Welcome to Friendly Shadow...
...a shrine dedicated to one of my favorite pokémon (and my favorite Eevee evolution) Umbreon from the Pokémon franchise.
This shrine is mostly focused on the game version of this pokémon (but I will address its appearences in the anime/manga too) and it was created for the Old School Challenge at Amassment.
It's also part of the Evolution web-ring.
Umbreon is one of the two Eevee evolutions that were released for Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal. Since those games were the first ones where the passage of time was relevant in-game, Umbreon and its "mirror", Espeon, are the only Eevee evolution that can be obtained through a combination of high friendship and a certain time condition (specifically, levelling up during nighttime for Umbreon, and levelling up during daytime for Espeon).
This is why in the Pokédex Umbreon is classified as Moonlight Pokémon, and Espeon is classified as Sun Pokémon.
Name: Umbreon (JP: ブラッキー Blacky)
Pokédex: #197 (National Pokédex)
Species: Moonlight Pokémon
Hidden Ability: Inner Focus
Leveling Rate: Medium Fast
Height: 3'03" (1.0 m)
Weight: 59.5 lbs. (27.0 kg)
Gender Ratio: 87.5% male - 12.5% female
Locations: none (can only be evolved from Eevee)
Damage Taken:Fighting/Bug/Fairy: x2
Everything else: x1
Umbreon's name is a combination of the word umbra and the suffix eon (meaning "an immensely long period of time") which characterizes all of Eevee's evolutions.
The word umbra comes from the lating for "shadow" or "ghost" and is currently used to indicate the moon's dark silhouette during both solar eclipses and moon ecplises. It also refers to the darkest part of a shadow, where the source of light is completely blocked by the object generating it.
Umbreon's Japanese name, Blacky (Burakki--), seems to be a fusion between the English words "Black" and "Lucky" (pronounched in Engurish, but alas!), especially since black cats are considered lucky in Japan.
For an Eevee evolution, Umbreon has quite a simple design. Normaly every evolution of Eevee is characterized by fluff, weird spikes, and/or mutated limbs, and yet Umbreon shows none of this characteristics. Its fur is flat and short, colored in plain black, and its slim and agile body can only boast a squishy tail and a pair of ears that start wide at the base to curve into a full point.
Umbreon's only prominent physical characteristics are the bloodred eyes and the several rings (one on the forehead, one wrapped around each ear and tail, and one on the side of each legs) of deep yellow that, according to the Pokédex, are supposed to shine brightly when exposed to moonlight.
Umbreon's appearence might come from a black cat (which would concur with the theory about its Japanese name) or a black fox. Its ears also resemble those of a hare due to their lenght, which ties them with the Moon Rabbit legend popular in Asia.
Additionally, the circles on its body might be inspired by the lunar markings that were put in ancient Egypt on religious statues of animals (especially Bastet, the cat goddess), and could rappresent both the lunar eclipse and/or the moon in general.
The shiny version of Umbreon doesn't divert much from it's normal version, the only difference being its eyes switching color with the rings from its normal version, becoming yellow, and the rings on its body becoming bright blue.
Sprites and Pokédex
Gold: When agitated, this Pokémon protects itself by spraying poisonous sweat from its pores.
Silver: When darkness falls, the rings on the body begin to glow, striking fear in the hearts of anyone nearby.
Crystal: On the night of a full moon, or when it gets excited, the ring patterns on its body glow yellow.
|Note that the sprites for Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon LeafGreen are the same ones used for Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire.|
Ruby/Sapphire: Umbreon evolved as a result of exposure to the moon's waves. It hides silently in darkness and waits for its foes to make a move. The rings on its body glow when it leaps to attack.
Emerald: Umbreon evolved from exposure to the moon's energy pulses. It lurks in darkness and waits for its foes to move. The rings on its body glow when it leaps to attack.
FireRed: When darkness falls, the rings on the body begin to glow, striking fear in the hearts of anyone nearby.
LeafGreen: When agitated, this Pokémon protects itself by spraying poisonous sweat from its pores.
Diamond/Pearl: The light of the moon changed Eevee's genetic structure. It lurks in darkness for prey.
Platinum: When exposed to the moon's aura, the rings on its body glow faintly and it gains a mysterious power.
HeartGold: When agitated, this Pokémon protects itself by spraying poisonous sweat from its pores.
SoulSilver: When darkness falls, the rings on the body begin to glow, striking fear in the hearts of anyone nearby.
|Black (1&2)/White (1&2)|
Black/White: When exposed to the moon's aura, the rings on its body glow faintly and it gains a mysterious power.
Black/White 2: When exposed to the moon's aura, the rings on its body glow faintly and it's filled with a mysterious power.
|Note that the sprites for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire are the same ones used for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.|
X: The light of the moon changed Eevee's genetic structure. It lurks in darkness for prey.
Y: When exposed to the moon's aura, the rings on its body glow faintly and it's filled with a mysterious power.
Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby: Umbreon evolved as a result of exposure to the moon's waves. It hides silently in darkness and waits for its foes to make a move. The rings on its body glow when it leaps to attack.
Anime Pokédex Entries
Regular series, episode 171: Umbreon, the Moonlight Pokémon. When an Eevee has had sufficient training and is exposed to moonlight, it evolves into an Umbreon.
Best Wishes series, episode 004: Umbreon, the Moonlight Pokémon, and an evolved form of Eevee. The rings of Umbreon's body glow faintly when exposed to the moon's aura, and it gains a mysterious power.
