Few YouTube characters are more recognizable and beloved than ChilledCow’s lofi study girl. Did you know that she has her roots in a Ghibli movie?
ChilledCow’s study girl is the face of lofi music on YouTube. Residing in the lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to livestream, the girl has built a fanbase, become a meme and kept millions of people company while they relax, study or chat to chill lofi beats. The iconic YouTube figure has her origins in Whisper of the Heart’s Shizuku Tsukishima, a similar-looking character who modelled the girl listeners now know and love. In fact, Shizuku was the study girl early on, up until the original GIF caused copyright concerns with a certain Studio Ghibli.
Whisper of the Heart was released in 1995. The film follows the story of Shizuku, a Japanese schoolgirl with a love for literature. Shizuku lives with her parents and sister in a cosy Tokyo apartment, spending her free time scribbling away in a cluttered bedroom study. While she did pose as the study girl, Shizuku actually doesn’t study a whole lot herself, instead writing poetry and working on a novel titled “Whisper of the Heart.”