|“||So! I must say, I am impressed you got here. Team Rocket captures Pokémon from around the world. They're important tools for keeping out criminal enterprise going. I am the leader, Giovanni! For your insolence, you will feel a world of pain!||„|
|“||The ultimate goal of Team Rocket is to use Pokémon to rule the world. I, Giovanni, am its leader!||„|
Giovanni (in Japanese: サカキ, Sakaki) is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Meowth) of the Pokémon franchise. He is the leader of Team Rocket/Team Rainbow Rocket and the (former) Gym Leader of Viridian City, as well as the father of Silver. He is the archenemy of Ash Ketchum.
He appears as the main antagonist in Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Green and Pokémon Yellow (as well as their Generation III remakes Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen and Generation VII remakes Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!), a supporting antagonist in Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver, the main antagonist of "Episode R" in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. Giovanni also is the main antagonist in Pokémon GO following the release of Team GO Rocket, and a minor antagonist in Pokémon Masters. He is also the overarching antagonist of the Pokémon anime series, as well as the main antagonist of the movie Pokemon: The First Movie and its CGI remake Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution.
In Japanese, he was voiced by the late Hirotaka Suzuoki and Kenta Miyake in the anime, Rikiya Koyama in Pokemon Origins, Akio Ōtsuka in Pokémon Generations, and Kōji Ishii in Pokémon Masters. In English, he is voiced by Ted Lewis in the anime, Pokemon Puzzle League and Pokemon Chronicles, Craig Blair in the anime temporarily, Jamieson Price in Pokemon Origins, Richard Epcar in Pokémon Generations, and Andrew Russell in Pokémon Masters.
As the leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni is power-crazed, cruel and sadistic toward people and Pokémon. He wants all extremely rare, legendary and mythical Pokémon to rule the world such as Mewtwo and views Pokémon as mere tools. Despite not being the best father to Silver (going as far as temporarily abandoning him to better himself as trainer), Giovanni cares of his son, seeks his admiration and hopes that he will one day understand him. He also appears to have some care for his grunts as he retreats when he feels like he betrayed their trust. According to his conversation with Silver, he strongly values teamwork and is rather a responsible boss as he feels personally responsible for Team Rocket's defeat. Giovanni considers himself to be the greatest trainer in the world but faces defeat with some degree of honor, accepting his loss, acknowledging the player's strength and complimenting on their skills.
In Pokémon Masters, he shows a rather abrasive and condescending attitude towards the player but sees potential in them and encourages them to become strong in order to face him and stop his evil schemes, which shows his strong liking for challenge. Despite claiming to see Pokémon as mere weapons, he appreciates the player's viewpoint that they are more than that and thinks that the world should be full of different opinions, which indicates that he's a rather open minded person. He also has a cynical world outlook, believing that the world is made up of people who deceive each other every day. Despite thinking that not everything is black or white, he acknowledges himself as a bad person but thinks that it's wrong to believe that everything bad people say or do is necessarily wrong. He complains about being "doomed" to remain a criminal in every world, possibly hinting his disdain for his lifestyle. He also claims taking no pleasure in hurting people for no reason. He doesn't view power as inherently evil or good but just as a mean to win, perhaps explaining his obsession with strength.
In anime, he viewed Jessie, James and Meowth as useless failures when they failed to capture strong Pokémon and went as far as trying to kill them to claim their insurance policies. However, he recruits them for an important mission in Unova when they claim to be behind the defeat of Team Galactic. Since the series Sun and Moon, thanks to the collaboration of Jessie, James and Meowth in the defeats of the rival evil teams (Team Galactic, Team Plasma and Team Flare), their relationship with them becomes much better, since now he encourages them to continue progressing in their plans and shows pride in seeing that they obtained something, such as "capturing and sending" the Alolan Meowth or obtaining a dark type Z-Crystal, their new confidence in them is now enough to entrust them with their secret weapon in the Journeys series. He also trusts Cassidy and Butch as they've almost never failed him. He views his Persian as his top cat, which is one of the very few individuals he cares about besides his mother, who he highly respects.
- It is revealed that Giovanni is the father of Silver, the player's rival in Pokémon Gold, Pokémon Silver, Pokémon Crystal, and their remakes.
- His manga counterpart from Pokémon Adventures has a connection to the Virdian Forest (where people who are born there are granted special powers) similar to the protagonist Yellow of the Yellow chapters and Lance, but it is unknown what his special power is.
- In Pokémon Adventures, his birthday is August 1.
- In earlier episodes, Giovanni's face is never seen, until the episode "Battle of the Badge". This, along with his Persian, gives him a resemblance to James Bond and Inspector Gadget's arch-nemesis', Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Dr. Claw.
- Giovanni is also the first criminal boss in the anime to have shown to have Pokémon of his own, not just controlled legendary Pokémon at some point, the second one being Lysandre, and the third was Guzma.
- Despite being the overarching antagonist of the show (and Ash's overall archenemy), Giovanni has little screen time, Ash Ketchum instead facing his subordinates Jessie and James. He has only ever directly faced Ash in a two-parter late into the Pokémon Black and Pokémon White series, although the two also met briefly in Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns!.
- However, Giovanni does not remember Ash due to how Mewtwo erased his memory.|
- Giovanni appears after the post credits in Pokémon: I Choose You. He is seen walking through a hall full of notes about Mew. After this, he meets with Mewtwo in full battle armor, saying "Let's begin.", hinting his and Ash's future rivalry in Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns.
- Giovanni holds a strong bond with his Mewtwo to the point of being able to use Mega Evolution on it. He can also use sync moves with Mewtwo in Pokémon Masters, these being said to be ruled by the power of friendship.
- When Giovanni is defeated for the third time in his gym, he awards the player with TM26 (Earthquake) and reveals that he was the one who made it when he ran his gym "far too long ago..."..
- In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!, it's revealed that it was a gift that he made for the trainers who defeated him to help them with their Pokémon League challenge.