Best Wishes series, episode 102: Umbreon, the Moonlight Pokémon. The rings in its fur glow when the moon shines on them.
The following table is relative to Umbreon's Generation VI learning set.
The move set is pretty much the same in the previous generations of Pokémon, except for the levels varying through a bigger gap and the Moonlight attack being of Normal type rather than Fairy.
Umbreon can also learn an excedingly long list of moves from TMs (please check out Bulbapedia to learn which ones) and the HM Cut (which has Normal type).
Anime & Manga
Umbreon's appearences in the manga are rather minor.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga (Volume 14) during the Gold, Silver, & Crystal arc, it appears once as one of Karen's pokémon in her team and which seems to have evolved from the Eevee she previously owned; and another time in the Battle Arena as one of Greta's pokémon.
In the Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys manga another Umbreon is given to Black by Bill in order to defeat Team Rocket since it was immune to the radio waves they were using to control other pokémon.
Anime - Minor appearences
In the anime, Umbreon appears far more often than in the manga (this specifically because Gary has an Umbreon of his own, and, with him being Ash's rival, it's obvious that his pokémon would become relevant fairly often).
In this subsection I'll talk about Umbreon's minor appearences in the anime, while the next one will be focused specifically on Gary's Umbreon.
In the regular series, the Kimono Girls show to own both an Umbreon and an Espeon in Trouble's Brewing and in Espeon, Not Included.
In the Diamond & Pearl series, Dawn's mother is showned to have an Umbreon in the episode Strategy Begins at Home!.
In the Best Wishes series, during the episode Team Eevee and the Pokémon Rescue Squad! an Umbreon appears together with an Eevee and the other Eeveelutions.
Lastly another Umbreon appears in the Pikachu short Eevee & Friends.
Anime - Gary's Umbreon
As I mentioned, Gary, Ash's rival, owns an Umbreon, taking care of it since it was an Eevee.
Gary's Eevee appears for the first time in the episode The Rivalry Revival and I clearly remember the scene (in spite of the fact that I was already loosing interest in the regular series at the time due to...well, Ash... :| ) because Brock commented on the fact that is shiny coat and bright eyes were a sign of how well-trained it was, and I thought "Thanks all the pokémon deities existing! At least someone knows how to take care of their pokémon!".
The next time Gary's pokémon appears (this time already evolved in Umbreon) is in the episode Power Play! where it's shown battling with Alex's Alakazam. Alakazam is a Psychic pokémon, which in game have a x0 damage modifier to Dark-type pokémon like Umbreon, so this was a perfect battle strategy on Gary's part.
While the battle is shown to be very articulate, Umbreon has the advantage the whole time and its shown to not only be able to see through illusions, but also to possess great agility that helps it in winning the battle without receiving even a blow.
In the Diamond & Pearl series it appears again when Gary makes it use a Sand Attack against a Golbat belonging to one of J's henchmen.
It also appears in the series in the episode Fighting Fear With Fear!, where Gary uses it in a practice match against Ash's Gligar, and in the episode The Needs of the Three!, where it fights against Saturn's Toxicroak.
The Moonlight Pokémon
Since Umbreon is so closely associate with shadows and moonlight, I thought it would be fun to dwell a bit more on that.
The Moon has always been associated with mystery and illusion due to the fact that it "hides away" from view during the day, and Umbreon itself is implied by its pokédex descriptions to be both a nocturnal and pretty secretive hunter, hiding in shadows before leaping on its unsuspecting preys.
In fact, a few of its moves (Sand Attack, Pursuit, Quick Attack, Feint Attack) also seem to keep this idea in mind.
Like the Moon, Umbreon also reflects light that isn't its own (the Moon from the Sun and Umbreon from the Moon) and its deep red eyes are reminiscent of a lunar eclipse.
For all reason and purposes, Umbreon is the embodiment of the Moon, maybe not quite as literally as with legendary pokémon, but it's definitely meant to have a close association with it.
Incidentally Espeon, being Umbreon's "twin" Eevelution, shares the same relationship with the Sun, making it even more evident that together they're supposed to represent the Sun and the Moon of the pokémon world.
My favorite Eeveelution
I will be completely honest: my attraction to Umbreon was born out of love for its appearence. I really like its design in spite of it being so simple and linear, which is even weirder if you consider that my previous favorite Eeveelution was Flareon which, in comparison, looks far fancier.
The yellow rings on its body contrast nicely with the flat black of the rest of its fur, and the bright yellow-black color combo has always been one I really liked. The red eyes also fall into the same category (especially if you consider that black and red are my favorite colors).
The fact that Umbreon's a Dark type only makes it more appealing to me since it's one of the types I like the most (even though I'm a mess at using it, ahahah! This is the Ghost type all over again!).
I also really like the descriptions from the Pokédex since they seem to outline a pokémon which stalks its prey and attacks from the shadows, showing a very feline-like behavior and anyone who knows me can tell you that I really really love felines.
The fact that it evolves through friendship is another thing that I like since the fact that Flareon, Vaporeon, and Jolteon could only be obtained by using a Fire/Water/Thunder Stone on your Eevee always annoyed me (I'm too much of a hoarder in games <.<).
I've never watched the episodes of the anime where Umbreon appeared (like I said, I lost interest in it long before Gary's Eevee ever evolved) but working on this shrine actually made me want to watch those specific episodes just for kicks.
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