|Pairing:||Jessie (Musashi)/James (Kojirō)|
|Alternative name(s):||Rocketshipping, KojiMusa, コジムサ, JAJL|
|Canonical?:||semi (yes in the manga, no in the anime)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Jessie and James are partners in Team Rocket and have a friendship that dates back to their childhood. They work together on wacky schemes to steal Ash Ketchum's Pikachu and impress their boss Giovanni, alongside their talking Meowth. While their appearance is slick and stylish, the two are huge bumblers; Jessie is a vain drama queen while James is a nerd who collects things like bottlecaps.
Their relationship is mostly platonic, but they have some very strong moments of hinting at something more. Shippers' favorite episodes for this are "Shipwrecked", "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak", "A Holy Matrimony", and "Princess vs Princess."
The loosely-based-on-the-anime "Electric Tale of Pikachu" manga has the two married and Jessie pregnant, but their relationship remains ambiguous in the anime.
For a long time, Rocketshipping was the most popular pairing among fans of the Pokemon anime to the point of being juggernaut. A lot of fans felt more invested in them than in the lead characters, so web shrines and fanfiction and fanart ran rampant. The manga at one point gave fans hope for the anime to end the same way, before it became clear the anime wasn't ending anytime soon.
At one point, there were several different categories of Rocketshipping:
These fans shipped the pairing and wanted them to get a happy ending, plain and simple. Their fan works could be sappy and shmaltzy, but still kept Jessie and James more or less in-character. Popular tropes in this faction were Jessie and James quitting Team Rocket and "going good," followed by marriage and starting a family. Whether or not they became friends with "the Twerps" depended on the individual writer's feelings about Ash and company.
This was the extreme end of the spectrum, fans who not only wanted Jessie and James to live happily ever after but insisted they were already canon, citing the manga's ending as evidence and insisting the anime would eventually go the same way. They could get very angry if challenged in their beliefs or at the thought of people shipping Jessie or James with other people (especially James with other male characters). Their characterizations could range from merely OOC to completely abysmal, portraying Jessie as more fragile and James as more heroic than either is in canon. Cori Falls was a prime example of this.
In which the fans shipped them together, but swapped the traditional gender roles. To them, James's constant crossdressing and Jessie's hot temper meant James was the beautiful princess and Jessie the handsome prince. Early in the fandom this was considered "in-character Rocketshipping," but over time some fans began to dislike how all it did in some cases was swap the stereotypical gender roles. Later Queershippers would discuss how neither Jessie or James fit any gender stereotype and how assigning either character to those roles missed the point of what made their dynamic work. [note 1]
Fans who saw Jessie and James as friends with benefits rather than a romantic couple. To them, the relationship was fraught with sexual tension and opportunities for the two to express it while alone in the woods. This side of the fandom was full of lemon fanfiction, and usually relied on some kind of plot device to get Meowth out of the way to avoid potential squick.
- Featured Fics on Team Rocket Palace
- Thunder by Boo2020
- Restless Night by MaplePucks
- Let Me Love You by Kanna-Ophelia
- Waking the Sleeping Princess by Kanna-Ophelia [NSFW]
- Kally's Fanart Central page (Some NSFW)
- untitled by buchichu
- Rain by stagesiren
- Doctor Who crossover by MistressAinley
- waking up in his arms by buchichu and aveerockets
- They must know by MistressAinley
- Drowsing by nyarths3
- “How old are Jessie and James?”, Archived version by musashi, 2020 -- discussing canon evidence for Jesse's and James's age, and the implications of this evidence for their characterization, character history, and fandom behavior
Links & Resources
- Kojirou | James/Musashi | Jessie tag at Archive of Our Own
- [James/Kojirō, Jessie/Musashi] pairing filter at FanFiction.Net
- Shipping:RocketShipping at Bulbapedia
- James was very much a boy in some ways, like having typical "boy hobbies" like collecting cards and bottlecaps, but was willing to dress like a woman for his and Jessie's plans. Jessie had a dominant personality, but had typical "girly" interests like fashion, makeup, and shopping.