I first came to know about Pokemon via the anime. At that time, watching Caterpie evolve into Metapod and subsequently into Butterfree was one of the most memorable moments for me as a child, so I was especially impressed when the same thing could happen in-game when I first played Pokemon Yellow (wowz). And since I had no access to the internet, I never knew what I could get by leveling up a Pokemon.
Of course, two decades down the road, and we're now at the point where I can find out the entire roster of new Pokemon even if I've never played the games. I also start to over-analyze and scrutinize the designs and changes when a Pokemon 'evolve'. Some evolutions are like natural growth spurts (like Growlithe to Arcanine), some follow the stages of metamorphosis (Tyranitar), some adopt fusion-like themes (like Beldum to Metagross). And then there are those that simply slap two different species together to form some sort of evolutionary line, like how a rattlesnake evolves into a cobra or a seagull evolves into a pelican. Lastly, we have Pokemon that are perfectly fine (even competitively) without any evolution or pre-evolution), such as Lapras and Skarmory.
It seems like as long as the final product has decent/overpowered stats and deadly abilities, it doesn't really matter how the Pokemon 'grow', if at all. Even for the traditional evolutionary lines, you spend so little time with the pre-evolutions that they're mostly there just for the sake of it. Mix in the cross-gen evolutions, formes,
super saiyanmega evolutions, splicing, Zygarde cell, Ash-Greninja, and it feels as if it's all about creating the next hype rather than a plausible, albeit fictional, ecosystem.
So, are you still fascinated by Pokemon evolutions, or are they merely a distraction?