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. 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. James is also a bottle cap collector as well. In a flashback that James was having it was about a man that cheated him into buying a Magikarp. The same guy appeared in "All aboard the St. Anne and the one when Jessie gets a Wobbuffet.
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 intereferes in their plans.
James captured a Yamask while he, Jessie, and Meowth searched for Giovanni.Yamask can use Shadow Ball,Haze,and Night Shade. It 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 have taken in the Unova region.
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's Carnivine was the first Pokémon that James obtained in the Sinnoh region. It made its debut in Two Degrees of Separation. 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's 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.
Every time which Cacnea came out of James' Poké Ball it used to hug him tight with it's 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 bumbed 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.
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, he evolved into Gyarados. Eventually, he used Dragon Rage hurling Ash, Misty, Brock, and Team Rocket away and he was never seen again.
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.
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 at 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.
For some reason when Jessie and James are disguised as a male and a female, James is the female and Jessie is the male.
Jessie and James are more successful in the Unova region.
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 Pokemon 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 Pokemon. This is an obvious nod to James, when he had those Pokemon 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.