Giovanni is a middle-aged man that wears a black formal suit with a white long sleeve button shirt with a red tie at the collar. He has short, brown hair and wears black dress shoes. He also always has a sinister look on his face.
Earlier in the first season anime, he was shadowed to hide his identity until his face is now shown getting frustrated towards James, Jessie and Meowth after seeing their failures for allowing Ash to gain the Earth Badge from their defeat. His suit from his primary appearance is shown to be orange instead of black and has a green vest beneath his button shirt and red tie.
From third season until the thirteenth season, Giovanni is mostly seen in Jessie, James and Meowth's fantasies once they steal most Pokémon, Giovanni wears various outfits during their fantasies.
In the fourteenth season when he had a brief rendezvous with James, Jessie and Meowth in their missions, the confrontation against another organization, Team Plasma in the two unaired episodes, and his Operation Tempest to capture the Mythical Pokémon Meloetta until he was consumed his own ambitions to conquer Unova, Giovanni wears a dark green military attire and his folded sleeves are red and his dress shoes are completely black.
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Giovanni serves as the Head of Team Rocket in the anime, never really shown taking action in field work, but rather sends the grunts and other members for that. Jessie, James, Meowth, Butch and Cassidy along with other members, are constantly striving to please him in their actions, usually without his compliance.
In the early episodes of Pokémon, his face was hidden from view and his voice was distorted. However, this version was later dropped as the series went on to become more comical. Giovanni has only been shown once as the Gym Leader of Viridian Gym, in the episode The Battle of the Badge, facing off against Gary. In this episode he used Mewtwo, which he was controlling with a machine, against Gary's Pokémon, brutally defeating him. By the time Ash challenged the Gym, Giovanni left on account of an emergency, leaving Jessie, James and Meowth in charge. Ever since the destruction of the Gym, he had never returned to it, rather it was rebuilt and had Agatha of the Kanto Elite Four take temporary leadership of it. Giovanni in the anime series might be some sort of businessman, because he is revealed to own Pokémon Island.
He possesses knowledge of the other crime syndicates in the Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Unova regions, which are also regions that he does not have a branch of Team Rocket. Despite his dislike of Jessie, James and Meowth, he allows them to try setting up new branches (as they kept following Ash to capture his Pikachu). Giovanni becomes dismayed from the trio and calling them buffoons due to their various failures.
However in Memories are Made of Bliss!, Giovanni finally accepts Jessie, James, and Meowth when they take the credit for defeating Cyrus and his organization Team Galactic as well as Hunter J and he gives them new assignments which results the trio getting promoted to Advanced Agent.
Black & White
Upon Team Galactic's defeat, Giovanni began looking into the working of a mysterious organization in Unova as he wished to obtain artifacts there to further his plans for global domination without confronting them. The key to Team Rocket's mission to take over Unova was future energy, found in the Dream Yard and the Meteonite. When the Meteonite was located in the Desert Resort, Giovanni came to Unova in person in order to obtain it and then showcase it's power to a gathering of influential elite people in order to ransom total control of the Unova region. However, Team Plasma intervened and took the Meteonite, which was ultimately destroyed by Pikachu, thwarting both evil team's plans. After this setback, Giovanni became busy and allowed Jessie, James and Meowth to do as they pleased in Unova, working with Dr. Zager.
