Some say the warning signs began with Cartoon Network moving it from the Friday night Action Block to Wednesday night after a hiatus, but I thought it was too early to give up hope just yet. Then an abrupt change in schedule occurred where, with only three episodes left to air, CN suddenly moved its slot to Saturday morning,* and then I started getting nervous. Then news of CN's renewed shows arrived, and, with no mention of Sym-Bionic Titan in sight, I became pessimistic, with just a sliver of hope that, because this wasn't exactly news of cancellation, the show may still have a chance of getting another season.
And here we are. And apparently, the ratings were the least of our concerns--CN's refusal to renew it ended up being because there weren't enough toys or merchandise attached to it. How they were able to air a show about a giant robot with an endless array of weapons fighting a wide variety of monsters and not think of giving it a toyline right away, I have no idea, but I wouldn't know how the business works.
I know life goes on and I should be grateful that we had 20 solid episodes (well, 17 as of typing this, but I assume the next three will be of similar quality), and I am. And I still have other shows to look forward to--Venture Brothers, Superjail, Kaiji--and other stories to get absorbed into. But that doesn't make the news hurt any less. With only three episodes left and a final episode that sounds like it will very likely be a cliffhanger, I can't help but feel a sense of crushing disappointment from it all. I was heavily invested in this story and its world and characters. I saw so many things left to be elaborated on, so many potential stories yet to be told, and I was genuinely excited whenever something crucial was unraveled. Watching a new episode of it was my biggest moment of happiness of each week. How can I be happy that I probably won't see how it ends?
It's especially frustrating as a fan of western animation, a medium with so much untapped potential and so few continuity-driven shows that were able to conclude their own stories and, dammit, I'm tired of it.
Still going to plug this here.
* Worse yet, it wasn't even to make room for a new show or a new episode of an already airing show--it was for Johnny Test reruns. And even worse, they reportedly put up a "New Sym-Bionic Titan next!" message, giving viewers a nasty shock when a different show came on instead. If that's not the ultimate "Fuck you" from CN to the staff and viewers of the show, then I don't know what is.