the Gym Leader of Viridian City's Gym, known officially as the Viridian Gym. He handed out the Earth Badge to Trainers who defeated him. As a Gym Leader, he specialized in Ground-type Pokémon, but his master plan includes collecting rare Pokémon of all types. He is the only character in the games to have the Trainer class Boss (Japanese: ロケットだんボス Team Rocket Boss). In the English Generation IV games, his Trainer class is Rocket Boss.

In the games

Giovanni is the primary antagonist of the games taking place in Kanto.

In the first games Giovanni appeared in, he served a dual role: one that was well-known to the residents of Kanto, and one that was more secret. He was first shown as the leader of the villainous Team Rocket, the first of many criminal organizations to grace the Pokémon games. After he and his team of Grunts were defeated at Silph Co. by an eleven-year-old boy, Giovanni fled to a hideout that his antagonist was unaware of. Once the player returned to Viridian City, one of the major plot twists of these games revealed that Giovanni, in addition to his role as a criminal, was the final Gym Leader to be fought before the Elite Four—albeit one without a formal title. Here, he specializes in the Ground type. Once defeated, he disbanded Team Rocket and left the player with the Earth Badge and TM27 (Fissure). He then vanishes, and is not seen again.

Giovanni's role in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen is much the same; the one difference is that defeating him in the Gym battle will earn the player TM26 (Earthquake), instead of TM27 (Fissure). There is a side-plot in the Sevii Islands that revolves around Giovanni; a group of Team Rocket members are trying to continue the aims of Team Rocket, but they abandon this when they realize that their leader has been defeated once and for all.

In Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, a group of Team Rocket members tries to relaunch the old team. They take over Goldenrod Radio Tower, and broadcast a radio announcement intended for Giovanni. Only in HeartGold and SoulSilver is it revealed that Giovanni does hear the broadcast, from his hideout in Tohjo Falls. An event involving a time-traveling Celebi allows Ethan and Lyra to travel back in time three years before and defeat Giovanni at the same time the rest of Team Rocket is being defeated. Like before, once defeated, Giovanni will disappear.

The Celebi event also reveals some of Giovanni's background from the three years between Generation I/III and Generation II/IV. While it was mentioned in FireRed and LeafGreen that Giovanni has a son with red hair, the son's identity wasn't revealed until the time-travel event in HeartGold and SoulSilver. As many fans speculated (and as was mentioned in the Pokémon Adventures manga series), this son is the rival of the Johto player character, Silver. Much of Silver's personality is a result of the treatment he received from Giovanni, which includes abandonment. Like many of Giovanni's other actions throughout the games, this reflects on his selfishness.

Fame Checker

This is a list of the Fame Checker's information on Giovanni in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.

Rocket HQ - Giovanni
What does this person do?
Team Rocket captures Pokémon from around the world. They're important tools for keeping our criminal enterprise going. I am the leader, Giovanni!
Silph Co. - Scientist
Favorite kind of Pokémon?
Those thugs that took over our building... Their Boss said he was looking for strong Pokémon.
Silph Co. - Scientist
What is this person like?
Team Rocket's Boss is terribly cruel! To him, Pokémon are just tools to be used.
Viridian Gym - Giovanni
What does this person do?
Welcome to my hideout! It shall be so until I can restore Team Rocket to its former glory.
Viridian Gym - Man
What does this person do?
Blow me away! Giovanni was the Gym Leader of Viridian?
Rocket Warehouse - Team Rocket Scientist Gideon
Family and Friends?
You... You're not Giovanni's kid, are you? No, that can't be right. Giovanni's kid has red hair.
Message from Giovanni
  • From: Giovanni
  • To: [Player]
"There is nothing I wish to say to you.
I will concentrate solely on bettering myself, and none other."

Pokémon

Pokémon Red, Green and Blue

First battle


Second battle


Gym battle


Pokémon Yellow

First battle


Second battle


Gym battle


Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

First battle


Second battle


Gym battle


Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver



Pokémon Black 2 and White 2

Pokémon World Tournament

Pokémon can be either male or female.

