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Conclusion in Another Medium
aka: The Resolution Will Not Be Televised

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"Wonder what will happen next...on the Internet?"
Gerald Bald Z, Perfect Hair Forever

A show that's just unfortunate enough to get canceled before its writers' creative juices have dried up (or the network decided to can their show out of spite, content complaints, or low ratings) will sometimes get a televised epilogue to Wrap It Up.

But some aren't that lucky. Sometimes the show's creator or the company that owns the character has to go elsewhere to continue the story. Sometimes that means "downgrading" to comics or novels. Sometimes they can wrangle straight-to-DVD movies or an episode of another related show or even more rarely they get a shot at the big screen.

A recent trend has seen many upcoming summer blockbusters receive comics preceding their release that serve to introduce the film's characters or villains.

Things can get more complicated if the author dies before finishing his work, because (obviously) he won't continue the story anywhere. A Posthumous Collaboration may attempt to fill the void, by calling some new author to finish the story.

Contrast Post-Script Season, Un-Canceled. See also All There in the Manual. If it's intentional, then there's No Ending. If it's a made-for-TV movie or miniseries, see Wrap It Up. Contrast Expanded Universe, where a show that did get a resolution is continued in other media anyway. The Resolution Will Not Be Identified is what happens when a deliberately-written series finale is not identified as such in advertising or on screen. There is a strong relation between this trope and Sequel in Another Medium.

Note that, with this trope, the resolution may not be televised, but it does exist in some medium. If the work is left without any resolution at all, it's Cut Short.

Examples (by medium of origin):

