Z-nogyroP asks:

what do you make of the move trump card? for a lot of weird, obscure attacks there’s at least something you can make of what gets them (quash is on a lot of “royal” pokemon, bestow is on pokemon that help others, etc) but i can’t for the life of me make out what trump card is supposed to say about the pokemon that learn it.

So… Trump Card is a Normal-type special attack that powers up as its PP is reduced, starting from a base power of 40 and climbing to an enormous 200 – though you only get one shot, and need to use a seriously sub-par attack at least four times to get there (it has a similar effect in Mystery Dungeon).  Its attack animation shows a flurry of literal playing cards.  In single-player you could exhaust all but the last PP of Trump Card on wild Pokémon before going into an important fight like a gym battle or something, but against a human opponent I can’t ever really see this move working.  Continue reading “Z-nogyroP asks:”

Katiecat asks:

I was reading your eeveelutions reviews. You mention the whole “adaptations” thing isn’t really done that well, since most of them don’t really match their environments all that well.
Theoretically, how would you design an octet of eeveelutions to go with different environments from scratch? I have my own but I wanna hear what you’d do first.
The other thing you mention is that they go for many different aesthetics, such as cute (flareon/sylveon), cool (jolteon), beautiful (vaporeon/glaceon), and mysterious, but kind of leave off a brutish aesthetic. I would also add they leave off the under-appreciated weird aesthetic- the dunsparces and exeggcutes of the world that end up in “top 20 worst pokemon” lists but a small number of us keep close to our hearts.

What catastrophically awful person puts Dunsparce on a Top 20 Worst Anything list?

So, some of the eeveelutions I actually am totally fine with; I’d just associate them with different environments to their canonical ones. For instance, although the core games don’t say much about Flareon’s habitat, spinoffs tend to put her in volcanic or lava areas with all the other Fire Pokémon, but if we’re thinking of eeveelutions in terms of being adaptations of Eevee to a specific type of environment, well, Flareon kinda looks to me like a cold-adapted form. Thick fluffy fur is useful in a cold place, and fire powers are useful if most of the other local Pokémon are Ice-types. Alternatively, and this is what I said when I discussed Flareon for my eeveelutions series years ago, I could buy that Flareon belongs in a temperate grassland habitat, using her fire abilities to scorch areas of dry vegetation and drive out prey. Whether Pokémon in general are actually suited to the kinds of biomes the games tend to put them in… is kind of a big and complicated question and not worth getting into at the moment, but I think if you’re going to do it, Eevee is the place to start, because her lore draws attention to the concept of adaptation and (arguably) to the problems with the way Pokémon portrays adaptation.

Which is my long-winded way of saying “this is too damn complicated to get right with a short post that I wrote in like an hour,” but fµ¢& it, let’s give it a whirl Continue reading “Katiecat asks:”

VikingBoyBilly asks:

If you were tasked to think of one idea to make Eevee completely overpowered and broken without evolving, what would you come up with?

…well, without thinking too hard about why we’re doing this, I’d probably give her an ability that sort of combines Conversion 2 with Protean – Eevee, the ultimate adapter, automatically shifts her type to gain resistance or (if possible) immunity to all incoming attacks.  That’s immunity to 8/18 types and resistance to everything else.  Slap an Eviolite on that and it’ll survive damn near anything, up to and including Primal Kyogre’s Origin Pulse.  Of course, I don’t exactly know what you’d do with Eevee at that point other than maybe Baton Pass some Curses, but you said “one idea” so that’ll have to do.

vikingboybilly asks:

I’m starting to think Eevee might be based on the common ancestor of dogs, cats, weasels, foxes, otters, etc. Sound cool? Maybe the bunny ears symbolizes it’s evolutionary leap from herbivore into a predator.

Well, the basal Carnivora probably looked something like this – much more distinctly cat-like than Eevee and probably tree-dwelling – so I think it’s highly unlikely Game Freak specifically had something like that in mind.  I think conceptually they may have had ideas like common ancestors and adaptive radiation in mind – they did call her “the Evolution Pokémon,” after all.  But we already knew that.

