Pokemon Episode 40 Analysis – The Battling Eevee Brothers

Pokemon ep 40 title

CotD(s): Mikey – The youngest of the Eevee brothers, Mikey is constantly being pressured by his brothers to evolve his Eevee. He wants his Eevee to stay as it is, but doesn’t have the courage to tell his brothers since they’re so adamant about it being necessary for Pokemon to evolve.

Reappears?: No. 😦

Pokemon: Eevee

Sparky – One of the three more outspoken Eevee brothers, (and possibly oldest?) Sparky, like his brothers, believes Pokemon should evolve as soon as possible and that the main point of Pokemon is to evolve them. He and his brothers seem to mine evolution stones from Evolution Mountain and earn a great living selling them. He is constantly pressuring Mikey to evolve his Eevee, though would prefer him to evolve it into his Eeveelution of choice, Jolteon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Jolteon.

Rainer – Essentially identical in personality to Sparky and Pyro, though maybe less angry and loud, Rainer’s only real point of variation is that he’d like Mikey to evolve Eevee into his Eeveelution of choice, Vaporeon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Vaporeon.

Pyro – Again, same, but he wants Mikey to evolve Eevee into Flareon.

Reappears?: No.

Pokemon: Flareon.

Plot: As Ash, Misty and Brock continue their journey through the woods, they spot what seems like an abandoned Eevee tied to a tree. They spot a tag on its collar that says ‘Stone Town 3-14’ and decide to return it. Stone Town is known for its vast collection of evolution stones since it lies right at the base of Evolution Mountain, where the stones are regularly mined.

The house number is that of a gigantic mansion at the edge of town where an evolution party is being held. People are bringing Pokemon that only evolve through stone or have evolved through stones to evolve their Pokemon, talk about them and compare them. The hosts of the party are three brothers known as the Eevee brothers – Rainer, who trains a Vaporeon, Pyro, who trains a Flareon, and Sparky, who trains a Jolteon.

The group gives Eevee back, and they reveal that the Eevee belongs to their youngest fourth brother, Mikey, who actually seems upset that it was returned.

Turns out that the party is really being held in celebration of Mikey choosing which Pokemon he’ll evolve his Eevee into. His brothers all pressure him immensely to evolve it, stating that leaving a Pokemon unevolved makes it weak and useless in battle. They all want Mikey to choose their preferred Eeveelutions, but Mikey seems very uncertain about making any decision.

Ash and Brock try to defend Mikey, claiming he’s too young to be worrying about Trainer stuff and doesn’t need to evolve Eevee if he doesn’t want to. The brothers turn the conversation to Ash and Brock’s preferences on stone evolution, asking when Ash intends on evolving Pikachu into a Raichu and when Brock will evolve Vulpix into a Ninetales. They state that they don’t want to force their Pokemon to evolve, and the Eevee brothers yell at them for having stupid views on evolution.

Meanwhile, Misty tries to talk to Mikey about what he really wants for Eevee. Mikey says he doesn’t really care about battling, and he’d like Eevee to stay how it is. As long as they’re together, that’s all that matters.

His brothers ask him again if he’s finally decided. Just when he’s about to tell his brothers how he really feels, Team Rocket shows up. They Smokescreen the whole party and take everything from the food to the stones and the Pokemon. Using a clever balloon decoy, Team Rocket actually manages to get away for a change – and with absolutely everything.

Team Rocket revels in their victory and quickly direct their attentions to Eevee and what they should evolve it into. Meowth wants it to be a Jolteon, Jessie wants it to be Flareon, and James wants it to be a Vaporeon. They decide to meet halfway and use all of the stones on it at once to turn it into some super hybrid evolution. Before they’re able, they’re stopped by Ash and co. who followed an ink trail made by Misty’s Horsea, who was taken in the attack.

