What Happened to Lofi Girl and Her Cat?

Screengrab via YouTube

If you’re one of the 12.1 million subscribers to the YouTube channel Lofi Girl, or just a casual viewer who uses the relaxing hip-hop beats as background music to work and study to, you’ve probably noticed the famous cartoon girl and her tiger-striped cat have disappeared. This has left the internet ablaze with speculation as to where she might have gone, and what she might do next.

While the channel continues to play the music we’ve come to know and love, we now appear to be seeing an empty room instead of the famous animated girl. Some have speculated that this is the Lofi Girl’s room from the outside, but this definitely isn’t true. For one, it’s a completely different space, as evidenced by the fact her potted plants have been replaced by a globe, and a previously unseen lava lamp has appeared. Plus, after her disappearance, the video zoomed out from her room before slowly moving towards an opposite window, so it seems that we’re now focusing on the room of one of her neighbors.

If you’re a fan of the famous YouTube channel and want to know what’s happened to its iconic, chill protagonist, then read ahead to find out what happened to Lofi Girl and her cat!

Who is Lofi Girl?

Screengrab via YouTube

Lofi Girl is a French YouTube Channel that’s been running under that name since 2017, playing soothing hip-hop beats to study and work to. The channel runs 24 hours a day, making it a lifeline for night owls and early risers alike. Lofi Girl has also branched out into its own record label, but it’s still mostly known for its relaxing playlist and manga-style animation of a girl and her cat. Until now, the girl was either studying with her headphones in or simply hanging out while occasionally staring out her window (although sometimes viewers could catch her napping). The beautiful view that channel watchers could see through her window was of the French city Lyon, specifically the slopes of the Croix-Rousse and the bell tower of the Bon-Pasteur church.

The channel originally began playing music in 2015 under the name ChilledCow, but once the girl became a kind of mascot, it changed its name to reflect her importance to the brand. The Lofi Girl’s given name, according to the channel creator, is Jade, although most refer to her as Lofi Girl. The channel’s creator goes by the name Dmitri and is a Colombian international named Juan Pablo Machado, who was studying art at the Emile Cohl School in France at the time he made the channel. Machado certainly didn’t expect the stunning popularity his channel has received.

“I have the impression that it is known everywhere. The most impressive is in South Korea. She’s a real icon there. So much so that the Seoul Museum contacted me because they wanted to include it in a museum exhibit. But this could not take place because of the COVID-19.”

So, it’s fair to say that Lofi Girl has a global reach that most musicians and famous people could only dream of.

Has Lofi Girl disappeared before?

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Lofi Girl has had a few disruptions in the past due to copyright claims. The first of these was in 2017 when the channel used images of the animated film Whisper of the Heart character Shizuku Tsukishima studying. After that incident, Lofi Girl became the face of the channel. Then, in early 2020, YouTube briefly removed the channel without explanation, although it was quickly reinstated thanks to a huge public campaign. There was one more copyright issue in the summer of 2022 after YouTube received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown request from a Malaysian record label. The company soon realized the request had no grounds, and reinstated Lofi Girl once more.

These issues resulted in the entire channel being stopped, but now it’s just Lofi Girl who’s disappeared mysteriously. So, we can be certain that her absence is a specific and predetermined choice by those who run the famous channel.

When did Lofi Girl disappear?

Screengrab via YouTube

According to avid watchers of the channel, Lofi Girl disappeared yesterday (April 10) at around 1pm CET, taking her cat with her. This shift wasn’t completely out of the blue, though: the channel page has started putting question marks on top of videos and its profile page, as well as changing its picture to a mint green question mark. Plus, Lofi Girl updated its YouTube channel header image to a previously unseen view of Lofi Girl’s bedroom, where we can see a calendar with today’s date circled (April 11, 2023).

Since her disappearance, the channel has slowly zoomed out of her room and in the opposite direction, giving us a glimpse of a nearby window. At one point, there was a blinking blue light that, when converted into Morse code, pointed fans toward a Lofi Girl website, which has a launch button. When clicked, that button sends you to another Lofi Girl stream, with a countdown toward 7pm CET. It’s all very mysterious, but other than what’s been detailed above, there’s very little information on the page to go on.

What happened to Lofi Girl?

Screengrab via YouTube

To put it bluntly, we don’t currently know. However, all the clues we have point to it being a marketing campaign. AMW group, the team who handles Lofi Girl’s media, has promised a “big reveal” to do with an “interactive campaign.” This will supposedly be some sort of immersive marketing campaign, so it seems that fans of the channel are due to get a lot closer to the livestream’s favorite protagonist.

How exactly this will look is anybody’s guess. The channel already has merch available, so it seems like there will be something special happening. Will it be an animated series? A move to streaming? A romance between Lofi Girl and her equally indoor-loving neighbor? A whole load of nothing? The only thing we can be certain of is that we’ll find out very soon.

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