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Studio Shaft couldn't get airtime for the last three episodes of Bakemonogatari, so they were released as a webcast. As they did with Koyomimonogatari. Also, both Kizumonogatari and Zoku Owarimonogatari were initially released as movies, but Zoku did get a serialized television release later.
  • Despite its huge popularity, the anime adaptations of Captain Tsubasa rarely cover the arcs beyond the middle school nationals. The original 1987 anime adapts the elementary and middle school nationals, then follows with a series of OVAs titled Shin Captain Tsubasa that covers the Junior Youth tournament. Captain Tsubasa J starts with a retelling of the first arc, before skipping to show the characters during their time overseas, ending with the Asian preliminaries before the World Youth. Road to 2002 adapts part of the characters' story when they finally enter the professional stage, but again, it ends when Japan is about to start its final match against Brazil in the World Youth (and skipping huge chunks of other arcs in the process). Lastly, the 2018-2019 is a remake of the original series, covering only the elementary and middle schools arcs, and while a new season was announced for 2023 to cover the Junior Youth tournament, the majority of the following arcs still remain unadapted. Only time will tell if this will remain the case. In a different vein, in 2021 series creator Yoichi Takahashi announced that he may retire due to his age after finishing the Rising Sun arc of the manga, covering the Madrid Olympics. As a result, the following arc, titled Next Dream and covering the various competitions in professional Leagues on the road the UEFA Champions League and presumably the World Cup, will continue to be told in the videogame Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team.
  • The Big Bad of Dancougar was finally defeated in the OVA Requiem for Victims.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003): The series was concluded by the movie Conqueror of Shamballa, which wraps up many of the plot threads left dangling by the series, though the reason for that was that mangaka Hiromu Arakawa felt it would be pointless to tell the same story twice in case another anime was greenlit to accurately adapt the manga, which 2009's Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood did, only fully adapting that part while using a few elements of the original anime. The same director did the same trick with Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
  • Though each individual series in Gundam's Universal Century continuity is fairly self-contained, the story of the original characters of Mobile Suit Gundam got a final wrap-up in The Movie Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.
  • .hack//Roots is an interesting example of this, in that its 26-episode run was intended as a lead-in to the three part .hack//G.U. video game series from the very beginning. Unless you were already intending to play the games to begin with, the anime's Sequel Hook, Reset Button ending might leave you wondering where the heck the resolution was...
  • Played straight and subverted with the 1999 adaptation of Hunter × Hunter. The series originally overtook the source material before the York Shin Arc was even finished, but resolved the story with an OVA and moved on to the Greed Island arc before overtaking the manga again, which finally resulted in the original anime being Cut Short. Fortunately it was rebooted in 2011 by Mad House. However, due to the author's frequent breaks, the 2nd anime ended with Gon finally finding his father and continuing on with his adventures.
  • The final four episodes of Kokoro Connect were released as OVAs. There are two possible reasons for this. Either they couldn't get airtime due to the odd number of episodes (like Bakemonogatari above), or they wanted to provide a good incentive to buy the DVDs after Auditiongate led to a boycott.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico's story was meant to be concluded in a sequence of novels and a trilogy of movies. However, due to unknown disagreements among the people involved in the production, the audience was still Left Hanging. There were a few supplementary materials (two video games and the Gekiganger 3 OVA) that did at least wrap up the main story of the show. However, few outside of Japan have ever seen the video games - most annoyingly, the second one, which was supposed to conclude the series once and for all.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Because Gainax ran out of money, the original series had an ending that resolved nothing aside from the main character's personal issues. Eventually, a more definitive (and even more divisive) ending was released in movie form, as The End of Evangelion.
  • Oreimo did this twice. The first season had a Gecko Ending, the second had No Ending, and both were properly concluded with a series of un-televised OVAs. The second season's "true" ending found its way to Crunchyroll, but the first season's did not, causing much confusion.
  • Pretty Cure, from Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure onwards, has, as part of the Thanksgiving live show, the cast describe and act out one more episode, which closes off the remaining plot threads.
  • Persona 4: The Animation ends after the defeat of Ameno-Sagiri with Narukami leaving aboard the train, and never touches upon the events of the game's True Ending. The real last episode was released with the last volume of the anime, and reveals that the fake ending was part of a Lotus-Eater Machine created by Izanami.
  • A semi-example with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. While the Twelve Episode Anime finished as intended, the sequel was released as The Movie. Word of God explains it wasn't long enough to be a complete second season. (In fact, the sequel was released after a pair of Compilation Movies that retold the anime's story.)
  • Remy: Nobody's Girl was so hated in Japan that the producers couldn't air the final three episodes. They went straight to DVD instead. Despite being reviled in Japan, the Russian, Filipino, Italian, and Arabic fandoms loved it.
  • The anime adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin was actually canceled due to how low the quality of the Filler arcs had became. Shougo was good, Daigoro was all right, Black Knights was bland, and Feng Shui was the reason the show was canceled, what with the hard-to-follow plot, boring characters, almost no action, and random events. Because of this, the last arc of the manga was adapted as an OVA...which didn't even adapt that right either, instead going in its own direction from the manga. To this day the "Revenge" arc had never been animated as intended until it was adapted as a live-action movie in 2021.
  • The anime adaptation of Slam Dunk only covers the first 22 volumes of the manga, leaving the National Tournament out. To compensate, the anime's last five episodes has team Shohoku having a friendly match with the star players of Shoyo and Ryonan before they depart for the nationals. A 2022 movie, titled The First Slam Dunk, adapted the finale.
