There hasn’t been a new Eeveelution since Sylveon was introduced in X & Y, but it seems like that’s about to change. While many were disappointed that Gen 8 broke the pattern established by new Eeveelutions in Gens 2, 4, and 6, it turns out there’s a far more consistent way to determine when a new Eeveelution is coming. The Pokemon anime has always told us when to expect a new form for Eevee, and the newest season has been setting up a Gen 9 Eeveelution for quite some time.

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If you’ve been watching Pokemon Master Journeys on Netflix (and you should be) then you’re already familiar with Chloe, Professor Cerise’s daughter. Chloe was mostly a background character throughout the previous season, Pokemon Journeys, but she joined Ash and Goh as a main character starting in Pokemon Master Journeys when she met her partner Pokemon, Eevee.

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This is all you really need to know about what Master Journeys is setting up. Every time a main character catches an Eevee it eventually evolves into the newest form. This has happened consistently throughout Pokemon history. Serena’s Eevee evolved into Sylveon in the the X & Y series, May’s Eevee evolved into Glaceon in the Diamond & Pearl series, and Gary’s Eevee evolved into Umbreon in the original series. A side character named Sakura from the original series also had an Eevee that evolved into an Espeon. We never saw an Eevee evolve into a Leafeon, but this doesn’t break the pattern. What matters here is that every time a main character has caught an Eevee it has evolved into a new form.

Pokemon has been known to subvert expectations from time to time - to put it mildly - so that fact alone might not be enough confirmation for you. But if we look at the context of Chloe and her Eevee, it's easy to see where things are going.

Throughout Pokemon Journeys, Chloe was unsure whether she even wanted to be a Pokemon trainer. While she found herself wrapped up in Ash and Goh’s adventures with the help of her family pet Yamper, she always had a lot of doubt whenever people talked about her eventual journey as a Pokemon trainer.

That all changed in the first episode of Master Journeys when she met Eevee. Like Chloe, this Eevee was also unsure of its future, and the two found a kindred spirit in each other. Eevee was a test subject at an Eeveelution research facility in Vermilion City. The researchers tried to evolve Eevee with various stones, but none were successful. Eevee escaped the lab and met up with Chloe and Yamper, and after defeating Team Rocket, the researchers agreed to let Chloe take Eevee with her with the hope that an adventure would help Eevee find its true identity. Before leaving, the researchers told Chloe that this is a special Eevee because it has “chaotic DNA”. If this isn’t proof that Chloe’s Eevee is going to evolve into a new form, I don’t know what is.

Master Journeys started in December 2020 in Japan but didn’t come to Netflix until June 2021. 52 episodes have aired in Japan so far, and Eevee still hasn’t evolved. It’s worth mentioning that we have never seen a new Eeveelution in the anime before it was revealed in the game, nor have we seen a new Eeveelution before the generation it was part of. Journeys was technically the Sword & Shield season, ending with Chairman Rose’s plot to summon Eternatus, but Master Journeys is in a weird in-between place, not technically connected to any season. As we move into the Scarlet & Violet generation, Ash would typically move on and make new friends, which would mean leaving Chloe and Eevee behind before we see an evolution. Things aren’t lining up perfectly here, but there’s still too much compelling evidence to ignore. If Chloe’s Eevee doesn’t evolve into a new Eeveelution at this point, it will be the most disappointing thing Pokemon has done since making a second Mewtwo with the same origin story. Is it finally time for Spookeon, the Ghost-type Eeveelution? We won’t have to wait long to find out

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