Kanto Leaders Tournament


Type Expert/World Leaders Tournament


Pokémon Stadium

Round 1


Round 2


Quotes

Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

Rocket Hideout
  • Before battle
"So! I must say, I am impressed you got here!"
  • When being defeated
"WHAT! This cannot be!"
  • After being defeated
"I see that you raise POKéMON with utmost care. A child like you would never understand what I hope to achieve. I shall step aside this time! I hope we meet again..."
Silph Co.
  • Before battle
"Ah, <player>! So we meet again! The president and I are discussing a vital business proposition. Keep your nose out of grown-up matters... Or experience a world of pain!"
  • When defeated
"Arrgh!! I lost again!?"
  • After being defeated
"Blast it all! You ruined our plans for Silph! But Team Rocket will never fall! <Player>, never forget that all Pokémon exist for Team Rocket! I must go, but I shall return!"
Viridian Gym
  • Before battle
"Fwahahaha! This is my hideout! I planned to resurrect Team Rocket here! But, you have caught me again! So be it! This time, I'm not holding back! Once more, you shall face Giovanni, the greatest trainer!"
  • When defeated
"Ha! That was a truly intense fight! You have won! As proof, here is the Earth Badge!"
"The Earth Badge makes Pokémon of any level obey! It is evidence of your mastery as a Pokémon trainer! With it, you can enter the Pokémon League! It is my gift for your Pokémon League challenge!"
"Having lost, I cannot face my underlings! Team Rocket is finished forever! I will dedicate my life to the study of Pokémon. Let us meet again someday! Farewell!"

Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions

Rocket Hideout
  • Before battle
"So! I must say, I am impressed you got here. Team Rocket captures Pokémon from around the world. They're important tools for keeping our criminal enterprise going. I am the leader, Giovanni! For your insolence, you will feel a world of pain!"
  • When defeated
"WHAT! This can't be!"
  • After being defeated
"I see that you raise Pokémon with utmost care. A child like you would never understand what I hope to achieve. I shall step aside this time! I hope we met again..."
Silph Co.
  • Before battle
"Ah, <player>! So we meet again! The president and I are discussing a vital business proposition. Keep your nose out of grown-up matters... Or experience a world of pain!"
  • When defeated
"Arrgh!! I lost again!?"
  • After being defeated
"Blast it all! You ruined our plans for Silph! But Team Rocket will never fall! <Player>, never forget that all Pokémon exist for Team Rocket! I must go, but I shall return!"
Viridian Gym
  • Before battle
"Fwahahaha! Welcome to my hideout! It shall be so until I can restore Team Rocket to its former glory. But, you have found me again. So be it. This time, I'm not holding back! Once more, you shall face Giovanni, the greatest Trainer!"
  • When defeated
"Ha! That was a truly intense fight. You have won! As proof, here is the Earth Badge!"
  • After being defeated
"The Earth Badge makes Pokémon of any level obey without question. It is evidence of your mastery as a Pokémon Trainer. With it, you can challenge the Pokémon League. Also, take this TM. Consider it a gift for your Pokémon League challenge."
"TM26 contains Earthquake. It is a powerful attack that causes a massive tremor. I made it when I ran the Gym here, far too long ago..."
"Having lost in this fashion, I can't face my followers. I have betrayed their trust. As of today, Team Rocket is finished forever! As for myself, I shall dedicate my life to training again. Let us meet again someday! Farewell!"

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions

Tohjo Falls

  • Before battle
"... I don't know why you have come here. Anyway, I have to warn you that this is not a place for kids like you."
"You have a certain look... It reminds me of the kid who stood in front of me three years ago... You have the same eyes... I'm on my way to Goldenrod City to answer the call and join my team. Are you going to get in my way?"

(After hearing Team Rocket's broadcast)

"My old associates need me... We will not repeat the failure of three years ago! Team Rocket will be born again, and I will rule the world!"
  • After sending out last Pokémon
"What in the world was that? Don't tell me some inexperienced kid can possibly be that strong!"
  • During battle
"What was that?"
  • When defeated
"What in the world are you?"
  • After being defeated
"How this is possible...? The past three years have been a waste...? How can a kid like you manage to destroy my dream once again? The precious dream of Team Rocket has become little more than an illusion..."
  • If not defeated
"Mark my words. Not being able to measure your own strength shows that you are still but a child."

Artwork

Sugimorigiovannioriginal.png Red Blue Giovanni.png
Headshot from Red and Blue. Official artwork from
Generation I.

