James is a member of Team Rocket, an evil team which tries to capture rare Pokémon. His trio has a keen eye set on Ash's Pikachu.
James has shoulder length periwinkle hair with a small single fringe at the center of his head and green eyes and he is usually seen in a Team Rocket uniform, which consists of black sleeves, a white shirt with a large red R on it, with white pants and black boots.
In the episode, Holy Matrinomy!, James is dressed in a dark blue formal suit jacket with a white long sleeve button shirt with a black tie at the center, dark blue formal pants and black shoes. He later wears a cowboy hat along with a brown long poncho cloak to conceal his outfit while trying to say goodbye to his beloved Growlie.
As a child, he retains in his adult appearance and he wears a blue suit like his adult self and he wears black shorts instead of pants and has a light green tie with a red jewel in the center, white socks and black shoes.
At the start of Johto League Champions opening and onwards, the color of his hair changed from periwinkle to lavender.
When he competes in a PokéRinger in That's Just Swellow, James wears a pale yellow air military jumpsuit with a brown sailor fuku and the black round shape with a "R" symbol in each sides of his shoulders, underneath is an off-white long sleeve button shirt, brown gloves and black military shoes. This outfit is concealed from his Team Rocket uniform before he removes it to reveal the outfit.
In his debut appearance and onwards, James is initially seen as a calm and serious person with an elegance when he does a motto with Jessie and Meowth in their group introduction as Team Rocket. He is also well reversed in various activities such as Pokémon Haiku, Pokemon Orienteering and a PokéRinger it is possible that he learned these skills either he was enrolled as a child or being separated with Jessie.
In Holy Matrimony!, James shows his very sensitive side and intense fear if it comes to his wealthy family particularly due to his heavily enforced, sheltered upbringing and the constant harassment he had endured from Jessebelle as a child. Especially, his parents when he finally grows up as an adult and he was against their wishes to get him married as he sensitively states that they are trying to make him be manipulated and he calls his parents are lousy due to unable to stop Jessebelle's upbringing. He actually hates the society of upper class who have rules of absolutely everything and his life will get worse if he marries his arranged fiancee, Jessebelle. But in The Treasure is All Mine!, it also shows that he cares for his parents as a child before rebelling them as an adult. He also cares for his grandparents, Nanny and Pop-Pop as seen in Sweet Baby James!.
In Holy Matrinomy!, Sweet Baby James!, and The Treasure is All Mine! , James temporary aids Ash and his friends in various occassions when they are involved about his family problems and his loyalty to his grandparents such as preventing Jessiebelle from her upbringing and to blasted both Jessie and Meowth from stealing his grandparents' Pokemon from one of his summer cottages due to their bad antics. James sometimes make these truces especially towards Ash and his friends and his grandparents so that they will never know that he is working from Team Rocket with Jessie and Meowth until he privately tells to his grandparents the truth before leaving with Mime Jr when Chimecho was in his grandparents' care.
He was deeply emotional of the Team Rocket trio and is the most conscience among the three and is also prone to backstabbing someone who is kind to him but also became depressed when he fails at something. James also loves to collect rare bottle caps as part of his hobbies. In some episodes however, James is also swindled by the Magikarp salesman and always being scammed by him a few times such as receiving a Magikarp just evolved into a enraged Gyarados, and trading his Victreebel for another Weepinbell.
In both All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go! and The Eletrike Company, James displays his anger towards his teammates when Jessie and Meowth didn't allow him and his Mime Jr. to perform the Dress up contest after trying to steal the prize Pokemon Egg. This allows him to teach both of their manners using Mime Jr's Teeter Dance even after they blasted off by Pikachu's Thunderbolt is also part of his lecturous act. This also happens when Jessie has a motive of stealing and wants to steal an Electric Pokemon which James and Meowth manage to thwart her plans in the end.
If it comes to Pokemon, James loves his Pokemon much more freely this is demonstrated when he cares so much for his first Pokemon, Growlie who is extremely loyal to him and it considers Growlie as a friend than a Pokemon and other Pokemon such as Chimecho and Mime Jr. whom he loves and cares them dearly but he was also emotional when he leaves one of his Pokemon behind such as Chimecho who is currently in care of his grandparents. He also cares his dangerous Grass Pokemon such as Victreebel, Cacnea and Carnivine who have an affection to him which he had a tendency to correct them in annoyance when it comes to a battle.
In some episodes throughout the series, James has a tendency to cross-dressing which it was shown for the first time in the Diamond and Pearl series.
