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

サカキ Sakaki
[[File:FireRed LeafGreen Giovanni.png|{{{size}}}]]
Art from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
Gender Male
Eye color Black
Hair color Black* Brown*
Hometown Viridian City
Region Kanto
Relatives Silver (son)
Madame Boss (mother, anime)
Trainer class Gym Leader, Boss
Generation I, III, IV
Games Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Stadium
Leader of Viridian Gym
Badge Earth Badge
Member of Team Rocket
Rank Boss
Anime debut Battle Aboard the St. Anne
English voice actor Ed Paul (EP015-AG132)
Craig Blair (DP002-DP043)
Japanese voice actor Hirotaka Suzuoki (d. 2006)
Kenta Miyake

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 Template:Type2 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 games

Art of Giovanni from Pokémon Red and Blue

In the Generation I games and their remakes, Giovanni is the one Gym Leader without a title, and is not widely known, preferring to keep to the shadows.

Giovanni constantly has his thugs looking for strong Pokémon.

Giovanni had several hideouts, the most prominent ones underneath Celadon City's Rocket Game Corner, and the Viridian Gym itself.

In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions, it was revealed that Giovanni has a child with red hair. Many people believed this referred to the red-haired rival from Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions and Pokémon Crystal Version, also known as Silver, who values power and strength and despises weakness, including Pokémon and Team Rocket, who he considers weak.

This relationship with Silver was confirmed in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, where it is seen that Giovanni abandons Silver and leaves to train in the Tohjo Falls.

In addition to the Earth Badge, Giovanni gives out TM27 (Fissure), in Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow Versions. In FireRed and LeafGreen, he gives out TM26 (Earthquake).

Although Team Rocket plays a major role in the plot of Generation II games, Giovanni himself does not make an appearance, despite being mentioned many times by Rocket members. His absence is explained by one of the Executives as being due to his wish to train alone elsewhere for the time being, after his defeat at the hands of the main protagonist of the Generation I games three years earlier. During the game, Team Rocket captures the Goldenrod City Radio Tower to broadcast their return and call for Giovanni to return to them and take command again, but their calls go unheeded and they are disbanded again.

Giovanni appears in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver as an event Trainer. If the player takes a fateful encounter Celebi to the shrine in Ilex Forest, Celebi will take the player and their friend Kotone/Hibiki back in time to see Giovanni abandon his son, Silver, to go on a quest to become stronger. Celebi will then take the player forward in time to fight Giovanni in a secret hideout located within Tohjo Falls to prevent him from reuniting with the Rocket Executives calling out to him from the Goldenrod Radio Tower.

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 - Caretaker
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."


This listing is of Giovanni's Pokémon in the video games he has appeared in.

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 Stadium

Round 1

Round 2


File:Giovanni RB.png File:Y Giovanni.png File:SpriteGiovanni.png
Giovanni Sprite from
Generation I
Giovanni sprite from
Pokémon Yellow
Giovanni sprite from
Generation III
File:GiovanniHGSS.gif VSGiovanni.png
Giovanni Sprite from
Generation IV
Giovanni VS sprite from
Generation IV

Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

  • First battle:

"So! I am impressed that you got here."

  • Gym 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!"

"Ha! That was a truly intense fight! You have won! As proof, here is the Earth Badge! 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

  • First 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!"

"What! This can't be!"

  • Second battle:

"Ah, [Trainer's name]! 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!"

"Arrgh!! I lost again!? Blast it all! You ruined our plans for Silph! But Team Rocket will never fall! [Trainer's name], Never forget that all Pokémon exist for Team Rocket! I must go, but I shall return!"

  • Gym battle:

"Fwahahaha! This is 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!"

"Ha! That was a truly intense fight. You have won! As proof, here is the Earth Badge!"

"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!"

In the anime

While Giovanni very rarely takes the role of antagonist, his agents often have him in mind during missions due to the chance of power, be it through promotion or other means. This gave him a unique series of appearances, mainly during the Hoenn saga, where Meowth often saw how the Pokémon in each episode could be used to help Giovanni and win the trio promotions. These boss fantasies never show his actual personality and occasionally even show Giovanni in chibi form.

