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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #181: Jessie

OK, OK, I surrender...

I've never been a fan of anime. It's just not my cup of sencha. And while I dipped a very brief toe in the card and video games, Pokemon was never a passion of mine as it was for my brother Al, his son Albert, or my own eldest. But I've watched the cartoon, and while it reflects the animation style and hyper-exaggerated kinetic characters I don't really enjoy, there's certainly some amusement to be found there. My favorite part has always been Team Rocket, the recurring bad guys in the story. I almost chose to profile purple-haired, cross-dressing James with his ambiguous sexuality. But how can you pass up a statuesque redhead in black thigh-highs?

Jessie is a force of nature, the animating rage and ambition behind Team Rocket. She bullies her teammates into their ludicrous schemes to capture Ash's unique Pikachu, hoping to prove to shadowy higher-ups that she's ready for advancement. She's vain, condescending, and vicious, a screeching harridan trapped in a the body of a former model (though apparently also a former biker chick). Maybe I like strong women. Maybe it's the costume. But Jessie is the one who helps me sit through watching the shows with my kids. I look forward to seeing her the next time Team Rocket blasts off again.

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