Karen Araragi (阿良々木 火憐, Araragi Karen) is the eldest of Koyomi Araragi's sisters and the older half of the Tsuganoki 2nd Middle School Fire Sisters (栂の木二中のファイヤーシスターズ, Tsuganoki Ni-chuu no Faiya Shisutazu).
She is a self-proclaimed "hero of justice" who often imitates the personality and quirks of various characters from tokusatsu series. Despite this, she is completely uninvolved with the supernatural, until she becomes victim to a certain oddity. She is the titular protagonist of two arcs: Karen Bee and Karen Ogre. She is also the narrator of Karen Ogre.
Despite being younger, Karen is taller than Koyomi — a fact that often dismays Koyomi — and is the tallest of the three siblings at 170cm (5'7"). Karen ties her black hair into a ponytail on the right side of her head and uses a similar hair accessory as her sister (both their accessories have a sunny side-up egg design). She also has dark gray irises like her siblings. In later episodes of Nisemonogatari, when she entered junior high school, she cut her hair short leaving it down.
Reflecting her tomboyish lifestyle and energetic personality, Karen's outfit consists of a yellow hoodie and pants, a black tank top, red socks and white running shoes.
Befitting her name, Karen is a hot-blooded girl who acts as if she is a superhero who has the duty of protecting others from danger. She likes to imitate characters from various tokusatsu live action series like Dekaranger; fortunately, she manages to pull it off due to her flexibility and quick reflexes, which was a product of her constant exercise and training, which involves practicing karate and capoeira, among other martial arts.
Her personality often collides with Koyomi's more laid back personality more recently, especially since Koyomi has developed a certain degree of anxiety over his sisters' safety due to his experiences with the supernatural. In fact, he has called Karen's habit of acting like a superhero alongside her sister a "travesty". Along with her sister, Karen does not believe in the supernatural.
Karen, during the time before Koyomi's transformation into a vampire, often had sparring sessions on judo with her older brother. She eventually notices that Koyomi stopped attending judo sessions with her.
During the warm first day of Golden Week, Karen decides to take the opportunity to go out and do some jogging. She ended up doing a full marathon, and came back home with so much sweat in her body that she looked like she came from a swimming pool. As she regains the fluids she lost during her long jogging session, Koyomi, who has been interested in finding out what his feelings for a certain "Miss H." are, asks for her insight in the topic. According to Karen, love is "the feeling when you see someone of the opposite sex and you want to have his/her babies".
Karen had a short argument with her older brother Koyomi when he refused to stay at home for Mother's Day. It caused Koyomi to want to not return to his home, and this allowed him to meet Mayoi Hachikuji.
Fortunately, after Koyomi was able to bring Mayoi to her destination, he was able to make up with Karen.
News began to spread concerning students who are scammed by a certain person who uses fake charms to make money. Karen caught wind of these rumors and went on an investigation to find out who the culprit is, with some help from Tsubasa Hanekawa. Karen finds out that a man named Deishuu Kaiki is the man behind the fake charms and she confronts him on an unknown location alone.
In spite of Karen's determination in taking down Deishuu, she was unable to apprehend him. In fact, Deishuu effortlessly defeats Karen by inflicting her with the curse of a flame-wreath bee, which gave her a burning fever that lasted for three days.
It was revealed that the reason she and Tsukihi made up boyfriends was so that Koyomi would become jealous. They found boyfriends in Koyomi's image with Karen's boyfriend being shorter than her. She and Tsukihi also thought that Koyomi's girlfriend was Tsubasa.
In Suruga Devil, she became a high school student and she also has gotten closer with Araragi to the point that Kanbaru worries that their relationship would go down a wrong turn. It also seems that when Karen went to high school, her and Tsukihi's "Fire Sisters" duo was broken off.
- Karen's first name means "burning compassion". Alternatively, it is a pun on calendar: "calendar" is written in katakana as カレンダー (karendā), and means 暦 (koyomi) in Japanese.
- Although lacking major roles in Bakemonogatari, she and Tsukihi narrate the previews for the next episode.
- Karen is seen wearing a Bruce Lee outfit thinking he does kung fu.
Characters of the Monogatari Series
|Araragi Family||Koyomi Araragi • Karen Araragi • Tsukihi Araragi • Araragi Matriarch|
|Heroines||Hitagi Senjougahara • Mayoi Hachikuji • Suruga Kanbaru • Nadeko Sengoku • Tsubasa Hanekawa/Black Hanekawa • Shinobu Oshino • Sodachi Oikura • Ougi Oshino|
|Exorcists||Meme Oshino • Deishuu Kaiki • Yozuru Kagenui • Yotsugi Ononoki • Izuko Gaen • Tadatsuru Teori • Seishirou Shishirui|
|Vampire Hunters||Dramaturgy • Episode • Guillotine Cutter|
|Other Characters||Rouka Numachi • Tooe Kanbaru • Deathtopia Virtuoso Suicide-Master • Tropicalesque Home-A-Wave Dog-Strings • Hitagi's Father • Hitagi's Mother • Tsunade • Mayoi's Father • Suruga's Father • Suruga's Grandmother • Nadeko's Parents • Tsubasa's Parents • Mizudori • Rousokuzawa • Higasa • Sasayabu • Komichi Tetsujou|