|This article is about shipping.|
As hints and evidence for ships are mostly speculation, this page may contain personal points of view.
History of RocketShipping
The term "RocketShipping" was the first time the suffix "Shipping" had been applied to any couple outside of the X-Files fandom where it originated. Maria Rocket and other fans on the message board of TRHQ applied the term to Jessie and James. Other names for the pairing were coined later.
The RocketShipping fandom has seen some changes over the years. In the beginning, there was only one kind of RocketShipper—the one who thought that Jessie and James were attracted to each other. Some fans hoped they would eventually become a full-fledged couple. The situation grew more intense when a member of TRHQ came across an untranslated graphic novel in a bookstore.
Upon first glance, it appeared to be simply the last volume of Toshihiro Ono's The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, which was in the process of being released in the United States. However, inside the book was something that changed the face of the fandom. Inside the epilogue were two important scenes: one was James confessing his love to Jessie; the other was a full-page illustration in which Jessie and James were married and Jessie visibly pregnant. Most importantly of all, this was all official and approved by Nintendo.
The RocketShipping fan community went crazy. It finally had officially sanctioned proof that Jessie and James were a romantic couple. Some believed that it was only a matter of time before something similar happened in the TV anime series.
Eventually, the famous manga was translated and released in the United States, and RocketShippers rejoiced now that they could hold the evidence in their own hands. Around the same time, a website named Pokemopolis was getting attention for rebutting the "evidence" found in the manga. Pokemopolis became and has remained the most prominent anti-Rocketshipping site in the Pokémon fandom, as well as the main proponent of the theory that James is gay.
Around the same time, the number and frequency of the Rocketshippy hints on the anime decreased, along with other changes in characterization. As a result, the RocketShipping fan community split into several sects, each with different takes on RocketShipping.
Nowadays, thanks to the episode Noodles! Roamin' Off!, RocketShipping has had a resurgence in popularity, and RocketShippers feel more confident about their ship than ever.
Sects of RocketShipping
These sects were in use to differentiate between various "types" of RocketShipper who each had a different perception of the ship. It should be noted, however, that they have not actively been in use in the fandom since the Advanced Generation series of the anime started airing in America.
This is the general term for anyone who supports the idea of Jessie and James being a couple, whether past, present, or future. It is was also a term for a sect consisting of people who believe that Jessie and James are currently not in love but believed that they eventually would be.
This was a more extreme type of RocketShipper, who believed that Jessie and James are currently attracted to each other. They fervently denied that James is anything but heterosexual.
Self-proclaimed "in-character RocketShipping". Supporters generally believed that James plays the role of a woman and Jessie plays the role of a man, but that they would become a couple nevertheless.
Smaller sect which believed that Jessie and James are currently in a "friends with benefits" type relationship. They didn't necessarily believe that they are in love with each other, but did believe that they have some kind of secret physical relationship going on. They took a more relaxed and joking stance to the Ship.
Supporters denied any sort of romantic relationship between Jessie and James. They liked to see them as best friends, but nothing more. In most cases, they believed that James is undeniably gay, based on the more camp portrayal of James by Eric Stuart and James' crossdressing. Opinions on Jessie's sexuality varied.
The following is a list of points that point to a potential relationship between James and Jessie.
- Jessie blushes and looks at James adoringly when he is doing well in battle against Ash and company.
- After James managed to break into the storeroom, Jessie started to flirt with him and appreciate his skills as she nudged him with her arm.
- Although Jessie seems enthusiastic about James marrying Temacu, her reason for getting them together is so that Team Rocket can steal the Pokémon Temacu's father's keeps for research. She assures the reluctant James that he will only have to stay with Temacu as long as it takes for them to get close enough to the Pokémon. When telling Temacu's father a false story of how Temacu and James came to be together, she adds that the meeting was "perfect, beautiful, like something someone with an overactive imagination would dream up in her unfulfilled fantasies!"
- When James lets go of Meowth's tail and drops into the river, Jessie screams for him.
- Despite having had twelve previous partners and managing to abandon them all without regret, when James is in the hospital and cannot join her for the final task, Jessie almost gives up. She then blushes when James accidentally falls on top of her.
- Jessie looked annoyed when James freaked out at the idea of being married to her.
- When blasting off, James says that no matter how times this happens, he's fine as long as he's with with his Mime Jr. This causes Jessie to turn and look at him, very annoyed.