Final Thoughts: Eevee

Official art of Eevee, by Ken Sugimori; image copyright by Nintendo, yaaay.All these entries on Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon, Leafeon, Glaceon… what about little Eevee?  Doesn’t she deserve some love too?  When you think about it, Eevee is actually the most important of the lot.  Without her, all the rest are just generic Pokémon of their own types, for the most part; many of them are well-designed, but they’re not really all that interesting on their own.  To no small extent, the thing that makes them worth thinking about is their common origin – a tiny Normal Pokémon with limitless potential.

Eevee is called “the Evolution Pokémon” – indeed, the word ‘evolution’ is the origin of her name, in both English and Japanese (where she is Eievui).  She pioneered the idea of a branched evolution, a concept that was originally unique to her, with her split into Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon in Red and Blue.  When other branching evolutions were introduced in Gold and Silver, Eevee continued to have more branches than anyone else with the addition of Espeon and Umbreon, and today she has a grand total of seven possible final forms.  Eevee wasn’t just the first Pokémon to have multiple evolved forms, though – I think she actually got the whole idea spectacularly right, to an extent that subsequent Pokémon haven’t.  Split evolutions typically develop different ideas of a single design, and gain their real significance when you view them together, as pairs of Pokémon, but few of them go in radically different directions the way Eevee does, and the differences between their powers and abilities are often minor.  Slowbro and Slowking are probably the worst offenders – Slowbro has better physical defence, Slowking has better special defence and access to a few extra moves, and the opposition in their flavour is basically that Slowking is smart and Slowbro is dumb, because Slowking is high on Shellder venom 24/7 or something.  Bellossom and Vileplume are another pair where the differences are very subtle; Bellossom isn’t a Poison-type, but they have basically the same combat roles, and although thematically they represent an interesting day-night duality, it’s not something that comes through a great deal in their designs (largely because Vileplume was created first and Bellossom added later).  What all of these splits have in common is that, for the younger Pokémon who has the potential to go either way, it’s not a significant design element.  Poliwhirl doesn’t care that he could evolve into either Politoed or Poliwrath.  It doesn’t matter to Clamperl that she could become either a Huntail or a Gorebyss.  It’s just incidental that these Pokémon happen to have a choice.  For Eevee, it’s very different.  For Eevee, the choice is the whole point.

 Another piece by the inimitable Diaris (http://diaris.deviantart.com/), this time of Eevee rolling around in an orchard.

I believe that this is the key to Eevee’s consistent popularity throughout the franchise’s life: she offers something for everyone.  Her multitude of evolved forms represent not just many elements but many ways of appealing to players; whether you like cute Pokémon or tough Pokémon, beautiful Pokémon or mysterious Pokémon, Eevee can make it happen (just about the only aesthetic type missing is a brutish Pokémon).  This is a huge potential strength for the idea of branched evolutions, which most of them don’t fully exploit, and I think future designs could do some wonderful things by building on this model.  One of my pet ideas, which some of you might remember from my wrap-up entry on the starter Pokémon earlier this year, is to have a game with only one choice of starter Pokémon, but to give that Pokémon a branching evolution dependent the way your relationship with it develops.  Storyline-dependent split evolutions would, I think, be a very fun concept to work with and could produce a lot of cool ideas with interesting impacts on the way the games feel… but let’s get back to Eevee.  The point I’m making about the versatility of Eevee’s aesthetic appeal is also at the heart of one of my problems with Leafeon and Glaceon – I think that by the time Game Freak got around to adding Grass and Ice versions of Eevee, most of the possibilities for aesthetic development had already been exhausted.  Leafeon’s wide, alien eyes and foliage-covered body produce an aura of mystery and otherworldliness similar to that cultivated by Espeon, while Glaceon’s sleek, beautiful form shares a great deal with Vaporeon in terms of design goals.  I don’t think adding Leafeon and Glaceon was necessarily a mistake.  They could have been done well.  The problem is that, traditionally, Eeveelutions don’t have a whole lot of variety or detail other than those basic design choices and their elemental affiliations – their powers are typically very standard fare, and most of them don’t have particularly interesting behavioural traits or personalities.  As a result, they’re interesting only within the context of their family, not as independent Pokémon themselves.  Even this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, I should emphasise – because, of course, we always will view them as a part of that family – but it does, in my view, place a limit on how effective any future additions can be.  There are enough of them now that the essential point has been made already.

