The Studio Ghibli-style Lofi Girl has been sitting by her window since 2018, listening to soft hip hop beats forever playing in the YouTube livestream she lives in. She’s become a studying staple over the years, a teammate to sit beside while you pore over homework or your half-finished sitcom script, and she’s spawned countless offshoots, including a Star Wars inspired one, and one featuring a medieval Italian friar, for those in need of lofi Catholic beats instead.
And, aside from a few respites due to accidental bans and copyright claims (making her longest ongoing livestream only nine months old) through rainy nights and grapefruit-colored mornings, Lofi Girl has been taking fastidious notes for an exam that never comes. That changed around 1 p.m. ET, on April 10, when she suddenly and unexpectedly vanished.
“LOFI GIRL DISAPPEARED…” alerts one popular tweet.
“lofi hip hop study and chill to beats girl lore happening rn???” wonders another, documenting through screenshots the play-by-play of Lofi Girl’s hurried exit. On April 7, the Lofi Girl channel posted a video of the girl by her window, as usual, but staring out at a neighbor’s glowing blue room instead of at her notes.
“What is happening with this blue window?” that video title says.
Lofi Girl’s livestream was renamed a red question mark, and slowly zoomed in on the blue room behind the window, revealing another chilled-out, abandoned study set up. A second livestream appeared April 7 and seemed to reveal even more of the room, showing a bubbling aquarium frothing beneath the stream’s steady ambient fuzz, a calendar with April 11 circled, and a digital clock counting down to 1 p.m. ET. The title for that second stream is a simple white question mark.
So, what’s happening? Internet sleuths deduced that Lofi Girl lives in Lyon, France, just based on the buildings seen outside her window—is she going to her international off-the-books buccal fat removal appointment? Is she preparing for the tell-all Netflix documentary where she advocates to ban white American men from the search term “anime girls”? Are they going to execute Lofi Girl live on camera?
No, it’s just a marketing thing. On Twitter, the Lofi Girl brand posted that the blue window contains the domain name for a new website, lofiworld.com, which currently appears to be inaccessible, but might indicate a brand expansion.
Another indicator: The mysterious countdown livestream lifted to display a Ghlibi-type boy facing his desktop computer, listening to soothing electronic music, intently studying next to a small sleeping dog.
“HI-FI BOY,” the chat screamed. It’s more just synthwave, I think. And, despite all the people in Lofi Girl’s main livestream chat writing “LOFI GIRL DIED” and “RIP LOFI GIRL” all afternoon, once the other stream’s countdown ran out, she also appeared back at her post, scribbling her neverending notes. Lofi never dies, it only grows—both girl and boy streams are now going simultaneously.
And if lofiworld.com ever materializes, we might meet even more lofi inhabitants. Picture it now: 24/7 ethereal breakcore Aphex Twin-type beats to study to, run by the barista from the third-wave coffee shop down the block.
Update 4/11/2023 1:40 p.m. ET: Article updated to include the return of Lofi Girl and introduction of Lofi Boy.