jessie & james of pokemon jessie & james of pokemon
counterbalance

Character Study: Jessie

Basic Features

  • Aggressive/dominant
  • Realist
  • Easily frustrated/angered
  • Always has a plan
  • Confident yet somehow incompetent
  • Stubborn and ambitious
  • Vain
  • Greedy/selfish
  • Always trying to solve her problems herself

Pokémon On Hand (Kanto/Orange Islands)


EkansArbok


Lickitung

In-Depth

Jessie is a fiery combination of opposites; at once, she is a cool planning head steeped in melodrama. But given her past as an impoverished orphan, resolved never to experience that kind of life again, it's understandable. And her fight to improve herself is nearly admirable--except that somehow, she always sabotages herself with her overconfidence. Her prideful nature will not let her admit her mistakes; at times, all she has is the appearance of having it all together. Jessie's all about appearances, smoke and mirrors, disguises...they help her hide. Her vicious words and temperament guard her and keep anyone from getting too close.

During the Kanto and Orange Islands seasons, Jessie favors Ekans and Arbok, who are just as venomous as she is; her solitary focus is getting back in Giovanni's good graces (which means bringing him the rarest, most amazing Pikachu she and James have ever come across). But there again, her particular quirks lead to self-sabotage again and again; she's unsuccessful even at catching Pokémon to help her defeat and capture Pikachu. (The other Pokemon she actually catches during Kanto/Orange League, Lickitung, is caught by accident rather than design.) She is a laughably tragic would-be villain, trying so hard to be "bad," to be a successful criminal, and failing miserably.

Jessie is a relatable character because she knows she's a failure and can't stand it--it drives her crazy knowing that she's working very hard only to spin her wheels. She deals with failure by just trying different tactics every time, but the more frustrated/desperate she gets, the worse the outcome for her and her team. She is so afraid of ending up exactly where she started that she cannot see how much further down she has sunk.

Could She Ever Be a True Hero?

Jessie seems to have completely given up on the heroic life--it doesn't pay well enough for her. But what if it did pay off to be good? I believe her single-minded motivation could be a virtue, as well as her knack for leadership and decisions. (In fact, we do see that she's drawn to the successful legitimate business model in "The Fourth Round Rumble!") She would just have to tone down her arrogance into confidence, and just try for having "enough" rather than "everything." Then, perhaps, she could experience honest success.

Character Songs

I selected "I Can't Break Away" by Big Pig, "Run This Town" by Jay-Z featuring Rihanna and Kanye West, and "Before I Forget" by Slipknot to represent Jessie as a character. "I Can't Break Away" perfectly describes Jessie's despair over her frustrated ambitions, while "Run This Town" describes her fight up out of poverty and her drive to improve her standing. Lastly, "Before I Forget" depicts how twisted and convoluted her pride in herself has become--and how desperate she actually is to make something of herself.

"I Can't Break Away" | "Run This Town" | "Before I Forget"


I Can't Break Away - Big Pig (lyrics)

All my life I wanted to fly
Like the birds that you see way up in the sky
Making circles in the morning sun
Flying high in the sky 'til the day is done
I canít break away

Like a child in his fantasy
Punching holes in the walls of reality
All my life I wanted to fly
But I donít have the wings, and I wonder why
I can't break away
I can't break away

Whoa, well Mama told me when I was young
Stand tall, girl, you're number one
She said, you can be what you wanna be
But you can't change the course of your destiny
I canít break away
No, no, no, no, no, I canít break away

Yeah, I said, I said, woo hoo
One is one and two is two
You want me and I have you
Black is black and white is white
Just come out in the middle 'tween day and night
I can't break away
No, no, no, no, no, I canít break away
Well, yeah, yeah, yeah-hey-hey!

Well, Mama told me when I was young
Stand tall, girl, you're number one
She said, you can be what you wanna be
But you canít change the course of your destiny
I can't break away
No, no, no, no, no, I can't break away
Well, I can't, I canít, I canít break away
No, no, no, no, no, I can't break away
Woo ooh hoo hoo hoo, I can't break away!