They manage to get back the other Pokemon, but Eevee remains in their clutches, and they’re not giving it up easily. Ash and Co. prepare to battle Team Rocket, but the Eevee brothers are determined to step up and fight for their brother’s Eevee themselves.

They use the Eeveelutions’ specials abilities to battle Team Rocket and stop them from leaving, but they quickly lose the upperhand. Pikachu steps in and Thundershocks them all, but they still want to fight. Determined to avenge his brothers’ Pokemon, Mikey and Eevee step up to battle. With one swift Take Down, Eevee sends them blasting off.

Sparky, Rainer and Pyro are proud of their little brother’s first battle victory and acknowledge that the unevolved Eevee battled very well. Mikey gathers the courage to tell his brothers that he wants Eevee to stay how it is and they accept his decision, welcoming him as the official fourth member of the Eevee brothers. They change the party theme to be a victory party for Mikey, and Ash, Misty and Brock enjoy the festivities before continuing on their journey once more.

———————-

– Brock: “It’s been abandoned.”

Ash: “What?”

Misty: “That’s so cruel!”

Yes, it’s clearly been abandoned what with the full food bowl….the water dish, the collar, the leash and, oh yeah, the tag which clearly displays where it lives so, should it ever run off, whomever finds it would be able to easily return it.

– And just to get this out of my system EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! SO CUTE!! AW!

Pokemon ep 40 screen1

– Evolution Mountain is one of the dumbest names I’ve ever hear—Stone town…..creative lot these guys are.

– Give the animators props for paying attention – there are no Pokemon who evolve through Moon Stones at this stone evolution party since Moon Stones are only obtained from Mt. Moon.

– Let’s get the elephant out of the room – obviously this episode is more than dated. Today, there are a grand total of eight Eeveelutions with; Umbreon, the Dark type, Espeon, the Psychic type, Leafeon the Grass type, Glaceon, the Ice type and Sylveon, the Fairy type. You can shoo this away by saying these Pokemon simply weren’t released or ‘discovered’ yet but considering we’ve always had the base evo, I can’t logically imagine these Eevee Brothers (or the Pokedex) don’t at least know of these options. If they really want to be a full set of Eevee brothers, their parents are going to have to get to work in the bedroom.

– Also, if your family (I presume) specializes in Eevee and you name your kids Rainer, Sparky and Pyro, they’re damned from birth to be pigeon-holed with the Eeveelutions that match their names. Must’ve been awkward when Mikey was born.

Dad: “There are no more Eeveelutions!”

Mom: “We’ll have to give him a normal name then, like Mikey.”

Rainer: “Mom, why does Mikey get a normal person name?”

Mom: “Because we haven’t even reached Gen II, dear. In the future, you’ll have more brothers named Shade, Espa, Meadow, Icicle and Tinkerbell!”

Pyro: “Mommy, Daddy, do you hate us?”

Dad: “Of course not, son.”

Pyro: “Really?!”

Dad: “Yes, really. Now shape your hair into the appropriate elemental for what we’ve assigned you and dye it the proper color.”

Sparky: “Do we have to?”

Mom: “Yes, dear. And don’t forgot to wear those color coded leotards we bought you!”

Pyro: “But….why? What does that have to do with the Eeveelutions or our assigned elements?”

Dad: “Don’t backtalk your mother, Sport.”

Sparky: “Will Mikey have to wear a color coded leotard?”

Dad: “Oh, gosh, no, son. He has a normal person name, so he can wear normal person clothes.”

Rainer: “Awwwwwwwww!”

Mom: “Don’t worry, kids. His hair will be styled into an Eevee collar poof design.”

Pyro: “Will he have to dye his hair?”

Dad: “Golly, no, Champ. He has normal person brown hair. Now go along and develop a completely understandable complex about evolution and prepare to put undue pressure on your brother for his whole childhood.”

– Also, being fair to 4Kids, Sparky, Pyro and Rainer’s names are puns in the original version too.

