At a time when social media and YouTube continue to grow in their impact on modern culture, there is an increased interest in the stories behind the prominent personalities and influencers that drive this content. This article takes an in-depth look at the life and career of the professional YouTuber known as The Amagi.
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The Beginning of The Amagi
The Amagi is both the name of a YouTube channel and the pseudonym of its creator, twenty-year-old YouTube content creator Ethan Schulteis. The name was taken from the lead character in an animated story that Schulteis created when he was twelve years old.
Like many adolescents in the early 2000s, Schulteis was obsessed with an animated series showing on the Nickelodeon channel titled “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. He was so inspired by the story that he developed an idea for his own animated show called “The Amagi” and pitched it to Nickelodeon.
When the network didn’t respond, Schulteis took online animation courses and created the show on his own. The pre-teen worked on the show for over a year before he was ready to share it. He created his YouTube channel as a viewing avenue for the animation, but it did not find much success. Schulteis has since made access to the original animation private because, in his own words, it was “extremely bad”.
Finding His Niche
After the failure of his “The Amagi” animated short, Schulteis continued to search for his YouTube niche for a few years. Schulteis’s work did attract the attention of the YouTube network Cartoon Frederator, and with their support, the teen tried his hand at further animations and a variety of content formats, including a series of top 10 videos.
Continuing to experiment with different video formats, in 2019, Schulteis decided to return to the obsession that had started it all. He posted a video that did a deep dive into the history of lava bending in the Avatar animated series. To the young creator’s surprise, the video went viral and Schulteis recognized that he had found his niche.
Feeding the Fandom
Those unfamiliar with Japanese manga graphic novels or the anime series they often inspire may be unaware of these stories’ passionate fan base. Netflix estimates that over 100 million viewers watch animes every year.
With nearly 6 million viewers for its finale in 2008 and a resurgence as one of Netflix’s most-watched series in 2021, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is ranked as one of the most successful anime series of all time. Schulteis was not alone in his obsessive love of the series.
In 2019, Schulties began posting multiple videos about the Avatar series that delved into the details of popular characters and the history of the show’s lore. The Amagi channel on YouTube became a go-to resource for fans looking to feed their interest in the animated show. Within a year, subscribership to The Amagi had grown to over 100,000.
Moving Into the Future
Recognizing the need for his content to have a wider appeal, in 2020 Schulteis began creating similar detailed videos concerning characters and events in other popular anime series including “Dragonball”, “One Piece” and “Hero Academia”. A large portion of the video content on The Amagi today is focused on another anime giant, “Naruto”. These efforts led to a subscriber base of over 1,000,000 by the end of 2021.
Most recently, Schulteis has turned to the analysis of characters in fantasy-based live-action shows and he has dedicated a new YouTube channel to this content. On his new channel, The Amagi 2, Schulteis has created videos looking at characters from shows such as “The Boys”, “Cobra Kai” and “The Witcher”.
Although The Amagi channel is clearly aimed at a select audience and will not appeal to everyone, Schulteis’s career is a testament to perseverance and a willingness to adapt.