Giovanni returned to spearhead Team Rocket's: Operation Tempest, a stratagem which involved capturing Meloetta. He did this by wearing the goggles created by Dr. Zager to see the mythical Pokémon even when she was invisible. Giovanni quickly defeats Ash by using his Persian to defeat his Pikachu and rejoins Jessie, James, Meowth and Zager. Team Rocket led Giovanni to the Abyssal Temple which they had spent a while looking for. With Ash & Pikachu captured, Giovanni uses Meloetta to summon the Reveal Glass and rise the Abyssal Temple, using Meloetta's calming song, that Team Rocket had insidiously recorded during her time with Ash. Meloetta is caused to suffer in this ceremony. The Kami trio are summoned and the Reveal Glass morphs them into their, feral, vicious Therian forms. At Giovanni's command, they battle the resistance created by the escaped Ash, Pikachu and their friends, Iris' Dragonite leads this resistance along with Cynthia's Garchomp, Ridley's Golurk, Cilan's Pansage and Ash's Pikachu and Unfezant. In the midst of a titanic battle, Ash and Pikachu confront Giovanni along with James, Jessie, Meowth and Doctor Zager. Ash orders Pikachu to use Electro Ball, because Pikachu had been charged up from an earlier attack to save Iris, the Electro Ball's size and power are augmented significantly. The electric attack destroys the platform Giovanni was standing on and severes the link between the sadistic leader and the tortured Meloetta but he was soon possessed by the Reveal Glass. However, Giovanni loses his mind because of his own evil ambitions and has a red mark on his forehead, ordering the Kami trio to destroy the Unova region. Seeing his plan had been changed from destroying the Unova region instead of conquering it due to his insanity, Jessie, James and Meowth tackled their beloved boss and successfully save him, not only from a fatal explosion but from his insane state which he regains control of himself after being knocked off by the trio. Doctor Zager informs him that they can't control the Kami trio because of Meloetta and they need to retreat for now which Giovanni agrees as they leave while being assisted by James and Jessie until James uses his Yamask to create Haze on Ash and the group to escape the premises. As they escape in the helicopter, Giovanni finally realized by his own actions after being possessed earlier as he thought on his mind and he finally orders to make a total retreat back in Kanto.
After Team Plasma is defeated, Giovanni reappears in Farewell Unova! Setting Sail on A New Adventure! where he was contacted by the trio about their success of defeating Team Plasma lead by Ghetsis and Doctor Colress. Giovanni was mostly pleased to the trio as he tells them to keep up the good work and do it for the name of Team Rocket before hanging up.
In The Dream Continues! which is the final episode of the Best Wishes series, Giovanni appears in his office at Team Rocket's HQ after James, Jessie and Meowth are blasted off by all of Ash's Pokémon at his hometown in Pallet Town for intending to capture his Pikachu. Giovanni was pleased to see the trio defeated Team Plasma and wants to know of the results. Not to know they make a brief alliance with the international police detective, they make a truce as Meowth tells him that they found a unique Pokémon in the Unova region which James and Jessie gives each of their two Unova Pokémon such as Woobat, Yamask, Amoonguss, and Frillish which Giovanni accepts for its safeķeeping. Despite the safekeeping of their Pokémon, he was unaware that the trio are aided by Looker to stop any criminal organizations such as Team Galactic in Sinnoh and later Team Plasma in Unova.
In the XY series, Giovanni is usually seen having a brief rendezvous with the Team Rocket trio.
In A Heroes, Friends and Faux Alike!, Giovanni was impressed to see both James and Jessie gained their Kalos Pokemon which is both Inkay and Pumpkaboo after they tricked Clemont on making their robot and the transporter to capture Pikachu especially to pose as Ash, Serena and Bonnie to cause trouble with other trainers' Pokemon and diner dashing at the restaurant and snack stands to blame the real group for not paying the food.
In An Explosive Operation, Giovanni contacts the trio twice about Z-2 and Team Flare.
After Team Flare is defeated, Giovanni reappears in Battling in a Clean State! and congratulates the trio about their success of defeating Team Flare led by Lysandre and in the final episode, Till We Compete Again! he informs the trio to return back in Team Rocket HQ in Kanto making them to run quickly in the airport to aboard the plane leads to the Kanto region.
Sun & Moon
Just like in the XY series, Giovanni appears to rendezvous with the trio while inside Bewear's cave where a wild Bewear always drags them away during their confrontation with Ash and his Pikachu throughout the episodes in the Alola region as the trio makes Bewear's cave into their hidden Team Rocket base.