Eevee has been a part of the Pokémon franchise since its inception, but it has never reached the popularity of the series’ ubiquitous yellow mascot Pikachu. To heighten the character’s profile among younger gamers and evoke nostalgia in older fans, a limited-time “EVs＋cafe” has opened in Roppongi Hills.
With it’s namesake Nintendo Switch game, Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee (as well as Let’s Go! Pikachu), launching on November 16, fans are being treated to a free art exhibit within the cafe space and the chance to sample some delicious desserts inspired by Eevee and its evolutions until September 9.
From Sweet Art…
The biggest part of the event is the art gallery which houses art from nine creators. Each artist has a unique style, from stark geometric design to confectionery art. Of those nine, the original illustrator and designer of the first 151 Pokémon, Ken Sugimori, is also included. Some of his original art board sketches have been put on display for the first time. For devoted fans of the series, that alone is worth the trip out to see.
Each creator’s section is well defined, and their art is given the chance to pop with minimalistic interior design. Besides Sugimori’s sketches, one of the most visually distinct parts of the display was that of Kenjirō Sano, who had most recently been in the news after his Tokyo Olympics logo was retired following accusations of plagiarism. Fans of other cute Japan mascots may appreciate Aki Kondō’s contribution; he is most well-known for creating the lovable Rilakkuma character. The only downside is that the lighting is rather poor throughout the exhibit.
Finally the display leads into a wide selection of merchandise to take the experience home with you. A special art book was created to commemorate the display, but it is certainly not the only thing on sale. Plates, hand towels, t-shirts and more are adorned with the art featured in the exhibit, but they all come at a premium price.
…To Artful Sweets
The small area next to the art display is where you can order any of nine special ice cream sundaes inspired by Eevee and its eight colorful evolutions. Priced at 600 yen, they are on the expensive side, but they do offer a great chance to snap something to make friends jealous with on Instagram. You can also take home the small plastic topper as a souvenir of your visit.
For those curious of the flavors assigned to each Pokémon, here’s a full list:
- Eevee: Plain
- Vaporeon: Yogurt
- Jolteon: Mango
- Flareon: Caramel
- Espeon: Blueberry
- Umbreon: Black sesame
- Leafeon: Matcha
- Glaceon: Aloe
- Sylveon: Peach and pomegranate
After being handed a menu, there wasn’t much time to make a decision, so I personally went with what I felt might be the most interesting: Umbreon’s black sesame sauce. It was decent, but ultimately I slightly regretted I not going for the peach and pomegranate punch of Sylveon’s sundae.
Although there isn’t anywhere to sit, several tables are positioned outside to eat. You may even make some new friends, as I did when the woman next to me noticed I was playing Pokémon GO while eating. We added each other in the game and even traded Pokémon before she left. It was a far cry from plugging link cables into Game Boys as I had first experienced trading, but it was a clear sign the franchise is still bringing people together more than 20 years after its release.