Sprites

File:Giovanni RB.png File:Y Giovanni.png File:SpriteGiovanni.png File:GiovanniHGSS.png Spr B2W2 Giovanni.png VSGiovanni.png
Giovanni's sprite from
Generation I
Giovanni's sprite from
Yellow
Giovanni's sprite from
Generation III
Giovanni's sprite from
Generation IV
Giovanni's sprite from
Generation V
Giovanni's VS sprite from
Generation IV
Giovanni I OD.png Giovanni III OD.png Giovanni IV OD.png Giovanni OD.png 58px
Giovanni's overworld sprite from
Generation I
Giovanni's overworld sprite from
Generation III
Giovanni's overworld sprite from
Generation IV
Giovanni's overworld sprite from
Generation V
Giovanni's artwork from
Pokémon Stadium

In the anime

Giovanni in the Best Wishes series
Main article: Giovanni (anime)

Giovanni appears in the anime as the head of Team Rocket.

In the manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

Giovanni in the fifth chapter
Main article: Giovanni (Adventures)

In Pokémon Adventures, Giovanni serves much the same role as he does in the games, although he now has Lt. Surge, Sabrina, and Koga as subordinates. However, Giovanni is much more ruthless than his other counterparts.

In the How I Became a Pokémon Card manga

In How I Became a Pokémon Card, a short manga by Kagemaru Himeno, he and Persian were shown to have been together for a long time, as he rescued the Pokémon when he was a child.

In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga

Main article: Giovanni (Pocket Monsters)
Giovanni and his twin brother

Giovanni is the boss of Team Rocket in Pokémon Pocket Monsters.

In the Pokémon Zensho manga

Giovanni appears in Celadon City watching Satoshi from the hidden cameras within the Silph Co. building. He has one of his minions to try to stop Satoshi from reaching him. Two chapters later, he has taken the boss of Silph Co. hostage and threatens to harm him if he refuses to tell Giovanni where the Master Ball was. However, he is interrupted when Satoshi and Sabrina teleport their way to the top floor. Lapras uses Mist to blind Nidoqueen but she launches a Poison Sting attack. One of the needles from the attacks hits Giovanni. Satoshi and the others manage to escape afterwards. In Viridian City, Giovanni was revealed to be the final Gym Leader that Satoshi challenges. Satoshi manages to defeat him and earns the last Badge.

Pokémon

Giovanni's Nidoqueen
Nidoqueen
While taking over the Silph Co., Giovanni used Nidoqueen to hold the Silph co. boss hostage.

Nidoqueen's known moves are Poison Sting and Tail Whip.

Debut Saffron City
Giovanni's Rhydon
Rhydon
Rhydon was Satoshi's opponent for his final Gym battle. It went up against his Lapras and was defeated by his Charizard after Satoshi switched out Lapras.
Debut Viridian City
Pokémon Tower
Giovanni's Nidoking
Nidoking
Giovanni has owned this Nidoking ever since he was a child. When it passed away, it turned him into a bitter person.
Debut Celadon City
Giovanni's Machamp
Machamp
Giovanni has owned this Machamp ever since he was a child. When it passed away, it turned him into a bitter person. The spirit of Machamp was called out by one of the Team Rocket grunts to deal with Satoshi. However, it was defeated by Gastly as physical attacks had no effect on the Ghost-type Pokémon.
Debut Celadon City

In the TCG

Giovanni has an eponymous Theme Deck in the Gym Challenge expansion.

Artwork

GiovanniTCG1.jpg Giovannis-Last-Resort.jpg Giovannis-Way.jpg
Giovanni and the Earth Badge. Giovanni sends out a Nidoking. Giovanni as the Boss of Team Rocket.

Cards

This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Giovanni or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Giovanni's Pokémon
Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format.
Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.
Card Type English
Expansion
Rarity # Japanese
Expansion
Rarity #
Giovanni's Gyarados Water Gym Challenge Rare Holo 5/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare Holo  
Giovanni's Machamp Fighting Gym Challenge Rare Holo 6/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare Holo  
Giovanni's Nidoking Grass Gym Challenge Rare Holo 7/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare Holo  
Giovanni's Persian Colorless Gym Challenge Rare Holo 8/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare Holo  
Giovanni's Nidoqueen Grass Gym Challenge Rare 23/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare  
Giovanni's Pinsir Grass Gym Challenge Rare 24/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare  
Giovanni's Machoke Fighting Gym Challenge Uncommon 42/132 Challenge from the Darkness Uncommon  
Giovanni's Meowth Colorless Gym Challenge Uncommon 43/132 Challenge from the Darkness Uncommon  
Giovanni's Nidorina Grass Gym Challenge Uncommon 44/132 Challenge from the Darkness Uncommon  
Giovanni's Nidorino Grass Gym Challenge Uncommon 45/132 Challenge from the Darkness Uncommon  
Giovanni's Machop Fighting Gym Challenge Common 72/132 Challenge from the Darkness Common  
Giovanni's Magikarp Water Gym Challenge Common 73/132 Challenge from the Darkness Common  
Giovanni's Meowth Colorless Gym Challenge Common 74/132 Challenge from the Darkness Common  
Giovanni's Nidoran♀ Grass Gym Challenge Common 75/132 Challenge from the Darkness Common  
Giovanni's Nidoran♂ Grass Gym Challenge Common 76/132 Challenge from the Darkness Common  
Giovanni's Nidoking Grass       Unnumbered Promotional cards    
Other related cards
Card Type English
Expansion
Rarity # Japanese
Expansion
Rarity #
The Boss's Way T Team Rocket Uncommon 73/82 Rocket Gang Uncommon  
Legendary Collection Uncommon 105/110      
Giovanni T Gym Challenge Rare Holo 18/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare Holo  
Gym Challenge Rare 104/132      
Giovanni's Last Resort T Gym Challenge Rare 105/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare  
Viridian City Gym T [St] Gym Challenge Uncommon 123/132 Challenge from the Darkness Rare  
 