Giovanni, Domino and the Rocket grunts

His first appearance was in the episode Battle Aboard the St. Anne, choosing a Persian as his "top cat" over Meowth, and talking to Jessie, James, and Meowth through a TV screen. His face always remained hidden in the shadows, usually with only his mouth visible. In Island of the Giant Pokémon, it is revealed that he owns the theme park, Pokémon Land, and the giant mechanical Pokémon in it, and was not happy to hear that it had been destroyed.

Up until the episode The Battle of the Badge, his voice had an effect to it as if it were two people talking at once (he wanted to hide his voice because of the possiblity that the police could be wiretapping his conversations with his subordinates, and if he was to be arrested, the authorities would not be able to make a connection between the recordings of his normal and altered voices, and also to maintain his legitimate status of Gym Leader. That is why his voice is never altered after the aforementioned episode, because he is no longer Gym Leader, and the Team Rocket HQ (the Viridian Gym) was destroyed and the base is now hidden and he disappeared with his organization). However, in this episode, he is given a normal voice, and during his battle with Gary, he steps out of the shadows, and his face is seen for the first time. He is known to have a Machamp, Kingler, Rhydon, and Golem, but when he is at a disadvantage, he uses Mewtwo to defeat Gary's Nidoking and Arcanine. Giovanni appears to care nothing for his other Pokémon, as (with the exception of Persian) they are kept in cages when not used in battle.

In the episode Showdown at the Po-ké Corral, Giovanni's building was blown up by Mewtwo. He and his Persian survived the explosion and angrily told Jessie, James, and Meowth to do their job (ironically they were about to quit).

Giovanni also appeared near the beginning of the movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, as he was the one who had Dr. Fuji clone Mewtwo for him. After Mewtwo destroyed the lab, Giovanni told Mewtwo that he saw him as a valuable partner, putting armor on Mewtwo and using him to defeat Trainers in gym battles (including Gary's Nidoking and Arcanine, as seen in the anime) and help Team Rocket in their attempts to steal Pokémon. Eventually Mewtwo confronts Giovanni about his treatment and Giovanni admits that he doesn't consider Mewtwo a partner but a servant. This enrages Mewtwo and it is this incident which drives it to destroy Giovanni's base allowing it to escape.

Giovanni is the main antagonist in the movie Mewtwo Returns, seeking out Mewtwo, who by this time is living in peace with the cloned Pokémon at Mt. Quena. Once Giovanni discovered him, he tried to capture him back by threatening the cloned Pokémon. He used two machines to try to make Mewtwo submit to his will, but though Mewtwo stepped into the orb, he was still unwilling to serve Giovanni, threatening to destroy his body first. Ash and the others were able to stop the machines, and it was around this time that they faced off against Giovanni and several Team Rocket soldiers. Their Pokémon fought as a distraction so Ash could get Mewtwo into the spring. Once Mewtwo was healed from his injuries, he moved the spring under the mountain to protect it, and then erased the memories of Giovanni and the other Team Rocket soldiers (excluding Jessie, James, and Meowth) of him, making him forget entirely about Mewtwo. Standing next to Domino and Persian wondering what they were doing, he gets the strange feeling as though he has been utterly defeated.

The only time Giovanni has been seen in battle was in The Battle of the Badge. He used powerful Pokémon against Gary but later left the Gym to deal with an unexplained emergency, leaving Ash to battle Jessie. By the time Ash returned from Hoenn, Agatha was in charge of the Gym until a new leader could be found. Giovanni's reasons for leaving it have not been explained.

Very little is known about his past in any timeline; he is generally shrouded in mystery. His mother was the head of Team Rocket before him. However, this is presumed to be canon in the anime timeline only, as the games have no precedent for this.


This listing is of Giovanni's known Pokémon in the Pokémon anime.

Giovanni's Persian
Main article: Giovanni's Persian

Persian is Giovanni's pet, as a reference to most villiains owning a cat as a pet, such as James Bond supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Meowth has a never-ending rivalry with it as "top-cat".