  • The anime adaptation of Star Ocean: The Second Story, Star Ocean EX, ended at what was half-point of the game's scenario when Claude, Rena and co leave Expel and go to Energy Nede. The second half of the story, the Energy Nede saga, was completed, but in a series of Drama CDs instead of an anime.
  • Wolf's Rain ended inconclusively after 26 episodes. The story was concluded by 4 OVA episodes, which bring closure to the plot. Unfortunately some networks (like the UK's Anime Central) omit the OVA episodes from the show's run and leave the story hanging.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Writer Bob Gale has stated that Back to the Future: The Game is the closest thing fans of the Back to the Future franchise will get to having a fourth film in the franchise.
  • Dredd 3D did poorly at the box office, but due to a massive fan petition for a film sequel 2000AD announced a comic sequel entitled Dredd: Underbelly. A true film sequel is still being pushed.
  • While several proposals for a third Ghostbusters movie fell through, Ghostbusters: The Video Game continued the story of the original Ghostbusters team with the original cast and the involvement of the original writers.
  • Good Burger received a sequel in the form of the novel Good Burger 2 Go.
  • Jason X ends with a Sequel Hook. The story's continuation is found in comics and novels.
  • While the Men in Black film was successful and would later release a theatrical sequel, Sony still contracted series creator Lowell Cunningham to script the Men in Black: Retribution comic sequel. The storyline similarly focuses on K returning to the MIB organization.
  • Star Wars:
    • The earliest of Star Wars Legends was the Star Wars (Marvel 1977) comic, which once it serialized A New Hope made up new stuff until such time as there was another movie to adapt.
    • The first Legends novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, was intended to be a possible version of this if A New Hope wasn't successful enough for a proper sequel. Only featuring Luke and Leia, it was a story in which the two of them fought Darth Vader over a Force crystal. In hindsight, the attraction between the two is rather creepy; though a lightsaber duel in which Luke and Leia both fight Vader is somewhat interesting.
  • The Super Mario Bros. (1993) film ended on a Sequel Hook that was left hanging for 20 years before it was picked up in the form of a webcomic by the original screenwriter and several fans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4400 has two novels set after its TV run.
  • The series finale of ALF sees ALF about to be rescued by survivors of his home planet, Melmac. ALF is then captured by the Alien Task Force. The original airing actually even ended with a "To Be Continued." ALF was subsequently canceled, and the result was never seen. Years later, a TV Movie, Project ALF, was aired in an effort to tie things up.
  • Dead Like Me had a Direct-to-DVD film that tied up some of the lingering plot threads.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In 1987, the Sixth Doctor never received a proper sendoff story in the TV series because Colin Baker was fired from the role. Almost 30 years later, he finally got one in the form of an expansive audio play.
    • The Doctor Who New Adventures series of books directly followed on from Doctor Who's cancellation in 1989, continuing the adventures of the Seventh Doctor (the last to be seen on TV until the TV movie in 1996) and his companion Ace. (They also introduced several new companions, one of whom received her own continuing Spin-Off series.) It subsequently gained a sister series of "Missing Adventures" revisiting earlier Doctors and companions. The BBC would eventually pick up the series after the TV Movie, publishing the adventures of the 8th Doctor and his companions.
    • The Eighth Doctor's regeneration was finally shown in 2013, in a webcast.
  • Dollhouse is getting an interesting version of this: although the series finale "Epitaph Two" resolved pretty much everything, a comic series is being put out called Dollhouse: Epitaphs which takes place before it, just as it becomes After the End, and it shows what happens to several characters that we never see again in the series (like Ivy). We already know how everything ends, but now we can see how it got there.
  • Firefly: Although it was originally intended to be the start of a movie franchise, Serenity did a good job of wrapping up one of the larger plot threads from the TV show — at least, as good a job as one can do when one has to introduce, elaborate, and wrap up a plot element that was originally supposed to take several seasons. Darkhorse has also been sporadically publishing comics taking place after Serenity, with the 6-issue mini-series "Leaves On The Wind" being the most notable example.
  • Heroes season four (Volume Five) ended with a shocking turn and the promise of another volume titled Brave New World which would've focused on norms learning about the specials and how the world dealt with it. However, the show wasn't picked up for another season. A thirteen episode follow-up miniseries, Heroes: Reborn, aired in 2015.
  • Jericho (2006) had a season 3 comic book.
  • Kamen Rider Decade is a rare deliberate example of this trope, with the Grand Finale being a movie so that Toei could make way for Kamen Rider Double. This actually caused Toei some problems, since PTA groups complained that Decade's final episode was nothing but a 30-minute advertisement for The Movie, forcing them to completely redo the movie and resulting in it bearing absolutely no resemblance to the trailer at the end of the series.
  • The final The Middleman graphic novel acted as a season finale for the canceled TV series, being set in the continuity of the show rather than the previous graphic novels. Just to make things complicated, the previous (pre-TV) run of comics ended on a massive cliffhanger, which has itself never been resolved.
  • The Grand Finale for Our Miss Brooks appeared on neither radio nor television, but instead took the form of a feature film. Miss Brooks finally achieves her Series Goal and marries Love Interest Mr. Boynton.
  • Police Squad! was canceled after just six episodes, but made millions in the cinema in the form of the Naked Gun trilogy.
  • Pushing Daisies received a comic book series in early 2011.
  • Revolution got a comic on Facebook wrapping up what would've been the series's 3rd season. "See it here."
  • Space: 1999 had a wrap-up released in 1999, Message from Moonbase Alpha. Although fan-made, it had the involvement of one of the original scriptwriters and had Zienia Merton reprise her role as Sandra Benes.
  • Stargate SG-1 ended with no resolution to the current plot and only later got a direct to video release, The Ark of Truth, that wrapped up the current plot. It was not a case of being cancelled too soon, it was a case of writers not knowing when to stop. Ironically, the main plot that started the show off did not get wrapped up within its own show and also saw a single one shot direct to video affair, Continuum, that wrapped up the massive loose ends of the story.


