In almost every episode of the Pokemon anime, Team Rocket members Jessie, James, and their Meowth ("To protect the world from devastation...") try to steal Pokemon from our heroes, typically Ash's Pikachu and sometimes other Pokemon that happen to be being featured in that episode, though there is quite a bit of fixation on Pikachu specifically. For example, in The Joy of Water Pokemon, Jesse exlaims "Who cares about Chansey, let's get that Pikachu!", to which James responds, "Roger".
Why do Jesse and James and company care so much about Ash's Pikachu?
- Do they consider Ash's Pikachu an especially perfect example of a Pokemon?
- Is Pikachu an especially rare species of Pokemon, such that any example of one is very valuable?
- Is there a bounty on his head?
- Is it intended as revenge against Ash?
- Is it simply coincidental, as the show tends to omit Team Rocket's heist attempts except the ones where Ash's Pikachu is in danger?