Jon and Celine are stuck in a routine that seemed endless, until one day, fate, and a little bit of divine intervention, and a mall brawl, brought these two childhood friends back together again. With so much catching up after being apart for several years, they quickly get acquainted, and sure enough, they fell in love in the middle of a thunderstorm.
But their friends, cynical Greg and Lea, and childlike Mike and Cathy, who are persuaded by Jon and Celine to know each other, try to break them up and to bring them back to the old routine. Plus, there are angels and demons that maneuver the fate of lovers like them since the days of Adam and Eve. Not to mention, the weather is always unpredictable on the city celebrating its centennial.
Will Jon and Celine ever maintain their love though these challenges?
After Eden is a 2002 Philippine graphic novel by artist Arnold Arre of The Mythology Class fame. The series revolves around six individuals, a rock band of angels, and demon cops, on the daily struggles of grown up life, romance, and the test of love and friendship in a seemingly mundane world. It has been revised in 2016 that changed the dynamics of the characters and the plot.
This graphic novel consists of these tropes:
- Adam and Eve Plot: While it's not about reproduction, the novel contains themes of Eden, temptation, and finding paradise when it comes to love.
- Allergic to Routine: Jon and Celine do the same things with their respective friends over and over in their weekly routine.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Greg and Lea have their moments together with these.
- Birds of a Feather: How the cynical Greg and Lea, and the childlike Mike and Cathy end up together.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: The angels and demons fight for love and hate respectively.
- The Cameo: The tequila bartender at the Townfest is based on the author's wife.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Cathy gets knocked out easily by just one shot of tequila. This goes in effect where while at a kiosk at the Townfest waiting for Celine, Cathy, mistaking it for apple juice, takes a shot of tequila, and gets intoxicated and rambling about eloquent sexual references.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Jon and Celine have been best friends since children, but drifted apart after Celine moved to another place. They quickly reacquainted and quickly fell in love.
- Crash-Into Hello: How Jon, Celine, and their friends, after escaping the mall brawl completely got acquainted. Greg and Lea banter at each other on who crashed their cars, but they weren't the ones who were driving.
- Cue the Rain: Whenever something romantic or dramatic happens, the rain always pours down the city. One of the demon cops even lampshaded this at the end of the novel.
- Electric Love: Jon and Celine got a Relationship Upgrade at a thunderstorm, and reconciled at a thunderstorm through widescreen TV at the Townfest a year later.
- Founding Day: The story is about six characters whose love lives are changed in an unnamed city who is celebrating its centennial townfest.
- Friend Versus Lover: The main conflict of the novel. As Jon's and Celine's friends grow miserable due to their relationship, their friends plan to break them up and return to the way before. It went badly to the point all six of them won't talk to each other anymore.
- Gay Bar Reveal: Downplayed in the 2002 version; On their date arranged by Jon and Celine, Greg and Lea walk into a bar where they end up at a one-night event or gays and lesbians. It was changed to a karaoke night in the 2016 version.
- Geek: Jon, Greg, and Mike have very geeky interests such as reading comics, playing video games, and collecting action figures, and they own a hobby shop called "The Hobby".
- The Mall: Where the six characters hang out after the work week. Jon and Celine met each other at a convention held at a mall while Jon hosted that convention and Celine's ad company sponsored it.
- Manchild: Mike is a happy-go-lucky fellow who has a passion for video games, while Cathy is a ditzy girl who has a huge collection of dolls. Mike desires a highly prized game console, and Cathy desires a huge teddy bear.
- Opposites Attract: Greg is a mysoginistic geek and Lea is a feminist; Mike likes video games and Cathy likes dolls, and they mutually dislike each others' hobbies.
- Poor Communication Kills: Lea exploits this trope as it is an essential to relationships. Cutting off communication for Jon and Celine means easy breakup.
- The Arcturian, a kid gaming psychoanalist in the graphic novel, is named after The Arcturians in The Long Tomorrow.
- While getting reacquainted, Jon and Celine discuss their favorite moments in Sesame Street
- While Greg, Mike, Lea, and Cathy are waiting for Jon and Celine, who are on their first date, their friends go and watch the film Alien.
- One single panel where Jon and Celine tries to get away from the thunderstorm is an homage to the painting "Storm" by Pierre-Auguste Cot.
- Mentioned and given a plot point is The Dark Knight Returns.
- Straw Feminist: Lea is a self-proclaimed feminist who does not go with Greg's chauvinistic shit.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The story takes place at an unnamed city that's celebrating its centennial. It has a population of multiple ethnicities. The author states that in keeping with the theme of universal love, the setting is intentionally vague, and has no nationality.