Karen Hojo

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Karen Hojo
Chara 201 01 base.dds.png
Character data
Name: 北条加蓮 (Hojo Karen)
Voice actor: 渕上舞 (Fuchigami Mai)
Age: 16
Height: 155 cm
Weight: 42 kg
Birthday: September 5th
Blood type: B
Three sizes: 83-55-81
Handedness: Right
Hobbies: Nail art
Horoscope: Virgo
Hometown: Tokyo
Card Type: Cool
Image Color:     
Autograph
Karen signature SS.png

Karen Hojo (北条加蓮 Hojo Karen?) is one of the idols available in THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls. She is voiced by Mai Fuchigami (渕上舞 Fuchigami Mai) and works at an unnamed talent agency.

Statistics

Annual Rankings

Event Prelim Rank Final Rank
1st Anniversary Election 27 Unranked
2nd Anniversary Election 10 8
3rd Anniversary Election 8 10
Voice Idol Audition Not a candidate Not a candidate
4th Anniversary Election ? 16
5th Anniversary Election ? 16
6th Anniversary Election 7 8

Character Description & Personality

Karen is a girl with a weak body who is best friends with Nao and Rin. They only knew each other from middle-school, went to different high-schools, was reunited again in the same production agency, and became friends there. The three of them are part of the cool-type core unit 'Triad Primus' and she holds the 'Visual Role' of the group.

Her weak body was a result of suffering an illness during childhood that she kept a secret from most people. Though never described, it was implied to be severe enough because it forced her spend most of her childhood inside the hospital and miss a grade. Her eventual recovery itself was considered a miracle by her, her family, and the hospital.

During this time, her only relief were the idols that appeared on T.V. To her, they were very dazzling figures full of dreams and hope, and wanted to become like them.

Although she recovered from the illness around middle school, the long time she spent hospitalized caused her to have difficulties in coping with studies and schoolmates, on top of weak vitality from the lack of exercise. In the end, her grades severely dropped, she lost many friends, and she was still prone to mild sicknesses.

This caused Karen's personality to underwent a negative change, becoming a pessimistic and cranky girl who had pretty much given up on living properly. She was angry at her life and fate, thinking that dying would have been a better recourse rather than recovering but had to suffer. She even wondered whether she deserved her recovery with such line of thinking, creating a sense of 'survivor's guilt' within her. She also buried her dream to become an idol as she lost faith in herself. However, even then she still secretly idolized them and yearned to be like them.


When the Producer scouted her, she was initially very defensive and rejected the offer. She didn't feel worthy of the prospect, doubting her own weak body and lack of motivation. Despite that, the Producer kept on trying to persuade her, and she finally relented.

At the beginning of her career in the game, her cranky personality still persisted as she had yet to warm up even to the Producer. After meeting many other idols, her rising career, and through her friendship with Nao and Rin, she began to open up to her surroundings.

Eventually, she matured and abandoned all of her pessimistic views in favor of enjoying her fulfilled dream, her newfound life, and possibilities of the future. She decided to wholly accept her difficult past and to never dwell on it ever again.


As the person who gave her a future, guidance, and new paths in life, the Producer became a very important figure for Karen. She felt greatly indebted towards the Producer who she sees as her savior from the darkest times. At the same time, she fears that she might burden the Producer even more due to her past, so she kept what she felt about it a secret from the Producer. One of her reasons to become Top Idol is to show her gratitude to the Producer.

Karen takes pride in her nail arts and does it with passion, even lamp-shaded by her other peers like Kanade that she could be a nail artist if her idol career had to stop halfway.

Her favorite food are junk food, fried potatoes, or any potato cuisine.

Karen is a fashionable person and usually sports a gal style, though not as heavy as Mika or Rina. Despite that, almost all of her idol+ cards always gives her dresses in contrast, maybe referring to her damsel-like backstory. It is also notable that Karen never has the same hairdo for all of her cards, even in 'Starlight Stage', ranging from her usual twin drills, sidetail, braids, perms, and others; though she always kept her left-parted bangs.

She is also good friends with fellow fashionable & gal idols like Mika, Yui, and Kanade. She also respects Kaede and Mizuki quite a bit. She treats Mika's sister Rika like her own, and the feeling is mutual.

Aiko and Miho and Karen are seen ad equivalent counterparts within their respective types, sharing many similarities from age, height, weight, hometown, same grade, co-appearances in a number events, and roles in their units (Positive Passion, Pink Check School, and Triad Primus).

Particular idols that she want to do their nails for are Chieri, Setsuna, Shinobu, Yume, and Mary.

Trivia and Fan Culture

Trivia

  • Her given name (加蓮) has the meaning 'To grow strong and beautiful like Lotus' and 'Long life'. This ironically alludes to her sickly constitution prior to the events of the game.
  • According to Nao's interview in Dereraji #84 and numerous instances, Karen loves fast foods and potato cuisine in particular, being regarded as Potato Master by Rin.
  • She has an interest in horror and ghost stories, enough to enjoy Koume's scary story in Starlight Stage.
  • In Starlight Stage, her image stat specialty is Visual.
  • She has a teasing personality and her usual victim is Nao.
    • In Mika Jougasaki's commu in Starlight Stage she also teased Mika a lot for singing about love even though it was obvious she has no experience in it. [1]
    • After 'STORY' event in Starlight Stage where Triad Primus and new generations unite temporarily, Uzuki has also become her victim.
    • Karen's teasing personality was inherited from her mother, as evidenced in her drama track.
  • Karen was originally still a sickly person when she was scouted to be an idol; That she can still collapse and go back to the hospital. Though still anemic and prone to fever, after getting enough exercise and having her casted-away dream to become an idol fulfilled, her health has considerably improved and her illness completely gone, which shows that her poor mental condition was the reason preventing her full recovery.

Fan Culture

  • There's a running gag throughout the series that Karen could collapse anytime at anyplace due to her weak body, which became sort of a meme that Karen was actually still dying or a ghost that already died long before.
    • The fact that she has an affinity with ghost stories doesn't help.
    • Her seiyuu Fuchigami Mai's absence in the 'CINDERELLA GIRLS 3rd LIVE ~Power of Smile~' was used to reference this running gag by showing a silhouette of Karen during 'Trancing Pulse' part, implying it to be a posthumous tribute.
    • Fuchigami Mai herself also referenced this running gag during MC talks in 'CINDERELLA GIRLS 2ND LIVE PARTY M@GIC!!', 'CINDERELLA GIRLS 4TH LIVE TriCastle Story', and in a number of radio talks

Character Gallery

Cards

THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage Cards

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr80TMABUdE&