Someone asked me a few days ago which of the remaining ten elements I would most like to see used for a new Eeveelution.  Honestly this is one of those times where I have to begin my answer with “actually, I wouldn’t, but since you ask…”  After Leafeon and Glaceon, I think that continuing to add more would be rather labouring the point.  Eevee has more evolutions than any other Pokémon in the game, allowing her to express interesting themes of adaptability and diversity.  Most of the evolutions themselves are not especially interesting in isolation, and are more valuable for being part of that wider idea.  Why add more?  Only if you can do something different, something that casts a whole new light on the themes established by the existing members of the family.  Let’s talk about those themes for a bit because they’re important.  Evolution, as defined in the Pokémon universe, is of course a very different thing from the kind of evolution we talk about in modern biology, but in Eevee the two are fortuitously united.  Real evolution, of the kind first outlined in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, is the barely perceptible change of species (not – and this is important – individuals) over the course of generations in response to environmental pressures.  It does not aim in any direction.  It doesn’t make species stronger or faster or smarter.  It only makes them better suited to specific sets of environmental conditions.  The contrast with Pokémon evolution, which operates within an individual’s lifetime and (with a few notable exceptions) normally does make them stronger, faster, smarter and (again, with a few notable exceptions) larger, is obvious.  Eevee acknowledges the real-world concepts of evolution with her great spread of possible evolved forms – none of them superior or inferior (well, yes, okay, we all know Flareon is rubbish and Espeon is ridiculous, but it doesn’t seem like the designers intended for things to work out that way), merely different, and better adapted to different roles and different lifestyles.  At the same time, though, Eevee is still ‘evolving’ like a Pokémon, changing within her own lifetime to reflect the environment around her (this is actually more similar to the alternative, now discredited, model of evolution once proposed by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, and I am becoming convinced that species of Pokémon actually develop by Lamarckian evolution – Google it; it’s fascinating stuff).  This creates a fascinating contrast, which is why I’ve been so interested in probing the environmental conditions that lead to each of Eevee’s evolved forms, and why I think this is the aspect of the design that Game Freak should be focusing on in the future – it doesn’t just have the potential to tell us some fascinating things about all Pokémon, it could even be educational too!

 A more realistic take on Eevee by RacieB (http://racieb.deviantart.com/).

The problem – and it’s one I’ve been trying to work around as I go – is that the designers’ level of commitment to this concept doesn’t seem to have been constant all the way through.  In particular, their use of the theme of environmental adaptation is rather haphazard.  As I mentioned in Glaceon’s entry, it makes sense to us on a certain level that Pokémon in hot places should fight with fire, and Pokémon in cold places should fight with ice, and Pokémon that live in forests should act like plants, and so on, because we expect them to take on the traits of the things around them.  When you think of it from an ecological standpoint, though, it starts to get quite odd.  It makes sense for Glaceon to resist cold, because she lives in cold places, but does it make sense for her to use the cold, when everything around her will resist cold as well?  Conversely, it makes sense for Leafeon to be able to use the plants around him, since he’s a jungle Pokémon, but does it make sense for him to adopt a lifestyle that leads him into direct competition with all those plants?  This is the reason I don’t place Flareon in a volcanic environment, even though this is something of a standard choice for Fire Pokémon – of course the fire-based creatures that live there already, like Slugma or Magmar, would innately be able to use fire, but if you were a Normal-type moving into a place like that, what survival advantage would be conferred by gaining fire abilities?  In the end, of course, a complete ecology of the Pokémon world is a long way off – if there’s even any possibility it will ever happen at all – but I think looking at Eevee in a more critical light might be a good place for any such project to start.

 Before today, you all had to trudge through the endless dreariness of your dull and unfulfilling lives without the awesomeness that is an Eeveelution rock band.  Now, thanks to Tinysnail (http://tinysnail.deviantart.com/), you no longer have to!

