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|Cinderella Girls Character Data|
Karen Hojo (Japanese: 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 (Japanese: 渕上舞 Fuchigami Mai).
|Event||Prelim Rank||Final Rank|
|1st Cinderella Girl General Election||27||Unranked|
|2nd Cinderella Girl General Election||10||8|
|3rd Cinderella Girl General Election||8||10|
|4th Anniversary Voice Idol Audition||Not a candidate||Not a candidate|
|4th Cinderella Girl General Election||Unranked||16|
|5th Cinderella Girl General Election||Unranked||16|
|6th Cinderella Girl General Election||7||8|
|7th Cinderella Girl General Election||3||3|
|8th Cinderella Girl General Election||2||2|
|9th Cinderella Girl General Election||Not applicable||1|
|10th Cinderella Girl General Election||Not applicable||24|
THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Self Introduction
THE iDOLM@STER POPLINKS Profile Quote
I'm Karen Hojo. Being able to participate in a big project like this is such a dream come true. But this is a new starting point for me. I won't let my guard down.
According to her first Starlight Stage Memorial commu, Karen got scouted when Producer called out to her, noticing a sad look on her face. Thinking that the Producer came over to flirt with her, she told him she wasn't interested and to get lost. After realizing he wasn't trying to hit on her, she asks him who he is. Once explaining that Producer is from an idol agency, he tells Karen that she has what it takes to be an idol and he wants to scout her. Karen recalls memories of watching idol programs on TV when she was hospitalized with a bright expression on her face. Despite this, she declines the offer and gives Producer his card back. Karen explains that her being an idol is a fantasy that will never come true, but she thanks Producer for seeing something in her. Karen tells Producer that she's the worst person he could have picked to be an idol, as she's just about given up on life. With haste, she says her goodbyes and leaves.
A few days later, Producer meets Karen again at the same spot. She calls him persistent, but declines again as she believes she's not fit to be an idol. Calling him weird after looking for her for days, Karen asks Producer why her and touts that he knows nothing about her. Shortly after, she introduces herself as Karen and that she's been sick since she was a little girl. Karen tells Producer that she's been hospitalized for most of her life so she couldn't make any friends. Additionally, she didn't have anything she particularly liked due to her growing apathy. An idol is just a dream she views from a television; Karen explains that she doesn't have the privlege or skills needed to stand on that kind of shining stage. Yet despite her biting words, Producer decides to turn Karen into an idol. He tells Karen to not decide how much worth she has on her own. After teasing Producer and calling him a strict adult, Karen tells him he's not so bad after all and starts her idol journey.
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 succeding in her academic and social life. Gaining burden after burden, she also gained weak vitality due to overwhelming physical and mental stress. Her grades severely dropped, she lost many friends, and she was still prone to mild sicknesses. Karen' past influenced her personality to becoming pessimistic as she had pretty much given up on living properly, even thinking that succumbing to her illness would have been a better consequence rather than recovering and suffering. She even wondered whether she deserved her recovery with such line of thinking, creating a sense of "survivor's guilt" within her.
When her idol career started, her pessimistic and stand-offish personality still persisted as she had yet to warm up to others, including the Producer. As she was still a sickly person when she debuted, she acted cold and often bided her time alone, being reluctant to do idol activities due to fear of collapsing and being hospitalized. Thus, she often said things like "This is annoying!" and "I don't want to be here anymore" when referring to practice and actual idol duties. Though still anemic and prone to fever, after getting enough exercise and having her casted-away dream to become an idol fulfilled, her health had considerably improved and her illness completely disappeared. This hints to Karen's poor health condition after her recovery was psychosomatic. After her symptoms disappeared and meeting many other idols (especially her friendship with Nao and Rin), she began to open up to the people around her. 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 a top idol is to show her gratitude to him as well as her fellow idols. Since that point, Karen fulfills her idol work with determination and gusto, taking her activites seriously and optimistically as she aims for top idol.
After her illness passed, a cheerful and devilish side of hers came to the forefront. Karen is known for teasing people and likes to make them embarrassed. She reveals that this behavior was inherited from her mother in her solo CD drama track. Her most common victims are Nao, with Rin acting as her accomplice, and Producer, poking fun at their inexperience with love and purposefully misconstruing their actions as romantic. She seems to tease others about love, such as making fun of Mika for singing about love even though it was obvious she has no experience in it.  She mostly targets naive idols like Uzuki in the Starlight Stage STORY event and people who blush easily like Mika. Karen is known to have a repeated type of teasing that she does where she pretends to paint someone's toenails while an accomplice grabs them behind; Karen then starts tickling them for as long as they can last.