In the anime, he is a common member of Team Rocket and in many ways, is the anime representation of the Male Agent. During his adventures in trying to capture Pikachu, James is part of a unit made up of himself, Jessie, and Meowth. He is close friends with the two of them, and is known to make personal sacrifices in order to keep them safe, as seen when he sacrificed his bottle cap collection to help Meowth in the episode Meowth Rules!. Although born into a rich family with loving parents, he runs away from home to avoid Jessebelle to whom he was supposed to marry later on. With a very caring and thoughtful personality, James can sometimes have a hard time dealing with the "rotten things" he and his team mates do from various times to get what they want, but in the end he fulfill his obligations with less-admirable results. He also gives out information on Pokémon whenever Meowth cannot do it himself via Index cards.
In the episode Holy Matrinomy!, it reveals that a young boy in the poster was revealed to be James who runs away from his home to avoid Jessebelle as mentioned by his family butler, Hopkins. James soon noticed of his return where he visited his dead parents turns out to be hoax as his parents are alive which he ends up luring into their trap. Upon meeting Jessebelle, both Jessie and Meowth are surprised to see her who looked like Jessie. Although, she manages to trap them in the dungeon to reveal themselves. James was left behind when Jessie and Meowth escape by smoke bomb. He was soon chased by Jessebelle to avoid her whiplashes only to be paralyzed by Jessebelle's Vileplume's Stun Spore when she releases Vileplume to stop him from escaping even Ash and the group also got hit by it. When Ash, Misty, Brock, Jessie and Meowth opens the doghouse, Growlie quickly runs to save its master. Luckily, James was saved by Growlie as they take refuge on its doghouse. James finally reveals to them that Jessebelle is the main reason that he runs away from home. Since their engagement has announced, Jessebelle tries to follow him anywhere to change him but he never refined it for her. Since he was a kid, he hated upper class society who have rules of absolutely everything and marrying Jessebelle was the worst thing of his life and Growlie was his only friend in the estate. When Jessebelle and her Vileplume confronts them one final time after she manages to send both Jessie and Meowth flying, she attempts to paralyze them with Vileplume's Stun Spore as both Growlie and Pikachu manage to defeat it with both a Flamethrower and a Thundershock combination causing a burning Vileplume to chase Jessebelle away and also knocks his parents in the pond fill of Magikarp. James and Growlie are seen hiding in the bushes and he tells it to take care of his parents while he's gone as he leaves the estate as Growlie starts to growl. James later reunites with Jessie and Meowth while riding at the Meowth Balloon.
Out of the Team Rocket Trio, James is the most emotional and most caring towards others, as well as his Pokémon. In A Hole Lotta Trouble, he told Ash that he just wanted to have a fair battle with him rather than resort to their dirty tricks suggested by Jessie and Meowth. In Training Daze, he takes it upon himself to help Meowth whenever he gets stuck in the Obstacle Courses. In episodes like Sweet Baby James and Once There Were Greenfields, it also clearly shows his emotions and feelings towards his Pokémon when they are departing each other. It also shows his love and good cooperation with his Pokémon as seen in Off The Unbeaten Path and Holy Matrimony!, with his Growlie and Mime Jr. He is especially careful and cautious with his Chimecho, treating with additional care and not letting it suffer in battles, just like how Misty treats her Togepi. Due to his great care of his Pokémon, most of his Pokémon like to have physical contacts with him when they came out of their Poké Ball. He also tend to be good to people who treat him well, like his grandparents, as seen in the episode Sweet Baby James. He was also seen comforting May when her Munchlax got sick along with his Chimecho in the same episode.
In Sweet Baby James!, James takes the sick Chimecho to his grandparents, Nanny and Pop-Pop on one of his summer cottages who also tends the sick May's Munchlax in the beginning of the episode. Jessie was surprised to see James was rich when they see one of his summer cottages. By the time he meets up with Ash and his group, they got mad to see them as James tells them to make a truce thinking he was working from a business company due to him working with Team Rocket as both May and Max noticed James for being a rich man. When Jessie and Meowth have plans to steal such food or a simple Oddish in his grandparents' care, James eventually scolds them not to do something bad when his grandparents are there. James and May are also guarding the sick Munchlax and Chimecho as he comforts May about their caring for their Pokemon. When everyone are asleep, Jessie and Meowth manage to steal his grandparents Pokemon including Mime Jr. as well as both his Chimecho and Munchlax. Both of their motives are soon found by James when both are confronting Ash and the group during their mottos. Jessie becomes angered to see them she releases Seviper to deal with them which forces Ash to release his Phanpy. James then releases Cacnea to stop both Jessie and Meowth from attacking Ash and the group which James corrects his Cacnea not to confront Ash but Jessie's Seviper. Jessie was angrily mad at James for being a traitor or a turncoat which James replies that he did that for the sake of his beloved grandparents. Cacnea manages to knock Seviper with a single Needle Arm and eventually blasted both Jessie and Meowth by Ash's Phanpy's Hidden Power and James' Cacnea's Pin Missile combination as they landed behind Nanny and Pop-Pop when they asked him about waking up in late night.
