Each anime saga and set of video games in the Pokémon franchise has featured a crime syndicate seeking to take over the world. Unlike real-world crime syndicates, these organizations usually forgo the use of firearms or other weapons in favor of battling with their Pokémon in order to subdue opposition. The syndicate is, as a rule, utterly defeated at the end of the game/saga, by the player character in the games, and Ash Ketchum and his friends in the anime.
, is the first syndicate to be revealed in the Pokémon metaseries. In each of its various incarnations, Team Rocket desires to steal Pokémon to further its goal of world domination. They are led by the criminal mastermind, . After debuting in the original games, Red and Blue, the syndicate then appeared in the animated series and the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
is the leader of Team Rocket and the Viridian City Gym Leader. In the anime, Giovanni is shown to have inherited his Team Rocket position from his mother. Aside from the operations of Team Rocket, he also funded the creation of Mewtwo in Mewtwo Strikes Back. Mewtwo eventually escaped from him and he attempted to recapture the Pokémon in Mewtwo Returns, which to date is the only time Giovanni has personally confronted the series' protagonists. This conflict resulted in Mewtwo erasing all memories of himself from Giovanni's mind. He is constantly frustrated by the failures of his operatives Jessie, James and Meowth. He also appears in the Pokémon Adventures manga. Like in the anime, he organizes Mewtwo's creation. In the FireRed and LeafGreen chapters, he uses Red, Blue, and Green to capture Deoxys and use it to find his son Silver.
In the video game series, the player attempts to foil Team Rocket's criminal activities. The games focus on particular attempts by the organization to monopolize gambling, perform mob take-overs of cities and generally terrorize the inhabitants of Kanto and Johto.
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