- After Jessie, James, and Meowth decide to split up, Cassidy convinces James to join her. Jessie sees her drag him away and kicks a fire extinguisher in anger.
- Jessie tries to cheer James up by stealing Buizel for him (and Aipom for herself). When she sees how happy this has made him she smiles and holds his hands.
- Once Jessie learns about James being in danger, she immediately rushes to look for him. She saves him by attacking Metagross with her Seviper and Yanmega, but then, she finds herself in danger as well, as she was nearly killed by Metagross along with James. When James apologized for getting her into this mess, she smiled and said that that's what friends were for.
In the Diamond & Pearl series when James watches Jessie participate in events under an assumed name, he keeps forgetting to call her by her fake name, and instead calls her Jessie before correcting himself. This could be taken as meaning he cares more about watching her participate than the current plan Team Rocket is up to. No one ever noticed James make this slip up. In Dawn of a Royal Day!, James cheered on Jessie using her real name and did not correct himself.
- When it looked like Jessie and James were going to die, James says to Jessie "Someone, who said that beautiful people are destined to have a sad fate, must have meant us." implying that he thinks Jessie is beautiful.
- After Jessie is expelled from the test, James says in a determined voice that he'll do his best for her.
- When Kaiser starts shooting at Team Rocket, James smiles and tells Jessie to trust him, then grabs her by the waist and jumps off the roof to what he believed to be to safety. After they land, their parachute falls on top of them and they scramble to get out of it. During this, Jessie says "Where do you think you're touching?!" implying that James is doing more than simply trying to get out of the parachute.
- After losing to Misty in the Princess Festival Contest, James hold Jessie's hands and tries to cheer her up by giving her a Team Rocket version of the doll set she wanted.
- James dresses himself and their Pokémon as Hina Matsuri dolls to cheer Jessie up after her loss.
- James blushes after Jessie compliments him on having a good memory.
- Jessie is feeling down and James holds her hands and tells her things to cheer her up. They also hug.
- When Team Rocket is hanging on the cliff because of Murkrow's attack, Jessie, James and Meowth are complaining what to do now. As the cliff shakes, James screams "No matter what happens to us, I want you all to know that I love you!" Jessie and Meowth respond with a light nod.
- As Regirock and Registeel use Lock-On attack to aim at Team Rocket, James immediately carries Jessie and tries to escape the dungeons, wanting to rescue her.
- When Jessie left to pursue a career in Contests, James was visibly hurt and wondered how strong their bond really was. He then ran off and cried. Later in the episode after Jessie saved him, James got on his knees and cried because he was happy she came back.
- Up until this episode, James has never liked Jessie using his Pokémon in Contests, mostly due to her mistreatment of Chimecho. He now has no problem with it (most likely due to the fact Jessie has treated all his Pokémon very well since, and she is doing well in Contests) and even told Mime Jr. that's he counting on it and Jessie's third ribbon depends on it.
- When a sick Jessie overexerts herself and begins to faint, James catches her, helps her stand up, and supports her weight as he walks her back to bed, all the while having a comforting smile on his face. When Meowth says Jessie should rest, James agrees, saying with a caring tone of voice that, "That would be best." Later, James disguises himself as Jessalina and enters his first contest in her place. He ends up winning the ribbon for her.
Jessie and James have a tendency to hug or hold onto each other when they are scared (dubbed "fearhugs" by RocketShippers) or happy. Jessie and James also don't have a problem with physical contact such as sleeping on parts of the other's body or holding each other in ways that people who were simply friends normally wouldn't.
- James wants the others to leave him behind, but Jessie tells him they'll go across together. James looks touched and hugs Jessie, begging her to not abandon him. She assures him that she won't.
- When the ghost is dragging James away and he cries that he doesn't want to be separated from her, Jessie pulls out a bazooka and shoots the ghost. When James smiles at her with watery eyes and says her name adoringly, she says, "Don't get the wrong idea!" and attempts to hide the fact that she did it for his sake.
- At the end of the episode, Jessie is upset that James might have left to marry his fiance and inherit his money, but then he appears in their Meowth balloon and picks her up. James goes on to tell her he'd rather have his freedom with Team Rocket rather than money. They then smile and stare into each others eyes. They completely forget to pick up Meowth.
- This episode gave the first evidence of Jessie and James sleeping next to each other.
- In spite of being severely injured, James comes back to join their mission, to Jessie's shock. He assures her that he won't run away this time. She gets touched by his act and wipes away her tears.