In her private life, it's shown that she's very fashionable and often sports a gal style, though not as heavy as Mika or Rina. Additionally, she's very good at doing nail art, taking pride in her skill and often doing other idols' for free. She says that she learned how to do nail art by a nurse in a hospital. As she was bedridden and couldn't move, doing her nails was a way for her to occupy time and express her creativity. Other idols like Kanade have acknowledged her talent, 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. Because of this, she's good friends with fellow fashionable & gal idols like Mika, Rina, Yui, and Kanade. She treats Mika's sister Rika like her own, and the feeling is mutual.
The people that Karen is seen with the most and are the closest with are Rin Shibuya and Nao Kamiya, all being members of the unit Triad Primus. The three of them knew of each other in middle-school, went to different high schools, reconnected at the production, and have been best friends ever since. She attributes Rin and Nao to helping her break out of her cycle of pessimism and value herself as a person. In the anime, Karen sees Nao has her "partner" in entering the idol world and Rin as her "rival" that she aims to catch up to. She often bugs them to go to a family diner, order junk food, and talk until it's dark outside. As her closest friends, Karen often picks on and teases them the most as she knows everything about them and how they'll react.
Karen appears in the Events listed below:
Trivia and Fan Culture
- Karen was voiced on April 30th, 2014 through her [White Hibiscus Banquet] SR card in the mobage and her CINDERELLA MASTER release simultaneously.
- Her given name (加蓮) means "to grow strong and beautiful like a lotus" and "long life." This ironically alludes to her sickly constitution prior to becoming an idol.
- According to Nao's interview in Dereraji #84, Karen's favorite food is junk food.
- Specifically, she loves potato cuisine in general, being regarded as the Potato Master and the Potato Maniac by Rin in her STORY SR commu.
- 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.
- Karen almost never has the same hairstyle in her cards, but she always keeps her left-parted bangs, making it her actual trademark.
- After frequent running gags about this through fan works, the topic was officially brought up in Karen's 2nd 1-koma in Starlight Stage, where she defends her bangs from Nao and Rin's impending mischief.
- According to Nao, she's in charge of the visual element of Triad Primus.
- Due to her past illness, the Producer and other idols are overprotective of her health.
- Even if she coughs once, the Producer and other idols drop everything to take care of her (e.g. putting heat pads on her, providing her with a bed to lie down in, giving her medicine etc.).
- In the original mobage, Producer was the one that rushed to take care of her, but in Starlight Stage that role has shifted to Nao.
- It's rumored that wants to have a swimsuit photoshoot and get a tan from being in the sun.
- Allegedly, she includes a lot of vegetables in her diet.
- It's rumored that she's really good at reading picture books out loud.
- According to her 6th Anniversary Idol Introduction, she wants to do nail art for Shinobu Kudo, Setsuna Imura, Mary Cochran, Yume Narumiya, Miho Kohinata, and Chieri Ogata.
- According to her 7th Anniversary Idol Introduction, she likes to tease Nao Kamiya, Mika Jougasaki, Riina Tada, and Risa Matoba.
- 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.
- Karen became the first idol to achieve over 15 million votes in Cinderella Girls Election, by which she won the 9th Cinderella Election. She has since been the Cinderella Girl with the most number of votes ever.
- In comparison, Fumika won the 10th Election with only a little over 10 million.
|Animated LINE Stickers|
|Animated Loading Characters|
|Cinderella Post Images|
|August 7th, 2018 at 3:19 P.M.||October 27th, 2019 at 3:07 P.M.||July 10th, 2020 at 2:33 P.M.|
|July 14th, 2021 at 6:12 P.M||January 29th, 2022 at 7:24 x.M.|
|Cinderella Girls Stickers|
|Starlight Stage Stickers|
|Starlight Stage Renders|
|[Glimmering Moment]||[Song For Life]||[Twinkle Party]|
|[Prominence Pride]||[Beyond The Springtime Haze]||[In The Season The Spring Breeze Blows]|
Starlight Stage's 5th anniversary Key Visual.
Starlight Stage's 3rd anniversary countdown art.
Starlight Stage's 5th anniversary countdown art.
Karen's profile in POPLINKS (Sing For You).
Karen's profile in POPLINKS (Celestella Unison).
THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 9th Anniversary Memorial Party Key Visual