|How to Karen|
|Kanji||How to カレンさん|
|English||How to Karen|
|Japanese Air Date||June 28, 2018|
|Episode Director||Daisuke Nakajima|
|Animation Director||Tomoko Ishida|
|Opening||Thank You⇄It'll Be Alright|
|Insert Song||Overflowing with Love|
|← Tomatoes, Bring It On☆||Go Go Friends! →|
How to Karen (How to カレンさん) is the thirteenth episode of the Aikatsu Friends! anime series. It aired on June 28th, 2018.
In order to get Pure Palette's name more well-known, Aine and Mio are to appear on the TV program "Genius Battle Selection". However, Karen Kamishiro reigns as the absolute queen of geniuses on the show. Admiring and aiming to surpass them, Mio comes to face Love Me Tear, and learns the essentials of Aikatsu! from Karen.
One morning Aine and Mio are jogging when they hear Ema and Maika calling out to them. Inspired by their sudden development, they make promise not to fall behind and head in to school.
It's then Mio and Aine are called into school with a script for "Master Battle Tourney: Summer Idol Special", a variety program where the Participants compete in a bunch of themed battles to determine who the "Master" is. Tamaki explains how she thought this would help give the girls good publicity if they won- but while Aine is all for it, Mio seems concerned. After Tamaki makes a remark, Mio reminds her of the "Invincible Master" who has never been beaten. An Idol who has held the throne since episode one. After Mio reveals that this person is none other than Karen from Love Me Tear, Aine finds herself suddenly tense.
At Mio's the girls watch a recent episode of the program to see that she wasn't wrong to be worried. Aine wonders how Karen always manages to remain the Master of the program, if she's able to best everyone at every single theme. Mio remarks on how receptive she is and she goes on to show Aine the plethora of books she has for both Karen and Mirai. She takes out the first volume of Karen and shows Aine various details, including some helpful tips to explain how she remains victorious. Karen had been enrolled into a gifted academy at an early age as the sole child of the Kamishiro family. She's learned several activities, including judo, kendo, aikido, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and flower arrangement. She's learned a variety of arts that could apply to separate ways of life, and Aine remarks on how she was probably too busy to play with friends. However, as it turns out she had a lot of friends too, and she dedicated her time evenly between them and her studies.
With that, the girls take a moment to admire Karen; but now Mio is further worried about losing to her. Aine is able to cheer her up by saying that they shouldn't give up before they even try, and she contacts Coco to ask for basic information regarding tea ceremonies and flower arrangement so that they can learn. Coco -as thoughtful as she is- also offers to look up the other things the girls had been stressing over as well.
Meanwhile, Mirai offers support while watching Karen in the middle of Kyudo practice. While she managed to do well, she claims it isn't good enough. Despite that, Mirai points out that she's heard that Karen was offered a chance to be an instructor. She refused it though, saying that rather than win through her achievements, she values the effort she puts into it. Firing another arrow, she hits a bulls eye.
Eventually the day of the program arrives and Aine and Mio have shown up to observe the stage during set up. They had only reviewed the basics up until now but they did everything they could in this time, so they will do their best. They are approached by a staff member who thanks the girls for coming, and they hear some girls screaming nearby, alerting them to Karen's arrival. Aine finds Karen further impressive as she watches her effortlessly handle the autographs she is requested to sign, then help a staff member nearby balance his ladder. In this time she happens to see them and they go backstage to find Mirai waiting for her, and they exchange a few words. Mio goes on to tell Karen that she will be giving it her all, and Karen is shown supportive of this bold remark.
The show begins and the host greets the audience as the several competing Idols are shown on camera. He introduces the first battle, Tea Ceremony, where Mio volunteers to go first. As she memorized proper etiquette she is sure that she can pass, and she delicately prepares green tea and serves everyone. Despite this, the girls are surprised to see that although Karen essentially did it the same way, the tea tastes amazing in comparison- and she even made some for the other girls. By now Mio feels doubtful that she stands a chance.