Let’s return to that question I was supposed to be answering.  What else could you evolve Eevee into?  Ground, Rock, or Fighting?  They would be obvious choices for filling that one remaining aesthetic niche, but I’m not sure the idea of a brutish Eevee is necessarily one that would achieve any particular appeal.  Poison?  What thematic aims would be served by creating a poisonous Eevee?  Flying, Bug or Dragon would be… odd, put it that way.  They would make our new Eeveelution very much an odd one out in the Field egg group, since those three types are some of those that map most closely onto corresponding breeding groups, and they also raise some concerns about what environmental stimulus, exactly, would prompt Eevee to sprout wings or additional legs.  Ghost could potentially bring up some points about Eevee’s interaction with humans, but I’m not convinced you could do anything with it that Espeon and Umbreon didn’t.  I’d prefer to leave Steel out of it, because that’s getting perilously close to drawing human modification into things, which I worry would rather miss the point.  In fact I think there’s really only one type you could do anything interesting with if you wanted to make an eighth evolved form for Eevee.  It’s Normal.  All the other forms focus on shedding Eevee’s flexibility in exchange for becoming supremely well-adapted to a particular environment; a Normal-type evolution could instead look at the idea of retaining that adaptability; instead of having the narrow movepools that signify the specialisation of the other forms, she could use a wide selection of moves to act as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ type character (something like, say, Clefable or Mesprit, except that it would be the whole point of the design rather than an unintended result).  I might abandon the traditional Eeveelution stat spread as well, and give it flat average stats across the board, just to ram the point home.  This is a Pokémon that travels widely and can live anywhere.  It can’t settle down and really force other species out of their permanent niches, but it can get by in just about any environment.  As a result, it’s both adventurous and capricious, preferring not to stay in one place for too long, and, like humans, prizes wide knowledge and varied experiences.  The unfortunate weakness to this design is that I really have no idea where I would take its art – all my concerns about retreading old ground still stand, and I’m not especially wild about the obvious route of just creating a bigger, fluffier Eevee either.

The point I am by slow degrees trying to make here is that Eevee, in my opinion, is a fascinating Pokémon, who can provide some interesting lessons in design that haven’t really been appreciated or explored, even by her own more recent family members.  Her massive popularity (and that of her older siblings) isn’t just a question of cuteness, because of course Eevee is cute, but there’s nothing really to recommend her over the legions of other cute Pokémon out there.  She succeeds because she can be many things to many people.  If you love your Eevee, she will grow with you, reflecting your own ambitions and your own choices – and that, when it comes right down to it, is what Pokémon is all about.

Anime Time: Episodes 40 and 51

The Battling Eevee Brothers – Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden

Ash’s location: central Anatolia.

Evolution is one of my favourite themes.  It’s apparently a very simple concept, but the way it’s treated in the anime has all kinds of fascinating implications that you can draw into an extremely complicated and morally nuanced vision of how this world works.  As usual, much of what I have to say here is totally made up, but regular readers will know by now that I’ve never let that stop me before…

 Yes, they are wearing colour-coordinated tights.  Hey, don't look at me; I'm not going to be the one to say it.  Screenshots from filb.de/anime.

In the Battling Eevee Brothers, Ash, Misty and Brock find an Eevee tied to a tree in the woods with a bowl of food next to it.  Brock suggests that the Eevee has been abandoned, at which Ash and Misty are horrified.  They notice a gold tag on Eevee’s collar with an address engraved, in a place called Stone Town (at the foot of Evolution Mountain, claims Brock – three guesses what this episode’s going to be about…).  Misty is tempted to keep Eevee, but they agree they should try to find Eevee’s owner first.  Following Eevee’s tag leads them to an opulent manse with a spacious garden, where three triplets and their Pokémon – Rainer and his Vaporeon, Pyro and his Flareon, and Sparkyand his Jolteon – are hosting an evolution party, with free evolutionary stones for all comers.  Eevee, who belongs to their younger brother Mikey, is the guest of honour; today is supposed to be the day he chooses his Eevee’s evolved form.  Mikey himself is less than thrilled, and confides to Misty that he doesn’t care about battles, doesn’t actually want Eevee to evolve at all, and hid him in the woods to keep him out of sight, just until the party was over.  Ash and Brock, meanwhile, argue with Rainer, Sparky and Pyro, who have offered them a Thunder Stone and a Fire Stone to evolve Pikachu and Vulpix.  Team Rocket crash the party, have Weezing lay down some smog cover, and steal a dozen Pokémon, including Eevee and Misty’s Horsea, and as many evolution stones as they can carry before hightailing it out of there.  Horsea, however, is clever enough to leave a trail of ink for the heroes to follow.  While Jessie, James and Meowth are arguing over how to evolve Eevee (they eventually decide to use all three stones at once, just to see what happens) the good guys show up, and Vaporeon, Jolteon and Flareon give Arbok and Weezing a thrashing.  Remarkably, though, Jessie and James manage to turn things around… until Mikey’s Eevee enters the fray and slams Arbok and Weezing with a powerful Take Down.  As Misty had suggested, Mikey finally admits to his brothers that he’d rather just keep Eevee – and, after seeing what their brother’s Pokémon is capable of, they’re pretty cool with that.

