I know it’s Sakura’s nature to be a tsundere, but forcing the whole confession on Naruto and trying to make him feel bad for not giving her a response doesn’t sit well with me. Even if she has to maintain a tough exterior, I don’t think forcing a favorable response is the right way of going about it. Also, what started as a confession quickly became Sakura’s means of telling Naruto to stop going after Sasuke for her. It’s almost as if she’s given her half-baked feelings to him now as compensation for what she’s put him through. By the sound of things, she’s reluctant about it too.
I don’t doubt that she cares about Naruto and his well-being, but her inner apology to him comes off as her regretting doing this and trampling on his personal desire to help Sasuke. No matter how you slice that, I still see it as her feelings not being genuine enough. What’s funny though is that she’s taking it upon herself to find Sasuke, but drags Kiba along. If she asks Rock Lee for help too, I’m going to start having flashbacks to what she just tried to fix with Naruto. That said, I’m curious as to what Kiba was referring to when he suggested telling Naruto the “truth”. If I haven’t overlooked anything, it looks like they’re both hiding something from one another at this point.
Anyway, we see how Gaara can get people to change just like Naruto does, which is a predominant theme as usual. More importantly, we finally see some Killer Bee vs. Kisame action. I find it pretty ridiculous that Kisame’s Samehada can absorb the amount of chakra a Jinchuuriki has, but hey, I don’t write this stuff.
* From what everyone’s telling me, what Naruto doesn’t know right now is that Konoha’s decided to kill Sasuke themselves. I gather that’s what Sakura’s team is out to do right now. Thanks to those who pointed this out.