James is a member of Team Rocket, an evil team which tries to capture rare Pokémon. His trio has a keen eye set on Ash's Pikachu. James has shoulder length periwinkle hair with a small single fringe at the center of his head and green eyes and he is usually seen in a Team Rocket uniform, which consists of a white long sleeve shirt with a large red R on it and a black short sleeve undershirt, with white pants and black boots and a matching gloves.In the episode, Holy Matrinomy!, James is dressed in a dark blue formal suit jacket with a white long sleeve button shirt with a black tie at the center, dark blue formal pants and black shoes. He later wears a cowboy hat along with a brown long poncho cloak to conceal his outfit while trying to say goodbye to his beloved Growlie.As a child, he retains in his adult appearance and he wears a blue suit like his adult self and he wears black shorts instead of pants and has a light green tie with a red jewel in the center, white socks and black shoes.

At the start of Johto League Champions opening and onwards, the color of his hair changed from periwinkle to lavender.When he competes in a PokéRinger in That's Just Swellow, James wears a pale yellow air military jumpsuit with a brown sailor fuku and the black round shape with a "R" symbol in each sides of his shoulders, underneath is an off-white long sleeve button shirt, brown gloves and black military shoes. This outfit is concealed from his Team Rocket uniform before he removes it to reveal the outfit. When they briefly had a day off, James wears two swimsuits in every season. In his debut appearance and onwards, James is initially seen as a calm and serious person with an elegance when he does a motto with Jessie and Meowth in their group introduction as Team Rocket. He is also well reversed in various activities such as Pokémon Haiku, Pokemon Orienteering and a PokéRinger it is possible that he learned these skills either he was enrolled as a child or being separated with Jessie. In Holy Matrimony!, James shows his very sensitive side and intense fear if it comes to his wealthy family particularly due to his heavily enforced, sheltered upbringing and the constant harassment he had endured from Jessebelle as a child. Especially, his parents when he finally grows up as an adult and he was against their wishes to get him married as he sensitively states that they are trying to make him be manipulated and he calls his parents are lousy due to unable to stop Jessebelle's upbringing.

He actually hates the society of upper class who have rules of absolutely everything and his life will get worse if he marries his arranged fiancee, Jessebelle. But in The Treasure is All Mine!, it also shows that he cares for his parents as a child before rebelling them as an adult. He also cares for his grandparents, Nanny and Pop-Pop as seen in Sweet Baby James!. In the anime, he is a common member of Team Rocket and in many ways, is the anime representation of the Male Agent. During his adventures in trying to capture Pikachu, James is part of a unit made up of himself, Jessie, and Meowth. He is close friends with the two of them, and is known to make personal sacrifices in order to keep them safe, as seen when he sacrificed his bottle cap collection to help Meowth in the episode Meowth Rules!. Although born into a rich family with loving parents, he runs away from home to avoid Jessebelle to whom he was supposed to marry later on. With a very caring and thoughtful personality, James can sometimes have a hard time dealing with the "rotten things" he and his team mates do from various times to get what they want, but in the end he fulfill his obligations with less-admirable results. He also gives out information on Pokémon whenever Meowth cannot do it himself via Index cards.

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