- Then, when James wanted to let go of Meowth's tail again, telling Jessie and Meowth to continue the test without him so they can become a good team, and Jessie refused to leave him behind, he let go nevertheless. However, that time, she made in time to grab onto his hand. When he told her to let him go and she refused again, he looked visibly touched.
- When Oscar and Andi assume Jessie and James are a couple, James looks confused and Jessie just ignores it. Since they didn't get upset at it like Ash and May did, it could be interpreted that neither has a problem with the idea. Later in the episode James was teasing Jessie about being ugly in a joking way, and Jessie smiled and covered her ears and pretended not to hear it. Since Jessie is obsessed with her appearance, her lack of getting mad about it and the joking way James did it might be interpreted as flirting. At the end of the episode when Jessie and James made up, they linked arms and smiled at each other.
- Jessie and James were seen asleep on a bed with the covers partly over them. Jessie was sleeping on top of James.
- When a Shiny Metagross was about to kill Jessie and James, James smiled sweetly at Jessie and said that life wasn't a waste because he spent it with good friends. Jessie agreed and said that if there were another world after they die, they'd meet again there. James agreed to that, smiled, and no longer looked afraid.
- One image from their motto shows Jessie and James on a set of scales with a pink heart symbol on it, seemingly at balance despite it swinging slightly.
- At the end of the movie Jessie and James are holding onto each other and talking about how they don't care about wishes anymore and are just happy to be alive. They smile and Jessie says she's fine just doing this.
- After the leukocytes gets Jessie, James uses his Cacnea to try and rescue Jessie. He gets out of the way when it tries to hug him showing how serious he is taking this. After he fails to rescue Jessie they both cry out to each other and she is dragged down. James stands there speechless, visibly heart broken, and then gets engulfed as well.
- Jessie and James are hugging each other throughout most of the movie.
- Meowth says to Jessie and James "You guys act love-love all the time", causing Jessie and James to get upset and blush. A few minutes later they are seen hugging each other.
- Jessie and James are seen holding onto each other after they are freed from the leukocytes.
Non anime evidence
- At the end of the manga, Jessie and James end up married with a child on the way, and in the epilogue there is a panel in which we see a flashback to James confessing his love to Jessie. There is also some suggestive physical contact between the two throughout the manga.
- When Jessie, James and Mondo are about to be attacked by a hoard of Beedrill, they recite the lines of a famous Kabuki scene when two lovers do a double suicide.
- During stage five in The Spa, they are dressed as a bridal couple, with the Bridal March as the theme.
- Jessie and James have both owned Poison-type Pokémon until the Advanced Generation series.
- They both have a similar style of fashion and always coordinate their outfits. They have also donned various disguises pretending to be a couple, most notably as a couple getting married, as Volbeat and Illumise, and wearing outfits similar to the ones Oscar and Andi wore, which may be a reference to the the manga The Rose of Versailles.
- Jessie and James frequently use each other's Pokémon. Their Pokémon have rarely ever had a problem with this, and sometimes are happy about it.
- James' Grass-type Pokémon have occasionally "attacked" Jessie the same way they do James. Since James' Pokémon do it out of affection, some RocketShippers use this, among other things, to show that Jessie and James have a close relationship.
- Both James's mother and fiancée look very similar to Jessie.
- Jessie and James' first fearhug was at the end of the episode Showdown in Pewter City.
- Jessie and James have a ramen shop named after them.
- Jessie and James have had voice actors with prominent roles in the Slayers anime series. Jessie's seiyuu, Megumi Hayashibara, is also seiyuu to the main protagonist and heroine of Slayers, Lina Inverse, while James's most famous English voice actor, Eric Stuart, dubbed the voice for Lina's self-proclaimed guardian and constant traveling companion, Gourry Gabriev. Incidentally, the two characters fell in love with each other over time.
- Due to a mistranslation before release of Celebi: Voice of the Forest, it was mistakenly thought for a time that the Iron-Masked Marauder was the future son of Jessie and James.
- A White Tomorrow The fanlisting for the relationship between Jessie and James (Musashi and Kojiro)
- The Rocketshipper Photo Album
- Rocketshippy Fanart Club on Deviantart
- Rocketshipper forum
- Rocketshipping anthology A fan art and fiction project by fans
- FYRocketshipping A dedicated tumblr
|This article is part of Project Shipping, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each couple in Pokémon.|