– RAICHU! 😀

Pokemon ep 40 screen2
You’re too good for this world, Raichu.

– Is it ever explained how the Eevee brothers are so rich? I imagine evolution stones fetch a nice price, and they state that they mine the stones from Evolution Mountain, but they certainly don’t look like miners (I will not let the leotard thing go) and considering they’re just giving away tons of evolution stones at this party, I can’t imagine they’re in the business of selling them (unless they’re just that rich that they don’t care about handing out a batch or two for free). Like most kids in the Pokemon world, they don’t seem to have parents, sooooo.

– Sparky: “Where did you go to? We were worried about you, Eevee!” Not worried enough to…ya know…look for you…or stop this party….but we were worried sick!

– The voice acting for these three brothers is horrid. They all sound like they’re always yelling, and their delivery is so stiff I thought they’d be able to introduce a new Rock-based Eeveelution.

– Pyro: “How could you lose him!? You’ve got to be more careful!”

Rainer: “You’ll lose your Trainer qualification.”

Pokemon ep 40 screen3

Whoa wait, back up. First of all, he’s like six or seven, there’s no way he’s old enough to be a legit Trainer with qualification yet.

Second, he can lose his Trainer qualification if he loses his Pokemon?….Just….what? If that’s true, Ash and co. should’ve lost their qualification eons ago and a hundred times over at this point in the series. (I mean that both at this episode and where we currently are in airing) And if losing a Pokemon is something worth having your qualification revoked over, why is there no penalty for abandoning or releasing a Pokemon? That seems like a much worse offense.

– Sparky: “Listen up, Mikey! One day you’ll be a Pokemon Trainer just like us!” But you just said he was. How do you have Trainer qualification to lose without being a Trainer to begin with?

– Rainer: “Do you really think you can win your first battle with an unevolved Eevee?” I dunno. Let’s ask the first-time Trainers who win their first matches with Pokemon like Caterpie, Weedle, Rattata, Pidgey, Spearow and other very weak base evo Pokemon that most people have when they start out because they’re STARTING OUT.

In fact, Eevee actually has slightly better total stats than all of the Kanto starters.

– Pyro: “We won our first battles because we evolved our Eevees. There’s no other way to win!”

Yeah, it’s not like you can train a Pokemon to be strong or anything.

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– Mikey: “But…I don’t care about battles…”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T CARE?!”

Mikey, you know that as a small child in the Pokemon universe, you must desire to one day be a Pokemon Trainer. It’s just the way it is. Now take this mostly empty backpack and go camping in the mountain wilderness for a week to prepare for a childhood wrought with travel, lack of survival supplies and useless maps.

– Here we go with the ridiculous repetition of the Eeveelutions names. I almost wish we had separate episodes for each one.

– I don’t even know why they’re explaining all of this to Mikey. Surely growing up in a town filled with stone evolved Pokemon with the Eevee brothers as his brothers, in a house with the Eeveelutions, he already knows what stones yield what evolution and what the Eeveelutions are. You could say it’s for the audience’s sake, but we just had a scene a moment ago where Ash learns of the Eeveelutions through the Pokedex. Outside of some more specific information on their abilities, which Dexter could’ve given, this is completely pointless.

– This explanation also makes Flareon look boring.

“Look! Jolteon can turn its fur into needles and shoot them at its opponents!”

“That’s nothing! Vaporeon can literally melt into bodies of water and disappear!”

“Oh yeah, well, Flareon c–…can shoot fire….from its mouth!”

“…Like…literally any other Fire Pokemon?”

“…..Er….yes!”

Pokemon ep 40 screen5

Even its Japanese name slams the brakes on when put in a list.

Thunders! Showers! …..Booster!

confused-nostalgia-critic-o

– Anyone who wants my opinion on the Eeveelutions, by the way, I have always been very partial to Vaporeon. Even today, I’d still say it’s my favorite. Though, when I first played Pokemon Red, I do believe I made my Eevee a Jolteon just because I didn’t have a decent Electric Pokemon on hand. My favorite type is Fire, but I had Charizard on my first go, so I didn’t see the point in getting Flareon.

