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.
In his debut anime appearance and onwards, James is initially seen as a calm and serious person who tends to recite the team rocket motto with more elegance and flair than his cohorts. As the series continued, however, much of the trio's original seriousness melted away, most noticeably in the revelation of James' true personality.
In Holy Matrimony!, James shows his very sensitive side and intense fear when it comes to his wealthy family, particularly due to his heavily enforced, sheltered upbringing and the constant harassment he had endured from his childhood fiancée Jessiebelle. His parents were his negative influence from his childhood memories, as shown when he finally grows up and shows clear disdain and fear concerning their wishes to marry him off to Jessiebelle. He sensitively questions whether he has a "duty to be manipulated", and he calls out his parents as being "lousy" due to their failure to realize the detrimental effects of Jessiebelle's attitude had on his upbringing. He openly despises upper-class society, lamenting about how it seems to him that they have strict rules for just about everything; feelings which were most likely triggered by Jessiebelle's constant criticism. In The Treasure is All Mine!, however, it is shown that before his rebellious attitude arose in him, James cared deeply for his parents. He also clearly cares for his grandparents, Nanny and Pop-Pop as seen in Sweet Baby James!.
Despite his reputation as a "bad guy", James temporarily sides with Ash and his friends on various occassions, and occasionally calls on their help as well. James usually honors such truces towards Ash and his friends as a method of shielding his criminal history from people such as his grandparents. This is shown on one occasion in Sweet Baby James! In this episode, James shows an obvious adoration towards his Nanny and Pop-Pop, even scolding Jessie and Meowth for carrying out their usual antics while in their care. At the end of the episode, James tells his grandparents the truth about his loyalties, and they remark that he still has the same sweet personality he had as a child.
He is shown to be the most emotional of the Team Rocket trio and apparently has the most moral conscience among the three. Despite this, he is not all pure and is therefore prone to backstabbing anyone who is kind to him. James lacks some of the constant optimism and motivation his teammates have and is shown to become depressed when he fails at something. Despite these brief depressive periods, James is actually arguably the most lighthearted and least serious of the trio. Part of James' eccentricity is shown through his affinity for collecting rare bottle caps, a hobby which he traces far back into his childhood. However, his childlike mindset often gets him into trouble, too, such as being repeatedly scammed by the same Magikarp salesman in various different episodes, much to the disapproval of Jessie and Meowth.
James, although light-hearted, is actually fairly intelligent and often loses his patience with his teammates. In both All Dressed Up With Somewhere To Go! and The Eletrike Company, James displays his anger towards his teammates when Jessie and Meowth prohibit him and his Mime Jr. to perform in the Dress up contest after attempting to steal the prized Pokemon Egg. James and Meowth both later show an effort to effectively thwart Jessie's plans when she set her heart on stealing an electric type Pokémon.
James has a big heart when it comes to his Pokémon. this is demonstrated when he recounts his love for his first Pokémon, Growlie, who is extremely loyal to him. James considers Growlie to be a friend rather than a Pokémon, and other Pokémon such as Chimecho, Mime Jr. and Inkay are shown to have similar loving and loyal relationships with James. whenever James is forced to release a Pokémon, he shows great emotion and sediment for his parting friends, such as his tearful goodbye to his beloved Chimecho, who is currently in the care of his grandparents. He seems to be partial to dangerous Grass Pokémon such as Victreebel, Cacnea and Carnivine, who have such profound affection for him that it often causes him to scold them in annoyance when it interferes with a battle. In the Sun & Moon series, he also cares for his Water Pokémon, Mareanie, despite how dangerous she is when she poisons him in affection.
In some episodes throughout the series, James has a tendency to cross-dress, which was shown frequently in the original anime and has since died down or disappeared completely.
He is also a make-up expert as seen in some episodes where he made a simple make-up and accessories for Wobbuffet and Jessie as Jessilina for the contest but Jessie ruined it for her own desire to win much of his horrible shock and dismay leaving them both to lose the competition until they were blasted off by both Dawn's Buneary and Paris' Lopunny's Bounce after Jessie takes revenge by personally stole the accessories of the contest using their robot machine which James didn't participate in their antics due to his efforts in making a simple make-up and accessories for both Jessie and Wobbuffet are ruined by Jessie herself. In the XY series, he put Wobbuffet some make-up and fashionable attires to show it to Ash and the group.
In the events of Pokémon: Black & White during their mission in Unova, James maintains his calm and serious personality we saw in his debut appearance, but due to his promotion as an Advanced Agent, he no longer cares for his beloved family or anyone else. He simply shows his antagonistic side, remaining stoic and sociopathic whenever he was engaged in a serious mission, especially those involving trying to capture Ash's Pikachu. However, after the failure of Operation Tempest, James' antagonistic behavior finally subsides and he returns to his usual personality from before.
An interesting note is that during his motto with Jessie and Meowth, James is usually seen handling a red rose to show his calm and elegant demeanor. However, in their missions in Unova whenever they capture any Pokémon, especially Ash's Pikachu, James is usually seen handling a black rose due to Jessie handling a red rose during their motto. This implies his personality change which becomes apparent when they improve their old motto.
