A dismal Gen Z icon:the Lofi Girl’s Narrative

A person attempted to have the Lofi Girl taken off YouTube yesterday, and within approximately 48 hours, one of the web’s most passionate and swiftly resolved dramas had been consumed on Twitter. The 668 million-view video was taken down on July 10 according to a tweet from the Twitter account for the seven-year-old music livestream that was reported for copyright infringement by an unidentified Malaysian firm called FMC Music Sdn Bhd Malaysia.The “copyright strike” is a type of highly serious official YouTube warning, with the removal of the channel as the next step. Naturally, as soon as the news began to circulate, users from all over the world flooded Twitter and Reddit with posts lamenting the closure of the legendary channel. The YouTube team then had to step in yesterday, declaring that the accusations of copyright infringement were false and that the channel of the people who had reported Lofi Girl was phony and had been deleted.The feed is now not available , but it should become available again within the next two days. Those who rung funeral bells for Lofi Girl may now stop; the event is still ongoing. However, the pace at which the news traveled and the icon status that the “character” of the Lofi Girl attained, particularly in the post-pandemic, have forced us to revisit the story’s beginnings and changes. The Lofi Girl’s birthplace was in the internet but how it became viral?

When the channel was launched in March 2015, its name was ChilledCow. It was created by a 27-year-old Frenchman named Dimitri who lives close to Paris and requested anonymity when The New York Times contacted him about his radio station. The first livestream was launched in February 2017. The main figure of the looping video’s original version was not the Lofi Girl we know today, but rather a scene from Yoshifumi Kond’s and Hayao Miyazaki’s 1995 Studio Ghibli film Sighs of My Heart. The scene in question shows Shizuku, the movie’s protagonist, writing her first novel instead of doing her homework.Due to issues with the channel’s popularity, the movie’s rights holders momentarily succeeded in shutting it down in August 2017. Between that time and March 2018, the Lofi Girl underwent another identity shift, briefly adopting the look of a figure from Mamoru Hosoda’s anime movie Wolf Children.

But even this time, Studio Chizu, the company that owned the film’s rights, was able to cause issues by encouraging Dimitri to develop his own persona and seek illustrators for it. As a result, Juan Pablo Machado, a Colombian artist who was studying in Lyon at the time, saw the appeal and created the Jade figure. Initially, he had to sit down and researched , and then return to the beginning position of the idea , but it was too lengthy to animate, so they decided to keep things simple.

Several years ago, Machado told ActuLyon that he had left the dark window to save time. “The thought of animating the movie by altering the sky outside the window to reflect different times of day then into my head. I had no notion how to depict a dayscape via the window, so I gave up”.Then the concept of animating the video by altering the sky outside the window to correspond to various times of the day came to his mind.The environment that serves as the backdrop for the Lofi Girl film is actually only a portion of Lyon, notably the Croix-Rousse hill and the church of Bon-bell Pasteur’s tower. When the Lofi Girl’s fame reached mythical proportions due to the pandemic, the character “left the canon” of her room by becoming the focus of memes and, more importantly, by undergoing changes to become (also in the form of a parody) a nationalized version of herself according to various countries, leading to the Italian, English, Korean, and so forth.

On March 18, 2021, the channel had a rebranding in honor of its sixth anniversary, adopting the name Lofi Girl and formally recognizing Machado’s status as an icon. With the pandemic, the Lofi Girl went from being a popular character to becoming a cultural icon. During those trying times, when YouTube was the only window to the outside world and many people had found themselves spending a lot of time alone, possibly even working from home, the Lofi Girl served as a symbol of both a company and of stoicism and resignation. The girl’s melancholy demeanor intervened to support this representation, as did the disarray of the desk and bookcase behind her, the cat’s apparent boredom as it stares pensively at the faraway roofs, the plant that is languishing among the abandoned books, and the summer light’s strangely eerie distance, which was accentuated by the girl’s bulky headphones. Especially during the lockdown we were like to that lonely girl in Renoir’s Breakfast of Rowers and collectively we projected so many of our emotions onto that mute, persistent, and always as an alone individual. We gave her our own narrative and psychology issue that we were facing all unconsciously two years ago. The events of yesterday and the upcoming resurrection of the Lofi Girl demonstrate how, despite its confusion and disorientation, our time nonetheless needs its icons and understands where to find them. Though the figure doesn’t function to advertise anything or spread any particular messages, the iconicity of the girl studying by the window is more subdued and nuanced because she is merely a reserved company and a friend to share new music with. A friend that we couldn’t have without Internet .

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