What They Say:
Having tracked down Sasuke’s whereabouts with Kiba’s nose, Sakura attempts to put her allies to sleep and carry out the task of killing Sasuke herself.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the large events that have played out between Sasuke and Danzo, Shippuden has hit an interesting point where that’s become resolved for the moment and lets the series move on to other avenues of storytelling. With Sakura having become very intent on stopping Sasuke from what he’s become, feeling that her mind has been clouded for so long and wants to do what needs to be done herself to spare Naruto the pain, she and her group are edging closer to where Sasuke is. Close enough that they can sense him now, but Sai has been given orders to not let them get any closer since they’re not capable of stopping him. That leaves Sakura with trying to figure out a way to put them out of commission so she can head off and deal with Sasuke personally.
Sadly, much of the episode is all about the flashback as we see Sakura remembering her very, very young days when she first discovered that she loved Sasuke as a wee child. Something that everyone else said was a bad thing. And from there it goes to other areas of flashback that shows how the trio came to work together, some of the bonding moments and some of the pain as well that they’ve shared over the years. It’s all very pat and predictable, not really offering anything new of substance, but it’s a nice quick reminder while dealing with the episode title itself of “Sakura’s Resolve.” She’s put herself in a lot of awkward situations and teenage moments over the years because of him, so it’s good to see her acting on something. The few minutes at the start with the group gives us some decent material to show that Kakashi knows what she’s up to, and the ending throws a spanner in the works that leaves you wondering what exactly her real goal will be after all the things she’s said recently.
There’s little real content to this episode since it’s so focused on the flashbacks that the real new material in the present likely accounts for maybe five or six minutes of it. The little ending clip at the convenience store provides the most amusement and keeps it fun for a little bit, but it just reminds us how empty most of this episode is because we get it when it comes to Sakura and her long, long relationship with Sasuke. There is something to be said for reminders at times when you have a lengthy series, and 212 episodes on top of the 200+ of the first is certainly that, but it didn’t need to dominate like this. All we get here is a whole lot of navel gazing with only a few minutes of mildly interesting material and a “shock ending” that is likely not what it seems. It’s definitely an easy episode to go and fast forward through to find the new material and just watch that.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
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