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
|| I, III, IV
|| Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Stadium
| Leader of
|| Viridian Gym
|| Earth Badge
| Member of
|| Team Rocket
| Anime debut
|| Battle Aboard the St. Anne
| English voice actor
|| Ted Lewis (EP015-AG132)|
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 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.
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 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.
Giovanni appears in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. If the player takes a promotional Celebi to the Illex Shrine in Illex Forest, Celebi will take the player and their friend 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 to prevent him from reuniting with the Team Rocket Rocket Executives calling out to him from the Goldenrod Radio Tower.
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…
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,|
| …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. 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.
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.
- 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, [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!"
"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
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. However, 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.
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, 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.
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). The scene in which Mewtwo destroyed Giovanni's base was also shown in the movie.
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, 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.
This listing is of Giovanni's known Pokémon in the Pokémon anime.
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 the Mask of Ice 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 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 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 Green'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 Special 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, 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 Special 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 Special, 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).
|| Reference to
|| サカキ Sakaki
|| Sakaki, which resembles the Earth Badge. A common Japanese surname.
| English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
|| 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 (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.
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