The next topic, Packing, is announced and Aine is pretty curious about this. Mirai explains how special this specific episode is, so for today they included some innovative battles. Aine isn't worried though, and she gets up to take her turn, along with Mirai and two other girls. Each girl quickly folds and packs her items with Mirai and Aine turning it into a friendly competition to see who can finish quicker. When the time is up, the announcer points out that besides timing length, organization plays a role; and with all four of her rows filled, Mirai is announced as the winner. Aine is disappointed, but the girls continue to work hard in the several following battles; including Karen quickly defeating Mio in Aikido and Kyudo, as Mirai beats Aine in budgeting.
At the half point mark, nobody is surprised to see that Love Me Tear is currently in the lead, followed by Pure Palette. Mirai is delighted by this and they are given break to have a snack or drink. Aine joins Mirai and asks how she got so good at stacking and putting away clothing, and she explains how often she does it for the Milky Joker shop since she works on the display sometimes. Aine mentions that she's been able to do it as a means of helping out at home.
As this is going on, Mio watches the duo from a distance with concern. While she is happy for them, she knows she has to improve. To her surprise she finds Karen behind her, and Karen offers Mio one of her soy sauce-glazed rice crackers; and when Mio appears to already know about them, she expresses her own surprise. Mio explains that she's read Karen has been getting into Japanese Sweets making from one of the volumes, delighting Karen as she goes on to try the cracker. She is shocked by how good it is and compliments it, but her sad mood remains. More than anything she had been hoping to surpass her at least in one round, but it seems that no matter what Karen is perfect. Karen asks if winning really means so much to her before saying that she isn't battling her as an enemy, but the one within herself. If she continues to focus on winning, she will lose sight of the more important things. She compares it to Aikatsu, and asks if she's only doing it to beat someone. Mio claims this isn't the case, but because she enjoys singing and dancing, and a spark -intuition- that it would be worth it.
Suddenly, they are interrupted when Aine observes the perfectly packed cosmetic box Mirai has. She calls the other girls to look and they all admire the cute collection, and as Mio looks from where she stands, Karen brings up how important it is for them to have fun. Otherwise the viewers wont. Inspired not to lose sight so easily again, Mio goes on to ask Karen why she decided to become an Idol. She responds by saying that she wished to deliver love to everyone through her singing, and she mentions how the "Ai" in Aikatsu means "love". Mio is surprised as she hadn't known this, but Karen teasingly reveals that she was only joking- but she prefers to see it as such whenever she performs.
With that everyone returns to the show with the final round: Flower Arrangement. Each of the four girls must take her various flowers and arrange them in a neat and elegant way. Mio begins, initially choosing a plant befitting of the season- but she stops short, instead choosing to focus on the one that gives her a spark. She chooses a bundle of tiny, pastel colored flowers that look really cute. As she arranges her flowers, Karen is shown to observe her before smiling with approval.
When the girls finish, each takes her turn to reveal her creation and explain how she came up with it. Mio goes first, revealing the theme of her creation as "admiration". The red roses she use represent the unshakable conviction, and surrounding this is beauty, kindness, rightfulness, and love. Karen goes next to reveal a shining, eye-catching display befitting of her personality. Everyone is in awe and Love Me Tear is deemed the overall winner. As everyone cheers, Aine and Mio agree that while they might have lost, they are happy and they had a lot of fun.
Later, Mio happens to find Karen observing their flower arrangements. She remarks on how lovely Mio's work was, surprising Mio as she explains that while the Judges may have found her entry to be superior, she saw the beauty in Mio's and loves it very much. Mio offers to let Karen take them if she would like, and she hands Mio two tickets for an event themed after her brand, Classical Ange. It's a very popular cute brand that many girls dream of wearing for it's angelic beauty.
Backstage, Karen admires her Premium Rare outfit and she changes. She appears on stage to perform "Overflowing with Love".
Afterwards, several in the audience remark upon the performance as Aine and Mio bring up how calmed and warm they feel. Mio goes on ahead and Aine finds her outside with her hand outward. She sees that Love Me Tear is still very far away from her, but she will continue to chase after them. Aine rejoins Mio, clutching her hand in her own, surprising her as she says that while she might not be able to help Mio, she wants to get better as her Friend. Mio agrees and they high-five.
- The Bouquet de Fleurs Coord makes its debut in this episode.
- The song Overflowing with Love debuts as an insert song.
- Main article: Episode 13 - How to Karen/Image gallery