After Ash and the group leave after Munchlax's recovery, James notices Chimecho is not getting well as Nanny noticed it's condition which forces him to cried emotionally not wanting his Pokemon to be left behind and he finally decides to let his grandparents took care of it as Mime Jr. accidentally captures on his Pokeball as Pop-Pop tells him that Mime Jr. decides to be his companion if he becomes very emotional. After that, James leaves with Jessie and Meowth after he tells his grandparents privately that he was indeed working for Team Rocket and he waves goodbye in tears to them while flying in the Meowth Balloon.
In The Treasure is All Mine!, it also reveals that James has a treasure box given to his father and inside it was a letter of engagement to Jessebelle when he was a child and was hidden in a dighole made by Growlie which has been found by Ash, Dawn and Brock during a sparring practice in the beginning of the episode. After being blasted off by Pikachu, James recalls about the treasure box as he wants to reclaims it from Ash and the group. Despite its failure attempts, the group are blasted off for the second time and the treasure box are given to Sebastian which is James' butler from one of his summer estates. Therefore, their disguise was later blew off by his pet Growlie to reveal themselves. James manages to use Mime Jr. to keep Sebastian and his Pokemon to keep them out of bay.
James finally tells them about his first meeting with Jessebelle in his childhood during his parents ballroom party and Jessebelle was his first true love. He also writes a letter of engagement to Jessebelle as his father gives him the treasure box. But upon meeting Jessebelle, she actually knows his parents arrangement and his engagement to her and she wants to relinquish his pet Growlie as James refuses and this is how she controls him before he runs away. With that James let Growlie dug the ground to put the treasure box hidden. After telling them about the situation, James noticed flying blimps are heading in the estate and knowingly that Sebastian had called Jessebelle because of his presence. With this, James escapes with Ash, Dawn, Brock, Jessie and Meowth in the secret passage. When Ash and Brock holds up the door, James eventually fights off the robotic treasure chest which he is unable to open it by passwords using Growlie in tow. He manages to stop it as the treasure box turns into a rocket to escape. He was later confronted by Jessebelle one last time as James convinces Ash to be blasted off by Pikachu's Thunderbolt as he successfully do it but to his mistake, Jessebelle is with him and Meowth while being blasted off and Jessie was left behind as the bodyguards mistakes of her as Jessebelle. James is last seen with Meowth being chased by Jessebelle in the sunset beach.
As of his, Jessie's and Meowth's promotion and transfer to Unova, James has become a highly skilled stealth artist, an excellent hacker, and is often successful in many missions with his team mates, to the point of the trio becoming a serious enemy for Ash and co. The trio were key in Team Rocket's Meteonite plan, taking order directly from Giovanni himself as well as his secretary. James and his team-mates worked together with Pierce and met Doctor Zager. Once the plan culminated, James and his team-mates were asked to be as they please in Unova, so they continued working hard to do Team Rocket good and now work closely with Zager. Ash has also become less important to them but they will still antagonize him if he interferes in their plans.
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It is a Pokémon that loves to steal food. They encountered the Inkay when it was eating their sandwiches from the balloon. James uses this to his advantage, and catches Inkay with a PokéBall, much to Jessie and Meowth's dismay.
James's Mime Jr. is the Pokémon James caught when he gave Chimecho to his grandparents. His Chimecho was sick and they gave him a replacement Pokémon for his Chimecho, Mime Jr. Jessie has borrowed Mime Jr. for Contests. James loves Mime Jr. so much. He thinks of her as his Chimecho. In the earlier times (before Sinnoh) Mime Jr. used to copy him. When Jessie and James is transported by Team Rocket to Unova, Mime Jr. was given to the Team Rocket Headquarters for safekeeping as it was a Pokémon not native there.
James' Carnivine was the first Pokémon that James obtained in the Sinnoh region. James released him from its Poké Ball after remembering that he left it in a summer cottage years ago. Carnivine tends to jump out and sucks on James' head, a habit that replaced Cacnea's painful hugs. James originally caught Carnivine in the Great Marsh as a boy when it appeared to be quite injured, as mentioned in a flashback. It was later left at Team Rocket Headquarters as it was not native to the Unova region, safeguarded until James returns.
