What’s so great about child cartoons/animes? Other than the whimsy, the animation, the fun simplicity, the characters that leave an impression in your mind? I believe it’s the formula-following format. And that always includes some sort of villain. In the beloved “Pokemon” anime, our favorite members of Team Rocket (Jessie, James, Meowth, and the rest of their gaggle of Pokemon) fill that rule well. Being goofy, colorful costumes, crazy plans that never work, and literally blowing up in their face. Yet, they never give up. You have to admire that!
The games in this multi-media franchise, which came first, are also aimed to be playable for older kids/tweens (and loyal adults like me, lol!) It also follows a formula with each day even if the hand, characters, Pokemon, and special features differ: you get your first Pokemon, you have a friend/rival, the professor asks you to fill a Pokedex for research, you go on a journey at a way too young age to be alone, mom too eager to kick you out, you’re a natural at capturing critters to become your friends, kicking adults butts who have been battling for years, encountering bad guys, saving the world, and then becoming the best of the best. The familiar pace is comforting.
There it is again! Villans! And each generation/set of games has a team or teams to represent! Yet, not all teams are deliciously evil in the same manner. To continue 2022’s “Pokemon” month, lol, I am going to RANK all the villain teams in the main series games.
*All the images are from Google Image search. Credit goes to their pages with my thanks.
I went in order from my LEAST favorite to my NUMBER #1 FAVORITE!
Prepare for trouble and make it double (or more!) =D It’s time to scheme! 😉
Ranking of “Pokemon’s” Villain Teams, by me!
Team Yell (Pokemon Sword and Shield:)
Okay. I am just going to come out blunt: Team Yell is STUPID! They are the official villain “team” for generation #8. Yet, they are more like annoying cheerleaders for aspiring trainer Marnie. They remind me of rowdy football players with their mesh of clothes and supportive face paint. They try to block you from beating Marnie, rip up their own city when Piers, their idol, leaves and is depressed, and are just annoying. No evil master plan. Just annoying. Have I mentioned that? LOL! They are my least favorite for sure.
Team Flare (Pokemon X and Y:)
While I appreciate style, I never understood Team Flare. I was hoping flare was a cool double meaning for fashion and maybe they owned some rad fire Pokemon. No dice. Their goal was to make the world grand with money and style, trying to steal and sell fossils. Yet, their leader, Lysandre (I DO think he is pretty rad in appearance, sophisticated, but twisted personality, and rapport with the good professor) reveals he does not think our current world can no longer be beautiful, so it needs to be remade. He steals energy from Pokemon at the power plant to power a destructive weapon. The anime for this arch is INCREDIBLE! Intense stakes. Amazing battles. Epic clashes. What a way to end X and Y!
But, Team Flare’s look and motivation just clash too hard with their leader’s poise and true intent. I get he kept them in the dark, but his minions seem out of place, unlike the other teams. Lysandre does not need them! LOL! I WILL admit that one of THE ELITE FOUR TRAINERS, is a PROUD member of Team Flare! And a news reporter. How messed up and too real is that?!
Chairman Rose (Pokemon Sword and Shield:)
Not technically a team other than one very scary, *itch face, and loyal assistant, Chairman Rose is much eviler than official Team Yell. I liked his suave air, compassion for his land, and interest in science. Yet, like many bad guys, his ‘good’ intent went too far off the spectrum, near destroying what he was meant to protect. Obsession can be deadly. And that is basically what happened. I was not shocked he ended up being the real villain (even without the lameness of Team Yell…urg!) He knew once he released the threat that required you to find and awaken the heroes of sword and shield, Chairman Rose knew he messed up INSANELY! I guess he learned the error of his ways. I hope Ultimate Champ Leon sent him to Officer Jenny…if he did not get lost first, lol!
Team Galactic (Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum:)
Okay! I am biased about this! I never got to play generation 4 when they came out. I HAD Pearl, but around the 4-hour mark, there is a cave and in my original game, there was a GLITCH in my game where I got stuck into the wall. LITERALLY STUCK! I restarted it but I got stuck there every time and I could not advance. I DID play Platinum later (which I dug the ending!) Yet, I never had that opening attachment to this generation like all the others.
I did play a Pearl in 2013 and the game as a whole did not impress me. The layout is not spaced well. The characters did not stick well with me and the Elite Four/Champion WAY TOO HARD (I am not the only person who agrees to this. But Cynthia, the first female champion, is a badass in every way!) Sorry; I am ranting!
Team Galactic. Nothing impressed me. Their overly futurist outfits are too gimmicky for me (the bowl cuts drive me batty too.) Their Pokemon were not grand. Cyrus has big dreams as a leader. And he is determined. His goal is to control the beings of time and space to craft a universe where Team Galactic rules. I am all for having big goals and he does have some decent second-in-commands, but I just never got attached to this team, and similar to Team Flare, their attempts and dreams do not flow well. Their future in my ranking is not very bright.