    • Comics could not cover material that was to be made into DVD movies or video games. The original comic run of 2001 thus ended with the heroes achieving a small victory, but not fighting the main villain or any of the other hinted-at threats, because LEGO wanted to tell the story via a video game... which got canceled just before release. The story was then wrapped up in the Mata Nui Online Game the same year, save for one fight scene. This got included in the first 2003 novel, Tale of the Toa, and later retconned and rewritten by the 2005 encyclopedia.
    • The movie The Legend Reborn ended on a Sequel Hook. When LEGO decided to axe the series, along with the sequel, the story quickly got told in the comics, a novel (published online for free) and an illustrated web-story narrated by Michael Dorn, who had voiced the movie's main character. A rough draft of the canceled sequel's story was also shared, though it was branded non-canon.
    • The plot threads were far from tied up when the series got canceled. LEGO allowed the writer to keep continuing the story in online serials, which he didn't get paid for. Sadly, he had to quit after just managing a few chapters due to personal matters and his paying job. The amount of plotlines that were still waiting to be resolved are painful.

    Video Games 
  • BloodRayne 2 ended showing all the signs of being the second part of a Two-Part Trilogy, the required cliffhanger being the gathering of antagonistic factions for The End of the World as We Know It. The story was continued by the comics published by Digital Webbing until those have been cancelled (leaving their Myth Arc unresolved).
  • The final DLC pack of Final Fantasy XV, Dawn of the Future, was stated upon its reveal to be a new story arc that would lead to an alternate ending for the game. However, in November 2018, Square Enix infamously cancelled 3 out of 4 of the DLC episodes for this storyline, with only the first one, Episode Ardyn, releasing in March 2019. The rest of Dawn of the Future's planned story (which were Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis) was eventually released as a novel written by Jun Eishima.
  • An early draft of a conclusion to the Half-Life 2 Episode trilogy was released as a "fan fiction" by ex-writer Marc Laidlaw on his website with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. This was shunted into What Could Have Been territory by Half-Life: Alyx.
  • The sequel to Heroes Must Die was released as a stage show.
  • Nier originally ended on a Bittersweet Ending, but a definitive conclusion to the story was added with the release of the supplementary material book Grimoire Nier, in which the short story "The Lost World" involves Kainé and Emil going on a journey to change reality and bring Nier back to life after he Ret-Gone'd himself at the end of the game. This specific story was adapted into a playable story branch called Route E in the game's Updated Re-release, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139....

    Web Animation 
  • Epithet Erased, a loose adaptation of the creator's Roll20 Tabletop RPG campaign Anime Campaign, had a single season that adapted only two of the source material's ten story arcs. Due to the steep cost of making an animated show and VRV's lack of interest in funding further seasons, the series would continue on as a series of novels and audiobooks instead, with the first of these being Epithet Erased: Prison of Plastic.


