In 2016, a stone’s throw from Milwaukee, Ethan Schulteis—then a 14-year-old student from Central Wisconsin—made a life-altering decision. It was then that the YouTuber, who surpassed 1,000,000 subscribers and over 200 million views in August 2021 (and achieved the platform’s celebrated Gold Play Button), created his channel “The Amagi.”
The channel quickly rose to fame. Now 19, Schulteis admits he never could have imagined the impact he’d be making as a creator. He owes it all to a pipe dream from elementary school, born from his love of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (A:TLA) series.
From Avatar aficionado to YouTuber
Around 2010, at the height of Gen Z’s “Avatar fever,” Schulteis spent every free moment watching the series. “I was the kid who watched the DVD behind-the-scenes on repeat,” he confesses in a video highlighting his channel’s origin story.
Schulteis changed his career trajectory—announcing to parents Tim and Shelly Schulteis that rather than a firefighter, he hoped to become an animator. It wasn’t long before the aspiring creator developed the concept for his own show, sending a pitch to Nickelodeon at the age of 12.
Though he received no response, Schulteis kept paving the way forward. He convinced his parents to enroll him in an online animation class, and a few months later, he put his ideas into practice. He posted the first episode of his new series “The Amagi,” created a channel under the same name, and though he’s since privatized that initial video, this was only the beginning for Schulteis. From there, the creator experimented with top 10 videos, news clips, and interviews before finding his footing in 2019.
Covering anime and the histories of fictional worlds
Schulteis partnered with the biggest A:TLA site on the internet, Avatar Wiki, and has been working with channels he’s loved ever since. In May 2019, Schulteis decided to explore a new video format—covering fictional histories for his viewers, starting with the viral video “The History of Lavabending.”
The success of that one video was more than the creator could have imagined, causing Schulteis to dive headfirst into that format—creating over 150 videos reviewing the A:TLA franchise over the next several months. The Amagi passed 100,000 subscribers in June 2020, amassing over 1 million a little more than a year later.
One might say Schulteis’s success lies in the courage to pivot. In late 2020, the creator noticed fans were losing interest in A:TLA content, so he began experimenting with content from the “Naruto” franchise as well. From there, he moved on to different anime franchises, hiring voice actors from channels like “Get In The Robot” and “ChannelFrederator”—resulting in yet another spike in growth.
Schulteis also completed a channel rebrand in 2021, creating a new logo, channel art, video graphics, and more. His channel “The Amagi 2” covers the lives of live-action fictional characters rather than animated ones, while the “Ethan Schulteis” channel features vlogs from the creator’s own life.
A Wisconsinite to be reckoned with
Schulteis is attuned to his audience. He investigates what they want, makes adjustments when needed, and continually undergoes a process of trial-and-error to deliver—each and every time.
It’s no wonder that the YouTube analytics platform Social Blade projects well over 5.5 million “The Amagi” subscribers by October 2026. Having hit the 1 million mark in just a short time, and received one of YouTube’s most coveted creator awards before turning 20, the future looks remarkably bright.
Of course, only time will tell what’s next for the creator—yet Schulteis is grateful to all those who have made his trajectory possible.