From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
James (Japanese: コジロウ Kojirō) is a member of the Team Rocket trio that follows Ash Ketchum and friends around in the Pokémon anime, usually trying to steal Ash's Pikachu, but always failing.
James is mostly a comedic parody of bishounen characters; the 4Kids English dub in particular tends to give him a melodramatic and even campy tone. He is somewhat famous for carrying a rose, though in more recent episodes he does not display it as often. Mostly, his rose is displayed in the Team Rocket motto.
In the anime
The only child of millionaires, James was forced to endure formal society while growing up. Often having to take part in numerous lessons and activities he had little to no interest in, he eventually began to grow weary of the rules and standards that appeared to be ever-present within the upper-class. At a young age, he was engaged to a girl named Jessiebelle. It was revealed in The Treasure Is All Mine! that he wanted to marry her at some point. But he changed his mind after he saw how controlling and overbearing she was. Unable to stand her, he ran away, leaving his lavish lifestyle as well as beloved pet Growlithe, Growlie, behind. He attempted to enroll in Pokémon Tech, a Trainer's school flunked out; as did his new friend Jessie. Then, with Jessie, he joined the Sunny Town bicycle gang, where he was popular for being the only gang member to have to use training wheels (nicknamed "Trainer Jim"). Eventually James, Jessie, and the bike gang went their separate ways.
Due to conflicts in canon between Kanto and Johto episodes and the special episode Training Daze, what happened between James and Jessie after the bike gang is unknown. What is known, as shown in the special episode, is that they joined Team Rocket separately and were on initially unfriendly terms after being grouped with Meowth. However, they quickly made up and the rest is history.
Surprisingly, James has shown to be relatively well versed in various activities, including Pokémon Haiku, Pokémon Orienteering, and PokéRinger among other things, making him almost something of a "Jack of all Trades". It is possible that he developed his skills during his temporary separation from Jessie, or even from the many lessons he was enrolled in as a child, but this is not known for sure.
Younger James and Growlie
Perhaps due to his heavily enforced, sheltered upbringing, as well as the constant harassment that he had to endure from Jessiebelle as a child, James has an odd, somewhat submissive personality. He will regularly comply to whatever ideas the other two come up with, and when he doesn't, usually ends up doing so anyway, like when he was forced to trade his Victreebel away. He also seems to be the most emotional amongst the Team Rocket trio, and if the three should ever happen to get separated, he'll seem very lost without his companions. James also appears to have the most conscience among the three, and is the least prone to backstabbing someone who is kind to him. He can actually be quite sinister when he wants to, however.
In the episode Holy Matrimony!, James returned to his home as a result of a trap by his parents, who pretended to be dead in order to get him to come back to the estate, knowing he would return to pay his respects. He suspected that it was a trap, but he ended up being forced into participating by Jessie and Meowth, who wanted the fortune. After the deception was revealed, he was once again subjected to Jessiebelle's torment until Growlie came to his rescue. After temporarily chasing Jessiebelle away, James soon left his family's manor and as a result declined his inheritance. Growlie stayed behind upon James's request when he returned to Jessie and Meowth.
James has a tendency to be swindled by a Magikarp Salesman, who, despite James's increasing wariness and personal vendetta against the shady character, has on many occasions tricked him into buying a Magikarp or other useless Pokémon and items for large sums of money.
James also has a tendency to cross-dress, but has not done it since Pros and Con Artists, with the exception of the occasional impersonation of characters such as Nurse Joy's and Officer Jenny's. In fact, Dressed for Jess Success! marks the first time he cross-dresses in the Diamond & Pearl series, though it was him disguised as Jessalina. He also often dresses up like famous celebrities as well, such as Professor Oak, Juan, and Norman, and impersonates other non-human objects, including Pokémon, animals, and even bushes and trees.
One of James's Pokédex cards, detailing about Croagunk
James loves rare bottle caps and has an impressive collection of them. This hobby started when he was a young child. In the episode All That Glitters! it is revealed that he has "drunk enough soda pop to float an aircraft carrier".
For unknown reasons, he, Jessie and Meowth mostly use hot air balloons instead of faster ways of transportation. However in newer episodes the balloon is shown with 'jets' attached to explain how they get from one place to another faster than walking.
At times, instead of a Pokédex, he uses a deck of cards to identify Pokémon, such as in Gymbaliar when he first learns of Croagunk's Poison Jab with it, or in Mass Hip-Po-Sis! when he uses it to look up Hippopotas (explaining why he knows the Pokémon to be named "Hippopotas" and not "Hippopontas" as Jessie calls it). They appear to have the same entry as an electronic Pokédex, including a few basic parameters like height and weight, though it is unknown how many Pokémon they include (however, he seems to have used them mostly for Sinnoh Pokémon thus far).
