From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- If you were looking for the character in the games whose Japanese name is Giovanni, see Earl Dervish.
Art from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
|| Mid-40s (est. by Pokeani)
| Eye color
| Hair color
|| Black* Brown*
|| Viridian City
|| Silver (son)|
Madame Boss (mother, anime)
| Trainer class
|| Gym Leader, Boss (Generation I/III), Rocket Boss (Generation IV)
|| I, III, IV
|| Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Stadium
| Leader of
|| Viridian Gym
|| Earth Badge
| Specializes in
| Member of
|| Team Rocket
| Anime debut
|| Battle Aboard the St. Anne
| English voice actor
|| Ted Lewis (EP015-AG132, DP080-present)|
Craig Blair (DP002-DP043)
| Japanese voice actor
|| Hirotaka Suzuoki (d. 2006)|
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 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 a ten-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. He specializes in the Template:Type2. Once defeated, he disbanded his Team 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 Rockets is trying to continue the aims of Team Rocket, but they stop when they realize that their Leader has been defeated once and for all.
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, another group of Rockets tries to relaunch the old Team. They take over Goldenrod Radio Tower, and broadcast a radio announcement intended for him. 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 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.
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.
"So! I am impressed that you got here."
"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!"
"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!"
"Ah, [player'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! [player's name], Never forget that all Pokémon exist for Team Rocket! I must go, but I shall return!"
"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!"
"... 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!"
"What in the world are you?"
"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 more than an illusion..."
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.
, 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 his appearance in the episode The Battle of the Badge, his voice was altered with an effect that made it sound as if there were two people speaking at once. No canonical reason is given, though it can be inferred that he was intended to be mysterious, as in the original games, where it is not outright revealed that Giovanni, the Team Rocket boss, is the Viridian Gym Leader until late in the game. As this episode corresponds to the point at which players of the games would discover that the two were the same, Giovanni finally steps out of the shadows, revealing his face in a battle against Gary Oak, and defeating him utterly using his Mewtwo.
Unrevealed events in the episode caused Giovanni to abdicate his position as the Viridian Gym Leader, handing the Earth Badge to the Team Rocket trio that constantly follows Ash. Through a combination of their own incompetence and Ash's willpower to win the Earth Badge, the Viridian Gym was destroyed at the end of the episode. Due to this, and perhaps other circumstances, Giovanni permanently resigned as Viridian's Gym Leader, as Agatha of the Kanto Elite Four has taken over the Gym temporarily when Ash next returns to Viridian City after his journey in Hoenn.
Giovanni appears not to care for his Pokémon aside from Persian, as they are all locked away in cages when not used for a Gym 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 it, he tried to recapture it 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, it 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 its injuries, it 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 it, 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.
With the beginning of the Best Wishes series Giovanni has taken on a far more significant and atagonistic role than before. He is now in regular contact with Jessie, James and Meowth and assigns them on various missions throughout the Isshu region.
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 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.
Giovanni also has a second Kingler, which was in its cage when Giovanni went to see Mewtwo.
The known moves of the Kingler Jessie used are Crabhammer, Harden and Bubble. The second Kingler's moves are unknown.
|| The Battle of the Badge
| Voice actors
|| Rikako Aikawa
|| Rikako Aikawa
In the manga
Giovanni in the fifth chapter
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.
Giovanni and the Earth Badge
Giovanni sends out a Nidoking.
Giovanni as the Boss of Team Rocket
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Giovanni or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
- 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 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 both unmentioned and unconfirmed 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 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).
- 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 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.
- In Pokémon Adventures, Giovanni is the only evil team leader who is still alive after his exploits.
- However, characters may not consider Pryce, Maxie, Archie or Cyrus to be dead, since they were last seen disappearing into Time and Space.
- He is the only Gym Leader to have two titles in the same game as being Gym Leader. The titles consist of him being called "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 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 the only criminal boss not to endanger a legendary Pokémon with his exploits in the games. This is not the case in the anime.
- Giovanni is also the only Gym Leader in either anime or manga to use a legendary Pokémon.
- 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.
|| Reference to
|| サカキ Sakaki
|| Sakaki (榊) is a sacred tree in Shinto which resembles the Earth Badge.
| English, French, German,
|| From Italian Giovanni, equivalent to John, gift from God; gio rhymes with geo, from Greek γῆ gē, earth.|
May also be a play on his resemblance to a Mafia boss in control of his mob.
|| 비주기 Bijugi
| Chinese (Mandarin)
|| 阪木 Bǎnmù (anime)
坂木 Bǎnmù (manga)
| From 阪木/坂木 Sakaki, an alternative way of writing the name. 阪/坂 (slope) also sounds similar to 板 of 老板 lǎobǎn (boss). 坂 also contains the radical 土 tǔ (earth).
| Chinese (Cantonese)
|| 沙加 Sāgā
|| Transliteration of the Saka of Sakaki.