Debut Battle Aboard the St. Anne
Voice actors
Japanese Rica Matsumoto
English Rica Matsumoto
Giovanni's Golem
Golem was the first Pokémon that Giovanni used in his Gym battle with Gary, sending it against Gary's Nidoking. The Megaton Pokémon was easily defeated.

Golem's only known move is Tackle.

Debut The Battle of the Badge
Voice actors
English Eric Stuart
Giovanni's Kingler
Giovanni used his Kingler in his Gym battle with Gary, sending it to battle against Gary's Nidoking. Gary, however, quickly withdraws his Pokémon and calls out Arcanine. Despite having a type advantage, Kingler proved to be no match for the Legendary Pokémon, and was finally taken out by Arcanine's Fire Blast.

Kingler was also later loaned to Jessie for Ash's Gym battle. She used it to battle against Ash's Bulbasaur, but lost.

Kingler's known moves are Crabhammer, Harden and Bubble.

Debut The Battle of the Badge
Voice actors
Japanese Rikako Aikawa
English Rikako Aikawa
Giovanni's Machamp
Giovanni loaned his Machamp to Jessie for her Gym battle against Ash. It battled against Ash's Squirtle, but lost.

Machamp's only known move is Karate Chop.

Debut The Battle of the Badge
Voice actors
English Eric Stuart
Giovanni's Rhydon
Giovanni loaned his Rhydon to Jessie for Ash's Gym battle. It was defeated by Ash's Pidgeotto's Double-Edge.

None of Rhydon's moves are known.

Debut The Battle of the Badge
Voice actors
Japanese Katsuyuki Konishi
English Katsuyuki Konishi
Giovanni's Cloyster
There's nothing to be known about Giovanni's Cloyster, as it has only been briefly seen in a water tank in Viridian Gym's basement.
Debut The Battle of the Badge

Given away

Jessie's Ekans
Main article: Jessie's Arbok

Giovanni gave this Ekans for Jessie as a birthday gift after she had joined Team Rocket. It later evolved into an Arbok under her ownership.

Debut Pokémon Emergency!
Voice actors
Japanese Kōichi Sakaguchi
English Eric Stuart
James's Koffing
Main article: James's Weezing

Giovanni gave this Koffing for James as a Christmas present after he had joined Team Rocket. It later evolved into a Weezing under his ownership.

Debut Pokémon Emergency!
Voice actors
Japanese Unshō Ishizuka
English Michael Haigney


Giovanni's Mewtwo
Main article: Mewtwo (anime)

Giovanni held control of this Mewtwo created by his scientists for some time, until it learned that Giovanni had meant its purpose to be fighting for him, and escaped.

While controling Mewtwo, Giovanni used its overwhelming Psychic powers to capture new Pokémon for Team Rocket and in his Gym battles, where it defeated all of his challengers effortlessly.

Debut The Battle of the Badge
Voice actors
Japanese Fujiko Takimoto
English Phillip Bartlett

Voice actors

Language Voice actor
Japanese 鈴置洋孝 Hirotaka Suzuoki (EP015-AG132)
三宅健太 Kenta Miyake (DP002-present)
English Ted Lewis (4Kids dub, EP015-AG132; TPCi dub, DP080-present)
Craig Blair (TPCi dub, DP002-DP043)
Czech Pavel Soukup (EP015-EP157)
Jiří Plachý (movie 1)
Michal Holan (DP002-present)
Dutch Just Meijer (Season 1, 6-7)
Stan Limburg (Season 2)
Fred Meijer (Season 3-6)
Sander de Heer (Special)
Bas Keijzer (Season 8-present)
French Canada Daniel Picard
Europe Patrick Deschamps
Polish Adam Bauman (Movie 1, Mewtwo Returns)
Cezary Kwieciński (DP002-present)
Spanish Latin America Alejandro Villeli (EP015-DP043)
Humberto Solórzano (DP080)
Spain Ruperto Ares (EP015-EP157)
Rafael Azcarraga (Mewtwo Returns)
José Escobosa (EP231-present)
Roberto Encinas (AG002)

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

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, as in one chapter, he uses his Cloyster to break two Magmar in half.