Throughout most of the series, James and his two friends were presented as horribly failing and erroneous criminals, always blundering their missions to capture Ash's Pikachu or other Pokémon. Recently, however, he, along with the rest of his team, developed a more serious attitude in his work, being quicker-witted and much more resourceful than before and using ingenious methods of escape, such as a smoke curtain, and thus proving much more difficult for Ash to defeat. The three of them still fail missions or portions of their missions rather frequently, however, they have managed to prove themselves somewhat effective at data collection and are less erroneous than before.
As the standards of the Team Rocket organization dictated, James was first shown with a Poison-type Pokémon. However, James seems to have a fondness for carnivorous (or at least dangerous) Template:Type2 Pokémon, owning Weepinbell, Victreebel, and Carnivine. It was shown during a flashback in Cream of the Croagunk Crop! how James, as a boy, found Carnivine in the Great Marsh. It was trapped in the mud and James rescued it, the two forming a bond of friendship. It is not shown how he captured Weepinbell, but he had owned it for a long period of time before its first appearance. The capture of a Cacnea early in Hoenn furthered his apparent preference for Grass-types. Often, when going into battle, his Grass Pokémon will show great affection towards James, which usually results in pain for him since all of them either have sharp teeth or spines. It is also shown that James develops a strong bond with each of his Pokémon in general; James almost treats them as his own children, and they in turn are all greatly attached to him. This could stem from the childhood memories he occasionally brings up, where it is shown that while growing up James hadn't really had any friends other than his Pokémon. When it comes time to leave a Pokémon behind for one reason or another, James often has great difficulty in letting go of his beloved friends.
As of the latest Japanese episode, James has no Pokémon on hand.
At Team Rocket's Headquarters
While he has not accomplished much as a member of Team Rocket, James has proven to be quite skilled at several other pursuits. He has performed well in a few side competitions, even winning a Pokémon Contest.
|| Voice actor
|| 三木眞一郎 Shin'ichirō Miki
|| Ted Lewis (4Kids dub; EP002-EP008)|
Eric Stuart (4Kids dub; EP009-AG145)
Jimmy Zoppi (a/k/a/ Billy Beach) (TPCi dub)
|| زياد الرفاعي Ziad Ar-Rifa'i
| Mandarin Chinese
|| 孫誠 Sūn Chéng|
符爽 Fú Shuǎng
陳進益 Chén Jìnyì
吳東原 Wú Dōngyuán
|| Michal Michálek (EP002-present, movies 1, 2, 3, 11)|
Robert Jícha (movie 4)
Radek Škvor (movies 6 and 7)
|| Bram Bart (season 1-7, movies 1-3)|
Paul Disbergen (season 8-present, movie 8-present)
|| Jefferson Utanes
|| Antti Pääkkönen Anssi Känsälä|
Antti Jaakkola Peter Philström Saku Mäkynen
|| Antoine Durand
|| David Manet
|| Matthias Klie
|| גיא נתיב Guy Nativ (seasons 1-6)|
לירון לב Liron Lev (seasons 7, 9-current)
גיל צרנוביץ Gil Chernovich (season 8)
|| Simone D'Andre
|| Jarosław Budnik (EP002-AG040, DP053-present, movies 1, 2, 3 and 11, Mewtwo Returns)|
Marcin Przybylski (DP001-DP052)
|| Márcio Araújo
|| Peter Michael (EP001-EP093, movies 1, 2, 3, and 4)|
Rui Quintas (EP094-DP052, Pokémon Live)
Pedro Mendonça (DP053-present)
|| Latin America
|| José Antonio Macías|
Eduardo Garza (young, EP048)
Gabriel Gama (one scene of AG098, AG121, AG132 and AG144)
Gerardo García (AG105-AG110, one scene of AG174)
|| Iván Jara |
Luis Manuel Martín Díaz (movie 3 and Mewtwo Returns)
|| Levent Sülün|
In the games
Both Jessie and James appear in Pokémon Yellow as in-game bosses. They first attack the main character in Mt. Moon, while trying to take one of the rare fossils uncovered there.
Later, in Celadon City's Rocket Game Corner, Jessie and James guard Giovanni's room in the Team Rocket base. During that time, as the player runs into them, they are eager for revenge after the main character busted up their plans at Mt. Moon.
They hold Mr. Fuji hostage at Pokémon Tower. They attack the main character on the seventh floor.
Finally, at Silph Co. in Saffron City, Jessie and James make their final appearance, once again trying to stall the main character from reaching their Boss.
Unlike in the anime, Jessie and James do not follow the main character around and come up with their usual evil plans to capture Pikachu.
