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Denounce the Evils is a Pokémon anime fanfic based around Team Rocket reforming.

A few years in the future, Team Rocket has suddenly disbanded. Giovanni has been arrested and the entire organization is in shambles. Jessie, James, and Meowth don't know what to do now that their lives have come crashing down. However, a chance encounter with their past enemy, Ash, sets them on the path to redemption.

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The fic began on FanFiction.Net but it was moved to Archive of Our Own after issues with users on that site. The complete version can be read here.


Denounce the Evils provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: James' parents care more about appearances than their own son's well-being.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Miyamoto was never given an official Dub Name Change, so the story renames her "Jane Miyamoto".
  • Almost Kiss: Jessie and James have an early one in chapter six.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Jessie's mindset comes off as disorderly, with the author's notes saying that she has a personality disorder. She has a poor self-esteem, abandonment issues, and attaches to people intensely but prefers to mask it all behind her attitude and Hair-Trigger Temper. Though never said out loud in the text, Word of God states that Jessie's intentionally and autobiographically written with Borderline Personality Disorder.
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    • Similarly, James is written to be autistic, but again this is never outright stated in the text.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: James, no doubt from all the various abuse he's taken over the years. This is referenced more than once.
    Jessie: You’re practically immune to poison at this point. If the situation turns hostile and one of us has to take a stinger to the face, I’d say you’re the best candidate.
    James: You are standing... next to a Wobbuffet.
  • The Atoner: The entire basis of the story and its main characters.
  • Berserker Tears: Jessie exemplifies this after learning her mother passed through the diner she's working at, and had some seemingly hypocritical things to say about motherhood.
  • Book-Ends: The story begins with Team Rocket learning of their organization's fate as they're eating out in a small diner. By the end of it, they're working in a diner of their own, oftentimes spending their days chatting with the very person who jumpstarted their adventure in that first chapter.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
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    • Jessie's Hilariously Abusive Childhood full of misfortune actually has done a handle on her psyche. She just hides behind an emotional wall.
    • During Kanto, Pikachu had an unusually spiky attitude for his species. This is because he was abandoned by his colony and later had an abusive trainer that made him fear Poké Balls.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jessie receives a fire stone in chapter four. Twelve chapters later, it's used in the climax of the chapter for James to evolve his Growlithe.
  • Cooldown Hug: The boys implement this when Jessie's having her breakdown in Miyamoto's focus chapter.
  • Covered with Scars: James, of the Broken Bird variety.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Jessie was abandoned by her mother and raised in foster care. Her Hilariously Abusive Childhood from the anime is not depicted as so "hilarious" anymore.
    • James has Abusive Parents and his fiancee Jessiebelle was emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive.
    • Pikachu was abandoned by his colony. He was then captured by an abusive trainer before being rescued by Professor Oak.
    • Delia has some abandonment issues due to being a Struggling Single Mother abandoned by both her fiance and father.
  • Dark Fic: Downplayed. The story predominantly reads as an adult-aimed version of the anime, but it does have its dark elements (especially concerning character's backstories).
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Explorers of Their Own Backyard" features Pikachu and Meowth almost exclusively, and is the only chapter Jessie and James have no part in whatsoever.
  • Determinator: "I am a Miyamoto, and a Miyamoto never gives up!"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jessebelle's response to any and all manner of disrespect is to render James paralytic.
  • Domestic Abuse: James was forced into an abusive Arranged Marriage as a child. They never actually got married because James ran away, but his fiancee Jessiebelle still left her mark.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Even though the Rockets are portrayed as sympathetic in the original canon, the fic doesn't shy away from the fact that they've done some pretty terrible things they need to work through the consequences of. They grapple with morality, meet some people who aren't particularly eager to forgive, and have a ton of trauma and pain they're forced to confront whether they're ready to do so or not. In the end, the three of them all make enough peace with their demons to look to the future with hope, they find themselves with a roof over their heads, Jessie and James fall in love and presumably marry soon after, and they don't have to worry about the law coming for them thanks to Looker's intervention.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Pokemon world is a pretty kind one. Most of the people the Rockets encounter are willing to give them a chance.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In his confrontation with Jessebelle, James is able to power through the paralysis she's inflicted on him and regain enough of his control to evolve Growlie. Turns out he's taken enough abuse by toxin to develop a tolerance.
