Once in a while, I'll return to old anime and let it run in the background, while I'm working, while I'm brainstorming. It's comfortable, it's nostalgic. And so it was that a few weeks ago I opened up a random episode of Honey and Clover while I was writing, and saw a mysterious logo in the ending credits. Do you see what I see? No, not "Young You." "Doughnut Plant New York City." Now, this was Honey and Clover episode 13, and it did indeed have a moment where the characters ate donuts, but there was no mention of a brand, and certainly no trip to New York City.
Was Doughnut Plant a real place? Did it still exist? Honey and Clover was released in 2005 ... that's an awfully long time for a donut shop to stay open.
I went to Yelp to find out. Sure enough, it was still there; a shop in New York City, known for its ridiculously gourmet donuts. And it was only a 40 minute walk from where I lived. So I set out to see what the creators of H&C loved so much about Doughnut Plant.
When I arrived, there was a forty minute wait for a donut. And what donuts they were. Oatmeal and raisin, pistachio, coffee, crème brûlée. The fillings were home-made, the dough hot. I got four donuts and went to the park to eat and look for four leaf clovers.
There was no sign of an art school, and no Japanese anime company headquarters nearby. Why did Honey and Clover give a shout-out to Donut Plant? Who knows. But it was a nice sunday afternoon Call to Adventure.