|iM@S CG Character Data|
Karen Hojo (北条加蓮 Hojo Karen) is one of the characters available in THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls and THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage. She is voiced by Mai Fuchigami (渕上舞 Fuchigami Mai).
|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||Unranked||16|
|5th Anniversary Election||Unranked||16|
|6th Anniversary Election||7||8|
|7th Anniversary Election||3||3|
|8th Anniversary Election||2||2|
|9th Anniversary Election||Not applicable||1|
"You want me to become an idol? But, training, practicing, raising to the top, willpower and physical strength are not really my thing, I'm not that kinda character. I don't have the energy to do all that. Even like that, would you still want me? Or no?"
Karen is a girl with a weak body who is best friends with Nao and Rin. The three knew each other from middle-school, went to different high schools, reunited again in the same production agency, and became best 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 secret from most people. Though never described, it was implied to be severe enough to force her to spend most of her childhood inside the hospital and miss a grade. Her eventual recovery itself was considered a miracle by her doctors, her family, and herself. During her hospitalization, her only relief was the idols that appeared on T.V. To her, they were very dazzling figures full of dreams and hope, and dearly wanted to become an idol as well. 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.
Karen' past influenced her personality to becoming pessimistic and grumpy as she had pretty much given up on living properly, even thinking that succumbing to her illness would have been a better recourse rather than recovering but having 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 due to said lack of confidence. 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 grumpy 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 facing the possibilities of the future. She decided to wholly accept her difficult past and to never dwell on it ever again in favor of leaving a mark as a top idol.
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 whom she views as her savior from her 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 stating that Karen could be a nail artist should her idol career had to stop halfway. Chieri, Setsuna, Shinobu, Yume, and Mary are all idols she's wanted to do nail art for.
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 give her dresses in contrast, maybe referring to her damsel-like backstory.
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 as equivalent counterparts within their respective types and units (Positive Passion, Pink Check School, and Triad Primus), sharing many similarities from age, height, weight, hometown, same grade, co-appearances in a number events, and roles in their units.
Trivia and Fan Culture
- Karen is voiced as of April 30th, 2014 through [White Hibiscus Banquet] SR card in the original Mobage game and her CINDERELLA MASTER release simultaneously.
- 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 likes fast foods and loves all potato cuisine in general, 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. 
- 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 health condition after her recovery was psychosomatic.
- It is notable that Karen never has the same hairdo for all of her cards, especially in 'Starlight Stage', ranging from her characteristic twin drills, sidetail, braids, perms, and others; but she always kept her left-parted bangs, making it her actual trademark. After frequent running gags about this through a number of fan works, the topic has been finally brought up officially through Karen' 2nd 1koma episode in 'Starlight Stage', where she defends her bangs from Nao and Rin' impending mischief.
- Karen became the first idol to achieve over 10 million votes in Cinderella Girls Election, by which she won the 9th Cinderella Election.
- 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'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.
- 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
- Due to several design similarities with Ibuki Komatsu, fans often depict both together in fanart. Others have also come up with theories as well.
|Animated Loading Characters|
|Starlight Stage Models|
|[Glimmering Moment] SSR||[Song For Life] SSR||[Twinkle Party] SSR|
|[Prominence Pride] SSR||[Scarlet Rose] Masque:Rade||[Day by Day Present] Kimi e no Uta|