    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes fans who want to see final battles against certain villains have to read the tie-in comics to do so. Most of the comics are written by the show's original head writer, Christopher Yost.
  • Brickleberry ended its run on a cliffhanger where humanity was taken over by alien cows. The conflict was resolved in a four-issue miniseries by Dynamite Comics.
  • Due to the Cars Toons: To Protect and Serve being cancelled, the story was eventually told and resolved in the form of a storybook.
  • Following its cancellation, Danny Phantom saw a continuation in the form of the graphic novel A Glitch in Time.
  • The finale of Season 3 of Dragon Booster promised that the adventures of Artha and Moordryd (and everyone else) would continue in Dragon Booster: Academy, which would also presumably wrap up loose ends such as Moordryd's betrayal of his father and Armageddon. This season never happened however, so the producers gave a major DB fansite an overview of the Academy. It's more of a "this is how the Academy works", rather than "this is what happens to Artha and Moordryd at the Academy", though.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons (1983) Saturday morning cartoon had its unproduced final episode script released to the internet; it was later performed as a "radio play" on the series DVD set. And no, it's not the script passed around on the Internet where they found out they were dead and the world of Dungeons & Dragons is the afterlife.
  • After Season 3 of Final Space ended on one hell of a Downer Ending in which Invictus breaks out of Final Space and cancelled shortly after, it was announced in April 2023 that the series would be concluded in a graphic novel titled Final Space: The Final Chapter, set to be published in 2024.
  • Following its cancellation by Disney, Gargoyles received a licensed comic continuation from Slave Labor Graphics with input from series creator Greg Weisman. The series was notable for ignoring the third season produced without his direction and diverging from the events of Season 2 instead. Licensing fees eventually led to this series being left unfinished as well, but Weisman was eventually able to continue it under comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment over a decade later.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice was cancelled after only two seasons with No Ending, but the SNES Licensed Game continued the Knights' mission beyond the series' endpoint.
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006) was canceled after two seasons when 4Kids took over its airing block in 2008. It even had a fairly archetypal Season Finale Sequel Hook of the "villain's hand claws its way up from the bottomless pit" variety. It was to have the story of the third season told in the (cumbersome-named) comic book tie-in Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, which was itself canceled a few months after the show (the 20th and last issue was in November 2008).
  • Metalocalypse concluded with "The Doomstar Requiem", a one hour special that was meant to conclude the fourth season and lead into the fifth and final one. But the creator, Brendon Small, got into a disagreement with Adult Swim over budget and ultimately broke ties with them leading the series to be cancelled. He did vow to get the rest of the story told and fulfilled it with his second Galaktikon album, Galaktikon II: Become The Storm. While it doesn't call the characters from the show by name, it does allude to who is who. note  Years later however, Small and Adult Swim patched things up and was able to get a finale movie greenlit (along with fellow Cut Short series The Venture Bros.), albeit because it was released directly to video it still counts (albeit technically the contract stipulates a home media released followed by a release on HBO Max and eventually televised).
  • ReBoot was canceled at a cliffhanger in 2001 before finally coming back in 2008 in the webcomic ReBoot: Code of Honor.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars was canceled when Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise, in favour of a new Star Wars series known as Star Wars Rebels for Disney XD. At this point, Season 5 just ended and multiple episodes up to a seventh and possibly even an eighth season were in different stages of production. Much of that material was released in different forms:
    • Thirteen episodes that were already finished would compose Season 6, which aired on Netflix and were released on DVD/Blu-Ray.
    • Two story arcs of four episodes each ("Crystal Crisis" and "Bad Batch") were released on with incomplete animation, but finished voice-over and sound effects.
    • Eight finished episode scripts were adapted into the Dark Disciple novel.
    • Another four-episode arc was adapted into Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic mini-series.
    • The series was Un-Canceled for a seventh season released in 2020, with the "Bad Batch" arc seeing completion and the show getting a real Series Finale.

Alternative Title(s): The Resolution Will Not Be Televised, Concluded In Another Medium