He is first seen traveling with Red under the guise of a friendly researcher of to study fossils, but his real intent is to study Red after he defeated Koga and Lt. Surge. While watching him battle against two Magmar he notes that Red is not much of a planner but is shows a lot of courage and ingenuity, but was put off when Red wouldn't finish the Magmar after he incapacitated them. He sent Red off with an Old Amber and finishes off the Magmar himself.

He attempts to create a super-powerful Pokémon by combining Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno into a single Pokémon. This was thwarted by the efforts of Red, Green, and Blue, he was not known to be behind this and it was still unknown that he was the Leader yet. He then appears to Red when he enters the Viridian Gym and challenges Red with a catch, if Giovanni wins Red has to join Team Rocket. Giovanni lost after an intense battle making Red use techniques involving the trainer and not just the Pokémon battling.

He later provides some minor assistance to the fight against the Elite Four on Cerise Island. He helps Red escape from Lorelei's ice and provides him with some evolutionary stones for his Eevee. Giovanni then comes to Yellow's side as she was struggling in her battle with Lance, telling her that he is from the Viridian Forest as well. However going to Cerise Island did almost as much harm as help, as coming there gave Lance the one Gym Badge that he did not have so he could call upon Lugia with the Badge Energy Amplifier the Elite Four took from the rubble of Silph Co.. After the battle Giovanni then informs Koga and the others (Sabrina and Lt. Surge) to lay low until a more suitable time comes to revive Team Rocket.

Giovanni has recently resurfaced in the Sevii Islands, apparently pursuing Deoxys. He even has a new set of henchmen, The Three Beasts. Silver is revealed to be Giovanni's son, but was kidnapped by the Masked Man at the age of two. Giovanni's master plan apparently includes Silver taking over Team Rocket from him.

However, his plan is later revealed to just wanting to find and reunite with his son and see him grown up before Giovanni dies (He has some sort of illness, although it is never explained what it is). When Silver and Giovanni found themselves in the flames of a wreckage at one point, Giovanni used his own body to protect the unconscious boy from the fire. At first, Silver denied that Giovanni could possibly be his father, and then would not accept him as a father. However, after he saw how Giovanni put his own life at stake to save him, Silver broke down in tears and accepted him as his father. From this point on, Giovanni is presumably not the leader of Team Rocket any more, and is succeeded by the Three Beasts member Carr. His last known location is one of Silver's secret bases, where Silver sent him so he could recover from his injuries.

When he was still the Viridian Gym Leader, Giovanni had obtained the nickname "Giovanni Of The Land" because all his Pokémon were Template:Type2s, save his Cloyster and Beedrill. Beedrill's exception is clear, as it was caught at Giovanni's birthplace (in the Viridian Forest; so Giovanni prides it especially), but Cloyster's is hard to trace, as it does not appear to have any connection to Giovanni's past.

Giovanni wrote a book on the research of Ground-type Pokémon called "Mysteries of the Earth" that is currently in Blue's possession. The book contains detailed information on Ground-type Pokémon not known by anyone else. For instance, Giovanni was the first to discover Rhydon could evolve.

In battle, Giovanni kicks his Poké Balls, much like Crystal, in order to be able to react faster.


This listing is of Giovanni's Pokémon in the Pokémon Adventures manga.


In the TCG

There is a Theme Deck named for Giovanni in the Gym Challenge expansion. For that Theme Deck, see Giovanni.