I’ve always really liked Umbreon and Espeon, but I never became interested in Glaceon, Leafeon and Sylveon.

– I doubt this was planned, but it is interesting that Ash, Misty and Brock all have at least one Pokemon who can evolve through stones, and they all have one that match the specific types that Eevee evolves into (Ash with Pikachu (Thunder Stone) Raichu, Brock with Vulpix (Fire Stone) Ninetales and Misty with Staryu (Water Stone) Starmie)

Pokemon ep 40 screen6

It’s also interesting that each is in a different situation with stone evolution. Ash has already gone over this exact same thing. He respects Pikachu too much to force it to evolve without its consent. If Pikachu wants to stay the way he is, he’s happy to oblige.

Brock can’t really evolve Vulpix because it’s not his. Vulpix is on loan from Suzie. Evolving it without her permission would be very douchey. Shame no Rock Pokemon evolve through stones. You’d think they would, but I guess it’d have to be called the Stone Stone or something.

Misty’s situation is actually the most interesting, but they don’t address it. Misty does have Staryu, but she also has Starmie, meaning she has no reason to evolve Staryu, and she is the only one of the group to evolve her Pokemon through stones (Unless she caught it wild, which is possible) It’s also interesting that the Eevee brothers don’t offer Misty a Water Stone to evolve her Staryu.

……..I just now understood the pun of Starmie and Staryu’s names….Star-me….Star-you…..Ugh, I can’t even blame 4Kids for this.

– Misty: “Wow, Water Stones! And Thunder! And Fire!”…..Aaannnnddd…….

Leaf.

Why is the Leaf Stone being so ignored? Just because it doesn’t do anything for Eevee?…..Why doesn’t it do anything with Eevee? Especially now considering that there is a Grass Eeveelution. You’d think if you were making some super multi-evo Pokemon that you’d have something prepared with all of the stones.

Pokemon ep 40 screen7

– Pyro: “But you can’t mine them all the time!” *cut off by Team Rocket*

Wha…why? Why bring that up just to not explain the reason? I imagine it’s bad for the environment or the mountain maybe…..Do evolution stones replenish themselves in nature? Do they ever regain their power once used?

– The Pokemon Friend….the worst book title ever. What is with the god awful naming today?

– Why, if they mine evolution stones for a living and live, eat, breathe evolution, did the Eevee brothers need a special book on the subject to plan a party? It’s even weirder considering they never explain the contents of the book and they never bring it up again outside of this two-line exchange. Damn you fake product placement!

– Brock: “I’ve got a Vulpix that will evolve into a Ninetales.” *can evolve into a Ninetales. “Will” implies that you intend on doing it or that it will naturally evolve.

….Wait, why is Vulpix already out of its Pokeball? When did you do that?

– Brock: “I just can’t force Vulpix to evolve. Vulpix is very important to me.”

Eevee Brothers: “DON’T BE DUMB!”

I’ll just keep this scene in my pocket for now.

Pokemon ep 40 screen8
Is Pikachu doing the Thriller Dance?

– Misty: *watching Horsea swim around in the fountain* “It sure has been a while, hasn’t it?” Yeah, it sure has been a while since we remembered you had a Horsea…..Also, you have other Pokemon who maybe would like a swim, Misty. Like your seldom-used Goldeen, who might as well be named Goldeotto.

– Watching Misty punch her Psyduck in the head cheers Mikey up…..Wow.

– If Mikey intended on going back for Eevee tomorrow or later that night, what would that have solved? It’s not like the party is his only shot at evolution. He can evolve Eevee at any time, and they’ll never let up on pressuring him into evolving it.

Pokemon ep 40 screen9

– Mikey is….happy to hear that if he hadn’t reclaimed Eevee, Misty would’ve just made off with it? You react oddly to things, Mikey.