Trivia

  • In the games, Giovanni is the only Gym Leader to appear outside of his Gym in Generation I, a feature that would become more and more common up to Generation IV, where all Gym Leaders in the featured regions appear outside of their Gym in one way or another.
  • In the English version of Pokémon Stadium, his name is misspelled "Giovani" (with one n). This is because the space for Trainer names only allows seven characters, whilst Giovanni's name has eight.
  • Both Giovanni and Juan are the eighth Gym Leader in a region introduced in an odd-numbered generation. Both of their names are a foreign version of the name "John." Also, in Generation III, the manuals show them to be an unknown Gym Leader.
  • In the official Red and Blue guide from Nintendo Power, Giovanni was labeled to be a regional boss of Team Rocket (implying he's not the absolute leader). This was invalidated in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, where it was made clear that Giovanni was the absolute leader of Team Rocket (even having an office in Johto).
  • Giovanni was the first Gym Leader who can be battled more than once, and is still the only one who can be battled before the Gym battle.
    • This also makes him one of three Gym Leaders who does not give a Badge to the player immediately after the first defeat, the other two being Whitney and Clair.
  • He is the only Gym Leader to have two titles in the same game as being Gym Leader, the titles being "Boss" and "Gym Leader."
  • While there have previously been many event Pokémon, due to his status in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Giovanni is the first event Trainer.
  • While he owns a level 50 Rhydon in the Gym battle in Generation I, it is replaced by a level 50 Rhyhorn in Generation III.
  • Giovanni's Nidoking and Rhydon, both being at level 55 during the Gym battle in Yellow, are the highest leveled Pokémon to be owned by a Gym Leader during the initial battle with them, tied with Marlon's Jellicent in Challenge Mode.
  • Giovanni is the only criminal boss not to endanger a legendary Pokémon with his exploits in the games. This is not the case in the anime or in Pokémon Adventures.
  • Giovanni is likely based on the boss of a Yakuza faction, possibly more on the bakuto factions than others, considering Team Rocket's former ownership of the Celadon Game Corner. Outside of Japan, this reference is localized, making him more akin to a Mafia boss (most especially considering his English name being Italian in origin).
  • Giovanni and Blue are the only two Trainers to have three different battle themes.
    • Coincidentally, both were the leader of Viridian Gym at one point.
  • In Pokémon Black and White 2 along with Norman, Giovanni uses more different species of Pokémon than any other Gym Leader at the Pokémon World Tournament, with a total of 10.

Names

Language Name Origin
Japanese サカキ Sakaki Sakaki (榊) is a sacred tree in Shinto which resembles the Earth Badge. Also from 坂/阪 saka, slope.
English, French, German,
Italian, Spanish
Giovanni Italian Giovanni, equivalent to John ("God is gracious"); gio sounds like geo, from Greek γῆ , earth.
May also be a play on his resemblance to a Mafia boss, who are typically Italian.
Korean 비주기 Bijugi
Chinese (Mandarin) 坂木 Bǎnmù *
阪木 Bǎnmù *
From 坂木/阪木 Sakaki, an alternative way of writing the name. 坂/阪 (slope) is also a homophone to 板 of 老板 lǎo​bǎn (boss).
Also, 坂 contains the radical (earth).
Chinese (Cantonese) 沙加 Sāgā Transliteration of the Saka of Sakaki.




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