Lady Leads & Sidekick Lads: Flipping the script in Team Rocket’s “Training Daze”

The lovely, charming origin story.

The Team Rocket trio stand together, wearing red training uniforms. Jessie clenches a fist and looks at James, who looks back at her with a determined smile. Meowth stands between them, grinning wide.

The Team Rocket trio have never been your typical villains. With a tenacity only matched by their incompetence, an enduring love for one another, a closet full of exquisite crossplay, and enough puns to sink the St. Anne, they’re about as charming as “bad guys” can get.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that their special backstory episode defies as many conventions as they do, taking the classic team origin story and turning familiar gendered archetypes cleverly on their heads.

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3 thoughts on “Lady Leads & Sidekick Lads: Flipping the script in Team Rocket’s “Training Daze”

  1. Jessie is tough. James and Meowth have heart. OK. Then why do they always get they end up being blasted off again in one of the most loved and copied defeat sequences in anime? Don’t they have anyone else besides Ash and Pikachu to chase after?


    • Because they’re also broke disasters with a slew of character flaws, which the show regularly punishes them for. This article isn’t about that. It’s about their admirable qualities (which the series regularly rewards them for) and how “Training Daze” plays with genre norms.

      If you want my full treatise on these three, that’s another several thousand words and a much higher commission fee. ^^;


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