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James (Japanese: コジロウ Kojirō) is one part of of the Team Rocket trio that follows around Ash Ketchum and friends 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
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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, Jessiebelle, whom we find out in DP153 that he actually originally wanted to marry, until it quickly became obvious that she was obsessively controlling. Soon after the engagement was announced, James, not able to stand Jessiebelle's overbearing personality (to this day he remains terrified of her), ran away from home, leaving behind his beloved pet Growlie. He attempted to enroll in Pokémon Tech, a Trainer's school, but, along with his new friend Jessie, flunked out. 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.
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 (though all of them do to some degree or another), and is the least prone to backstabbing someone who is kind to him.
Younger James and Growlie
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 and Pearl anime series, though it was him disguised as Jessie. 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.
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.
Jessie and James and the Pokémon they traveled with in Hoenn
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.
In That's Just Swellow, James borrowed Dustox from Jessie to use in a PokéRinger competition. He did this again in Pursuing a Lofty Goal! with her Yanmega.
- Purchased from the Magikarp salesman while disguised as a Chimecho. Flew off after its true identity was revealed.
As a member of Team Rocket, he hasn't accomplished too much. However, he has proven to be quite skilled at several pursuits: Doing well in a few side competitions, and even winning a Pokémon Contest.
|| Voice actor
|| 三木眞一郎 Shin'ichirō Miki
|| Ted Lewis (4Kids dub; EP002-EP009)|
Eric Stuart (4Kids dub; EP010-AG145)
Jimmy Zoppi (credited as Billy Beach, TPCi/TPCi dub)
|| زياد الرفاعي Ziad Ar-Rifa'i
|| Michal Michálek
|| 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'Andrea
|| 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-present)
|| Latin America
|| José Antonio Macías|
Eduardo Garza (young, EP048)
Gerardo García (AG105-AG110)
|| Iván Jara |
Luis Manuel Martín Díaz (movie 3 and Mewtwo Returns)
|| Levent Sülün|
In the manga
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James was a character in Toshihiro Ono's manga, Electric Tale of Pikachu, which was based loosely on the anime.
While James' role in the Pokémon anime has not yet ended, in the manga, he ended up married to Jessie, about to start a family.
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.
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.
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, but what he may be doing in the lab is left to the imagination.
- 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. This was in A Poached Ego! during the brief moment after he released Weezing and before he caught Cacnea. The other character was Ash briefly when he was traveling to Hoenn.
- 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, as of the most recent Japanese episode, the only Trainer on the main cast who has not yet owned a Generation II Pokémon during the Diamond & Pearl series.
- In fact, the only Generation II Pokémon James ever had was a Hoppip, though it flew away before he could put it in a Poké Ball.
- In the dub, both of James's Generation III Pokémon were given away in the second episode of a season which was recorded at a new studio from the prior. Chimecho was left in the care of Nanny and Pop-Pop in the second episode of Battle Frontier (dubbed at TAJ), while Cacnea was given to Gardenia in the the second episode of Battle Dimension (dubbed at DuArt). This is merely coincidence, however.
- 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).
- In Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden, James states he has "allergies" when talking about the pollen from the flowers. It is a possibility he suffers from hay fever, or something similar.
- Ironically, a running gag in the anime involves his 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.
- In the Latin American Spanish dub, James usually says funny things, like referring to himself as "Johnny" or "Jamememes" in Team Rocket's motto, and most of his dialogues are filled with local jokes.
- James is the only current main character who to date is known to not have entered a Pokémon Contest for himself yet, though he has let Jessie borrow his Pokémon many times.
- He does, however, enter one disguised as Jessilina in Dressed for Jess Success! and wins in place of Jessie, due to her being incapacitated at the time.
- This also makes him the first major character in the anime to win an official contest on his first try.
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.