Team Rocket’s James has always been a little bit fabulous. He and his female partner in crime Jessie often tend to come up with elaborate disguises, many of which include James dressed up as a woman. While there is nothing wrong with it, as Jessie also dresses as a man most of the time he is crossdressing, there was one occurrence that has gained infamy on the internet. James in a bikini.
The scene comes from the once banned Pocket Monster episode: Holiday at Acapulco. In this episode, Kojiro, James’ Japanese equivalent, enters a swimsuit contest. His beard, Musashi, is there as well, if only for moral support. The fact that Kojiro was in a woman suit wasn’t the main problem. The problem is that when Kasumi (Misty) asks something like “But you’re a boy, aren’t you Kojiro?,” Kojiro ended up over inflating his breasts and said that that didn’t matter with a body like his. Kasumi was horrified, the swimsuit judges loved ‘her,’ but ultimately the main protagonists mom won. That’s right, not the underage girls who were given body issues by a cross dresser, not Kojiro, not Musashi… but the single mother won. When this episode eventually did come to america, all scenes of James prancing around with his air bags was cut out. I guess the North American censors were afraid that children’s first crush would be a man in drag?
Eventually James’ behavior calmed down for the most part, as in the modern anime he does not seem to try and traumatize 14 year old girls on purpose anymore. There was one hilarious moment in the early anime though that is almost as famous, and that is Ashley Ketchum on the left. Ash was unfortunately a victim of ‘put a bow on it’ when they femmed him up. I guess that way he doesn’t look like a short version of Ken Masters from Street Fighter? Seriously… dem eyebrows. Girl needs to pluck.
All joking aside though, Team Rocket probably shouldn’t be allowed around other children.