In the XY series during the episode, Heroes, Friends and Faux Alike!, James, along with Jessie and Meowth, are able to disguise themselves as Ash, Serena and Bonnie in order to place blame on the real ones for their actions of hurting/stealing Pokemon.
James also retains in making truces to Ash and the group when facing off against powerful enemies such as the evil Malamar who initially brainwashed him and kidnapping his friends within their Psychic grasp to do their plot on destroying the world and the Pokémon Hunter and his Rhyperior who managed to capture both Inkay and Meowth.
Throughout the series despite their evil acts towards Ash and the group to capture Pikachu or other Pokémon, James, Jessie and Meowth are also dealing against criminal organizations from different regions such as Team Aqua and Team Magma in Hoenn, Team Galactic in Sinnoh, Team Plasma in Unova, Team Flare in Kalos and Team Skull in Alola.
Like Jessie and Meowth, James badly remarks about the criminal grunts' appearance and outfits in every different regions and the most bad comment they have said was in Team Flare.
As other grunts from other regions such as Saturn, Charon and Mars from Team Galactic and later both Celosia, Mable and Bryony from Team Flare remarking the three of them as a nuisance for interfering in their plans.
Simpsons Guy 4 Edit
Him, Jessie, and Meowth spent this series following Ash and co. around Springfield and trying to steal Pikachu. At the end, they capture Pikachu and Stewie, only to be blasted off.
Uncle Funtime: Thanksgiving Edition Edit
James, along with his team and the Larssons trick a little boy into kidnapping Pikachu and turning him evil. However, this plan backfires as Ash wins him back sfter beating the boy in a game of Line-Up 4.
Franklin Expeditions Edit
In this series, Him, along with Jessie and Meowth steal Pikachu during a Luau. During an epic balloon chase, a thunderbolt hits their balloon and they crash-land into Franklin. They eventually find him at Tom's House, and After Ash and co. return from Alex's doctor's appointment, Team Rocket is sent flying with Pikachu's thunderbolt. During their time in Franklin, the trio follows Ash and his friends around and pulled some evil stunts, such as forcing Brian to electrocute his family and Meowth pretending to be nice while staying with Dora and Diego. This got them arrested. In prison, they met Trent and Willy. After "Breaking the Warp", the trio begins to hang out with the twerps. Later on, they work with Team Eclipse and kidnap Tess. She is rescued by Ash and co. and Team Rocket is sent blasting off.
Uncle Funtime 4 Edit
In Uncle Funtime 4, Team Rocket spies on the twerps, only to get caught almost instantly. They end up playing a game of Truth or Dare, doing tons of weird stuff, like Jessie kissing Meowth's butt, Dancing, serving drinks, etc. Eventually, they once again steal Pikachu and drop him off at Tom's House, where Ash and co. are reunited with Alex. In the next episode, they help Plankton steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula and take over the Krusty Krab, but they are stopped by none other than Ash and co. They spend the next few days either following the twerps and playing Truth or Dare. Unfortunately for them, Giovanni found out and confronted them about it. As punishment, he makes Cassidy and Butch mentor them. He then assigns them to raid New York City of all it's riches. During the trip, they successfully manage to steal all of New York City's valuables, and get promoted. However, after their plans of capturing and killing Patrick Star were foiled by Ash and co, they are demoted back to being agents.
Season 28 Edit
In "Weekend at Gammy's", they follow Ash and Gary to Hingham. In the car, While Ash is catching up with Tom and co., Team Rocket is hiding in a bag, but Allison catches them instantly. Giovanni then calls and temporarily fires the trio, making them unable to capture Pikachu. They were forced to hang out with the twerps for the whole weekend. After the weekend ended, everyone parted ways.
CC2: Anime Extravaganza Edit
In this series, James, along with Jamesessie and Meowth return as the main antagonists. They basically follow Ash and co. around and wreck havoc for most of them. For Example, they try to trick Naruto and his friends into stealing Ash's Pikachu, and they even try to steal Chopper at one point. Evevntually, they steal the Everfruit and try to kidnap Luffy and Chopper for their DNA, but that plan is foiled by Ash and co.
James has shoulder length periwinkle hair with a single fringe sprouting from the center and green eyes and he is usually seen in a Team Rocket uniform, which consists of a white long sleeve shirt with a large red R on it and a black short sleeve undershirt, with white pants with a purple belt on his waist and black boots and matching gloves.
At the start of Johto Journeys opening until the XY series the color of his hair changed from periwinkle to lavender.
In Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, the color of James' hair reverts back into periwinkle and his shoulder length hair becomes in a wavy style.
His Fredford High School disguise consists of a 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, similar to what he wore in Holy Matrimony!. In Gym, he wore a white t-shirt with blue shorts and black sneakers.
- 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 "least" 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.)
- 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 it was changed 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 U.S.) 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 SS. Anne, and another time during the Orange Islands series.
- Both times, the Magikarp has evolved out of rage.
- James cares about his Pokémon like Jessie does.
- James' Japanese name (Kojiro) comes from the name of a famous Japanese samurai, Kojiro Sasaki.
- In the Spanish dub, James's voice actor occasionally makes Mexican jokes or word games. The most famous one so far is, "El guajolote , as dubbed by fans.Macías¨
- James' past contradicts Jessie's since he grew up rich while on the other hand, Jessie grew up poor.