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サカキ Sakaki
Art from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
Age Mid-40s (est. by Pokeani)
Gender Male
Hometown Viridian City
Region Kanto
Relatives Silver (son, Pokémon Special)
Madame Boss (mother, anime)
Trainer class Gym Leader, Boss
Generation I, II, III
Games Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, LeafGreen, Stadium, Stadium 2
Leader of Viridian Gym
Badge Earth Badge
Member of Team Rocket
Rank Boss
Anime debut Battle Aboard the St. Anne
English voice actor Ted Lewis (Template:4Kids)
Craig Blair (TPCi)
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.

In the anime

Very little is known about his past in any timeline; he is generally shrouded in mystery. However, certain things are known:

His mother was the head of Team Rocket before him. This is presumed to be canon in the anime timeline only, as the games have no precedent for this.

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 and his subordinates
The only time Giovanni has been seen in battle was in The Battle for 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, though it is speculated to be linked with the events of the aforementioned episode.

Giovanni is one of the three most prominent figures speculated to be Ash Ketchum's father, alongside Professor Oak and Silver. There is no evidence to support this, though Diamondshippers see Giovanni's avoidance of Ash mentioned above as suspicious. In Pokémon Live!, it was claimed that Giovanni and Delia had shared a relationship as teenagers, though it is also stated that someone else is Ash's father in that particular canon.

His Japanese voice actor was 鈴置洋孝 Hirotaka Suzuoki until his death, after which he is voiced by 三宅健太 Kenta Miyake. In the English dub he is voiced by Ted Lewis (Template:4Kids dub) and Craig Blair (Pokémon USA dub).


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






In the games

Art of Giovanni from Pokémon Red and Blue

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.

Giovanni apparently has a child who has red hair. Many people believe this refers 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.

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

In the game timeline, after being defeated by the protagonist in the Generation I games, he mysteriously disappears, apparently seeking to train and start anew after being shown how his methods failed him against the player; Team Rocket has been waiting for his return ever since.

Giovanni's kid?

In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions, on the Chrono Island Rocket Warehouse, a scientist named Gideon (Japanese: スミオ Sumio) says:

Japanese release English translation English release
なんだよ また きたのかよ What, you again? What, you again?
まさか おまえ…
サカキとか いうやつの
こども なんじゃ ないのか?
You... you're not the kid of the guy called Sakaki or something, are you? You... you're not Giovanni's kid,
are you?
…いや サカキの こどもは
かみのけが あかい らしいから
おまえ とは ちがうか
...No, they say Sakaki's kid's hair is red, so did I mistake you for him? No, that can't be right!
Giovanni's kid has red hair.
かんけい ないなら ほっとけよ! If you have nothing to do with us then leave me alone! You don't have any reasons for
bugging me. Leave me alone!

A portion of this conversation is recorded in the Fame Checker under the entry for Giovanni. This text is notably gender-neutral, and is the same whether Red or Leaf is the player.

When this text was singled out and reported on Pokémon Forever, it provoked significant speculation in the community on the identity of Giovanni's child.[1] Silver was singled out as a strong candidate. Silver is Giovanni's son in Pokémon Special, and Giovanni finding him after the Mask of Ice kidnapped him was his primary motivation in the FireRed and LeafGreen storyline.

There was some initial debate over the exact meaning of red hair, as characters like Misty are known as redheads despite having more orange-colored hair, and characters like Lance are portrayed as having red hair as well.

Fame Checker

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

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.


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
  • Level 25 Onix
  • Level 24 Rhyhorn
  • Level 29 Persian
Second battle
  • Level 37 Nidorino
  • Level 37 Rhyhorn
  • Level 35 Persian
  • Level 41 Nidoqueen
Gym battle


Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

First battle
Second battle
Gym battle


Pokémon Stadium

Round 1


Round 2



Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

File:GiovanniRBYsprite.png File:SpriteGiovanni.png
Giovanni Sprite from
Generation I
Giovanni sprite from
Generation III

"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 a 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 Pokémon Special manga

In Pokémon Special, 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 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 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 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 The Three Beasts. Silver is revealed to be Giovanni's son, but was kidnapped by Pryce 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. While Silver first denied that Giovanni could possibly be his father, and then would not accept him as a father, after seeing how Giovanni put his own life at sake to save Silver, Silver broke down in tears and accepted him as his father. From this point on, Giovanni is presumably not the leader of Team Rocket anymore, 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 Earth-types, save Cloyster and his 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.