 Pikachu and Bulbasaur having a bromance moment.

Some weeks later, Ash’s Bulbasaur collapses, quivering, after winning a difficult battle against a hiker’s Rhyhorn, and his bulb starts glowing softly.  Ash rushes him to a Pokémon Centre, where Nurse Joy #292 concludes that there’s nothing wrong with Bulbasaur at all: he’s preparing to evolve.  It’ll soon be time for him to journey to a place called the Mysterious Garden, a semi-mythical grove where Bulbasaur gather every year to evolve into Ivysaur.  Ash is overjoyed.  That night, Bulbasaur slips out of the Pokémon Centre to brood.  Pikachu follows him, and they talk for a while (Pikachu seems to be comforting him, and offering support).  Without warning, a gang of wild Bulbasaur seize Ash’s Bulbasaur with their Vine Whips and carry him off.  Pikachu runs to fetch Ash and the others, and together they track the Bulbasaur through the forest, even as the plants themselves try to keep them from following.  They narrowly manage to slip through a solid wall of vines as it knits itself together, and find themselves in the Mysterious Garden.  They see hundreds of Bulbasaur in the valley below them, singing, as the plants around them grow and blossom in moments.  An ancient Venusaur emerges from within an enormous hollow tree in the centre of the valley and roars.  The Bulbasaur roar in response, and all begin to evolve… except for Ash’s Bulbasaur, who seems to be struggling not to.  Venusaur is furious, and Ash runs to Bulbasaur’s side to block a Vine Whip.  Ash apologises to Bulbasaur for getting so excited about his evolution without considering his feelings, and tries to convince Venusaur that he shouldn’t be forced to evolve.  Venusaur responds by demonstrating his miraculous abilities, causing a bare cherry tree to burst into bloom, and Misty wonders “don’t you want to have that kind of power, Bulbasaur?”  As they argue, Team Rocket once again crash the party, floating over the wall of vines in their balloon and sucking up as many Ivysaur as they can with one of their ridiculous vacuum devices.  The situation looks dire… until the sun rises.  With a tremendous battle cry, Bulbasaur blasts Team Rocket with his first Solarbeam.  The balloon is destroyed, the Ivysaur fall back to earth, and Venusaur finds it in his heart to forgive Bulbasaur for disrupting the ritual.  Bulbasaur leaves with the kids as the wall of vines shrinks away, and they realise why no-one has ever been able to find the Mysterious Garden: once the ceremony ends, it simply ceases to exist.

 "Evolve your Pokémon or we will continue to shout at you!"

Let’s look at some quotes from Eevee Brothers.  The conversation Ash and Brock have with Rainer, Sparky and Pyro makes it plain as day that their views on evolution, particularly on induced evolution, are wildly different to the brothers’.  Ash is asked “one of these days you’ll turn that Pikachu into a Raichu, won’t you?” in a very matter-of-fact tone, to which Pikachu reacts with obvious worry.  The brothers also ask Brock “why don’t you just make [Vulpix] evolve?” as though it would be the easiest thing in the world – and, well, they’re offering him a free Fire Stone, so why not?  After all, “evolution is what Pokémon are all about!”  If you’ve been playing the games, this makes a lot of sense.  If there’s a move you want your Pokémon to learn, you might hold off on evolution until it’s learnt it, because most Pokémon stop learning new attacks after using stones.  In the long term, though, there’s no downside.  If you mean to use a Pokémon for fighting, you will eventually evolve it, no ifs, no buts.  That’s not how Ash and Brock see it.  Ash tells the brothers, somewhat defensively, “we just don’t evolve our Pokémon that way,” while Brock says firmly “you like your way of evolving and we like ours.”  You can read this either as making sense or as being utter bullshit.  Personally I would rather read it as making sense but, y’know, to each his own.  It makes sense when you think about what actually happens when Pokémon evolve; their physical bodies grow and change their proportions, sometimes drastically, and their mental state often undergoes a profound shift as well.  Normally in the anime this seems to have some kind of psychological trigger; Pokémon evolve when they’re ready for it, and sometimes seem to be able to forestall evolution on their own – but when a trainer uses a stone, the Pokémon simply evolves on the spot, without any choice in the matter.  It’s not really unreasonable for Ash and Brock to think that using these things is a little bit morally questionable, especially if it’s done for the sole aim of making the Pokémon in question better at battling.