James captured a Yamask while he, Jessie, and Meowth searched for Giovanni. Yamask can use Shadow Ball, Haze, and Night Shade. He was later used as an emissary between Team Rocket and a trio of fellow Ghost-type Litwick. Unlike James' other Pokemon, Yamask doesn't give James painful affection like Carnivine and Cacnea. James's capture of this Ghost-type signifies the serious tone the trio has taken in the Unova region.
Every time which Cacnea came out of James' Poké Ball it used to hug him tight with its needles, causing James pain. Cacnea was used in many battles but went to train with Gardenia to master its Drain Punch. When Cacnea left, James was extremely upset as it the first Pokemon he captured after Weezing left. It is later learned Cacnea mastered Drain Punch. However, as James, Meowth and Jessie continue to follow Ash to different regions, it is highly unlikely James will ever see Cacnea again.
James traded Victreebel for a Weepinbell from the Magikarp Salesman during one of his scams. That Weepinbell evolved into Victreebel soon after, they both were kicked away by their owners and bumped into each other falling in love and running away together.
James first caught Chimecho while wandering around at a festival in Fortree City. When Chimecho fell ill, it was left with James' Grandparents. James was so upset at leaving Chimecho behind, and so Mime Jr. took Chimecho's place.
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James bought Gyarados when he was still a Magikarp from the Magikarp Salesman when he was aboard the S.S. Anne. When James threw Magikarp into the ocean, it evolved into Gyarados. Eventually, it used Dragon Rage hurling Ash, Misty, Brock, and Team Rocket away and it was never seen again.
After Team Rocket stole the Dragon Fang, they befriend Dragonite who was the protecter of the Dragon Holy Land. The crooks tricked her into that they were protecting the Dragon Fang and that Ash and the others are crooks. Dragonite lost their trust after James accidentally set the Holy Land on fire.
Delibird gave Jessie and James an Aggron and a Charizard. James used the Aggron to battle Ash and Brock in the Pewter Gym, along side Jessie and Charizard. After losing to them, Delibird returned to take the Pokémon back to their intended recipients.
When Ash and the others were kidnapped by the three evil Malamar who plot to destroy the world, James, along with Clemont, temporarily used a group of Malamar who are good and gentle in a desperate attempt to rescue everyone from danger.
When Ash and the others were kidnapped by the three evil Malamar who plot to destroy the world, James, along with Clemont, temporarily used a group of Inkay in a desperate attempt to rescue everyone from danger.
James temporarily used Grumpig to capture Pikachu for Giovanni, it controlled all the Spoink, but attacked the bandaged Spoink that Ash later befriended, it defeated Bonnie's Dedenne, but lost against Ash's newly-evolved Sliggoo with Dragon Breath.
Team Rocket blackmailed Florges into destroying the wetlands, She challenged Ash's Goodra who was originally a Goomy to a battle, and she realized Goomy had evolved. She was eventually defeated by Goodra's newly-learned Ice Beam.
Under Giovanni's orders, James, Meowth, and Jessie took Z-2 under their care and attempted to capture it for themselves. However, their plan failed when Team Flare and Alain appeared and took Z-2 away.
Dutch: Bram Bart (ep1-ep368), Paul Disbergen (ep368-present)
Spanish: José Antonio "El guajolote" Macías
James' most recurring Pokémon are Grass-Type. It is also interesting to point out that said Pokémon are the ones who show the most affection towards him via physical contact, even if James is annoyed with it. His friendly relationship with Gardenia also seem to emphasize that, as she claims that "those who own Grass Pokémon cannot be so evil", which is also true to some point if one considers he is the "less" evil member of the trio.
A running gag of the series is that James is almost always the female when he and Jessie disguise themselves as a couple. (One has to wonder if they have feelings for each other.)
Jessie and James are more successful in the Unova region.
James has stated that his hair color is lavender, not blue, in Numero Uno Articuno. But in his debut appearance until the events of the Silver Conference of the Johto league, his hair is periwinkle before changing to lavender.
Jessie's and James' English names are derived from the notable outlaw Jesse James.
In one episode of the Anime (which is banned in the US) James is shown swearing at Kaiser.
In Pokémon XD: Gale Of Darkness, there is a trainer in Mt. Battle in zone 35 that has a Cacnea and Chimecho, who asks if you've seen anyone with the same Pokémon. This is an obvious nod to James, when he had those Pokémon in the Hoenn region.
Sometimes, Meowth calls him "Jimmy", a sort of nickname for people named James. He normally calls him that when he is confused about something that James knows or has said.
James has twice been the reason that a Magikarp has evolved into a Gyarados, once aboard the St. Anne, and another time during the Orange Islands series.