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

Name Type Level Rarity Set Set no.
The Boss's Way - - Uncommon Team Rocket 73/82
Giovanni's Gyarados Water 40 Rare HolographicH Gym Challenge 5/132
Giovanni's Machamp Fighting 50 Rare HolographicH Gym Challenge 6/132
Giovanni's Nidoking Grass 58 Rare HolographicH Gym Challenge 7/132
Giovanni's Persian Colorless 23 Rare HolographicH Gym Challenge 8/132
Giovanni - - Rare HolographicH Gym Challenge 18/132
Rare 104/132
Giovanni's Nidoqueen Grass 51 Rare Gym Challenge 23/132
Giovanni's Pinsir Grass 27 Rare Gym Challenge 24/132
Giovanni's Machoke Fighting 36 Uncommon Gym Challenge 42/132
Giovanni's Meowth Colorless 12 Uncommon Gym Challenge 43/132
Giovanni's Nidorina Grass 35 Uncommon Gym Challenge 44/132
Giovanni's Nidorino Grass 32 Uncommon Gym Challenge 45/132
Giovanni's Machop Fighting 18 Common Gym Challenge 72/132
Giovanni's Magikarp Water 9 Common Gym Challenge 73/132
Giovanni's Meowth Colorless 17 Common Gym Challenge 74/132
Giovanni's Nidoran♀ Grass 11 Common Gym Challenge 75/132
Giovanni's Nidoran♂ Grass 14 Common Gym Challenge 76/132
Giovanni's Last Resort - - Rare Gym Challenge 105/132
Viridian City Gym - - Uncommon Gym Challenge 123/132
Giovanni's Nidoking - - - Unnumbered Promotional cards (no English release) -


  • In the games, Giovanni is the only Gym Leader to appear outside of his Gym in Generation I, whereas in later generations, this is quite common.
  • 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 cat when he was a child.
  • 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.
  • According to the Pokémon Adventures manga, Giovanni's birthday is August 1st and his blood type is O.
  • In Pokémon Live! it is stated that he dated Delia Ketchum, though this is probably not the case in the anime.
  • 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.
  • The way that Giovanni takes care of his Persian could be a reference to the supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond films.
  • In the English dub of the anime, Giovanni is the first character to regain his original voice actor following the voice actor switch.
  • 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 retconned in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, where it was made absolutely clear that Giovanni was, indeed, the absolute Leader of Team Rocket (even having an office in Johto).
  • Despite being mentioned throughout Gold, Silver and Crystal, he is the only Kanto Gym Leader to not appear in all generations Kanto does.
  • Giovanni was the first Gym Leader that could be battled more than once, and is still the only one that can be battled before the Gym Battle.
    • This also makes him one of three Gym Leaders that do not give a badge to the player immediately after the first defeat, the other two being Whitney and Clair.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, Giovanni is the only evil team leader who is still alive after his exploits.
    • However, characters may not consider Pryce, Maxie or Archie to be dead, since they were last seen disappearing into Time and Space.
  • He is the only Gym Leader known to have two titles (Boss and Gym Leader).
  • Giovanni is the only Gym Leader that cannot be battled as many times as the player wants: the other Kanto Gym Leaders are able to be rechallenged in the Fighting Dojo, as are the Johto Gym Leaders, in HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Hoenn Gym Leaders take rechallenges via Match Call in Emerald, and the Sinnoh Gym Leaders are found in the Battleground in Platinum. Koga and Wallace, former Gym Leaders, are able to be rechallenged by virtue of being part of the Elite Four of the Indigo Plateau and Champion of Hoenn, respectively.
  • While there have previously been many event Pokémon, due to his status in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Giovanni is the first event Trainer.
  • While in the Gym Battle in Generation I, he owns a Level 50 Rhydon, 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 Pokemon to be owned by a Gym Leader during the initial battle with them.
  • Giovanni is most likely ether based on a Yakuza Boss in the Japanese version of the game, where as in the versions outside of Japan, he is most likely based on stereotypical Italian Mafia bosses.


Language Name Reference to
Japanese サカキ Sakaki Sakaki, a sacred tree in Shinto which resembles the Earth Badge. A common Japanese surname.
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish Giovanni From Italian Giovanni, equivalent to John, gift from God; gio rhymes with geo, from Greek γῆ , earth.
May also be a play on his resemblance to a Mafia boss in control of his mob.
Korean 비주기 Bijugi
Chinese (Taiwan) 坂木 Bǎnmù From 坂木 Sakaki, an alternative way of writing the name.
Chinese (Hong Kong) 沙加 Shājiā Transliteration of サカ Saka.

External links


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