"Stop right there! That fossil is Team Rocket’s! Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"
"A brat beat us?"
"Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!"
"Not another step, brat! How dare you humiliate us at Mt.Moon! It’s payback time, you brat!"
"Such a dreadful twerp!"
"Looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again!"
"Stop right there! Grampa here wanted to complain, so we’re setting him straight. So render yourself invisible, or prepare to fight!"
"You will regret this!"
"Looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again!"
"Hold it right there, brat! Our Boss is in a meeting! You better not disturb him!"
"Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light! Again…"
Pokémon Puzzle League
Along with many other anime characters, both Jessie and James appeared in Pokémon Puzzle League, where they appeared with a Weezing, an Arbok, and a Golbat. They are the main opponents in the "Spa Service" line clear challenge.
In the manga
James appears in the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga series along with his teammates Jessie and Meowth.
His first appearance is in Pikachu's Excellent Adventure. He, Jessie and Meowth tag along with a group of lost Pokémon, including Pikachu, to try and find the Hidden Village. When they arrive, he and Jessie attempt to steal the Pokémon living in the village, but they are quickly expelled by a Kangaskhan. In this chapter, he uses a Koffing in battle.
James's next appearance is in You Gotta Have Friends. He and Jessie attempt to steal a herd of wild Pikachu. At this point in the manga, James's Koffing has evolved into Weezing, though its evolution is not depicted in the manga.
While in the anime, the nature of James's relationship with Jessie is not explicitly stated, in the epilogue of the manga, he is shown confessing his love to Jessie. They are shown afterwards married with Jessie visibly pregnant.
In the TCG
Jessie and James appear on both versions of the card Here Comes Team Rocket!, which originally released in the Team Rocket set; it was re-released with different artwork in EX Team Rocket Returns. In that expansion, there was also a preconstructed Theme Deck based on James.
It is rumored that James may also be on the Gym Challenge set card Rocket's Secret Experiment, as there is a Rocket in the background, seen only from the back, who has his hairstyle.
- Both Jessie and James have used a Charizard at separate times (Jessie having used two). None of the three remained in their care, however.
- James at times uses the name Jameson.
- James hasn't evolved any of his Pokémon since Here's Lookin' at You, Elekid!.
- He is one of the only main characters to, after being given his first Pokémon, at one point not have any Pokémon on hand, if one doesn't count the events depicted in So Near, Yet So Farfetch'd. This was in A Poached Ego! during the brief moment after he released Weezing and before he caught Cacnea. He currently has no Pokémon with him. The other characters were Ash briefly when he was traveling to Hoenn and Jessie at the beginning of Team Rocket's travels in Unova.
- James is the only main character to have one Pokémon and release/give it away, then get another Pokémon of the same species.
- James and Meowth are the only main characters to have their voice actors replaced during the 4Kids run of the show, then again when Pokémon USA took over.
- James is the only Trainer on the main cast who has not owned a Generation II Pokémon during the Diamond & Pearl series.
- In fact, the only Generation II Pokémon James ever had was a Hoppip, and even then it flew away before he could put it in a Poké Ball.
- James was the first main character to release a Pokémon.
- James was the first main character to be shown with both of their parents (although this would be equaled by Brock, May and Max as the series went on).
- A running gag in the anime involves James's Template:Type2 Pokémon hurting him in a show of affection.
- In the main series games, James and Jessie are the only characters from Generation I to appear only in that generation, as they do not reappear in Generation II and Generation IV when Kanto is revisited, and (being exclusive to Pokémon Yellow) were not adapted into the Generation III Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen remakes.
- James is the first main character as of yet in the anime to win an official Pokémon contest on his first try, though the showcased Princess Salvia later also won on her first try as well.
- In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, a newswoman on Area 4 of Mt. Battle references James stating that she's looking for someone with the same Pokémon as she has. The Pokémon she uses are Cacnea and Chimecho.
- Despite James holding a Poké Ball in his artwork from the Best Wishes series, he sent his Pokémon to Team Rocket's headquarters as soon as he arrived in the Unova region. He is still without any Pokémon currently, as of the most recent Japanese episode.
James's English name is taken from Jesse James, an American outlaw. His Japanese name, Kojiro, is taken from 佐々木小次郎 Sasaki Kojirō, a prominent Japanese swordsman most famous for being killed by his rival, 宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi, the namesake of Jessie. Also, 二郎 Jirō is a name meaning "second son," while 三郎 Saburō means "third son." Kojiro takes advantage of Jirō, while the Japanese name of Butch, Kosaburo, takes advantage of Saburō.
||小次郎 Xiǎo Cìláng
||From 佐々木小次郎 Sasaki Kojirō.
||Based on the original Japanese name.