Run This Town - Jay-Z feat. Rihanna and Kanye West (lyrics)

[Rihanna] Feel it comin' in the air (Yeah)
And the screams from everywhere (Yeah)
I'm addicted to the thrill (I'm ready)
It's a dangerous love affair (What's up, c'mon)
Can't be scared when it goes down
Got a problem, tell me now (What's up)
Only thing that's on my mind (Whats up)
Is who's gonna run this town tonight (What's up)
Is who's gonna run this town tonight (What's up)
We gonna run this town

[Jay-Z] We are, yeah I said it, we are,
This is Roc Nation, pledge your allegiance
Get y'all black tees on, all black everything
Black cards, black cars, all black everything
And our girls are blackbirds, ridin' with they Dillingers
I'd get more in depth, if you boys really real enough
This is la familia, I'll explain later
But for now let me get back to this paper, I'm a couple bands down
And I'm tryin' to get back
I gave the other grip, I lost a flip for five stacks
Yeah I'm talkin' five comma's, six zeros, dot zeroes here it go,
Back to runnin' circles 'round n-ggas, now we squared up, hold up

[Rihanna, Chorus:] Life's a game but it's not fair
I break the rules so I don't care
So I keep doin' my own thing
Walkin' tall against the rain (What's up)
Victory's within the mile,
Almost there, don't give up now (What's up)
Only thing that's on my mind
Is who's gon' run this town tonight (What's up)
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, heyy
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, heyy, (What's up)
Who's gon' run this town tonight?

[Jay-Z] We are, yeah I said it we are,
You can call me Caesar, in a dark C-zar
Please follow the leader, So Eric B. we are
Microphone fiend, it's the return of the God, peace God
(Ah! Ah!) And ain't nobody fresher, I'm in Mason
Martin Margiela,
On the tape we're screamin' f--k the other side, they jealous
We got a banquet for the broads, they got a table for of fellas
And they ain't spending no cake
They should throw they hand in,
'Cause they ain't got no spades
My whole team got dough
So my banquette is looking like millionaires' row

[Chorus]

[Kanye] It's crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow
To everybody on your d---, no homo
I bought my whole family whips, no Volvo's
Next time I'm in church, please no photos
Police escorts, everybody passports
This the life that everybody ask for
This a fast life, we are on a crash course
What you think I rap for, to push a f---ing Rav-4?
But I know that if I stay stunting
All these girls only gonna want one thing
I could spend my whole life good will hunting
Only good gon' come is as good when I'm coming
She got a a-- that'll swallow up a g-string
And up top, uh, two bee stings
And I'm beasting, off the Riesling
And my n---- just made it out the precinct
We give a d--- about the drama that you do bring
I'm just trying to change the color on your mood ring
Reebok, baby, you need to drop some new things
Have you ever had shoes without shoe strings?
What's that 'Ye? Baby, these heels
Is that a may? What?
Baby, these wheels
You trippin' when you ain't sippin', have a refill
You feelin' like you runnin', huh? Now you know how we feel...(What's up)

[Rihanna] Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey hey, (What's up)
Hey, hey, hey hey, hey, hey,
Hey hey, hey, hey,
Hey, hey, hey hey, hey, hey,
We gonna run this town tonight!


Before I Forget - Slipknot (lyrics)

Stapled shut, inside an outside world and I'm
Sealed in tight, bizarre but right at home
Claustrophobic, closing in and I'm
Catastrophic, not again
I'm smeared across the page, and doused in gasoline
I wear you like a stain, yet I'm the one who's obscene
Catch me up on all your sordid little insurrections,
I've got no time to lose, and I'm just caught up in all the cattle

Fray the strings
Throw the shapes
Hold your breath
And listen!

[Chorus] I am a worm before I am a man
I was a creature before I could stand
I will remember before I forget
Before I forget that!

I'm ripped across the ditch, and settled in the dirt and I'm
I wear you like a stitch, yet I'm the one who's hurt
Pay attention to your twisted little indiscretions
I've got no right to win, I'm just caught up in all the battles

Locked in clutch
Pushed in place
Hold your breath
And listen!

[Chorus x2]

My end
It justifies my means
All I ever do is delay
My every attempt to evade
The end of the road and my end
It justifies my means
All I ever do is delay
My every attempt to evade
The end of the road!

[Chorus x3]