– I’ve always really loved the interactions with Mikey and Misty. She makes it clear that she’s more interested in what he wants than what his brothers want, which is probably something Mikey has yet to hear. She also connects back his situation to not one but two callbacks to previous episodes and backstories.

First, she brings up Pikachu’s choice to not evolve in The Electric Shock Showdown. Which is very applicable here because Misty accurately surmises that Mikey doesn’t seem interested in evolving Eevee at all.

Second, she connects with Mikey as a younger sibling, which loops back to her backstory as being the youngest of four sisters who are also less than kind to her (Oddly, the three older siblings hair color even matches. Daisy has blond hair, like Sparky. Violet has blue hair like Rainer. And Lily has pink hair, which is technically a light red, like Pyro. Her hair color, like Mikey’s, is also different from her sisters, and their name themes also don’t continue. Misty’s sisters’ names have a flower theme, but her name reflects her love of Water Pokemon. Mikey’s brothers’ names are element themed, but his name is normal, which reflects the Normal type of Eevee.)

Pokemon ep 40 screen10

– Brock: “They took the stones AND they took the food too!”….Aaaaaannndddd……

The Pokemon.

I can overlook ignoring the Leaf Stone but Brock’s supposed to be the bleeding heart Breeder. Why would he only point out that the food and stones got stolen?

– It is funny that Misty’s disappointed that they didn’t take Psyduck, though. It’s even good continuity because they’ve rejected stealing him in the past.

– Pidgeotto: Balloon Popper extraordinaire.

– Credit to Team Rocket for the balloon ruse. That was pretty clever.

– Oh I see now. Misty let out Horsea to be a plot device. Got it.

Pokemon ep 40 screen11

– James: “We’ve been beaten so many times, I’ve forgotten what victory tasted like.”

*punch*

Jessie: “I don’t ever want to hear you call us losers again!”

…..Ctrl+f “losers”……Nope.

– Why are they set on making Eevee evolve? They already have all of the Eeveelutions and surely there’d be a bigger market for an unevolved Eevee. Sell the lot as a packaged set.

– I know it would likely just evolve from whatever stone hit it like a millisecond first, but I do have to wonder what would happen if you applied all of the evolution stones to Eevee.

– I can’t believe I never remembered Psyduck knows Water Gun….then again, considering it does next to nothing, I suppose I’m not surprised.

– Aw, Psyduck’s adorable and hilarious following up his dinky Water Gun with a V for victory sign and a big goofy smile.

Pokemon ep 40 screen12

– Sparky: “Watch the power of an evolved Pokemon! Jolteon, attack!” Is that directed at Team Rocket? Because….uh….Weezing and Arbok are evolved Pokemon, so this declaration doesn’t make sense.

– What the hell is up with the animation when Team Rocket starts to run away? It’s like they only had keyframes and animated them with fade transitions.

– Pyro: “Flareon! Fire Spin!” Remember, kids, only you can cause forest fires.

– Bullshit all of the Eeveelutions are being taken out by Arbok and Weezing, especially when they’ve been easily beating them this whole time.

– Mikey: “Eevee, Take Down attack!” *two seconds later* “Rage tackle!” Keeping in mind that Mikey’s young and inexperienced, I’ll just jot these down as notes. First off, let the Take Down hit before you call for another attack.

Second, Rage Tackle is not an attack.

Third, holy crap, how does this newbie have an Eevee who is high enough level to know Take Down!? That’s Eevee’s strongest Gen I attack, and it learns it at level 42. And these dumbasses still think Eevee is too weak to win its first battle with a new Trainer? Geez.

Pokemon ep 40 screen13

– I can believe that Eevee beat an already weakened Team Rocket, but not that it blasted them off by sheer force.