Eevee, Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon, in all their glory, by Creepyfish (formerly IceandSnow, http://creepyfish.deviantart.com/).Where the argument breaks down – and where Ash and Brock’s position starts to make less sense – is that, for Pokémon like Pikachu and Vulpix, there is no other way to reach their final forms.  If Ash and Pikachu aren’t willing to use a Thunder Stone, Pikachu’s never going to become a Raichu; no two ways about it.  Brock’s statement suggests that he believes there is some other way for Pikachu and Vulpix to evolve, but if so, no-one ever hints at what that might be.  Moreover, Ash’s statement suggests that refusing to use the Thunder Stone Sparky offers him is not simply a matter of waiting for the right time; he has absolutely no intention of evolving Pikachu at all, now, later, or ever.  Surely Pokémon are supposed to reach their final forms eventually?  Why else would they even have them?  On the other hand, clearly evolution isn’t actually necessary for Pikachu to become an ‘adult’ since, as we just saw in Pikachu’s Goodbye, a community of wild Pikachu can get along just fine without a single Raichu.  Obviously they’re capable of surviving without the protection of their more powerful cousins, and presumably they also reach reproductive maturity without any hiccups (indeed, if we can trust the games, there are very few Pokémon that do need to evolve before they can reproduce – only the ‘babies,’ such as Elekid and Bonsly).  My newest pet theory on this is that Pikachu’s ability to evolve into Raichu is actually vestigial.  At some point in the history of their development, for one reason or another, they stopped needing to evolve (maybe Pikachu fill an ecological niche that Raichu are less suited to, or maybe some kind of Ground-type predator made speed and small size more valuable than greater electrical power).  They still have all the genes they need to become Raichu, but they’ve lost the genes that tell them when and why to evolve, so unless they’re triggered by some outside influence, they just don’t.  Basically, what I’m suggesting is that Pokémon like Raichu, Ninetales and Poliwrath are throwbacks – forms that have become extinct in the wild, because they’re no longer suited to a changing ecosystem, but can be recreated via human intervention.  That definitely leaves Ash and Brock plenty of room to feel a little bit uncomfortable about evolutionary stones, especially if the Pokémon have no choice in whether to use them.

 A Venusaur readying a Solarbeam, by Maquenda.

The degree of choice Pokémon have in when they evolve is another tricky question that the anime implies things about, but rarely explains outright.  Most of the evolutions we’ve seen in the series so far have happened at moments of high emotion; it’s often implied that they’re triggered by strong desire or need – most notably, Ekans and Koffing evolving in Dig Those Diglett, in response to their trainers’ uncharacteristic outbursts of affection.  Bulbasaur, it seems, are very different.  They have little freedom to decide; evolution, for them, is an extremely ritualistic thing that all of them go through together – to the point that, when Ash’s Bulbasaur decides he doesn’t want to evolve, he provokes the outrage of the entire community.  That isn’t merely because his refusal somehow disrupted the ceremony either.  The scene between Bulbasaur and Pikachu is a little tricky to interpret because, y’know, they don’t speak, but I’m pretty sure that Bulbasaur is explaining to Pikachu that he doesn’t think he really wants to evolve yet, but doesn’t want to disappoint Ash either, and Pikachu is telling him that it’s okay and Ash will be cool with it.  The other Bulbasaur who overhear the conversation are apparently so discomforted by the whole idea that they immediately kidnap him and drag him to the Mysterious Garden.  Venusaur isn’t just upset about the ritual; he and all the Ivysaur are actually somehow offended that Bulbasaur doesn’t want to evolve.  For them, it’s the most natural thing in the world, the way they attain the powers that are their birthright, and trying to deny it is just asking for trouble.  Of course, if that’s how they do things, where the hell does Ash get off trying to stop them?  Or, conversely, if we do let the Bulbasaur get on with their strictly enforced mass evolution ceremonies in peace, what kind of ground are we standing on if we say that Mikey’s Eevee shouldn’t be forced to evolve?

I could go on, you understand.  It’s just that this entry is clearly getting far too long.