Ever since the release of Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee last November, I began to realize the popularity and impact Eevee has had on the Pokémon community. To have it’s very own game title alongside the 20 year-old mascot, Pikachu, is nothing short of impressive. However, as I began to think more about it, I realized Eevee has always maintained a sense of admiration and praise in the hearts of players (including myself), even all the way back in 1996 with the release of Pokémon: Red and Blue. But why is that though? How come this adorable little fluff of cuteness is beloved by almost all with no sort of argument or backlash? Personally, I believe that there are 3 main factors that highlight Eevee’s status as an icon for millions.
A Sense of Realism:
In a world where the magical, mythical, and all-around unique exist, Eevee holds a special distinction in that it’s design is actually quite realistic to an actual animal. While many Pokémon take elements from mythology or fantasy, from a sentient 5000 year old bell to an otter samurai, Eevee closely resembles elements from that of a cat or dog. In a sense, I think that’s what is so fascinating about Eevee. While players often take pleasure in witnessing the mythical and building stories based off of them, Eevee’s more “lifelike” persona allows players to relate more closely to it. When we catch an Eevee, we don’t just see another Pokémon; instead we see this cute, little furry creature who needs love and hugs and will in return, stay loyal to the very end. Whether in battles, contests, what have you, Eevee will be by your side through thick and thin because it loves you and will do anything to protect you and make you happy, almost like your real-life companions would.
A Universal Appeal:
Building off my previous point, many people (no matter what gender or identity you are) adore either cats or dogs (while quite a few admire both). Eevee’s more animal-like design allows players to admire it either way because many people find animals, like cats or dogs, pleasuring for one reason or another. Although many Pokémon can be either male or female, I think Eevee’s one of very few Pokémon that could be considered “gender neutral,” in that it’s appearance automatically invites people into adoration without fear of conflicting with their personality or identity. Whether intentional or not, Eevee is a breakthrough for Pokémon and for Nintendo in general as almost anyone can pick up one of these fluff-balls and say, “I love it!”
A Multitude of Identities:
Of course, probably the most known and interesting aspect of Eevee is its potential in evolutions. Currently, Eevee is the Pokémon with most evolutions by far, with a grand total of 8. Why is this important? I think this aspect is perhaps the most crucial for Eevee’s success because it allows for the players to match their personalities and play styles with the evolution of Eevee that suits them best. With each evolution holding a specific type, some evolutions are offensive, some are defensive, and some are speedy. No matter who you are, there’s almost a guarantee, you’ll fall in love with one of these adorable creatures. In addition, while I am clearly not a psychologist by any means, I believe Eevee and its evolutions resemble how we all grow as human beings. While we all once start off as small, curious beings with loads of potential for the future, like Eevee, the experiences we encounter later in life help shape who we become and help us grow into the identities we gain as teenagers and young adults. It’s a reflection for how we all grow and change in life, and maybe that’s why we adore the “Eevee-lutions” so much. They remind us of who we are and who we can become later on. Even as players beginning our Pokémon journey, we start off as clueless people starting an adventure unsure of what’s to come, but later on we can look back and marvel at how far we’ve come and how we’ve grown as Pokémon trainers with our team of Pokémon by our side. In my opinion, Eevee is not just a Pokémon, Eevee is a metaphor for the human life.
Eevee has become and always will be a universal symbol for many fans of Pokémon. Perhaps it’s hard to see how or why people can relate to a fictional character, but it’s not just the character itself, it’s what we perceive it as and how we can tell new stories with it to brighten its existence and meaning. Eevee’s not just another Pokémon. For 20 years now, we have played, lived, and created many different tales with this adorable creature and here’s hoping for more to come in the future.
As a bonus, here are my personal top 3 favorite Eevee-lutions:
1.) Espeon - This psychic Pokémon best resembles my offensive play-style with excellent Special Attack and Speed to boot.
2.) Leafeon - An underrated Pokémon in my opinion. I always admire grass types for their more nature-based designs, and Leafeon looks like that Pokémon that greets you through a field of flowers. (Plus, this one learns Swords Dance and Leaf Blade... )
3.) Sylveon - The best Eevee-lution design-wise in my book. It looks like it just wants to give you a big hug while killing off a dragon or two (now that’s style AND grace).