– Sparky: “Mikey! Winning your first battle by yourself! That’s incredible!” By himself? What? You guys had weakened them first, then Pikachu Thundershocked them all then Mikey came in. That is probably the biggest group of named characters I’ve seen against Team Rocket yet. He did well, sure, but beat them single-handed? Yeah right.

– Rainer: “And you won without making Eevee evolve. I was wrong.” For the love of—Eevee could’ve snuggled them and won at that point!

– Mikey: “Guys, I’ve decided that I want to be an Eevee Trainer.”

Sparky: “An Eevee Trainer?” Here it comes….

“Well, Mikey, if that’s what you want to do, then do it.”

……Eh?

Rainer: “If you felt that way about it, you should’ve told us sooner.”

BULL.

head-desk-gif-12

FUCKETY.

head desk

SHIT…

head desk MLP

I hate character revelations where jerks suddenly turn on their heads and decide they were wrong and act like they would’ve understood something earlier when all implications given earlier are the complete opposite.

Remember that scene I kept in my pocket? Where Ash and Brock said they respected their Pokemon’s wishes and didn’t want to force them to evolve? And the Eevee brothers responded with an aggressive “DON’T BE DUMB!”?

If Mikey had expressed this sooner, which I can’t imagine he never even implied through conversations or behavior, his brothers would give him that same stupid speech about how evolved Pokemon are the only way to win battles and how Pokemon are only really useful when evolved and blah blah blah. Just like how they blew up when he said he didn’t care about battling.

Pokemon ep 40 screen14

Other than ‘the plot said so because we’re at 22 minutes, wrap it up’ there’s no reason why the brothers are being so unbelievably understanding right now. I really wanted Mikey to rant on the spot at Rainer’s line, saying how massive douchecanoes they all are in the amount of pressure they’ve been giving him to evolve Eevee – even putting him on the spot to make a decision at some big evolution party in his honor to celebrate his evolution decision.

– Uhh, there is no way an Eevee is holding a glass with its paw…..Why are the Pokemon drinking out of glasses anyway? Someone put down a bowl.

– Misty: “Friends forever?”

Mikey: “Friends forever!” ….Ctrl+F “Reappears?:”…..Welp.

– Misty: “It must be nice to have big brothers.”

Ash: “You could pass for my brother!”

Ash, you really couldn’t resist being an idiot during a legit nice moment, huh? Also, Ash sure has been a background character today.

– What the hell is up with Raichu in this picture?

Pokemon ep 40 screen15

– Where the hell did Cloyster and Vileplume go?

– Why is Arcanine the one stone evo Pokemon they opted not show in this episode?

– Who let Psyduck run the camera?

– Where the hell were you extra Trainers when they were trying to retrieve your Pokemon? It’s the Butterfree Trainers all over again.

—————————

All in all, I do really like this episode mostly for the relationship between Mikey and Misty and the focus on Eevee and its Eeveelutions. It has a lot of good writing with how they approach this topic, though they missed some opportunities for discussion, and Team Rocket actually was pretty clever today. Plus, they did succeed fully for once – they stole and ate all of the food.

However, the Eevee brothers damn near ruin it for me. They are just so ridiculously obnoxious. It truly is like three mini-Lt. Surges.

And it’s a bit tired to constantly see stone evolution in a bad light. They always treat it like the Pokemon is being forced into it against their will, but stone evolution is a perfectly legitimate and fine method of evolving.

If regular evolution, like the series has shown us time and again, is a choice for many Pokemon, especially when it comes to staying put as they are, there’s nothing wrong with using a stone on them to do the same thing. I’m quite certain most stone evolved Pokemon are asked for consent and seem fine with doing it. For example, the Poliwhirl seen at the start of the episode seemed very happy to become a Poliwrath.

In hindsight, this is also a bit odd because we will see Ash and Co. stone evolve Pokemon through the years and they seem to have no moral qualms doing it.

Next episode, Snorlax is blocking stuff because that’s what Snorlax always do.

Previous Episode…..


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