It's been more than three weeks since my last Naruto review. I hadn't even realized it was taking me that long. Just more evidence that things have gotten hectic recently. I'm looking forward to watching as many episodes as I can over winter break though. Not that much longer!
Sakura tells Naruto she's in love with him in episode 206, and as far as I'm concerned that was a lie to get Naruto to stop trying to save Sasuke. Well, not a complete lie, I suppose. I do think Sakura loves Naruto, just not romantically like she was trying to make him think. And I prefer things that way. I love fictional friendships, and I don't like them being discounted in favor of romantic relationships. Naruto has had a crush on Sakura from the beginning, of course, and I don't want him hurt or anything, but I really love how they've grown to be such close friends. I prefer that more than any romantic relationship. I wouldn't be angry if they got together really, but their friendship is what's most important to me.
Also, I'm not entirely sure what Sakura was thinking would happen if Naruto believed her. Was she willing to play out a fake relationship with him? That could have ended terribly. It was heart-breaking enough to see his reaction when he knew she was lying. I can't imagine that having happened after time had passed where he believed her.
These episodes also reminded me of how much I love Naruto's friendships with both Sai and Gaara. I just love Naruto's friendships with everyone. Naruto's friendships are what make the show more than anything else for me. I love thinking back to the beginning and how he basically had no friends in comparison to know. I know I talk about that all the time, but it's only because I really do love that aspect of the show. In these episodes in particular there was Sai picking up on Sakura and Naruto's feelings and Gaara commenting on his friendship with Naruto as well as Sasuke. I loved all of it.
It was heart-breaking to see Naruto mourning about Sasuke though. It's amazing that he's been able to keep a good outlook towards Sasuke for so long, and now it's like it's crumbled in front of him. It's so sad to watch. I can't really imagine one of my closest friends becoming an evil person consumed with revenge, but I'm going to assume that it's quite a difficult thing to process.
I have to comment on the scene where Naruto hyperventilates because that was such a powerful scene to me. I'm positive I've never seen an animated character hyperventilate before, and I think part of it was the bit of shock I felt about seeing it. The entire scene just had me staring at the screen though. I thought that was a great bit of the story.
Most of the rest of the episodes revolved around Danzo and Sasuke fighting. The fight doesn't conclude until 211, which I've watched but am holding off talking about until next review, so I'm not sure how much I want to say about it for now. As bad as Sasuke being so obsessed with revenge is, I really hate Danzo, so it's hard to be against Sasuke's actions in this instance. The fight itself only made me hate Danzo even more. He's definitely a grey character. I'll give him that he does seem to think that he's doing what's best for Konoha, but I just can't like him after all of the frustrating things he's done.
I'll talk more about that in my next review though, since most of what I want to say involves the conclusion of the fight. Overall, I really liked the emotions surrounding Naruto in the earlier episodes of these five. There was some powerful stuff there as far as I'm concerned. That was the highlight of these episodes for me.