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 Special 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 Generaton I, where as 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).
  • According to the Pokémon Special manga, Giovanni's birthday is August 1st.
  • 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".
  • The way that Giovanni takes care of his Persian could be a reference to the supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond films.


Language Name Reference to
Japanese サカキ Sakaki sakaki, a tree, as well as 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 Bǎn Mù From 坂木 Sakaki, an alternative way of writing the name.
Chinese (Hong Kong) 沙加 Shā Jiā Transliteration of サカ Saka.

External links

Gym Leaders of the Kanto region
Pewter Gym Boulder Badge
Brock OD.png
Cerulean Gym Cascade Badge
Misty OD.png
Vermilion Gym Thunder Badge
Lt Surge OD.png
Lt. Surge
Celadon Gym Rainbow Badge
Erika OD.png
Fuchsia Gym Soul Badge
Koga OD.png Janine OD.png
Koga Janine
Saffron Gym Marsh Badge
Sabrina OD.png
Cinnabar Gym Volcano Badge
Blaine OD.png
Viridian Gym Earth Badge
Giovanni OD.png Blue
Giovanni Blue

Members of Team Rocket
Bosses: Giovanni (animeAdventuresPocket Monsters)

Madame Boss*Masked Man*

Executives: ArcherArianaPetrelProton


Jessie, James, & Meowth (JJM)
Koga, Lt. Surge, & Sabrina (Triad*)
Ken, Al, & Harry (TRET)
Carr, Sird*, & Orm (T3B)
Duos: Butch & CassidyAttila & HunAnnie & Oakley*

ExecutivesScientistsGruntsRocket BrothersGideonDr. Fuji
DominoIron-Masked MarauderTysonWendyDr. Namba
SebastianViperMondoPierceDr. ZagerChristopher
MiyamotoRocket ScoutMatoriKaedeBlaine*

Anime characters
Protagonists Ash KetchumPikachuMistyTogeticBrockTracey SketchitMayMaxDawnPiplupIrisAxewCilanSerenaClemontBonnieDedenneLanaKiaweLillieSophoclesMallowRotom Pokédex
Rivals GaryRitchieHarrisonDrewHarleyMorrisonTysonSolidadPaulZoeyNandoKennyConwayBarryUrsulaTobiasTripBiancaBurgundyStephanGeorgiaCameronVirgilAlainAriaMietteTiernoShaunaTrevorNiniSawyerGladion
Antagonists JessieJamesMeowthWobbuffetGiovanniButchCassidyDr. NambaMatoriPierceDr. ZagerShellyArchieTabithaMaxieHunter JSaturnMarsJupiterCyrusCharonColressAldithGhetsisBarretLysandreXerosicCelosiaBryonyMableAlianaTuppZippRappFaba
Professors Professor OakProfessor IvyProfessor ElmProfessor BirchProfessor RowanProfessor CarolinaProfessor JuniperCedric JuniperDr. FennelProfessor SycamoreProfessor KukuiProfessor Burnet
Relatives Delia KetchumFlintLolaForrestBrock's siblingsDaisyVioletLilyJames's parentsNanny and Pop-PopNormanCarolineJohannaChiliCressGraceMeyerLana's motherHarper and SarahLusamineGladionRangoSimaMimoKiawe's grandfatherAbeMallow's brotherSophocles's parents
Supporting Officer JennyNurse JoyMagikarp salesmanTodd SnapCharles GoodshowCaseyLizaSakuraLanceStevenMr. SukizoRaoul ContestaVivian MeridianRobertScottLilian MeridianMarianRhondaCynthiaReggieAngieLookerLyraKhouryDon GeorgeAlderLukeFreddy O'MartianIngoEmmetJervisNAnthea and ConcordiaPorterAlexaSophieCosetteClembotSanpeiMairinDianthaGurkinnMonsieur PierrePalermoKeananMalvaSquishyZ2Samson OakHobbesNebbyWickeGym LeadersElite FourFrontier BrainsIsland KahunasMany temporary characters

Project CharacterDex logo.png This game character article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.