Genndy Tartakovsky may have found critical success with series such as Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and most recently, Primal, but while many of the prominent creator's projects have their followings it doesn't always equate to commercial success. Some of Tartakovsky's projects have been canceled before they really took off, and one project that still stings for many was the cancellation of Sym-Bionic Titan. Not only was this series cancelled after its initial 20 episode run, the series was reportedly cancelled so hard that it was reportedly written off as a failure for tax purposes.
This meant that the series was left in limbo in terms of home video releases, but now for the first time in the eight years since its cancellation Sym-Bionic Titan is now available for streaming. You can currently find the 20 episode series on Netflix.
Netflix describes the series as such, "Aliens fleeing their planet land on Earth, pose as teenagers and fight off mutant space monsters by joining forces to become a powerful giant robot." Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, Bryan Andrews, and Paul Rudish, Sym-Bionic Titan first premiered on Cartoon Network in 2010. And that was probably the first of the many problems it had getting off the ground.
It became clear later when Tartakovsky openly mentioned that the team wasn't really making the series for kids, but the series had a lot of trouble getting and maintaining a steady audience for its Cartoon Network run. Unlike series like Samurai Jack which introduced more outlandish elements alongside its action, Sym-Bionic Titan's mecha anime influences also had an impact on its angst and teen heavy storytelling.
In fact, one of the most memorable scenes in the series was probably not good for children at all. One of the central characters was an alien in disguise (which merged with the other two human protagonists to form the titular Titan), and a cheerleader was trying to seduce him. Going through the effort of bringing her to study at her place, she breaks out into a highly erotic dance that probably made some children question things.
I feel this is a big reason some people remember Sym-Bionic Titan.
It was a good show though, but I can understand not forgetting this... pic.twitter.com/Bg0BjFbD9g— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) September 23, 2019
These more mature elements combined with the fact that it was reportedly canceled for not being toyetic enough (couldn't acquire a toy license), and the series never stood a chance. But now that it's streaming on Netflix more fans than ever will be able to experience this series. It's far from the revival fans have been hoping for, but at least this means the license is out there and no longer stuck in whatever void it was in before. Now we just need Megas XLR next!