Team Skull (Pokemon Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions:)
Yo, yo, yo. You better not mess with Team Skull! Hahaha! Okay, Team Skull looks ridiculous and acts like hoodlums, but that is the point. Every time I see them, I crack up. I will admit they can dance! 😉 Are they the best? No. Worst? No. Yet, I like them as characters! How the region treats them has irritating, misguided gangster kids is funny too. Yet, I must admit, they DID take over Po Town. Guzma, the leader, is sort of like a tough big brother, taking in those who failed the island challenge, their drive to terrorize making sense. He yearns to be a champion himself, Alola’s first, and I must admit, he is a good opponent. His aspirations are not huge, but it all makes sense and in an odd way, I am rooting for them. All for the dance moves. ^_-
Aether Foundation (Pokemon Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions:)
One word: Lusamine. Freaking Lusamine. What nightmare fuel! The Aether Foundation is supposed to be a safe haven of research for Pokemon. Everything is pristine white. That was my first warning. It was too clean and I do not trust lack of color, lol! You then find out Team Skull was aiding her, the beautiful goddess of the foundation has a concept where she thinks she is helping the planet: she wants the world to only be filled with pretty things. Even her Pokemon are the typically cute ones. Seeing the Pokemon in test tubes when you go after her when she opens the portal to bring the Ultra Beasts (AKA, in my mind, Pokemon aliens, lol) into our world because she finds their other worldness stunning…I still shudder and tear up thinking of it! Then she goes all psycho, literally, and black-haired and intense eyes, unable to control the new creatures…*shakes*
How she treats her children, expecting them to be perfect! Both of them react differently, one rebels, and one has issues socializing. But both run away to save the Pokemon their mother was going to experiment on, not caring about their well-being. The family dynamic is brilliantly written. The Foundation is well-designed and tough, plus, one of her own sees the wrong Lusamine is doing and decides to help you in the end. The pursuit of beauty and perfection is a harsh lesson and is shown amazingly in this story.
Team Magma AND Team Aqua (Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald:)
Expand the land! Cover with the water! The concept of having two different villain teams, depending on the game you purchased, was ingenious! Their costumes are amazing! The leaders are bold. Their plans are over the top, but they lay out each step well. The scenes of them grabbing their respected legendaries are visual and entertaining masterpieces. Then Emerald makes it even better, raining down from the skies of space to discipline our fighting water and fire bending Pocket Monsters is stunning and also oddly funny.
Both teams are cleverly written, have great characters, and make the sake and battles feel fulfilling. Much respect!
Team Plasma (Pokemon Black, White, and Black 2/White 2:)
YES! One, generation #5 does not get enough love! It is not perfect, but a slightly more mature story! These modern knights believe Pokemon should be free, capturing them wrong. I find this question of morals an interesting concept (and the irony that they have their own Pokemon in pokeballs in order to steal everyone else’s.) Team Plasma base its lore on medieval times, with seven elders acting as sages to council N, their prince. Side note: the elders’ robes are full of details and I would SO wear one!
Anywho. The power and backstory of N is out of this world for Pokemon. He was found as a small child by Ghetsis, the evil mastermind behind all this. He and everyone in Team Plasma treated him as a modern ruler because N has the power to hear the thoughts and feelings of Pokemon. His heart ached for them to be captured and not free, something he longed for. N and you have some nice scenes before the climax (the Ferris wheel!) This green-haired guy is a deep thinker, his dialogue making you ponder your choices. He also is an excellent battler, defeating the Unova Champion before YOU even get there, and releasing the legendaries before you and the former champ can stop him! Yet, once he learns Ghetsis wants to hurt the legendaries for his own gain, you two join sides and he works in the shadows of Black/White 2 to make up for the wrongs of the old Team Plasma.
AH! What a story! What battlers! Highly recommend these guys to be your city’s villains.
Team Rocket (Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal:)
I had to go with the OG team! =D The uniforms? Killer! The mob boss feels? Badass! The classic Pokemon? There is nothing like it! Their success rate? Well, Red and Blue are pretty amazing trainers. LOL! But their goal to capture rare Pokemon is simple but effective. Research to create the most powerful life form, Mewtwo, and succeed, even though they can’t control it, is amazingly impressive! I love Mewtwo and his arch in the franchise is a milestone. Giovanni being this elusive gym leader was also a fun twist.
Team Rocket was so iconic and legendary that they were the main villain team in TWO generations! And they keep making guest appearances in other Pokemon games as well. Nothing will beat the original! These guys blast off at the speed of light!
Prepare for battle! Stay geeky!
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice, and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real-life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
For more information about Morgan and her works, check out her website, which also has links to all her social medias: http://morganscomnick.com