  • Everyone Can See It: Bonnie's crush on Heidi is obvious to everyone but Bonnie and Heidi.
  • Fake First Kiss: Jessie and James force themselves into one during their training era, entirely for the purpose of figuring out if the weird unresolved tension between them is romantic in nature.
    Jessie: Probably not.
    James: Definitely not.
  • Flanderization: Alluded to. Team Rocket's decreased level of seriousness is blamed on them falling into a routine of trying to capture Pikachu.
  • Family Theme Naming: Jessie is named after Jesse-James and her mother is named after Calamity Jane.
  • Foreshadowing: A good amount.
    • Chapter one ends in Ash and Delia having a vague conversation about the events that jumpstart the series. Quite a while later, it turns out the two of them were discussing ways to bust Team Rocket's remaining Pokemon out of Rocket HQ.
    • Meowth talks to Gardenia about how James used to experience episodes of dissociation around grass-types, and James at one point (in a flashback) fears that Jessie might have gifted him one as he muses upon his recent aversion to them. This is all stuff he's presumably moved past, preferring grass-types as an act of reclamation—that is until a baby Oddish ends up imprinting on him, and his PTSD comes back in full force.
    • A brief moment of respite in Christopher's ramen shop, and the feeling of home and belonging it invokes, is meant to foreshadow the Rockets eventually ending up working in Delia's diner in Pallet.
    • "It had become theirs in the short time they’d known it, a thing the two of them so badly wanted to cultivate and grow together, no matter what kind of flower bloomed from its bud." about the egg, which eventually hatches and evolves into a Vileplume.
    • James's Acquired Poison Immunity is mentioned casually in chapter twelve, and ends up saving his life in chapter 16.
    • Misty has a pretty on the nose line in her chapter:
    Misty: Ha! Delia Ketchum? She’ll wave you off and invite you inside for dinner.
    • As well as Jessie, moments before James does exactly as she says:
    Jessie: If it were up to me I’d just set the damn place on fire and never look back!
  • Forgiveness: A major theme, as per redemption arc rules.
  • Freudian Slip:
    Jessie: Lickitung probably still spent years wondering where I had gone and why I had abandoned it. I mean, who am I, my mo—?
  • Gadgeteer Genius: James was supposedly known as one back in Team Rocket, earning him the nickname 'Superstructure Sasaki.'
  • Gender-Blender Name: Harley's name is the same no matter her gender presentation.
  • Girl of the Week: Harley, for both Jessie and James.
  • Hates Being Alone:
    • Jessie was (seemingly) abandoned by her mother and doesn't know who her father is, Throughout her life, almost everyone she's loved has left her. As a result, she has a hard time letting herself get too close to others.
    • Delia has abandonment issues because her father ran off when she was a child and her fiance abandoned her later in life.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The fanfic starts with Team Rocket turning over a new leaf.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Despite being a redemption story, most of the conflict comes not from old enemies refusing to forgive the Rockets, but from the various traumas they've endured in their respective pasts. All of their arcs revolve around making peace with their own demons.
  • Homophobic Hate Crime:
    • Downplayed. At the Pokémon Technical Institute, James used to be bullied, with some of it being homophobic in nature.
    • Downplayed. After coming out as trans, Harley learns that the Contest circuit isn't all accepting. She received a transphobic backlash.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Done by Jessie in one of the final chapters.
  • Meaningful Name: Miyamoto's first name is Jane, and her codename within Team Rocket is 'Calamity.' Beyond being an homage to the old west naming convention present in Rocket pairs, the real life Calamity Jane had a daughter named Jesse.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Jessie's full name is "Jessica Rosalyn Miyamoto". In canon, it's only known that her first name is "Jessica".
    • James is given the last name 'Sasaki' to match.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: The Team Rocket trio doesn't curse in front of children.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jessie's father is unknown and her mother abandoned her as a young child.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Jessie and James have an intense, physically affectionate yet platonic relationship. They often get Mistaken for Romance. This is later subverted when they undergo a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Puppy Love: Bonnie didn't even realize that she was in love with her friend Heidi.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: A good amount of the kids are wary of the Rockets, but no one is harder to convince than Pikachu.
  • Scar Survey: Jessie to James, in chapter fifteen.
  • Shadow Archetype: While Jessie and James try to make amends and turn over a new leaf, Cassidy and Butch are still as power-hungry as ever. Jessie realizes that she doesn't envy Cassidy anymore—she pities her.
  • Spit Take: Discussed. Jay mentions he would have done one, if he only had been drinking something, after Kye accidentally calls Bonnie "the straightest" instead of "the greatest".
  • Transgender:
    • Harley has come out as a trans woman since she's last seen Team Rocket.
    • It's implied that James is genderfluid.
    • Ash is revealed to be a trans boy late in the story.
    • Misty is also heavily implied to be a trans girl.
  • Trauma Button: James has a shaky relationship with the Oddish line, made even more complex when he accidentally ends up raising one.

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